Controlling mother or am I being UR(42 Posts)
Short version of this story is that I have an annex attached to my house that I rented to a friend for a max of 18months, I allowed her bf to move in with her as a trial run until she sorted her debts out and they were able to get a deposit together. My mother took a dislike to the bf and the situation and every opportunity she saw she would "have a go" at them over petty things, eg running out of gas, scratches on furniture, smoking, electric heater use etc.
Anyway, while I was away a couple months ago another one of our properties came up for rent and she "offered" it to them, knowing full well they wouldn't be able to afford it. I wasnt here to witness the words used but I can imagine my mother didn't leave them much choice other than to move out. My friend even said "what your mum says goes, and she has the last word regardless of what anyone else wants to do."
I have the rental income from the properties, which effectively pay my mortgage and living costs.
Not only am I down the annex rent (small peppercorn rent) I am missing the house rent and a few other rents due to other reasons non related meaning I am going to struggle to pay my mortgage this month. Mother has offered to help, I've thanked her and refused as this is exactly what she wants, me to forever be financially tied to her.
My mother comes over EVERY morning to "help" out with my chores and it got to the stage where I was having to sneak my FWB out the front door as she arrived... I'm 34, he's 40... quite embarrassing I must say.
While I'm writing this I realise how ridiculous this sounds and I can't even believe i am mid 30s!
Anyway, It all came to a head the other day, I feel like my mother is consistently getting involved in battles she doesn't need to, trying to control my life by controlling my finances and who I decide to help and when. If she doesn't approve of the situation she will take charge and "solve" it.
I messaged her the next day after she had stormed off over always getting involved in my messes as she calls them and said that I think we both need some space from each other and I don't want her coming over in the mornings. I appreciate the help, I love her but she has to stop getting so involved in my life.
She's responded saying that I need to stop getting myself into situations that are uncontrollable that she needs to sort out for me, and that everything I do always ends up in a mess.
Not sure what feedback I'm expecting but I just needed to have a rant. I'm in disbelief that that's the response I got to be honest, she's deluded if she thought trying to help a mate out is a mess, everything was fine before she got involved, I had a steady income from my annex and the house. Since she put her two pence in I'm short about 1k this month.
Oh well, any advice would be much appreciated. Probably worth mentioning she's been like this all my life, makes me feel like a 10year old. Maybe it's something to do with being an only child...
You know the answer yourself. You need to put your foot down.
YANBU. If she has a key then get it back or change the locks. Keep your distance until she gets the message.
You sound very enmeshed with her, in an unhealthy way at your age.
Unfortunately this is going to stop you moving on in terms of forming your own family/life away from her, so you will need to do it anyway.
You say 'our' properties, which makes me think these properties are your mums or yours and your mums in a business. If you are in business together, you will be very enmeshed. Have you thought of leaving this and getting work, say in the house sector? Or just getting out of the property side with your mum full stop?
Can't you move the friend back into your annexe and re-let the other house to a paying tenant?
With regard to your mother, you need more than space I'd say!! Don't tell her your business and tell her to butt out. As for the FWB issue .... next time, just be pouring coffee for you both when mother arrives and say "Oh Hi Mum ... have you met <name>". You're an adult: time to get a grip.
I think good on you for being so blunt with her.
If she turns up, I'd stand at the door and wouldn't let her in, reminding her about what we'd said. I'd also be changing my locks, if she has a key. Oh, and don't sneak your FWB out. If he's got a nice short bathrobe, and lets it all hang out, that could do the trick nicely.
I'd also be telling her if she seeks to re-open the argument, that she isn't solving my messes, she is making some very expensive messes for me to have to sort out with her unasked for and unwanted meddling.
I'd be telling anyone that moved in, to ignore my mother, and let me know if they have any problems with her.
She is way overinvolved in your life. Being an only wouldn't help, I'm sure.
I agree with asking for key back or changing locks. Enforce a break and stick to it. Can you get your friend back in your annex or has that ship sailed?
