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Mother Invites ExH for lunch....

(81 Posts)
moonmanic Sun 09-Dec-12 23:25:55

My Mother informed me yesterday that she has spoken to ExDP and invited him to a family pre-Christmas lunch next Sunday and that he has accepted.

She did not even ask me if it was convenient for me to go, just took the assumption that we will be there. She said that it would be nice for them (which means her and my Dad) for us to have a Christmas lunch with myself, ExDP and our DD.

She knows that I am currently going to Relate on my own to find solutions to me and ExDP's issues, not to find ways to get back together as the relationship is over, but just for advice and direction with regard to how to deal with certain issues like assertiveness on my part and establishing boundaries. ExDP is quite a strong character and is often putting me down and bossing me about and I wanted to regain a bit more control in our relationship for the sake of our DD. My Mum knows this and I have also confided in her about his sometimes bullying behaviour towards me.

The counselling I have been receiving at Relate have delved into all of my relationships including with my parents and this has let me "see the light" and I now believe my mum has always behaved in a very emotionally abusive way, particularly using gas lighting tactics. Always telling me things have not happened when they definitely had, minimising and invalidating my feelings to things that a normal person would be expected to feel strongly about etc. I am now someone who does not have masses of confidence and second guessing myself is a bit issue in that.

Therefore, with regard to her inviting ExDP to lunch without discussing it with me in light of the stuff I've told her, am I being unreasonable to feel betrayed by her? I have always felt like I can't trust her, particularly with doing right by me. She said that she wants to do it for my DD, that it would be nice for her (as ExDP is going away to his family for Christmas and won't be with us) to have a "pretend Christmas" (she is only 13months btw so won't really know what's going on). To be honest I think me and ExDP probably would of done something like this anyway, just the 3 of us.

I'm just interested what others would think if your mum invited an Ex partner for lunch like this. I have such little faith in my own thoughts and feelings I don't know what is reasonable if that makes sense?

Aussiebean Sat 15-Dec-12 23:16:24

It's all part of the power play and when you start to realise what's happening you will go through the grieving process. You are grieving for the mum you deserve but haven't got.

I'm currently on anger. And bargaining doesn't work on narcs. Working my desperate way to acceptance.

My advice is that to us and to people who understand complain and cry as much as you need. To your mum you need to be calm, firm, non committal and talk about the weather. Unfortunately all personal conversations are for someone else. It's sad but necessary. And your dad can't be the one because he is on your mothers side and can't be trusted to keep a secret. That's what enablers do.

I understand what you are going through as do many here. I'm sorry. X

DonkeysInTheStableAtMidnight Sat 15-Dec-12 20:49:39

You are doing fine. Frankly if your DM has selective memory that's her problem.

It doesn't feel like freedom from maternal interference yet because your instinct is to mend and repair, deferring to her. It is absolutely reasonable for you to stand up for yourself. You're a mum now, your DD is little and helpless, you are her protector and teacher. But do you honestly see yourself controlling your DC in 20 years' time and beyond, dictating what she does, throwing paddies when she finds her own way, trusts her own judgment?

Your bullying parents were the model you carried forward into yuor own adult relationship so am not at all surprised to read that you had a relationship with a bullying man.

Many children now adults of such toxic parenting carry around FOG with them -this is an acronym for fear, obligation, guilt.

Your mother's behaviour is typical toxic parent behaviour and your Dad likely goes along with her out of self preservation and want of a quiet life. He is a weak bystander alongside her.

You are standing up to her and are making great strides. This is progress indeed but you may well start waivering and doubting yourself again re her. That is normal. Just keep reasserting yourself and your own boundaries with regards to her.

Would also suggest you read "Toxic Parents" written by Susan Forward as well as posting on the "well we took you to Stately Homes" thread. All that you have written of your mother is typical of such toxic people.

Your mother will never be the kind and loving mother you so desparately want her to be I am sorry to say. You did not make her that way; her own birth family did that lot of harm to her.

AndrewMyrrh Sat 15-Dec-12 18:04:53

Don't get pissed off. Breezily and calmly assertive is much more effective.

moonmanic Sat 15-Dec-12 17:12:06

It is this type of thing though that just drives me mad. When she pretends that nothing has happened - is this a form of gaslighting? The text message had a tone suggesting firstly that nothing was wrong between us and secondly that we were due to go round tomorrow anyway, like it was a gentle reminder.

I've had such a shit week, this whole lunch thing and coming to terms with my mum being such a cow and not really seeing it before. I have always blamed myself for everything.

