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To be upset about the way my mum seems to favour my sister

(26 Posts)
Knackered1234 Wed 13-Jun-18 16:25:07

Not really sure why I’m posting other than to have a bit of a rant! Excuse the lengthy post...

I’d like to start off by saying my sister and I have a good relationship... no history of jealousy issues or sibling rivalry in the slightest. My Sis has 2 DS’s my nephews and is expecting baby #3. I am also expecting baby #3.

For different reasons my sis and I have had it tough the past few years. My sis is a single Mum (and has had a lot of issues with her ex partners, financial problems etc.)

I am married, but have had relationship issues in the past with DH and been close to breaking point. My DH suffers with MH issues and often can’t be there for me when I need him the most. He loves me and the kids, but struggles with depression and is often withdrawn. It comes across as rude sometimes and as a result he and my family don’t really get along (they think he’s lazy and it’s all an excuse). I work full time, have 2 DC (4 and 1) so constantly on the go with little time for rest during this pregnancy.

Throughout my life I’ve always sensed my parents favour my sister over me. In their eyes she can do no wrong (even though she would be the first to admit she is no angel lol), but my mother in particular is very quick to point out my faults. She is very critical and controlling and often treats me like a child myself and like I’m incapable of making decisions for myself. I’ve had counselling in the past as I have a history of eating disorders as a teen, but at 32 now I’m happy to say that is all behind me. During these counselling sessions it came to light that a lot of my past issues stem from relationship/ or lack of with my mum. I will admit I put her through a difficult time as a teen when I rebelled as a result of a pretty strict/sheltered unbringing.

Anyway fast forward to now and i feel like although I would like a relationship with my mum where I can talk to her about anything whenever I need to talk or feel upset, she will say something along the lines of ‘well at least you don’t have it as bad as your sister!’ If I try and talk about anything going on in my life, she will automatically change the subject to talk about my sisters latest problem with one of her ex’s or how she is struggling health wise with her pregnancy. I should add that I am totally sympathetic to my sisters situation and although we live far apart I ring her frequently to check on her and my nephews.

I am struggling with this pregnancy working full time looking after 2 DC and running a household pretty much single handedly. My folks are good at helping practically, but just don’t feel like my mum is there for me emotionally. She has told me before I’m too sensitive and I think she sees crying and letting things out as weakness. She has never been a Mum I can go to for a chat or a hug if I need one. With a husband who is the same often withdrawn and unsympathetic when I’m upset it’s so tough I have nobody to turn to.

AIBU to be frustrated by this, do I confront my mum, or just face the realisation that after 32 years she is unlikely to change her attitude towards me?

Thanks in advance!


ReservoirDogs Wed 13-Jun-18 16:29:12

I am guessing you may be the older sister too?

I have recently had this type of conversation with my Mum - it didn't end well!

Knackered1234 Wed 13-Jun-18 16:30:51

@ReservoirDogs I’m actually the younger sibling!

Thanks for your reply. Yeah that’s what I’m worried about. If I do say something it’s going to be horribly awkward and actually push her further away!

TitZillas Wed 13-Jun-18 16:31:18

Maybe your DH should be there for you emotionally?

Knackered1234 Wed 13-Jun-18 16:34:59

@TitZillas I agree...but he has his own issues to deal with. It’s a bit of a mess really...

FaithEverPresent Wed 13-Jun-18 16:35:25

Look at golden child vs scapegoat. It sounds like your Mum might be treating you as such. Unfortunately I doubt that talking to your Mum will change anything..I suspect she would say she isn’t doing anything wrong and it’s just how you perceive things. All you can do is learn to change how you respond or the contact you have with her. Have a read of Toxic parents by Susan Forward, it’s quite an eye-opener.

Pascall Wed 13-Jun-18 16:36:08

You say you get on well with your sister - have you had a chat with her about this.

My mum does a similar thing, but she does it to both of us! We often ring each other to compare notes.

It doesn't sound like your mum can give you the kind of relationship you need from her sadly. Do you have friendships you can develop into more mutually supportive ones?

Knackered1234 Wed 13-Jun-18 16:40:18

@FaithEverPresent I think I’ll give it a read! Thanks

@Pascall yeah I’ve spoken to my sister about it before in a jokey way and she agreed she is the ‘golden child’ although she has no idea why! Sorry your mum does it to you too although at least it’s both of you.

Biscusting Wed 13-Jun-18 16:47:16

Could you be looking for more emotional support from your mum to replace what you’re lacking from DH?

Perhaps it’s emotionally draining for your mum if you and your sister are having such a tough time and she’s venting her frustrations back onto you.

