I am 38 years old, and my husband is 46. We have two sons, aged 10 and 14. My older son is a swimmer and golfer, younger plays soccer and learns karate. Neither have eating disorders, mental health issues or chronic health issues. I am a more forceful person than my husband, who is calmer, more patient, and more tolerant than I am. I am also more gregarious and spontaneous than he is, and more comfortable displaying physical affection.
My husband has been a participative father, and has always done more than his fair share of pitching in with caring for for them, ever since they were infants; I have been the primary source of "authority" in their lives, and in charge of the academic and social areas of their growth. This was a mutual choice.
It seems to have resulted in the boys being closer to me than they are to him. Now that my older son is 14, this seems to be a cause for concern (for him) and a source of friction (for us).
My husband's take: at the age of 14, it is inappropriate for me to be hugging my son so often as it may lead to involuntary sexual arousal. It is unusual for me to know exactly what my son is thinking and how he will react to most situations as he should by now have a private life of his own (I will concede that there are things he doesn't tell me, but I'll also say that I know when he is hiding things). He should be starting to push boundaries and test limits, and indulge in risky behavior and he isn't doing that... this is abnormal, and perhaps due in part to my excessive level of involvement in his life. Overall, there is need for caution in this area.
My take: We have a friendly, respectful and healthy relationship. He has grown into a responsible and capable young man and I enjoy talking with him, whether that involves us both flopping in bed, slouching on a couch, or sitting at the dinner table. I believe there's no such thing as too much hugging or physical display of affection (he doesn't let me hug him as much as I used to anyway). I hug BOTH boys, and am constantly grabbing the younger one for a cuddle. And as for sexual arousal - I'm his MOM!!! Yes, it is natural, perhaps for a boy of this age to have a crush on his mom. The key word is natural.
We have always been open with they boys about their bodies, how babies are conceived and born, biological functions, etc. My older son does not sleep in my bed or sit on my lap. I prefer to spend time with my husband than with my son. There is no activity my older son and I do together by ourselves.
Is this a normal relationship? Do we have cause for concern?
Thanks Kage - good point. We have never entertained the notion that the human body is anything to be ashamed of, so both boys have frequently seen both of us naked at various points of time. As far as my older son goes, however, that has over the last few years become more of an accidental occurrence than the norm, and I haven't seen him naked in about two years. He locks his bathroom door when he changes. I knock before entering his room, as does my husband.
I get that an adolescent boy has sexual feelings and reactions he cannot control. My husband says he is trying to help avoid our son having, in future, possible relationships with older women that are dictated by his subconscious rather than by his free and objective will.
On my part, I feel that his concern is misplaced and - to some extent - a case of over-rationalization.
chappa, I think your husband is sensing something that is real. I have teenage boys, and I rumple their hair, and grab at them, and we have a close relationship, but I sense something else in your posts.
I don't think it's natural, or normal, for teenage boys to have "crushes" on their mothers. Are you saying, in this last post, that you do notice that he is sexually aroused by your contact?
I think maybe you should listen to your husband on this one, he's sensing what I am from your post - that your physical relationship with your son has a sexual edge to it.
No, I have never noticed any kind of sexual arousal. At this age, he is ok with hugging or being hugged, but it's more a sort of resigned, eyeball-rolling, "not AGAIN mom" tolerance of me than an enthusiastic embrace.
I think that most boys would be revolted at the thought of seeing their moms as sexual in any way. Ergo, in my first post, "As for sexual arousal - i'm his MOM!!!" About crushes... I was trying to say that psychology acknowledges that adolescent boys go through a period of idolizing mom and even secretly wanting to "marry" her, just as girls go through it with their dads. It's a commonly acknowledged phase that a lot of boys go through. I'm not implying that either of my sons has a crush on me... just that they are closer to me than they are to my husband.
Sounds more to me like he's generalizing out from personal issues than making an objective call as to what's normal. Again, a 14 year old boy would be extremely uncomfortable with it if he was experiencing any degree of arousal, and assuming he is remotely psychologically healthy he would probably request that -all- physical contact stop. So we can safely assume that he isn't, and thus wouldn't get confused etc. Again, I am inclined to read this more as the husband reacting to a bad personal experience than anything else.
