Overbearing Moms and Codependent Sons: I Love a Mama’s Boy

There is nothing more special than the bond between a mother and her child… besides the love between a mother and her son. While most moms love their sons and allow them to be independent, some mothers get too involved in their sons’ lives, which isn’t always for the best.

Matt and His mother / Liz, Matt and Stephanie / Shekeb, Emily, and Laila / Kristy, Roberto, and Nancy
Source: TLC

TLC’s I Love a Mama’s Boy explores the lives of four couples who constantly face difficulties because of their meddling mothers. Love usually conquers all, but it’s hard when a man has to choose between his significant other and his mother. This is the truth about these mama’s boys.

Like Another Show

If you have seen I Love a Mama’s Boy, you might think it’s oddly similar to another TLC show, sMothered, which dives into the relationships of mothers and daughters who are uncomfortable close. It’s one of the worst shows on TLC, highlighting the pairs’ intense bonding over taking showers or breastfeeding in tandem.

Emily and Shekeb sit on the couch with his mother Laila
Source: TLC

Just like with mama’s boys, the “mama’s girls’” relationships with their partners are negatively influenced. Whether it’s mothers meddling in their daughters’ lives or moms being overbearing with their sons, I Love a Mama’s Boy and sMothered shows how intense the relationships between mothers and their children can be.

Only One Engaged Couple

At the start of Season 1, viewers were introduced to four couples on I Love a Mama’s Boy. However, only one of those couples, Justina and Jason, was engaged. Unfortunately, their plans to get married were stalled because of Jason’s mother, Annette. She wanted her son to have a say in the planning.

A selfie of Justine and Jason and Justin’s mother.
Source: Twitter

Annette also wanted to go tuxedo shopping with Jason, leaving Justina out. Jason and Justina had been together for years and shared a daughter who was two when the show started. Annette tried to intervene in how she was raised, but Jason put his foot down on her level of involvement.

She Used a Tracking Device

Annette hasn’t only meddled in Jason’s parenting style and relationship, but she took her overbearingness to a new level when she put a tracking device on her son. Most women would run if their future mother-in-law needed to know her son’s every move, but Justine has accepted it.

Justin is in dance rehursal with his mother.
Source: TLC

Justine said, “She’s going to do it regardless of if I like it or not,” and Jason enables his mother. He said his mom has “a lot of involvement” in his life. He admitted to seeking advice from his mother for everyday decisions because he values her opinions. Jason doesn’t feel his mom crosses the line.

They Worked It Out

Jason and Justina’s problems were solvable compared to other couples on the show. Justina and Annette tried to negotiate their differences for Jason’s sake. They found compromises for many of their issues, which has helped the couple become stronger. But they still haven’t walked down the aisle.

Justina Gonzalez / Annette Jason’s mother
Source: TLC

The most significant issue in their relationship was the idea of Jason and Christine moving out of the state. Annette wasn’t ready for such a large change and couldn’t handle her grief. Luckily, the three came to a decision that would make everyone happy. Compromise has been a big part of their growing relationship.

She Disapproved of His Relationship

Shekeb and Emily had been dating for two years when the show began. They discussed moving on to the next chapter in their relationship, but there were a few major hurdles. Emily wanted Shekeb to move out of his parents’ home, but his mother, Laila, wouldn’t let him leave.

A studio portrait of Shekeb, Emily, and Laila.
Source: TLC

Laila said Emily is “not the type of girl I want my son to marry.” There are many religious and cultural differences that Laila cannot overlook. This is a common problem in traditional families, and Laila tried to set Shekeb up with another woman who came from the same background.

Worried About the Judgement

With everything going on in her relationship, Emily knew that women watching the show would call her “crazy” for dealing with Shekeb and his mom. She admitted that she was scared of all the judgment that would come her way. Emily has already received judgment from Laila.

Shekeb and Emily sit on the couch.
Source: TLC

It must be a horrible feeling to hear your boyfriend say he finds it difficult to make time for both women in his life. Emily tried to gain Laila’s acceptance, but it didn’t work. For a while, it seemed like Shekeb and Emily broke up, but they appeared on the latest season.

