It would be easy to say that if a man is enmeshed with his mother, it means that he will be a certain way. However, in the same way, that not everyone with depression will have the same experience, neither will a man who is in this position.
At the same time, all men who are in this position can still have a number of things in common. For one thing, their sole focus is likely to be their mother and doing what they can to meet her needs.
As a result of being this way, they are going to ignore most, if not all, of their own needs and their own life is going to be overlooked. Although behaving in this way is not serving them, it will most likely be what feels comfortable.
Their mothers might not even acknowledge the fact that they have needs, let alone encourage them to take care of them. They will then expect their sons to be there for them and feel entitled to their care.
A man in this position might not be aware of most of his needs and feelings, with him being totally estranged from his body. This will mean that he will primarily live “up top”, in his head.
Living in this way will make it easy for him to tune into other people’s needs, feelings and wants, but difficult for him to tune into how own needs, feelings and wants. What is taking place within him will typically be a mystery.
Then again, a man in this position could be aware of his needs, feelings and wants but that could be about as far as it will go. So, even though he will have the ability to tune into himself, he might rarely feel comfortable taking the next step.
Somehow, he will have been able to develop a connection with himself and this will mean that he is not completely estranged from his true self. Unlike the man above, when he is focused on his mother's needs, he may be consciously aware of the fact that he is not behaving in the right way.
He might have a job that is not very fulfilling and doesn’t challenge him, or he could even have a “successful” career. If the former relates to him, it will be clear that his life force is not being directed towards his own life.
Yet, if the latter relates to him, he can appear to be focusing on his own life and not be caught up with his mother. Behind his success and the image that he presents to the world, though, is likely to be a man who is doing something that he doesn’t truly enjoy and is exhausted.
He could be in a relationship or he might not have been able to get this far and only have had casual encounters. If he is in a relationship, it is likely to be a challenge for him to fully show up around his partner.
Additionally, due to how much he does for his mother, he might not have a lot of time for his partner. This will be another part of his life that is being deprived of the energy that it needs to be fulfilling.
A Big Loss
Taking into account how focused he is on his mother and how she is essentially the centre of his world, it is naturally going to be difficult for him when his mother passes on. After this has taken place, he could end up experiencing a deep sense of loss and despair.
It can be as if his reason for living has been taken away from him and he no longer has a purpose. Should this take place, he could fall into a very deep depression and he could lose interest in just about everything.
There will be the loss that he experiences that relates to his mothers passing and there is likely to be the unresolved losses that have been triggered from his childhood. This is why it will be so intense.
Not only will he have lost his mother but he may also have come into contact with the childhood needs that were not met and will never be met. Both his adult and child self will be in a lot of pain.
When he doesn’t shut down to handle the pain that he is in and experiences a deep sense of loss, he could also feel abandoned. Like a boy that has been left by his mother, he can feel disconnected, alone and as though he is going to die.
As old trauma will have been triggered, it will make the loss of his mother far harder than it would be otherwise. His mother wouldn’t have truly been there for him during his developmental years, due to using him to fulfil her adult and unmet childhood needs, and now she will have gone for good.
A lot To Handle
If he had received what he needed to be able to emotionally separate from his mother, he would probably experience loss in a very different way. But as he didn’t emotionally separate from her and lose her very early on, he wouldn’t have developed the ability to grieve a loss and gradually move forward.
Therefore, how he experiences a loss will be very similar to what is like for a child who is left and hasn’t got the capacity to handle their feelings. It will be deeply painful and being overwhelmed or shutting down can be seen as the only options that are available to him.
If a man has recently lost his mother and he is not in a good way, 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.