After being with a man who is overly focused on his mother for however long, a woman could be well and truly fed up. Still, a part of her could hope that he will change before long and they will finally be able to have a real relationship.

Yet, based on how he has behaved and is behaving, another part of her is likely to see that there is very little chance of this taking place. When it comes to why she has this outlook, it could be because he not only focused on his mother but he could also be unable to fully accept that he is out of balance.

A Tedious Time

If she was asked to describe how she would like him to be, she could say that she would like him to start standing his ground and to draw the line with his mother. Additionally, for him to spend more time being there for himself and to be more available for her.

It could be said that if she was to say this or something similar, she wouldn’t be being unreasonable. Ultimately, she is not asking for anything that an interdependent man wouldn’t be able to provide.


The challenge is that although he will be a man, he is likely to be developmentally stunted. So, although she is not asking for too much, he is going to be in a position where he is able to act like an interdependent man.

He is then focused on his mother and her needs because he hasn’t been able to grow out of the need for a mother. Most likely, he was deprived of the love that he needed during his formative years.

Emotionally Abandoned

Instead of receiving what he needed to grow and develop in the right way, he was probably forced to be there for his mother and meet some of her adult and unmet developmental needs. A stage of his life when he needed to receive would have been a stage when he was forced to give.

To handle what was going on, he would have lost touch with a number of his needs and feelings and developed a disconnected and externally focused false self. If he hadn’t adapted in this way, he would have suffered even more and he might have died.

Two Levels

Beyond the role that he plays and how he comes across, then, will be the pain and unmet development needs that he had to repress all those years ago. Deep down, he is likely to believe that if he changes his behaviour his life will come to an end.

This is due to his survival still being attached to his mother; a consequence of him not being able to go through each developmental stage. Another part of this is that behaving in this way will serve as a secondary defence as it will help to keep his pain outside of his conscious awareness.

The Other Side

If this is what he has gone through, it is not going to be a surprise that he acts like an extension of his mother. He will have been deeply wounded as a child and he will now be doing what he can to keep it together and function.

Now, while having this understanding in mind might allow her to be compassionate towards him, it probably won’t change what is going on. What this understanding might do is cause her to believe that she is wasting her time trying to change him.

The Next Stage

This could be the first time that she has been with a man like this or she might have been with a number of men like it. If she has been in this position before, it is likely to be a good idea for her to take a step back and reflect on her early years.

What she may find, by doing this, is that what is going on reminds her of what it was like with her parents. This may have been a time when her mother or father was passive and beaten down and her father or mother was domineering and walked over others.

A Replay

Clearly, the man she is with won’t be her mother or father and the man’s mother won’t be her father or mother, but, deep down, she won’t realise this. Thanks to what she went through all those years ago, she would have been deprived of the love that she needed.

A number of her needs and feelings would have been repressed, and, from behind the scenes, so to speak, these split-off parts of her will have caused her to unconsciously recreate a situation that is very similar to how it was for her as a child. The reason for this is that these parts of her are still trying to receive the love that she missed out on.

It’s Over

As these parts have no sense of time and are essentially blind, they are unable to accept that this stage of her life is over. Thus, just as it didn’t matter how much she struggled to be loved as a child as her parents were unable to provide her with the love that she needed, it won’t matter how much she struggles now.

For her to no longer look for the love that she missed out on as a child, it will be important for her to face and work through the pain that she experienced and experience her unmet developmental needs. This will take courage and patience and persistence.


If a woman can relate to this and she is ready to change her life, she 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.

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