If a man’s life basically revolves around his mother and, therefore, he has the tendency to neglect his own needs, there is a good chance that he is a mother enmeshed man. He is then not going to act like an individual; he will act as though he is an extension of his mother.
If he has the need to do something, then, it will rarely be due to what is taking place inside him. In general, it will be due to what is going on outside – with this being what his mother wants him to do or what he thinks she wants him to do.
However, even though he will typically be out of touch with his own needs, he might not even realise this. It may seem as though her needs are his needs, thanks to how disconnect he is from himself.
What can also play a part here is that he will have most likely been this way for most of his life, which will mean that this will be what is normal. Ultimately, behaving in this way will be what allows him to receive approval from his mother.
The Golden Child
Still, while he will be neglecting himself and putting his own life on hold in the process, his mother could think that he is wonderful. If she has other children, these children might not receive the same amount of approval.
If his mother does see him in a very positive light, it could show that she is not even aware that he is an individual. Part of her may even believe that his sole purpose is to take care of her.
It won’t matter if this is something that goes through her mind or not, though, as her behaviour will reveal that she is unable to accept that her son is a separate being. In a way, it can be as if her son belongs to her.
Thus, not only will she have given birth to him, she will also own him. And, as she expects him to meet her needs now that he is an adult, it is highly likely that she expected him to meet her needs when he was a child.
A Little Servant
During this stage of his life, his mother would have probably looked to him to meet the needs that another adult should have met. Ergo, instead of looking towards another male figure, she would have looked towards her son.
This is not to say that anything sexual necessarily took place, but that she simply expected too much from him. Her son would have known deep down that something wasn’t right, yet he wouldn’t have been able to do anything about it.
In addition to the adult needs that another man and other adults should have met, there may have may have also been unmet childhood needs. She would then have expected her son to meet some of the needs that were not met when she was a child.
So, if she was neglected during her early years and ended up developing a fear of abandoned, for instance, her son would have been used to keep this fear at bay. Unlike another adult, her son wouldn’t have left her.
Her son would then have done a great job of fulfilling his mother’s needs during this time in his life, but he wouldn’t have received what he needed to develop properly. The years would have passed since this stage of his life, yet he will have stayed in an emotionally undeveloped state.
He won’t be wearing a suite that allows him to look like an adult; however, he will still feel like a child on the inside. Given what he went through as a child, this is to be expected.
Now, while it would be easy to only focus on the impact that his mother has had on him, what also can’t be overlooked is the impact that his father had. One reason why his mother may have expected so much from him could be because his father wasn’t around.
And, even if he was around during this time, he might not have been emotionally available. Taking this into account, his father wouldn’t have been there to make sure that his son wasn’t mistreated.
A Key Role
If the father was actually there to meet some of his partner’s needs and his sons, there would have been less chance of him being treated in this way. Furthermore, his father would have been there to pull him away from his mother and give him the support and guidance that he needed to individuate.
Without this, he stayed trapped in his mother’s world; unable to connect to himself, his masculinity and to become a separate human being. When it comes to why his father was unable to be there for him, there can be a number of reasons.
If his father wasn’t around, it could show that he was not in a good place mentally or emotionally. Perhaps he was so shutdown that he didn’t even think about what his son was going through.
If his father was around but wasn’t emotionally available, certain life experiences may have caused him to shutdown and to close his heart. As a result of this, he might have been relieved that his partner looked towards their son to fulfil her needs instead to him.
Either way, the most important thing will be for the man to reach out for the right support and to do what he needs to do to become an individual. This is something that can take place with the assistance of a therapist or a healer.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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.