4 Ways to Handle a Mama's Boy Husband

Older mother with adult son

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Being married to a mama's boy isn't always a bad thing. A man who is close to his mother is not a mama's boy in a negative way. A man who is attached to his mother at the hip, however, might be more of a problem. This is particularly if he can't seem to function without her.

1. Establish Clear Boundaries

Your man might be used to his mother catering to his every need and want, but that does not mean that you need to as well. It is important that you set boundaries and let him know that you will not behave like his mother. He can act like a boy with his mother all he wants, but when he is with you, he should act like a man who can take care of himself.

He may use manipulation on you to get his way, so you need to be strong when he accuses you of not loving him and wanting what is best for him. Studies have shown that managing boundaries in marriage is important for a successful relationship, especially in couples where both partners are wage-earners.

He probably does not mean the things he says, but will say them to get what he wants. If you give in, he will continue to use manipulation to get his way.

2. Maintain Independent Space

If he's a mama's boy, it is not a good idea to move into her house. Chances are, their relationship as mother and son will come before your relationship with him. He will most likely side with his mother on every subject as to not upset her. He may even go to his mother when the two of you have a disagreement. While he can do these things even if you live outside of her home, the distance will help some. You do not want to feel like the third wheel when living with your spouse.

If you both can’t afford a place of your own, then you probably should not have gotten married yet. If you are in financial straights and his parents have offered to help you by letting you move in, make sure there is an end date in mind. If you are doing it to save for your own home, realize that you are risking irretrievably damaging your marriage.

Keep in mind, however, that living apart from your in-laws does not guarantee a stress-free relationship with your in-law. Many couples still report feeling pressure.

3. Avoid Confrontation

It's not your place to go to your mother-in-law and ask her to back off. If you want to talk to anyone about the situation, it's your husband you need to talk to. Do not come from a place of anger, though. When you approach the topic, be sensitive and tell him that you feel a little jealous and would like more alone time with him.

Remind him that you like his mother and don't mind going to her house for dinner once a month, but she should not be coming on all of your activities and dates just because she is lonely or has poor boundaries.

Explain that you do not want her out of your lives, but you both need time to connect and grow as a couple.

4. Make Your Own Choices

It's one thing for your mother-in-law to make his choices if that's what he is comfortable with. She might pick out his clothes, his food, and even his career. If he is incapable of making these decisions without her input, that might be something to consider trying to iron out. You don't want his mother to become a decision-maker about choices you make as an individual or as a couple. Your mother-in-law should not be part of your personal decisions about finances, career paths, parenting, or vacations unless you directly ask for her input. You should also not include her in your marital disagreements.

If your spouse is too attached to his mother, it’s important to look at how this is damaging your marriage. You probably ignored red-flags about this when dating, so if you are now seeing it in your marriage, you need to address it sooner rather than later. If trying to communicate and resolve problems around this does not move things in the right direction, professional help is probably in order. 


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