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AIBU?

Going NC with parent?

12 replies

xyz123x · 25/01/2023 22:53

Is anybody else on here little contact or no contact with their parent/s?

I'm seriously considering this with my mum after years of a bad relationship. She's very unsupportive, emotionally cold, a gas lighter and extremely manipulative. It has now got to a point where I just want to distance myself as my mental health is so bad. It's difficult though as I have an amazing relationship with my stepdad and my brother and I know it will be difficult to avoid her in the future. I also have DC which I know she will obviously want to see.

Anybody any advice? Sad

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Wolfiefan · 25/01/2023 22:58

You can choose to go low or no contact. You can choose to see your brother and stepdad.
She can want a relationship with your kids but it’s up to you if she would be a positive influence in their lives or they would be better off without them.

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xyz123x · 25/01/2023 23:02

@Wolfiefan The trouble is, is that she doesn't accept how she is and that her behaviour and how she acts is wrong. I'm often upset with her, yet she will act like everything is ok which makes it impossible for me to distance myself. It's tough

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Relaxd · 25/01/2023 23:11

Obviously we don’t know the background here or her perspective but perhaps discuss with your stepdad first before taking this quite major step? I’ve limited some contact (not of GCs as they get on great and this would be grossly unfair on them) in past but over the years I’ve also become much more resilient and can see my own part in some of our issues. I’d probably generally want my kids to see I can have a relationship with people including those I find challenging or don’t agree with etc but every situation is of course different and I’m not at all saying this is easy or right for everyone.

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FTM2B1 · 25/01/2023 23:54

You are the best judge of who is going to be a positive influence on your life and the lives of your DC. My husband went LC then NC with one of his parents a few years ago before we had our DC, after years of trying to shoulder the mental and emotional burden of their relationship. It didn't seem to matter what we tried, his parent was not willing to accept any of their behaviour was problemati or upsetting and when he broached it, they would just say things like "upset? You were upset ?well I have been absolutely distraught, did you ever think about that?". Really difficult to get anywhere constructive and positive. When our DC was born, his parent got back in touch wanting to have contact. While DH was trying to decide if this was a good idea and if they would be a good person to have in DCs life, other members of the family sent him really foul, nasty, threatening messages. It turned out his parent has gone and told everyone that he had refused them access and said all sorts of horrible things, which was untrue.

So in the end he decided to stay NC. What I would say is it isn't an easy decision. My DH agonised over it for quite a while, and still now misses them even though they never got on - less in a specific way and more in as much as "it would be nice for my parent to see DCs first steps hear their first words etc".

If you can find a way to find that middle ground and come to an understanding to salvage some sort of relationship then that would be excellent. If that isn't possible just now it's absolutely okay to protect yourself and your family by going LC/NC.

PP mentioned they wanted to model to their DC that they can get along with people despite difficulties and that's totally valid. However it's also important to demonstrate that you don't need to put up with people mistreating and upsetting you regularly. Especially if that person will not accept they are causing you distress and adjust their behaviour.

Good luck, I hope you make a decision that brings you some peace, whatever you decide. Xx

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Oriunda · Yesterday 07:27

I went NC with a parent a few years ago. Having my own child finally made me realise that the years of physical and mental abuse were not how a loving relationship worked. Started off with low contact eg birthday message (never a phone call) but have now blocked and gone NC. It’s the best thing I could have done for my MH and I have no regrets.

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Greenfairydust · Yesterday 08:28

I think this is the trickiest part when going no contact: how do you stay in touch with the rest of the family.

I am NC with all my relatives, but I never had any kind of close relationship with them to start with (probably saw them once a year if that when I was a child if that and then I moved to a different country and did not see them for 20 years).

Other relatives also find it hard to accept that someone they are related to could be abusive. When I finally talked about the abuse and neglect from my parents a couple of relatives made supportive noises initially then it went back to closing ranks and saying the usual ''but they are such nice people''...

I have no regret in distancing myself completely from all of them.

People who are toxic are usually unable to self-reflect and see anything wrong with their behaviour, so it is unlikely your mother will ever change.

Go low contact or full NC is that is what you need to protect your physical and mental health. Being related to someone does not mean you must have them in your life.

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PeachDelany · Yesterday 08:30

Going NC is the last resort to a long period of consideration. I did it and never looked back. It was much easier than I thought and I don't regret it.

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Wolfiefan · Yesterday 09:38

It’s not tough if you step away though. I am nc with my abusive father. It’s also possible to be low contact. Decide what you want. Phone? In person? Not in your home?

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Ellaskitchensimple · Yesterday 09:48

I'm LC with a parent, almost NC, it's hard but it does make for a less stressful life. They'll never change.

Fantastic book called Children of the Aging Self Absorbed by Nina Brown was recommended to me on here , worth every penny and some

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Ellaskitchensimple · Yesterday 09:48

Self Absorbed Parent sorry

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crackofdoom · Yesterday 10:00

I went NC with my parents about 18 months ago. Our relationship had been based on small talk and Not Mentioning Things for most of my adult life, but this started to get more and more difficult as I grew in confidence and started standing up for myself. The final break was initiated by a massive row about racism (over something my brother said- he's a chip off the old block), which then escalated- I realised how deeply unacceptable their views are, but also how much contempt they hold me in, and how much my dad has always disliked me.

To be honest, I feel it's a weight off my shoulders. I'm free of the constant digs and criticism. I thought that my parents would invite the DC to stay- I'd definitely be open to that- but so far they haven't. Perhaps they only like seeing their DC if I'm there running around doing the actual parenting? 🤔 The DC have also said that they wouldn't be particularly keen in going- my dad can be quite nasty, and has been to them in the past. DC1 is in sporadic contact with my mum via WhatsApp though, so the ball is in their court, really.

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ChatTilMidnight · Yesterday 10:17

My MIL had a very difficult relationship with her Mother who was, I am told, cold and aloof. My MIL never had a birthday party, never learned to ride a bike as a child, all the normal things one would expect from a 1950s childhood. In later years, after having her children, my MIL went very low contact with her Mother but saw her Father on a regular basis. He came to her rather than the other way round and did it when he was over here for work as he travelled. That is about as much as I know because my MIL hated talking about it and she told me the above plus a couple of incidents which are just very sad. In all honesty I could see the damage her Mother had done to her spirit. She was a fantastic woman, kind and gentle, but bruised from her Mother's actions.

So it is possible to maintain a relationship with one person in a couple but that person may decide to side with their wife rather than you. This is also not about what your Mother wants with regard to a relationship with your children, that decision lies with you. Are they a positive influence? Would they likely spread misinformation to your children about you? Would they happily give your children things they know you have said no to to win their loyalty?

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