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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Getting beyond mother-son enmeshment, 1 Oct 2007
By 
Rolf Dobelli "getAbstract" (Switzerland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: When He's Married to Mom: How to Help Mother-Enmeshed Men Open Their Hearts to True Love and Commitment (Paperback)
This is a good book with a somewhat corny, if not downright misleading, title. It's not about stepdads or men whose wives take on a mothering role. It's actually a serious study of adult men struggling to live fulfilling, productive lives after a childhood smothered by an inappropriately self-centered mother. A mother-enmeshed man, or MEM, the term used by intimacy specialist Dr. Kenneth Adams, is unable to form healthy relationships, pursue his true desires and live an independent life. Many MEMs suffer sexual problems and substance addictions. The good news, however, is that, through awareness and therapy, MEMs can learn how to set boundaries, enact positive behaviors and understand their real selves. Adams places his case studies in part one and, although they are engrossing and relatable, an upfront exploration of the mother-enmeshed man syndrome might have been more helpful before the case histories. If you are involved with a mother-enmeshed man or sense that you might be one, we recommend that you study this book, especially the many practical descriptions and suggestions in boxes and lists.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Has made me take action!Well written, easy to follow, pragmatic advice!, 10 Feb 2014
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This review is from: When He's Married to Mom: How to Help Mother-Enmeshed Men Open Their Hearts to True Love and Commitment (Paperback)
The title is a little sensationalist and dramatised, but we can forgive the author for this, and perhaps attribute this to the publisher!

The book provides an aid for those who Adams terms as Emotionally Enmeshed Men, their partners and mothers, fathers and guardians of boys who wish to avoid parenting in an emotionally over-involved and harmful way.

Written by a Clinical Psychologist, Adams nods to psychological theory - mainly attachment theory and systemic models of family functioning. It isn't necessary for the reader to have prior knowledge of these theories/models as the author grounds important points within various case study examples taken from his years of clinical experience within the field. The reader feels guided and supported throughout their reading journey to understand a difficult and emotionally intense topic.

For me it provided me with insight and better understanding of my partner's relationship with his Mum. My partner has a controlling and manipulative mother. I couldn't understand why he had to continuously call her, text her and run after her the way he does. I couldn't understand why he was so fearful of her, and despite her criticism of him - why he continued to pander to her. I was in a 'stuck' position because I felt like the 'other woman' and I didn't know what I could do (if anything) to make a change in our relationship. My partner's mother has never met me but yet hates me, she doesn't want to know anything about me or ever meet me. My partner's previous relationships had all ended because his mother condemned them and disliked his choices in women despite never having met them. She insists that she has her son all to herself and clearly feels threatened by any woman her son has a relationship with. My partner developed depression as a consequence of this and I just couldn't understand why he wouldn't put his Mum to task and set limitations and boundaries within their relationship.

I read the book in an entire evening, as it kept me drawn, interested, and was easy reading. I have learned that my partner is an Emotionally Enmeshed Man and his mother has had a primarily role in creating this. I feel that I have a greater understanding of his behaviours and the unhealthy relationship he has with his Mum. I now also know that its not his fault.
Most importantly I now know what I can do to help - and also what I cannot/shouldn't do to exacerbate the situation further.
Now - after having read the book I have given it to my partner to read for himself. He now recognises that he needs to take action, and if he does not it will end our relationship.

I hope that if you recognise some of the difficulties I have experienced that you get the book. It will open your eyes, give you hope, but also provide you with a dose of realism in providing you with options before making a decision to make or break.
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