His mother is your man’s first love story. The way she loved him, will become the basis of how he will love all other women. In good and in bad!
It is his first experience of love. If the mother was emotionally available, warm, soothed the baby when he cried, hold him, rocked him, smiled to him, he will grow into an emotionally healthy adult! No one can be available 24 hours a day, for another human being, even with the best intentions. But hat the baby needs is to feel safe, wanted and loved.
In the first 6 months of life, the baby does not see himself as separated from his mother, they feel they are the same person. Only when the gratification, comfort or food are late, he begins to realise that things are coming from outside of himself. If the mother on the other side is herself wounded, depressed, sad, anxious, angry, drug or alcohol addicted, seductive in her behaviour, then cracks are beginning to form in this relationship, even if they will be visible only years after.
Depending on his own genetical predisposition, innate sensitivity, on how big the damage was, if there was or not a possibility for compensations of what he did not receive from his mother, the boy will grow into an adult with certain beliefs and expectations about love – based on his personal experience with his mother.
If the mother gave too little, the boy will suffer emotional deprivation, believing that women are cold, depressed, only sporadically available, overemotional. He will feel that it is his job to make his mother happy. He will smile a lot, since baby, he will play alone, not wanting to disturb her, he will never complain about anything, rarely asking for anything. He will become parentified. Maybe he will run from relationships, isolating in a mental cave, denying any emotional needs for connection, since his mother was not able to connect to him. As adult he will be attracted to women similar to his mother, and will desire to save them.
If the mother gave too much, this will also have some serious consequences later. He might feel smothered, there is a huge pressure to make his mother happy. Especially if the father is physically of emotionally absent.
Some women are extremely seductive in their behaviours to their boy, continuing to cut their hair, massage them, wash them till they are 12 or 14 years old. Some ask their boy, to tell them they are beautiful, sexy, showing themselves in sexy underwear in front of their kid. This is a mental incest. Some use words like: “You are my man, you are not going to let me down, because you are not like other men, aren’t you?” Or: “That girls/woman is so much under your level”. Or: “Can’t you see how special you are? You should not settle for so little!”
The boy does not need to separate from the feminine, only from his mother.
It is very hard to contrast this kind of behaviour.
The boy becoming a man, with his masculinity crushed by the invading mother has 3 possibilities to oppose her:
1. Hating her in the open, believing that the feminine is oppressing, controlling. He will talk bad about her in front of his peers, he will become aggressive or avoidant. This is the only possible way he knows to separate from her. Disrespecting her, behaving in all the ways he knows his mother hates.
2. Becoming extremely demanding, looking for numerous affairs to prove to his mother his power over women. He will have relationships with no strings attached, he will be cold, emotionally unavailable, narcissist, he will feel prisoner in any form a relationship. He does this because he feels that “the feminine” is controlling and “castrating”. Having dozens of affair, conquering women will become the foundation of his self esteem. This is his way of showing to his mother his power over women!
3. By never separating from her, emotionally and physically. Especially visible in the Latin countries, unfortunately largely present in Italy, where I have been living for last 18 years.
Sometimes I hear conversations on the street that are indicators of pathological relationships. The son is still living with his parents, till he is 40, or till he finds a woman who is a substitute for his mother. ( Sometimes it is not possible to live separately due to economical restrictions, but it is important that he separates from her psychologically ) Many times he is very weak, passive, finding only a temporary job, if he has it! He has occasional relationships based on sex and that’s all. This is his way of avoiding the “trap”. The mother continues to cook for him- lunch and dinner, wash his clothes, pick up his socks, clean up his room.
She is very critical to him in words but continues to encourage this dependency by her actions. In her mind, he is still a little boy, even if he is 40. He trades his freedom, for the comfort of the home, and for having someone take care of him. And imagine that someday, when the mother is very old or dying, he will look for another women, very similar to her- to continue to treat him the same way! He will request maternal care, unable to offer much to his wife: cold, depressed, frustrated in his sexuality, avoiding intimacy, crushed and running from responsibilities!
I personally believe it is easier to cure a clinically depressed man, or a personality disorder then it is to break this unhealthy bond. And then you wonder, why is it so difficult for women to find a man they feel they can count on!
Primitives do it better
You would be surprised to know that this problem is virtually non existent in the so called “primitive societies”, like Papua New Guinea, Sumatra, Pacific islands, aborigines in Australia and New Zeeland, some African tribes. They still practice to some extend “coming of age rituals “. When the boy at around 12-14, he is drastically and visibly separated from his mother, in order to become a man. He is taken by older tribe members on a hunting trip, usually for a period of 3 to 7 days.
He is trained basic survival skills, including enduring cold, hunger, being physically hurt, isolated, “forcing“ him to learn to trust his instincts, to survive when there is no one there to take care of him. He is told stories of courage and of faith of brave ancestors. He learns that feminine has to be respected, that feminine is nurturing, and offers emotional security and is a safe place, that he will always be a son to his mother, but also that he is a MAN, and has to be able to manage by himself in life.
In these societies do not exist: personality disorders, narcissism, disrespectful attitude towards women, running from responsibilities, rape or sexual abuse on women.
In western world, the boy scout groups are a shy similar community initiative to teach to the boys (12 to 16), minimum survival skill. I sometimes see them in the forests near my home, even if it for few hours only. It must be hard for a mother to let go of her boy, to stop seeing him as little. I am myself the mother of a 6 year old boy. Sometimes thorn between the need to protect him from the dangers of the world, and encouraging his natural call for independence, exploration, adventure. His first word was actually “airplane”, not mother. He dreams to go and see elephants in India, and loves the pirate ships.
I hope I will be able to let him go when the times comes, because I want him to become a secure man, not depressed, and believing he has everything he needs in order to go through life! And some day become a man that a woman can count on!
Very few men will ever ask for help to free themselves from this trap of the mother. Men discuss women with other men, but they never discuss their Mothers. This is a Tabu topic. Most will perpetuate this behaviour by becoming like their fathers, maintaining the vicious circle.
Or they might occasionally take a look at some Facebook pages that deal with relationships education! Or go to a male psychologist to talk about their fears! Hopefully!