This was a short story, written in English. I read it in a hardback anthology I checked out from a library in Indiana no later than 1986 (and I suspect it was a couple of years earlier). I think the stories in that book were each by a different author, but I don't remember what any of the other stories were about. I remember this one's plot fairly well, so let me describe what has stuck in my head all these years.
The main viewpoint character is a military officer in some sort of interstellar organization. I am thinking that it may have been stated or implied to be something along the lines of "the military arm of the government which controls all of the worlds colonized by humans," but I don't swear to that.
The main problem is the behavior of another, junior officer. Or serviceman, at any rate — I'm not absolutely sure about the "commissioned officer" part — but just for the sake of argument, let's call this youngster "the Ensign." (Since I have no inkling of what his name was, and I'm only guessing at his rank.)
"The Ensign" has, in an odd sort of way, become emotionally involved with a native female in the city where certain human military personnel are stationed. Now he wants to resign from the military and stay here with this female for the rest of his life. His superiors are opposed to this plan, and think it's a terrible idea, but they recognize that he has the legal right to go through with it if he insists. (Perhaps his term of enlistment is about to expire, or some such thing, and he is not legally required to re-enlist if he doesn't want to?)
At first glance, that sounds like the sort of thing which has happened many, many times in Earth's own history, with a soldier from one culture becoming enamored of a young woman from a different racial and cultural background (often one viewed as "inferior" by the great power which has stationed troops in that exotic locale), but there are some unusual aspects in this case. The local female is a member of a truly alien race which does not closely resemble humanity. (In other words, she couldn't easily be played in a movie by a beautiful human actress who had simply tinted her skin green, or anything along those lines.) And the activities tied to the "emotional attachment" do not include anything of a blatantly sexual nature. Instead, as the viewpoint character discovers when he visits the home of this female to see what is going on between her and the Ensign, she somehow makes the Ensign feel very good about himself by doing something which I can't clearly recall, but I think it resembled hugging him. Perhaps wrapping her limbs (arms, tentacles, or whatever) around his body? Perhaps his entire body went into a pouch or something in her body and then just lay there, motionless, for a few hours? I have the strong impression that this alien female, in addition to not looking human in her general shape, was a great deal larger than the Ensign was, so whatever happened probably was more like "an adult holding a small child" than anything else.
The viewpoint character is disgusted by what he has seen, and feels it necessary to save the Ensign from himself. (And/or prevent an embarassment for their military service -- I'm not sure which motive is dominant; it could all fit together neatly in his head.) So he pulls strings and arranges for their futuristic version of mental health professionals to get the bottom of this. In some way, they are able to insist upon crawling through the Ensign's childhood memories -- possibly with the help of hypnotic drugs or mechanical aids -- and find the ancient trauma which makes him so susceptible to this alien female. In the best Freudian tradition, it all turns out to have something to do with the Ensign not getting enough affection from his mother when he was just a little boy. (I don't remember the details of what his mother had done wrong, or had failed to do right, but it was quite sad.)
The protagonist is able to insist that the relevant memories be re-awakened in the Ensign's mind so that he now vividly remembers some things he had largely suppressed from his formative years. The protagonist's plan is for the Ensign, as a grown man, to consciously realize that his fascination with the alien female is rooted in deep-seated mother issues. This should cause the Ensign to realize he doesn't really need or want the alien female's comfort; it's only a long-after-the-fact substitute for what he was denied as a child.
I think the plan only half-works. The Ensign, after being compelled to remember the aforementioned trauma, agrees that he no longer feels as intensely about the alien female as he did before. But this does not mean that he suddenly feels happy about the military outfit he has been serving, nor the way it rummaged around in his mind to stir up painful old memories, and he still has no intention of spending a long career in uniform. I can't recall if he's still planning to quit the service right here on this planet, or if he figures he'll wait a little longer (such as, after he's back in human space where most people will be of his own species when he settles down as a civilian.)
All in all, it was a rather depressing tale. But, as you can see, the general outline of it stuck with me, and I find myself curious about who wrote it, and whether or not it was part of a larger series describing a certain futuristic human culture, and so forth. Does anyone think this sounds extremely familiar?