Have you ALWAYS struggled to understand and connect with the women in your life? You crave intimacy but at the same time, run a mile when it begins to poke its head out? If yes, this article is for you. Because today we’re tackling the tricky issue of healing the mother wound for men. My last article on mommy issues in men blew up. But it was DEscriptive rather than PREscriptive. Today, I’m going to prescribe you your path to freedom, finally. Calling all men with mother abandonment issues… Read on!
Table of Contents
- What is the mother wound?
- 5 steps towards healing the mother wound
- Step 1: accept the fact that you have a mother wound
- Step 2: inner child work
- Step 3: practice vulnerability, every day
- Step 4: ask your partner for support
- Step 5: let it all go
- Accountability vs responsibility: you’re holding the buck
- Get more success in dating and in life by healing the mother wound
- Healing the mother wound through spirituality and tantra
Men with mommy issues and the mother wound
We’ve all heard of mommy issues in men. This is what society calls men with mother abandonment issues. It is important to note that in order to have mother abandonment issues, a man’s mother didn’t need to actually have abandoned him physically. Emotional or mental abandonment is also possible, and can be just as damaging as having had a mother who walked out.
A mother wound can bring havoc to a man’s life and his intimate connections. ‘Mommy issues’ is also a term coined by women, to address emotionally immature men in the dating arena. Having the label of ‘mommy issues’ slapped onto you disqualifies you instantaneously. Women don’t want a damaged man as their boyfriend. They might consider you just to have fun with, or for a few casual f*cks. But as a long-term partner? You don’t fit the bill if you have mommy issues.
Hence if you want to find long-lasting love and attraction, or to improve your current relationship, healing the mother wound is absolutely crucial.
And you are in luck. Because this is something that I specialize in. And in today’s article, I’m going to give you five easy steps that you can implement in order to start healing your mother wound right now, starting today.
Ready? OK. Let’s get going!
What is the mother wound?
I’ve already covered the signs of men with mother abandonment issues, or mommy issues in a previous article. Go read it if you want to deeply understand the ways in which the mother wound manifests.
Today I’m focusing on healing the mother wound, rather than identifying it. However, I will briefly summarize how you can spot it now.
Men with a mother wound are those who did not have the best relationship with their mothers growing up. Sometimes they are aware of this. And sometimes they are not. There are lots of men walking around who deeply love their mom. And they are completely ignorant of the ways in which their mom’s parenting style f*cked them up.
We see this in a great number of men with a dismissive avoidant attachment style. They were too young to remember the feelings that arose when they were left to their own devices as a baby or toddler. On the surface, they get on well with their mother. But underneath the surface, they are deeply afraid of intimacy, and many also have commitment issues. This doesn’t mean that they don’t want intimacy or commitment. Quite the contrary. But they just can’t handle it. Intimacy feels unsafe. And this creates a conflict inside of them that feels impossible to resolve.
Without knowing that a fraught relationship with their mother is the root of ALL of their intimacy issues, they remain unhealed. Most relationships come and go. Love is transitory. Nothing ever seems to ‘stick’. And if they do manage to hold down a serious long-term relationship, it is likely rife with tension, pain, and unmet, unexpressed needs on BOTH sides.
5 steps towards healing the mother wound
The five steps below will help a great deal in both coming to terms with and healing your mother wound.
I carried around a gaping mother wound myself. It interfered and ruined my chances with the women I really wanted to be with. And caused a great deal of suffering for the women I actually dated.
It was only when I did the difficult thing, and took a long, hard, honest look at my life-long mommy issues, that things finally began to change.
Below are five of the most important steps I myself took in order to turn things around. Believe me. If I did it, so can you.
Step 1: accept the fact that you have a mother wound
As with all kinds of intergenerational trauma, the first step to healing the mother wound is awareness. And in order to reach awareness, we first have to find acceptance.
Social media and advertising are constantly bombarding us with (fake) images of happy, perfect families. When our family does not fit into this cookie-cutter box, we therefore feel isolated – as though we are missing out on the happiness and harmony that other families are existing within.
