Mother Enmeshed Men: Did A Man’s Father Play A Part In Why He Was Unable To Emotionally Separate From His Mother?
If a man is in a position where he is focused on his mother’s needs and does what he can to please her, it is likely to show that he is emotionally entangled with her. This will mean that although he is physically separate from her, he won’t be emotionally separate from her.
At an emotional level, then, he won’t know the difference between his needs and his mother’s needs, or where he begins and ends or where his mother begins and ends. As a result of this, his survival will be attached to his mother.
If there were special goggles that could pick up what is taking place at an emotional level, they would show that his emotional self is caught up in his mother’s emotional self. At this level, there will be no difference between them.
To go even further, there could be strings or waves of energy going from him to his mother. Most of the man’s life force will be going to his mother and this will drain him of what he needs to live a fulfilling life.
One way to see his mother would be to say that she is an energy vampire. She won’t have access to much of her own life force, which is why she will need to use most, if not all, of her sons.
Most likely, this is something that will take place unconsciously, meaning that she won’t be aware of how destructive her behaviour is. Deep down, she could believe that her son’s purpose is to be there for her and that she is entitled to his support.
Due to the fact that he won’t have a sense of himself as being an individual, being there for his mother will feel comfortable. He could believe that this is the right thing for him to do.
So, even though he will be neglecting himself and his own life, this won’t be something that stands out. Still, this is not to say that he won’t get frustrated and angry from time to time, but, he could typically deny how he feels.
Ignoring himself and focusing on his mother won’t be serving him but he will seldom allow himself to acknowledge what is going on. If he does connect to himself, he could soon end up feeling guilty and getting anxious and fearful.
It will be as if he has opened up Pandora’s Box and he will do what he can to close it again; to disconnect from himself. Thus, this moment of inner awareness will soon be over, with him going back to focusing on his mother's needs.
The Same Old Story
How he behaves as an adult is likely to be a continuation of how he had to behave during his early years. This was probably a stage of his life when his mother used him to fulfil some of her unmet adult and childhood needs.
There is a strong chance that she was in an undeveloped state - and still is - and this is why she unconsciously saw her son as an extension of herself. Instead of seeing him as an adult, thanks to a defence mechanism known as transference, she would have seen him as a parental figure.
His physical needs and perhaps some of his emotional needs were met, hence why he is still alive, but he wouldn’t have received what he needed to develop a strong sense of self and to start the individuation process. This is why he will look like an adult but he will feel like a child deep down.
He will have been enmeshed to his mother when he was born, and, as he didn’t receive the nutrients that he needed to receive to grow and develop, he will have stayed in this state. Thus, he hasn’t just become “enmeshed” to his mother during his adult years; he has always been this way.
It would be easy to focus purely on the part that his mother played when it comes to how he experiences life but this would overlook the part that his father played. His father might not have been around at this stage of his life, and if he was, he probably wasn’t emotionally available.
Assuming that he was around but wasn’t emotionally available – present - it would have meant that he wasn’t there to bring him out of his mother's world and to give him the support and guidance that he needed to start the individuation process. His aggression/fight instinct, a key part of what would have given him the drive to separate and to live his own life, would have been disowned thanks to his need to please his mother and the trauma that he experienced.
Furthermore, his father may have acted as though he was an extension of his mother and done what he could to please her. Indirectly, his father would have further enforced the view that his purpose was to please his mother.
She wouldn’t have been the centre of the universe but she would have been the centre of his and his father’s world. To top it off, if he didn’t do what his mother wanted, his father may have threatened to harm him or he may have harmed him.
Nowhere to Turn
Instead of protecting and standing up for his son, he would have been more like his mother's enforcer. This is likely to illustrate that his father was out of touch with his own power and lacked the ability to assert himself.
Both parents wouldn’t have made it clear that neither his needs nor his self was bad and that he was here to live his own life. He was let down by two people who were undeveloped and out of touch with their true self.
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 25 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.