It can be hard for someone on the outside to understand why a man would be so focused on his mother. He can spend most of his life doing things for her and even if he isn’t, he can be thinking about what he can do for her.
By being this way, naturally, he is going to severely neglect himself and his own life. Most of his time and energy will be directed towards his mother, so he is not going to have a lot of either of these things for himself.
A Strange Scenario
However, although living in this way is not going to be serving him, he can be oblivious to the fact that he is living in the wrong way. If he was to hear this, he could end up dismissing what has been said.
Therefore, as opposed to being grateful for the feedback, he could end up getting defensive and criticise the other person. What is clear for another person to see will then be something that he is unable to see.
At this point, it would be easy to say that he is simply choosing to be in denial and doesn’t want to face reality. Nonetheless, it is probably more accurate to say that he simply unaware of what s going on and is not choosing to be this way.
The defences that he has in place will prevent him from being able to see clearly and, until these fall, this won’t change. What these defences will do is stop him from coming into contact with painful inner material.
Taking this into account, while being there for his mother will have a negative effect on him, at a deeper level it will be seen as something that is serving him. Until what is taking place at a deeper level changes, there will be no reason for him to change his behaviour.
If he was able to go deep inside himself, he is likely to find that he fears being abandoned by his mother if he doesn’t focus on her. This will be seen as something that will cause his life to come to an end.
The Real Reason
What this means is that even though he can create the impression that he is selfless and cares about his mother, there is not the complete truth. In reality, being there for her will be seen as the only way for him to survive.
It can seem strange as to why a grown man would believe that he needs his mother in order to survive. Now that he is an adult, he shouldn’t be this way; he should be able to stand on his own two feet.
A Closer Look
What this is likely to illustrate is that although he looks like a man, he is emotionally underdeveloped. He will then look like a man but, deep down, he will feel like an unloved and neglected boy.
To understand why he feels this way, it will be necessary to take a look at what probably took place during his early years. This is likely to have been a time when he didn’t receive the love that he needed to be able to grow and develop.
Back In Time
At this stage of his life, his mother probably used him to meet some of her adult and unmet childhood needs. If he expressed his needs, he is likely to have been punished, disapproved of and/or abandoned.
And this is likely to have taken place anyway, which means that he wouldn’t have had a mother who was predictable and consistent and, thus, provided him with the care that he needed. To survive, he had to lose touch with his own needs and to focus on his mothers needs.
A Deep Traumatic Time
He would have been mistreated and regularly abandoned, causing him to greatly suffer. When he was left, it would have felt as though he was going to die and, to handle the pain he was in, he would have had to disconnect from himself.
He wouldn’t have been developed enough to handle his feelings and no one would have been there to soothe him, so he had no other option. When his mother was around, he would have done his best to keep her around, and doing what he could to please her would have been how he did this.
The Same Scenario
Many, many years will have passed since he was powerless and totally dependent on his mother for his survival but, deep down, he will still feel and see life in the same way. Like then, he will do his best to avoid being left by his mother.
Still, what he fears has already taken place and not only this, he survived what took place. What this means is that what he fears is coming into contact with the pain that he experienced and repressed all those years ago.
For his life to change, one of the things that he will need to do is to get in touch with this pain and to work through it. This will be a time when he is embracing his unmet childhood needs and crying out the pain of not having them met.
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.