If a man is in a position where he spends a lot of time doing things for his mother and neglects himself in the process, it could be said that this illustrates that he has a strong need to please her. After all, she is going to be the person who he is doing so much for.
Based on this, if he no longer had such a strong need to please her, there would be no reason for him to behave in this way. It would then be normal for him to be there for himself and to be there for his mother if and when he wanted to be there for her.
The outcome of this is that he would be able to act like an individual as opposed to an extension of his mother. This would allow him to make the most of his time and energy and live a life that is worth living.
As things stand, a lot of his time and energy will be directed towards his mother, which will naturally undermine him and his ability to live a fulfilling life. From the outside, if not the inside (as he might not be aware of what is going on), it will be clear that he needs to draw the line with his mother.
Now, assuming that he has a friend who can see what is going on and wants to support him so that can change his life, they could say that he needs to stand up for himself. Moreover, they could say that the sooner he does this the sooner his life will change.
As this friend is not caught up in what is going on, they will be able to see clearly. One way of looking at this would be to say that he is fortunate that he has someone in his life that cares about him.
Part of Him
However, although it would be easy to say that he just happens to have a friend who is able to see this, there is likely to be more to it. There is a strong chance that this friend is an externalisation of a part of himself.
Therefore, this friend and what they say to him will be a reflection of part of his own consciousness. But, as there are other, stronger parts of him that have perhaps snuffed out this part of him, he is unable to hear, let alone heed, the advice that it has to give him.
The Next Step
If, after hearing this advice, he started to think about what was said and even thought about asserting himself, he could experience a fair amount of resistance. It could be as though he is putting his life at risk by standing up for himself and doing what is best for him.
What this is likely to show is that although he is an adult, there is a part of him that doesn’t feel like an adult and sees his mother as being essential to its survival. At this point, he might struggle to understand why he would feel this way.
Frozen In Time
This is likely to show that his emotional self is frozen in time, due to him being deprived of what he needed during his formative years, and this is why this part of him can’t accept that he can survive without her. To this part of him, he will still be a powerless and dependent child, or younger.
With this in mind, it will start to make sense as to why he can’t just change his behaviour. If this wasn’t taking place at an emotional level and it was just a case of him changing his behaviour, it would be different.
A Time of Patience
A big part of what will allow him to mature the underdeveloped frozen parts and become more integrated will be for him to face how he feels. This will involve facing the pain and expressing the unmet development needs that had to be repressed.
This is something that will take time but, providing he sticks with it, he will gradually become more emotionally mature. Trying to rush or force this process won’t serve him, though, it will probably cause what is going on to last even longer.
A Key Part
What this comes down to is that what is resisted is what will persist. So, if he has a strong need for his life to change, he will need to keep this in mind or he will end up getting in his own way.
Another thing that he could find is that being there for his mother is also a way for him to please his father. In this case, changing his behaviour will be seen as something that will put his very survival at risk and cause him to lose his father’s love.
Throughout his early years, his father may have acted as though he was an extension of his son’s mother. He would then have done what he could to please her and made sure that his son behaved in the same way.
Taking this into account, being there for his mother was a way for him to try to be loved by her and his father. Yet, neither his mother nor his father was truly able to love him; they could only ‘love’ the version of him that met their needs and did what they wanted.
The outcome of this is that he would have lost touch with his true self, and his needs, and the pain of not having them met, would have ended up being repressed. Many, many years will have passed, and it won’t even matter if his father is no longer alive as his father will live inside him, yet he will still be looking for the love that he missed out on.
But, as he missed out on this love all those years ago, it is going to be too late for him to receive it now. For him to accept that he will never be loved by both of his parents, he will have to face and work through the pain and unmet development needs inside him.
If a man can relate to this and he is ready to change his life, he may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided with the assistance of a therapist or healer.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, 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.