Mommy Issues in Men: What It Is & 10 Signs to Look for in a Guy (2023)

Mommy Issues in Men: What It Is & 10 Signs to Look for in a Guy (1)

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When it comes to mommy issues definition, it can refer to the abnormal relationship a man had with his mother while growing up. Most times, mommy issues can have two extremes.

The first extreme can be when the mother tries to be the confidante, best friend, and everything to her son instead of first being a mother. As a result, the young boy grows into a man and finds it hard to keep normal adult friendships because of his mother’s influence.

So, what do mommy issues in men mean?

It could also mean he will take every piece of advice from his mother instead of other important people, like his partner and close friends.

The other extreme is when a man was emotionally or physically abused and manipulated by his mother while growing up. Hence, he becomes a man who does not respect women or wants anything to do with them.

Kenneth M. Adams’ book titled When He’s Married to Mom sheds more light on mommy issues in men. This book helps mother-enmeshed men to open their hearts to true love and commitment.

10 signs of mommy issues in men

Mommy Issues in Men: What It Is & 10 Signs to Look for in a Guy (2)

If you have a man in your life and want to avoid dating a man with mother issues, there are some traits you can look out for.

Here are some signs of mommy issues in men.

1. Regular communication with his mother

One of the signs of mommy issues in men is when they are constantly in contact with their mom. Even though he does not live with her, they will always be in touch with each other like he never left.

His mom is well aware of his daily routine, and he finds it compulsory to spend ample time with her so she doesn’t miss him. A man with mommy issues will always have her contact as one of the frequently contacted in his phonebook.

He will probably communicate more regularly with her than with some of his close friends.

Related Reading: 5 Effective Strategies For Communicating With Your Spouse

2. He has a big feeling of entitlement

When a man always feels entitled, it might be one of the signs of mommy issues. It probably means that he has been used to princely treatment by his mother, and he wants it to continue with other women.

Such men feel they don’t need to work hard for some things before getting them.

Therefore, when they see that those things are not forthcoming, they might begin demanding them. You can tell a man feels entitled if you keep doing things for him and he doesn’t appreciate you. Rather, he acts as if those things are his rights.

3. He takes most instructions from his mom

When you observe that a man does everything his mom says, it is one of the signs of mommy issues in men. If he has a strong emotional connection with his mother, he will always take instructions from her.

When he is at crossroads, and he needs to make a crucial decision, he will call his mom before any person.

He holds her in high esteem because of the emotional bond they share. However, in relationship matters, most of his decisions are likely to come from his mom’s influence, which can cause conflict between him and his partner.

4. He compares you with his mom

Another way to know men with mommy issues is when they constantly compare you with their mother.

Most times, they subconsciously do this because they have placed their mother on a high pedestal, so any potential partner has to live up to that standard.

It becomes a red flag if their love interest or crush does not meet his mother’s qualities. They will likely lose interest in that person and move on to the next individual who can meet their mother’s standards.

Doing this puts people under pressure because they try to be like someone else.

5. He shares secrets with his mom before anyone

To know more about mommy issues meaning or signs, one thing to look out for is who he first discusses secrets with.

If he always breaks the big news to his mother before anyone in his life, this is one of the symptoms of mommy issues.

For instance, if he gets a new contract or a pay rise, his mom would be the first to know before any important person in his life. When it comes to negative happenings, his mom is first aware before anyone else.

Mameve Medwed’s book titled Of Men and Their Mothers is about a mommy’s boy. The book shows how the woman in the marriage managed her mother-in-law’s hovering presence.

6. He tries to avoid his mom

When it comes to mommy issues in men, there are two extremes. The first extreme is those men who cannot do anything without their mom’s influence. They can wait for their mom’s choice when they want a romantic partner.

The other extreme is those who don’t want anything to do with their mom. When you discover a man in this category, he probably has mommy issues and does not want to connect with her.

7. He is very insecure

Insecurity is one of the signs of mommy issues in a man. The primary reason is that his mom let him down in the past, affecting his trust when dealing with prospective romantic partners.

So when he gets into a relationship with a woman, she has to prove that she can be trusted.

It can affect the relationship if he begins to suspect that she is doing something behind his back.

Such men with insecurity and trust issues will go to lengths to satisfy their curiosity, especially when everything is going smoothly and their partner looks too clean.

Related Reading: 16 Signs of Insecurity in Relationships

8. He doesn’t respect women

Being disrespectful to women is one of the signs of mommy issues in males. Such men probably had a rough patch with their mothers while growing up, and some of them might have vowed to disrespect women.

