I see two types of men described as mama’s boys, one of them incorrectly, in my opinion. This type is the man who simply loves and respects his mother, nothing more and nothing less. He is neither controlled by his mother nor emotionally dependent on her; he is grateful for all the sacrifices when he was being raised, and his mother is a part of his life. She may or may not be over-mothering him, but the man is fully capable of living his life as an independent adult and making his own decisions. If she is the hovering type, he accepts it with loving resignation rather than as something he needs. He is fully aware that this hovering is too much, and perhaps he sometimes gently reminds his mother of that, but chooses not to hurt her by completely rejecting her attentions. They have understanding; they talk; they visit and exchange gifts.
That’s the way it should be, in my opinion. This is far healthier than having all the connections severed after moving out except for maybe sending a card and making a phone call two-three times a year when you don’t really know what to talk about. However, I do see such men placed in the “mama’s boy” category; usually, by the wife.
“She calls every day, and he won’t put an end to it!” Why should he?? This is his mother. If her calls are not about lecturing and trying to run his life (which they obviously aren’t, or he wouldn’t put up with it), what is wrong with him spending a few minutes on the phone? Men are not big talkers, so I doubt it that he would spend hours chatting; and I highly doubt it that she actually calls every day, unless there is something unusual happening. I think what takes place here is someone being a little selfish.
Men who love and respect their mother are not mama’s boys. They do make good husbands and fathers, and they will make sure their children love and respect their mother as well.
There is, however, another category of men described as mama’s boys, and in this case the description fits. A true mama’s boy is dependent on his mother, in more ways than one. He never grows up, in a sense. Such men are usually accustomed to being served, to the point that they have no idea of where their socks are, how to do laundry or make even the simplest meal.
The mother does run his life. She will decide what he wears, where he works, and whom he marries. She will meddle into his family affairs, telling him how to deal with his wife and how to raise his kids – and he will listen. His wife will never be a good wife unless she serves as his personal maid, just like mommy did. And mommy will keep reminding her to do so.
True mama’s boys may resent the emotional control, but they need the serving, otherwise they simply will not be able to function as they are unable to take care of themselves; for that reason, partly, they will not rebel against the mother’s emotional control and manipulation.
When they marry, they may or may not choose to take the leading role in the household; this depends on how bad of a mama’s boy case we are dealing with. Those too used to submission will choose to submit to the wife and let her be the head of the house, while those who secretly wanted independence will happily embrace it. That’s on the emotional level though. When it comes to where his socks are, he still will not know it unless the wife undertakes the challenging task of transforming his worldview.
I would say that true mama’s boys have a chance to become good husbands if they: A) understand that they’ve got something to work on, and B) sever the umbilical cord and do make an effort to take control of their life.