vent: Never ending problems?

posted 3 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
229 posts
Helper bee

Sometimes, what you really need is some time apart. If telling your mother that she needs to be respectful of your life, your wife, and your personal choices does nothing to change how she acts, it may be time to cut contact, giving her a few reasons why you don’t feel comfortable discussing your life with her anymore. It’s possible that she may come around after a while, but you’re going to have to be strict about the way she treats you and how you allow/don’t allow it. If she says something bad, it’s fine to tell her that you don’t appreciate it, and why it’s wrong. If you hold up on your side, she may eventually see that in order to maintain a relationship with you, she needs to change her ways.

I wouldn’t recommend cutting out your entire family, though. Definitely stay in contact with the people you trust, even if they are close with your mother. Just make sure not to share too many personal details about what’s going on between you and your mother if you think it may add to the creation of rumors and drama.

For the sake of your family, I hope you are able to work everything out in time.

Post # 5
28 posts
  • Wedding: September 2014


I am sorry you are in this position. I am the position of your wife and my FMIL while not so blatantly negative about our relationship has definitely voiced her hurtful opinions to all family members. We also live a distance from his parents and he does get the same quips about beaches and comments on how terrible on home city is. She constaintly undermines all his decisions including me.

From a wife perspective, I think you have done the right thing. I feel horrible when my partner has to stand up to his mother for a loving relationship but it makes me feel supported and like we are a team. He didn’t always stand up for me, and it was very hurtful to know his mother so negative. I had to learn to distance myself. It also helped me to understand some of my SO ‘weird’ behaviours. 

We also have stopped ‘fuelling’ the fire and present a united front. We have limited group conversations and all emails are addressed from both of us. This did wonders and she learnt that we share everything and we are a unit. My SO also had to talk to me about how I needed to change my approach with her. Not to have expecations and not to treat his parents like I treat mine. 

I wish you all the luck in the world. I am way happier now! 

Post # 7
3016 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2014 - Prague

Your mother sounds a bit unstable– the parts where she sort of makes stuff up. 🙁  I would distance myself from her and I’d be totally honest with her AND with the rest of the family. If your mom continues with the abusive emails, I’d actually stop reading them.

I’m so sorry you’re going through that, but you have a great life and I think you have to focus on that.

Post # 8
373 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

I recommend assessing the forms of communication you are using with your mom. It sounds from your post like email is her rudest form of communication, but that perhaps in a phone call or face-to-face, she is more polite. It may be that she uses email as her diary, and writes at her most emotional moments — when there will be no one to respond or correct her — then hits “Send.” You are under no obligation to read or reply to these diatribes! 

My mom sometimes sends ranting emails (not directed at me, though). I skim to make sure there is no important news, then delete them. These emails from your mom are upsetting to you, so I think you should do the same. Do not reply by email. Do not email your mom at all. If you have happy news to share, or just want to say hello, do not use email; use a different form of communication. She will take some time getting used to this, and will continue to follow up with complaints that she is not getting emails from you (typical troll behavior). Delete those too. Based on her behavior, I recommend sending NO emails for at least a year, but to still communicate in other ways. Cut email out of your relationship. Your mom can learn to either keep a real diary for her negative thoughts — or just to let them go. I recommend not telling her you are doing this, because that will just be another source of complaints. Just do it.

Is skype the only other way you talk to your mom? How often do you speak? If you speak very infrequently, and email is your main form of communication, perhaps you should increase the number of calls home. You will have more control of the conversation, and will be able to talk about things other than her criticisms. If she starts to insult your wife or your life, say, “I am not going to keep talking while you insult me, but I love you.” and hang up. Every time. Alternatively, maybe you are calling too often — if you are having daily communication, and it is so rude, you should decrease the number of chances for her to insult you. Even if the conversation is about you explaining that her behavior is rude or abusive, her rudeness is still getting to be front and center, dominating your conversation. You cannot change your mom, or get her to acknowledge her bad behavior, but you can change how you respond. The priests are saying to set boundaries; these boundaries are not something you can negotiate with your mom or even explain. You have to live them out. 

It sounds like she brings up the past a lot. Do you do the same? If so, switch to saying you are really just interested in who you both are now. If she says, “Remember in college, when you didn’t call me on my birthtday,” or whatever, say, “That was 6 years ago. What’s going on now?” 



Post # 9
2222 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I’m sorry you’re dealing with this.

I would consider sharing some of the emails with your dad and siblings. Emphasize you love your family and want to share your life with them but need help with how to handle your mom. 

My MIL makes a lot of the same comments (snarky comments about where we live and where she is has great beaches, etc) and my husband has really cut down on his communication with her, which is sad but I agree with a previous poster, you can’t fuel her fire. I would be tempted to tell your mom that unless she can support your decisions and be happy that you’re happy, then her communications will not be tolerated. 

Post # 11
1840 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@bridalboutique20:  you have to stop allowing her to bully and abuse you. If you really want to continue to keep in touch with your mother, stop responding to the abusive emails and only acknowledge contact when she is being “normal”. Otherwise she has no incentive to stop treating you this way – and I can’t even imagine how hurtful it is to hear these things from your own mother! I’d also encourage you to stop reading the emails as they are only hurting you.

I also think you should let your dad and siblings know what she’s doing. Even if they can’t influence the situation, they will at least know why you have distanced yourself.


Post # 14
196 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@bridalboutique20:  Wow, good on you for being so level headed.

I have been and am in a similar but also slightly different situation.

My mother is a narcassist plain and simple and has pulled some awful tricks over the years. The only thing that “fixed” the situation was pulling away each and every time she had a psychotic melt down aimed at me.

There were times I didn’t see or speak to her in over 6 months. This gave her an indication that I was not to be treated so poorly and with little respect. Things are much better now and she no longer tries to make up scernarios and problems. The few times that she now may start something new I pull away for a few weeks. Fixes it right away.

This now brings me to my current situation with my MIL. She has a bit of that two faced thing happening that you mentioned in your post. She is almost tolerable in person but behind my back she is telling my husband “she is just your wife, you’ll only ever have one mother, you can always replace your wife” and many other things.

Your wife is your number 1! Everything else is 2nd, 3rd etc. Begin by telling your mother that your wife is your family now and that your mother is an extention of your family. And do not ever move from this belief. Your mother feels like she’s not the most important person in your life anymore and is using every manipulative trick in her book to unnerve you and have you back with her.

If you continue to be at the effect of your mother you will have a harder time than necessary. Be in the power position and tell her how things are going to be now!

Best thing to remember is YOU TEACH PEOPLE HOW TO TREAT YOU.

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