The Other Woman Mak­ing Him Smile

Whether she’s charm­ing or cringe-in­duc­ing, your man’s mother plays a se­ri­ous role in your re­la­tion­ship with him. Know­ing ex­actly how is valu­able in­tel...

Cosmopolitan (India) - - LOVE & LUST - By Carolyn Kyl­stra

His Mommy Made Him Feel Good

And chances are, he wants a girl who treats him the way she did grow­ing up. “The re­la­tion­ship with his mother is the archetype of what makes him feel nour­ished and loved,” says clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist Les Par­rott, Ph.D., co-au­thor of Ques­tions Cou­ples Ask, “and un­con­sciously, that re­la­tion­ship has shaped what he’s at­tracted to now.” If she ex­pressed love by con­stantly telling him how spe­cial he is and prais­ing him all the time, then he’s prob­a­bly the kind of per­son who needs ver­bal re­as­sur­ance that you’re into him. If she showed af­fec­tion by show­er­ing him with kisses and hugs, then you can tell him you love him till you’re blue in the face, but he may not feel se­cure un­less you’re phys­i­cally af­fec­tion­ate too.

But It Wasn’t Per­fect

Even if a guy has an amaz­ingly close re­la­tion­ship with his mom now, years of liv­ing un­der the same roof could have made him overly sen­si­tive about spe­cific be­hav­iours that hurt him when he was lit­tle. “The mem­o­ries are so pow­er­ful, that some­thing you do in the present can eas­ily trig­ger those neg­a­tive feel­ings from the past and make him over­re­act to cer­tain things you do,” says Karen Sher­man, Ph.D., au­thor of Mar­riage Magic! Find It, Keep It, And Make It Last.

If his mother rarely went to his cricket games, he might be grumpy if you for­get to ask him how his meet­ing went, be­cause it seems to him that you’re not in­ter­ested in his life. Or if she crit­i­cised him for dress­ing like a slob, he might get snappy with you if you so much as raise your eye­brows at that beloved tee he’s had for­ever.

Her Dis­ap­proval isn’t the Kiss of Death

Most guys with judge-y moms know that she’ll never be sat­is­fied by any­one he brings home, no mat­ter how awe­some the girl is. So if you’re pick­ing up snide vibes from his cre­ator, that doesn’t mean your fu­ture with him is doomed. The key to fig­ur­ing out if this is go­ing to be an is­sue? “His re­ac­tion”, says Wil­liam Do­herty, Ph.D., pro­fes­sor of fam­ily so­cial sci­ence at the Univer­sity of Min­nesota.

If he tries to re­as­sure you by putting her at­ti­tude in con­text (“She’s like this with ev­ery­one at first, but I’m sure she’ll love you once she gets to know you bet­ter”), it’s a good thing, be­cause it shows that he takes your feel­ings se­ri­ously and isn’t try­ing to min­imise the sit­u­a­tion. But if he

Got Mom Is­sues? Tip: you can’t con­trol her, but you can set lim­its on how she af­fects you. Draw bound­aries, and tread the fine line be­tween ig­nor­ing her and as­sert­ing your­self.

dis­misses her be­hav­iour as no big deal (“What? She’s not mean to you at all!”) be­ware: he may never stand up for you with her.

But Still, Play Nice

Re­gard­less of how you feel about his mom, his re­la­tion­ship with her was the first he ever had with a woman, and the most im­por­tant. He val­ues her opin­ion like no other. That means even if you think she’s be­ing to­tally un­rea­son­able about some­thing (like in­sist­ing you guys visit ev­ery week­end), bad-mouthing her and urg­ing your BF to go against her wishes is never a good idea. He’ll au­to­mat­i­cally jump to her de­fence, and he might re­sent you for putting him in that po­si­tion. So in­stead of blurt­ing out, “She’s be­ing way too de­mand­ing,” spin your opin­ion pos­i­tively: “I’d love to have some week­ends for just the two of us.” When he’s not in de­fen­sive mode, he’ll be more in­clined to see your point and make the right choice.

The fi­nal stare­down be­gins...

‘I prom­ise you, those glasses look ridicu­lous worn in­doors...’

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