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has anyony had a not so great realtionship with their mother then gone on to be close to a dd? really worried

(74 Posts)
yummytummy Sat 21-Sep-13 20:03:15

hi, have just been wondering about this.

unfortunately i have never really been close to my mother. basically a personality clash i think, she is quite passive aggressive and i think has never really understood me or tried to understand where i am coming from on things. there is a long and painful history with many incidents of hurt i guess on both sides and the relationship has i think deteriorated completely of late. i dont speak to her much and if she does ring i am tense for the whole time and leave conversation feeling drained emotionally. its never relaxed cant be around her and at ease and it makes me feel like i am flawed somehow especially when i hear of friends who are close to their mums and i just cant picture it.

the final straw in things has been the fact that i am in a very abusive relationship with physical and emotional abuse and my parents have known how bad it is for some time. however they are very traditional and believe divorce is to be avoided at all costs and its best for the kids to stay together etc etc. also great shame on their heads if i leave husband. so basically i have no family support if/when i leave as they have said they will disown me take kids blah blah blah which they cant do but still hard to hear it. they are just sticking heads in sand.

i have tried to make them see how much better it would be for me to leave but they wont accept it and are as good at minimising things and shifting blame onto me as my husband is. they think the sun shines out of his a**e by the way and it galls me that they laugh and joke with him knowing full well how he treats me. i cant forgive them esp my mother for this and for making me feel like i have no safe place to go to when things are bad. i try to limit contact as much as possible but they keep trying to force the relationship. i can only deal with it by detaching and also as the kids adore them and i never had grandparents so want them to have a relationship with them even though i am so angry at how they act.

anyway due to this i always envisaged myself with boys as i feel i dont know how to successfully parent a daughter as i never had that? i am so worried of the cycle carrying on and would never want my daughter to hate me as much as i hate them and would never want her to be alone. even now i cant understand my parents what kind of parent sits back and lets their child suffer like that? if anyone touched dd i would kill them.

but then i dont want to pressure dd to live up to the expectations of a relationship that i didnt have. i guess i just really desperately want to be a better mother to her than mine was/is and wondered what was the best way to do it. obviously mainly theoretical as dd only 2 but i just so badly want to set the best foundation for her for the future so she will never ever have to feel even an ounce of the pain that i do.

also if there were others who perhaps arent close to their mothers how to deal with the pain of that? i would dearly love to go no contact with my mother but unfortunately cant due to cultural and religious expectations.

any thoughts would help so much as the whole thing is really getting to me lately

thankyou

MatryoshkaDoll Sat 21-Sep-13 20:15:28

No advice but will be watching with interest. My mum was a toxic alcoholic for most of my life until she finally drank herself to death.

I'm expecting my own DD now and I also worry about whether I'll be able to have a good relationship with her as I don't have a good template.

MatryoshkaDoll Sat 21-Sep-13 20:16:42

As terrible as this sounds, my life is so much better and my self esteem has improved so much since my mum died. Life really is better.

I would encourage you to think again about NC.

EverythingIsSoThrowback Sat 21-Sep-13 20:22:22

Your parent and relationship issues sound fairly similar to what mine were. My parents live close to us though, so I see my mum at the very least, on a weekly basis, we try to get along for the sake of my DDs.
Also, I'm close with all my girls, particularly as they'e gotten older. Everyone has their own views on parenting so I won't say anything about that, but if you love your kids (as I'm sure you love your DD), trust me, they'll love you back, I can tell you that from 4 DD's worth of experience smile

MrsZimt Sat 21-Sep-13 20:30:53

OP, the most. important thing you can do for your mother-daughter relationship is to leave your abusive husband.

I have no real relationship with my mother because of the way she brought me up. She also tolerated a lot of crap done to me.

I have 2 daughters, one is a teen, we have a really good relationship. So different from anything I had with my mother. It doesn't matter that you don't have a template, you know what's right and wrong and you love your daughter. There isn't more to it.

yummytummy Sat 21-Sep-13 20:32:31

thanks for replies

everythingissothrowback, am pleased that the love has been returned for you. any other tips on parenting dd's? its so much harder i think with dd, with ds its much more natural i dont have the same weight of expectation on the relationship as i do with dd and want to be equal in how i parent them.

enderwoman Sat 21-Sep-13 20:33:24

Spookily similar to my situation except that I am NC with my mother and have separated from my h.

The NC isn't hard really. I have to remind myself why I am NC when I have a moment of weakness and think about contact.

The fear of repeating history however is not easy. I have 1 dd and 2ds. I have to repeat the mantra that "I am not my mum and dd is not me" When I think of dd as an individual rather than girl, it helps me relax. She is 10 and vaguely knows why I am NC with my mum but she has no idea how scared I am that history might repeat itself because there could be something intrinsically wrong with me for mum to treat me like she did.

yummytummy Sat 21-Sep-13 20:36:24

enderwoman yes yes i also feel something is intrinsically wrong with me as mum and partner have both treated me like shite. they are also both fond of telling me its me too. apparantly i am too sensitive and defensive. there has never been anyone who i feel has loved me unconditionally and 'had my back' iyswim.

thanks for all thoughts its really helping me feel like less of a freak.

