One thing that someone could find strange, if they were to spend a fair amount of time around a mother-enmeshed man, is that he is not aware that he is neglecting himself. So, they might have asked him why he is not taking care of a number of his needs and he might have dismissed what they said.

This might have been something that has taken place on a number of occasions. It will then be clear to the outsider, whoever that may have, that he is not there for himself but he won’t be able to see this.

Business as Usual

It is then going to mean that he will continue to behave in this way and as things stand, there is not much chance that his behaviour will change. Therefore, being there for his mother and making sure that a number of her needs are met will be his priority.

A number of his own needs, on the other hand, will continue to be overlooked and this is going to undermine him. So, even though he is unable to see clearly, there will still be consequences.

Deeply Deprived

If he is in a relationship, there will be the impact that this will have on his partner and it might not be long until his partner calls it a day, so to speak. Naturally, she will want to be his primary relationship, not share her partner with his mother.

But, regardless of if he is or isn’t in a relationship, he is likely to neglect his emotional and physical needs. What this is going to do is deprive him of the nutrients that he needs to feel nourished.

Out of Touch

In general, though, his attention is going to be on his mother and her needs, which will prevent him from seeing what is going on. In other words, he will be too focused on what is going on externally to be truly aware of what is going on internally.

This can mean that he will often feel down, drained and frustrated but, along with automatically ignoring how he feels, he could consume things to keep his true feelings at bay. Thanks to this, there will be no reason for him to join the dots and see that how he is behaving is not serving him.


As he is an individual who has his own needs and feelings and life to live, it can seem strange how he could be in this position. It could be said that the only way that he wouldn’t be able to see what is going on is if he is in denial.

The evidence that proves that he is living in the wrong way will be all around him. However, although it might seem as though he is simply in denial and doesn’t want to face reality, there is likely to be far more to it.

Living on Autopilot

There is a strong chance that he not choosing to be in denial and is simply not aware of the fact that he is neglecting himself. When he says that he isn’t, then, this will be something that automatically takes place without him even thinking about it.

What this will illustrate is that he is not aware of most of his needs or feelings and thus, is not aware that he is neglecting himself. This is likely to show that he typically lives on the surface of himself and doesn’t have a strong connection to his body.

Self Alienated

Said another way, he won’t be connected to his body and will have a disconnected false self instead. This disembodied false self, unlike his embodied true self, will be purely outer-directed and be dependent on the guidance of others when it comes to what he should or shouldn’t do.

And, as his life largely revolves around his mother, it will mean that he will be dependent on his mother’s guidance when it comes to what he should or shouldn’t do. A number of her needs and feelings will be seen as his own needs and feelings, with most of his needs and feelings being outside of his awareness.

What going on?

At this point, someone could wonder why he has such a poor relationship with himself and simply doesn’t know that he is overlooking most of his needs. However, if what probably took place during his developmental years is taken into account, it is likely to soon make sense.

Right from the beginning of his life, most of his needs might have largely been overlooked and he might have had no other choice than to be there for his mother. As a result of having to meet some of her adult and unmet childhood needs, he would have had to act like her parent and she would have been more like his child.

The Outcome

Due to this role reversal, he would have missed out on what he needed to grow and develop in the right way and he would have been forced to disconnect from his true self. He would have been forced to create a false self that would allow him to be there for his mother and to survive in the process.

After behaving in this way year after year, he will be a stranger to himself and will naturally act like an extension of his mother. He is going to be in an emotionally underdeveloped state and he is likely to feel ashamed of his needs and himself and carry a lot of pain, and it is likely to be this pain that is keeping his false self in place, allowing him to live in a way that is not serving him and making it hard for him to face reality.


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 two thousand, eight hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behaviour, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice.

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