For many years, men have been seen as being one way and women as being another way. And part of this related to men being the ones who were independent and the women as being dependent. So a man would be an example of the masculine on the outside and on the inside and a women’s outer femininity would be matched by her inner femininity.
However, times have changed and although outer appearances have more or less stayed the same, what is going on internally has radically shifted. Men are often more dependent and women are more independent. This has resulted in what would be described as a role reversal and a shift of power in many instances.
Women are now in higher positions than they have been before and have the kind of status that was only available to men for many years. Another big difference is how men and women now relate in their everyday relationships and in intimate relationships
There would have been women before who were not submissive and who took the lead in their relationships. But this is likely to have been less common than it is today. Men have become a lot more feminized than they were before; both internally and externally.
And while some women appreciate having more power and having a relationship that is more equally balanced, they are often left feeling frustrated and as though something is not right.
While they may appreciate how things have changed, some women still want a man to take the lead and to do all the things that make them feel like a woman.
A common challenge that arises for a woman is when a man is not completely available to have a relationship. He could be there in person and yet when it comes to being there emotionally, he is nowhere to be found.
This could be because he is still close to his mother, but it doesn’t have to be. It could be that his mother still lives inside of him and this dictates how available he will allow himself to be with another woman.
One might wonder what their mother has got to do with it and this is understandable. And the reason she is so important is because she is the first person that they are likely to form an attachment with.
So if they form a strong attachment to her and then break away in order to complete their psychological birth, there might not be too many problems. He should grow into man that is able to commit to another woman.
But if this separation is not able take place, a man can end up being enmeshed to their mother as an adult. And if this is not the case, they can still be holding onto their mother on the inside. Either way, they have not been able to let go and to move on.
Now, there could be all kinds of reasons as to why a man has not been able to break away. But a big part of it will come down to what their mothers relationships was like with their father or the man that she was with at the time of one’s formative years.
The time that one begins to emotionally break away from their mother is generally around the age of six months. So the mother will typically nurture the child and then the father will encourage the child to break away.
This is the ideal and both the mother and the father are important in allowing a child to receive the right amount of love and then to break away at the right time.
If their father was not there during this important stage, then it is going to harder for the man to have separated form their mother. And this doesn’t mean that their father had to have left their mother, it could just as easily be a father that was physically there, but emotionally somewhere else.
Relationships problems between their mother and father around this time can also sabotage this process. For example, when their father is not available for take care of their mothers needs, this energy is likely to be channelled towards them.
They are then not given the right support to break away and if their father is around, he could be relieved that her energy is going towards their son and not to him.
The mother then ends up using her son to meet her unmet intimacy needs. This could also relate to her unmet childhood needs that were never met. And at this age, one would have just wanted to be loved and while this level of closeness might not have felt right; there wouldn’t have been an alternative.
His needs would have then become secondary, with his mothers needs becoming primary. To put his needs first would be something that would soon trigger guilt; that’s if he was even able to identify what his needs were, for some men this might seem impossible.
So a man is going to experience conflict. On one side they will want to embrace a relationship with another woman and yet they are also going to feel attached to their mother.
This doesn’t mean that a man will have to cut all ties with their mother, what it does mean is that they will have to complete their psychological birth as an adult. They were not allowed to separate as a child and so this still needs to take place. Emotionally they have been unable to grow up and have therefore stayed stuck.
This process can be assisted through a therapist or a healer who will allow one to deal with their feelings. The mirroring and attunement that they will supply will also enable one to gradually break away.
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.