How do I stand up to my bully of a mother?

(16 Posts)
coralpig Wed 06-Jul-16 10:59:43

I've just come home from my wedding hair trial. I'm having a pre wedding event before the wedding with traditions from my cultural background. I wanted a straight forward blow dry with a half up half down at this event and hair in an up do at my wedding. I swear I'd spoken to my mum about this before hand but clearly I'm wrong. Same hairdresser for both.

Anyway, I showed my mum the hair from my trial and she said it was nice and wouldn't it look lovely on the Friday with flowers. I said, oh no im having it down on Friday and have booked the blow dry in with the hair stylist. She said no it has to be up-I asked why and then I really don't remember what happened because she opened up an enormous tirade, screaming the place the place down, saying that Friday was HER day and if she didn't like what I'd picked I was having it her way. She started screaming shouting, swearing, she was really really horrible. Started saying I was going to look ugly, how I looked horrible at the engagement party so ugly. She said I was spoling her day. I was literally sitting in silence in floods of tears begging her to stop. She said she kept getting shut down in helping to plan the day (this couldn't be further from the truth). I moved out years ago I'm only back for the week and this is exactly why I moved out, she makes me feel so small, I know I'll be forced to apologise and bullied into not showing how upset I really am. I'm miserable. How do I stand up to her?

StarryIllusion Wed 06-Jul-16 11:11:24

Tell her she is no longer welcome. Its your day, not hers and you'll have your hair how you damn well please.

toomuchtooold Wed 06-Jul-16 11:29:19

I've got a mum like yours. It's hard to stand up to them because you've been conditioned to fear their anger. If you're just one to one

You might find that the threads on Relationships for children of dysfunctional families - batshit and Stately Homes can help.

Some things you could do that might help:
- Get someone to back you up - someone who really understands and will stick up for you. Your fiance? Or a sibling, if you have a sibling who you know will stand up to her?
- walk away from her. Just say, you know, "this is my decision", "this is what I'm doing" or whatever, and just walk away from her. She can only scare the crap out of you if you're still listening!
- move out, stay at a hotel for the week? She might then guilt trip you about this being the last time together before you're married. Fine, but then why is she making a massive drama about your hair?
- I agree with Starry that you'll probably have a happier wedding if she's not there, although I suppose it would be hard to exclude her at this point?

Good luck!

PhoenixReisling Wed 06-Jul-16 11:31:09

Many of my asain friends not implying that you are Asian BTW had hair styled in the same way as you described. Up for the main ceremony but then down/half up for the celebrations after and before the main ceremony.

This is your day and not hers.

I would style your hair how you want to and ignore any dramatics. If she begins to become personal, walk out and tell her that you will not listen to her nonsense any longer.

Have you a relative or members of the grooms family that could be around when your hair is being done? Is she less likely to have an outburst if they are there?

You need to make a stand and set boundaries now as she will only get worse when say children arrive.

sashh Wed 06-Jul-16 11:45:09

My relationship with my mother improved vastly after she died, this was the kind of thing she would do and then I would have to apologise for upsetting her.

I found the best thing was to sew seeds with other people, get them to talk to her and get them to think it is their idea.

If you have aunties (real or the ones people call aunty - guessing culture here) then having them say how nice your hair is going to look at the wedding (send selfie) and that it is so good that it is different to the other event because some people make the terrible mistake of two hair dos the same and how inappropriate it is.

If your mum is like min was then she will suddenly tell you to have the different hair and tell everyone how you nearly made the faux pas of having hair the same for both events.

Good luck.

coralpig Wed 06-Jul-16 11:53:26

Thank you for responses. Culture is similar to ones mentioned here. Unfortunately I have no siblings of my age (just a much younger one) to use. I've calmed down a little bit by going to a different room. but nw we'll have to come face to face as we're going to a family event soon. Feel very manipulated and about seven again

Penfold007 Wed 06-Jul-16 12:10:38

Is the wedding eve celebration a mother of the bride event or is it for the bride? I'm even wondering if the groom is there or is it an all female event and the groom has his own male event.
Hiding behind my keyboard I think I'd have my hair how I wanted and tell DM she either respects your choice or doesn't attend but I know its not that simple.

coralpig Wed 06-Jul-16 12:15:57

The wedding eve celebration is for everyone but is more of a cultural tradition - a bit like an Indian wedding event with similar outfits. The other day is similar to an English wedding. Totally different outfits. It's true that Friday is organised by my mother but I expected to have a say in how my hair was styled and not to be called a slut or other horrible names by my mother.

coralpig Wed 06-Jul-16 12:17:12

It's literally not about the hair. I don't care too much about it and I would have probably conceded if she'd been nice about it. It's the way she's bulldozed, pumped up the guilt trip and made me feel like crap.

QueenJuggler Wed 06-Jul-16 12:19:39

Tell her it's your day (both of them) and either she accepts what you want with a smile on her face, or she's not welcome.

hellsbellsmelons Wed 06-Jul-16 12:28:50

Have a google for FOG (fear obligation guilt)
And also google narcissistic personality disorders.
Might help you understand a bit better.
Then get yourself THIS BOOK
I can't imagine how hard it must be to stand up for yourself after years and years of this.
I can't empathise but I can sympathise and I really hope you get to enjoy your special day.
Don't let anyone ruin it for you.

Even though you're not that bothered I absolutely would not back down on your hair now. She needs to learn that you are not her puppet or doll and sometimes that has to start with something as simple as your hair your way

TheWitTank Wed 06-Jul-16 13:09:44

You calmly stand up, tell her you will not discuss this while she is behaving in such a manner and walk out of the room/house. Let her scream and screech at a closed door. If she calms down enough to talk, tell her that it is not her wedding or day, and that while you would like her to attend, she is welcome not to if she feels the way she does. Do not cry, beg or apologise. If she tantrums, again remove yourself or hang up. Poor you!

FiddleFigs Wed 06-Jul-16 14:43:42

I had a very similar experience during my wedding week (I'm of Indian heritage - it's a whole week of stress!!). In the end, I conceded - I just couldn't fight all the time, and didn't want the memory of my wedding day to be soured. But I did make it very very clear to her that that was the last time she would be interfering with my life, and I have stuck to it. I limit the time she spends with DD to seeing her once every six weeks or so. Before DD was born, I saw her maybe twice a year. It means I don't see my dad much, which is upsetting, but my mum is too toxic.

Obviously, I'm not suggesting you do the same. Only chipping in to say I understand where you're coming from, and this is how I dealt with it. Also, I cut off 2ft of hair after I got married shock!! From Disney princess hair, to a page-boy cut - that's how much the hair-styling dramas got to me!!!

EmilyDickinson Wed 06-Jul-16 14:56:42

Apologies if this is inappropriate but would she back off if you got your fiancé to speak to her? I've noticed that overbearing mums can sometimes be a lot more respectful towards sons-in-law. You could brief him to be firm with her and say he's not prepared to have his prospective wife upset at what should be a happy time.

Twinklestar2 Wed 06-Jul-16 15:11:05

Of Indian heritage too so totally understand.

You need to stand your ground on this.

Is there any way you can get your hair done the way you want for the evening without her knowing and then turn up with it like that. She won't make a scene on the night, im sure of it!

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