As people mourn the loss of Michael Jackson with the complicated grief that comes with saying good-bye to a complex and fragile icon, people are talking about the fact that he was a mama’s boy. All his life, it was apparent that Michael adored his mother, appreciating her unconditional and steadfast love.
As a mama’s boy, his closest friends as a youth and adult were with women. Today, Good Morning America played an old clip of Elizabeth Taylor stating that she believed herself to be the only person in Michael’s life that never betrayed him. That was likely an overstatement and clearly evidence of the daddy’s girl/mama’s boy relationship Elizabeth and Michael had. Mama’s boys attract daddy’s girls who will either give them the same unconditional love and positive regard that their mothers did or that they experience for the first time with these women who are willing to stand in as mother substitutes.
Michael was a brilliant, tortured, and fragile artist. His eccentricities probably have more to do with his genius than with his relationship with his parents. Even if it was the difficult, strained, and abusive relationship with his father that birthed Michael’s childlike qualities that continued throughout his adult life; his talent and genius are what gave Michael the impetus to live that Peter Pan quality full out.
You can look at Michael and dismiss him as the worst kind of mama’s boy or you can appreciate the genius that complicated his life even further than the relationship with his parents did. As a mama’s boy his relationships with women his own age were complex and less than successful while his relationships with women old enough to be his mother were full of nurturing and caretaking that flowed both ways – from Michael to them and from them to Michael.
The mama’s boy/daddy’s girl dynamics are complex. They can produce both strange and wonderful relationships and creative expression. They are a reality in the world we live in today. I cannot state strongly enough that our book, “Getting Back to Love: When the Pushing and Pulling Threaten to Tear You Apart,” walks you out of the dysfunction of a relationship that hurts into a dance that charms, nurtures, and supports you.
With “Getting Back to Love,” you can create a life and a love filled with balance, growth, passion, love, and mutual support. And if you are a creative artist, walking out of the dysfunction into greater health will feed your art. You know why? Because you never stop being either a mama’s boy or a daddy’s girl. You get the great good of simply having more choices for loving better and attracting better love to you.