Inappropriate mother and son relationships. This is a very touchy subject that should be addressed no matter how uncomfortable it makes us feel. Mothers using their sons to fulfill the emotional needs and in some cases molding him into the perfect spouse. Mental health professionals call this enmeshment.
It's an unhealthy dependency and attachment between two people like a parent with their child.
Signs of enmeshment :
Raising sons is an experience that I will always cherish. I have two sons who are nine years apart with very different personalities. My eldest is 17 and I raised him to be independent, a thinker, caring, and compassionate. I used education and tough love to motivate him. My youngest son is 8 and he is a mother’s boy. He is calm yet competitive, a sports enthusiast, thoughtful, and popular with kids and parents.
My relationship with my 17 year old is more of a mentor-type relationship. I had him when I was 15 and so we grew up together. I had no idea what I was doing as far as raising him. I made sure that I was honest with him about life. I am not raising my youngest son the same way because I am older and smarter. I took precaution with exposing him to things and I placed less emphasis on education. I found out it wasn’t necessary to tell him the truth about everything in life (because I don’t know everything) and I gave him room to explore.
My goal in raising my sons is for them to become self-sufficient men. I do not baby my boys and I don’t want them growing up thinking that I am all they have. The world is huge and they need as many connections as possible to understand folks. I want them to be actors and not reactors. Babying a son or having him feel like the most important man in a mother’s world kills his ability to make connections with mortals. It can also hinder his ability to leave the home and formulate healthy relationships with the opposite sex. I remember my aunt babying the hell out of her son and he turned into being a man who felt the world owed him and he refused the word “no.” Watching my cousin grow into a spoiled man who spent his earlier years in and out of the system made me leery about treating my son’s as the epitome of perfection or like a husband.
The goal in treating enmeshment is to create emotional differentiation.
We strongly suggest you seek family therapy if you believe that you're suffering from this condition.
By K. Graves
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