EverythingIsSoThrowback Sat 21-Sep-13 20:40:07

DD1 was the hardest to parent because she was my first, but I don't have boys nor did I have a brother, so can't really compare how it'd be to raising a DS. I don't really know what advice I could give you, but I'd just try not to thinking about how you want your relationship to be, and just let it be (which is hard to do, I know.) You don't want to be expecting too much from how she is.

Optimist1 Sat 21-Sep-13 20:44:13

Sympathies for difficulties you're having with your mother and husband, which I can't advise on (due to being in a very unsteady relationship with my mother). But I can tell you that in spite of having a terrible mother/daughter relationship with my mother, my daughter and I are very close indeed. I put it down to the fact that I've used my mother's behaviour over the years as an indicator of how not to treat a daughter. And my daughters-in-law rate me pretty high, too!

yummytummy Sat 21-Sep-13 20:47:01

thats reassuring optimist, thanks! i guess i just really feel the lack of that maternal figure in my life badly atm. i just wish i had that older lady who could wrap arms around me in a hug and say thats ok i will look after you whatever happens and it hurts to not have that but i guess i cant be the only one in that position. but am pleased to think it can be different for dd.

Optimist1 Sat 21-Sep-13 20:51:02

Misty-eyed, here at your "...wrap her arms around me in a hug ..." comment. Have never known that from my mother. sad

LilyBossom Sat 21-Sep-13 20:55:03

I agree with Optimist. I too have never has a good relationship with my narcissistic mother - but me and my teenage daughter get on brilliantly and mostly have an excellent relationship - nothing like the mother/daughter relationship I had. It is worlds apart. You don't have to be anything like your own mother - and I am sure you won't be. And the way your mother & husband treat you is not in any way your fault - but you can stop it and get away from them.

And our relationship has become much closer since I left her abusive father btw.

Salbertina Sat 21-Sep-13 21:09:32

My sympathies. First of all let go of all thoughts of persuading them to your point of view, understanding you or taking your side, sadly. Just let go, it WILL not happen. I made the same mistake thinking reason and justice would prevail but no, impossible in this family dynamic. Your awareness will really help your relationship with dd, that your parents didn't have.have you checked the stately homes thread?

Thatballwasin Sat 21-Sep-13 21:56:06

I have a terrible relationship with my mother and so was basically frighten when I realised I was expecting a girl. I know have two and bollocks to it, I parent in a totally different way to my mum and I know I think of their needs and behaviours in the context of them and it's not all about me. Recognising that difference has given me confidence. You will be fine, x

yummytummy Sat 21-Sep-13 22:03:12

thanks so much its so lovely to get support and understanding on here i just dont have that anywhere in rl and it really really upsets me. i feel like the very few crumbs of affection i may get from husband is better than nothing and if i left wdnt even have that.

salbertina you are right its so hard to let go though isnt it? i find it hard to see why they act the way they do but i shouldnt expect them to change i know. havent checked that thread will have a look thanks

am so glad i am not alone the people i know all seem to have great relationships with their mothers dont know if thats down to them or just that they have better mothers who knows? but i get a blank look as i can see they really cant get where i am coming from. so no-one to chat to about it.

lovelybunchofcoconuts Sat 21-Sep-13 23:06:15

I'm not really sure whether my Mum is a narc or what she is but I can tell you that for as far back as I can remember she has never really liked me.
It wasn't my difficult teenage years, it goes back much further than that.
As a result she has often been heartless towards me, she is different with my siblings.
I haven't gone NC with her but I do keep her very much at arms length.
When my marriage split 8 years ago she didn't take his side as such but she did say she wasn't surprised as I would 'make anyone want to thump me'.

I have 2 DDs, they are both older now.
Before they were born I agonised, I wondered whether I would love or like them, I was fearful I would treat them as my Mum had treated me.
The good news is that I adore them, we are all very close and they are fantastic, I am also proud that both my DDs have solid emotional intelligence.

Abuse (because your Mum is abusive, as is mine) does not have to be perpetuated through the generations.
In the first instance you have to recognise what is happening - and you have.
Secondly, you have to make a conscious effort to parent differently.
It sounds to me that you are doing both of those things.
Every parent makes mistakes but it would seem that yours will be the natural parenting mistakes rather than creating a howling mess for your daughter.

Good luck.

onefewernow Sat 21-Sep-13 23:15:37

I was out out contact with my mother for 12 years, until a couple of years before she died.

I have a really positive relationship with both my daughters (17and 26), so don't worry.

It's about what you change in yourself. And also what you teach then to accept, which is harder to do in practice than in theory.

Number one has to be never accepting living in an abusive relationship, I would say.