I do have my own job, which to be honest is a life saviour at the moment. So I go out to work everyday.
Thank you so much for your replies, I don't like being mean to her, but she has to stop this controlling behaviour. It's pushing me away.
It's got to a point and over the last few years when I was in a LTR that I didn't ever consider having my own family because she would be a complete nightmare, so much so it makes me cringe with embarrassment.
The other property is an inheritance that she managed when I was younger but I've managed it for the last 10years... it made its way to me via great grandparents.
Our relationship has always been strained, I don't feel close to her, I never hug her, when she does try it feels so forced and unnatural.
Your mum comes over every morning to let herself into your house and gets involved with your rental properties? That is an odd situation. You really need to take your keys back and stop talking to her about your rental business.
Moving my friend back in isn't an option now, she's gone and rented a property which she can't afford. I feel awful about the whole thing.
I have had other offered of new tenants but I'm just not sure it's worth the battle with my mum.
I have a new tenant moving into the house beginning of may but need a load of new safety checks so the rent will be swallowed up until June.
It's good you've finally confronted your mother. It's about time! Get your key back, make very clear boundaries and STICK TO THEM. You aren't a child, fgs. Having to sneak a male friend out of your home at your age is simply INSANE.
It is odd isn't it.
I don't say anything just for an easy life but when the sh1t hits the fan it really isn't good for anyone.
I need to take control back, I don't think I've done a bad job, everything was fine until mum got involved.
Well, you've made a brilliant first step in calling her out on her behaviour. I think low contact is the way forward for you. She sounds very toxic.
It's just because she doesn't agree with it that there then is an issue.
Another thing to make you all spit your tea out is that my step dad likes to go to the pub a couple times a week to see his mates and get away from my mother... EVERY time before he goes she always puts a little jibe in about him not drinking too much and coming home slurring because it makes her feel uncomfortable.
She doesn't have many or any female/male friends as she upset everyone by being so blunt and controlling.
Luckily they can just cut her off and out, I unfortunately don't have that privilege.
She makes me feel ungrateful and spoilt which is why I hardly ever say anything but then i end up in a situation like this where it gets too much.
OP are the properties in your sole name?
Because if so, you do have the option to cut her off. You might not do so, but knowing.you can is useful.to know.
First off, get the locks changed.
I think it's time for a sit down talk and laying your cards on the table. Talk about how her actions make you feel, why you think it's inappropriate and how things are going to change moving forward. I would begin by being quite rigid and not allowing for any 'just this time' or 'one offs'. In time, flexibility can come in but only when the consequences are known if things fall back how they were.
Be prepared for the backlash by having a support system in place - people you know you can offload to without judgement, making sure friends are aware of what you're about to do so they can help, set phrases to reinforce your actions, etc.
Perhaps minimise the options for communications - only texts so you can choose to answer or not and in your own time.?
I've told her how her actions have made me feel and that I think we need some space apart and she just came back two days later and blamed the mess I was apparently in on me and how she doesn't want to keep sorting my life out for me at her age....
No one asked her to get involved and there wasn't a mess to sort out.
It's all because she didn't like the situation and it wasn't in her control.
Stay firm. Tell your tenants and future ones that you have a batty mother and to ignore anything she says. Change the locks on your house because sure as eggs are eggs she will have spares cut.
You need to establish some rules. And put a bit of distance between yourself and your Mother. Way to much control for a 34 year old!
Don't rent to people who have debts, especially not friends with debt problems - because you're a friend, you'll feel really awkward when the rent doesn't materialise after a couple of months.
Presumably, your friend passed credit checks to rent the place she says she can't afford (after trying to manipulate/bully you in pretty much the same way you describe your mother doing). So she either gave fraudulent information on the application or was lying to you in the first place.
Whilst you see it as being controlling, your mother might see it as protecting you from chancers because your good nature means that you're vulnerable to being taken the piss out of.
