Greek background couples in Australia: Mama’s boy…

Most of us women find comfort in a man that has a respectful and caring relationship with his mother. At least then we know his close ties have taught him how to treat a woman. But have the years of her matronly ways in picking up after his mess and cooking his favourite meals jeopardised his chances of settling down and finding the right one.
Does every man measure his potential dream women up against his mother?
If so, then perhaps this theory accounts for the abundance of single Greek women in our city or an ever-increasing number of marriages between Greek and non-Greek background couples in Australia.
One of the most delicate times in the relationship between mother and son is when another woman enters the picture, whether it be a wife or girlfriend.
The truth is, no woman wants to feel second best, and in most cases whether it stems from a false, sense of obligation or sheer force of habit, a man will feel compelled to side with his mother. This is where the conflict begins.
Now, while ‘family first’ is an invaluable piece of advice and a certain degree of respect and concern for one’s mother is expected and earned, no woman wants to play second fiddle.

And competing with the woman who gave birth to him will seem like a losing battle for any partner.
According to psychologist Dr. Rachna Kothari, a practising marital and relationship counsellor, the happy medium depends on the man’s action:, “Try not to let either feel you’re according higher priority to the other.
“Don’t put your mother before your wife or girlfriend. No matter what you choose, both will resent it. Your best defence: Don’t make comparisons.”

But it can’t be all the man’s fault, right? Mamma’s-boy relationships are fostered by the mother herself, perhaps in an effort to secure codependency between a mother and her son (we all know the guilt of a Greek mother can be a killer).
There is no doubt the mother-son relationship is one of the most intricate and fundamental aspects of a male’s life.
However, just like any relationship it can become unhealthy when bad habits manifest over the years.

Let’s not forget that in raising their children mothers have more often than not had to play the role of both parents when fathers are either physically or emotionally absent.
In doing so mothers can become easily prone to feelings of over responsibility for their son’s wellbeing to the point where their help becomes a hindrance and sadly misunderstood.

This also creates a spiral effect in the dependency behaviour occurring, as sons are so used to the “yes” mother that comes to the rescue whenever needed that she becomes the bridge of communication between a father and son or a husband and wife, subsequently depreciating their relationships.
In conclusion, the mother-knows-best mentality emerges, making a son feel compelled to obtain his mother’s approval in decision making processes. The most significant being the girl he chooses.

It is here in these formative years, where the line between love and dominance is blurred, that men develop their perception of females including their belief and expectations regarding gender roles.
Men in general are defensive of their mothers – the first woman who loved them, nurtured them and never broke their heart.
Most boys and men consider their mothers the pinnacle of proper lady-hood and as a result men have a tendency to choose women (consciously or subconsciously) that resemble their mother’s personality or even appearance in order to choose a lady for themselves.

So where does that leave us women?
Will a man only love a women that mothers him? If men continue to be wired this way they may very well still be living with their parents for some time.
The truth is, Greek daughters today are so different from their mothers.
Their least concern is knowing how to make baklava and they won’t expect to do all the chores around the house.
Most notably, they don’t seem to take too well to mamma’s boys.
So mothers, next time you find yourself itching to clean his room, do yourself and son a favour and close the door!
(source: neos kosmos: Anastasia Barbadonis)


  1. Excellent article! As a leading expert on the romantic challenges facing adult mama’s boys and adult daddy’s girls, I can tell you that the pearl in this article is for the young Greek women to refrain from competing with his mom and for the young Greek men to not make comparisons between mom and girlfriend (or wife).

    Ladies, stay out of his relationship with his mother! If you try to correct it or fix it or try to become like her in order to compete with her, you are just fueling the fire of his treating you like a mama. He’s a grown man who can take care of his own life. Treat him like that – be his equal – be his lover – and simply never pick up the gauntlet she throws down.

    You may not ever be able to truly be friends with your mother-in-law. I mean, how can you respect someone who refuses to respect you or refuses to honor the place you hold in her son’s life. But this doesn’t have to wreck your relationship with your man. Anyway…excellent advice here from Anastasia Barbadonis!

  2. To begin with girls it’s up to both sides to set the rules from the beginning……both of people involved in the relationship have a voice and can find the right way to go ….you have to give a little to get a little…..anyway talking things out never hurt anyone and if there is real love, understanding and trust anything is possible even neutralising an over bearing MUM…….viv