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Question
Posted by: Gill | 2004/12/13

What do I want?

Dear Cybershrink and everyone else

I am hoping someone can make sense of this for me because I am feeling a bit desperate at the moment.

It is quite difficult explaining 27 years of a relationship with my mother and what kind of person she is, but will give it a try. My mom should have married a minister – she is thoughtful and kind, says the right things, has impeccable manners and adores her two children(I am the youngest)

Anyway, due to her own baggage she feels she married the wrong man(my dad) as he is not as mannered and sensitive as her. As a result, she feels very cynical about men and I guess has always hoped we do not get involved with men that are not mannered etc etc or perfect gentlemen. She has learnt these values from her parents.
I went out with a man who was all of those gentlemanly things but I realised it was because he looked good on paper and not because I was in love with him. She of course approved of him as he treated me like I was Royalty.

I have now been going out with a man for 8 months. I really love him, but things came to the fore this weekend as we all went away together. I was tense because he is not Prince Charming and has not got impeccable manners. Sometimes swears and does other things that are not great, but I am aware of these shortcomings and know he is working on them. But, he has not been brought up with values placed so much on manners etc so he will never be manners personified. I was consumed with stress this weekend because my mom does not approve of him and I felt sick. My mom and I are very close and I feel like I have betrayed her and have let her down. When she said all these things to me yesterday I felt gutted – that she can see his good points but unfortunately we live in a society where people are judged by the impressions they make etc. Now I do not know what to do – I wanted to break up with him yesterday and just run away. We see my parents often and now I feel with Xmas looming that I actually cannot cope with this at all.

How do I deal with this? Am I thinking irrationally to want to break up with him. I don’t know any more whose feelings these are: my mothers or mine.

He does embarass me sometimes with the things he says or does. Is it worth it? Is love more than the chemistry? Do these other things matter?

Also feel absoultely pathetic that at 27 I am so conumed by my mom's expectations of me and how I allow myself to waste all this energy on all of this.

I would appreciate any insights or opinions

XXX




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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

I'm sure our other readers should have some useful comments here. You have been giving your mother far too much power, allowing her to live out her fantasies through your life, which is never fair. It'd be a great world if good manners were more widespread and appreciated, but it isn't. And there's a fine line, sometimes, between being refined, and being a SNOB. wonder whether you perhaps need and deserve some counselling, to gain your independence and become capable of forming your own mature, adult, relationship, rather than doing automatically what Mom wants. You would probably not be happy with mom's choice of spouse.

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