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My mother is driving us insane - long

My husband and I have been together for 7 1/2 years and married for just over 1 year.  We live about 5 minutes away from my parents and I would love to move across the country if it meant I got away from them. (We aren't literally moving tho)  When my husband and I first started dating we were seniors in highschool.  We used to spend alot of time with my parents esp. because we were each still living at home.  We used to go to dinner, hang out at our pool, and even take day trips with them.  We all got along and would laugh, tell stories, and generally have a good time together.  Now, I can't imagine spending more than a few hours with my parents.  My mom is off on some other planet half the time and when she is on planet earth, she just talks and talks and won't shut up.  She controls every conversation and even talks over people if they try to chime into a conversation.  Not only is it rude, but it's so annoying.  And she talks about nothing.  She never has any idea of what's going on and just talks to tell me what happened during her day or tell me stories about people that I don't know.  I've tried to be polite, I've tried ignoring her but nothing seems to work.  And my dad can't stand to be around her because she gets so annoying so then the 2 of them bicker back and forth when they get frustrated with each other.  Also, when I invite my mom to do anything with me/us she invites her best friend every time.  This weekend my husband are going to the water park for the day and I invited my mom and dad since they have been talking about going for awhile now.  My dad can't take off work but my mom wants to go so she invited her best friend, who invited her son, and then also invited her daughter who is on drugs and is someone that my mom knows I don't like to associate with except to be polite on the rare occasions that I see her.  My mom took it from a nice relaxing day to inviting everyone and their brother and now my husband and I really don't want to go because this is our only trip this summer and she's made it so stressful.  We literally can't do anything with my parents without it turning into a big, drawn out, torture session of mindless chatter on her part and my dad being short tempered because we're all annoyed with my mom.  She controls every convo and anytime someone else starts to talk with her she talks over them as if she doesn't even notice.  Her side of the family has tendencies for alzheimers and dementia and everytime I try to bring this up to my dad he gets upset and says my mom is just busy and doesn't realize she's talking over people and is oblivious to everything.  I don't know what to do about this because my husband dreads doing things with my parents because it's so exhausting to be around my mom and my dad just gets so unpleasant because he's annoyed with my mom.  I can't even stand to talk to her on the phone because if I do call her she talks non stop about herself and then when I finally get off the phone with her, she calls again maybe 10  minutes later with another question.  She does this everytime we're on the phone.  What can I do to distance ourselves without being rude.  Like I said, we live 5 min away and my mom calls several times a week.
Anniversary

Re: My mother is driving us insane - long

  • Have you tried to be upfront with her? Just it seems that every example you gave us it seems that you haven't tried. If not then start doing so now. 

    1. Bring up that you really don't appreciate being interrupted. Most people don't either

    2. Tell her that when you invite her places you do it to spend time with her. You don't want her friend coming. If she can't handle that then she doesn't need to be invited anywhere. 

    3. Call off the water park with them. Find something else to do then don't tell her.

    4. You put distance by not answering every phone call. 

    It's all about being honest and actually following through. If you say something then don't fallow through in fear of hurting her feelings she will call your bluff each time.

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  • I should have mentioned that when anyone tries to be upfront with her and tell her to calm down and back off she gets upset and never sees herself as being at fault.  She always yells that she can't talk to anyone and that everyone is so short with her.  She doesn't see it clearly at all.  I asked her to not invite her friend...she's invited her to a local semi-pro baseball family game night which I bought the tickets and was taking my family for Father's Day, she invites her to every cook out, everytime we go for ice cream...literally everything.  She got so mad when I told her not to invite her friend because I wanted it to be family.  My mom's brother died when she was 14 and both of her parents have passed away within the past 10-15 years.  Her friend is divorced and both of her kids are no longer living at home so my mom wants to include her because she views her as a sister since she feels she has no family outside of the 4 of us and that she feels guilty doing things if she knows her friend is stuck at home.  I have stopped answering my phone but I always feel terrible when I do that because I've always been raised in the mind set that you never know when you'll talk to someone for the last time.  Morbid I know, but this comes from my mom since she lost her brother and both parents and has little family left.  While I can't fault her for feeling so emotional about family, it has really gotten to the point where that's not the issue...the issue is she just controls everyone and makes excuses for her behavior.  ALso, on  side note but one I just remembered...we basically had screaming matches during my wedding planning because she wanted to invite so many of her friends while I had to tell my husband not to invite as many family and friends because we were already at our max amount of guests.  My mom just doesn't realize how pushy she is and when I tried to point this out she said that she doesn't have a big family so she wants her friends there.  No matter how you try to rationalize or explain things to her, she can never sit back and think about her actions.
    Anniversary
  • My advice- since talking doesn't work, stop inviting her to stuff.  She'll probably catch on, and when she does, be honest.  "I didn't invite you because I didn't want  your friend to come and I knew you wouldn't respect my wishes".  Period.  She gets pissed and yells?  Let her.  Don't get caught up in it.  State the facts and leave it at that. 
    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

