When it comes to a man who is unknowingly caught up in his mother’s world, it can seem as though the best thing that can happen is for him to ‘wake up’. What this will do is allow him to see what is going on and to gradually change his life.

After all, he is not here to merely be an extension of his mother; he is here to live his own life. And, unless he is aware of what is going on, he won’t be able to do anything about his life.

Total Acceptance

The trouble is that even if he was to have an awakening, it doesn’t mean that he would do anything about his life. Therefore, what is going on for him could end up becoming clear and instead of feeling the need to do anything; he could just carry on as normal.

He will then know that he is neglecting himself but he will continue to behave in the same way. Now, while he will accept what is going on, a friend or perhaps his partner, if he has one, might not be able to do so.


If it is his friend who is in this position, they could believe that he needs to do something about his life. Instead of behaving in a way that is not serving him, they will want him to implement boundaries with his mother and be there for himself.

Naturally, as they are a friend who cares about him, it is to be expected that they would be this way. But, as he won’t be willing to do anything about his life, they will be fighting an uphill battle.

On The Ropes

From this, it could be as if being there for his mother, for however long, has worn him down. As a result of this, he no longer has the energy let alone the desire to do anything about what is going on.

Another part of this is that, deep down, he is unlikely to believe that he can do anything about what is going on or has the right to do so. Thus, to say that he will be a beaten-down man will be an understatement.

Weighed Down

So, if there is a small part of him that does want his life to change, it will be dominated by a bigger and stronger part of him that has totally given up. Additionally, this part of him might no longer want to be here and could be happy for his life to end.

As only a small part of him wants his life to change and a big part of him has given up, he is not going to have the strength that he needs to change his life. Due to the position that he is in, his life is likely to only get worse.

The Way Out

If his life is to change, he is likely to need a lot of external support. Once he has started to change internally and become more integrated, his need for external support will decrease.

After a while, the part of him that does want his life to change could wonder why a big part of him has given up. If he was to explore what took place during his formative years, he is likely to find out why he is this way.

Way Back

From a very young age, a number of developmental needs are likely to have typically been overlooked. So, he might have often been rejected and abandoned and when he was given attention, it is likely to have often been misattuned care.

Instead of receiving the attunement and love that he needed to grow and develop in the right way, then, he would have had to adapt to his mother’s needs. Not receiving what he needed would have deeply wounded and deprived him.

A Brutal Time

To handle the pain of not having his needs met, his brain would have repressed how he felt and his unmet needs. As his mother wasn’t truly there for him, he would have been forced to focus on her needs.

Most likely, his mother was developmentally stunted, lacked empathy and was emotionally unavailable. Thus, she probably wasn’t even aware of how she was using her son to meet some of her adult and unmet developmental needs or how destructive her behaviour was.

The Key Moment

If he wasn’t powerless and totally dependent at this stage of his life, he would have been able to change what was going on or to find someone who could love him. But, as he was, his only option was to go into a shut down, disconnected and collapsed physical and emotional state.

He felt totally helpless at this stage of his life and he was totally helpless; he couldn’t do anything. This stage of his life has now passed, of course, but a big part of him will be anchored to this stage of his life.

Moving Forward

To use an analogy, he will be like a car that has gone through a very serious accident and needs to be gradually rebuilt. The part of him that has given up will largely be made up of the pain and the unmet developmental needs that he had to repress very early on.

Facing this pain and working through it and experiencing his unmet developmental needs 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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