Mother Enmeshed Men: Why Would a Mother Enmeshed Man Have Trouble Expressing His Needs And Feelings?
Although having needs and feelings is part of the human experience, it doesn’t mean that a man will feel comfortable with them. As a result of this, it could be normal for him to overlook them.
There can be moments when this is something that he is aware of and moments when this is something that he is unaware of. In general, this could be something that takes place just outside of his awareness.
Out of Touch
As most of his needs and feelings will be found in his body, this is likely to mean that he will spend a lot of time in his head. Considering this, if he spent more time in his body, he would have a better connection to both of these elements.
Still, this is not to say that he will typically be out of touch with all of his needs, as he could have a good connection to his survival needs. For example, he could more often than not know when he is hungry and when he needs to go to sleep.
By being this way, most of his life is likely to be spent doing what other people want or what he thinks they want. His mother, in particular, could be someone who receives a lot of his energy.
A lot of his life and life force can be spent both doing things for her and thinking about her needs. To some people, he will be seen as behaving more like her spouse then her son and, for others, he will be seen as behaving in the “right” way.
Thanks to how he behaves, it simply won’t be possible for him to feel fully alive and to live a fulfilling life. He might create the impression that everything is fine but, deep down, he could feel dead.
Not being there for himself is likely to mean that he will often feel as though he is running on empty and be deeply depressed. The mask that he wears around others, then, will be in stark contrast to how he really feels.
When he is in touch with what is taking place within him, he is likely to have the need to keep what is going on for him to himself. Just thinking about expressing how he feels or what his needs are, let alone actually expressing them, could make him feel extremely uncomfortable.
To settle himself down again, he might ignore what is going on for him and to focus on what someone else wants. This won’t benefit him but it will stop him from feeling anxious and fearful.
A Closer Look
Expressing his needs and feelings should feel comfortable; it shouldn’t be seen as something that would threaten his very survival. As this is seen as being something that is a massive risk, it is to be expected that he would neglect himself.
His need to survive will be his greatest need, so if expressing himself is seen as a threat to his survival, it will seldom take place. The big question is: why would it be seen as a threat?
Back In Time
What this is likely to illustrate is that it wasn’t safe for him to express himself during his early years. This may have been a time when his mother used him to fulfil some of her adult and unmet childhood needs.
Instead of giving him what he needed to go through each developmental stage, he would have had to be there for her. If ever he expressed himself, he may have been disapproved of, punished and/or abandoned.
His true self would have been rejected very early on and this would have caused him to disconnect from himself – his body - and to automatically develop a false self. As he was egocentric at this stage of his life, he would have come to believe that both his needs and his self were inherently bad.
The outcome of this is that his true self would have gone into hiding and he would have become super focused on his mother’s needs and feelings and felt compelled to please her. This was the only way for him to handle what was going on; he wouldn’t have been able to stop what his mother was doing or to leave her, and his father probably wasn’t emotionally available, or perhaps even around.
A Natural Consequence
Expressing himself very early on would have been a threat to his survival and, while this stage of his life is over – he survived – his being won’t be able to accept this. At an emotional level, expressing himself will still be seen as something that would cause him to be harmed or left and to die.
His early years would have been deeply traumatising and most, if not all, of this trauma will still be held inside him. Keeping this trauma at bay, as opposed to expressing himself and living a life that is worth living, will be his priority.
A Key Point
What he can keep in mind, however, is that what he fears has already taken place. Therefore, what he really fears is not being harmed or abandoned; it is coming into contact with the pain that he experienced when this actually took place all those years ago.
This pain will need to be worked through in order for him to truly let go of what happened and to stand in his power. Until this takes place, he will continue to be controlled by different parts of 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, 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.