If only I could travel back in time and slap myself on the back of the head. How much time it would have saved me. The moment I thought, “Wow, you were pretty harsh with your mother” should have been the moment I left. My youthful excuses (she must have been mean to him when he was a child, someone slipped some jalapeños into his Wheaties) ran out.
The problem was not only real, but consequential to me. This man had no respect for his mother, a benign woman who would smile at his abuse and admonish him by saying, “I know you love me.” The problem was, I didn’t know it and I worried that I would always question if he loved me, given how he acted with her.
In my experience, the old adage is true: you can make some judgements on a man’s regard for women by the way he treats his mother. Of course, this assumption is relevant as long as the man’s mother is not La Llorona, he wasn’t raised by wolves and some parental figure made a valiant attempt to instill in him respect and honor for a good mother. If he was raised with the goal of producing a dignified human and yet still acts like a malcreado in one of the longest lasting and important relationships he will have, then, ladies, you’ve got a dud on your hands.
Some considerations for those who choose to stay because you are the only one who really gets him:
Don’t expect that he will continue his dulce de leche tones with you. If he barks at his mother to get him more food, eventually you are the one who will be tasting jalapeños in every comment he makes. Don’t expect to have a hot dinner waiting for you after a long day at work, either. If this man is not quick to make sure his mother sits at table while he gets her whatever she needs, he will be little interested in your comfort.
Don’t worry that you might be deprived of the joy of single parenthood. For if while you’re busy getting him, you end up having children together, you will, no doubt, recognize the folly of having the malcreado model parenting behavior. You will take on the mantel of raising the offspring alone even if their father is still in the picture. You don’t want to be treated the way he treats his mother, right? And don’t be anxious about having to bear the burden of being a valued voice in the relationship. If he snaps at his mother and interrupts her, you’re probably safe from having to participate in decision making in the relationship. Phew.
If you give all that up and walk, then find a man who speaks kindly of and to his mother, who makes you smile as you watch them together, you run the risk of finding happiness: someone who gets and respects you. Then, buen provecho.