Although some men are able to form healthy relationships with women, there are others that are unable to do so. There are, of course, a numbers of reasons as to why this is.
For those that are unable to do so, it can be because they lack confidence or are emotionally disconnected. Then again, it can be because they have a fear of intimacy and don’t feel comfortable getting close to a woman.
Alternatively, it can be due to the fact that they are too close to their mothers. As a result of how close they are to this person, it won’t be possible for them to form an emotional connection to a woman.
When a man experiences life in this way, getting close to a woman will most likely feel wrong. What should feel normal is then going to feel abnormal, preventing him from being able to form a healthy relationship with a woman.
Sharing his body and even his mind with a woman won’t be an issue; what will be an issue is sharing his heart. The unhealthy emotional attachment that he has formed to his mother will be sabotaging his life.
Still, this doesn’t mean that a man like this will just be able to break this attachment and to move on with his life. Even if he wants to, it could take many, many years of serious therapy before this takes place.
Not a Surprise
However, as this attachment would have been formed during his formative years – a time when he was incredibly vulnerable and powerless – this is to be expected. There wouldn’t have been anything that he could have done during this phase of his life to protect himself and to put an end to what lead to this unhealthy attachment.
To move forward, there will be the beliefs that were formed during this time that will need to be brought to the light and questioned, the emotional pain and trauma that will need to be worked through and, while all this is going on, the man will gradually be able to develop boundaries and to form a sense of self. Ultimately, the man wouldn’t have received what he needed to be able to develop in the right way, which is why a lot of rebuilding work will need to take place.
After a man has come to see that he is too close to his mother, he may wonder why this attachment developed. He could think that his mother was just supposed to give him what he needed to develop, not to make him into her partner.
What is clear is that his mother most likely won’t have been able to see him as an individual. Instead, she would have probably seen him as someone who was there to take care of her own needs.
Thus, his mother wouldn’t have been able to be there for him during this incredibly important time in his life. Her needs would have been seen as being far more important than her child’s needs.
As a boy, the man would have had to disconnect from his own needs and to do what he could to fulfil his mother’s needs. This wouldn’t have been something that he consciously chose to do, it would have just happened in order for him to survive.
Now, this could show that his mother was single at this stage of his life, with this being the reason why she expected so much from him. At the same time, this could have been a time when she was in a relationship with his father or another man.
Regardless of whether there was another man around at this time or not, there is the chance that she had issues when it came to forming intimate relationships. Ergo, through not being able to form healthy attachments, she ended up using her son to meet some of her unmet needs.
An Unconscious Process
This is not to say that she was consciously aware of what she was doing as this most likely took place without her even realising what was going on. Even so, opening up to another adult wouldn’t have felt comfortable, hence why she looked towards her son to do some of the things that another adult should have done.
As her son was completely dependent on her and powerless, she would have been able to stay in control and to keep her own fears at bay. She wouldn’t have had to worry about him getting too close or pulling away, and if he did try to pull away, she would have been able to use fear and guilt to keep him close.
The reason why she had trouble forming a healthy relationship with another man may have come down to the fact that she had been in a number of dysfunctional relationships. Opening up to a man would then have felt like too much of a risk.
It could go a lot deeper than this, though, as her own father (or mother) may have used her in the same way that she used her son. This would have been a time in her life when she experienced emotional incest, causing her to disconnect from herself and to form an unhealthy emotional attachment to this caregiver in the process.
From One Generation to Another
As is the case with her child, this early experience would have conditioned her to believe that it was wrong for her to form a relationship with another man. Therefore, the only way for her to stay loyal to this caregiver would have been to stop this from taking place.
For whatever reason, she wouldn’t have become aware of this and done what she could to make sure that she doesn’t treat her child in the same way. Thanks to this, history will have repeated itself.
If the man was to bring all this up to his mother, that’s if she is still around, she could deny it. This may illustrate that she simply can’t remember what took place or that she has at least one personality disorder.
Either way, the priority will be for the man to do what he needs to do to emotionally break away from his mother and to live his own life. The assistance of a therapist, healer and/or a support group will probably be needed.
Teacher, prolific writer, author, and consultant, Oliver JR Cooper, hails from England. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation, including love, partnership, self-love, and inner awareness. With over two thousand, two hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behaviour, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice.