Sons of Narcissistic Mothers Despise Them

Narcissistic mothers often have an iron hold on their sons. These mothers appear to adore their sons over their daughters an shower them with all of the attention and adulation. There are sons of narcissistic mothers who become narcissists and the two of them are fused in a highly pathological and destructive psychological duo.

Those sons who are not narcissistic have a rough time of it. They feel their mother’s narcissistic claws  at the ready to get a hold of them and not let go until she possesses them. Narcissists believe that everything belongs to them, including their children,with whom they can fuse, neglect or discard. The narcissistic mother demands her son’s attention. She cannot be attuned to her child but rather is bent on molding him into what she believes is another replica of her perfect self. These sons are both intimidated  and feel deep hatred of a so-called mother who blocks their way toward psychological independence, the fulfillment and promise of their masculinity and the use of the potential and appreciation of their individuality. Some sons feel obligated to the narcissistic mother and spend much of their lives trying to please these impossible creatures. This interrupts the natural growth of the child and young adult. Often the father in these families is psychologically weak and emasculated. That is why the narcissistic mother has chosen him—someone whom she can fully control, manipulate and deceive.

Men psychologically possessed by their narcissistic mothers have difficulty with emotional intimacies.  Unconsciously, they belong to mother. How can they  give themselves to a partner when they cannot be separate from her. There are sons who make the break from their narcissistic mothers. It can be a tough battle. The NM infuses guilt. She is a drama queen, insisting on her way despite the psychological damage that is incurred by her son. Some sons remain pleasers and feel guilty if they don’t fulfill their mother’s wishes. Inside they are torn between deep feelings of obligation and enraged that they are still umbilically tied to their NM.

Those who achieve the separation are freed to feel and express their uniqueness, to use their individual potential in every way, to be creative, to activate their spontaneity.  Some sons of NMs benefit from excellent psychotherapy. When choosing a therapist, interview until you find the one that is best for you. This professional must be capable of attuning himself/herself to you, have well developed empathy besides a solid academic and clinical background. Make sure that the therapist does not have a money motive and is not a narcissist. This can and does happen. Some of the “most qualified ” psychotherapists, psychiatrists, counselors, etc. are narcissistic personality disorders. Stay away from them; they can be very charming and convincing.

There are many avenues to healing. Learn to calm your nervous systems through methods that work best for you–gentle hatha yoga with emphasis of breathing through the nose, a form of meditation or inner quiet that you can do regularly, spending time with people who appreciate you and are excellent listeners.

Some sons of NMs make a decision to go no contact with their mothers to stop the constant interference, blowups, accusations, recriminations, etc. This is your judgment call.

Above all, respect yourself. You are evolving and growing each moment. You are becoming free.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.



This entry was posted in Children of Narcissistic Mothers, narcissistic mothers, narcissistic personality disorder, self help. mental health and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Sons of Narcissistic Mothers Despise Them

  1. Sooty says:

    Comment:From Sooty
    Another piece from ‘my life’s book’!
    ‘An iron hold’? Oh yes – at least she tried – with a single-minded determination whose sucess was not ‘a goal’ or ‘a hope’, but essentially a forgone conclusion. Did it work with me? No… from an early age, I was (and I still am!) an awkward sort when I’d find myself to be the object of someones’s attempts to manipulate me. My big brother was easier meat – he ended up ‘fused in a highly pathological and destructive psychological duo’. I think she destroyed my father, turning him into ‘the caged animal’. My mother was a Covert N, and such was her guile that until only recently, I believed that -she- was the ‘good person’ and that my father was the ‘rotten egg’. There was no-one else, so I was left in a very cold place – an ‘empty pit’ that haunts me still.

    Perhaps like other CNs, ‘it wasn’t about her’… (God forbid! She was a -saint-! – at least in her own eyes.) it was about ‘the higher power’ that she ‘worshipped’. ‘Higher power’? The ‘elite propriety’ (real, or imagined) of the ‘ascendency’ that existed in Ireland perhaps up to the middle of the 20th century – a ‘class’ that has essentially adapted, or dissapeared. But, she was determind not to let me adapt… she somehow expected me to be some kind of Little Lord Fauntleroy, in circumstances that were often plainly absurd.
    It was this absurdity in her persistant demands that allowed me to avoid being subsumed… but the more subtle, unconscious allusions and ‘infused guilt’ were far harder to avoid. They were ‘ideas’ – ideas about personal relationships that essentially left me in a void – the ‘empty pit’… I had -enormous- ‘difficulty with emotional intimacies’ – unable to relate to -real- people, and at the same time, sometimes wracked with guilt about my inadequacies in this area. In this area, I did ‘belong to mother’, and in this way I was ‘torn between deep feelings of obligation and enraged that they are still umbilically tied to my NM.’

    Where am I now? Well, such was my ‘human inadequacy’, that only some decade or so ago, I was diagnosed with Aspergers. ‘Inability to read other people’s feelings’, etc., etc. The whole hog. But knowing more about this (and many other things too) helped me sooo much! Was I truly ‘unable to read other people’s feelings’? No. I had been -taught to ignore- real feelings, while hiding them under protocols about what people were -supposed- to be feeling. I realised that when I stopped lying to myself as I’d been taught by my mother, I am possibly excepionally good at ‘reading people’s feelings’. And I’m possibly excepionally good at relating to animals, horses in particular. (Think Temple Grandin?) Am I now ‘normal’? Thank God, no! Odd, maybe – but I’m -real-. And I don’t have that awful condition, ‘Normality Syndrome’… :P

  2. Drew. says:

    Comment: From Drew
    Dr. Lewi,

    Thanks so much, this is the first passage about sons of narcissistic mothers I have found that isn’t just a huge warning to women not to date them.

    I just today realized that my mother is narcissistic while in my second therapy session ever. It was a very “woah” moment. I’m 24. I have always utterly despised my mother, and felt so guilty for it. I found this website ( after my therapy session and read the whole thing. Let me tell you, it was so validating. My mom fits with a good 95% of those traits. I’ve always known she was manipulating me, but she did it so subtly that I could never explain it to other people, or her. The obvious, irrational lies about her actions, the constant searching for my insecurities and prodding at them with a huge grin on her face, the sobbing emotional meltdowns because I wasn’t on the honor roll in high school (“I’m so ashamed when I talk to other parents at your school *sob*), the lack of any validation for anything (even when I played a trumpet solo in high school jazz band that brought the crowd to a cheering standing ovation, looking into the audience and seeing her with a reluctant smirk on her face and clapping sarcastically), aggressively discouraging me from doing anything that doesn’t benefit her (and consequently living in a shell for most of my adolescent/adult life), and denying the fact that she does any of these things when I bring them up, always twisting the argument to make ME the emotionally disturbed (caused by genes, of course, from my father’s side) tyrant “baby” who needs to grow up. Arguing with her was much like trying to learn particle physics by beating my head against a wall.

    I believed my mother’s accusations about me for the longest time, too, and I wondered why I utterly despised her ever since I was about 12 or 13. I found myself wanting to throw things at her. When I was a kid I threw a badminton racket at her out of frustration for how insanely irrational she was. Of course she acted even MORE offended and repulsed that I would disrespect my “caring” mother in such a way. I KNEW something was wrong with how she was treating me. But I was forced to just go with her beliefs because I thought she was the only person I could talk to about it. She scared the living crap out of me as a way of disciplining me, and I had the false belief that I couldn’t divulge anything personal to anyone but her. I ended up not ever showing any emotions around her and talking in a monotone voice all the time. She thought I was autistic, too.

    In college I branched out and started to slowly change my beliefs. I never called her, tried to keep her at a distance. She guilt tripped me about it. I still kept her at a distance, but felt guilty doing it. After today, I don’t feel guilty for it anymore. She stopped me from living my life implanting irrational, negative beliefs in me (that were essentially lies), even though she was unsuccessful at manipulating me into paying attention to her. I have thought for the past few years that there was no one else who had gone through the same manipulation with their mother as I had, and there was still a little part of me that thought that I was the messed up one.

    I feel so much better now that I know my mom is a narcissist. It’s like a huge weight off my shoulders; I finally have full validation that I have no reason to be insecure, and I’m ready to work toward my goals of getting out of my comfort zone, letting my guard down in front of strangers, and defining my own life, no matter how much backlash I get from my mom. Additionally, I know that I make an empathetic, caring, and well-rounded boyfriend/romantic interest, contrary to what many blogs about sons of narcissistic mothers say. I know I’m smart, and I can do this.

    Thank you for this article, it really got me thinking. Today’s realization was epic for me. :D

  3. Rob says:

    Comment:From Rob
    I’m new here and need input. Mother is old, suffering from dementia, dominating and ill willed. It is hard to live this way.

  4. Rob says:

    Comment: From Rob
    I want to be free of the burden of loving a mother who wants nothing but my happiness. Yesterday she called me a son of a bitch. I did not agree with her, much as I wanted to! Then she called me a bastard, and we both knew better than that. Then she told me to “Go to hell” and if I were not a self controlled person, I’d have sent her ahead of me.

    It hurts me to hate my mother. But she did some very nasty things for which I can find no forgiveness. Allowing me to be raped for 3+ years among the nastier things, but not the worst. The worst thing she did,and does, is call me a liar when I tell the truth.

    What happened, what she allowed, I will not forgive until it is acknowledged.

    But that will never happen. Mom was perfect and everything she dis was out of love.

  5. Amber says:

    Comment: From Amber
    I have a narcissistic mother who drove my brother to suicide because he felt he could not get away. My brother told me that he was obligated to stay and help our mother that she could not survive without him. He was also an alcoholic. I tried to help him get a job and off the boos. I would go out to our mothers pick him up and take him job hunting. He also was not allowed to drink at my house. My mom would then call me yelling at me because my brother had not finished his chores, I tried to get my mom involved in helping me with my brother. I told her she needed to stop buying him alcohol. Her response was that he would just get into her alcohol. I was like then get rid of it. She refused to do that and kept buying him alcohol. It was her way to get my brother to do the chores for her. By the way my brother was 23 years old when he committed suicide. Now she keeps digging her claws into my dad. My dad pays for all the bills including property they bought. The big kicker is it is not even in his name. Not any of the cars, not any pieces of the property. They are not even married anymore. She refuses to remarry him because she would lose her precious social security if she did. So she says, which I know now is a lie. Because my mother-in-law was on social security when she was married to her husband who made a whole lot more than my dad. She has complete control over him. I rarely see my dad because I hate her and she hates me. The only way she knows how to get to me is thru my dad. The only time I get to see him is if I am talking to her too. I actually feel like I have to have her permission to see my dad and I am 29 years old with my own family. I have this gut feeling that once my dad has finished paying off the property that she is going to give him the boot and leave me to pick up the pieces of my damaged father. Ever since they got back together my father has done hardly anything for himself. He used to be independent and had friends and was apart of clubs and went t!
    o church. Now he does not even have his children. Because I cant stand by and watch her destroy him any longer. He made his choice and he chose her over me. After all this time of dealing with her I have become an anxious emotional wreck that never stops.

  6. Drew says:


    “Arguing with her was much like trying to learn particle physics by beating my head against a wall.”

    I can relate to this. My mom, like most narcissists I reckon, are VERY good at what they do (the mental gymnastics, the guilt trips, etc.) and it’s exhausting to the point of depression to try and counter her arguments when you know intuitively that you’re being abused. I’m cutting off contact with her from now on.

  7. John says:

    Comment: From John
    I transferred all my energies away from my narcissistic mother 35 years ago and placed them on to a narcissistic wife who I long ago divorced but still remain attached via the guilt trap . I have spent many years like a dog chasing its tail with therapists that did not have a clue . They wasted my time and money and I am still as stuck as I have been my whole life . I am not despondent but I am resigned at this point . Wondering if I will ever be happy and free as I run out of time here

  8. Kris says:

    Comment:From Kris
    Im glad to see articles about sons of narcissistic mothers starting to appear. Everything is about daughters but us boys/men suffer at their wrath as well.