Lazysuzanne Sun 22-Sep-13 01:35:15

I am no contact with my mother (since about 15 years ago) get on just fine with my adult daughter

rumbelina Sun 22-Sep-13 06:13:56

My mum had a terrible relationship with her mum but has a great r/ship with me. She gave me the mother experience she wished she'd had.

Same goes for a friend of mine and her mum and daughter.

You are not your mum.

GrandstandingBlueTit Sun 22-Sep-13 06:38:47

OP, you seem like the last person on earth who's going to perpetuate a bad relationship with your daughter. Your posts read like you have emotion intelligence in spades, and when that's the case, you're over half way there.

The kindest thing - bar none - you can do for your daughter, and, needless to say, your son, is to leave your vile, abusive 'partner'.

I fully realise this thread is perhaps just the start of that journey, and you may not be ready to do that just yet. But keep posting. And keep thinking. Thinking is good.

Good luck. thanks

Lavenderhoney Sun 22-Sep-13 06:39:09

Its not up to your parents whether or not you stay in an abusive unhappy marriage. They are not the ones living it, nor getting into bed with him every night. Many people get divorced, there is no stigma and its not your fault and you cannot fix their reaction to this. Your reaction is the only one to fix, and try to make it one of passing on information rather than getting permission. I found it easier to do it first then tell, if I felt like telling!

You must do what is best for you, without their support. Many people do.

Don't worry about the relationship- however if you are in an unhappy marriage how you " are" will affect your relationships as you are miserable and people do, without realising, fall back on learnt behaviours - in my case, I shout. Pathetic, but its an ingrained reaction. I read lots of books and try to find other ways to get a different reaction from myself in times of stress.

Fwiw, my dc and I relationship is very different to mine and my parents, and so is my siblings! You certainly know what not to do! The trick is recognising you are doing it and stopping. Mn is great for this, help and advice for situations and reactions to measure yourselfsmile

Weegiemum Sun 22-Sep-13 06:53:26

I have a non-existent relationship with my mother. In fact we've not spoken for 8 years, and doubt we will ever again, tbh.

I have 3dc, an 11 year old ds and 2 dds who are 9 and 13. I was really worried about dd1 turning 12, because that's the age I was when my mum walked out 30 years ago. Though I acquired a fabulous Stepmum eventually, I really felt that I had no idea how to parent/mother a teenage girl. Dd1 and I are very alike in personality and do tend to clash.

However I have a fabulous relationship with her. She confides in me freely, we spend time together, read the same books and I even like (some) of the same music. The things she enjoys doing (art, music, reading, running) are similar to me and we never run out of things to talk about. Now I know she's only 13 and this could go tits up inside a year, but for now I'm loving it, she's such good company, and apparently her friends think I'm "cool" which is a bit freaky!! I think it's because I said yes to posters on the ceiling in her room and helped her henna her hair!

You will be a better mother, because you are already asking questions about it. I'm so sorry that your marriage is so hurtful, you sound very ground down by expectations that others have for you, without being able to do the things that you want to do. I'm so sorry I can't help with that side of things.

One tip of something that you could do now for/with your dd is find something which is a "you and her" thing and try to carve out space once a week to do it. Both my dh and I try to do that with our dc. With dd2 I take her swimming, ds is trying and failing to teach me to play Mariokart, and dd1 and I do our nails. She's very artistic and does a lovely job, and it's helped me to stop biting mine. One night a week when dh is on-call therefore not home (he's asthmatic and the smell makes him wheezy) she stays up after the other 2 go to bed and we have a right old natter - it's "our" time.

I realise this is really long, and possibly not much help, but I hope it is a bit of an encouragement that things can be different. I come from a line of damaged women with poor inter generational relationships. And I've stood up and said :No More. It stops here.

Buzzardbird Sun 22-Sep-13 07:13:33

Op you need to contact women's aid. If you leave your abusive relationships you won't doubt yourself so much. Of course you can be close to your dd, every day I remind myself to make sure my child feels love. That is all that matters to them.
Do yourself and your dcs a huge service and make that phone call. thanks

We learn about relationships first and foremost from our parents, your abusive parents taught you a lot of damaging lessons on relationships and these have unsurprisingly carried themselves forward into your own adult relationship now.

Your parents, in particular, your mother likes this man you're with because he reminds them very much of themselves. They are also happy that he is putting you down now, he is doing to you now what they started.

You will likely have a far better relationship with your own children because you have insight; something that your parents do not have and never will. You do though need to get away from your abusive H asap because he is damaging them as well as you. Please call Womens Aid and enlist their help.

If your parents are too toxic for you to deal with they are certainly too toxic for your children to have any sort of contact with. They likely as well use your children to get back at you. I am so sorry that you never had grandparents but it is really better for your children not to have contact with your toxic parents because they have not changed one iota. They need positive role models, not people who continually put down their mother. It sends them mixed messages.

Cultural and religious expectations do not come into it, no culture or religion would tolerate any form of abuse.

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