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THE QUEST FOR AUTHENTIC MANHOOD

7. The Overly-Bonded with Mother Wound

Well, good morning, men! You guys are bright and alert. Thank you, Bill, for that introduction. You know, most men who enter life with a strong sense of themselves and emotional stability, a strong character and clear direction ­ most men who enter life that way ­ stand kind of like I'm standing here with my two legs -- stand on two legs of their own. Two strong pillars of support for their masculinity. One is an involved dad and the other is a nurturing mom. The fact is that's how nature intended it to be. That's how every boy was meant to have legs, so to speak, for his manhood. The problem is ­ and that's what we've been seeing the last several weeks ­ is that oftentimes those pillars of support for our masculinity have cracks in them. Those cracks weaken and as a result as we're growing up through the critical moments of life, those pillars give way and strength is replaced by instability. Health is replaced by hurt, and for us growing up as little boys and finally stepping out into the full sunshine of manhood, oftentimes what we find is not legs to stand on, but amputations. Those amputations then make life as a man difficult - and hard - and a struggle. These last few weeks, as you know, we've been looking at the first of those new pillars, and that is `dad,' - a pillar of manhood. What we want to do here in Session 7 of the Quest for Authentic Manhood is look at that second one, called `mom.' Mom is a very, very important influence in a man's life, as we're going to find out in this session. I want to make one qualification here as I start. We've got to look at this for just a moment. I'm not picking on your mother. Okay? What I'm going to be doing here this morning, is exploring the influence of a mom on a man's life. How, sometimes unknowingly, that influence which she meant for good can end up as a wound in a man's life. In their book The Mom Factor, Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend write these words:

"Other than dad, no one has influenced more the person you are today than your mother. The way she has handled your needs as a child has shaped your worldview, your relationships, your marriage, your career, your self-image, your life. What we learn in our relationship with our mother deeply affects every area of our adult life now."

Authentic Manhood ­ 7 Overly-Bonded with Mother

And we know that to be true. Mom goes deep in the male psyche. You know, a lot of times, they have recorded airline pilots right as they're going down to crash, you know in those little black boxes? Recently, as they were replaying one of those little black boxes as the pilot was trying to get control of the aircraft, right before it hit the ground, the last words were, "Mom." It's like we went all the way down to the primal beginning of life and there at the very core stands mom. She's a powerful influence over a man's life. Unfortunately, sometimes the influence that mother has in your life leaves a wound. Kevin is one example of this. Let me read you an illustration from the life of Kevin:

Kevin loved his wife. He adored her, but he was not strong enough in his own right to say `no' to her. The chief area that he experienced this was in his own need for time with a hobby or with friends. When he wanted space in which to pursue a hobby or to be with friends, she wanted him home. He could not stand up for his own separateness. He would comply - then resent her - then his feelings of love for her would begin to disappear. This pattern continued until finally his resentment built up to the point that he actually left her. He complained that he felt smothered and controlled. What he could not see -- what he could not see ­ what he could not see was that this was his own fault. Kevin had never established boundaries with his own mom. A strong-willed woman, she was content to be in control of him, and he had never left her. So, instead of leaving mom and cleaving to his wife, he turned his wife into mom and left her instead. This is one of the most common divorce scenarios that occur in men's lives. Men see the controlling woman as the problem, but they fail to deal with their own flimsy boundaries. If they had established good boundaries with their mothers, they would not fear being controlled by their wives or their girlfriends. "Stop controlling me!" would turn into "No. I don't want to." Men often see their wives and girlfriends as the controlling mothers that they're not strong enough to deal with and so they leave."

Now I tell you the story of Kevin because I want you to see a point here. One that you're going to recognize real quickly, and that's this: much of what Kevin was dealing with in his marriage ­ remember this -- was simply unfinished business. He's still walking around with

