Does he want a “mommy”?

MommySome midlife women complain that some men they’ve dated want someone to take care of them — a mommy. Of course, in a Oedipal twist, they also want her to perform in the bedroom, assuming he still can.

Being a mother figure isn’t all bad if that is what you like. Many women like nurturing and caring for others. But it does upset the transactional analysis concept that we behave in Parent, Adult and Child modes. Eric Berne‘s theory is that the most evolved relationship is one where both people treat each other like adults.

Some couples’ relationships, however, are built on both taking on Adult/Parent behaviors for various tasks. Even some 21st-Century women expect the man be the Parent in the economic area where he is the primary breadwinner. The trade off is she takes on the Parent role in the caretaking/housekeeping area.

apronSo what are the signs a guy is just looking for someone to take care of him? Here’s a list of somewhat obvious signs. (Any of these alone is not evidence of his wanting to be mommied, but if there are many of these signs, cut the apron strings.)

  • He lets you do all the cooking, cleaning, laundry and domestic duties. If you suggest he help, he makes excuses, including “I don’t do it as well as you.” He conveniently “forgets” to do the tasks you request to share household chores. When he does something that he deems your job, he makes a big deal out of it wanting accolades.
  • He behaves in child-like ways. He leaves his clothes on the floor, doesn’t take initiative for household repairs, doesn’t manage his bills, may neglect his hygiene or appearance.
  • He shows submissiveness. Instead of his putting his arm around you, he takes your arm and puts it around his shoulders. His idea of cuddling is for you to enwrap him in your arms.
  • He gets defensive if you give him any constructive criticism. He may get angry, surly or even pout.
  • He shows off, calling for you to look at what he’s done. “Honey, come listen to how the car now hums since I tuned it.”
  • He expects you to make the majority of “adult” decisions for you both, e.g., investments, bill paying, major household improvements.

Although I typically avoid mommy-seekers like the plague, I stupidly went with one for 6 weeks. When I examined my role in my 20-year marriage, I saw I was more mommy-like than I prefer. I decided I no longer wanted to be a mother figure to another adult. I’m so adamant about this concept of not wanting to be a caretaker, I have an auto-watering yard, and refuse to get a bird bath, bird feeder or pet — anything that needs my frequent care!

What are signs you’ve seen that show a man wants to be mommied?

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6 Comments on “Does he want a “mommy”?”

  1. wildirishrose Says:

    You described by ex to a t with that description of being mommied. Then i met a man who was the same way. “Do for me was” his only request 24 hours a day. Now I am a little leary of starting relationship because of this. If I want something to take care of I’ll keep my dog. She doesn’t argue with me and appreciates everything I do for her.

  2. Rachel Sarah Says:

    Oh, boy, you’re good! You’ve also described my ex to a T! Bravo.

    I will take full responsibility for diving in head-first into the Mommy role with this guy…. As a single mom, it was easy — and yes, fulfilling at first — to make a bigger dinner every night so that he could join us. It was a no-brainer, at first, to pick up his clothes from the floor — as I often do for my daughter — and wash them, dry them, fold them. Wash his dishes? Sure!

    Then he started to ask me to help him write his contracting bids for work, since I’m an English major. Sure, honey! But one day, I naively asked, “Who wrote your bids before me?”

    “My other girlfriends.”

    Ah, run for your life….


  3. […] I’m only 34 (!), I subscribe daily to “Adventures in Delicious Dating After 40” written by the Dating Goddess because her posts are so brilliant. Today’s blog really […]

  4. Liz Says:

    How about if you are almost always the host? In other words, it’s always your place and never his. You get up and make coffee and breakfast. He uses your shower. You have extra laundry because of his sleepovers at your house, but he has none of this. Doesn’t sound right, does it?

  5. TA Says:

    I think that the one thing that guys really like about “Mom” is that she was always on your side — even when you were wrong. That was improrant for me and I think it was for most guys. As we all know, life is hard and stressful and it is nice to know that at least one person on this planet will be on your side at the end of the day. I would suggest that women can get rid of all “Mommy” functions except that one — and that is the exact one that almost no independent free women is able to provide today (the sames goes for men too I suppose)….


  6. […] “Does he want a ‘mommy’?” we discussed how some men want a woman who will take care of them. Let’s talk about […]


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