This is what I think about it...let's say your son had an "accidental sexual" dream about you. He should wake up feeling grossed out (no offense to you - just as an understanding of boundaries). As an effect, I think he would want to keep his distance from you after that dream because he would be so alarmed that he had one about his MOM! He would be exhibiting good boundaries - comfortable to him.
However, if the boy is having sexual fantasies about you - it's not normal - fantasies can be consciously controlled while dreams can not be.
I think you two just have a close relationship is all. Now, I have never heard of a son having a crush on his mother, or at least the ones I know ever did.
My son is at the age where he IS pushing boundaries (15), and testing to see how true "mom & dad's threats are". VERY TRUE...
But my son discovered girls in the 5th grade, and mom was pushed to the side. I rarely gets hugs from him, only when he is telling me good night and even then it is a kiss on the forehead or cheek. Don't get me wrong, my son & I are close, but he has his boundaries and I respect them.
Just because your son is not pushing the limits does not mean he is abnormal. It just means he is not devious as others, nor does he want to be and NOTHING wrong with that. Not all boys have the same behavior.
"About crushes... I was trying to say that psychology acknowledges that adolescent boys go through a period of idolizing mom and even secretly wanting to "marry" her, just as girls go through it with their dads. It's a commonly acknowledged phase that a lot of boys go through."
NOT TRUE. You are greatly misinformed.
You will want to refer to classic psychology, the tenants of which you have clearly stretched -- (you are about ten years off) -- as a way to oddly defend your own viewpoint. It is not in adolescence when boys adore their mothers and want to "marry" them; it is in toddlerhood, when little boys are about 31/2-5 yrs -- called the "Oedipal stage," when they fantasize about marrying Mom and see Dad as a competitor for Mom's attention and affection. The young boy vies for his mother's affection vis a vis his father -- however, a strong Dad shows the son that it is he (the Dad) who is the mother's authentic companion and the boy sees the Dad as more powerful than he is; in healthy family relationships, the young boy comes to understand that the father wins out as Mother's true companion. A strong & involved father stands in the space next to the mother and the boy eventually relinquishes his desire for the mother, as he comes to see he cannot compete on this level with his father, thus successfully "resolving" the Oedipal complex. In relinquishing the attachment to the mother, the boy realizes the Dad's true position and comes to identify with the dad as a male person, rightly identifying with his father as a male and paving the way into a healthy latency (approx. 7-11 years) and onward to his teen years when gender identification shapes its final stages.
Classical theory considers the successful resolution of the Oedipus complex to be developmentally desirable, as it is the key to the development of identity and healthy gender roles later in life (gender identity shaped in the teen years). It is held in classic analytical circles that the unsuccessful resolution of the Oedipus complex could result in neurosis, paedophilia, and homosexuality -- thus it is important for the parent to be knowledgeable about the psychological development of the young child during his young years.
Classical theory also holds that "resolution" of the Oedipus complex takes place through identification with the parent of the same sex, i.e., the boy gives up his desire for the mother and begins to correctly identify with his Dad as gender-identification -- the opposite-sex parent is then "rediscovered" as the growing individual's eventual adult sexual identity, i.e., the "boy" becomes the "man."
The same pattern exists for girls, called the Electra complex, when the little girl wants to "marry' her dad, only to come to see that it is the mother who is the father's true grown-up companion, thus "resolving" this dilemma, correctly identifying with her mother as a female, laying the foundation for healthy development in the years ahead.
Im going to throw in a very different opinion. I had a very sexual dream about my mother when i was 13. It was intense and it got me thinking. Although nothing would ever happen between me and my mother, i no longer just see her as my mum, i see her as a woman aswell. I feel this has put me on a better level of understanding with both my mum and females.
Please read: The emotional Incest Syndrome by Dr, Patricia Love.
Don't let the title scare you off (as it did for me).... Very common and undiagnosed. I read this book to help a partner and found out tons of things applicable to me and even my parents. I beleive everyone can get a lot of perspective about their famlies by readng this book.
You are so lucky to have such a lovely relationship with your son. Keep it that way. You are obviously a wonderful mother. Always follow your own heart and instincts and don't let anyone spoil what you have or take it away or make you feel it is wrong or something other than the lovely, caring relationship it is.