Authentic Manhood ­ 7 Overly-Bonded with Mother

mom's apron strings. He didn't know it. He never analyzed it. He never did what we talked about several weeks ago and that is to look back to find out why am I the way I am? Instead, he deals ignorantly in the now - fighting phantoms that he can't see and thinking this person is the problem, when the roots of the problem go way back to that suitcase he carries along with the apron that's in it. This is what we call "the Mom Factor." It's prevalent in a lot of men's lives believe it or not. A healthy relationship with mom requires two significant breaks, guys. The first is from physical bondedness. Most of you know about that one. When a newborn baby who's been part of the mother's body for nine months ­ like you were at one point, you were literally one with your mother for those 9 months - suddenly there comes a moment where you have to be separated from her. But to be separate from her requires an unnatural break; one that she can't necessarily do for herself. And at birth, there has to be this cutting of the umbilical cord. Now, I happened to be at the birth of all four of my children. I can still see ­ as sometimes the kids like to replay their birth moment ­ where I'm in there with the camera, moving around and helping to coach my wife to breathe and all the things that I learned in those classes. I can still see the birth of my last son. The camera's going, and Dr. Quay pulls my son out of the womb and holds him up and he says, `Bob, it's a boy! Come ­ cut cord!' You see the camera, and then you see these scissors come out in the camera. There's the umbilical cord, and I start cutting that cord in two. Suddenly, a transformation takes place! My son goes from being one with his mom, to being separate from his mom. Now for us as men, not having experienced that personally ­ that seems like a rather routine thing that occurs at the time of birth. But did you know that for many moms that moment is deeply significant? Because in that cut, the comfortable relationship that mom had with her child ­ that she had grown accustomed to - suddenly that radically changes, and she can no longer relate to the child the way she once did. That relationship has literally been cut off. A change has occurred, and for some women, that change is so difficult emotionally, that she suffers from what is called `post partum blues.' Have you heard that? If you've heard that, raise your hand just for a moment. Everybody's part of `post partum blues.' Sometimes it becomes `post partum depression,' because it's so difficult to deal with. Literally, after the parting blues. Because the relationship has changed. Now, most every woman eventually gets over this transition from oneness to separateness.

Authentic Manhood ­ 7 Overly-Bonded with Mother

But there's a second separation that a lot of moms don't make and never get over; or have difficulty handling. It is a separation that is far more important than cutting this physical umbilical cord. It occurs when a son is seeking to go from being a "mama's boy" to being a man in his own right. In that moment, another kind of cut is desperately needed. That cut is the cut from emotional bondedness. It is extremely important for mom to willingly give up or lose her emotional hold over your life, and my life. This is a very traumatic thing that far exceeds the physical separateness. A lot of cultures recognize this need. It's interesting that many primitive cultures recognize the need for the emotional cut. Not along ago, I was reading a story of a primitive tribe. They have a very elaborate ceremony to bring this about. When the son is just about at puberty, the tribe arranges for this traumatic moment. The women in the tribe are given kind of a `heads up' on it. Then late in the night, the men in the tribe dress up as warriors and they come, beating drums with lighted torches, yelling and screaming. They rush into the mother's hut and grab the child ­ the son. The mother, knowing all this is going to happen, still plays into it and she's screaming, "My boy! My boy!" And he's screaming "Mama! Mama! Mama!" The warriors pull the son from the mother's arms, as he cries and reaches out for mom. Then with drums beating, they carry the son out into a new life, and from that day forward he lives with the men ­ never to live with mama again. In that traumatic cut, he understands ­ as painful as it is ­ that he's no longer to relate to mama. He's to relate to the community of men. He's crossed over. Now that requires that mama wants to let go, right? And I'm sure ­ if we went into that tribe ­ there are a lot of mothers that would rather keep their sons right there in the hut with them for the rest of their life. Now, here`s the question I want to ask you: Where in America in the good, old US of A, do we have a clear place for such an emotional separation between mother and son? The answer is, we don't. Do we? There's no clear place of separation along the road of life and that is why, gentlemen, many men are still emotionally bonded with mom in one way or another. Now, we're going to explore some of those different ways of bonding. Some of them are very deeply entrenched. Some of them are just lightly connected, but because there's no clear separation, a lot of guys in their 30's, 40's, 50's and even 60's, still have this connection to both worlds. That's why it's difficult for those men to fully and separately identify into the world of

Authentic Manhood ­ 7 Overly-Bonded with Mother

men, and to express manhood at a deeply emotional level, because they still have ties back to mom. Here's how Dr. Cloud and Dr. Townsend summarize all this:

"To understand what is going on with men in the relational world, we must first look at some developmental patterns in their childhood. In the beginning, the young male is connected to mom. If things go well, with the "attaching mom" he learns to feel comfortable with his dependency on her, bonding, needing and connecting are comfortable and he enjoys being close. He's one with mom. But then he begins to separate from her in the second and third year of life, and moves out of oneness into a separate identity. It's important that he not only become a separate person, but that he become secure in his gender identity. Later, as he moves away from mom and towards dad for identification with male identity, he accomplished two things: 1) He becomes a separate person, attaching to his father and gaining more autonomy from the oneness with mom, and 2) in his attachment to his father and identification with him as a male, he gains gender identity. From this strong base, he becomes someone who is comfortable with connection and dependence on someone, but separate enough to be autonomous an individual away from his object of dependency. He also becomes secure in his male identity; in short, he can love mom and be independent from her all at the same time. And then later, he finds a woman to whom he can have a significant attachment and he marries, and with all of this secure identity, he is strong and separate with his new love when it comes to boundaries and limits, and he stays free of her control, and yet, he's comfortable with both his and her perfections, and now sees her as a person he can relate intimately with. And in this way, he's come full circle. He has successfully returned to the woman, but as an individual in his own right."