By asking me AGAIN she has totally undermined my feelings IMO. She has not acknowledged that I am upset or that I have a reason to be upset. I made it clear that I am not going tomorrow, but she thought this morning that it would be worth giving it another go? I am so pissed off right now!

Snorbs Sat 15-Dec-12 16:53:17

She's trying the "let's just forget all the unpleasantness happened" tack. She's not used to you standing up for yourself so she's changed game plan in an attempt to get back into her position of power. You'll probably get the nice/nasty cycle for a while, with added "You're making a big fuss over nothing", "Why are you being so cruel?" plus the occasional "Your father doesn't understand why you're being like this". She may go as far as a made-up health scare.

Fear, obligation and guilt. That's what she's used to keep you dancing to her tune your whole life. It's up to you if you want to carry on with that dance.

moonmanic Sat 15-Dec-12 16:25:21

I have spent the whole week now avoiding my mum as much as possible like not answering the phone to her and sending her short but polite text messages in response to hers. I am still upset and have had a difficult week coming to terms with my mum actually being quite abusive to me my whole life. I just have no desire to see her and the idea of it right now makes my stomach turn tbh.

Anyway, a quick update, I got a text from her this morning. It had a friendly jolly sort of tone saying that she and dad have got their tree and are we coming tomorrow to come help decorate it and help get Christmas ready? I'm like, well no, because of me and ex DP's mini Christmas tomorrow and of course all of the above. She just does'nt get it.

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Thu 13-Dec-12 07:48:27

Well done. It's always difficult the first time you stand up to a bully but it definitely gets easier with practice. smile You've won the first skirmish, now bed yourself in for a long campaign and stay strong. I would act completely normally next time you see your parents. That way it's them/her being the awkward squad making a fuss over nothing & not you. Power balance subtly but permanently shifted.

BTW.... you exP and DD are one unit in a sense.... which is that only you and him get to decide how you relate to each other. Not outsiders.

One-nil to moonmanic.

AndrewMyrrh Wed 12-Dec-12 16:52:50

Don't forget, if you live near to your parents, Xmas doesn't have to be one long arduous day. Ask her what time she is serving dinner, then say you'll be over 1/2 hour before. Stay an hour or so after dinner, then you can leave with DD - what with Xmas being such a tiring and overwhelming day for small children.

DonkeysInTheStableAtMidnight Wed 12-Dec-12 16:12:13

Look at it this way if you state your preference then feel bad for doing so, had you given in over pre Christmas Sunday lunch, you'd feel sick with apprehension. So just as well you said no I don't want to - feel the wave of disapproval and do it anyway.

If you decide you'd rather have Christmas on your own with DD and start new traditions this year, you might anticipate that wave of disapproval - your old friend - it's nothing new, you'll feel under scrutiny and on pins if you go unwillingly - why not suit yourself instead.

We are brought up nicely to think saying no I don't want that is rude or ungrateful. Well you're a grown up now, you get to choose.

not selfish just saving your sanity, it is normal to feel conflicted

just do want you want to do not what your are expected to do

good luck you are being very strong smile

moonmanic Wed 12-Dec-12 15:40:38

Today I feel, on the one hand, good that I stood up to her and have a sense of clarity about how my mum has been so manipulative etc which is quite liberating.

On the other hand I also have a sense of dread in the pit of my stomach. I know that it is not over and there is still so much work to do. I don't know which way it is going to go. I think she will probably say some really hurtful "home truths" to me and get my dad and brother on her side if I try and raise her behaviour to her directly. I am at a point in my life where I simply cannot put up with her anymore and will not tolerate her behaviour. However, I am also someone who hates the idea of confrontation.

I coming round to the idea of having no contact for a while. Its such a pain that Christmas just happens to be in less than a fortnight. Me and DD were due to spend Christmas Day with her and DF and DB. I just can't stomach it. I'm also worried that if I do go, I'll cave to her and then I'll be back to square one. I'm really tempted to tell her I'll spend Christmas with DD at home. But then I don't know if I'm just being selfish.

well done ! small steps small steps lead to big change !!

LemonBreeland Tue 11-Dec-12 18:11:59

If she says you are not doing your best by your DD then you need to tell her that it is your decision to make, not hers.

You need to avoid entering into any discussion with her about any of this. She is horribly toxic and I really feel for you that you don't have her support.