Your son is happy and that is what shows and matters. Don't change. When he is ready to change anything he will lead and you follow not the other way round.
Nothing wrong with what you are doing with your son. I did the same thing with my son and more. At 14, he and I have fallen asleep together on the sofa while watching tv. We are both very loving to each other. I am a divorced mom and have one son and one daughter. The daughter is closer to her dad and my son is closer to me.
You are right about sons having crushes on their moms when they begin to become sexually aroused. When my son was 15, he asked me if it was normal that he was having sexual thoughts about me. I had a long talk with him and about what is going on with his body at his age. I explained that his hormones are now racing and it does not take much for him to be aroused. It was all good after our talk and when he was 16 had his first girlfriend....at that point, I am sure he was no longer fantasizing about having sex with me. Thats usually all it takes is for a teen boy to get a girlfriend to stop the incest fantasies.
well i was just passing by n stopped here ...
well i am 23 yo boy n m single but i hav learned somethings in life not all but my experience tells me tht mums r impulsive n emotional.
but dads are always putting limits before time n warn u abt wat can happen n wats going to....
because they hav an experience n mostly they try to learn from it n try tht even if they didnt do it rite they can make someone else not go through it....
well above was all an intro...
so the om who asked the question in first place....my suggestion to u is tht watever is in their hearts n minds (i hope the good things only)
u shud still listen to ur husband...
why? will be the next question....
because it doesnt matter wat ur kids think or do or r going thru because u dont know it....but wat matters is tht if they r not thinking abt it or hav an idea abt it (the arousal n stuff) if u keep on doing the same stuff n not lessen it with time they can end up having a slight though of it....
as u r the only n closest fmale they hav in life.....
i can understand that because i hav 2 bros n no sis....
n by the way im 23 n still hug my mom ...she my mom....n i love her there's no shame in admitting it...
but the ages 13 to 18 r the adrenaline rush n harmone change years and boys mostly keep hemselves reserved in this era...i know i did...but too much privacy also leads to negative grooming ...
I'm not a boy and my boys are still little (2) but I can say as far as not pushing boundaries...when I was a teenager I never pushed boundaries. I didn't smoke, drink, wasn't sexually active and sure I talked back but always did what mom asked, even did more than she asked (she was a single mom taking care of my brother and I). So I don't think it's abnormal to not push those boundaries. Some kids just don't.
As far as hugging goes...I don't see an issue with that either. We were really close. (Mom, brother and I) and we always hugged...still do. Even gave kisses (on the cheek of course). I'm the same way with my boys. They're constantly getting hugs and kisses. My dh and I aren't shy about hugging and kissing (not over the top kissing, quick pecks on the lips/cheek) in front of them. Of course my oldest boy (they're twins) gets super jealous when someone gives his mommy hugs and kisses. (He's a big time momma's boy). I plan on staying super close with my kids as they grow up...full of hugs and kisses.
Well I don't think it is normal for a 14 and up to have a crush on there parents. Its not normal it causes confusion with the kid(s) and can in parents...My step-daughter she would like to do the same thing that your doing with your son and it aint right at least I don't think so. She has mental problems already and I believe she has a HUGH crush on her dad and buy now kids that age should no better that isn't right.
It seems to me that you should maybe have considered the possible outcomes of your parenting style many years ago. To those children you will appear to be the "dominant" parent. You describe yourself as more forceful than their father and the main authority in their upbringing. Almost by definition therefore your husband will be perceived as the more submissive. I'm afraid I have doubts about just how "mutual" the decisions actually were about the children's upbringing from what would seem to behis growing (natural) fears and resentment.
Without wishing to sound too Freudian, if there is an Oedipal struggle then your husband has obviously either not participated in it or lost many years ago. Obviously in this age you are going to have many supporters of your parenting style but the truth is it's all an experiment and the likely outcomes on your children are not truly known. One likely result is that your daughter may have assumed your natural role in her father's life which appears to be possible and that your sons will have no respect for their "doormat"father or indeed male authority figures in general.
I would describe your relationship as neither normal nor healthy. Sorry.
When children reach puberty it is natural for the father to draw away from his daughter physically and for a mother to draw away from her son. The reasons for this are instinctive. You are out of sync.