So, real health for a man goes this way. Let me just give it to you in this little diagram. You can fill it in. From oneness with mom literally, to a healthy physical separation; to a healthy emotional separation, to finally a healthy oneness with a woman relationally, called his wife. Did you know the book of Genesis pictures this really well ­ in just one phrase ­Genesis, Chapter 2 says: "For this cause (that's speaking of marriage, of ultimately moving into an

Authentic Manhood ­ 7 Overly-Bonded with Mother

intimate relationship with a woman) For this cause, a man shall leave (and by the way, the word in Hebrew for `leave' is "to cut." It's speaking of this cutting ­ just like cutting an umbilical cord)...shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave (in a healthy way) to his wife, and they are able to become one flesh." The reason they're able to become one flesh is because his ties are not back to his family and, in particular, he's still not connected with his mom. That's how he can relate successfully to his wife. Now, that's the way it should be. But often it's not, because often mom, for one reason or another ­in one way or another ­ refuses to let go and that creates what I call the Mother Wound. Let me give you a definition for the Mother Wound: It's an unhealthy emotional relationship with mother that causes a son to either be threatened by the influence of women later on his life, or to over-identify and become submissive to that influence. Now when I first taught this material years ago, I added this Mother Wound almost as an after-thought. I added it because I'd had some of that in my own life with my mom - filling in for my dad. I had no idea how pervasive it was in men's lives across our community until I began to teach it and then get the response that I did. As pastors in other cities and other locations have taught this same experience, they've said, "you know, this is really an issue with men!" So, if you're out there this morning as a man and you're feeling even now as I talk about some of these things, `boy, there is something there for me. But there's probably something wrong with me. Those guys aren't attached to their moms, are they?" Let me tell you ­ a lot of guys ­ in some funny ways are attached to their moms, so don't feel alone. Remember what we have learned about in Men's Fraternity? This is a safe place and you're not alone. A lot of people in this room that can identify with what you're feeling right now. It's an unhealthy emotional bondedness in some ways that later on, in adult life, causes you to have different responses to women, and how you relate to a woman. By the way, how you're relating right now to your girlfriend or your wife has links back to your home and when you were growing up. If they're unhealthy attachments they're called the Mother Wound. Now, here are some important characteristics about this wound. First, this wound is not blatant. This wound is subtle. When we were talking about the Father Wound, we were talking about a nasty gash that guys feel. It's a ragged cut that bleeds. You can see it and guys

Authentic Manhood ­ 7 Overly-Bonded with Mother

know they have it. But a Mother Wound is like a paper cut. You've had a paper cut where you've done it and it stung. You look down and can't see anything, it's almost invisible. The point is, whether it's a nasty gash or a it's a paper cut, eventually, both of them bleed, don't they? That's the Mother Wound. Secondly, the Mother Wound is not one of abuse. It is not mom being bad. It's not one of neglect or even absenteeism. It's a wound disguised as love and caring. That's part of the reason this wound is so hard to deal with --because it looks so nurturing, and caring and loving. It's like the Trojan Horse. Some of you guys ­ if you remember your Greek mythology, you remember the Greeks trying to conquer the city of Troy and they couldn't get in because the walls were so high. So what they did is they built this giant wooden horse and they gave it to the Trojans as a gift. At least, the Trojans thought it was a gift. Inside were enemy soldiers. They set the horse outside the gates, and the Trojans opened the gates and brought the horse in thinking, `gosh, look at this wonderful gift.' Then while they were sleeping that night, the top of the horse opened. The Greek soldiers got out and they conquered the city. That's the way the Mother Wound works. You invite it in because it comes in as a gift. But once inside, it opens up, and things hurt that weren't intended to hurt. That's how it actually impacts a man's life. Thirdly, this is not a wound of inattention, like it is with the Absent Father Wound. This is a wound of over-attention. It's over-involvement, and over-identification with mom. It's over-concern which keeps the relationship between a son and a mother in over time, fused and connected in inappropriate ways. This is a wound that looks like love, but over a period of time it feels like control. This is also a wound that is so powerful that in adulthood, it can wrongly shape or warp the masculine psyche. Guys - I've talked to a lot of men over the last 15 years, and I know of men who are still tethered to mom's wishes, to mom's feelings about him - about his marriage about his children and about what he does. He's still tethered in some emotional way to mom's control over him, even though he is 40 or 50 or even 60 years old! Now sometimes we can just sit back and kind of laugh about it like this cartoon. Take a look at the cartoon up here for a moment. This guy's at a psychiatrist, and it says at the bottom, "Next session, Mrs. Bentlow, I'd like your son to solo." There he is, he knows he's got problems. He's come to see the psychiatrist, but mom's going to be right there with him ­ still taking care of him.