For this reason, it can be very difficult to accept that you have a mother wound. It is easier to sit comfortably in denial, than to sit uncomfortably in truth.
Yet accepting the truth is the first step in healing the mother wound. When you accept it, your emotional awareness will improve. You will notice when the mother wound is bringing up a specific response that is not aligned with your highest interest.
The morning after the night before
Let’s look at an example. You have just been on the third or fourth date with a woman you’re really attracted to. She stayed over for the first time, and you got physically intimate, also for the first time. You spent the night wrapped up in each other’s arms, and in spite of those kisses you planted on her back every time you turned over to face her throughout the night, something now feels…. Off.
In the cold, harsh light of the next day, once the oxytocin has worn off, you now feel… Threatened. Even a bit turned off. What happened?
A man who is unaware of his mother wound would just think that he isn’t that into the woman anymore. Maybe he’ll string her along for a few more dates, or maybe he will get straight back on Tinder…
A man who IS aware of his mother wound would know that he is being emotionally triggered. The sudden leap in intimacy and closeness is activating his attachment style. His subconscious doesn’t trust the feminine. This is making him want to pull away, to protect himself. It has nothing to do with dwindling feelings for the woman.
The key point here is that men with mother abandonment issues tend to be put of by closeness. But this is only at surface level. Beneath the surface there is a deep craving for intimacy, as with every human being. Having awareness will allow you to connect with your innermost desires. Whilst remaining unaware will only allow you to operate at surface level.
Getting honest with yourself
Hence we can see why awareness is so important. In order to move through our blockages, we first have to be able to see them clearly. If you are struggling to admit to yourself that you have childhood trauma, and damaging beliefs about intimacy due to your mother, I encourage you to get honest with yourself, and face things.
As I explained in my article on dismissive avoidant attachment, the avoidant man believes that his detachment is a good thing. Even in the face of intimacy problems with his partner, a man who is not aware of his mother wound, will not see his behavior as problematic.
It is important to have compassion for yourself in this situation. Simultaneously, it is also important to be committed to the truth. Full awareness is needed in order to understand what is actually happening. Acceptance then comes in to break through the tough avoidant shell. This shell has been protecting you and keeping you safe, but it will not give you the intimacy you long for. Until you’ve broken through, and objectively seen your mother wound, nothing else will happen.
In your intimate connection, this is the piece that may be missing. This awareness will be the first step to validating your partner’s pain. It will also start giving you a foundation to work from to build a more empowered relationship.
Step 2: inner child work
Once you have awareness and acceptance, you will start experiencing some feelings. Maybe some pain. Quite possibly, a great deal of pain. Once we rip the band-aid off, an avalanche of emotions can hurl themselves at us. When these emotions have been bottled up inside for decades, they can knock you onto the floor. They are painful. But they are part of the healing process and healing journey. Healing the mother wound will require you to experience feelings FULLY.
Coming to terms with the emotional absence of your mother is painful. The most natural thing in the world is the love between mother and child. It is a kind of love that surpasses all others. So why couldn’t she do it properly?
It hurts. And in order to cope with that pain, you need to learn to connect with your inner child.
I understand that feelings are not as easy for men as they are for women. Additionally, nobody ever taught men to feel their feelings! From a very young age, little boys are told “don’t cry”, when they are upset. Or “you’re OK”, when they fall down and hurt themselves. Unconsciously, society has taught men that it isn’t OK to have feelings. And it is not OK to not be OK.
Connect with your inner child. Cast your mind back to a time when your wounded mother was not treating you with the love and attention you deserved. Allow yourself to feel everything.
I recommend that you go slowly with this practice, as it can get quite intense if you’ve never done it before. If you cannot go through it on your own, then it’s best to hire a coach or qualified therapist to help guide you through it safely.
Step 3: practice vulnerability, every day
Academic researcher and best-selling author Dr Brene Brown has written and spoken in great depth on vulnerability. Vulnerability is something we are comforted by witnessing in others. Yet it is something that we are deeply afraid of showing ourselves.
