Even though a man is in a relationship, it doesn’t mean that his primary relationship will be with his partner. No, there can be someone else, and this person will take up a lot of his time and energy as a result.
What could come to mind at this point is that he is having an affair, with this being the reason why he is rarely emotionally or physically present. This certainty is something that would cause him to be this way, but it won’t be the case in this instance.
Closer to home
His inability to truly be there for this partner will come down to the fact that he is too focused on his mother. Her needs, not his partner’s, will be his main priority, and naturally, this is going to cause his partner to feel ignored and unvalued.
The man’s partner will be in a monogamous relationship and yet, it will be as if there are three people in their relationship. Therefore, although the other person will be his mother, she can have a very similar experience to what she would have if she had to share her partner with another woman.
Very early on
At the beginning of the relationship, the man’s partner might not have realised how focused he was on his mother’s needs. Or, she might have seen his focus on his mother’s needs as a positive sign.
She could have believed that this showed how much he loved his mother and how caring he was. But, as time passed, it would have soon become clear that he was far too focused on his mother.
A mixed experience
In addition to feeling ignored and unvalued, the partner could also feel deeply frustrated and angry about what is going on. However, there could be times when she will feel guilty and even ashamed, believing that she is being selfish.
In reality, there will be no need for her to feel guilty and ashamed as her partner should not be so focused on his mother. Ultimately, she deserves to be with a man who will be able to be there for her.
If the woman has brought up what is going on for her and how she feels, she may have found that her partner has minimised and/or dismissed her experience. He could say that she is being needy or that he has to be there for his mother, for example.
In his eyes, then, what he is doing will be right and there will be no need for him to change his behaviour. His partner will have to put up with what is going on, or she will need to draw the line and end the relationship.
If the woman has invested a lot of time in her partner, this could be the last thing that she wants to do. Deep down, she could believe that, with enough effort and time, she will be able to change him.
But, if there is no sign that he is willing to change, she will probably be wasting her precious energy and time. If it’s clear that he won’t change, one thing she could do to get herself moving is to think about what her life will be like if she is in the same position in a year’s time.
A role reversal
When it comes to the man, it could be said that he will be behaving more like his mother’s father than her son. The truth is that he is on this planet to live his own life and this is something that his mother should encourage.
So, the fact that he is unable to do this and his mother is happy for him to focus on her is likely to show that something didn’t go as it should have gone during his early years. Most likely, this was a stage of his life when he was, quite simply, used by his mother to fulfil her unmet adult and childhood needs.
Forced to fulfil a role
The man’s needs would have generally been ignored and he would have been forced to take care of his mother’s needs. Out of his need to survive and his inability to do anything what was going on, he wouldn’t have had a choice.
This would have caused him to lose touch with his true self and to develop a false self, with his false self being a consequence of what would allow him to please his mother. Another part of this is that his father probably wasn’t around, and even if he was, it is unlikely that he was emotionally available.
If he was available, he would have played a part in separating the child from his mother when he was about three years old. This would have been part of the individuation process; something would have allowed him to gradually live his own life.
But, as he was used by his mother to full her emotional needs as opposed to taking care of his emotional needs, he wouldn’t have developed the sense of self that would have prepared him to start this process. He will be developmentally stunted.
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, 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, inner child and inner awareness.
By Oliver JR Cooper