Deep down, a mother-enmeshed man will want to be in tune with and to freely express himself. However, although this is so, he will feel compelled to focus on his mother needs and to behave how she wants him to behave.

He will then appear to have the ability to behave how he wants to behave, but it will be as though he lives in an invisible prison. What is clear is that he is unlikely to experience a sense of control or believe that he has control over his life.

One Big Act

So, when he is around his mother, it can be normal for him to come across as easy-going needless and even happy or unhappy, if this is how he is expected to be. In reality, this will show that he is wearing a mask and is totally estranged from his needs and feelings.

This doesn’t mean that he will consciously choose to wear a mask around her, as this is something that is likely to automatically take place. He will have lost himself and will be caught up in his mother’s world.

The Same Story

The same thing could also take place when he is around his friends, with this being a time when he will wear the same or a very similar mask. Once again, who he is wont see the light of day.

Still, the people in his life could believe that this is who he is. If they were to describe him, they could say that he is easy-going, is easy to be around and doesn’t want much from others.

The Perfect Feedback

When he is around his mother and others, he can supply these people with the feedback that they want. It can be as though his sole purpose is to be who other people want him to be and to take care of their needs.

Nonetheless, as easy-going, needless and happy as he will seem to be, this will be nothing more than an illusion. Keeping up this act will take a lot out of him and sooner or later, he is likely to find that he can no longer maintain it.

One Big Stage

In the meantime, he is likely to do what he can to keep it all together and to carry on behaving in the same way. He might not be a professional performer but most of his life will be one big performance.

If he didn’t have his own needs and feelings and was merely an extension of others and his mother, in particular, it wouldn’t matter that he neglects himself. But, as this is not the case, he is going to suffer in silence.

Both Ways

He will both suppress and repress what is really going on for him and to do what he can to constantly be there for and to please others and his mother, in particular. Now, behaving in this way is not serving him, so it can be hard to understand why he wouldn’t change his behaviour.

Behind the facade that he presents to the world is going to be someone who is in a severely malnourished state, has a lot of pain and is desperate to be himself. The big question is: why is he behaving in this way?

A Closer Look

If he was to tune into his own needs and feelings and to freely express himself, he would probably feel extremely uncomfortable. This could be a time when he will feel guilty and ashamed, and he could be overwhelmed with fear.

He would be doing the right thing but it will be as if he is doing something that is wrong and his life will come to an end. To understand why he would feel this way, it will be necessary to take a look at what took place during his early years.

Back In Time

During his early years, his mother most likely used him to meet some of her adult and unmet childhood needs. Instead of providing him with what he needed to grow and develop, he would have had to provide her with some of what she needed.

This would have caused him to disconnect from his true self, his needs and feelings, and to move his awareness up, into his head. If he expressed himself, he would have probably been punished, disapproved of and/or abandoned; making it clear that it wasn’t safe for him to exist, let alone express himself.

A Massive Risk

Many, many years will have passed since this stage of his life and while both his physical and mental self will have grown, he will have remained in an emotionally underdeveloped state. Dropping his mask and no longer being the person who provides others with what they want will continue to be seen as something that would cause him to be harmed or abandoned.

For his true self to see the light of day and for him to no longer be his mother’s mirror, he will need to deal with this trauma and emotional pain. Until this happens, he will continue to behave in the same way.


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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