Mother-Enmeshed Men: Does A Mother-Enmeshed Man Need To Realise That He Is Separate From His Mother?
Although a man is on this planet to live his own life, if he is emotionally entangled with his mother, this won’t take place. Instead, just about his whole life can revolve around her, with him neglecting himself in the process.
This whole scenario can make absolutely no sense whatsoever to some people and, if he is in a relationship, his partner can be totally baffled. She might not understand why a man would be this way and not feel the need to change his behaviour.
If a man is in this position, it is likely to show that he has been this way for most of his life, which is why he can’t see that he is not living as he should be. Due to this, if his partner was to point out that he is out of balance, he could end denying what she says.
What this will illustrate is that even though he is behaving in a way that is not serving him, he won’t be willing to see this. To use an analogy; it will be like someone who is cutting themselves but who denies that they are doing so.
Far More Subtle
The difference here is that the damage that the man is doing to himself is not as severe, so it can take longer for him to face up to the consequences of his actions. At this point, the man may have already been neglecting himself for thirty, forty or even fifty years.
Ergo, thanks to how long he has been behaving in this way, it is to be expected that what he is doing, as dysfunctional as it is, won’t stand out. However, there could come a point in time when he will have a breakdown or a breakup, and this could be what finally wakes him up.
If he was able to take a step back and reflect on his life, he is likely to find that he feels responsible for his mother. It could be as though it is up to him to be there for her and to take care of her.
As for his own needs, these will be secondary to his mothers needs and he might rarely be aware of them. So, as opposed to seeing his mother as a separate person, it will be as though she is part of him.
One and the Same
Physically, then, it will be clear that he is separate from his mother but emotionally, if not mentally, he won’t know this. He won’t have a clear sense of where he begins and ends and where his mother begins and ends.
Thanks to this, it will be perfectly normal for him to be there for his mother and to continue to abandon himself. Until this change’s, then, there will be no reason for his behaviour to change.
Why is this?
As he is separate from his mother, it can seem strange as to why he wouldn’t know, at the core of his being that he is not his mother and his mother is not him. To understand why he would be this way, it will be necessary to take a closer look into what is likely to have happened during his early years.
This was probably a stage of his life when most of his developmental needs were overlooked, which would have caused him to miss out on the nutrients that he needed to grow and develop. Not only this, he is likely to have also been trained to focus on his mother and to take care of her needs.
Back In Time
The reason for this is that his mother may have used him to meet some of her adult and unmet childhood needs. This would have forced him to lose touch with his true self and to create a false self that would allow him to gain his mothers approval and thus, to survive.
The outcome of this is that not only wouldn’t he have received what he needed, he would have also been trained to be there for her. This is why he will look like an individual but will behave more like an extension of his mother.
He wouldn’t have been able to move out of the symbiotic stage, into the separation phase and then into the individuation stage. This is why he won’t realise that his mother is separate from him and he is separate from his mother.
At an emotional level, as a result of missing out on what he needed, he will still be in this very early stage of his development. Consequently, his physical and mental self will have grown but the part of him that will allow him to act like an individual, his emotional self, won’t have.
Drawing the Line
A big part of what will allow this to take place will be for him to grieve his unmet childhood needs. By getting in touch with the pain that he experienced by not having his developmental needs met and crying this pain out, he will gradually be able to grow up.
This is something that will take patience and persistence as it is unlikely to take place overnight. But, if a man truly wants to change his life, he will hang in there for as long as it takes.
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, 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.