For some men out there women are seen as people who need to be saved or rescued from what is taking place in their lives. And so it doesn’t matter how big or small these women’s challenges are, as this type of man is only too happy to get involved.
So this also means that unless a woman has some kind of problem, this type of man won’t be interested. The famous damsel in distress is the ideal candidate here. But they could also be experiencing some kind of mental or emotional problem, a family conflict or an unpleasant ex for instance. Whether it’s an isolated event or a regular occurrence is ultimately irrelevant.
This whole scenario is often seen in popular culture with songs and films that cover this dynamic. This could be the knight in shining armour or the prince for instance. Films where women are displayed as being incompetent or powerless also creates the need for a strong man too appear to save them from the situation they are in.
Of course women have gradually become more empowered in the world and so these images are not as common as they once were. It is now fairly normal to see a woman as being empowered and a man could then be the person who needs to be rescued.
But regardless of what is going on in the movies or what singers are singing about, both sexes can feel powerless.
So a man may see that a woman is struggling in some way and feel the need to help her. Or perhaps this is a man that gets into a relationship with a woman and soon comes to see that she is having real problems. And when this happens, a man will have to deny and neglect his own needs and wants in order to look after the woman’s needs and wants.
If this takes places during certain times it may not be too much of a problem, but if this becomes the relational pattern then it could lead to all kinds of unhealthy consequences.
The man may start to feel as though he has become a father figure and that adult to adult relating has come to an end.
Even though there are these downsides above and many others, there are also numerous benefits from being in a situation like this. It can give a man a sense of power and control over the woman. Which can result in the man feeling as though he is loved, appreciated and won’t be left.
A Step Back
However, what is clear here is that a man is putting in so much effort and doing all the work. And while a relationship can never be completely equal, as there will be times of imbalance, to be in a relationship that is always out of balance is not healthy or functional.
Women will have times when they need to be assisted and so will men; this is part of a healthy relationship. But if a man is trying to save or rescue a woman, this is not an adult to adult relationship. If one was to put chronological age to one side, this situation would be very similar to how a parent might relate to a child.
Just because someone looks like an adult it doesn’t mean that they feel like one or that they have moved on from how they felt as a child. And what took place for a man as a child will play a big role in whether they are attracted to wounded women and therefore try to rescue them or not.
On some level love is seen as something that a man will attain from a woman by completely taking care of her needs and wants. Love is then not something that includes being there for each other; it is a one way occurrence.
And in order to understand why a man would associate love to mean this, it will be important to look at childhood development. How a man is cared for by his mother in his early years will often explain why this association exists.
Ideally a mother would be empathic and emotionally available in most cases. When this happens, a child would generally get their needs and wants met. So through the mother taking care of the child in this way, it will come to see that its needs and wants are important.
When the mother is unempathic, emotionally unavailable and generally out of tune with the Childs wants and needs, this above is unlikely to happen. The child could then end up taking care of the mother’s needs and wants and see their needs and wants as being unimportant. Here, one may end up feeling guilty and ashamed for having them. One felt acceptance and approved of by doing what their mothers wanted.
So from the moment one was born, one had to work hard for attention, it wasn’t provided unconditionally and this lead to a role reversal taking place. But even though one grew from a child to an adult, they were still emotionally children.
This would have lead to a lot of emotional pain and as a child one could have felt: abandoned, rejected, ignored, powerless and hopeless. And the ego mind would have gradually associated these experiences as being familiar and therefore what is safe.
What Does this Mean?
While these early experiences were not healthy or functional, as the mind came to view them as what is safe, one will continue to recreate what happened during those early years. Although time has passed, one can become emotionally stuck at this time in their life.
From this place, women can be perceived in the same way. And how a man thinks, feels and behaves when it comes to getting their needs and wants met, can mimic these early experiences.
In order for a man to have healthy and functional relationships with women, it will be important to let go of these associations and to release the emotions that have built over the years.
And as this happens, one will no longer be attracted to or attract women that need rescuing. One will begin to know that their needs and wants are important and not something to feel ashamed of. It may take a while for a man to get back in tune with their needs and wants, after being so caught up in the needs and wants of others.
This process can be assisted through the help of a: therapist, healer or some kind of coach. And generally becoming aware and changing how one thinks and behaves can also make a massive difference. When it comes to what solutions will be needed, it can all depend on how much of a challenge this is.
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.