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  • Agreed to stop inviting her..and involving her..in things. It's better to see that you are tring to get her to knock it off. Now you just gotta take it to the next level.
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  • I'd limit time with your parents.

    There's really no need to be in contact with them so frequently.

    Indeed sit down with your mother and tell her what you told us. You were expecting a nice outing with her, not her and half the Paramus, NJ population.:(

    If you are not expecting her call, do not get the phone. Let it go over to voicemail. She'll get the message.

    Ditto if she visits unannounced: you don't get the door.

    Your mother also sounds like she's got too much time on her hands. She has no hobbies, no clubs that she belongs to, nothing to volunteer for?  Too bad.:(
  • Yeah, if she's annoying the crap out of you, then why are you inviting her to social stuff?  Just because she has said she wants to go somewhere, that doesn't mean that you have to take her with you if you go.

    image
  • Parents have a funny way of getting under your skin.

    Therapy for you so you can learn how to speak up when you need it and take a stand when you have to.

    And if she gets mad?

    Too bad.

    She's going way overboard on a lot of these ventures.

    And you need to nip this in the bud.

     Let us know what happens. GL. 

     

  • This weekend my husband are going to the water park for the day and I invited my mom... My mom took it from a nice relaxing day to inviting everyone and their brother and now my husband and I really don't want to go because this is our only trip this summer and she's made it so stressful.  

    Why did you invite her?  Not to be too harsh but you are kind of being your own worst enemy here.  I second all the PPs, limit your exposure to her.  If she brings it up to you, then tell her the truth - "Mom, you have a bad habit of inviting extra people to family events and frankly, I don't appreciate it.  I want to spend time with you and my husband, without your friend and her kids."

    I can't even stand to talk to her on the phone because if I do call her she talks non stop about herself and then when I finally get off the phone with her, she calls again maybe 10 minutes later with another question. She does this everytime we're on the phone.

    When she goes off on a tangent about herself, stop the conversation - "Mom, I hate to do this to you, but I really gotta go."  If she calls a second time, ignore the call.  Again, if she brings it up, deal with it - "Mom, I can only afford to talk to you X times per week, I have a lot going on... if you have a question for me, it can wait until our next conversation."

    I think this warrants some kind of communication with your Mom - whether it's a sit-down and you lay it out on the table, or deal with as it comes (like I suggested above.)  Clearly this is becoming a problem for you and your husband.  If she doesn't get it (some people are too difficult, too stubborn to change) then you need to have a chat with your husband and determine some ground rules/boundaries, i.e. - we will see them once every other week for no longer than 2 hours... I will limit my conversations with her to once a week, for a maximum of 20 minutes... for family outings, such as the water park, we will not extend an invite to her, etc.

    Good luck.

