Mother Enmeshed Men: Why Would A Mother Enmeshed Man Have Trouble Expressing His Needs And Feelings In A Relationship?
What a man may see is that he finds it difficult to express his needs and feelings when he is with his partner. When he is not around her, however, this might not be something that he struggles with.
If this is the case, he could struggle to understand why he is this way. Not only this, his partner is likely to wonder what is going on and she could believe that she is doing something wrong.
As he doesn’t express how he feels, one thing his partner could believe is that he is not really into her. It then might not matter how affectionate he is or what he gives her as he won’t be able to express how he feels directly.
If his partner was to say that she doesn’t know where she stands with him, even though they are together, he might not know what to say. She will be confused about what is going on and so will he.
When he is in her presence, then, it is not going to be possible for him to be connected with himself. This is likely to mean that he will be out of touch with his body and his awareness will be up in his head.
By being this way, he won’t have access to his needs and feelings but he will have access to his thoughts. But, as his intellect won’t have access to the other parts of his being, this part of him will be deprived of vital information.
Giving it A Go
If he was to try to get in touch with what is going on within him when he is around her, his mind could just go blank. If he was to connect to a need, though, he could end up feeling very uncomfortable.
Before long, he could lose touch with this need and go back to how he was before. Being out of touch with himself won’t serve him but it will be what feels comfortable, and this is going to show that being this way is what feels safe.
An External Focus
Another part of this is that when he is in her company, he is likely to find that his attention is largely focused on her. He can see that he has a very strong need to tune into her needs.
Therefore, while he won’t be in tune with himself, he will be very in tune with his partner. As opposed to expressing his needs and feelings, his priority will be to say and do what will and what he thinks will please her.
Out of Balance
What is clear is that, when he is around his partner, he needs to be less focused on what is going on externally and more focused on what is going on internally. This would give him the chance to be both aware of what is going on for her and aware of what is going on for him.
Being this way is what should feel comfortable, not being solely focused on what is going on for her. Most likely, she won’t want to be in a relationship with someone who acts as an extension of her; she will want to be with someone who acts as an individual.
What’s going on?
If behaving in this way didn’t feel comfortable, there would be no reason for him to be this way. The big question is: why would behaving in this way feel comfortable?
Clearly, this shows that something isn’t right as he should feel comfortable being in touch with and expressing himself around his partner. What this can illustrate is that his early years were not very nurturing and he was emotionally abandoned.
How he behaves around his partner is likely to be how he had to behave around his mother during his early years in order to survive. The experiences he had with his mother would have caused him to develop an inner template, and this template will be what is defining how he behaves around his partner.
At this stage of his life, his mother probably used him to fulfil some of her adult and unmet childhood needs. If he expressed his needs or feelings, he may have been punished, disapproved of, and/or abandoned.
A Massive Risk
As a result of this, he would have lost touch with his true self, his body, very early on. His greatest need at this stage of his life was to survive, not to express himself, which is why he had to become super focused on his mother’s needs and to do what he could to please her.
He was, after all, in an emotionally undeveloped and dependent state; he couldn’t stop what was going on and neither could he get away from his mother. The only thing that he could do was to adapt to what was going on and to become estranged from himself in the process.
A Natural outcome
Many, many years will have passed but, thanks to the defence mechanism known as transference, he will unconsciously see his partner and just about every other woman as his mother. Deep down, he will believe that if he expresses his true self around her, he will end up being harmed and/or abandoned.
To try to prevent this from happening when he was a child, he would have done absolutely everything that he could to please her, and, to prevent this from happening now that he is an adult, he will do the same thing with his partner – the partner who he unconsciously sees as his mother. The emotional part of him won’t realise what she is not his mother and that what happened is now over and that he survived; this part of him will be stuck in the past.
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.