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I'm 40 years old and my mum still makes me cry

(30 Posts)
Rollercola Mon 10-Nov-14 18:46:05

My mum is incredibly judgemental. I love her lots, and she's very kind to me & my dcs but she's is very much concerned with 'what will people think'

I separated from my EA exh last July after being with him for 23 yrs. I dreaded telling my parents and i never told them the full extent of exh's behaviour, but to my surprise they were very understanding and supportive, and have helped me out financially since then.

Since then I've met a new partner. As my dcs are still young (12&8) I've been very mindful all year of keeping the two things separate. I see dp one night at the weekends when the dcs go to their dads, and usually one night in the week for a coffee for a few hours. The kids have met him but he's not stayed over and we haven't done anything all together as I know it's still quite soon for them and they're still adjusting to me & their dad separating. We have no plans to move in, it's not even been discussed. We're both just happy to spend time together now & again.

This is where it gets a bit silly. My mum is friends with me on facebook. I'm not one for putting my love life across facebook so there's been nothing really on there to say we're seeing each other. But I changed my status to 'in a relationship' the other day because as far as I'm concerned I am. I love the guy, I've no idea how things will pan out because my dcs will always come first but at the moment we're seeing each other & enjoying each other's company and it's serious.

My mum has given me a right telling off and ridiculously reduced me to tears. She thinks it's highly inappropriate to announce that I'm in a relationship and seems to think that what is essentially just a tick box means that I'm moving him in to my house & will ruin my dcs lives etc. She wants to know what our plans are and I just said we didn't really have any yet. She just said 'well my idea of a relationship must be different from the younger generations..'

I've had loads of messages from people saying what nice news it is (we've been seeing each other for a year so it's not actually even new news!) and the general feeling from friends is that they're all really happy for me.

So why does the one person who means so much manage to make me feel so shit about it? I've spent the whole year stressing about not upsetting the kids, I've always put them first, I work really hard with my exh to remain friendly for their sakes which I know means a lot to them.

Do I not deserve a bit of happiness with a partner? Or am I supposed to put that on hold until they've flown the nest? I worry so much about everything, and for the first time in years I feel so happy but she's sent me right back to square one now doubting I'm doing the right thing.

Any advice on how to handle her?

JeanSeberg Mon 10-Nov-14 18:48:16

Unfriend her on FB and limit all other opportunities where she can put you down.

Rollercola Mon 10-Nov-14 18:58:16

The fact that I was so surprised at the support she gave me when I separated tells you how much I've tried to get on without her up to then.

I don't know how she manages it. She's usually lovely, she rings me all the time to see how me & the kids are. But she never really liked my exh that much (maybe understandable since I got together with him when I was 15, she didn't think he was good enough for me)

And now she obviously doesn't think having a new boyfriend is appropriate either.

Rollercola Mon 10-Nov-14 21:32:48

Am I being way too sensitive about what she says? I get that she doesn't want my dcs to get hurt but neither do I! I've been really careful not to disrupt them and have made it clear to dp that they are my main priority and will be for a number of years yet. She just always seems so disapproving of me.

tywysogesgymraeg Mon 10-Nov-14 21:36:39

I think we must have the same mother....

Awks Mon 10-Nov-14 21:37:42

Yes of course you are being too sensitive! You've been uber sensitive, quite rightly. But she's obv a bit or a dour tartar. All you can do is just laugh in a tinkling "ooooh mum, stop having such a cow, all's fabulous" way" every time she starts. She's just worrying unnecessarily

Rollercola Mon 10-Nov-14 21:49:24

I knew I was asking for trouble letting her be my friend on facebook smile Who lets their own mother know all their fb business ffs?!

FabULouse Mon 10-Nov-14 21:51:42

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Coolas Mon 10-Nov-14 21:51:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Awks Mon 10-Nov-14 21:52:56

Keep her on fb but block her seeing anything - that's what I'd do.

Dowser Mon 10-Nov-14 22:15:10

You sound a lovely woman doing everything properly.

I try to be a good mum, I really do but as I'm not perfect I'm sure I trip up a bit and because my kids love me and I think the world of them I hope they forgive me and be really kind when it's time to find me a care home.

Like I love and forgive them when they forget to be the perfect kids.

Love is the glue that binds us all together otherwise we'd just be agroup of random strangers.
Whenever something has to be said, it's always best to try a bit of humour. Cor mum , that was a bit strong. I'm really looking out for my kids you know .

Whatever you do, don't beat yourself and your achievements up.

Mums are human, messy, have bad days, say things the wrong way and sometimes say the most personal things but hopefully when the chips are down they are the ones still fighting your corner and whatever you do they never, ever stop loving you.

I miss my mum every day. Dementia has taken her and I miss her humour, her stroppiness, how I can no longer ring her and tell her about my day or where I've been, what I've done

We all mess up sometimes ;-)

Rollercola Mon 10-Nov-14 22:17:26

I'm not sure that's what it is FabUlouse, I'm a really independent person and haven't ever really 'needed' her until my divorce. Even then I didn't ask for help but her & my dad have both given me great support.

Maybe she's just being massively overprotective and doesn't want me to make another mistake. But it's coming out wrong because I now feel very defensive and want to not tell her what I'm up to any more.

DayLillie Mon 10-Nov-14 22:22:39

She just said 'well my idea of a relationship must be different from the younger generations..'

'Yes Mother, it is' <roll eyes> grin

For you wine

Rollercola Mon 10-Nov-14 22:25:31

I did say that actually grin

ismellonehugerat Mon 10-Nov-14 22:32:48

Everything affects us differently. Only you know how you feel so ignore the people who say you are being overly sensitive.

