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Relationship with Mum and sisters getting to me(14 Posts)
Background: my Parents divorced when I was 6. my mum married again and had 2 girls both are now 17 and 22 and I am now in my mid 30s with one 8yo DD. I also have an elder brother (same mum and dad) who has 1 5yo son.
I am finding it difficult to relate to my mum and sisters of late. I find them extermely materialistic, superficial, self centered and it hurts.
Mum hardly ever calls me. unless she wants something usually in the form of advice as i am a lawyer or wants me to help my sisters. Always guised as she was calling to see how I am.
If I tell her about what is going on in muy life you can HEAR her disinterest Whether it is good or bad. If I call her the conversation allways tend to flow if it is about what is going on in their home/lives. Times when i have called for motherly advice from her often she says she does not know the answer or is totally distracted by the TV or by conversations with others in the room UNLESS she wants to give me advice off the cuff then she has plenty to say (but even that is rare these days).
After I give her advice, she never follows up. Never tells me how it went or the outcome. I always have to call her back or I find out from one of my sisters that things have progressed. Times when my advice has helped she never thanks me she would rather say that someone else told her and they were right.
Then there is the showing off about the places and events that she and "her family" go to. That's the only other time I get calls which always end with "next time you should come too" She was never like that growing up. I feel more and more ostracised from my so called family it just makes me sad. whenever I return from a visit to their home I come back disappointed and upset. My sisters never talk or bond with me apart from the initial pleasantries. They have jokes and discussions amongst themselves but I often have to include myself. I know that it may be a generation thing. But I now find that my mum is the same. I am the one that ends up making conversation with them or trying to.
Unless I am dressed to the hilts (make up hair and clothes immaculate) I am virtually ignored and even my mum greets/treats me differently. I cannot see why i cannot be relaxed in their company.
My DP says it is because I am quite opinionated and can come across as a know it all. He said that i should be a little more passive and listen rather than talk. I considered what he said and admitted to myslef that he was right. I changed the focus and listened much more and kept my opinions to myself but i feel that it is to my detriment. I invited my sisters out for a meal to try to bond with them and both showed disinterest mainly because I instigaged it. I just do not think they are interested in me as a person. They are interested in what I can do for them.
To me things have been hard financially for my DP and I and we have on oacassion had to borrow money from my mum. I believe that this has a lot to do with it. I do not drive (out of choice) and I do not believe having the latest clothes, phone etc is the be all and end all of my life. They have a better relationship with my brother's partner who does believe the above things are important. They respect me less for it.
My DP asked if i was jealous of how my mum and sisters live now which is a beter standard to how I was brought up and I say no but I am jealous f how close they all are and resentful of how they relate to me. I am made by all 3 to feel like an outsider looking in.
I do not think that I should become like them but I do not know what to do about how i feel I am treated.
If they all still live together as a family then it´s easy to see why the dynamic is different-but maybe they don´t do it on purpose.
But maybe the girls don´t like you, are jealous of you or hate that you remind them that your/their mum was married to someone else first.
Do you ever see just your mum?
I think that you need to step back, stop doing things & when you phone, try to keep it to "how are you, were all OK-bye" for a while.
Thank you for your response it is very much appreciated
To answer your question No I do not see my mum on her own. She is a very busy woman with always sometning in her social calender. She hardly comes to my home and it tends to be the case that I go to hers. The times that she does come over she plays "nice" in front of DP and not her normal self (as described above) this also frustrates me as I know she is not being genuine. I guess she cannot win.
There seems to be a lot of built up resentment. I go from wanting to explode and tell her/them exactly how I feel - to cutting her/them out of my life completely - to - convincing myself that I am being sensitive and over reacting until the next visit or call.
My DP opned a shop 3 years ago and they have not even come to see the shop. this often comes up in arguements b/w DP and I and I can no longer defend them. It is embarrassing and hurtful the lack of interest they show us.
Does your Mother resent the fact that you have borrowed money from her? Do your other siblings do the same?
