My mum has completely embarassed me(164 Posts)
Sorry this is a long story but required to give the detail to the story. I lived at home until I was 30 (due to unforseen circumstances with my father dying). My mum and I were very close due to this and she has never remarried or met anyone else. I bought my own place and finally moved out last year. I love my house, it isn't new, but has had a good bit of work done to it and it is just how I had imagined it to be. My mum hated the house from the minute I bought it, always said I could get more for my money, despite me being happy with what I had. Anyway, I met someone last year, and the relationship is great. They've moved in now and we're doing things to the house together which is brilliant, really putting our own stamp on to it. My mum comes round to the house for dinner or pops round now and again and everytime she comes round she just criticises. Now I spend a lot of time keeping the house clean, but my mum will find ways to make out my house is in a state of disrepair when its far from it. Everyone comments on how lovely the house is when they are over. Last week I brought her over to show her the new mirrored wardrobes we had had put in by a joiner as well as the new tv we had on the wall and new bed/cabinets etc. Her first words were that it was 'fine' but the doors were too loud when shut and there was a huge amount of work still to be done to finish them off. She had a go at me for not pulling the carpet up, the paint tin I got was too large and that I never ask for her opinion or help etc so now I have doubled the work I need to do to finish it all off. I ended up crying like a baby (I'm 31). I just get so worked up when she comes over as she points every single flaw out it makes me feel so down. My partner and I end up furiously cleaning before she comes over and I always feel on edge.
Yesterday she came over to do a little bit of work to the wardrobes again and I asked her repeatedly over the course of a few days what we could do to help? Did we need any tools, paint, sealant etc? She kept saying no and she would do it herself. I insisted we would help and she insisted she was fine and that we could just go out and she would get on with it. I messaged her in the morning to say we were popping to the shops to look at house bits and pieces and if she would like to come with us. Her reply 'no there is far too much to do'. I again said, we would stay to help and she said no. when she got to the house she was furious with me, saying how could i be so selfish and just go galavanting out when she is giving up her time to help me out? I was so taken a back by it that I tried to reason with her and she was so rude and horrible that I got upset (I dont usually) and she told me i was too sensitive and full of self pity. I said we would cancel our plans and stay to help and I was told to leave as she wasnt feeling sociable and I would only make things worse. She said 'I am telling you to go out so just go'. So my partner and I left after a while of trying to reason with her. We also asked if she would like to stay for dinner that way she didnt need to cook after helping out, we were told no. When we came back, she sat us down like children on the couch to tell us the 'house is dirty and a shambles' and that 'I wasnt brought up to live like this' 'we have some nerve to go out galavanting when the house is a mess and there are dirty dishes in the kitchen etc' (there was a mug and two spoons from my partners coffee earlier in the morning). She had gone through the whole house snooping in my garage and cupboards (despite me telling her we are renovating so the house will naturally be a little messier than normal). I said to her that this is my house and my space and the house is far from dirty, which I can assure you is the truth. She kept on going until I started crying, telling us how bad the house was and that everything she is saying to us is falling on deaf ears. I have never been spoken to like that before and to sit two grownups down like that has just taken me back and embarassed me. My house is NOT dirty and I take lots of pride in having and keeping a lovely home. I am very upset and dont know why she's being like this. I fear her coming over because every single time, she is so negative. I just dont know why she's acting like this. my partner thinks she may be a little jealous but I dont want to think like that. I am at a loss.
She's a narc.
Don't invite her to your home until she can be civil and act like a decent human being.
Would you allow a stranger to talk to you like this?
She's consumed by jealousy, you will never please her and nothing you do will ever be good enough. Don't have her visit, be doing something else if she suggests it. Hard to believe 2 adults sat through a lecture from her. What's wrong with you both? Live ankle deep in filth of you choose to do so, it's nothing to do with her. Hag.
Don't let her help any more.
My mum is like this, just criticises. It has never improved, over many decades. My mum does not get over my doorstep now, which makes it a tiny bit better.
What does your partner think about this? And why are you letting her do work on your house?
Seriously, I would stop her visits. You and your partner need to step up and say you will not be spoken to this way, and that she is no longer welcome in your home.
Visit her if you must, but don't have her to yours.
Clearly she's fixated with the house and treating you like a child. Remove the opportunities she has to upset you. Compartmentalise her and the issues.
You and your OH, or paid professionals doing DIY= fine. Your mum getting stuck in= not fine.
This is easily 'fixed' as you don't need to involve her in anything to do with the house. She doesn't even have to step foot in it, if you don't want her to.
Is this a big change in her behaviour? Is she unwell? I would assume that someone who said go out and then forgot, or who saw dirty dishes where there was only a mug was unwell, mentally or physically.
Sorry to be harsh but this is actually really irritating to read. Are you really that much of a wet blanket that you can't tell her to get to fuck? She sat you down like children to give you a dressing down. Maybe if you stopped acting like a child and stood up for yourself, she wouldn't treat you like one.