Crossing Boundaries

Matt and Kim had been dating for three years when I Love a Mama’s Boy started. They met on a dating app and lived with his mother, Kelly, even though it hindered their relationship. Kim said, “I feel like I’m dating Matt and his mom.”

Matt sits on the couhc between his mother and Kim.
Source: TLC

To bring some life back to the bedroom, Matt went lingerie shopping and brought his mom. He said, “I don’t think anything has ever been off limits with us.” People have thought that Matt and his mom are romantically involved, which they don’t find weird.

Vacationing Together

Although Kim prefers to spend alone time with her husband, that’s not always possible. When Kim planned a romantic vacation in New York to celebrate her birthday, Kelly invited herself and tagged along. Initially, Kim was angry about the intrusion, but she had a heart-to-heart with Kelly.

A studio portrait of Kelly, Matt and Kim.
Source: TLC

Kim assured Kelly that she didn’t want to take him away from his mom. Slowly, they settled their differences, and the couple got engaged. Although they are on a TV show, Kim and Matt keep their lives private, so their current relationship status is a mystery.

She Needed Her Approval

Stephanie’s opening line regarding her relationship with Mike summed things up perfectly: “Everything about our relationship is perfect, except for one thing: his mom.” Mike told his mother, Liz, that he was being torn in two directions. His mother said it was a competition between her and Stephanie.

A selfie of Liz, Matt and Stephanie.
Source: Twitter

In order to make their relationship last, Stephanie knew she needed Liz’s approval. She believed Liz had to like her before Mike would think about proposing. Stephanie has had doubts about her future with Mike because he needed to put her first instead of his mother.

They Left the Show

When Season 2 aired, the only couple that didn’t return was Jason and Justina. The rest of the returning couples were still together, but they still had plenty of problems. Fans quickly took to Instagram to find out what Jason and Justina were up to.

Jason and Justina are at a pumkin patch with their daughter.
Source: Facebook

Jason and Justina are doing just fine. They are happily engaged and regularly post pictures together with their daughter. Justina has even become close with Jason’s mom. We guess she had to give in at some point to make her relationship with Jason work.

From TikTok to TV

Tracy and Bryan were the newest couple on Season 2. I Love a Mama’s Boy held a casting call looking for people dating, engaged, married, or expecting a baby with a mama’s boy. However, Tracy and Bryan got cast on the show after a video she posted went viral.

Bryan and his mother share a moment while Tracy sits on the side.
Source: TLC

Tracy’s video was her reacting to a video a man posted about men who don’t put effort into their relationships and expect their wives to do all the work. Her video gained over 370,000 likes. The producers saw it and believed she was dating a mama’s boy.

Some Believe It’s Fake

While many viewers happily tune into the show for all the drama, whether real or not, some viewers are skeptical about the show’s authenticity. They may enjoy the show, but there are theories that some couples are fake or make up drama for the cameras.

A still from I Love A Mama’s Boy.
Source: TLC

Fans have theorized that I Love a Mama’s Boy is scripted because Shekeb was an actor with a list of film and TV credits. Most of his Instagram is work photos, so it’s easy to see how people would think that, and he wasn’t the only one who was thought to be an actor.

They Were Called Fake

Shortly after Matt and Kim got engaged, they faced rumors accusing them of being actors for the show. Kim took to social media to shoot down the accusations. They are very private, and Matt keeps his social media private. Meanwhile, Kim shares photos of their life.

Matt and Kim ar getting engaged.
Source: TLC

Kim posted a photo with her soon-to-be mother-in-law in March 2021, showing she and Matt were still together. However, as Season 3 approached, fans speculated about their relationship status. And many were shocked to find out the truth about these two.

She Tried to Ruin His Engagement

Although the show’s premise is how overbearing moms can be, it’s still shocking to watch how far mothers will go to interfere in their sons’ relationships. When Mike was ready to propose to Steph, his mom, Liz, told him not to.