Not liking somebody coming home twice a week stinking of beer, fags and wibbling like an idiot isn't controlling - lots of us don't like being around that and would be quite happy if they went out, had a couple and came back able to function properly (I associate it with a violent drunk - they had 'only had a couple, I only go to get away from you and be sociable' when they were actually completely hammered, belligerent and would break things, set fire to the toaster or pass out on the living room floor - if they didn't come in expecting sex or a fight - or both).
Even offering the money doesn't have to be deliberately wanting an obligation, it could easily be 'Well, they were taking the piss, I offered them somewhere where they would be independent and it would be more professional/legal/make it possible for them to claim UC Housing/LHA, but they didn't want to pay their way when they could leech off my DD. Because it's had consequences for DD, it's only fair and right that I cover those losses'.
I'm noticing that you don't like her hugging you - but she wants to, presumably because she loves you. If she tries to show her love and affection that way, it can be very painful to have somebody stiffen and reject you - maybe helping with chores and being protective is the only way she thinks she can show you she loves you?
It's not far from protective to controlling and if you don't say anything, she doesn't necessarily know that you see it as the latter.
Is it possible that you could talk to her about it, calmly and explain that you really appreciate all the help she's given you but you think it's time that you did your own cleaning and learn to manage your portfolio on your own, but you'd like to see her, say once a week, outside the home just for a coffee and cake?
Change your locks, stop sneaking about with your FWB and ignore her jibes. She can pnly control what you let her.
Find your assertive voice.
Will you change your locks?
I’m in the change the locks camp. She sounds unbearable.
Personally, I think I'd sell all the properties and find another far, far away.
Change the locks, of all the properties, so your mother cannot access any of them. I'd also make sure all details regarding the tenants are locked away somewhere, so even if your mother is in your house she can't find phone numbers etc. Warn all tenants about her and tell them not to believe a word she says.
Tell her not to come round in the mornings. If she knocks on the door, ignore her.
Next time she mentions your messes ask her how, exactly, your current mess is your fault considering she made your tenant move out. Stick to your guns about not letting her help your financially.
Low contact with her. Whatever heartstrings she may pull at ignore. It will be hard, but so very worth it.
You have a FWB coming to your house so I’m assuming your single. I’m wondering how many chores you have means you need your mother to come and help.
You keep saying that you don't want to be mean. Forget that, this situation is ridiculous. If she has keys then get them back immediately. If she won't give them back then change the locks.
And all this stuff about not wanting to bother with new tenants and not wanting to have children in a long term relationship... I would honestly tell her this. She needs to know how much of a negative effect she is having. I know it's a difficult conversation to have but I think you just need to be really clear with her that things have to change.
She won't agree with you. She'll tell you that you are the problem and she's the one who is sick of you. That's fine. Let her say whatever makes her feel better. Just make sure that by the end of the conversation she knows that you two are on a little break, and when contact resumes you are not going back to the way things were. Clear boundaries need to be set.
I can't see any messes never mind any you need your mother to sort out.
Change your locks, tell her YOUR property isn't any of her business, and advise her that she's only welcome on YOUR terms.
What's the worst she's going to do? She can't spank you. Blow up your phone? Turn it off or block her. Show up on your doorstep? Call the police and tell them she's trespassing.
If she can't handle not being in control, that is HER problem to sort out. Not yours.
Why have you allowed it to come to this? You need to be more assertive and be able to live your own life as you want to. Why did the friend just move out without discussing it with you?
You need to get the keys back or change the locks. Yes, it will be a difficult conversation, but you need to point out that you are 34 not 14.
This is weird I was reading about your friend in the annex and thinking your mum was in the right. The rest is just batshit! And you need to be a grown up and tell her
If the properties are in your sole name, then change the locks and stop discussing any and all details with her.
Stop sneaking your FWB out, sit in the kitchen have breakfast together. If she doesn't like and she she mentions it then just tell you told her to stop coming over and she doesn't like it then she knows what to do.
Unfortunately your mum doesn't seem to comprehend that you are no longer a child but an adult.
