He’s your man, and he’s finally ready to introduce you to his folks. You two have been dating for a while, and he’s told his family all about you. You’re a great woman with lots of potential. You’re wife material baby girl. Your man has even put a ring on it. He’s also raved to you often about how great his parents are. They’ll do anything for him.
You can’t wait to meet them.
Your man talks about how his mother cleans his room (because he still lives at home, maybe), or how she cooks his meals and caters to his every need. You think your guy is the best. He’s witty, handsome, and loves to have fun. He can be quite the romantic too. But there is something in your gut that’s saying there is something that’s just not quite right with your new beau.
You disregard your intuition. It will be a near fatal mistake.
You’re in love. He looks good. He smells good. He sexes you very good, and he’s a fun person to be around. A lot of fun. Sometimes too much fun. At times, he goes off on you a little too much for no good reason. He can be a real ticking time-bomb. It’s kind of frightening.
But it’s okay though, because he hasn’t hit you, yet.
In any event, you’re young, you’re in love, and he’s told mama he’s marrying you. You’re special. You’re the best thing he’s ever had in his life he says.
But back to his parents.
You’re going to meet them. And you’re happy. You’re special, and they can’t wait to meet you. You’re not like the rest of the girls. You are indeed… special. He and his mama will show you just how special you are in time.
His parents do lots of things for him. Like they still pay for his car insurance (he’s almost 30 though), or maybe he’s doesn’t have a car yet because he just can’t quite get the hang of that driving thing yet, so he uses the bus, or you use your car. He’s had a hard time finding and keeping a job. There is something always wrong. It’s always other people, it’s never him. He can’t seem to get his shit together, or get his own place to live.
But he’s a good dude.
His mom is really happy that he’s found someone. Someone to spend the rest of his life with, if she has anything to do with it.
You finally meet them, and everything goes great. It’s the holidays, and everyone is in the spirit. You and mom are really hitting it off. Dad is kind of quiet, kind of reserved. He sits, observing all the interactions, and wondering in his mind what’s your deal.
But maybe there isn’t a dad in the picture. He’s an ass, long gone. No one really talks about him. You do get wind of him being kind of violent. But that was long time ago. It’s been him and his mom for a long time. He tells you she’s the apple of his eye, next to you.
She’d do anything for him she tells you. Mom is a hard working woman, and she’s really sweet, Your sweetie has a few other siblings who are doing great. He appears to come from good stock, but you’re wondering now what’s his deal. It just seems your guy is the lingerer. The lost child. The different one. A momma’s boy.
Or maybe there’s more to his story that you don’t know about. And there is.
It’s a big secret between mom and son. A secret that will cost you dearly if you take the bait.
He needs a crutch. Always. You just don’t know it yet. Mom is his crutch today. They both are relying on you to be his crutch tomorrow.
This happened to me.
I met someone when I was young, just a stupid little pup transitioning from foster care. I thought he was great. I thought he was a dream, a savior, my guardian angel. I a year later, a few months after I turned 18 (when I didn’t need a signature from my parents), I made him my husband.
It was one of the worst mistakes of my life. I missed all of the subtle signs and red warning flags and married a monster. No one warned me. Not even his sweet mother.
What he really was (I learned later after he was fully “mines”) was a bully with a very long criminal record since his teens. I met him when he was “on the run” (I’d find out later) for beating up the mayor’s son in his hometown. I met him in my hometown. He exhibited some signs and questionable behavior early on in the relationship (like recreational drug use that I’d learn later wasn’t recreational), but because I was naive and green, I didn’t know any better.
Somewhere along the way I felt something wasn’t right, but I ignored it.
But back to his mother. His good old mother.
His mother knew her son was a wild card. Originally when I met her, she bragged about her baby boy. She really doted on her child, and I thought it was a genuine connection.
My handsome beau acted as if he was his mom’s favorite kid, and she acted as if he was the son that would do anything for her. She gave me the impression she was surprised I liked her son so much. As if I was crazy for doing so.
Later I’d find out why.
Before we got married, we got a place together. My beau’s mom gladly helped us get a place, with all the fixings. She was more than helpful. It should have been another flag, but it wasn’t (I was 18 year old and he was 23 years old). His mom appeared willing to do anything to get him (and keep him) out of her home. All help ain’t good help. But I missed the signs. Again.
We got married. Life happened. Shit got real!
After the marriage, I quickly discovered he wasn’t the man I thought he was. His laziness, his substance abuse issues, his sex addiction, threats and abuse abuse were all mines now. And he made sure I didn’t get birth control so he could get me pregnant. He had a rider. A meal ticket.
After a few visits with my new hubby’s mom, one day he exploded on her in front of me, almost hitting her. All because she wouldn’t share her cigarettes. Her boyfriend, who was glad to finally get the troubled man-child out of the house was present when it happened too. We both were shocked at what we were seeing. I saw a fear in his mother’s eyes a parent should never have when interacting with her child. I knew I was in trouble at that point.
Once we saw it, we couldn’t unsee it.
A man who doesn’t have respect for his mother may never respect his wife or children. I learned this lesson the hard way, albeit briefly. Let me say my life was changed forever by the interaction. It was also a foretelling of my future.
All help ain’t good help, and just because your significant others’ parents like you, doesn’t mean they don’t have their own motives. Sometimes a mother is happy to see you my love because you are taking away the bane of her existence. Sometimes mama is looking for someone to take her child off her hands. From one nest to another. You’re getting a big ole man child instead of a mate.
Sometimes mom’s hide the fact that there is something wrong with their son. Like he has serious mental health or emotional well-being issues, and/or he’s violent. Maybe he’s on the autism spectrum and his family doesn’t quite have a grasp on it. Mom wouldn’t allow him to get help in school so he wouldn’t be labeled as disabled or special needs.
Mom babied him, coddled him, and protected him instead of making him self-sufficient.
Protecting him is more about her than it is him. She has lots of pride. His mama doesn’t want to appear as though she has a flawed child, so she’s pretended he’s normal for nearly all his life to his detriment. Mom knows her little baby is violent. She also knows he’s been violent with other girlfriends, she doesn’t care if you know. He’s been a cannon ball all his life. She’s ready for his man-child to be someone else’s problem.
Now is her chance to pawn him off onto you. Hope you’re ready.
Mom’s excitement about you sometimes has absolutely nothing to do with you and has everything to do with her. Mom is happy she’s getting a daughter-in-law and a babysitter.
Ladies, pay attention to the signs and believe your intuition when it tells you something isn’t right. Sometimes relationships like these are easy to get into, hard as hell to get out of.
Before you know it, beatings, babies, and a dead beat could be your new life.
Be careful. Be cautious. Be wary.
Marley K., 2018