For the man with a mother wound, this fear of being vulnerable is all the more intense. An emotionally unavailable mother figure makes us feel rejected. Or like our feelings were unacceptable. Therefore, we learn to internalize them. We suppress our feelings to such an extent that we do not even realize that we have them…
… Which is hugely problematic when it comes to relationships. Vulnerability is required in relationships. Without vulnerability, intimacy is simply not possible. And when you have no intimacy between you and your partner. Well, you may as well just be friends. Or f*ck buddies.
A man with a mother wound generally has negative feelings towards women. He doesn’t trust her with his painful, more difficult emotions about life and about the world. So he closes the door, and it remains shut.
In order to create intimacy, you need to open that door. And in doing so become more open yourself. Vulnerability demands you open that door. It is imperative to the practice.
Are you unsure of how to start practicing vulnerability? Here is an idea. The next time you are in conversation and feel yourself wanting to conceal or hide an uncomfortable or shameful feeling, put opposite actions into play.
‘Opposite actions’ comes from cognitive behavioral therapy, which is highly effective at treating a variety of mental health concerns. It involves taking note of your impulses, and doing the opposite. For a man with a mother wound, the impulse would be to conceal emotions and create distance. The opposite would be to share and be vulnerable.
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Step 4: ask your partner for support
Disclaimer: although this step mentions the involvement of a partner, single men can sub in a close friend or a therapist.
Once you have tried being a bit more vulnerable, it is time to share your mother wound with your partner. Remember, you have been doing all of this to heal your mother wound. You are also doing it to overcome the intimacy blocks that have been there for you since you were a young boy. Now it’s time to put that newfound vulnerability skill into action, and tell your partner about your mother wound.
This is for the purpose of emotional support AND deepening intimacy. A problem shared is a problem halved. Not to mention the fact that you need to begin to trust the feminine.
Whatsmore, if your partner has an anxious attachment style, hearing about your childhood wounds will help them a great deal in understanding and accepting your avoidant tendencies.
Push through the discomfort
There will be a certain level of discomfort for you within this whole process. Remember that the end product is worth it and keep going. This path together will bring you closer together. And if you’re reading this as a single man, telling a trusted friend about your mother wound will bring closer the kind of relationship your soul truly desires.
Intimacy doesn’t come naturally to everyone. For some, it needs to be learned. This is especially true for a man with a mother wound, or an avoidant attachment style. When you have mastered the art of intimacy, you’ll feel less anxious in your everyday life. More supported. And your relationships, especially romantic relationships, will flourish.
Step 5: let it all go
When we start digging into our past and working through old traumas, a danger presents itself. This danger is one of becoming ‘stuck’.
We can become so deeply troubled, upset and hurt by our childhood wounds and wrongdoings, that we become locked in a mind loop.
Every sh*tty thing that we do, we blame it on the difficult relationship with our mother. Each time that we hurt someone that we love, or shut them out, it goes right back to mom.
Accountability vs responsibility: you’re holding the buck
This is where we must discern between responsibility and accountability.
If you have a mother wound that is causing you to behave in certain ways, then your mother is responsible for creating the conditions in which that behavior could fester, and grow.
But she is not responsible for your behavior anymore. You are now fully grown, and must remain accountable for your actions at all times.
To blame your selfish or hurtful tendencies on your mother is an oversight. This may be hard to hear. But you are an adult. You are not a child anymore. And your behavior is 100% your responsibility now.
An emotionally mature man does not use his mother wound to validate hurting others. The past is the past. It is certainly useful to look at it and connect the dots. But once those dots are connected and you have clarity, close that door. Blaming others is the tendency of a deeply wounded ego. If you find yourself passing the buck time and time again. It may be time to look in the mirror and finally face yourself.
This is why this last step – letting go – is so incredibly important in healing the mother wound.
Get more success in dating and in life by healing the mother wound
A mother wound is a heavy weight to carry around. Like a bag of bricks attached to your back, it will leech you of your energy. You will be unable to give the relationships in your life the care and attention they deserve. For this reason, they will wilt, wither and die.
