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Advice needed urgently for dealing with mum tomorrow - BIG ROW

(8 Posts)

I have namechanged as I don't usually post about this problem. I have a very difficult relationship with my family but I DO know that they love me and I love them. My childhood memories are mixed - my parents had a dreadful relationship which manifested in my father verbally abusing my younger brother and more. My mother would try to intervene so I was always left on the side expected to do the right thing. My mother has stayed with my father out of duty - they are now both in their seventies. I've managed over the years to keep a relationship with all going although many times on here I have been drawn to the Stately Home thread - never posting not quite bad enough. But this year I found my husband is having an affair - he has now left and we are going through mediation as there are finances and children involved.

What sparked tonight's massive row with my mum was her telling me how supportive she has been. None of the families have been supportive - I am relying on friends (fab friends) and threads on here to get through. My mum prefers her busy active social life and seemed really angry tonight that I might "expect" her to give it up. Between DS's school, his h/w (he is on School Action), my work (ltd p/t),and DS very limited social activities there is very little time for seeing the families especially not when it has to be squeezed in among their many regular commitments. I have many friends whose parents see their grandchildren frequently, have them to stay,take them out etc. I am green with envy about it but have tried really hard to accept that our families don't do that and its OK. But I can no longer carry on pretending and so tonight I said so. Hence the BIG ROW.

Tomorrow she is having my DS as I am off to mediation. So she guilt tripped me about all the cooking that she has done. What should I do?

Robotindisguise Thu 18-Aug-11 22:10:45

Would it be impossible to let it go? You have so much to deal with without this as well?

OK - she hasn't been perfect. People do disappoint at times like this. But even a little help (babysitting for mediation) is better than no help at all

Hi Robot, it's what I've done in the past. My mother finds it very difficult to accept anyone else's point of view and so normally in this situation I apologise, back down. But I'm tired of the pretence at the moment - the affair has kicked off almost a phobia about lies and being let down.

LesserOfTwoWeevils Thu 18-Aug-11 22:50:19

Well done you!
Your mother isn't going to change.
Your parents aren't going to become the supportive family you wish you had.
But you can change how you react to them. Of course it's a relief to stop pretending and cut through the silence.
If you apologise and go back to the way things were, what would be in it for you?
Nothing.
If you don't, you'll have to deal with the guilt they'll lay on you. But speaking up for yourself and telling the truth is hugely liberating and can only help you as you remake your life.

Bogeyface Thu 18-Aug-11 22:57:05

If I am understanding you, this is that she doesnt really help on a practical or emotional basis, but makes out like she does?

If so then that is what you should focus on. You are not expecting anything from her but you are angry that she is implying that she does far more than she actually does.

Dont apologise for feeling that she is bigging herself up with her delusions, but dont let this become about you expecting her to do more, which from what you said, she seems to think it is.

Make your point calmly and without emotion. "Mum, I know you have helped but you make it sound like you are here/babysitting/on the phone (whatever) all the time and are the only person getting me through this, when we both know that that isnt true. I am grateful for the help you have given me and I am not asking you for anything other than you dont exagerrate (sp? its late and I've had wine) your input."

Thank you both for your comments. Very different which is of course why I posted.
Lesser - it is exactly the point you make about people NOT changing which is exactly why I have carried on with the pretence to at least ensure I continue to have a superficial relationship with my family. The liberation of telling the truth is gleaming out there like a holy grail but is it worth taking that family away from DS? And no, it isn't. We are an inverted pyramid, so he's on his own at the bottom, poor mite!).
Bogey - carry on with your wine - I've now joined you! Your comment gave me pause for thought. My mum is practical - hence food, babysitting etc. She (and the whole family both sides) are weak on emotional support. At the moment I almost need the emotional support more, hence feeling it has been lacking. She would take your last sentence very badly, so I need to thank her for her practical support but state that I have need the emotional support too.

SageMist Fri 19-Aug-11 08:23:16

My mum is very good with regards to practical help. But utterly useless over anything emotional. So I never go to her when I need 'mothering', I go elsewhere. The thing is that she doesn't realise this, because she thinks that being practical is being emotionally supportive.

Its difficult to tell, but is your mother like this? Or could you treat her as if she were?

As time has gone on I've come to appreciate the seperation of practical and emotional support. I can moan bond with friends over wine, something I would never think of doing with Mum.

However it does sound as though you are feeling very 'raw', my heart goes out to you.

Willowisp Fri 19-Aug-11 19:49:07

She's guilt tripped you about the cooking she's done?!

I think that says it all. There is no reason to apologise, because that would mean that what you have said is wrong.

Leave Ds with her as planned & don't say anything about the row, unless she brings it up.

Agree with other posters - find your emotional support elsewhere. You've got enough on your hands without engaging in more mind battles.

If you are up to reading some self help, there is an excellent book - The Dance of Intimacy. It's about being true to yourself & also allowing others to remain in their space.

Good luck.

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