For as long as a man can remember, he may see that he has been focused on his mother and done his best to meet her needs. Thanks to how normal this has been, it will have taken a while for him to see how out of balance he is.

He may have been this way for twenty, thirty, forty or fifty years, for instance. However long it has been, he might get a strong sense that he has been this way for far too long.

A Strange Scenario

He may see that he has been and continues to be more like her parent than her son, and no longer wants to play this role. It could be clear that unless he focuses more on his own life, his life won’t improve.

In fact, he could see that if he continues to behave it the same way, his life is going to get a lot worse. But, although this will be on his mind, he is likely to still feel the pull to behave in the way same.


He will be an individual but it could be as though his mother has a remote control that allows her to control him. This can cause him to feel angry and frustrated and to believe that he has no control over his life.

If he was to think about stepping back from his mother and living his own life, he could feel very uncomfortable. This could be a time when he will feel guilty and a fair amount of fear and anxiety could arise.

Inner Conflict

What this will illustrate is that he won’t have a very harmonious relationship with himself. He should have a good connection to himself and feel comfortable expressing who he is.

Instead, what will feel comfortable is being in tune with his mother's needs and doing what he can to fulfil them. In a way, it can be as though he has another being that lives inside him, and this being will have needs that are very different to his own needs.

A Parasite

But, even though these needs will be very different and fulfilling them won’t allow him to lead a fulfilling existence, he can feel powerless to do anything about them. He could believe that this part of him will need to be removed, or die, in order for him to change his life.

What this would do is create the space for his true self to see the light of day and allow him to use his energy to create a life that is worth living. Ultimately, he won’t have received what heeded to receive very early on and this is why he will neglect himself.

Two Births

So, he will have had a physical birth but he won’t have had an emotional birth. During his early years, he will have probably been used by his mother to fulfil some of her adult and unmet childhood needs.

This would have caused him to disconnect from his true self, prevented him from developing a strong sense of self and he would have stayed in a symbiotic state. What this illustrates is how important his developmental years were and how he wasn’t born in an emotionally whole and complete state.

An Important Point

This means that his inability to live his own life is not a sign that he is weak or incapable or that there is something inherently wrong with him. It is simply the result of him not having received the nutrients that he needed to grow into an interdependent human being.

As he had to focus on his mothers needs very early on, it is to be expected that he will feel responsible for her. From a young age, he will have been trained to be super focused on the external world and on his mother in particular.

A Closer Look

Due to his early experiences, along with his adult experiences, he could believe that his mother needs him to handle life. If this is so, it is naturally going to be difficult for him to spend less time focusing on her needs.

Yet, if he was able to take a step back and reflect on this view, he might soon see that she would be able to handle life even if he wasn’t there for her all the time. And, even if she is in a position where she is unable to handle life by herself, there is probably a strong chance that she would be able to find additional support.

A Co-Creator

At this point, he will need to keep in mind that he is not just a passive observer of reality; he is playing an active role in his experience. Therefore, if he believes that his mother needs him and she can’t handle life without him, he will be feeding into this reality.

If he was to gradually take a lot of his energy away from his mother and spend less time doing things for her, there is a strong chance that something else would end up filling the space that is created. This could mean that his mother will do more for herself and/or she could look towards someone else to be there for her.

Another Challenge

What he could also find, if he was to slowly pull away, is that his own survival feels under threat and that he believes he can’t survive without her. His need to focus on her needs will also be a way to ensure his own survival.

As his developmental needs were rarely, if ever, met, his survival will still be attached to his mother. If his needs were met and his father was there to help with the individuation process, his survival would have been internalised.


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

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