I think she does. I know that my younger siblings have and I am sure my brother (the eldest) has in the past too.
"My DP says it is because I am quite opinionated and can come across as a know it all. He said that i should be a little more passive and listen rather than talk."
It doesn't sound as though you get much support from that quarter. What a put down.
I agree, cutting; her mum seems the least of her problems!
Thank you for the last two commenters. I note how my DP's comments may come across to you but that was after months and months of soul searching and questioning what I may have done for my relationship with the 3 of them to be this way. I am honest enough to note that i cannot be totally blameless. When you ask for honesty you hope to get it and he is the closest person to me and i have to admit that I can very opinionated at times.
However in an attempt to make my relationship with my mum and sisters better I changed my ways and held back. No one likes a know it all. Maybe this is how it all started but they have not responded at all to me being more passive. In fact they seem to have taken advantage of it.
Have you tried having an honest talk with your mum? Do you think it would help?
I don't have a great relationship with my mum or my sister either. We have had some serious issues in the past that have partially contributed to this. I spent a lot of time basically banging my head against a brick wall trying to improve things but now I've just about given up. It hurts but I think I was doing myself more harm than good trying to make our relationship be the way I wanted it to be. I am now trying to accept that we will never be close and that I have to accept the way they are and not expect them to change. We are civil to each other but we are not close. Thankfully I am very close to my darling little sister so that helps somewhat and my attempts to become closer to my dad have been very successful (although needs more work).
I think all you can do is try to have it out with them, tell them how you feel and see if that makes any difference. If it doesn't then it might be time to accept the way things are and try to make the best of it. Something that I've come to realise is that we're all adults now and we have very different personalities. If I met my mum and sister socially I don't think I'd choose to be friends with them and vice versa so I can't expect that to be different just because we're related. Sad but true.
Thank you WriterofDreams. I am sorry to hear that you have a similar situation.
I feel exactly the same we would not be friends if we were not related. The shame of it is i have seen how badly my dad relates to his siblings and my mum has always said that she would never want her children to be like that.
Every time I talk about the situation with my DP I get so angry with my mum. Some how I think it is deliberate. I feel disposable and ignored and then I think that maybe I am just reacting like an attention seeking child and I tell myself to put my feelings aside, I make an effort only to get hurt again.
I think I will speak to her and will try to be optimistic about the outcome.
Perhaps she needs to be "needed"?
And now that you have left home & have your own family she "clings" to the others?
Would speaking to her help?
I just can´t comprehend a mum not being interested in her own daughter & GD & wonder if she is so self absorbed that she just won´t "get" what you are trying to say.
Also, that she prefers/finds her other daughters easier to get on with as they are more like her & she doean´t have to try with them?
Unfortunately you don't seem to have a lot in common with your sisters. When they're older and have kids themselves they might appreciate you more, but currently you probably seem like a bit of a drag (sorry, but they're younger and sound pretty shallow).
I think when it comes to your mum, you might just have to accept your relationship won't ever be what you'd like it to be. She has more in common with your sisters (who still live with her?) and she favours them.
I think confronting this may create a rift, but it's whether you would be happier having it out with her and possibly ending estranged or if it would be better for you to pull back and protect yourself by reducing your expectations/contact.
@Diddl I think you are right she does appear to be needed. I am very independant and was raised that way. I have suspected that she has seen that as a threat and has taken it as if i am being competitive with her when it is far from the case. My elder brother is less so and relies on her for a lot of his decsions and does not have the same issues with her.
@Buzzsore - Yes I have to admit i am not young and trendy and exciting to them. I totally get that. But I still would like to be close to them that should not be impossible even with our age gaps????
Like you say maybe in time.
I thank you all for your words they have really helped to get my head straight. I has been hard not to devalue myself and question my worth. You have all helped to put things in some kind of perpective. Thank you.
This weekend my sisters have arranged a birthday dinner for my brother. As much as i would like to go, I am not strong enough to face them all. I think it is best that I keep my distance for a while.
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