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Need advice. Not sure what to do!

I love my mom. I really do. She has been a very strong role model in my life.  But I feel like if my husband and I don't get ourselves as far away from her as possible, she's going to rule my life (and ultimately our family's lives) forever! Sounds like I'm exaggerating but I'm really not.

 I just don't know what to do. I love my mom but even from 4 hours away, she still has a strong hold on me. When we first moved into the apartment we are currently living in, she bought us a queen sized mattress. It was $40 at an auction. Sounds great, right? Especially since up until then, we'd been sleeping on a futon. But not an hour after she told us she bought the mattress, she called again to tell us she'd bought us a headboard and a matching dresser with a mirror. This was $350 and she said we could pay her back once we had the money. We didn't even ask her to look for a mattress or dresser for us in the first place! So now, a year after, we still "owe" her for the dresser we never use and have been stressing out for the past few weeks on how to transport it to our new apartment.

I just don't know what to do. I've tried talking to her about it--actually talking, not yelling--and she always screams at me and says she's just going to abandon me completely instead of backing off just a little. I didn't want to cut her out completely but I feel like if she's ever going to learn to respect my husband and I for the adults we are, we've got to put some distance between us and her. I can't stress enough how much she's abused me and my husband both over the years, and now that we're married, there's no change!

I mean, my dad had a heart attack in January and not only did she not tell me about it (I had to find out from my little sister who acts as my mom's personal secretary), but she even went as far as accusing me of being the cause because wanting to get married was putting too much stress and drama on the family. This, of course, was all going on while Stephen and I were struggling to pay for the wedding ourselves because we didn't want any drama with our families.

HELP! 

Re: Need advice. Not sure what to do!

  • She's irrational.  YOu're going to have to learn that you can't control this.  She bought you furniture you don't want?  You just say "Thanks, but we aren't going to buy it from you".  DON'T bring it back to your place.

    She yells?  Let her.  She stops talking to you for awhile?  Let her.  Seriously.  She does all this because it works, so stop letting it work.  Stop giving into her tantrums. 

    And if you really feel you've been abused by her, get therapy because you need help in figuring out why you even WANT a person like this in your life. 

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

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  • I agree with ECB.  I had to learn this the hard way- not with my mom, though, with someone else.  She is behaving irrationally, so being rational with her in an attempt to get her to be rational as well is a good thought, but you've tried that, and it's not going to work. So- you decide your priorities, decide what you will and won't put up with, and use those as your guidelines, not fear of her reaction.  If she buys you furniture you don't want: "No, thank you, Mom- it was nice of you to think of us, but In the future, please ask us before making purchases for us you'd like to be reimbursed for." And then let her flip.  When she yells, say, "I don't care to be yelled at- why don't you give me a call back when you've calmed down? Love you, goodbye." If she gets your little sister or your dad to call and be angry at you on her behalf, "This is between Mom and I."  If they continue, "I've already said that subject is between Mom and I.  I'd love to catch up with you, but it's going to have to wait until you are ready to change the subject.  Call me when you're ready.  Love you, goodbye." 

    It's hard to have people be mad at you, but it's a lot harder in the long term to be constantly worrying about or dealing with their reactions.  Setting limits is not going to have you winning any popularity contests- it makes people who are trying to control you unhappy, because they can't, and it will make the other people being controlled unhappy, because seeing you set limits makes it clear that they don't have to put up with the things they put up with, either.  But- you're job isn't to make other people happy.  Your job is to be kind and respectful and mindful of what serves the priorities of your family (you and your husband) best, and let other people worry about how they're going to feel about that.

  • I second both PPs.  You have the control here so take it.  And don't worry about how she reacts.  The ball is in her court.  If you set the limits and she chooses to flip out, yell, or go so far as to end the relationship, that's on her, not you.  I get it, it's hard.  But you have a priority to yourself and your husband, what is now your immediate family.

    You can't fix stupid.  But you can learn how to manage not letting if affect you.  She goes off on a tear, end the conversation... you have the ability and the power to do that.  As far as how it impacts you emotionally, that's something you need to work on inside yourself.  Reason with yourself, almost like you are your own therapist.  "I can not fix this, I can not control her behavior.  All I can do is protect myself, my marriage and ensure my family is happy."

    Good luck.

  • So, she dropped $350 on furniture and you are supposed to do what??

    Do you have the mattress or dresser? Do you want them?

    It's quite powerful to hand someone a check and say "Shut the F*ck up". Especially for something like $350.

  • seems like you need to learn to use the word 'no' in a few cases.

    also i think by her saying that your dads heart attack was your fault means you probably share WAY too much with her. is this true?

    Friday, December 28 2012. The day I had emergency appendix surgery in Mexico and quit smoking. Proof that everything has a good side!! DH and I are happily child-free!! No due date or toddler tickers here!! my read shelf:
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