I think that either your husband has an issue with male/female-mother/son relationships, some unresolved problems with his own mom, simply is jealous OR there really is some kind of unhealthy undercurrent in your relationship with your son. None of us here can really tell- from your post, it sounds like you have a great son and that you guys are just close. The part about boys having crushes on their moms is strange to me- my boy is 16 and I can't imagine him having any sexual feeling about me- EWWW. He doesn't like to be hugged by me and I respect that, but he asks to have his back scratched or his feet massaged almost every night at bedtime- lol. It's just evolved naturally- certain physical contact simply doesn't happen anymore.
When you mentioned that there is no activity that you and your older son do together, that concerned me. Every kid needs to have some special time alone with mom. If you feel like you can't spend time alone with your older son because you feel defensive or because your husband will become angry, that's not good. The way I see it, a mom's relationship with her kids should be natural and just flow freely with no need for selfconsciousness. Sometimes my kids get competitive with each other so I have to be careful not to spend more time or $$ on one than the other, but that's the only part I really think about. The rest is just me being mom and them being my kids.
One other thing that I am wondering is how this conflict between you and your husband is affecting your kids, especially your older son. He must be aware that your husband diapproves of your closeness with him, and it might make him feel ashamed or cause him to withdraw from you in an unhealthy manner. As for your younger boy, he could feel jealous and resentful of all this fuss being made about you and his older brother. I would sit down with both of your boys separately and see what they think of all this. And I would ask your older boy if anything about your relationship makes him feel weird.
Chappamom, only you know whether your relationship with your son is healthy and normal. It's good that you're looking at this since either way, something needs to change. Either your relationship with your son needs some adjusting or your husband needs to get help for his warped view of mother/son bonds. Very few things are simple, but you can work it all out :)
I agree with RockRose.. Your are just a female.. You cannot understand how a male develops a sexual feeling for a woman whether she is her mother or not. Men are totally different from women when it comes to sexual arousal. chappamom's husband is absolutely right about it. Chappamom should not hug her son anymore.. She should have a enough distance with him, Boys might have intense sexual feelings for their mothers as boys are very visual creatures. Especially it occurs when mothers wear revealing and tight clothes. Mother's *** and boobs have intense sexual attraction for boys. Lots of boys masturbate with their mother's panties and bras
Over a period of 7 odd years from 9 to 17 or so, i was close to my mum and at the same rebelling as well. I was at the early part of this stage the one that would say i would marry someone like mum. She was loving and would more cuddle me at 9 10 and 11. From 12 or 13 i woudl be more grossed out that would get cuddled when watching tv and my head would be on her chest during acuddle and would rebell against it more i suppose.
When 15 came and i had started to notice girls physical attributes, i did notice mums as well.she went thru a hard time with hospital visits and operations and i woudl be the one doing the cooking and stuff at home as my dad worked away. So we bcame closer again at times, inbetween the straines of her hospital treatments etc. But started back with hugs and not cuddles and the odd kiss on cheek and lips. But one time i did get a twinge and slightly sexual arousal one time when we crossed each other on the landing. She had seen me nude or in just undies few tiems from shower. After one strenuous day for her and some arguing between us, we bumped into each other on the landing with me with just towel in my hand covering myself when she appologised and hugged me. I kept the towel in my hand but now i had both arms round her and kissed her forehead then she kissed my lips. A bit of embaressment came over me. Then i went to my bedroom. I was more embaressed being nude and hugging as just started seeing a girl and i would get aroused at her hugging me and kissing me. Now i wasnt aroused when my mum hugged me, but i did get slightly aroused 15 minutes later. I was in my PJ bottoms and thoughtmy mum had gone back downstairs, i had something in my eye and went to the mirror in the bathroom to check it out.I walked back out the bathroom rubbing my eye when my mum stopped me to ask what was wrong. I told her and she said she would have a look. Now tho she was prudish or prude like many tims about her own nudity, she was in pants and nylons and her hands covering her boobs. she led me back into the bathroom and told me to sit on sie of bath so she could look. looking at my red eye she saw an eyelash and managed to to get it out. But i remember her saying to look up and then down etc, and with head tilted backwards looking down she said with a smile, there seems to be nothing wrong with your eye sight then. Think this was the first time i had seen her topless since i had become sexually aware of boobs and had explored my gfs boobs as well. I do beleive my mum knew i was a little aroused but her boobs as after she said tp me, you best go and relax or similar. Later before i went to bed she came in and askd if my eye was ok. and we got talking about my gf, who she knew. she commenetd on my being aboob boy and nothign wrong with it. That was really the only time i got slightly aroused by my mum, but never found her sexually attracted to her, but sometimes boys cant control their hormones, but can control the actions of not taking things further
What's written, doesn't seem inappropriate, but one has to read between the lines. Your husband (who's there) is responding to the whole gestalt of behavior attitudes that he senses perhaps more than sees. nudity is not bad, but children should NOT be seeing their parents nude. t has to do with privacy, and modesty, and appropriate roles for the protector, caretaking and moral/spritual leadership in the family. There CN be too much gugging, although it'd vary, depending on personalities. And the fact that you do spend time with your husband, would seem to indicate that he's coming from a real concern, and not jealousy. There IS a time when an adolescent boy begins to cut the apron string, or he'll feel and be seen as less manly, which to an adolescent is a "kiss of death" socially and developmentally.