Authentic Manhood ­ 7 Overly-Bonded with Mother

You know, when I was about 16, I began to feel that kind of love that felt like control. It was because my dad had problems, as I talked to you about, and mom filled that vacuum as mothers often responsibly have to do. After a while, as they had their war with each other over the different issues in their life, we were called in by mom as she loved us and dad was absent, she expected in that love for us to be loyal. My two brothers obediently followed whatever criticisms or thoughts she had about my dad. I was the only one that could look at the situation ­ for whatever reason ­ maybe it's just my personality ­ and I thought, `you know, there are certain things that we could do here that could help both of you, but you're going to both have to give a little.' I got called in to be the negotiator. But, let me tell you, when your mom has given you a lot of love and expects loyalty, you don't negotiate. You just obey. And every time I didn't obey, I paid ­ a huge price. I was alienated and criticized. I was called every name in the book. All I wanted as a little 16 year old was to see my mom and dad love each other. But, see, it wasn't about love. It felt like love, it presented as love ­ but it demanded control. That's what happens in a lot of guys' lives because they love their mom. We all love our mom. But oftentimes that love can turn sour, if we're not careful. Now, let's just ask the question: how does this wound occur? Well, I want to give you just kind of two general reasons ­ I think they will be obvious to everybody in light of what we've been talking about. First, it often begins with an absent or distant father. It doesn't mean that dad's not in the home; he may be in the home. He's just not involved in the home and so mom tends to move in and fill the void in some ways. There are kids who are going to be going to school here in the next few moments all over the city of Little Rock whose mom is filling the dad void. Dad's making the money, but mom's filling the void because dad's absent in one way or another. I told you that more and more over the last 50 to 100 years our modern society has given our young men over to the world of women. They grow up in homes where mom is the primary presence because dad's not there. They go to schools where the schoolteachers are primarily women. They go to churches where in their Sunday school classes, they have primarily female teachers and so their whole world becomes a world of women. Men these days have to figure out masculinity in absentia -- without men.

Authentic Manhood ­ 7 Overly-Bonded with Mother

Interestingly, there's a new phenomena in the last 20 years where more and more sons are finishing college and then coming back home to live with mom and dad. Dad's thinking, `they need to get out on their own' - but mom's welcoming them back. "Come on home, live with us, Son. I'll wash your clothes, I'll continue to feed you and I'll take care of you. I want to continue to be your mom.' Because there's no cut--there's no break - and that's so unhealthy. Sociologist Merriam Levy has written about the over-abundance of females mentors, (I'm quoting him now) and lack of interaction with male mentors. Here's what he says: "...is a historical peculiarity unlike anything we've ever seen..." and the product that we are reaping is what he calls the `feminized man'. I want you to look at this term for a moment: the feminized man. What is it? Don't confuse it, guys, with the effeminate man, the man who has feminine physical characteristics or mannerisms. That's not what we're talking about. The `feminized man' can be the toughest, roughest guy you ever want to be around -- on the outside. But he can still be feminized. A feminized man is a man who has learned to act or think in ways that are more appropriate for women. He's frequently passive. He waits - he doesn't initiate - he doesn't lead, he follows. He doesn't take risks; he lets somebody else assert themselves in the moment. But he's physically strong and tough looking ­ but he defers -- with a lot of young men in his generation, to women. Let the women be the warriors, the risk-takers, the leaders. The roles are reversed and our culture is pumping out dogma that reverses the roles, while it claims to be making them equal. And with young men being in the world of women, and hearing all of that ­ suddenly their world is turned upside down. If there's not a dad to help correct that, which frequently is the case, since 40% of young people are growing up in America today without fathers, it creates tremendous emotional confusion and it keeps sons connected to mom. So this wound begins with an absent dad. A second cause, is inflicted by 1 of 4 types of moms. This can happen with dad in the home and involved in the home, but it can still be inflicted by 1 of the 4 types of moms. The most common type is what I'm going to call the ignorant mom. Now when I say `ignorant' ­ I don't mean ignorant in their intelligence. She can be brilliant, but ignorant in the sense that she doesn't understand the power she has over a son's life. And so today, with the idea of manhood being so vague, and with little done by dad to help a boy know how he joins the