Luckily, you can heal your mother wound. You can cut the straps of that bag and ditch it forever. When you do, you will feel so much lighter. You will stop being bitter, resentful, and emotionally withdrawn. Instead, you’ll finally be capable of true intimacy. You will radiate love from the inside out.
I know it sounds too good to be true. But it really isn’t. By following the five steps above, you can begin your journey to heal the mother wound today.
You can heal the mother wound with or without your biological mother
And the best thing about it? NONE of the steps above involve your actual mother. If you have a bad relationship with her, or no relationship with her at all, it doesn’t matter. You can still heal. Because you’re the one who is accountable – remember?
I know this seems sad. We all want a good relationship with our parents. We all want to look back and feel that our mother was wonderful to us.
But sometimes that is just not possible. In her beautiful book, Untamed, internationally famous author Glennon Doyle writes that we all have a biological mother who most likely loved or loves us a lot. But sometimes mothers have mental health issues, an abusive partner, drug addiction, eating disorders, physical health issues, or other problems that stop us from receiving that love as we should.
But we also all have a divine mother – who is the very essence of life itself. Your divine mother is always there. She has unconditional love for you, and all other sentient beings on earth. You can access this sort of unconditional love during deep states of meditation, which I regularly help my clients to go into as part of their personal practice.
Healing the mother wound through spirituality and tantra
If you want to go even deeper into your work in healing the mother wound, spirituality might be the extra puzzle piece that you need.
And if you are wanting to identify the best coach to help you with this, I can help. My work focuses on dating, sex, love and relationships. But from a spiritual angle. This sets me apart from other dating coaches. Whatsmore, I’ve been a love coach for men for years. I have a great deal of experience, and have worked with hundreds of men.
With my guidance and direction, they moved through my tantric coaching program, and witnessed incredible transformations in themselves. No matter how bad you think your mommy issue is, or how far out of reach a healthy intimate relationship feels, I’m telling you… It’s not that bad. And it’s never that far. But sometimes, just working on your psychology isn’t enough. You need to start working on your spiritual side too.
If you have read this article and think that my five steps won’t quite be enough to heal YOUR mother wound, check out my free masterclass for men here. Whether you’re in a relationship or single, I have a class designed specifically for you. It will bring to light the aspects of your healing that you might be ignoring. Those are the spiritual aspects. The training is free, and will only take a few minutes of your time. But the things you learn could change your life forever. Is it worth those few minutes? 😉
What happens when men heal the mother wound?
When men heal the mother wound, they are able to enjoy heightened levels of intimacy and connection. They stop blaming their mom for their shortcomings. And they no longer carry subconscious hatred towards women.
What is the mother wound and how do you heal?
In a nutshell, the mother wound is issues with intimacy that stem from having had an emotionally unavailable mother. Healing the mother wound is done by first drawing attention to it, and then taking steps to correct the negative patterning you have picked up, in order to protect yourself.
What are the signs and effects of the mother wound?
The signs of the mother wound are intimacy issues and struggling to relate with women. Effects are poor relationship quality and resentment towards all of the women in your life.
Can you explain what the mother wound is?
The mother wound was created during childhood, when a child’s mother was unable to consistently meet all of his emotional needs. This led to an over-reliance on self to meet those emotional needs. This pattern, along with a general feeling of bitterness towards females, carries on into adulthood.
What to do when your mother wound gets triggered?
If your partner is triggering your mother wound, then congratulations, you have already completed step one. This is awareness! Step two is communicating, in a non-accusatory way. Tell your partner how you are feeling, and what they can do to help. Focus on ‘I’ statements, and less on their actions.
Who typically experiences the mother wound?
Both men and woman can experience the mother wound. But is more obvious in men. This is because the most noticeable issues will appear within their relationships with the opposite sex.
Where does the mother wound come from?
The mother wound comes from having had an emotionally (or sometimes physically) absent mother.
What is the cost of not healing the mother wound?
The answer to this is very simple. If you don’t heal the mother wound, it will cast a dark cloud upon each and every one of your romantic relationships. You must address it if you want happiness, harmony and intimacy.