Therefore, women in his life would have to work extra hard to earn his respect.

Most times, the man might not know that his words and actions are disrespectful. His behaviors are a part of him, and only people who are sincere with him can tell the truth.

9. He is a cheat

Another way to recognize mommy issues in men is when he is a serial cheat. When you see a man who cheats, it might be because he didn’t have a stable mother figure growing up.

His mother probably left at some point in his childhood or teenage years, leaving that void.

If the man has a woman in his life for companionship, he will have another for friendship, sex, and the list goes on.

So, even if you try to be the best partner, he will never be satisfied because having another woman fill the space in his life might be hard.

What are some signs he is cheating? Check out this video for more information.

Mommy Issues in Men: What It Is & 10 Signs to Look for in a Guy (3)

10. He doesn’t think you have his best interests

Sometimes, one of the signs of mommy issues in men is when he believes you are out to hurt them. For such men, when he was growing up, his mother did things that proved she did not love him despite the bond between them.

So, he is likely to suspect your moves because he thinks you will hurt him as his mother did.

Ways mommy issues affect romantic relationships

Mommy Issues in Men: What It Is & 10 Signs to Look for in a Guy (4)

Mommy issues can impact romantic relationships differently depending on the man’s relationship with his mom while growing up.

Some men grow up afraid of being committed in their romantic relationships. They are reluctant because they think their partner will wake up one day and become uninterested in the union.

Hence, even though they love their partner, they would limit their involvement.

Also, some of them might become emotionally distant while in their relationship. If they want to make crucial decisions in their relationship, they will inform their mother before anyone.

This might piss their partner off because the man’s mother becomes the unofficial decision-maker.

What to do when suffering from mommy issues- 5 ways to fix the problem

After spotting the signs of mommy issues in men, the next step would be to fix the problem so that it doesn’t further affect your relationship with other people.

1. Recognize the problem

If you are suffering from mommy issues and you’ve not accepted this problem, it might be hard to provide a fix. You must be aware that you have a problem that needs a solution.

Then, you need to take a step further to consider the reasons for the mommy issues.

You can ask yourself some important questions that will help you dig deep concerning the root cause of the mommy issues.

Related Reading: How to Recognize Intimacy Issues and Get Closer as a Couple

2. Set healthy boundaries between you and your mom

When you’ve recognized the problem, the next step is to set healthy boundaries. For example, if you’re on good or bad terms with your mother, it is time to create boundaries so that no one will live in your shadow.

For instance, if your mom has always been involved in crucial decision-making, you need to stop telling her some of your issues. Learn to seek advice from your partner and others, and leave your mother out.

You can only tell her about your issues when you’ve found and applied an effective solution. It is important to let your mother know that you’re a grown-up and are now in charge of your life.

3. Be accountable to a mentor or someone you trust

Most times, one of the ways to monitor your progress on any issue is to be accountable to someone like a mentor. It is important to open up and let them know everything affecting you so they can follow up.

When you are accountable to a trusted person, the chances of making mistakes become slimmer.

4. Learn to bond with your partner, and put them first

For a relationship to be healthy and successful, you must always consider your partner first. You can achieve this when a solid bond has been created between you. This will help you remember your partner first when anything occurs.

When you want to make decisions, remember that your partner is the most important person in your life, and you should not involve anyone first before them.

It would be best if you also learned to open up to your partner and be vulnerable with them. Doing this will help you learn to prioritize them.

5. Seek healthy social support

You need to look out for other categories of people that can help you treat mommy issues. Surround yourself with trusted friends, acquaintances, and family members who will bring out the best version of yourself.

When you surround yourself with people who encourage healthy relationships, overcoming childhood trauma, like mommy issues in men, becomes easier.

The takeaway

When you recognize mommy issues in men, it means they had a dysfunctional relationship with their mother during childhood. This could cause some issues in their romantic or other adult relationships.

After noticing the signs of mommy issues, it is important to implement steps to overcome them. For example, you can consider going for therapy so that you will have a professional to guide you, or you can take a course to help you recover from your childhood trauma.

To learn more about how a man’s relationship with his mother affects the rest of his life, check out Micheal Gurian’s book. His piece is titled Mothers, Sons, and Lovers, and it guides men to overcome mommy issues.


How do mommy issues show up in men? ›

Mommy issues in men

trust issues or difficulty showing vulnerability. a strong need for affection and approval or difficulty showing affection or rapid shifts between the two. “cold feet” when it comes to relationship commitment. a need for maternal guidance when making decisions.