Fruds assertion that boys want to "marry" their mother, ( Freud has bee widely discredited, but regardless) is supposed to take place very young, perhaps even nonverbal. An adolescent is finding his masculinity, and while being aroused by mom is "yucky" hormones do get stirred up, and having those feelings by mom's physicallity (touching, hugging caressing etc etc ) is totally inappropriate. Of course, hugging, caressing, and touching is perfectly ok, and good, but if he's rolling his eyes, you're disrespecting him, and his finding his masculinity. Some ok, but at a certain point, he's "telling" you non verbally) to back off, and for one to "impose" oneslef on him, is satisfying YOR needs, not his. If you've walked around nude in front of your children, it's doubly inappropriate to make contact, where he doesn't want to. A man's masculinity comes from distancing from his mother and father and then emulating father, and once he's comfortable with his masculinity, he'll love all the physical contact.
She says her son is happy. We need to have him say something to a trysted source. t's not uncommon for many abused children of all types to "be happy" it's denial, and overcompensation, or lack of awareness that what's happening is not healthy. If we followed the dictum, "follow your heart" the world would be a much more screwed up than it is now. Do the right thing, educate obeself, healthy boundaries, or talk to a professional. parents often do what's right for them, and cannot, or will not see what's right for their child, as it may be painful for themslves.
Succint and true. many other posters here, condone this, through their own experience, but are unaware of what healthy parent child relationships are. In a (largely)sick world, sick becomes normal. problems come up, but aren't attributed to the source, as it's considered "normal." to themselves.
Your son is HFA, high functioning autistic. He emotional and physical connection to you is unhealthy, unnatural, and inappropriate. He seeks your attention for all his sexual needs. Your husband is corrrect. Your son sees you as his mother, girlfriend and lover. Have him tested as soon as possible before further damage is done to his fragile systems. Your son will develop anger against his father when he sees him with you. Get your son(s) tested immediately. Seek psychiatric help for all members of the family. Your son sees you as his lover and wife. This is not OK.. If you do nothing, it's because you enjoy being your son's sex object and having this type of relationship with your son. Seek help!
it's not a loving relationship. it's misplaced sexual desire. it's wrong! they need to get tested for behavioral issues. this is gross, nasty and unhealthy. it's wrong! Dad can see it's wrong! Mom and son are enjoying this inappropriate insestuous relationship. They need to be tested immediately. This is not the correct type of LOVE between a mom and son. it's not right between father and daughter. Doing it within the home does not make it OK, it's still wrong. it's sick! it's wrong! it's wrong! I had to seek help when my son started doing this to me. My husband saw it and I immediately took action. We found he is autistic and he WAS getting aroused by hugging, touching and even smelling my soap, perfume, or lotion. I threw up for days when I was told, but at least I knew the TRUTH!.. it's wrong! it's wrong! it's not love.. it's not the right love...