    I too felt hatred for my adopted narcissistic mother. The phonyness, oh the phonyness, it drove me nuts. The blatant attempts to destroy my romantic relationships. The belittlement of my career prospects. The stick it in your back and then laugh at you about it like you did it to yourself tactics.

    At one point I wanted to make enough money to hire a blackhawk helicopter and chain gun the whole darn house with her inside it. To add insult to injury after poking and prodding me for decades she has the nerve to tell people I was always such an angry person and I am prone to violence. Never been in more than 2 fights my whole life. The anger was merely at being so ruefully mistreated on a daily basis and told that I wouldnt amount to anything and whenever anything good happened in my life that I would share being accused of bragging.

    These women are horrid.

  9. There Is Hope says:

    Comment: From There Is Hope
    AGREED!! These women are horrid and EVIL!! I empathize with anyone who was raised by a narcissist parent! It’s a LIVING HELL for a child!

  10. There Is Hope says:

    Comment: From There Is Hope
    You CAN be free. I am a widow of a husband whose mother, two sisters, and ex-wife were, and still are, CRUEL NARCISSISTS! His ex-wife, as his mom, was emotionally abusive. I strongly believe this contributed to his diagnosis of brain cancer and his illness began while living in that mentally ill household. My husband was married to this narcissist for over 20 years but I commend him for breaking free from her. I have tremendous empathy for any man whose mom was a narcissist. Children learn what they live. It was revealed to me that with his first marriage, “he married his mom.” My husband was the sweetest man on the planet, kind, gentle, compassionate, loving, patient, nurturing, affectionate, thoughtful, meek, humble… I can go on and on. Our marriage was BEAUTIFUL!! He passed away in July of this year. Narcissists are DANGEROUS TO YOUR HEALTH! I’m just glad he experienced true, unconditional love with me, being spoiled, as he deserved it. There is hope. Don’t allow your mom’s narcissism to dictate the course of your life! Find a good therapist and do whatever it takes to develop a healthy mindset and break free from the narcissistic stronghold. IT IS POSSIBLE!!

  11. don says:

    Only the luv of ur own child can save u from these demons..children can do amazing things if u have luv in ur heart

  12. don says:

    I’m the son of a narcissistic mother ..I’m 39..she drove me to drugs but I overcame it.we shud stop talkin about them cos ppl don’t understand wat we sayin only we know ..they r pure evil and will get wats cuming to them now mother is old and my sisters want me to luk after her …NEVER..she recognized the escape route my child gave me emotionally tried to break us up but cudnt..ohh they 3 slim blv me .. Pure evil…must fight fire wid fire ..but never forget 1 thng THEY NEVER CHANGE..

  13. Claudio Fernando Maciel says:

    It never occurred to me, but my mother was a narcissistic woman.
    She wasn’t too successful with her manipulations with me, ever, or at least as far as I remember, as I was the black sheep, the prodigal son of the family.

    The thing is that my older sister was the one who suffered the most, being the daughter and the scapegoat of a narcissistic mother. She managed to control my sister’s life until the day my sister decided to get married and gave our mother a ‘enough is enough’, then they became enemies.

    My mother died a few years ago of cancer, being a very bitter person, blaming everybody for her life’s mishapenings.

    The funny thing is ( actually not so funny ), I came to this website after years of trying to figure out my mother-in-law’s psychological problem.

    For many many years my wife and I have tried to understand why her mother was such a manipulative, chronic liar, sexually obsessed, gaslighter and unbearable person. It was just a couple of days ago that we’ve found out about this disorder, every thing fits like a glove!

    And now, after looking at so many websites about daughters of narcissistic mothers, have I only not concluded that it’s definitely what my mother-in-law has, but also what my very mother used to be.

    Thanks for the website!

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