Someone doesn’t need to have read a book on psychology let alone be a psychologist to see that, if a man is overly focused on his mother, something is not right. What can be clear is that he is behaving more like his mother’s father or mother than her son.

And, as he is this way, his own life is going to be overlooked. If there was more than one of him or he could be there for himself and his mother, how he is behaving wouldn’t be a problem.


However, as there is only one of him and he can’t be there for both himself and his mother, his own life is going to be neglected. Of course, this is not to say that he can’t do some things for her whilst being focused on his own life but this is radically different to being more or less totally focused on her needs.

But, as destructive as it will be for him to behave in this way, he might not be aware of the fact that he is out of alignment with himself. His life and well-being are then going to be undermined but this won’t be something that he is consciously aware of.


Or, if he does often feel down and even depressed, this could be put down to something else. For example, he could believe that he was simply born this way and just has to adapt to what is going on.

If so, there is going to be no reason for him to change his behaviour and his life is unlikely to get any better. In fact, there is a strong chance that it will just get even worse and this might be what will gradually allow him to see clearly.

Out of Balance

Now, when it comes to what he does for his mother, he could often buy things for her and take her out. Additionally, he could often end up going to see her and doing both little and big jobs for her.

This is unlikely to be as far as it will go, though, as he could often act like her counsellor too. When this takes place, he could listen to her problems and give her advice.

A Heavy Weight

What this may show is that she finds it hard to handle her own emotions and relies on her son’s stability and guidance. Therefore, if he is not listening to her issues and giving her guidance, he could be thinking about her issues and what he can do to help her.

Thanks to this, he won’t need to be doing anything physical for her in order to be giving her his energy and to be neglecting his own life. This shows that her needs and her life will be all-consuming.


If this was a normal relationship and not a mother and son relationship, it would be clear that one person is benefiting and the other person isn’t. But, as this relates to a relationship between a mother and son, some people can believe that there is nothing wrong with it.

As far as they are concerned, a son should be there for his mother and it is up to him to look after her. And, not only can some people believe this but it can be something that is culturally accepted.

A Prison

With this in mind, not only can a man have defences in place to stop him from facing reality but he can also be surrounded by people who help to keep his defences in place. Nonetheless, as he is his mother’s son, there is no reason for him to behave like her parent.

After all, she was born first and, after many, many years had passed, he ended up being brought into the world. Instead of a parent being there for their child, a child is being there for their parent.

What’s going on?

What this is likely to show is that his mother was deprived of the love that she needed to grow and develop during her formative years. Her developmental needs would then have been repressed and she would have developed a disconnected false self.

For whatever reason, she wouldn’t have dealt with any of her own inner wounds and this would have played a part in at least two things. First, these inner wounds would have played a part in the type of man that she was drawn to, and, second, how she treated her son.

Going Deeper

When it comes to the man’s father, he might have left before or shortly after he was born, or he might have been around but been emotionally unavailable. But, if he was around, his mother is unlikely to have been emotionally close to him and is likely to have feared closeness.

Her son would then have been the one who she looked towards to be there for her, and this would have been a way for her to meet some of her adult and unmet developmental needs. Unlike another adult, her son would have been powerless and totally dependent, so there was no risk of him leaving her or exerting control over her.

A Reversal

In the same way that she is likely to have lost touch with her true self very early on, her son would have been forced to disconnect from his true self. He would have had to gradually develop a disconnected false self that was solely focused on his mother’s needs.

And, as he was deprived of what he needed, he wouldn’t have been able to grow out of the emotionally dependent state that he was born in. He would then have felt like a part of his mother very early on and this won’t have changed.


At this stage of his life, he would have seen his mother as an all-powerful, all-knowing god but she would have been in a developmental stunted state. The love that he needed from her was something that she hadn’t received herself and this is why she was unable to provide it to him.

As she was likely to have largely been unaware of how she behaved, she won’t have consciously chosen to deeply wound him and make her into the parent that she never had. What this illustrates is how much of an impact repressed unmet developmental needs can have.


If someone can relate to this and they are ready to change their life, they 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, enmeshment, 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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