One of the things that can soon stand out, when it comes to a man whose whole life practically revolves around his mother, is that he acts as though he is purely an extension of her. As opposed to being a separate from her, then, he will be a part of her that is not physically attached to her.
This is going to mean that he won’t have a clear sense of where he begins and ends or where his mother begins and ends. As a result of this, it is to be expected that she will be the centre of his world and he will do what he can to take care of her needs and wants.
So, it might not matter if he is doing something that is important, as he could soon be there for his mother if she wants him to do something for her. This may mean that he often leaves work and goes to her rescue.
In general, though, this could mean that when he is not working, he is often doing things for her. He might rarely even think about if he is able to be there for her and could typically just go along with it.
As for his mother, it might seldom occur to her that he has his own life to lead and is unable to always be there for her. Therefore, if he was to say that he is busy and is unable to be there, for instance, she could end up doing what she can to change his mind.
This could take place by doing what she can to make him feel guilty and responsible for her. What this will most likely illustrate is that his mother believes that he is her possession and that she is entitled to his time, attention and resources.
The Other Side
If he was to stand his ground, he is going to come up against a lot of resistance. He could soon be filled with guilt and shame and feel anxious and fearful, which could take away his need to be there for himself.
Due to the experiences that he has had with her when it comes to asserting himself, how he feels when he merely thinks about doing so could stop him from taking the next step. As painful as it will be for him to ignore himself, not doing so will be seen as being even worse.
If he ever gets to the point where he can’t take any more, he could end up disappearing somewhere. This could be a time when he will go away for a few weeks or simply go on a short trip.
When this happens, he could turn his phone off and go off the grid, so to speak. This can be a time when he will feel more at ease but, before long, he could soon experience a fair amount of guilt and shame and feel fearful and anxious and and end up getting back in touch with his mother.
When he does get back in touch with his mother, it could be as though he has committed a crime. She could accuse him of abandoning her and say that he always needs to let her know if he goes away.
Ultimately, she will want him to be like an emergency service; someone who is always available to talk, if not always available to be there for her in person. She won’t be able to comprehend that there will be moments when he is too busy or simply doesn’t want to talk to her.
If he does get in touch with how he feels about his life and how he does so much for his mother, he could feel hopeless and helpless. He could believe that there is very little that he can do and that he just needs to put up with what is going on.
It is then likely for him to spend a lot of time feeling very low and depressed. His life is going to be anything but fulfilling and it could be seen as a burden, not a blessing.
In other words, he will spend a lot of time in a shut down state when he is by himself and this is likely to be how he typically is around his mother. When he is like this around her, be won’t be connected to his needs and feelings; he will be connected to his mother’s needs and feelings.
What is clear is that living in this way is not serving him and the sooner he changes his life, the better off he will be. If he was able to step back and reflect on his life, he could wonder why he is behaving in a way that is harming him.
His early years are likely to have been a time when he was deprived of the nutrients that he needed in order to grow and develop in the right way. The reason for this is that his mother may have used him to meet some of her adult and unmet childhood needs.
He would then have been boundaryless and underdeveloped when he was born, and, as he missed out on the right care, he would have stayed this way. Throughout this stage of his life, he is likely to have regularly been punished and disapproved of and rejected and abandoned.
A Big Risk
Expressing his needs and wants would have been a threat to his survival and he would have had to automatically disconnect from himself. His true self would have gone into hiding and he would have developed a false self.
Many, many years will have passed since he was a powerless and dependent child, but he will carry most if not all of the pain and arousal that he experienced all those years ago. When it comes to him expressing himself, some of the pain inside him will end up being unlocked and he will feel a strong compulsion to be there for his mother as he won’t know at an emotional level that this stage of his life is over and his survival is no longer dependent on 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 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.