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Advice on how to deal with DM please

(16 Posts)
HavingAnOffDAy Thu 30-Mar-17 10:10:49

DM & I have a 'difficult' relationship. She is manipulative, and completely lacks empathy (in a nutshell). I have endless examples of this but want to keep to the point of the post.

Any emotional reactions from her are highly exaggerated & seem to be more how she thinks she should react rather than anything from the heart.

My DF left her for OW 22 years ago (they are now happily married & I have a good relationship with them both). DM has never really got over this, and is very bitter towards them both. This has caused issues at family gatherings but the rest of the family tries to work around it.

DM met her second husband not long after DF left, and she moved 150 miles to live with him. Since then DM has put her partner on a pedestal, to the exclusion of maintaining relationships with friends. She has often been angry that he hasn't reciprocated her attitude & this has caused problems with family members (including myself) as she has been jealous of their relationships - making snide, passive aggressive comments & being generally unpleasant.

It's also caused problems as his family have always come first for DM, meaning she hasn't been around to support my grandparents through illness & bereavement. This has fallen to me, DB & our uncle.

No matter what the situation is, and who it impacts, her only concern is her/her partner. Everything gets turned around to them, how they are suffering, how awful it is for them.

The rest of us suck it up & crack on with dealing with the issue in hand.

My ex-H had an affair just over two years ago, I left him & have set up home with our 2 DC. Over this time my DM has been of little support. In fact none. Her only reference to it has been when I was in a new relationship & she expressed jealousy that he wanted to make me happy, saying he needed to say 'no' to me more often & stop indulging me (we'd been playing cards on the beach so hardly anything extravagant!!!)

MY DB called yesterday to tell me that DM & her husband are now separating. DM had asked him to tell me. I've had a message from her telling me she's sure I know how she feels & asking me if I'm free to chat.

I don't want to talk to her. I don't want to be her confidante. There have been times when I've really needed her to be a mum to me & every time she's banged the door in my face.

I'm not playing 'tit for tat' but I just genuinely feel I have nothing to say or give.

I want her to feel supported I just don't feel I'm the person for the job right now.

Please help

DanielCraigsUnderpants Thu 30-Mar-17 10:21:54

Well I can only say what I would do in that situation. I would call to talk to her. I would probably listen and make the right sounds but I would not invest any of my own emotion into it. I would express sympathy. I would say the right things but I would not take any more than that on.

Maybe she has realized she made a mistake and hasn't been there for you and will try to make amends. Maybe she wont.

But that is me and you are you. You should follow your gut and think about what you want in this situation.

MadameCholetsDirtySecret Thu 30-Mar-17 10:28:15

You sound as though she has drained all your affection for her. That isn't going to return overnight. Move at your own speed, but don't be bullied into being her emotional support unless you are ready.

EssentialHummus Thu 30-Mar-17 10:29:36

I'd give it a few days, then call her for a short chat - make sure that she know that you need to leave to do X in 10 minutes. Then gauge what she wants. If you get the sense during that call that she is trying to lean on you for support, then in your circs I'd detach and say things like, "That sounds very difficult, have you considered counselling?" and similar - do not engage.

HavingAnOffDAy Thu 30-Mar-17 10:41:16

Thanks for your replies.

Your advice is along the lines of what was going through my head, I just wondered if I was being a bit too harsh.

Madame you are right - that's exactly what has happened. It's so sad

DanielCraigsUnderpants Thu 30-Mar-17 11:02:17

I think being totally unsupportive to your daughter in times of crisis and putting everyone else first is a bit too harsh. Please dont beat yourself up,

ItWentDownMyHeartHole Thu 30-Mar-17 11:03:35

I (reluctantly) call my parents if they have a disaster on their hands. I listen, tell them how sorry I am that they feel sad/upset/low/furious and once the phone goes down I try very hard not to give it another thought.
They divorced decades ago and couldn't sit in the same room as each other. From that point onwards I think they detached from family life. It's as if, on the odd occasion that they're looking, they see when their kids are having troubles of their own and they are only observers. Neither ever offer any support.
You do what you're emotionally capable of and no more. Good luck.

Justmuddlingalong Thu 30-Mar-17 11:09:20

When someones behaviour has sucked the love out of a relationship, you are left with very little to give. Give only as much as you want to. Don't feel guilty, responsible or bad about that. flowers

HavingAnOffDAy Thu 30-Mar-17 13:22:40

Thank you all for your kind words. It's nice to feel understood flowers

ItWent that's exactly how it is. She seems to view me as a someone she's acquainted with when I have any troubles, but expects me to be a doting daughter.

I have long standing plans to see her this coming weekend, so will use the approach you all suggest.

Thank you so much

Cricrichan Thu 30-Mar-17 13:47:20

Be careful she doesn't latch on to you now.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 30-Mar-17 15:09:07

Its not your fault she is the ways she is, you did not make her this way.

I would read up on narcissistic personality disorder and see how much of that fits in with your own experience re your mother.

You cannot help anyone who ultimately does not want to be helped. You also need to raise and reaffirm your own boundaries here; your mother's own poor sense of boundaries has not really allowed you to have any (she may well see you as an extension of her).

HavingAnOffDAy Thu 30-Mar-17 19:40:42

Yes my worry is that she'll want to move close to me & start encroaching on my life. In the past she's tried inviting herself out with me & my friends, but I think her husband had a word.

I feel like I've worked hard to build a good support network & some fantastic friendships since my own split, and harsh as it sounds I don't want her to now move in on it.

A friend has suggested she's narc previously. I obviously need to read up!

AtrociousCircumstance Thu 30-Mar-17 19:46:16

If she tries to force herself into your life and expects your support when she has given you none, you have to find a way to say no and keep saying no.

Not easy but this is a turning point and you need to nip things in the bud.

AtrociousCircumstance Thu 30-Mar-17 19:47:25

And you don't have to share anything with her - not one friend, not one event. Your support network is yours. Keep that boundary and feel proud of yourself in doing so.

HavingAnOffDAy Thu 30-Mar-17 19:58:01

Thank you Atrocious I'll keep that last sentence ringing in my ear smile

AtrociousCircumstance Thu 30-Mar-17 21:00:33

Good! smile

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