Nowadays, it is not uncommon for a man to have been brought up without a father. Or, even if his father was around when he was growing up, he might not have been emotionally available.
Therefore, a man may have had his father around during the beginning of his life, but that doesn’t mean that he made much of a difference. In this case, a man could look back on his early years and believe that everything was fine.
A Different View
However, if a man grew up without a father, he could look back on this time in his life and see that that there were problems. His father won’t have been around and this will stand out.
At the same time, he could just be in a bad way and rarely think about the effect that his early years had on him. This can cause him to suffer and it can mean that some of the people he comes into contact with will suffer, too.
Now, there is always the chance that a man like this had other male figures around when he was growing up, with this offsetting the damage. The guidance that he didn’t from his father would then have been provided by other men.
For example, he might have had at least one grandfather around, who played a big role in his life. Through having someone like this around, he could come across as a well-adjusted adult.
A Grey Area
What this shows is that this is not something that is black and white; if it was, it would be extremely easy to understand why men behave the way they do. It would all go back to what did or didn’t happen when they were growing up.
And no matter what took place when a man was growing up and the effect that this has had on him, it is going to be vital for him to reach out for the right assistance. Ultimately, the pain that he went through doesn’t give him permission to punish other people.
Something that can define whether or not a man is able to maintain his sense of self around a woman and to have fulfilling relationship with one, is if his father was around when he was growing up. What this comes down to is that if his father wasn’t around, his mother may have ended up getting too close to him – this can also take place if his father was emotionally unavailable.
He would have then have been used as a surrogate husband/spouse, someone who had to fill his mother’s needs and to please her, and this would have stopped him from being able to develop a strong sense of self and to individuate. Getting close to a woman as an adult can trigger how he felt around his mother; smothered, trapped and powerless, amongst other things.
A Ladies Man
So, if he does get into a relationship with a woman, it is not going to possible for him to completely commit to her. His heart will be closed and this is because he will be emotionally entangled to his mother.
As a result of this, the man may prefer to simply sleep around with a number of different women. On one hand, he won’t have to get too close to them and this will stop him from losing himself (feeling smothered) and, on the other, being with lots of different women can allow him to receive positive feedback from men.
Another benefit here is that having control over these women can be a form of indirect revenge; a way for him to get his own back at his mother for controlling him and for his father not being around. The reason for the second part is that he can also believe that this mother is to blame for his father not being around.
When it comes to his need for positive feedback from other men, this will compensate for the fact that his father wasn’t there to build him up. Having sex with women is then just going to be a means to an end.
He could then be a man who will come across as strong and as though he has it altogether, but this is likely to be nothing more than an illusion. The mask that he wears will stop him from having to connect to the wounded little boy that is within him.
Due to the pain that he experienced as a child, he might spend a lot of time being disconnected from his emotions. It is then not that he is emotionally centred; he is emotionally numb.
Yet, if a man doesn’t take this route and prefers to have relationships with women (even though he can’t commit), he could come across as though he can’t control how he feels. It can then seem as though he is all at sea and unable to manage his emotions.
If his father had been around, he may have given him the guidance that he needed to develop self-control, take action, and emphasised how important it was for him to take responsibility for his own behaviour and emotions. Having said that, his mother would have had a big effect on whether or not he can handle how he feels.
As he lacks a strong self of self, it can be normal for him to do what he can to please women, as well as men. Both men and women can then find it hard to respect him, and he may find that he is used to being walked over.
The man, who is generally out of touch with how he feels, is going to have a strong need to please other men. At a deeper level, both of these men can believe that they are completely worthless and not good enough, with this being seen as the reason why their father left them.
The reason their father left them wouldn’t have had anything to do with them; it would have been the result of what was going on for their father. This means that they are not worthless and they are good enough.
If a man can relate to this, and he wants to heal his wounds, he may need to reach out for external support. This can be provided by the assistance of a therapist or a healer.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.