Someone doesn’t need to be a psychologist to realise that something isn’t right if a man is overly focused on his mother and neglects himself. The average person is likely to be able to see that he is living in a way that is not serving him.

But, although this is something that can be completely obvious to the outside observer, a man in this position can be totally oblivious to what is going on. That’s not to say that he will be in a constant state of bliss.


What it comes down to is that he is unlikely to be connected to what is taking place inside him. As a result of this, the feelings that would let him know that he is out of alignment with himself won’t enter his conscious awareness.

Thanks to this, he will be able to behave in a way that doesn’t serve him and not be truly aware of it. In other words, he will be a stranger to himself and will, ultimately, be his mother’s slave.

The Symptoms

Still, as he lives in a way that goes against his own nature, he is likely to often feel frustrated and even be depressed. But, as he is not aware of the information inside him that would shed light on what is going on, and perhaps dismisses the feedback that he receives from others that would also help, he won’t be able to join the dots, so to speak.

Instead, he can just believe that it is due to stress at work or a mental issue that he was born with, for instance. What this approach will do is allow him to carry on behaving in the same way for however long.

A Big Fall

If he was to have a breakdown, thereby preventing him from behaving in this way, he could start to wonder what is going on. What might soon enter his mind is that he is more like his mother’s father than her son.

Yet, even though he will want to draw the line and live his own life, he could experience a lot of resistance. Merely thinking about standing his ground and saying no to her could fill him with fear and anxiety.

Weak Foundations

This is likely to show that he believes that he can only survive by being there for his mother. Putting his needs first and living his own life will then be seen as a threat to his survival.

At this point, he might struggle to understand why he, a grown man, feels that he needs his mother to be able to exist. What this is likely to show is that he missed out on the emotional nutrients that he needed during his formative years.

Way Back

During this stage of his life, he might have often been left and when he was given care, it might have largely been misattuned care. Thus, his mother generally wouldn’t have been able to tune into his needs and provide him with what he needed; he would have had to generally adapt to her needs.

As the years went by, he might have had to continue to be there for her and meet some of her adult and unmet developmental needs. If he didn’t do what she wanted, he might have been punished, disapproved and/or rejected and abandoned.


If he hadn’t lost touch with his needs and feelings – his true self - before this stage of his life, he certainly would have at this stage. The first stage will relate to when he was an infant and the second stage will relate to when he was a toddler and child.

Therefore, he will have behaved like an extension of his mother and been estranged from himself due to him not receiving what he needed to stay connected to himself and grow and develop in the right way. There is then nothing random about how he now behaves and neither is there anything inherently wrong with him.

The Other Side

What could soon cross his mind is why his mother used him in this way and didn’t provide him with what he needed. Most likely, his mother was and still is as underdeveloped as he is now or close to it.

Her developmental years are also likely to have been a time when she was deprived of what she needed to grow and develop in the right way and lost touch with her true self, with her being used by one of her parents to fulfil their adult and unmet developmental needs. The years would have passed but the child that she once was will have continued to look for someone to take care of her.


At an unconscious level, then, she probably saw her son as a mother and father. Quite simply, she was too underdeveloped to truly give but she probably wouldn’t have been aware of this or able to see that she was using her son.

Her son would then have been forced to adapt to her and create a disconnected false self that would revolve around him being there for her. Under this false self would have been a deeply wounded and underdeveloped boy, and, now that he is a man, he will continue to carry these wounded parts that will keep him in a developmentally stunted state.

A Natural outcome

With this in mind, it is not that his mother chose not to love him; it is that she couldn’t love him. If she had received what she needed or had been able to work through some of her own wounds before and after he was born, it might have been different.

This is an example of how emotional deprivation is passed on from one generation to another and how, when one parent is developmentally stunted, it can be normal for a child to be placed into the role of a parent and for a parent to go into the role of a child. The person who needs to receive is then forced to give and the person who needs to give is the one who forces the other to give.


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.

Author's Bio: 

Author, transformational writer, teacher and consultant, Oliver JR Cooper, hails from England. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation, including love, partnership, self-love, self-worth, inner child and inner awareness. With over three thousand, two hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behaviour, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice.

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