DonkeysInTheStableAtMidnight Tue 11-Dec-12 17:59:19

BlueberryHill is right your mother may yet try again. If on the phone, picture a small bothersome fleck of something on your top/jeans/skirt. As you talk to her, focus on that and make like you're busy and faintly bored, something like:

"No mum, I already said, it's really not what I want...that arrangement doesn't work for me...DD does see her father, it's under control thanks... how can it put you in an awkward position, you go ahead..." ad infinitum.

If face to face, same assertiveness, you are an ice queen! You don't owe an explanation, she can bluster and stomp. Good practice for when DD hits toddlerdom.

BlueberryHill Tue 11-Dec-12 17:35:50

Well done, you were amazing, you've done it once, you can do it again.

Instead of thinking about what you didn't say, think about what you did say and what you achieved. You were amazing.

I don't want a sour note, but she will come back at some point and try again, just be on your guard.

TalkativeJim Tue 11-Dec-12 17:16:07

'I think negotiating the new structure of the relationship between me and ExH, and between both of us and our daughter, is best left to us right now. I think for DD's sake you will understand that that is our primary concern rather than considering relations within the wider family, which I think are best negotiated some time further down the line, and the managing of which are, once again, really just the business of me and ExH.'

Corygal Tue 11-Dec-12 17:10:17

Next time the old trout whines

'You're not doing the best by your DD' calmly reply

'And you're doing the best by me Mommy Dearest?'

bwahahaha.... mind you, she's probably too narc to notice.

Corygal Tue 11-Dec-12 17:05:13

BRILLIANT YOU. Best present you could have given yourself for Xmas.

Yr DM behaved foully badly second time round, too, quel surprise.

I hope all 3 of them have the festive lunch they deserve...

clam Tue 11-Dec-12 16:50:17

Wow moonmanic! Good for you. I'm seriously impressed. smile

GoldQuintessenceAndMyhrr Tue 11-Dec-12 16:47:41

Well done.

One package.... yes right...

Anniegetyourgun Tue 11-Dec-12 16:40:08

What they said, and well done. You may feel a bit steamrollered, but you did stand up for yourself. Really good that you could see the manipulation at work. That bit where someone says they told you something you absolutely know they didn't, btw, that's called gaslighting. You're supposed to accept their version of reality, like a good little doormat, rather than trusting your own memory.

2rebecca Tue 11-Dec-12 14:56:14

You aren't one package, you're an individual who is divorcing from another individual. This dinner isn't about your ex and your daughter getting on anyway, it's about your parents, you aren't stopping your ex seeing his daughter.
I would ignore her back and just say very little to her for a while. You aren't going to be able to agree on this so don't involve her in discussions about your ex. Stop expecting your mum to change. Is your dad more reasonable? Maybe clarify to him that he and your mum need to accept you are divorcing.

DonkeysInTheStableAtMidnight Tue 11-Dec-12 14:54:34

Well done! If she's used to getting her own way through steamrollering and huffing, she'll have to be disappointed on this occasion, won't she.

She said it makes no difference whether I am in a relationship with ExDP or not, we are "one package" i.e. me, ExDP, DD, my parents and ExDP's family

It might make no difference to her, or your dad, or the ship's cat, but it sure as hell affects you and your life. If you are maintaining contact with your ex for DD's sake, you are doing your best, and your mother needn't jump in with both feet.

moonmanic Tue 11-Dec-12 14:38:23

I've just had "the conversation" with my mum. It started by her asking if we were still on for the Sunday and I said no. She said why not, has ExDP pulled out? I said no and did the "it does'nt work for me line". She asked me to expand and I said it just does'nt sit well with me, that me and Ex are not together anymore and that we are having difficulties that she knows about. Then said I am not going to justify any further.

She basically got very huffy saying that I really need to think about them (as in her and my dad). She then did the line about ExDP being DD's dad and said that I was denying my DD a good relationship with him by us not doing this dinner confused. ExDP sees DD several times a week and we are having a pretend Christmas the three of us anyway. She said I was not doing best by my DD. She said it makes no difference whether I am in a relationship with ExDP or not, we are "one package" i.e. me, ExDP, DD, my parents and ExDP's family. She said that she had asked me about the dinner before asking ExDP which is absolutely not true. She asked him when I was not there and she never mentioned the idea to me before telling me it was going ahead.

She then gave me the silent treatment and left in a great big huff.

I am aware of her being manipulative in this situation. I sort of feel that I stood up for myself although I did not say what i wanted to in that I feel totally undermined and stabbed in the back when she does this sort of thing.

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