Many people experience the Jocasta Complex in reference to the proverbial "mama's boy". The mother often becomes obsessed with her relationship with her son to the exclusion of many other relationships and interests. She generally only chooses a favorite son whom she puts on a pedestal. She may treat this son as though he is her husband or romantic partner rather than being her offspring.
Many mothers have a tendency towards becoming obsessive over one particular child. This often occurs when a mother has married a self-absorbed or narcissistic partner. The husband may be neglectful of the wife and child, and thus the mother seeks to redirect her energies elsewhere. She becomes depressed and confused with the rejection from her partner, and so she thrusts her depression and neediness back onto the child.
The Jocasta mother never encourages her child to grow in a healthy way and to define his own personality. She becomes needy, clingy and distraught when he leaves the home, exerts his independence, or finds a romantic partner. She becomes an obnoxious and cruel mother-in-law when her son finally marries. She often tries to destroy the relationship between her son and his mate, frantically trying to restore the relationship that she has with her son.
The Jocasta Complex may become significantly more obvious as the mother ages or when she loses her husband. She may have been asocial or antisocial due to having Asperger's Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder, or some other mental health issues, so she relies on the son for her sole support. She rarely anticipates that her son will eventually become independent and wish to have his own life. She may punish him for making any efforts to do so. She often elicits shame and guilt in her son, consistently reminding him that he is "abandoning" her.
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