While there are some men who have a strong sense of self, there are others who don’t, and this can be due to what took place when they were younger. Another way of looking at this would be to say that this is due to what didn’t take place.
In order for someone to develop into an interdependent human being, they will need to receive the right kind of care. So, if a man’s developmental needs were met during the beginning of his life, it can mean that he will have a strong sense of self.
Conversely, if his developmental needs were not met during this time, it can mean that he will have a weak sense of self. This can then be the difference between a man being able to live his own life and being nothing more than an extension of other people.
If a man did receive the right care and was able to develop his own sense of self, he is likely to have good boundaries. He will be aware of his own needs and he will also feel safe enough to fulfil them.
As a result of this, there is the chance that he will have a fulfilling career and he might even be in a relationship. If he is with someone, he will probably be able to completely commit to this person.
However, if a man didn’t receive the right kind and ended up with a weak sense of self, he could have poor boundaries. This could mean that he won’t even be aware of his own needs and if he is, he might rarely feel safe enough to fulfil them.
Due to this, he might have a career that is not very fulfilling; that is, of course, if he even has a career. This could then mean that he will be single, or he could be with someone who he is unable to fully commit to.
From the outside, it can seem as though he is in a relationship, but that will be nothing more than an illusion. Physically he will be with someone, but mentally and emotionally he will be somewhere else.
The reason he won’t be completely available can because he is still attached to his mother. This is the person who will be in control of what he does or doesn’t do, and this is why he is unable to live his own life.
A Closer Look
Having said that, this doesn’t mean that the man is completely powerless, though, as it is not this black and white. Yet, as the man is likely to be emotionally undeveloped, he can feel as though he has no control.
When he was younger, his mother will have used him to fulfil her own needs, and this will have caused him to disconnect from his true-self. Consequently, he would have come to feel ashamed of his own needs, and this is then why he will feel guilty if he isn’t there for his mother.
He is going to believe - and this will be backed up by how he feels - that he is responsible for his mother. So, although he is her son, he is going to be more like her father, and when he was younger, there is the chance that he was her surrogate spouse.
Time has then passed, yet he is still going to be fulfilling a role that he is not on this planet to fulfil. His father might not have been around when he was younger, or he may just have been emotionally unavailable.
Thus, although he might have felt special during this time, he was simply being used by his mother. This doesn’t mean that he will be completely comfortable with this, as he is likely to experience anger and even rage from time to time.
But when he does get in touch with his true feelings, there will be guilt and shame, and he could even fear that he will be rejected and abandoned. The trauma that he experienced as a child is likely to be what controls him, as opposed to what his mother can do to him now that he is an adult.
On the one hand, there is going to be what a man like this has to deal with and, on the other, there is going to be the affect this has on the women they end up with. It is only going to be possible for a woman to get so close to him.
They will soon see that his mothers needs are far more important that their needs, and this can cause her to feel angry, frustrated and ignored, amongst other things. Even so, it doesn’t mean that she will move on and find someone else.
If a woman does end up with a mother enmeshed man, it can be normal for her to believe that this is something that just happened. If this is the case, it can mean that she will focus on him and do what the she can do change him.
The trouble with this approach is that it can mean that she will overlook what is taking place within her. If she was to look at what is going on for her, she may find that she is not available either.
On one level, being with a man like this will cause her to experience pain, but at a deeper level, this could be something that feels safe. The men she comes into contact with are likely to have a strong fear of being smothered, in addition to their fear of being abandoned; whereas she is likely to a strong fear of being abandoned, along with a fear of being smothered.
If she was to attract a man who is completely available, it could then cause her fear of being smothered to arise. Perhaps she is too close to her father or maybe it’s her mother.
What this illustrates is how vital it is for someone to not only focus on what is taking place externally, but to also focus on what is taking place internally. As if they only focus on what is going on for someone else, it can set them up to overlook the part that they are playing.
And when this takes place, it is going to stop them from being able to change their life. If a woman has the tendency to attract men who are unavailable, it might be a good idea for her to reach out for external support.
This is something that can be provided by a therapist or a healer.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 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.