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What's wrong with having a mother complex?

22 Comments

Mazakon! Even without its meaning, it sounds like a deadly insult. The much-maligned “mother complex.”

“What’s wrong with a mother complex?” asks Spa! (Oct 8). What’s wrong, in other words, with being fond of one’s mother?

Let’s hear what some wives and girlfriends have to say. “My husband loves fried chicken, so I cooked it for him,” says a 32-year-old housewife. “‘Not like mom’s,’ he said. ‘Get her to teach you.’” Naturally, the woman saw red. “I never made it for him again.”

“My boyfriend,” says a 26-year-old receptionist, “didn’t buy me a birthday present – said he had no money. And yet that same month he bought a birthday present for his mother! ‘Mom comes first,’ he said. Honestly, it made my flesh crawl.”

Hurt feelings in both cases are understandable. Is that the whole story? Spa! canvasses some men for their point of view.

“People say I have a mazakon because I enjoy going out for an evening with my mother,” fumes a 38-year-old banker. “And yet when a woman goes shopping with her father, no one thinks anything of it.”

Or this, from a 41-year-old management consultant: “My mother’s getting old, and she lives alone, so once a week I drop in to check up on her – to my wife’s disgust. I want to show my mother kindness while I can. What’s mazakon about that?”

Well, it’s a long story, and rather a complex one, as Spa! tells it. The boy growing up unable to tear himself away from the maternal breast is a familiar theme – characteristic in particular, says sociologist Toshiyuki Tanaka, of a male-dominated society like Japan’s. Boys raised by mothers who sacrifice themselves for their sons may well feel they have a debt to repay as men. Wives’ and girlfriends’ resentment may stem from a suspicion their husbands and boyfriends want the same overprotective, unconditional love from them. “Forget it!” they’re saying, in effect. It’s a new era, the ideal mother of former times no longer exists, and men who expect to be mothered all their lives need a sharp lesson in female self-assertion.

On the other hand, says writer Takayuki Kiyoda, the more women advance in society the more they may unwittingly stimulate the mother complex – at least in men inclined that way. Denied motherly affection by their wives, they’ll take it where it’s offered – at mother’s house.

And yet, Spa! finds, even women have mixed feelings about this. Tanaka, the sociologist, says wives and girlfriends may have deep misgivings about husbands and boyfriends who are rude to or neglectful of their mothers. It suggests inconstancy: “I’ll love you as long as you are useful to me, then I’ll dispose of you.” A man who disposes of his mother today may give his partner the same treatment tomorrow. Which brings us back to the initial question: What is wrong with a mother complex?

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

22 Comments
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Ideally, mutual love, affection and respect by everyone involved will smooth over the eventual rough parts to navigate through when people get married.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Feminism killed real men, there are non left.

The biggest losers are women, as they're dying to find a real cowboy to sweep them off their feet but instead they have to babysit all these soyboys.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

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The individual who has not differentiated from the mother will bring this unresolved dynamic into other relationships.

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1 ( +1 / -0 )

Every cowboy gets a nap in their mothers lap every fortnight or the other.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

What unbalanced testimonies !

Could they not ask couple ? I guess all of the couple involved should try to talk it out perhaps with a third person.

For the one enjoying getting out with his mom, perhaps he should try saying it out differently. Nothing wrong with enjoying (now that you are a well paid adult) taking your mom (which take care of you) to some restaurant and some shop to be able to repay her kidness and getting up to date about your respective life.

@Burning Bush

All depend of your definition of "real men" but if you think there were killed by the fact women got rights perhaps you should rethink it.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

For men who are lucky enough to have a mother still alive, I think it is good to have a strong relationship with her. Many men won't marry and among those who do, nearly half will get divorced and the remainers will have bad marriages. The relationship with mother or father is permanent.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@ Reckless

Agreed - by "strong" relationship, i take, you mean "healthy".

That is different from an enmeshed, emotionally controlled relationship with mother.

.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This article creates artificial controversy by redefining "mother complex" to include any man who takes care or responsibility for his mother. Everybody knows what mother complex refers to... and it's not a guy who takes his mother out to dinner, much less a guy who checks on his aging mother once a week to be sure she's OK. These are normal things a responsible person does.

“My mother’s getting old, and she lives alone, so once a week I drop in to check up on her – to my wife’s disgust. 

