Mother Wounds: Can A Man Unconsciously Search For A Mother Figure If His Mother Was Emotionally Unavailable?
If a man didn’t receive the love and nurturance that he needed from his mother during his early years, it doesn’t mean that he will have simply been able to move on from what happened. Physically, as well as mentally, he will have grown, but emotionally, he is likely to be underdeveloped.
Nevertheless, there is the chance that this is something that he won’t be aware of. It could seem strange as to how he could be in an emotionally undeveloped state and not realise it.
Additionally, he might rarely think about what took place very early on or remember much about it. If he does think about this stage of his life, it could generally be a blur and/or he could say that it wasn’t that bad.
Ultimately, what took place very early on would have been incredibly painful and losing touch with most, if not all, of what actually happened would have been a matter of survival. A number of different defences would have automatically been utilised to stop him from being wiped out by pain.
Frozen In Time
Many, many years will have passed since that stage of his life and he will certainly no longer be a boy, but deep down, he will feel like one. To this part of him, it won’t matter how many years pass as it won’t be able to accept that its needs will never be met.
This part of him, call it his inner child or emotional self, has no sense of time and is constantly trying to get his needs met. A hundred or even a thousand years could pass but this part won’t change by itself.
If he is more or less out of touch with this part of him, the part that will be found in his body, it still won’t change the fact that it will have a massive effect on his life. His conscious mind can then be oblivious to the part of him that feels like a child and it can believe that it is in control and makes the decisions, but this will be an illusion.
When it comes to who he is attracted to and repelled by, it will largely be due to what is taking place at a deeper level. Another way of looking at this part of him would be to call it his unconscious mind.
A Closer Look
For example, if he is attracted to a woman and ends up dating her, he can come up with all the reasons as to why this is. So, he could say that she is attractive, has a good personality and that he enjoys being around her.
Nonetheless, if he was able to detach from himself and to reflect on what is going on for his child self, what he may find is that a big part of him is not seeing this woman for who she is but sees her as a mother figure. Part of him will see her as the mother that he wanted whilst he was growing up.
High as a kite
Now, assuming that this doesn’t take place and he is caught up in his own projection, he could end up feeling whole and complete. The part of him that feels empty and incomplete will have finally found its missing piece, or so it thinks.
He won’t have taken anything and yet he could be in a state of pure bliss. Without a doubt, all kinds of chemicals will have been released in his brain and this will make it even harder for him to see clearly.
Out of Balance
He can expect the woman to love him unconditionally and to give him all the support and care that he needs. Due to how he will unconsciously see the woman and how needy he will be, he might not think much about the woman’s needs.
In the beginning, she might be too caught up in what is going on to realise that something isn’t right, and this could show that she was also brought up by at least one caregiver who was emotionally unavailable. As time passes she could end up getting angry and resentful at not having her needs met, which is to be expected.
The Same Old Story
It might only be a matter of time before she has had enough and end up pulls the plug, so to speak. If this takes place, the man can end up coming into contact with the pain that relates to how he often felt when he was a boy.
But, as he doesn’t have the self-knowledge that he needs, he can believe that this woman has made him feel this way. He can then go from seeing her as the perfect woman, to seeing her as being bad, which will show that he has automatically used the defence mechanism known as splitting.
Drawing the Line
It is likely that this is a scenario that has played out at least once before, and, until he goes within and resolves his inner wounds, it is likely to play out again. The needs that were not met during his early years, as a result of having a mother who was emotionally unavailable and perhaps unable to truly love him, will need to be grieved.
This will relate to his child self’s need for unconditional love and acceptance, to be the centre of attention, cared for, and admired, among other things. One of the main ways that these needs will be grieved is by crying out the pain that he experienced by rarely, if ever, having his developmental needs met.
Another part of this process will be for him, his adult self, to give his inner child what it needs as opposed to looking towards another person to do this. It can take a little while until his adult self is strong enough to do this.
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.