You have a friend with benefits over for sex and you have to sneak them out that sounds like a problem in a teenage magazine.
Move the friend back to the annex. Put the other property up for rent. Change the locks so your mother can’t get into your house and when she knocks simply don’t let her in. Ignore texts and phone calls until you are ready to answer them and move on with your life on your terms
She makes me feel ungrateful and spoilt which is why I hardly ever say anything but then i end up in a situation like this where it gets too much.
OP you are no longer a child. You are letting your mother treat you like some recalcitrant teen and need to set yourself some boundaries
A. I'd suggest not even bother asking for your property keys back - just get all your locks changed.
B. Stop pretending you don't have a private/sex life and sneaking your FWB out before she comes round. You are an adult in your own home with your own mortgage so can do what YOU want.
C. Talk to her calmly but firmly and tell her you are no longer prepared to continue this way. Suggest you meet at her home for a meal/coffee or somewhere neutral if that works better.
If you can't do this face to face (which would be better) write her a letter telling her honestly just how her treatment makes you feel.
Tell her you don't want her to come round AT ALL for at least a month or at least you tell her to, at times/dates to suit YOU and not her.
D. Let her know the adverse financial results from her recent interference.
E. Let other renters know the only person with authorisation is you - not your mother (I'm assuming the properties are not co- owned with her).
F. Get yourself some 1:1 counselling to analyse your past and present reactions to her behaviour and how you can you can strengthen your boundaries so, hopefully, the two of you are in a more equal, adult, relationship.
It will be tough as she's so used to behaving in a certain way (as are you) but nothing will improve unless you put checks and balances in place. Good luck OP.
Thank you for the replies, it is such a help to see it all written down and there is so much sound advice I'm going to be re reading the post over and over until I have figured out what to say and do next.
I let her come over in the morning to help with the horses, it's purely because she enjoys it, not because I need the help, I often feel a spare part!
I have ran a successful livery yard for many years without help/interference and held down a part time job so I am perfectly capable of doing it again. I almost think she thinks that if she doesn't come up and help it's a punishment whereas I LOVE doing my own horses on my own.
She retired mid last year and I thought it would give her something to do other than be bored at home. Little did I know 🤦🏻♀️
I have an overbearing mother. It only got better for me when I finally stood up to her and let her know how unbearable her behaviour was. I still don't tell her everything, she has no keys and calls are generally filtered through answer machines. It's still not great, but much better than it was.
Her interfering, and you allowing it, is preventing you from living a full life. Change the locks, go low contact, let your friend stay overnight, enjoy your horses, have fun. Stop enabling your mother. She needs to get her own life and stop spoiling yours.
I would think about what you want first and if it's possible to achieve. Then consider the compromises you could include and how they make you feel. Then consider how your mum fits into it.
It's perfectly acceptable to put yourself first sometimes and others to fit around it. Hopefully, there's some middle ground to be found between you and your mum but, from what you say, I would start on firm ground with your needs at the forefront.
Thank you so much for all your replies.
It makes such a difference when you hear outside opinions and has just confirmed what I probably already knew but didn't dare admit to myself.
I'll give myself and her a few days to calm and see if she comes back, no way will I get an apology but hopefully we can move forward from here with a more positive relationship.
I think sometimes parents don't deal very well with us growing up and becoming independent. They lose that control they had on us when we were childhood and try to keep hold of it any way they can.
I think it is possible to have a talk to discuss boundaries, let them know what would not be tolerated and will drive you away, also what you could do to be part of each others lives and be/feel happy and appreciated if they wanted to try. Either there can be compromise and willing, or there can't. In my case it was a can't and we're now non contact, which is the only way it can be. I hope you reach a better outcome, but if you can't then you're definitely not alone.
Sending lots of support to people in the same or if not worse situations then me
Thank you again for your comments, and the time you've all taken to reply
Be careful about allowing her to do things because you think she enjoys it. In her mind, she is doing it because she thinks you can't cope without her help. You need to make it very clear when and why she is invited to do things at your places.
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