After coming to see that he is acting like an extension of his mother and is ignoring himself, a man can look into what he can do to change his life. Still, he might see that this is not going to happen overnight.

But, after he has looked into what he can do to start acting like an individual who has his own needs and feelings and has taken the first step, he can experience resistance. He can see that a big part of him doesn’t want to change his behaviour.

Inner Conflict

If he were to go into this, he could experience a deep sense of loss. Therefore, by being there for his mother, he won’t have to have this inner experience.

However, even though he won’t have to have this experience by being there for his mother, he will still experience loss. The loss that he will experience will be the loss of himself and his ability to live his own life.

Too Painful

What this will illustrate is that the loss that he would experience by implementing boundaries with his mother will be too much for him to handle. It then won’t matter that he has turned his back on himself.

If this wasn’t the case, he would be able to slowly draw the line with his mother and be there for himself. At this point, he could wonder why this sense of loss is so strong and too much for him to handle.

A Closer Look

Now that he is an adult, it could be said that his survival doesn’t depend on his mother. Thus, while no longer being there for his mother will cause him to experience pain, he is not going to die.

Nonetheless, thanks to how strong this sense of loss is, it will be as though his life will come to an end if he starts to live his own life. Taking this into account, the sense of loss that he experiences can be seen as being irrational.

Another Angle

Furthermore, it’s not as though he will be distancing himself from someone who is loving and supportive. No, he will be creating greater physical and emotional space between himself and someone who is taking a lot but not giving much.

But, although it can seem as though the sense of loss that arises when he thinks about changing his behaviour is irrational, it doesn’t mean that it is. If his history is taken into account, it is likely to make complete sense.

Back In Time

Throughout his formative years, his mother is unlikely to have been able to be there for him and provide him with the love that he needed to grow and develop in the right way. Consequently, he would have been forced to adapt to her and be who she wanted him to be.

This would have caused him to be greatly deprived and deeply wounded. He would have gone from having an embodied sense of self to having a disembodied sense of self.

A Tough Time

Not having his developmental needs met on a regular basis would have caused him to experience a lot of pain. He would have experienced this pain when he was rejected, punished and abandoned, for instance.

This shows that experiencing the loss of his mother’s attention, acceptance and presence would have been normal. But, as he was powerless and totally dependent, his only option was to repress this pain and the needs that he had.

The Outcome

Many, many years will have passed since he was a powerless and dependent boy, but, he will still carry most if not all of this pain and these unmet developmental needs. This inner material will be what enters his mind when he thinks about changing his behaviour.

With the adult loss that he will experience and the unprocessed loss from his early years, it is not going to be a surprise that this loss will overwhelm him. He will end up being flooded by this pain and feel helpless.

Moving Forward

For him to be able to move forward, it will be essential for him to face and work through this pain and experience his unmet developmental needs. This is something that can take many months and even years.


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 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.

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