Pretty clear the only person with a complex here is this guy's wife.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

If "mother complex" refers to son / daughter spending time / money on mother / father rather than spending it on their partner, then there is nothing wrong at all about it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There's a new term of musu-kon,which is the way mothers fawn over their sons that has reduced the boys to being pretty feeble,mentally and emotionally.Starts from kindergarten and goes all the way through.A major part of the why boys are so lame in their lives.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

“Your soup isn’t as good as my mother’s” isn’t a mother complex. It is just rudeness.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There is nothing wrong with the 3rd and 4th examples. You don't abandon your mother simply because you're married, whether you're a man or a woman. Or is the article trying to tell us women no longer give a damn about their own mothers when they get married?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The examples given are more indicative of couples on a hair trigger to criticize each other, not signs of a mother complex. "My mother's fried chicken is better" = you must have a mother complex? Good grief. Maybe that's a reply people raised on Japanese tv dramas think is witty or the normal way men and women must interact.

For what its worth, I think Japan has a huge complex about stay-at-home moms, assuming that all of them are better than every working mother, or god forbid, every dad. This affects both men and women, daughters and sons if you like.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

if you don't mind the possibility of becoming Norman Bates...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Feminism killed real men, there are non left.

As a real man, could you explain your undoubted success?

The biggest losers are women, as they're dying to find a real cowboy to sweep them off their feet but instead they have to babysit all these soyboys.

What an amazing insight into the workings of the female mind.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

My mother passed away 2 weeks ago today from brain cancer. I took my wife and kids to my aunt's in Vancouver where she was staying and for 7 weeks all we did was visit my invalid mother every day and spent as much time with her as we could. My brothers did the same. None of us have a mother complex. We just loved her and appreciated her. That time spent with her made her passing a lot easier to deal with.

We have to be careful in differenciating between those who respect and love their mothers and those who are simply spoiled brats.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Aly Rustom

My mother passed away 2 weeks ago today from brain cancer. I took my wife and kids to my aunt's in Vancouver where she was staying and for 7 weeks all we did was visit my invalid mother every day and spent as much time with her as we could. My brothers did the same. None of us have a mother complex. We just loved her and appreciated her. That time spent with her made her passing a lot easier to deal with.

My condolences. You and your family were able to be there for her.

My own mother passed away two years ago in Florida and we were not able to be there for her. For many years, every Sunday I Skyped her for about one hour and my wife would also join in. I actually still send her Skype messages on special dates.

My wife, who also loved my mother and who had lost her own many years ago, will sometimes ask me like "can you make those mashed potatoes like mum" or "can you make mum's American apple pie".

Before her passing my mother sent my wife her entire jewellery collection with expensive items including a silver wrist bracelet which I bought for her birthday when I was 18 years old. Completely forgotten about that.

I do 90% of the cooking but my wife helps out when I need a night off.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

My own mother passed away two years ago in Florida and we were not able to be there for her.

I too am very sorry for your loss. But both our wives had a great relationship with their mothers in law. We can take that away I guess.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

These type of men will never find a wife ever.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My mother passed away 2 weeks ago today from brain cancer. I took my wife and kids to my aunt's in Vancouver where she was staying and for 7 weeks all we did was visit my invalid mother every day and spent as much time with her as we could. My brothers did the same. None of us have a mother complex. We just loved her and appreciated her. That time spent with her made her passing a lot easier to deal with.

Sorry for your (and zichi's) loss. I understand what you are going through. The grief and sense of loss doesn't go away but it does become easier. I didn't always get on with my mom, but I loved her.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

TH

Actually no. I wasn't sad about the passing of my mother because it was her time. She was 90 years and had a good time especially the last 40 years living in Florida. Of course I miss her but its ok we still have Skype.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Flute: All depend of your definition of "real men" but if you think there were killed by the fact women got rights perhaps you should rethink it.

Burning Bush is generally correct. It’s not equal rights that he is referring to. It is feminism. These two things are not synonymous.

I would argue that the current wave of feminism is not at all interested in equality. Saying, ‘it’s about time!’ isn’t a serious argument in defense. What feminists today are looking for is to take the dominant position in the social hierarchy. They achieve this through laws, policies and customs that place themselves in a status above men.

Laws such as divorce and adoption that treat women differently from men are harmful. When the #MeToo movement was started and “believe all woman” became the mantra of the day, it was a total abandonment of the principle of fairness and due process. Not to say that many of the accused men did not do anything wrong. But the outcome for them was akin to the emotionalism of a witch trial rather than rule of law. On college campuses if a woman accuses a man of assault he is more than likely to be ejected from the institution without a fair hearing and without the right to defend himself.

For men who are treated with disdain for the crime of being born male by the new wave feminists, it would preserve ones faith in society to have Mom around to treat them with decency.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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