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Interview with Martyn
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Mothers, Sons & Lovers 2
Little Prince Part 2  © Martyn Carruthers 1998-2018

Online Relationship Coaching, Counseling & Therapy

Your relationship with your mother may be the most influential
relationship of your life and support life-long relationship habits.
We help adults change unwanted relationship habits.

Are you afraid of disappointing your mother?
Do you cause friends and family to suffer because
you have emotional problems and you won't get help?

We help men manage their emotions and enjoy healthy relationships.
We help women be healthy partners - not mothers - to their men.

Little Prince 1 ... Mothers, Sons and Lovers
Mothers & Sons 2 ... Peter Pan Grows Up
Mothers & Sons 3 ... Sons and Lovers
Fathers & Daughters ...
Daddy's Girls

The Super-Mom (continued from Part 1)st

To feel special - a Super-Mom may see her son as very special. She may encourage her son to do special things that she will not do herself; or she may cling to him and threaten horrible things if he tries to avoid her control. If her son does not feel nor behave special - the boy risks losing his mother's love.

Soon after I gave birth to my son, I realized that my life purpose
is to prepare him for his great destiny.

Some mothers dedicate their lives to their sons. This sacrifice is expected in some cultures where the family may applaud her and the son may call his mother a saint. The son may defend his mother and attack anybody who does not seem to recognize his mother's special holiness ... especially his father and other women.

My husband accepts his mother's beliefs, no matter how illogical, as facts.
He rejects any evidence to the contrary with anger and aggression.

A mother bonded to her son may form a codependent couple. If one of them finds independent happiness ... or another special partner ... the other will experience a crisis. Codependent couples often remain emotionally retarded as their bodies grow older. Neither may make decisions independent of the other.

My ex-boyfriend husbands his mother. He never married and had few relationships.
He still lives with his mom and has not worked for 15 years. He is passive
aggressive and a recluse. He would not contact you. I left him for my sanity.
You helped me get over him - and over my own conditioning.

Freud, Oedipus and the Little Prince

If a lonely mother sees her son as special, she may reward her son with special treatment, and her son repays her by acting special. Instead of enjoying childhood, a boy may develop adult obsessions and fantasies; perhaps fuelling his father’s fear that, "My son is my rival for my wife's love".

Freud wrote that boys have an Oedipus Complex - that every boy represses
his sexual desire for his mother and his jealousy toward his father and
experiences emotional conflicts. This may be Freud's autobiography
or a facet of Central European culture at his time. We mostly find
such conflicts in men from families where mothers were
confused between Sons and Lovers.

But if a son becomes his mother's partner emotionally, he may be unable to lovingly commit himself to another woman - although he may dutifully follow his mothers instructions to marry a certain woman. Without help, he may remain a Mother's Boy until his mother dies - or even longer.

My husband visited his mother nearly every day and I felt that I was married
more to her than to him. If she asked me to do something her way -
I was in big trouble if I did it my way. I felt relieved when she died,
although he takes flowers to her grave nearly every day.

Consequences of Mother - Son Triangulation

A boy who dreads his mothers' rejection may try to be more special. If other people do not perceive his specialness, he may attack (become a bully) or withdraw (become a nerd). He may become a passive good boy to please his mother, or he may aggressively rebel against his mother to please his father - perhaps becoming passive-aggressive - or he may even be diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

The feeling that they are more important to mother than father makes them feel that
they are wonderful, and since they are already grown up and need not do anything to
establish their greatness because - and as long as - mother loves them ...
Erich Fromm

Many men complain to us that they were not properly mothered. They may complain that they were not loved in the right way, or not long enough, or that their mothers were absent or preoccupied. Such men often behave like children within adult bodies.

If a mother-bonded man feels rejected by a woman - any woman - that man may experience a crisis and act like an out-of-control child, perhaps reliving some childhood trauma about abandonment or rejection.

My wife's therapist suggested that I read your article ... but my mother always preferred
my older brother ... my wife is the wonderful mother I never had ... so nothing is wrong ...
we have a perfect marriage ... she should not be depressed.

The consequences of emotional incest include addictions and obsessions. The consequences also include intellectual men who cannot maintain a happy partnership, and spiritual men who more often search for a (sacred) father - or for oblivion. The cost includes the burned-out shells of adult boys who lost themselves in cults or drugs.

You offered to help me change what you called emotional incest ... but I like my lifestyle
and I like who I am. Normal people are boring ... I am different ... I like being special!

The more a mother needs a special child-man - the less space she has for a real boy. During adolescence, as healthy young men prepare for partnership and parenthood, mother's-boys may be unable to consider committed adult relationships. (Mother-fixated sons are often highly intelligent (they had to be) but their emotional maturity may be delayed - sometimes by decades).

I tried to love him - I really did - but he didn't know what to do with my love and he didn't
want to learn. His heart and mind were always with his mother.

What Happens to a Super-Mother?

  1. She may be called a saint by her son - adored for her sacrifices.
  2. She may be called a demon by her son's wife - distrusted for her passive-aggressive behavior, manipulation, depressions or mood swings.
  3. If her son finds a partner, a Super-Mom may suffer a crisis of rejection and may try to sabotage his partnership.
  4. If her son leaves home, a Super-Mom may adopt a younger man (or a younger 'mannish' woman) as a protégé or lover.
  5. If a Super-Mom becomes healthy and corrects her own behavior, her bonded son may experience a crisis, and accuse his mother of betraying, rejecting or abandoning him.

We do not try to persuade immature adults to be responsible.
When they have suffered enough to change ... we are here.

Next ... A Little Prince Grows Up

Contact us to resolve negative emotions,
self-sabotage and relationship problems.

Online Relationship Coaching, Counseling & Soulwork Therapy

I thought you were just another therapist - but you were not just. Not even. Not only.

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright © Martyn Carruthers, 1998-2018
All rights reserved.

If you like our work, please link to us. If you know someone who might benefit,
please mention or

For online help, email us at:

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Have You Suffered Enough?

 Where are you now? Understand your emotions, fixations and enmeshments
What do you hope for? Know your goals and stop sabotaging yourself
Do you feel resourceful? Learn to develop your inner resources
Do emotions block you? Relationship problems and mentor damage
Do your beliefs limit you? Change limiting beliefs and end dependence
Do you feel connected? Resolve identity issues to recover lost resources
Is your partner happy? Build healthy partnership (or separate peacefully)
Are your children healthy? Happy parents better manage family problems
Do you want team success? Team leaders and their teams develop together
Do you have complex goals? Specialty coaching, counseling & therapy

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright © Martyn Carruthers 1996-2018  All rights reserved. Soulwork Systemic Coaching was primarily developed by Martyn Carruthers to help people solve emotional problems and relationship conflicts to achieve their goals. These concepts and strategies are for general knowledge only. Consult a physician about medical conditions and before changing medical treatment. Don't steal intellectual property ... get permission to post, publish or teach Martyn's work - email