Authentic Manhood ­ 7 Overly-Bonded with Mother

community of men, she by default ­ by default ­ continues to interact with her son in ways that she always has: as a mom to a boy. She's still talking to her son like a boy. She stays oblivious to the need her son has to disconnect from her emotionally. She's ignorant of the fact he needs to develop a healthy separateness in his masculinity. He's 18 years old and she's still going in to wake him up for school. Do you know sons like that in your home? She's still covering for him. She's still driving him to his doctors' appointment, or making an appointment for his haircut - or writing his checks. She's so over-involved with love that she is suffocating his masculinity. No wonder when the TV camera has a sports moment on all those young athletes, they wave to mom. "Hi, Mom! You're number 1!" Absolutely. They may be 23 years old, but she's still taking care of them. That's what I mean. Mom's are not doing it because they want to hurt their sons. It's the opposite; they want to love their sons, but they're loving them in the wrong way. They just don't understand it. On top of that, here's no community of men that come in and say, `Enough! We're going to cut that cord.' The second type are what I call needy-hurting moms. These women who, for one reason or another, have lost their relationship with their own husbands. So their son is grafted in as the next best male companion. In a sense, they marry their sons. Their son becomes an unsuspecting surrogate husband to fill in some way for her unmet needs. As the son seeks to move into adulthood, losing her son means that she's going to become lonely and alone. So she tries to hold on. She strives to stay in touch. She gets over-involved. She becomes intrusive n the son's life as he moves into adulthood. Even after he gets married, she moves into the marriage with him ­ in one way or another. Often that creates conflict in his marriage between him and his wife. The wife says, `why can't you keep your mom out of our lives?' And the son just wilts, because he doesn't know how. Then thirdly, there's unwilling-to-release moms. These are the strong and strongwilled dominant types of mom who want and need control. They're the ones who say to their son when he's 28 years old, `John, you and Mary are coming to our house for Christmas, aren't you?' And he's powerless to say `No, we need to stay home for Christmas this year with our kids.'

Authentic Manhood ­ 7 Overly-Bonded with Mother

She's the one who comes over to John's house and says, `John, you don't mind if I smoke?' as she lights up. She's the one that says, `Carl, your children need this; or your house needs that' - and then goes out and buys it for him ­ without his approval or his wife's approval. The wife says, `Send it back! We don't need her being involved like that.' He finds himself suddenly between this rock and a hard place. Now he's between two women ­ and he doesn't know what to do. He loses the respect of his wife as he stays bonded to his mom. If the wife does stand up to his mother, then there's real problems, because he's got divided loyalties - and boy, what a war that is! Then finally, there's the fill-in-the-gap moms. That's where dad is absent all the time so mom, of course, fills the gap. But in doing so, she bonds too deeply to her son. The thing she really needs to do -- and the thing that I encourage moms like that to do -- is to find male mentors, whether it's Boy Scouts or a church group, or an older man to get involved, but often she won't do that. What she'll do is she'll stay involved in his life and try to cover for the dad who left, divorced, died or whatever. By the way, next week, when we talk about how to resolve this wound, we're going to see that Jesus had that problem with His mom. I think you're going to get some surprising insights next week. Well, this is how the wound is inflicted. Now let's look at how this wound manifests itself in adulthood. Basically this wound creates in men 1 of 2 extreme responses. First, I want to give you a quote from Prentiss Tipton, an African-American who wrote in a journal called The Crisis in Black Manhood it's a great insight into men ­ all men. He's addressing the AfricanAmerican community: When mothers lead the family because the fathers fail to lead, either by absenting themselves from the home or taking a passive role, boys are deprived of the most important natural model of manliness. Growing up mainly under the supervision of women, many experience insecurity over their identity as men. (Now, I'm going to put the quote on the screen) One tendency, Tipton says, for boys growing up in such circumstances is to rebel against women who are authorities over them, and become socially disruptive, irresponsible in family and work commitments; overly-assertive about their manly prowess, especially in sexual areas, or leading lives characterized by violence and crime, alcoholism, and other addiction.

