Although a man might not be consciously aware of this, his main priority could be to make sure that his mother is ok. Then again, there could be times when it goes further than this, with him having the need to make sure that she is happy.

As a result of this, it is likely to be normal for him to neglect a number of his own needs if not his whole life. A lot of his time and energy is going to be directed towards his mother’s life, so it is to be expected that his own life wouldn’t be what it could be.


However, while he will be neglecting himself, if he was to think about his life, he could believe that he is behaving in the right way. Furthermore, he could be used to receiving positive feedback from others.

For example, other family members and family friends could say that he is, essentially, doing the right thing. This feedback will most likely make it harder for him to see that he is living in a way that is not serving him.

A Big Difference

Of course, there is being there for someone from time to time and then there is being solely focused on them to the degree that one’s own life goes downhill. When a man is in this position, he is going to be out of balance.

Instead of being his mother’s son, and someone who has his own life to lead, he will be like his mother’s parent, and someone who is there to meet her needs. Clearly, how he is living is doing him more harm than good and it won’t be serving his mother either.

A Key Point

If he was going to live forever, he would be able to put his life to one side and be there for his mother. And, to be brutally honest, once his mother has passed on, he would be able to focus on his own life.

Nevertheless, he won’t live forever and this means that he won’t be able to get the life back that he has lost. Therefore, being as focused as he is on his mother’s life will be causing him to lose his precious life.

The Other Side

As for his mother, she won’t be taking responsibility for her own needs and feelings. She is likely to, irrespective of whether she is or isn’t aware of this, see her son as a parent who is there to take care of her.

This will stop her from realising that even though he is her son, he also has his own life to lead and can’t focus on her. In all likelihood, she will be so caught up with her own needs that she is unable to see clearly.

Drawing the line

After a while, the man may get to the point where he no longer has the energy to be so focused on his mother and on doing what he can to make sure that she is ok. He could be well and truly exhausted.

Still, a big part of him could continue to feel the need to be there for her and make sure that she is ok. If he was to imagine speaking to her about what is going on for him, let alone actually speaking to her, he could be raked with guilt.


Like a fly that has been caught in a spider’s web, it can be as if he is caught in a web that he simply can’t break free from. This guilt is then going to be what causes him to continue to be there for his mother.

What this guilt will do is create the impression that being there for his mother is right and that not being there for her is wrong. Along with this, anxiety and fear can enter his awareness when he thinks about drawing the line with her.

What going on?

What he can keep in mind at this stage is that he is here to live his own life and is not responsible for his mother. The reason he doesn’t feel comfortable living his own life and standing up to his mother is most likely due to what he experienced during his formative years.

This is likely to have been a time when the roles were reversed, with him having no choice but to adapt to and be there for his mother. His mother, thanks to how underdeveloped and wounded she was likely to have been, wouldn’t have truly been able to be there for him and provide him with what he needed to grow and develop.

The Outcome

As he was used to him some of his mother’s adult and unmet developmental needs, he would have had to lose touch with his true self and create a disconnected false self. This false self would have been focused on her needs and this would have been a way for him to survive.

Thus, not only would he have felt guilty and ashamed if he expressed himself, but he would have also felt as if his very survival was under threat. So, at a stage of his life when he was dependent and totally powerless, he was taken advantage of.

Moving Forward

For him to know, at the core of his being, that living his own life is the right thing for him to do and that he won’t die, he will probably have a lot of emotional pain to work through. This will partly relate to him facing up to the fact that he will never receive the love that he needed from his mother.

There are likely to be many, many layers of pain inside him. This is then a process that will take courage and patience and persistence.


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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