When His Mother is the Other Woman

Getty ImagesYou think you met "the one." Until, that is, you meet his mother.

By Mariela Rosario

So you think a man who treats his mother like a queen is the king for you? Think again. Dating a momma's boy is hard work. Take it from Elisa*, 27, from Hartford, CT, who at first thought it was great that her man had such a strong relationship with his mother. Until she overheard him sharing details of their sex life with her on the phone. "They talk every day, and he literally tells his mother everything, and I mean EVERYTHING!" Elisa says. "Things you wouldn't even imagine saying out loud." Elisa has had to set her guy straight, but our cultura's love for family bonds can often spell bad news. Our expert wheighs in on how to keep your heart - and your dignity - intact.

Related: Should You Break Up If You Don't Get Along With His Mom?

Start by acknowledging the role his mother plays in his life. Then let him know how you feel about her behavior without pointing fingers. "If you play the blame game, he will feel like [his family] is being attacked," says sexologist and psychologist Yasisca Pujols. "Focus on his behavior, not his family's. Make the conversation about your relationship." End the conversation on a positive note. "If you go into this complaining, not much will be resolved."

Related: 5 Must-Have Conversations Before You Move in Together

Julie*, from New Jersey, is lucky her mother-in-law is mostly hands-off. Except when it comes to her food. "She always looks down on my cooking skills," she bemoans. But she doesn't take it to heart. "If your man is a momma's boy, then her opinion is going to count big time," she explains. "You just gotta win over the mother-in-law even if you have to bite your tongue till it hurts." Maybe he just feels guilty or perhaps he was spoiled growing up; but no matter what, very little will come between mother and son. "Whether it's you or any other woman, he will be attached to his mom," says Dr. Pujols. "Try not to roll your eyes when she offends your cooking or your outfit. It may be her way of protecting him and staking her claim."


Loving your man is one thing, but being disrespected is another. When Veronica*, 29, from Miami, let her boyfriend stay over her house (he still lived at home), mother started throwing daggers. "Letting him sleep over was a reflection of my lack of upbringing, according to her," she recalls. Ouch! "If you feel blatantly disrespected, you might want to speak to her directly," Dr.Pujols explains. "Share your side while understanding her position as a mother."

Related: How to Have Sex When You Live With Your Parents

Does he compare your cooking to hers? Does he always take her side in an argument? If so, it's time to go. "He needs to stand up for you," says Dr. Pujols. "If this isn't happening, he isn't worth it." Veronica left her ex and his mamá behind but learned this lesson: "I won't ever get involved with someone who isn't prepared to set boundaries with his family."

*Names have been changed

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