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It may sound simplistic to say that all Cancer men are mother-bound. But it would come close to the truth. This man is tied, one way or another -in love or in hate, and often in both - to Mother. It's his biggest test in life and in love. He can either embody Mother himself and express a wealth of empathy and protectiveness, or he can look for a mother all his life.
Cancer is a sign of fertile imagination and deep emotional needs. They don't like to stand alone. Cancer men are often eternally searching for that nurturing, protecting partner who will always forgive and understand them - especially if they didn't find it in childhood. You might well ask, Why not? What's wrong with that? Nothing, of course. But in each man's unconscious, buried deep within him, is the myth of the Hero. How can a hero keep running back to Mummy for comfort and understanding? The mother-son bond is one of the most difficult things Cancer must contend with in life.
Cancer men often marry young - that is, if they aren't secret mother-haters. The mother-haters usually marry very late, if at all. They're afraid of women and avoid commitment. But this is a distorted kind of Cancer, a Cancer on the run from his own emotional dependency. There are lots of Crabs running around with extra-hard shells and hyper- rational attitudes, never letting you - or themselves - see the vulnerable, imaginative person underneath. If you probe, they snap at you.
The Cancer man may settle down by the time he's twenty-five - although, given the complexity of his nature, it may not be his last port of call. This man makes a wonderfully loving father - as long as he's not jealous of the mothering his children receive. But sadly, if he makes a commitment too young, he may find later that he made it because he needed security, and not because his deeper feelings were really touched. Like good wine, the Cancer man's understanding of himself deepens and improves with maturity.
This man appreciates a strong partner - as long as "strong" doesn't mean you don't need him. His moods and anxieties need to be understood, although you're not required to tolerate them with a perpetually sweet smile. Engage with him emotionally, even if it's with anger, and he'll respond. Although he recoils from real separation, he can wander - emotionally if not physically - if the mood is on him. The up side is that he'll always come back again. If he wanders physically, the big question is whether you want him when he does come home again. That's up to you, of course. But if he knows he's hurt you, he's likely to do everything in his power to avoid doing it again.
It helps to understand that, for a man, this is a sign with a lot of innate conflict. Sensitivity and imagination don't mix with society's macho expectations. Did I hear you say times have changed, women (and men) are liberated, etc.? Maybe in the world's big cosmopolitan cities. But most of the rest of the world hasn't heard yet.
It's still hard for this moody, introverted, changeable, imaginative man to feel entirely secure being himself. He always wears camouflage. Cancer's two best camouflages are the hard rational thinker and the jolly extrovert. Don't be fooled by either of them - they're just a mood. To live so close to the forces and currents of the inner imaginal and emotional world is a great challenge for a Cancer man. Here lies the source of his greatest creativity, but it can take a long time - and some painful experiences - for his gifts to fully emerge.
The Cancer man is never an easy partner. He's too complex. He can be evasive and indirect, and the deeper the problem, the less likely you are to hear about it. He can be sulky and crabby one moment, effusively sentimental the next. Even when he's wearing that hyper-rational mask and pretends to be clear and logical, he's elusive and mysterious, and you'll never really get to the bottom of his secret soul. But most of all, this man has an incredible depth and array of feeling, and he's deeply, richly, stunningly alive.
Tough-guy tactics don't mix with Cancer's tenderness and subtle form of strength and courage, so be prepared for a partner who is as able to be helpless and vulnerable as he is to be protective and tenacious. And who wants tough-guy tactics anyway?