What a woman may struggle to understand is why the man that she is with treats his mother well but not her. Most likely, it wasn’t this way when they first started spending time together.

When they first met, he might have been attentive, understanding, kind and caring, for instance. Along with this, he might have planned things and been only too happy to spend time with her.

The Next Stage

If so, as time has passed, he will be very different to how he was and he will have faded into the background. When she is around him, he could typically be inattentive and distant, with it being as though he is no longer interested.

Additionally, he could often be critical, blame her for things and start arguments for no apparent reason. When they do spend time together then, it is not going to be very pleasant.

The Other Side

And, while this is going on, he will be running around doing this for his mother, making sure that her needs are taken care of. The woman, who is treating him well, his partner, will then be treated badly, but, the woman who is using him, his mother, won’t be.

However, if she were to talk to him about how he has changed and is not more focused on pleasing his mother, she might not make much headway. He could dismiss what she says and say that what she says is not true.

Another Outcome

Then again, even if he does deny what she says, he could end up thinking about what has been said. After this, he could wonder why his behaviour has changed and why he has turned his back on the woman who is treating him well.

He could come to see that he should be angry at his mother for expecting him to more or less always be there for her. What could then stand out is that instead of speaking to his mother and expressing how he feels, he is taking his frustration and anger out on his partner.

Less Risk

From this, it will be clear that he is blaming his partner for something that hasn’t got anything to do with her. This is then an example of a defence mechanism known as displacement.

This is what happens when someone doesn’t feel safe enough to express what is going on for them toward another person and ends up unconsciously holding another person, someone who is not seen as a threat, accountable. Therefore, he won’t be consciously choosing to treat his partner in this way and he won’t feel safe enough to be real with his mother.

What’s going on?

At this point, it can seem strange that he wouldn’t feel safe enough to express himself around his mother. After all, it is not as though his mother is going to be physically stronger than him and a threat.

Nonetheless, even though he may have a well-developed intellect and be physically developed, his emotional self is likely to be underdeveloped. Therefore, at a deeper level, he will see his mother as being essential to his survival.

A Big Risk

Taking this into account, if he were to express what is going for him to his mother, he would soon experience fear and anxiety, and guilt and shame. He would look like a man but he would feel like a powerless and dependent boy.

Yet, when it comes to his partner, he won’t see her in the same way. Part of him is likely to see her as his mother but the mother image that he projects into her won’t be as strong as the one he projects into his mother.

The All-Clear

Thanks to this, how he feels toward his mother will be expressed toward his partner. Part of him will feel safe doing this and it will allow him to release tension.

As to why he is emotionally underdeveloped, this is likely to be because he was greatly deprived and deeply wounded during his formative years. His mother, by being emotionally unavailable and out of reach, wouldn’t have provided him with what he needed.

One option

He would have had to adapt to her needs and be who she wanted him to be. If he stayed connected to himself and expressed himself, he would have suffered even more.

The pain that he experienced and the needs that were not met would have been repressed by his brain. Many years will have passed since this stage of his life but a big part of him will be frozen in time and will see his mother as being in control of whether he lives or dies.

Drawing the Line

For him to realise at an emotional level that this stage of his life is over and that his mother is not in control of his survival, he is likely to have beliefs to question and pain to face and work through. This will take courage, patience and persistence.


If a man can relate to this and 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 cover all aspects of human transformation; including love, partnership, self-love, self-worth, enmeshment, inner child, true self and inner awareness. With over three thousand, six 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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