Living The Oedipus Complex

Dear Diary,

Recently, I heard the tragic tale of a young divorced woman who had just come out of living what could only be referred to as Freud’s theory of the Oedipus Complex.

She described to me the strange relationship that her husband had with his mother. At first she thought it was odd, as her husband’s family were more tactile than hers, but then she felt it was extremely abnormal and something needed to be done about it.


Her first experiences of her husband’s fixation of his mother was very early on in their marriage. In the evenings, rather than spending any time with his new bride, he would snuggle into his Mum, head on her breast and she would gently stroke him. Often, when he was late home, he would jump into bed with his Mum. He would kiss his mum hello and goodbye, but just nod or talk to his wife. He would come up behind his Mum in the kitchen and cuddle her in that loving way a husband would cuddle his wife. The list went on.

She didn’t know what to do or whom to turn to. Divorce was not an option then. Her marriage was arranged and she didn’t want to let her parents down. She had to make it work. So instead of walking away, they bought their own place and tried for a baby.

Unfortunately, by taking away the object of her husband’s affection, she found herself being the victim of his abuse rather than his love. He pined for his Mum and would compare her, verbally and physically abuse her, repeatedly letting her know that she was nothing compared to his mother.

Finally after three years, she took the plunge and decided to end her awful marriage. Of course, she has been subjected to the trials and tribulations that go with an Asian woman getting divorced but little by little, she has finally stopped blaming herself and is able to see that this was a troubled young man.

When Freud theorised the Oedipus Complex, he saw it as a stage of development that occurs between the ages of 3 to 5 and links it to the development of the superego, which uses guilt to prevent continuation of incestuously oriented relationships. Failure to get past this trigger point and into the symbolic order of relationship is considered to be a classic cause of lasting neurosis.

Neurotic is a word repeatedly used by this woman to describe him.


8 Comments to “Living The Oedipus Complex”

  1. Surely there is a disproportionate level of this going on in our communities?

    Your example is extreme of course but Asian men all have an odd relationship with their mothers .. And my friends with sons repeat the same mistakes by smothering them with attention and some even vocaLly admit that no woman will be good enough for their spoilt little brat.

    I wouldn’t marry an Asian man for all the gold in the world!

  2. Wow what an experience to go through. that is child abuse in another form and it is sick minded mothers that implement such love.

    Anonymous mother are obsessed with their sons the world over not just Asians but other cultures don’t seem to marry into whole families like us. That would put anyone off.

  3. How do you screen a guy for that one???

    At least if you date a guy beforehand then you’ll know how close he is to his mother… yet another reason not to have an arranged marriage…

  4. Eugh this reminds me of that gross sketch in Little Britain where the grown man is still being brest-fed.

    However this is no joke – sickening that someone so close to his mother thinks it’s fine to hit women.

  5. Do you really think there is still a stigma attached to being divorced – I am pakistani and in my community most women in their 30s are either in miserable boring marriages where they have to pander to their weirdo in-laws or they are happily divorced and going out with white men. Being divorced in my community is not a big deal, in fact my mum said to me “just get married and if you don’t like him then so what?- just divorce him” … if only it were that simple!

  6. In some families there is a huge stigma attached to divorce. MJK, I don’t think that marriage and divorce are as simple as your Mum makes out, but then maybe it was for her. I also think it is easy to say just divorce them, but divorce is a painful process for all concerned.

    Mysterious Pinkie, you might have to date a guy for a very long time to realise that there is an abnormal mother son relationship. People are very good at hiding what they do not want you to find out. Before the marriage, they were the most welcoming family and he was so kind and caring towards her.

    I guess you never can tell!

  7. I am an Indian women and i know the perils of getting married to a man with Oedipus complex.

    The problem in Asian countries especially in India is that a boy’s independence is closely guarded by his mother, extra over the counter care is provided to him and that makes him dependent on his mothers.

    Whereas a girl has to leave her home after marriage and so she is deliberately made independent by her parents.

    More over in India men like cuddling their mothers,sleeping with them even after the attainment of puberty and adulthood. They will share all their secrets with their mothers and not their wives and that gets them more close to their mothers.All the salary they earn is spent on their mothers…she is nominated in all their insurance policies, savings account, provident funds and so on.

    So in India after marriage, the girl doesn’t have a problem adjusting with her in-laws because she is programmed that way by her parents since her birth…She is forced to learn cooking,shopping,gardening and such other skills which are important to lead a healthy family life with the husband and in-laws. Nowadays in India the girls are also made financially independent. Unfortunately the boys are not trained like that. Hence they suffer from the Oedipus Complex.

    The twist in my case is my little seven year old daughter who distracted my husbands attention from his mother. He loves his kid like anything and since her birth his oedipus complex slowly and steadily started to vanish.He is coming out of the safe cocoon of his mother and i am waiting for him to come back to me because i really love him.

    • My friend (white English) has married an Indian guy and both her experience and yours really puts me off marrying any Asian man. (I know there are exceptions but who can bothered to experiment, and anyway, all the nutty stuff comes out AFTER you’re married).

      My friend went from heading a board of chartered surveyors to becoming a bored housewife that gets cooking lessons forced on her from her M-I-L. They don’t live together thank god, but she has given her baby an Indian name, learned Hindi, cooks and cleans. Meanwhile her husband does nothing.


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