Even though a man is a separate human being with his own needs and feelings and life to lead, it doesn’t mean that he will act like one. Instead, what can be normal is for him to act as if he is an extension of his mother.

He is then not going to be the main actor in his own life; he will be a supporting actor in his mother’s life. Sadly, however, if this is what is normal, it might not be something that stands out.

The First Stage

Assuming that this is so, what could allow him to see what is going on if he was to meet a woman and things went further. In the same way that he has lost himself in his mother’s world, he could also end up losing himself in the woman’s world.

In the beginning, the woman might appreciate how focused he is on her and overlook how focused he is on his mother. When it comes to the former, she could believe that this shows how interested he is and when it comes to the latter, she could believe that this shows how kind and caring he is.

The Second Stage

But, as time passes, she could start to feel frustrated with how much time he spends doing things for his mother. Due to how caught up he is with her, this will have a negative impact on their relationship.

Still, she might let what is going on slide, hoping that he will realise how destructive his behaviour is and change. The days, weeks and even months could pass, though, and he might not change.

The Big Awakening

After getting to the stage where she can no longer take any more, she could talk to him about what is going on. One thing that she could say is that he is not responsible for his mother and needs to start putting himself first.

This could be something that he is able to accept and he could say that he will have a word with his mother. Before long, he might spend less time doing things for his mother and more time being there for himself, which will benefit their relationship.

Another Scenario

Then again, he might not be able to truly hear what she says and he could continue to behave in the same way after they have spoken. Alternatively, he could agree with what she says and agree to change.

But, while he will want to change, he might find that he feels a strong need to behave in the same way. As a result of this, he could believe that his mother is in control of him and there is very little that he can do.

A Time of Exploration

Now, although it might seem as if he has no control and his mother is in control of him, it doesn’t mean that this is the truth. If he was to connect with himself, he is likely to find that behind his need to be there for his mother is a fear of being rejected and abandoned by her.

From this, it will be clear that his survival is attached to her and this is why he is unable to draw the line with her. Unless this changes, he will continue to act like an extension of her and abandon himself.

One Option

Understandably, if it is a case of him being there for himself and his life coming to an end or him being there for her and being able to survive, there is only going to be one choice. Yet, as he is an adult and is no longer a powerless and dependent boy, he shouldn’t be in this position.

Deep down, he won’t realise that he is separate from her and this is why he is unable to freely express himself. If he did realise this, he would be able to freely express himself and know that his life wouldn’t come to an end.

What’s going on?

At this point, he could wonder why he is an adult but he hasn’t moved beyond the stage where his survival depends on his mother. He might wonder if there is something wrong with him and if he just needs to ‘man up’.

In all likelihood, the reason that a big part of him is frozen in time is that he was deprived of the love that he needed during his formative years. This is likely to have been a time when his mother used him to meet some of her adult and unmet developmental needs.

The outcome

By having to adapt to her and not receiving what he needed to grow and develop in the right way, he wouldn’t have been able to move beyond this stage of his development. His physical and mental self would then have grown, but his emotional self wouldn’t have.

To handle what was going on, he would have had to lose touch with his true self, so a number of his needs and feelings, and develop a disconnected false self. The main purpose of this false self would have been to please his mother.

Moving Forward

With this in mind, many, many years will have passed since he was a boy but as he was unable to attach to and then gradually separate from her, a big part of him will be anchored to this stage of his life. Once he is able to move beyond this stage of his life and know, at the core of his being, that he is separate from her, he will be able to draw the line with her and act like an individual.

To do this, he will have pain to face and work through and unmet developmental needs to experience. This is something 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, enmeshment, inner child, true self 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.

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

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