Waiting For Mama’s Boy To Grow Up
Wednesday - August 22, 2007
Marsha wanted to know, “How can the institution of marriage continue to exist if we keep raising men the way we do?”
She was referring to a current culture of men that she has met: seemingly well put together at first glance, but upon further study these specimens turned out to be the self-absorbed, inconsiderate sort who want to be waited on hand and foot.
“Where are you meeting these guys?” I asked her, secretly knowing that I had run across a few of this kind in my day as well.
These are the guys who don’t seem to want to do anything for themselves - they prefer to have it done for them. Everything from washing the dishes to taking out the trash to finding a job - no task is worth exerting their precious energy.
I don’t know where this mentality comes from, but Marsha believes it’s a direct reflection of how some men are raised nowadays.
“Their mothers do everything for them, so they grow up thinking that it’s a woman’s job to take care of them,” Marsha says. “Mama’s boys.”
If this were the case, I asked, could she please explain why these so-called “mama’s boys” were so discourteous to her and other women.
“If they are mama’s boys,” I asked, “wouldn’t they be exceptionally nice to their mothers who do everything for them?”
“You would think so,” Marsha replied, offering only this possible explanation for that head scratcher: “While they love their mothers, they spend their life looking at women as a gender who is supposed to tend to their every need, not a gender to be respected and upheld.
“Then, when these guys get married, they pass those ‘duties’ on to their new wife - you know, ironing their clothes, picking up after them, making dinner, etc.”
Marsha also had a beef with these men who also seemed to forget all about chivalry, thoughtfulness, devotion and romance. She was sick of guys who couldn’t even open the door for her, pull out her chair, who always seemed to be gawking at the hot waitress in the restaurant and who’d rather watch SportsCenter than pay attention to what she had to say.
“These guys are constantly insensitive and unromantic - just thoughtless,” complained Marsha. “I think they get it from watching how their fathers treat their mothers, honestly. Because you learn to behave in a relationship the way you see your parents treating each other.”
Marsha, herself, consistently fell prey to the very situations she abhorred. She became a woman who picked up after these men, who catered to their every need, who allowed them to be insensitive and to ignore her. She only complained about it to all her friends.
I have to say that I agree with Marsha in some respects. I think that it’s important to be conscientious about how we raise our boys - being sure to pay extra attention to making sure they develop emotional strengths that will make them good partners later in life. We should teach them to be sensitive and compassionate as well as responsible and strong.
But as women who are looking for good partners in our 20s, 30s and beyond, we need to be sure not to be caught in the trap of falling for the guy who won’t treat us the way we want to be treated. Pick the right partner in the first place and the institution of marriage has a lot greater chance of surviving.
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