Not defending her in the least! But trying to understand where she might be coming from.

shiklah Wed 13-Jun-18 16:52:02

DH had this conversation with his parents about 10 years ago, on advice from his therapist. It did not go down well and we've all been very distant since. It's very sad but it seems some parents do just favour one child and can't see it even thou it's blatently obvious.

Knackered1234 Wed 13-Jun-18 16:53:09

@Biscusting to be fair I just need to feel like somebody understands where I’m coming from and I don’t get that from either Mum or DH.

Not sure about the motives. There’s a lot she doesn’t know about what has happened between me and DH because there’s so much going on in my sis’s life I don’t want to cause her to worry. I actually don’t tell her that much anymore which is sad

Fairyliz Wed 13-Jun-18 17:03:51

I'm a mum of two grown up daughters so maybe I can see it from her pov.

I sometimes get fed up with my daughters 'dropping' all of their problems on me. Tbh I'm tired, I've had a hard life and really I just want to take things easy. I wonder when they are going to grow up and take responsibility for their own lives

Perhaps she never had any help or perhaps she thinks you and your sister have brought some of your problems on yourself? E.g. you have a DH with MH problems, your sister is a single parent and yet you are both having a third child why???

Sorry I know that sounds harsh but sometimes you have to accept that life is hard and you just have to get on with it.

Guiltypleasures001 Wed 13-Jun-18 17:12:44

Sorry lovely you married your mum, I think that is your biggest issue here.

Knackered1234 Wed 13-Jun-18 17:13:54

@Fairyliz wow..🤦‍♀️

My mum did give me one great piece of advice growing up and that was...’if you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all’...we’ll leave it there then I think 🤣

Knackered1234 Wed 13-Jun-18 17:16:08

@Guiltypleasures001 sorry I’m confused. They are both emotionally unsupportive but for very different reasons I think. My mum hates DH which is in itself a massive issue. Doh

bastardkitty Wed 13-Jun-18 18:01:56

What @Guiltypleasures001 said, 100%

sakura06 Wed 13-Jun-18 19:07:25

It sounds a bit to me like she is misguidedly trying to make you feel better about your problems by bringing up those of your sister to you. I could be mikes off though. Is she critical of your sister too?

sakura06 Wed 13-Jun-18 19:08:24

Sorry, *miles off!

Usernameunknown2 Wed 13-Jun-18 20:40:03

I think guilty is right too. Your mum and your dh sound cut from the same cloth which is probably why she hates him.

Knackered1234 Wed 13-Jun-18 21:38:50

I’m finding it hilarious there are so many comments saying DH and Mum are alike....they are completely opposite, don’t see eye to eye on anything. Loathe each other because neither agrees with the way the other lives their life their beliefs and principles could not be more polar opposite. Maybe it’s the way I described the situation in the original post although I’m reading it back and can’t see it!

Knackered1234 Wed 13-Jun-18 21:43:28

@sakura06 no not critical of my sister in the slightest

sakura06 Wed 13-Jun-18 21:46:33

Sorry it seems a rubbish situation. Could you find a friend to confide in about things you'd like advice on?

Knackered1234 Wed 13-Jun-18 21:54:09

@sakura06 it’s hard as most of my friends live quite far away and/or have their own little ones to look after, so not like I can pop round for a cuppa and a chat whenever I feel like it. I have friends at work, but not that close that I could really confide such personal stuff with IYSWIM. I always feel like I’m being a burden to people so mostly plaster on a smile and get on with things and nobody knows how upset I am day to day. That’s why I’m a bit shocked one previous poster has said about dropping all my problems on my Mum and no wonder she’s fed up 😕. I actually don’t tell her much anymore because she will just compare me to my sister. I wouldn’t want my daughter to ever feel this way about me when she’s older. I want her to be able to come to me at any age with any issue and for me to be able to listen and even if I can’t help give her a hug and tell her I’m there for her! It makes me sad I don’t have that relationship with her and never will. Thanks for your reply

sakura06 Wed 13-Jun-18 22:04:31

That's a shame. Can you talk to your sister and confide in her? Otherwise, there's always Mumsnet! Sorry about your Mum. I guess some people are just not great with emotional problems (or just not that great full stop 😞).

Usernameunknown2 Wed 13-Jun-18 22:10:40

Have you been to Stately homes op? This dynamic is so toxic. I think sadly you may have to face that realisation. Confront her if you want too but it still probably wont change things after so long.

Your mum and husband sound alike in that neither support but both let you down. Is this new for your dh or looking back do you think you accepted his low standard of support and companionship because of your mum's behaviour to you?

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