By Barbara Morris
I recently had a conversation with a 43-year-old Korean man I’ll call Sam, who was looking for an American girlfriend. He and his parents were born in America, yet his mom clings to Korean traditions and customs. Sam is somewhat conservative and lives in his own home. He complained about how difficult it was to find a traditional woman.
Initially, I assumed his definition of a conventional woman might be far removed from mine, but our chat quickly revealed our thinking was pretty much in sync.
He was frustrated because many young women are, according to him, coarse and can’t carry on a conversation without using the “F” and “S” words in almost every sentence.. (I thought this was interesting because such language is common and generally accepted in everyday discourse especially among younger people.) They drink too much and generally have no idea what’s attractive to a man. Their femininity is non-existent. They can’t figure out how they are supposed to be because they do not know how to be women. The women’s movement has screwed up their thinking and behavior so severely that they cannot begin, let alone maintain a good relationship with a man.
As we continued to talk, it became clear he had more than a problem with young women. He also has a mother who rearranges his kitchen when she frequently visits and, believe it or not, tells him he shouldn’t get married, and she means it! When he made that revelation, I thought I’d burst a blood vessel.
In “my day,” it was common for parents to be unnecessarily involved in their adult children’s lives. It was a cultural thing. Above all, you couldn’t do something that would embarrass the family. Tradition and adherence to social norms mattered a lot. More than a few adult sons were disowned by their mothers, who insisted the girlfriend was not good enough for her son, who she believed, had the divinity of God.
Thank goodness that madness is over — or is it? No, it’s not over. The mama’s boy syndrome is alive and well.
Current TV shows demonstrate problems adult sons frequently experience because of interfering, controlling mothers. The TLC show, “I’m In Love With A Mama’s Boy,” highlights the issue, and it is disgusting to watch. I want to slap those mothers up one side and down the other for emasculating their sons.
Another show on TLC, “90-Day Fiancé,” highlights 30+-year-old Colt’s unhealthy relationship with his mother. Mama messes up his relationship with young women by deliberately and continually butting in and trying to control him. His mom is his best friend, constant companion, and she has made clear that no woman will ever be good enough for her boy.
Mothers of adult sons: You have lived your life; let your sons live theirs. Give them the freedom to be the alpha males God intended instead of emotional, feminized eunuchs hanging onto your apron strings.
Please don’t call your son every day. Don’t invite yourself along on dates. If your son wants to live with a woman, that’s none of your business. Don’t make snide or passive-aggressive remarks about his girlfriend. Perhaps he wants to live with his girlfriend to get away from YOU! If they do move in together, how they decorate their apartment is not your concern. Believe it or not, he can do it. He is not six years old anymore.
One last piece of advice for mom: If you are a widow, find a man of your own to manage. If you are unhappily married, you may be the reason. Don’t try to heal or hide your unhappiness by fixating on your son.
Finally, I respect family customs and cultural norms but I don’t respect customs that interfere with the happiness or autonomy of any member. Live and let live.
Barbara Morris, R.Ph. is a pharmacist, author of “The New Put Old on Hold” and a recognized authority on health and anti-aging strategies. Sign up for her monthly Put Old on Hold Newsletter at http://www.PutOldonHoldJournal.com/ and receive her complimentary eBook, “Diva Tested Tips for Fabulous Skin.”