How do I know if my boyfriend has mommy issues? ›

10 signs of mommy issues in men
  • Regular communication with his mother. ...
  • He has a big feeling of entitlement. ...
  • He takes most instructions from his mom. ...
  • He compares you with his mom. ...
  • He shares secrets with his mom before anyone. ...
  • He tries to avoid his mom. ...
  • He is very insecure. ...
  • He doesn't respect women.
Nov 30, 2022

How to win a guy with mommy issues? ›

Help him to understand that he can trust in his own judgment and abilities, that he does not need to lean on his mom or wife for everything. Help him learn to say no to his mother sometimes and to figure out when to involve his mom and when not to.

How does mother abandonment affect men? ›

Becoming Depressed and Anxious

Quarrelsome men often hide their pain and loss by fighting and fidgeting. If he is constantly doing stuff, yet accomplishing or finishing nothing, he may be acting out on the frustrations and anxiety he has left over from his abandonment during childhood.

What is an example of mothering a man? ›

Other behaviors of mothering a grown man include acting overly helpful by doing things for him that he can do for himself; assuming a man will be absent-minded or forgetful and therefore reminding him of information that he should remember by himself; taking charge of activities that you assume he can't do right; ...

What does mommy issues come with? ›

If a female child has mommy issues, it's more typically referencing that a mother nitpicked or verbally put down their daughter. This can lead to self-confidence and self-image issues later in life. It can also lead to trust issues since the person that you trusted for your primary care let you down in this way.

How do people with mommy issues act in a relationship? ›

People who did not feel a close or secure attachment to their mothers when they were young may exhibit clinginess in their adult relationships. This can show up in romantic relationships, and a person may demand a lot of their partner's time and attention in order to feel secure.

What do mommy issues look like in a relationship? ›

One sign of potential mommy issues (aka attachment issues) is "clinginess" in relationships, or as Beurkens describes it, "people in adulthood who are particularly needy." If someone had a fraught relationship with their mother growing up, a person may cling to other people in their lives (particularly their partners) ...

How do guys with daddy issues act? ›

These kinds of men may engage in self-sabotage towards their relationships, or hold grudges against or harbour resentment against their partner. These men may blame their partners for certain negative feelings inside them, and project their unhappiness.

Do guys look for someone like their mother? ›

A recent study by eHarmony has found that 64 percent of men are in a relationship with someone who shares significant personality traits with their mother dearest. Fortunately, it's totally normal from an evolutionary, psychological standpoint.

What is the difference between daddy issues and mommy issues? ›

“Daddy issues are more focused on wanting attention from men and unhealthy ways that someone might go to get that attention. Whereas mommy issues are often more around being cared for in a warm, comforting way,” says Seeger DeGeare.

How does an absent mother affect a man? ›

If a mother ignores or perhaps shames a little boy in some way when he experiences big feelings, he learns to shut down. He glosses over and hides his sadness for not having a mother who helps him to understand his feelings. Over time he compartmentalises his feelings and becomes cut off from his emotions.

Why do guys pull away from their mothers? ›

As he matures and grows further into manhood, he feels the need and desire to share less. He is moving further into what being a man is for him and talking to his mother – sharing with her – is less of a priority to him. Also keep in mind, men and women both, rarely if ever talk about developmental transitions.

What is the mother wound type? ›

The Mother Wound is an attachment trauma that creates a sense of confusion and devastation in the child's psyche. It instills deeply rooted beliefs that make the child feel unloved, abandoned, unworthy of care, and even fearful of expressing themselves.

What are men with mommy issues like? ›

Signs a man has mommy issues include extreme attachment to or estrangement from his mother, resentment or mistreatment of women, and deep insecurity.

What are signs of daddy issues in males? ›

Some of the common signs of daddy issues in men include being overly clingy, wanting sex all the time, fear of being alone, being irresponsible and disrespectful, being afraid of commitment, being unaffectionate, being controlling and defensive, and more.

What are the signs of daddy issues? ›

Potential signs you may have "daddy issues" include low self-esteem, trust issues, repeatedly entering toxic relationships, people-pleasing tendencies, jealousy or overprotectiveness in relationships, idealizing men in your life, or seeking avoidant or emotionally unavailable partners.

Why does my boyfriend call me mommy? ›

Momma almost always has undertones of affection and romance. Sometimes, it's a romantic way to highlight just how much he cares about you. You aren't just any woman to him. You're as special as his own mama- and that's a big deal!

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