Mother-Enmeshed Men: Does A Mother-Enmeshed Man Need To Reclaim His Mother Projection From His Mother?
If a man, who is overly focused on his mother, was able to take a step back and reflect on his behaviour, he might wonder what he is doing. It could be only too clear that behaving in this way is not serving him.
But, although this will be an important stage in what will allow him to live his own life, it doesn’t mean that he will just be able to draw the line with his mother. He could find that he still has the need to be there for her.
At this point, he could believe that she is in control of him and needs her permission in order to live his own life. This shows that he won’t have a sense of personal power or know that he is not responsible for his mother.
As things stand, then, his life will be in his mother’s hands and he will be waiting for her to liberate him. However, when he is around his mother, he might swallow his words and not express his needs.
No Way Through
And, even if this is not the case, he may find that his mother doesn’t listen to what he has to say. Therefore, he will be waiting for someone that can’t acknowledge his existence to give him the all-clear before he can live his own life.
Thanks to this, he can feel deeply frustrated and angry, along with feeling hopeless and helpless. His life will then continue to pass but there will be very little that he can do.
A Strange Scenario
Now, as he is not a man and not a boy, it can seem strange as to why he would be experiencing life in this way. He should realise that he doesn’t need his mother’s permission and that his life is in his hands.
Yet, as he doesn’t realise this it shows that something is not right. Based on how he experiences life, it is likely to show that he is in an emotionally underdeveloped state and this is largely why he is not in his power.
In all likelihood, he missed out on the emotional nutrients that he needed during his formative years. Throughout this stage of his life, his mother is likely to have used him to meet some of her adult and unmet developmental needs.
If so, it wouldn’t have been possible for her to see him as an individual who had his own needs and feelings. Instead, he would have been seen as an extension of her and was then there to serve her.
To handle this, he would have had to lose touch with a number of his needs and feelings and created a false self. The purpose of this false self would have been to please his mother and, thus, ensure his own survival.
Many, many years will have passed since he was a boy, of course, but he will still be doing what he can to please her. Not only will his survival still be attached to her but he will still be trying to receive the love that he missed out on all those years ago.
What this illustrates is that even though he lost touch with these needs, they will have continued to influence him. Deep down, then, even though he will now be a man and his mother will be a lot older, he will continue to see her as someone who can finally give him the love that he missed out on all those years ago.
Nonetheless, what is clear is that if she was unable to love him all those years ago, she is unlikely to be able to love him now. But, even if she could love him now, he is no longer a boy, so it is too late for him to fulfil his unmet developmental needs.
An Important Step
For him to no longer look toward someone to give him what they are unable to give him, he will need to take back the mother that he is projecting into this mother. On the one hand, his mother will be his biological mother but, on another level, she won’t have acted like a mother as she wouldn’t have provided him with the nutrients that he needed to experience an emotional birth.
If she had been, along with having an available father, he would no longer project the mother that he needed onto her and would be living his own life. To no longer project the mother that he needed onto his mother, he is likely to have a lot of pain to work through.
As he faces and works through his pain and experiences his unmet developmental needs, he will gradually phase out his need for a mother. What this will then do is make it easier for him to see his mother as she is, not as he wants her to be and this will lessen his compulsion to be there for her.
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.