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Question
Posted by: Karin | 2010-08-01

Mommy troubles

I''m at a dead end in my relationship with my mother...I''m 40 yr old, happily maried 2 a great husband with 2 sons. My parents stay in CT and we in Pta. I struggle in my relationship with my mom...Have a good relationship with dad. My mother has plenty of baggage, unfinished bussines ect. She is becoming ruder by the day, she is 65yr old. I''ve always been in a double binding with her, even been in very helpfull therapy for this, but always struggle to deal with it. It''s happening all over again....She tells me she loves me, is proud of me, ect, but keeps on critisizing my husband, children, parenting skills. I don''t know what to talk to her about anymore (I phone them often, otherwise they blame me). When I talk about how well my husband and kids are doing she tells me that we are so " perfect" , become verbally abusive, ect. Then when I complain about the kids or hubby, she tells me how I''m failing as a mom (in her opinion), and critisize my husband. So: I desided not to talk about my kids or husband anymore, so I told her how I was bussy renovating the house: AGAIN: She don''t think a woman should work this hard(Meaning that my husband is abusing me because he can afford to pay some one to do the work)! OK so: My husband, my kids and my home is my LIFE! If I can''t talk about this, then what can I talk about!? This has always hurt me so much in the past, but what is scaring me is that it only makes me angry now...I''m starting to feel " dead"  towards her, as if I don''t have the need to invest in our relationship anymore....Or is this a normal proses that I should have gone through long ago...to loosen myself emotionaly from my mom?
Sorry for long message.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Old people rarely change much, for good or ill.
The therapy you had is maybe not complete - it needed to deal not only with understanding what had been happening, but with specific strategies to deal with it ( which is where I prefer a CBT-style which usually does this ).
It sounds as though there's little point in talking to her about family matters as it only seems to produce negativity. Try to ignore her unhelpfully negative comments, and to recognize that they are ABOUT HER, and not actually about you. Yes, loosening yourself emotionally from her, at least from her comments, is something you have long needed to do.

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: Purple | 2010-08-02

I think you are going to have to tell her that her rudeness about your family is not acceptable and that if she doesn''t start being pleasant to you on the phone that you won''t make any efforts to be in contact with her anymore.

Its so hard when mothers are unpleasant because we are so reluctanct to ruin the relationship in any way and risk not seeing them again, but she does need to realise that the way she behaves towards you and your family is unacceptable to you.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010-08-02

Old people rarely change much, for good or ill.
The therapy you had is maybe not complete - it needed to deal not only with understanding what had been happening, but with specific strategies to deal with it ( which is where I prefer a CBT-style which usually does this ).
It sounds as though there's little point in talking to her about family matters as it only seems to produce negativity. Try to ignore her unhelpfully negative comments, and to recognize that they are ABOUT HER, and not actually about you. Yes, loosening yourself emotionally from her, at least from her comments, is something you have long needed to do.

Reply to cybershrink

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