  • I appreciate all of the advice and I def. know that to get any results or reprieve from her, I need to limit my time with her.  I feel like I have to include her in things because I have a twin brother who basically tunes everything out but himself and is never around to talk or do anything with and I know that it bothers them and they complain to me that they never hear from him even though he still lives at home with them.  My parents are really good with the whole guilt trip thing and so I try to include them so they stop complaining.  My mom actually works full time and then works at our local stadium for concerts and sporting events.  She almost gets obsessive about things...she took up knitting awhile ago and I've got several knit blankets, coasters, and wash clothes.  She won't leave someone alone until they just cave to get her to stop...not good I know but sometimes it's easier than listening to it over and over.  She is also constantly buying me things...not to sound selfish but they are junk.  She'll buy me random things like a coaster that looks like my cat, hand soap, a pack of magic erasers because she loves to clean the walls with them.  It just goes on and I realize that I only stress myself by giving into her but I hate to disappoint my parents and when I do try to put my foot down my dad usually winds up yelling at me like i'm 10 years old.  This also drives my husband nuts because we are married, living our life, and they still try to control me like I'm their child.  I know that I'll always be their child and they can't stop parenting but there comes a point where I feel they need to respect me and my husband and allow us to have our own opinions and if that means talking back to put our foot down then so be it.  

    Thanks for the encouraging words and suggestions.  It's hard to stand up for yourself sometimes esp. when I know it won't get me anywhere because she and my dad will never realize they are the ones causing this stress and anxiety in my life.  I hate that my husband hates to do anything with them because even though they drive me nuts, they're still my parents and I do want to have a good and open relationship with them.

    Anniversary
  • I think you want to be their friend and good little girl more than you want to be an independent, grown up adult.
    My darling daughter just turned 4 years old.
  • You have to realize that you aren't reaponsible for their feelings or their social lives they are grown adults just a you are.

     Also, they can only guilt you if YOU let them. 

    Lastly, your mom has learned that being a PITA works - she gets what she wants if she just pushes enough.

    Youve got to step back for your own sanity

    Oh, and if  your dad yells at you, you get up and leave.  you don't have to sit there and take it. 

     

     

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
    DS dx with celiac disease 5/28/10

  • Well I have to ask, why are you prioritizing your parent's feelings, opinions, desires, wishes and comfort over your own and your husband's.  Isn't he the one you made vows to ?  Isn't he the one you said you would put above all others ?  Why if you have to choose between upsetting your husband and your parents, you choose your husband ? 

    Listen, I understand it can be a tough transition going from daughter to wife.  I had a hard time knowingly upsetting my parents or at least setting up boundaries.  I had to get out of the mindset that I was being disobedient or naughty and then one day I realized that they didn't raise me to be their obedient little girl forever.  They raised me to be a strong, confident woman who can use her best judgement to make decisions for her family. 

    As ECB as mentioned, your mom behaves this way because it works for her and she gets what she wants.  She is no different than the spoiled  toddler who throws a temper tantrum in the middle of the candy aisle.  If it works and gets them what they want, then why stop.

  • image ramcheer55:

     My parents are really good with the whole guilt trip thing and so I try to include them so they stop complaining.

    DIng, ding, ding.  This is why they try to manipulate you with guilt trips.  Besides, you have nothing to feel guilty about.  You have every right to not spend time with them if you don't want to.  You have every right to spend time alone with your husband.  You have every right to have your own life.  The relationship you have with them is unhealthy and it sounds like your brother has the right idea.  I know your parents try to demonize him and make him out to be the bad guy, but it sounds like he is the only one in your family with his head screwed on straight. 

  • WahooWahoo member
    Ancient Membership 2500 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    image stw_77:

    Well I have to ask, why are you prioritizing your parent's feelings, opinions, desires, wishes and comfort over your own and your husband's.  Isn't he the one you made vows to ?  Isn't he the one you said you would put above all others ?  Why if you have to choose between upsetting your husband and your parents, you choose your husband ? 

    Listen, I understand it can be a tough transition going from daughter to wife.  I had a hard time knowingly upsetting my parents or at least setting up boundaries.  I had to get out of the mindset that I was being disobedient or naughty and then one day I realized that they didn't raise me to be their obedient little girl forever.  They raised me to be a strong, confident woman who can use her best judgement to make decisions for her family. 

    As ECB as mentioned, your mom behaves this way because it works for her and she gets what she wants.  She is no different than the spoiled  toddler who throws a temper tantrum in the middle of the candy aisle.  If it works and gets them what they want, then why stop.

    Ditto this. 

    image "Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.
  • You know, it's okay to give the guilt trip right back to them.  In fact, you'll probably enjoy it.
    image
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