This is unnatural. Your son is not your mate and you are not his lover. it is possible you want this type of unnatural, unhealthy, inappropriate and insestuous relationship with your son. You, Your and your son or your son need to be tested for autism. if you are finding any pleasure from what you do with your son, you need help. this is not healthy for either of you. you are on the fast track to insest. it is unnatural for a grown woman to seek emotional and physical stimulation, acceptance, security and anything else from a child, her child or any child. there is a problem with what you are doing. This is wrong!, This is unnatural! This is disgusting! This is wrong! Seek psychiatric help for you and your son immediately before you hurt both of you!
Kay, my girlfriend (mid forties) sleeps with her "lost" son who is in his early 20s. If my mother ever tried to coddle me when I was 14 or 15 (other than a quick hug & kiss on the cheek) I would have felt very uncomfortable. She loves ranting on about he is an extention of her & how they are "the same.".......sayign "He is me." In my eyes their affection toward each other transends the innocent "chip off the ol' bloc" thing. I think it is unhealthy, and I'm not sure I can continue. Maybe I need help.
I thin you and your sons have a very health relationship. When the time comes, he will tell you mum by words or body language that he is not comfortable or he wants you to stop kissing him etc etc. Follow your heart and be natural!
I have been married to a woman who has a touchy feeling relationship with her sons now 21 and 26 for six years now. The youngest son hates me and challenges me unprovoked with nearly every meeting. like you and your husband she believed in the beautiful body thing and her sons have seen her and her husband before me naked and rather comfortable a little too much with it I might say. I was raised to believe that your body is beautiful and sacred and to be protected. Remember what they teach you in school the touchy feely thing is not correct, neither is exposing yourself in front of your preteen son . Now that you know this, and I know you do or you would not be asking about it. the next thing I will say is if you want to keep your marriage healthy then you need to stop the touchy feely thing. It's a perversion of a mothers love for her son caused by your inaporpiate behavior towards your sons. REMEMBER THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO GROW UP TO BE MEN TAKE SPOSES AND MOVE AWAY FROM THE HOME TO RAISE THEIR OWN FAMILIES. You had best hope that the damage you have done will not be lasting. get some help or better yet do the proper thing and listen to your husband or he will be on his way out of your life if he isn't already. You know what you are doing is wrong or you would not be looking for approval to ease your mind. Shame shame shame, you know that you could not compete with a mother like that. HOW CAN YOU EXCEPT YOUR SONS FUTURE WIFE TO COMPETE WITH YOU. YOU HAVE BEEN TRAINING HIM SENSE HE WAS A BABY!!!!!!!!!! YOU FLIRT WITH SONS DESASTER AS A MARRIED MAN.
I strongly disagree with the severity and aggression of some of the comments above, but, as a father of a 15-year-old son, and stepfather of a 14-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl, I would urge you to consider more caution in managing your affectionate physical contact with your son.
My stepson frequently approaches my wife and kisses her on the cheek (even if she is furious with him for verbally abusing her minutes before--which is common, and another issue entirely), and wants to engage in prolonged cuddling with her on the sofa sometimes while watching TV. I'm 60 years old and have a measured response to most things, but it does bother me, not because of the very slight pang of jealousy, but because I think it confuses him and impedes his emotional development.
Many of the comments here by teenage boys are wildly excessive, but their point about how easy it is for a teenage boy to become sexually aroused should be taken seriously.
Putting things simply: 1) you will want your son to eventually associate affectionate physical contact and sexual feelings with a person of his choice, and of similar age and interests. I am sure that you would not want to impair that development by encouraging his clinging to you as a love object. Keep your contact brief and spontaneous and maintain your wonderful affection for him, expressed with perhaps a little more reserve. And 2), if your husband disagrees with you openly about this (it sounds like you have a great relationship!) then it is a problem for him, and it would be wise to make a change, even a small one, rather than debate the issue with him. A small increase in sensitivity to the nature and duration of your affectionate contact with your son will guide you in the right direction, and probably improve your relationship with your husband as well.
'Chappamom'. Enough has been said about the sexual side of things in terms of behavior and I am not going to add to that.
I do feel that your comment: 'am constantly grabbing the younger one for a cuddle' is concerning though. I was always taught to respect the boundaries of my children and feel that grabbing them especially constantly can put them on edge and reduce their healthy boundaries. I prefer to offer a cuddle that to grab at either of my children. Remember it is often as adults that we have to learn how to build up healthy boundries because they have been broken down in our childhood.
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