Although a man will have his own needs to meet, he could spend most of his time meeting his mother’s needs. As a result of this, he is going to neglect most, if not all of his own needs.

However, this is something that can take place without him even being aware of the fact that he is largely neglecting himself. So, in general, he could meet his basic needs, such as his need to sleep and eat.

Totally Disregarded

Yet, when it comes to his other needs, such as his need to exercise, rest, experience intimacy and have a fulfilling career, this can all be overlooked. Still, this is not to say that this is something that will consciously take place.

No, most likely he is not even aware of these needs as well as others and he could even see himself as someone who is needless. Living in this way is going to take a lot out of him and he is unlikely to be truly happy.


Due to how he lives, he could often feel deeply frustrated and even depressed, perhaps finding it hard to get out of bed some mornings. Even so, he could simply keep how he feels to himself and not let anyone know.

Most likely, this will be a consequence of the fact that he is not taking care of his own needs. But, if he is not aware that he is neglecting most of his needs, he won’t be able to join the dots, so to speak.

The Right Thing

As destructive as his behaviour is, behaving in this way is likely to be what feels comfortable. Thanks to this, he could continue to behave in this way for many, many years and he might only change if something dramatic was to occur.

At this point, it will be clear that something is not right; what should feel comfortable is for him to put his own needs first. And taking one step back, he should have a strong connection with his own needs.

His Experience

As things stand, he is behaving as though he is nothing more than an extension of his mother as opposed to a separate human being. His sole purpose is then to be there for her and to fulfil her needs.

If he was to ‘wake up’ it could be because he has a breakdown or a breakup or ends up with a serious illness. Something like this will can gradually allow him to see that he is living in the wrong way and that he needs to live his own life.

A Different Approach

If he was to wake up and see what is going on, it doesn’t mean that he will just be able to start putting his needs first. First, he will have to connect to them and even when he starts to form a better connection with them, he could find that the mere thought of fulfilling them fills him with guilt and even shame.

Therefore, while this will be the right thing for him to do, it will feel like the wrong thing. He could then soon go back to how he was before and continue to abandon himself in the process.

What’s going on?

To understand why a man would be experience life in this way, it will be necessary to take a deeper look into what took place during his early years. This is likely to have been a time when he was deprived of the nutrients that he needed in order to grow and develop.

At this stage of his life, his mother may have seen him as nothing more than an extension of herself. Thus, his main purpose for existing would have been to meet some of her adult and unmet childhood needs.

A Negative Experience

If he tried to express his needs during this stage, he is likely to have been punished, disapproved of and/or abandoned. He would have soon learned that his needs were bad and that he had to hide them to be able to survive.

In other words, he would have been forced to abandon himself to avoid being abandoned by his mother. Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean that he was never abandoned by her as this is likely to have been something that often took place.

The Outcome

He would have disconnected from his true self and ended up being super focused on his mother. Not having most of his needs met would have caused him to experience a lot of pain and this pain would have been automatically repressed.

This was the only way for him to handle what was going on as he was powerless and totally dependent. He wasn’t able to change his mother’s behaviour or to find another mother; he had to tolerate what was going on and adapt to an unhealthy environment.

A Key Understanding

What this means is that although he will believe that his needs are bad and he needs to hide them to be able to survive, this is not the truth. Yet, for him to be able to know this at the core of his being, he will need to question what he believes and to work through his emotional wounds.

Not receiving what he needed would have left him in an underdeveloped state and this will be why he doesn’t feel like a strong and empowered man. Working through these wounds is likely to take time; it won’t happen overnight.


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 of 25 books, 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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