The solution is simple - stop inviting her round, tell her that her opinion is neither wanted or needed, and don't let her be the martyr 'helping' with stuff.
I think you need to either stand up to her or step back and not have her over. Say yes your house, you do not need her help and unless she can keep her opinions to herself, she won't be invited in.
I think she became too dependant on you, especially after your Dad died so now that you have a life of your own she has become jealous and resentful and she taking out on you through the house. She was way out of order. Does she have her own friends? She needs to really start to build a bit of life for herself and not be so invested in yours.
If you have never been treated like an adult this is not so easy.
You could be writing about my mother, as a previous poster has said you will never be good enough, your house will never be clean enough and your partner will never be good enough.
Stop inviting her round.
She has probably always been like this but when you were at home you didn't know it wasn't normal.
#I once had dinner with a few people including my parents, my friend's mother said she had nearly slapped my mother because she kept putting me down, I'd not noticed, my um was just behaving like my mum.
Agree she is jealous and probably a bit afraid that you are carving a happy independent life. Focus on the happy with your partner and don't let her do anymore on your house so the opportunity for (utterly unreasonable) guilt trips is minimised.
“No thank you mother, we would not like your help with the house.
Yes, it would be lovely to see you. Let’s go out for coffee. No, please do not come over. Your opinions about our home are not needed and not welcome. You and I will get along much better if you stop offering them.” “I am a capable, adult woman and I do not agree with you about this. It isn’t necessary for us to agree about everything”.
Just practice some stock phrases for deflecting her and start to disengage. You can’t change her. You can change how you deal with her.
I really have to agree with truefriends I'm afraid. She speaks to you like this because you allow it!
Don't have her over. Tell her why.
If she speaks to you like that again, show her the door and tell her she's not welcome until she can behave like a civilised adult.
Don't just sit there and take it and then burst into tears.
Sorry if that's harsh, and I know she's your mother - but since when did being someone's mother give them a free pass to behave appallingly towards their children? Thankfully I've drummed into my own children since toddler-hood to stand up for themselves and not be spoken to by anyone as though they were dirt under the feet - including close family!
She wants you back at home with her and she's jealous of your happiness. My mum went through an odd period when I settled down & got married, not to this extent but I know the dread you feel.
While you will always be here daughter, you're an adult, not a child. Stop the tears & get angry that anyone dares be so rude in your own home. Yes there will be a huge tantrum, when you stand up to her, but it's better than letting this weird dynamic continue.
If you can't bear to stop seeing her, I'd only go to her house where you can escape if you need to if she starts to criticise. And tell her why you're going 'okay mum, you've made your point - you think my cleaning isn't good enough. I'm going to head off now'
You need help both to deal with a narcissist parent and setting up boundaries as an adult-see a psychiatrist or psychotherapist stat
I agree, do not invite her round, you don't need the negativity
Does she have a key? Get that back or if you feel like you can't change the locks, when she queries she can't get in, tell her you lost a key so got new locks and don't have a spare, assuming you don't want to say you don't want her in the house.
I'd guess she has got so used to you always being there, that now she finds herself alone she's struggling. She needs to build a life of her own so that she isn't so invested in yours. I'm assuming you don't want to go down the route of telling her never to darken your door again, so maybe try firmly but kindly enforcing boundaries, don't' ask her to help with anything in the house, don't engage when she criticises. And at the same encourage her to socialise, take up hobbies, and generally do things that don't involve you.
I do sympathise though, my son's girlfriend is in a similar situation with her mother. It's very difficult.
She will never change. I've been in this situation. You have to draw boundaries now and as other PP suggest do not invite her to your home and see her at hers only.
I'd also recommend counselling to help you be strong over what may get worse as she sees her control over you slipping away. But please do it for the sake of your own mental health. Best wishes.
It sounds like you have always had an unhealthy relationship with your mum but because there was just the two of you it sort of just chugged along - do you have any other family around that might be aware of how she is? Your mum doesn't need to do any work in your house, in fact you need to get some boundaries and stop letting her in - hasn't your partner queried it by now?
You need to see a counsellor, in the meantime does anyone have links to the FOG info for the OP, maybe its on the Stately Homes thread? OP that means Fear Obligation and Guilt and the Stately Homes thread might be an eye opener for you; there are many people on there who sadly were once in the position you are.
I'd disagree with PP saying she's jealous, it's sound more like a case of extreme empty nest syndrome.
It sounds like she wants you to 'need' her and is trying to persuade herself that you simply can't cope without her. Don't participate.
She's jealous that you've left her and made a life for yourself. You've been at home so long under her control that she doesn't know how to behave in her new role.
Be careful that she doesn't alienate your partner so that he will leave and she will have you back 'where you belong'.
First thing is to take her key if she has one. I would even maybe change the locks.
Then visits are to be for sociable visits only. No more helping with DIY etc. Stop putting yourself in the position of being grateful to her while she gets to be the boss of your house.
Then, when she visits, any comments are nipped in the bud. I would even give 3 warnings and then, if it continues, ask her to leave.
Repeat, repeat, repeat.
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