Stephanie and Mike talk to Liz.
Source: TLC

She also threw out flowers Steph received for her birthday, leading to a fight between the women. Interestingly, being on the show has helped Steph and Liz fix some of their issues. Liz said, “I hope my relationship with Stephanie continues to grow so I can love her like I love Michael.”

Healthy or Unhealthy?

I Love a Mama’s Boy might make for great entertainment, but most people probably wouldn’t want to get involved with a mama’s boy. The relationships seem toxic but are they as horrible as they seem on TV? An intensive mother can be detrimental to a man’s romantic relationships.

Matt is doing a secret handshake with his mother.
Source: TLC

It doesn’t mean a relationship with a mama’s boy is inevitably doomed, but there have to be clear boundaries to create a balance between a man’s relationship with his mom and his partner. It doesn’t have to get to a point where someone’s mother ruins their relationship.

They Broke Up

Following a dramatic breakup, Matt returned to the show without Kim. Instead, he started dating Brittany, who is now forced to juggle her romantic relationship with Matt and his relationship with his mom. However, Brittany was different from Kim because she could stand up to Kelly.

Brittany in a still from the show.
Source: TLC

Producers said, “She’s a firecracker who stands up for herself and holds her own against Kelly’s incessant and increasingly outrageous hazing.” Maybe Brittany will be better equipped to deal with Kelly trying to interfere in her relationship with Matt than Kim was.

They Aren’t Done

In an episode from Season 3, Matt and Brittany are seen fighting in a park because she was convinced that he cheated during their relationship. Brittany explained that she and her coworker went to lunch with Matt to “interrogate” him about his alleged infidelity.

Matt and Brittany.
Source: TLC

The discussion got heated when Matt claimed the couple was never exclusive in his mind. Brittany wasn’t happy with that information. The two continued to argue, and Matt threatened to call the police on Brittany because she wouldn’t get out of his face.

She Wants the Truth

Brittany was angry because she wanted Matt to “put on his big boy pants” and confirm that he cheated. However, she probably won’t get that satisfaction because Matt claims they were never an official couple, even though he openly called her his girlfriend.

Beittany sits at a park bench.
Source: TLC

She felt he was acting like a child because he didn’t want to admit his mistakes. Matt made their argument worse because he said his mom and friends were right about Brittany. He was clearly trying to change the narrative to look better.

His Mom Went Too Far

During the season, Matt’s mom, Kelly, went to great lengths to interfere in his new relationship with Brittany. Kelly pulled a shrub out of the ground with her ATV to have a direct view of Matt’s home when he was having his first sleepover with Brittany.

Matt is being manipulated by his mother.
Source: TLC

If that wasn’t weird enough, Kelly also made a surprise visit to Brittany’s job to interrogate her. This behavior is not surprising considering what Kelly did to Matt’s previous relationship. His mom would do anything to interfere in his love life.

He Blocked Her

Following his lunch with Brittany and her coworker, Matt blocked Brittany on social media. It made her more suspicious about his alleged infidelity. He was annoyed that Brittany brought someone with her to what he thought would be a private lunch.

A selfie of Matt and his mother.
Source: Facebook

He felt betrayed by Brittany, so he blocked her and her number. Matt told the producers, “I think there’s nothing more to pursue with her.” He then told his mom about the lunch with Brittany and admitted that he lied about not seeing someone else.

He Really Loves His Mom

Season 3 introduced a few new couples to the mix, including Leyna, Ethan, and his mom Esther. Ethan seems to be more into his mom than Leyna because he said Esther is “hot and sexy.” It’s clear why Leyna isn’t happy about the suspiciously close relationship between Ethan and Esther.

Leyna and Ethan are sitting on the couch.
Source: TLC

Leyna occasionally feels jealous of their relationship, even though she and Ethan are getting married. However, things in their relationship are uncomfortable because Esther wants to attend Leyna’s bachelorette party. Esther had been too involved in the wedding preparations.

Getting Cold Feet

Although Leyna and Ethan are supposed to get married, she seems to be getting cold feet. While looking for wedding dresses with her mom, Leyna voiced concerns about Ethan and Esther’s relationship. She cried because she felt like Esther and Ethan had crossed the line.

