Now, if a man is overly focused on his mother and unable to live his own life, this could be something that baffles him. He could struggle to understand why he is so focused on her and so neglectful towards himself.

In general, he could feel as though she has complete control over him and that he has to do just about whatever it is that she wants him to do. Thanks to this, it can be normal for him to feel angry, frustrated and deeply helpless.


At this point, he could believe that the only way his life will change if is his mother gives him permission to live his own life. Or, it could go even further than this as he could believe that she will need to pass on for him to be free.

Perhaps he has tried to speak to her about what is going on for him or maybe he hasn’t been able to take this step. However, even if he has been able to express himself, it doesn’t mean that he will have been able to make much headway.

The Response

When he expressed what was going on for him, his mother might not have listened to what he had to say. It might then have been as if he hadn’t said anything and she might have just spoken about something else or asked him to do something for her.

Then again, she might have simply dismissed what he said and spoke or asked him to do something. If so, it will be clear that she is not willing to acknowledge what he is going through and to be there for him.

Business as Usual

There is a strong chance that this is how she has more or less always behaved when it comes to his needs and feelings. His personal reality will then have rarely been acknowledged by her.

If she is unable to truly accept that he has his own needs and feelings and to see that he is an individual as opposed to an extension of her, it will probably show that she has a personality disorder. She will then look like a human being but she won’t have a strong connection to her own humanity.

A natural outcome

Due to this, it is highly unlikely she will ever be able to accept that he is actually an individual. As a result of what is going on for her at a mental and emotional level and what her brain is like, her ability to face reality will be greatly diminished.

He can then spend year after year trying to get through to her but he will be speaking to a brick wall. The only thing that is likely to do is to cause him to experience more pain and be stuck in a place of hope.

Another Scenario

Alternatively, a man could be in this position and not realise that he is not living his own life. Yet, if he is in a relationship, his partner could be only too aware of what is going on and wonder why he is this way.

She may have spoken to him on a number of occasions and found that he is not willing to face the reality of the situation. Still, she could often think about how different their relationship could be if only he could just draw the line and implement boundaries with his mother.

What going on?

Irrespective of whether the man is or isn’t aware of what is going on, his inability to separate from his mother and live his own life is likely to be due to the fact that he missed out on the nutrients that he needed during his formative years. Throughout this stage of his life, his mother is likely to have used him to meet some of her adult and unmet childhood needs.

Consequently, not only will he have been deprived of what he needed but he would have also been deeply traumatised. This would have stopped him from being able to go through each developmental stage.

The Missing Part

To be able to break away from her, he needed to have been able to truly connect to her and be loved and supported by her. This is then no different to how a car needs to be filled with fuel in order to be able to move; without fuel, it won’t go anywhere.

Instead of receiving what he needed to start to explore, let alone break away, he won’t have been in a position to take the next step. He would have been in a deeply traumatised and disconnected state, and unable, not merely unwilling, to truly express himself.

It’s over

If he was to just think about expressing himself, this is likely to be a time when he will feel deeply uncomfortable. The reason for this is that the pain that his brain would have automatically repressed all those years ago will start to be unlocked.

Most likely, his brain and body will carry many, many layers of pain and this pain will have to be worked through in parts. Yet, by working through this pain and the unmet developmental needs that go with it, he will gradually be able to go through each developmental stage and live his own life.


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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