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Category Archives: Family
I was visiting my parent's place on the weekend and seeing some relatives from interstate who I don't often get the chance to hang out with. At one point we were all sitting in the lounge room listening to my father describe the apocalyptic nightmares he's been having lately, while my controlling mother kept interrupting, talking over him, "correcting" him and just generally dominating the conversation.
I've always found my mother's domineering behavior annoying, but I used to be far too scared of her to stand up to it. This time though I casually lent towards her, put my hand on her arm and said "Mum, could you be quiet please. I want to hear what my father is saying".
She moved her arm to brush me off dismissively in a way I've always found infuriating. This time though rather than feeling powerless and simply capitulating, I channeled my anger into assertiveness: "Don't just brush me off!", I said, "I want to hear what he's saying."
G’day, guys. Today I want to talk about how to cut the emotional umbilical cord with your mother. Now, you may wonder why you want to do this or what I’m talking about. So the emotional umbilical cord is a metaphor to refer to that ability that your mother has to control or dominate you or influence you in ways that you may not like.
Now, the origin of the emotional umbilical cord goes back to when you were an infant, when your ability to comply with what your mother wanted was kind of essential to your survival since you were totally dependent on her to feed and clothe and house you. And at some point during your development, you need to cut this emotional umbilical cord if you want to grow up from being a boy into being a man.
One of my mentors once described families like the one I grew up in as crazy-making. I thought, “Wow, that’s a fantastic description.” Take a perfectly normal infant child, bring them up in a crazy-making family and you’ve pretty much got a recipe for insanity. But how do you know if you’re living in a crazy-making family? Well, I’m glad you asked. So here’s the top 10 signs that your family is crazy-making:
Hey there, it’s Graham from The Confident Man Project again and today I want to talk at you about your family. Family issues have been pretty huge for me so I know a little bit about this and I want to share with you what I have learned, particularly about stopping seeking validation from your family. What tends to happen when we’re young is that our parents experience us as an infant, as a baby, as a child, an adolescent and then by the time we become an adult our parents’ view of us is often so fixed by their earlier experiences of us that they have a lot of trouble accepting who we now are as an adult being different to who we were as a child.
And this is the reason why a lot of the time when we hang around our families we tend to regress back into a child-like state where we behave and relate to our parents and our siblings in much the same way that we did when we were a kid.
That’s not necessarily what you want to do if your childhood experience wasn’t one where you felt reinforced and validated and loved and just nurtured and you had a really fun time all the time.… Continue reading…
I recently got a question about how to cut emotional ties with a controlling parent in response to my article on How to Recover from a Controlling Mother. I know a lot of guys struggle with the conflict that happens when we begin to break free from our parents during adolescence, and this can keep us emasculated for years while we continue to seek a controlling parent's approval. It helps to know that the conflict that arises when we individuate is a perfectly normal process; albeit one that controlling parents often over-react to.
I'm a 20 year old man. I was adopted, my sister wasn't. Yes, I've grown up with a controlling mother. I have always been musically inclined and have had a passion for music. After high school, I wanted to take a year or two off to pursue this and generally dick around with my friends while I was young, and maybe figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I had left high school with scholarships and an 88 average. 3 years later, I'm a third year University student in History (I had to take something in University, forced into choosing a major, she's paying for it) I'm struggling to maintain a 75 in my University courses, I've been experimenting with drugs, and I have no clue with what I want to do. … Continue reading…