If someone is in touch with their own needs and does what they can to fulfil them, it will probably be hard for them to comprehend why a man would be so focused on his mother and her needs. To them, it will be clear that he is neglecting his own needs and living a very watered down life as a result.
Nevertheless, if they were to point this out to him, it doesn’t mean that the message would get through. Instead, he could end up dismissing what they say and even accuse them of something.
If this takes place, it will be clear that he is not willing to face what is going on. It won’t matter that how he is living is not truly serving him, as, at this stage of his life, he won’t be ready to change.
Still, this doesn’t mean that how he is behaving won’t be having a negative effect on him. It is certainly going to have a destructive effect on him but he will do his best to stop himself from realising this.
He is likely to have a number of defences in place that will stop him from seeing what is going on. These defences will allow him to avoid the thoughts, feelings and sensations, along with the external feedback that would shed light on what is going on.
Now, this doesn’t mean that he will be consciously choosing to block this feedback out as it will most likely be something that takes place just outside of his awareness. Thanks to how strong this need is, something significant will probably need to take place for him to “wake up”.
Business as Usual
Until this takes place, he will continue to behave in the same way; a way that will be doing him more harm than good. At this point, it can seem as though he is not getting anything from this and that he is suffering for no reason.
However, as bad as his life is likely to be, deep down he can believe that it would be even worse if he stopped behaving in this way. This is because if he was to draw the line and stopped focusing on his mother, he is likely to come into contact with a lot of pain.
What this means is that focusing on his mother will be a way for him to avoid his own pain; it is then not that he is selfless and has no needs. Another part of this is that part of him will believe that if he is there for his mother, he will finally receive what he missed out on as a child.
Nonetheless, the fact is that this stage of his life is now over and it is not possible for him to fulfil his unmet childhood needs. This is not something that even a small part of him will want to accept, hence why he will constantly be looking for what he missed out on as a child.
A Bad Way
From the outside, then, he will look like a man but, on the inside, he won’t feel like a strong and capable adult. At an emotional level, he is likely to feel like a powerless and dependent child.
As most of his developmental needs were not met during his early years, it wouldn’t have been possible for him to grow and develop. He simply would have stayed in a stunted state and been loaded up with pain.
Back In Time
The reason why most of these needs were not met is likely due to his mother having used him to meet some of her adult and unmet childhood needs. This would have prevented him from going through each developmental stage and caused his true self to go into hiding.
To survive this brutal stage of his life, he would have had to focus on his mother and create a false self. The option available to him, when it came to dealing with his pain, would have been repression.
An Endless Replay
Facing this pain would have been too much for him to handle, so it had to be pushed out of his awareness. Being there for his mother and trying to get her to meet his needs as a child would have been another way for him to avoid this pain and the reality of what was going on.
Now that he is an adult, he will have the same approach. But, just as being there for his mother as a child didn’t allow him to fulfil his needs, being there for her as an adult won’t allow him to fulfil these needs either.
Facing the Pain
The child part of him will be looking for what it missed out on to avoid having to face up to the pain that would be experienced if it was acknowledged that this stage of its life is over. It would be too much for this part of him to handle.
The issue, of course, is that unless he starts to face and work through this pain, his life won’t change; he will continue to neglect himself. This is where external support comes in as someone else will be able to hold the space for him so that he can go where he wouldn’t go by himself.
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.