When a mother is unable to see her son as an individual, she is going to have an issue with him living his own life. His purpose, as far as she is concerned, will be to be there for her and to take care of her needs.

Still, this is not to say that this is something that she will be consciously aware of. Even so, this is what her words and behaviour will make clear.

Taking a Step Back

There is the chance that this is not something that she has reflected on or questioned if she is behaving in a way that is healthy. Until this takes place, there will be no reason for her to change her behaviour.

Behaving in this way will just be what feels comfortable and it will continue to take place until something happens. This could show that she is not very reflective and is perhaps someone who is fairly shut down.

Very Little Resistance

However, as her son will be a man, not a boy it could be said that it won’t matter what his mother wants as he will be capable of standing up for himself. He will be a man but it is highly unlikely that he will feel strong and capable.

Therefore, although he should have the ability to stand his ground around his mother and to make it clear that he is not on this planet to serve her, this probably won’t happen. Instead, he is likely to go along with what his mother wants and to do what he can to take care of her needs.


He won’t have strings attached to him but it can be as if he does and his mother will be pulling these strings. It might not matter what he is doing, then, as, if his mother needs him, he could stop what he is doing and head over to her.

He will be an individual and at the centre of his own world, but it will be as though he is merely an extension of her. It might not even occur to him that he is neglecting himself.

The Foundations Were Laid

If he had received what he needed to receive during his formative years, he wouldn’t be in this position. Yet, as he didn’t, he will look like a man but he won’t have gone through the developmental stages that he needed to go through to be one.

As a result of this, he will look like a separate being but at an emotional level, he will be in a symbiotic state. For him to have grown out of this stage and to have emotionally separated from his mother, he needed to receive the right nutrients from both his mother and his father.


As this didn’t take place, his physical and mental body would have grown but his emotional body/self wouldn’t have. Another way of looking at this would be to say that he had a physical birth but he didn’t have an emotional birth.

The former would have provided him with a vessel with which to have a human experience, whilst the latter would have provided him with the sense of self that would allow him to embrace this experience. So, as this didn’t take place, he is likely to be totally out of touch with himself and, thereby, unaware of the fact that he is not living his own life.

An External Focus

During his early years, he would have had to focus on his mothers needs; he wouldn’t have had a choice. This would have meant losing touch with his true self and automatically creating a false self that would have allowed him to survive.

He would have become very good at tuning into his mothers needs and not very good at tuning into his own. Ignoring his needs and focusing on his mothers needs would have ended up being what felt comfortable very early on and this is why this will feel comfortable now.

Shamed-Based Identity

Due to what happened very early on, he is likely to believe that his needs are inherently bad. He could believe that if he was to express his needs, he would be rejected and/or abandoned.

Neglecting himself won’t be doing him any good, but, deep down, this will be seen as the only way for him to survive. He is likely to be carrying a lot of unprocessed emotional pain and trauma and as he is developmentally stunted, his survival won’t have been internalised; it will still be attached to his mother.

All at Sea

If his mother was able to reflect on the fact that her son is not an extension of her and is an individual, it doesn’t mean that she would encourage him to live his own life. Just the thought of doing this could cause her to feel very uncomfortable.

This could be a time when she will end up feeling emotionally unstable and experience a fair amount of fear and panic. To settle herself down, then, she will want to make sure that her son continues to focus on her and doesn’t live his own life.

Going Deeper

What this is likely to show is that she is also in an undeveloped state, which is why she would have used her son to meet her needs very early on and continues to do so. Most likely, one of her caregivers also used her to full their needs and this would have stopped her from being able to develop a strong sense of self and to start the individuation process.

It was then not that she consciously did her best to stop her son from developing; it was that she was trying to keep her own pain at bay. Her childhood would have been very traumatic, leaving her empty and unable to offer much to her own child/children.


How he was treated during his early years and continues to be treated is not personal; it’s just a sign that his mother wasn’t and still isn’t in a good way. Ergo, there is nothing inherently wrong with him or his needs.

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 support 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.

To find out more go to - http://www.oliverjrcooper.co.uk/

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