Authentic Manhood ­ 7 Overly-Bonded with Mother

In other words, growing up in a home of a mom that`s over-involved without dad, one of the tendencies that will be created in the son's psyche is to rebel. Rebel against that suffocating control and become overly dominant in his own right or become disruptive. A second tendency he says is for young men to identify with the adult women who are authorities in their lives. Then they learn to behave or react in ways that are more appropriate to women than to men. They become what I call soft males. To the extent that a young male takes on either option - they do not learn the discipline, the responsibility and the character involved in being a man. So, on your outline, here are the two responses that this wound creates later on in adult life. You can see if either one of these apply to you. Here's the first one. Men become dominant and controlling towards women if they had an overly-involved mom at home. There are some sons ­ I believe part of it's their personality ­ in that environment that feel suffocated by it ­ and I think I was one of them. I was one of 3 sons ­ I reacted differently than my 2 brothers. But there are some sons who don't like all that over-attention and that over-involvement. They feel suffocated by it, so they contend against mom during their years underneath her care. Rather than folding into mom's overinvolvement, they fight like crazy against it. They compete and they contend with it. They resent it, but the problem is that is how they learn to relate to women. So then they go out in adulthood and they relate to the other women in their lives that way. They see all women as a possible threat to their independence and sense of masculinity. They come to fear intimacy, because if they get too close to a woman, that woman might control them. They always keep this kind of barrier up, or what they do instead, is they try to find the woman they can control. They seek to marry women they can be safe with, but primarily rule over. They become tyrants in their home. Anytime that soft woman tries to express her rights and her needs, he sees that as `you're trying to take control of me.' So he becomes even harder and more dominant over her life. Do you see that? The whole time he's trying to suppress his wife and he doesn't understand that a lot of the problem goes back to his younger life at home. He doesn't know how to maintain a relationship with another fully formed individual who has rights and needs and expressions and equalities of her own. So he contends with the women in his life.

Authentic Manhood ­ 7 Overly-Bonded with Mother

That's one of the ways it manifests. And he can do it in varying degrees. He doesn't have to be a harsh tyrant. Now if your wife says, "now why did you buy that car? You know we talked about being a on a budget, and you went out and bought a new car today." You find yourself getting furious because you think, `all of a sudden, she's trying to take control of me.' When really what you did was act irresponsibly. It may be because back there, you are still fighting a shadow. So that's how some men become dominant and controlling towards women. I think the greater number of men have this second response in adulthood. They become passive and submissive towards women. Guys - I want you to know that in the men under 30, I think this response is epidemic today. Because of an earlier relationship with mom ­ because she over-did it for him ­ over-cared, over-nurtured, over-directed ­ and he let her. Because of this, he became overly-dependent and overly-responsive to women. Now as an adult with women, his tendency ­ as he gets close to a woman ­ is to become passive and to lean on her too much. Letting her lead too much ­ looking for her to take care of me too much, because that's the way mom did. In other words, he pulled out that giant umbilical cord he had to mom, and when he got into adulthood ­ he pulled it out. Then he began to look for some other woman he could plug this umbilical cord into, so he could continue to suck all those things he needed for himself, things like care and concern; taking care of my feelings and leading me and providing for me ­ out of her. So he tends to go out and marry a stronger woman. When he marries that stronger woman you can see it in their day-to-day relationship. You see it when they encounter issues, he waits for her, rather than initiate. He shuns risk-taking. He struggles in making decisions. He places a high emphasis on his feelings. He prefers approval from others ­ especially his wife's ­ before committing. He looks like a man but he acts and has characteristics that are a little more feminine. He becomes a `soft male.' What he wants in a woman is a mother-wife. At the beginning, when he finds her and he marries her, she thinks she's marrying a sensitive male. The Alpha male. But in time, she learns to resent him because he won't lead and he won't protect, and he won't take risks; and he won't step forward and she gets tired of it. He's passive. The healthy path with mom should have been physical and emotional oneness with mom in the early years. Then a healthy and complete separation in the middle years. Then finally a

Authentic Manhood ­ 7 Overly-Bonded with Mother

healthy relational oneness with the woman he marries in the final years. That's the way it should be. Unfortunately, for a number of men it's not that way. So the question is: How do you heal this Overly-Bonded with Mother Wound? And how do you cut this invisible umbilical cord? Those are good questions. And those are the questions we're going to answer next week. I'll see you then.

Authentic Manhood ­ 7 Overly-Bonded with Mother

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