I have the same thing with my Mum. Kind, lovely and helpful to me most of the time but very judgemental at other times. It feels like a knife through my heart sometimes. I do my best to ignore but it's not easy.

I would change my settings on FB if I were you.

Smukogrig Mon 10-Nov-14 22:47:54

I could have written this 8 years back. I wasnt in a relationship but my mum kept telling me ("subtly") how unwise a relationship would be. She neednt have worried after the EA relationship id just escaped. Now ironically she pressures me and hints "subtly" that life is incomplete without a partner, which is nice to hear!

Iflyaway Mon 10-Nov-14 23:50:06

She didn't like your ex and doesn,t like your current beau. So what does that tell you?!

Well, she's a control freak who thinks she can still control her daughter at the age of 40.

Start getting a thicker skin where she is concerned, if she is making you cry about her opinion of you you have some major work to do on yourself in relation to her. I mean that in a loving way, I had to do it.

I had similar life long shit going on with my mum. She's crossed over now, got alzheimers and altho I took care of her lovingly, it made me wonder as I saw her as a "child", why did I let it affect me so much? Why did I let her have so much power over me? It's the dependent child factor I guess...

These type of parents think they are doing it "for your best" but you are the one who has to make your life and a new family - in whatever form that will be - when they are gone.

Crying about your parents is natural, but not if they are still interfering in your life at the age of 40...

I,m not too up on FB but can you set it so that she doesn't see every post of yours? That's like your mum spying through the window at you and taking a swipe at you for walking around in a bath towel in your own bedroom or something (sorry, couldn't find a better analogy).

LiviaEmpressoftheUniverse Mon 10-Nov-14 23:54:38

My mother was a cow until she died aged 79.
Of course, she had a good side and sometimes we got along.
But mainly, she was a cow.
Perhaps yours is too.

Do you know the phrase "Butt out, mum"? Or "Mind your own business."
"Not your business, mother." "My life, not yours!"

Use them frequently. Good luck.

Coyoacan Tue 11-Nov-14 04:52:12

*Do you know the phrase "Butt out, mum"? Or "Mind your own business."
"Not your business, mother." "My life, not yours!" *

I don't think I am a cow, but my dd has been very on the ball with saying all this since she was a teenager, annoying but sometimes necessary.

So glad you have been able to find someone, OP, and it sounds like you are being really sensitive to your children.

Another thought. Maybe because you moved out so young, you and your mum never sorted out the idea that you are an adult. I left home when I was sixteen and went to the other side of the world. When I moved back to my country in my thirties my mother still treated me like a child and hadn't a clue how to deal with it as it was all stuff we should have sorted out during my teenage years.

Mrsgrumble Tue 11-Nov-14 05:03:42

I think you need to stand up to her. Block her from Facebook. When she asks you why, tell her it was because of her rudeness. Tell her you love her but she was wrong to critics you when you have done your best for your children and are a good person.

I have a controlling mother and she has got a shock in the last few years (since I married) that I don't ac like the nervous wallflower she brought me uo to be.

It's not pretty, but essential IMO

Good luck

R4roger Tue 11-Nov-14 05:57:57

assuming your DC know about him and have met him despite your seeing him quite infrequently? Is that what she is worried about? That he will move in?

Moniker1 Tue 11-Nov-14 06:11:32

I don't go on my DCs FB. Would seem intrusive to me. And would cramp their style (they are grown up by the way) as it would cramp my style if they saw what I wrote. Why do I need to know everything, they tell me what they want to when I speak to them every few days.

Hissy Tue 11-Nov-14 06:29:44

so you spent 23 years with someone who criticised you, belittled you and wore your seof esteem to practically nothing.

wonder where you learned to be treated that way?

the way your mother treats you and makes you feel is what conditioned you into being a victim of abuse from your ex.

defriend her. tell her that it's your life and she has no right to make you feel bad for anything. if you want her 'advice' you'll ask her for it.

have you done any therapy/work on undoing the ea? can you do the freedom programme? if you can deal with the damage done by your ex/it'll help with that done by your parents.

it won't heal by itself or with time sadly, you have to address it.

Rollercola Tue 11-Nov-14 07:36:52

Thanks for all your responses. I do have self esteem problems, and I also suffer from the same 'what will people think' syndrome which is why I'm so cautious about everything and overthink things to the point of obsession.

My mum has always made me feel like she was slightly disappointed in my choice of partner - it was very difficult for me to accept that my marriage didn't work out and I dreaded telling her.

A lot of my anxieties stem from worrying about what my parents think of me and I accept it's very unhealthy. My dad is genuinely supportive but my mum just seems to judge me and I let it get to me.

This has made me who I am and I did enable many years of EA from my exh because of it. He was my only real partner so I never learned any different. Until now - my new dp is supportive, kind, understanding and incredibly caring. He gets everything and understands all my insecurities. Being able to finally talk to someone about all these issues without fear of being judged or getting my head bitten off is refreshing and a form of therapy in itself.

I've never had any real therapy but I should because my divorce has left me feeling incredibly guilty and I stress every day about how it has affected my dcs. This along with my mum's disapproval has left me with serious anxieties. I will look into the Freedom Programme, thank you.

Dowser Tue 11-Nov-14 08:16:20

I'm so glad you have someone in your life you can relate to and is there for you.

Now you have that support you are possibly being able to really look at what irks you in your relationship with your mum.

It's good to have a relationship that allows you to grow.

Good luck with it.

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