Leyna talks about her concerns to the camera.
Source: TLC

Leyna wants Ethan to change because she doesn’t want to commit to him if the relationship with his mom stays the same. Leyna told her mother she is embarrassed by Ethan and Esther and doesn’t want her family to hear about them.

That’s Just Creepy

Leyna decided to talk to Ethan about her concerns, but the conversation didn’t go as she expected. She told him she didn’t like the way he flirts with his mom. Leyna said, “You’re all over her. I just want you to tone down the sexual conversations and language.”

Ethan is slow dancing with his mother.
Source: TLC

Instead of listening to his fiance, Ethan defended his relationship with his mom. He said, “Is my mom sexy? Yes. Would I have sex with her? No.” Leyna was disturbed that Ethan would even think about that. It is also frustrating because Ethan compliments his mom more than her.

He Didn’t Listen

Although Leyna spoke to Ethan about her frustrations, he didn’t take what she said seriously. During a pool party, Ethan and Esther fed each other strawberries, and she held him like a baby in the pool. Leyna thought it was disturbing the way they were acting.

A studio portrait of Ethan, Ester and Leyna.
Source: TLC

Leyna said, “I’m frustrated that Ethan and Esther are flirting in front of my friends after I specifically asked them not to.” She felt disrespected that her fiance didn’t care about her concerns. It made her reconsider their upcoming wedding.

A 30-Year-Old Baby

Another new couple in Season 3 is Tre, Abby, and his mom Lorenda. She still considers Tre her baby and the apple of her eye even though he is 30 years old. Meanwhile, Abby complains because Lorenda practically lives with them.

Abby and Tre sit on the couch.
Source: TLC

Abby told Tre that he needed to make changes if he wanted their relationship to work. She told him his relationship with his mom is “toxic.” It’s definitely not natural, and Tre doesn’t do anything to stop it. Tre also said no woman would ever come before his mom, so they might not last long.

He Relies on Her Too Much

Kristy, Roberto, and his mom Nancy joined the Season 3 cast. Roberto is a boxer who relies on his mom for everything; she even ties his shoes. Nancy cooked for Roberto and treated him like a child but never gave Kristy a chance to be a good wife to her husband.

A studio portrait of Kristy, Roberto, and Nancy.
Source: TLC

During one of their arguments, Kristy told Roberto he should have married his mother. Nancy then said Roberto should never have married Kristy. He and Kristy might be married with two children, but his mother doesn’t seem to understand.

Fans Want Him on the Show

If you have been watching TLC for a while, you have heard of 90-Day Fiancé. Colt Johnson is one of the well-known cast members whose meddling mom caused issues in his relationship. Screen Rant crowned him “the ultimate mama’s boy” on 90-Day Fiancé.

Colt Johnson cuddules his mother on the couch.
Source: TLC

Many people would love to see Colt and his mom, Debbie, bring their co-dependent relationship to I Love a Mama’s Boy. Fans are hoping to see these TLC shows intersect. The show’s premise was seemingly inspired by Debbie, who scared off Colt’s ex, Larissa.

She Caused Their Split

Many feel Johnson should be on the show because his mom caused another one of his relationships to fail. He was dating Vanessa Guerra, and the two broke up in January 2022. The couple lived with his mom while they were dating and blamed his mother for their split.

A photo of Colt’s mother Debbie.
Source: TLC

They were married less than a year, making this his second failed marriage because of Debbie. Guerra was pregnant, and she questioned raising a child in their home. It caused a lot of stress in their relationship, but Johnson didn’t ask his mom to move out.

The Perfect Candidate

Many think Johnson would be the perfect addition to I Love a Mama’s Boy because Debbie is so involved in his relationships. He doesn’t know how to stand up to her and refuses to ask Debbie to move out of his home.

Colt talks to his mother at home.
Source: TLC

He may never find love if she keeps meddling in his love life. Johnson and his mom have a very co-dependent relationship, which has ruined his relationship. Guerra said she would only consider reconciling if Johnson’s mom gave them space. However, that doesn’t seem possible.