What you need to be aware of in the Mother-Son dynamic

Dr. John Gray explains what every mother should know about the mother-son relationship, especially after divorce
Parenting and Family Advice | What you need to be aware of in the mother-son relationship
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What you need to be aware of in the Mother-Son dynamic

The most important gift a mother can give her son is the son feels that his mother is fulfilled, because when a mother is fulfilled, then a boy feels it's not his job to make his mother happy, but simply to make her happier. But when a woman is not fulfilled, it's so easy for her to project all of those needs onto her little boy. Daddy doesn't make me happy, but you make me happy. And when a boy feels he's responsible for his mother's happiness, already it's a sign that there's an emptiness inside of her, and she's looking to the little boy to fill it. This creates a pressure on him, so later in life he feels either there's nothing I can do to make a woman happy, or he becomes a people pleaser and always seeks her approval and then resents her later. So the gift is find ways to make yourself happy. Sometimes mothers of divorce will feel like, okay, I'm just going to devote all my time to my little son here, make him the center of my life because he doesn't have a father. That's a big mistake. She needs to realize that part of what brought that child into the world was a man. She needs to have a man in her life who's fulfilling adult, feminine needs, whatever that is for her. But it's confusing, because once she brings another man into her life, that boy's going to go through a tantrum. Now why is that? Doesn't always have to happen, but why is that? Because when you start dating after a divorce, that's when the divorce becomes real to the child. And so that child has to go through a grieving process. And don't try to convince the child to like the man you're dating. Instead, hear the child's tantrums. Understand, reassure the child that we'll still have special time together. This is someone that I enjoy being with. And don't minimize why you like this man. But point out that after the child has met the man, when you feel that's appropriate, that I don't expect you to like him (if the child doesn't) I just want you to know that he makes me happy. And that gives the child a reason to like the man, because that man is making the mother happy. And that's the ultimate goal of every little boy. I want to see my mother happy. And it shouldn't be a burden that that little boy has to fulfill.

Dr. John Gray explains what every mother should know about the mother-son relationship, especially after divorce


Expert Bio

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John Gray, PhD

Best-Selling Author

John Gray is the leading relationship expert in the world. His relationship and health books have sold over 50 million copies in 50 different languages. His groundbreaking book, Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, is the best-selling non-fiction book of all time.

John helps men and women better understand and respect their differences in both personal and professional relationships. His approach combines specific communication techniques with healthy, nutritional choices that create the brain and body chemistry for lasting health, happiness and romance. His many books, videos, workshops and seminars provide practical insights to effectively manage stress and improve relationships at all stages of life and love.

John also travels the world teaching communities and companies the best ways to improve their relationships and communication. He has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show many times as well as The Dr. Oz Show, The Today Show, CBS Morning Show, Good Morning America, The Early Show, The View, and many others. He has been profiled in Time, Forbes, USA Today and People.

John Gray lives in Northern California with his wife of 29 years, Bonnie. They have three grown daughters and four grandchildren. He is an avid follower of his own health and relationship advice.

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