Post # 16
My father was a narcissist–I can empathize. I agree, her not coming to the wedding is a fine solution. Her choice.
For now, I would keep contact with her to a minimum, OP. She actually needs you a lot more than you need her. Reasoning with her won’t work. If she is a narcissist, she has a personality disorder & is not going to change. Period.
The best you can do is protect yourself as much as you can. There’s a saying: No narcissist ever takes himslf to therapy, but he’ll drive four other people into therapy.
Post # 17
I am so sorry. It sounds to me that your mom has a lot of unresolved anger over a divorce. Her behaivor is not acceptable, but understantable. When she said she called your sisters whores, I am guessing they are your half-sisters, of your dad and SM. I am guessing that your mom resents your SM. I dont know whether she has reason to or not (affiar?). You mom may feel that your dad gets more respect as a parent. Again, behavior not acceptable. You might think about having one conversation with her, and trying to understand where she is coming from and then discussing with her, behaivor not acceptable.
Post # 18
I know the comment from OP’s mother about her sisters being whores is shocking but my guess is that if you called her out on it, she would either (a) deny ever saying it or (b) say she “didn’t mean it that way”. My mother has said some riddiculous things before but if you point it out, she denies it-that’s how she’s able to justify saying those things. From my experience, I would also discourage you from writing a letter to make your feelings clear, this is also another gateway for drama. My brother did this and my mom forwarded the email to anybody who would read it and went into a pity party about how she has a terrible son and she tries so hard to be the perfect mother, etc. My point is, given your mother’s behavior, she’s not someone who responds to reason. The best way to deal with her is to treat her like a three year old – tell her how things are going to be and ignore her resulting tantrum. It doesn’t do any good to “explain yourself” to her – she won’t understand. If you don’t want her there while getting ready, then don’t let her in there. What do you think is more important to her – getting her way or keeping up the perfect mother image? My mother is the type of person that cares strongly about what other people think, almost to the point that she is not able to form opinions for herself. Because of this, I know the threat of shame is the best way to keep her in check. So obviously I do not know your mother, I’m only conjecturing based on my own relationship, but I would guess she would rather go away quietly and complain about you to anyone who will listen rather than to have everyone rolling their eyes at her for trying to bang down your door. I know it would be preferable if she didn’t complain about you but think about this – the people she would complain to probably know that you are a reasonble person and that you have a good reason for not wanting her there while you’re getting ready. So ask your MOHs to tell her that you need some time alone to yourself or just with them. If she rants and raves, ignore her. The more she insists, the crazier she will seem (people will think, you’re the bride! Can’t she respect your wishes for one day? She might think your wedding day is about her but most guests, including her own, will probably agree that the day is about you), and the more reasonable your request seems to have time alone or just with your bridal party.
I know all this is hard. I was raised by my mother to think that in the cold, cruel world, she always sacrificed to give me the best because I’m her daughter. That despite my shortcomings, she still loved me because I’m her daughter. Undoutedly, there is some truth to her statements – she has worked hard to feed and clothe me and turn me into the human being that I am today. But at some point, you need to put aside that feeling like you owe her something and admit to yourself that the only person who knows what’s best for you is you. My dad once said something about parenting that has stuck with me – he reminded me that my brother and I are the first time my parents have raised children. In other words, they are newbies at it and are bound to make mistakes and that we should forgive them when they screw up a little because they’re trying really hard to get it right too. So I want to say, it’s ok to be angry, it’s ok to grieve that you don’t have the perfect mother-daughter relationship. But you need to figure out what to do about it. There is someone else in the equation other than you now – you and your Fiance are forming a new family and you have to decide how your mother fits into all this. I know some bees have advocated for you straight up cutting her off. I know some people would find my approach disrespectful and demeaning. Whatever you decide, don’t feel guilty about it. You’re the only one that can make the decision for yourself.
Post # 19
Desilu09: I am SO sorry that you are going through this. I too have a narsisistic mother and some of the examples that you shared with us are almost clone copies that I had to deal with too. I went dress shopping alone to try to find what I like first before I shared it with my mom so that I wasnt pressured into her manipulations. What I am learning is how to distance myself and not to let her tempertantrums effect me. If she wants to act like child then that is her choice but you cannot let that controll your life and your special day. Try to surround yourself around people who are there to support you 100% And if you can, try to remind her, which in return is reminding your, that you are an adult and you are the one making the decidions on what is best for you. If all else fails, you might have to cut her off completely from your life. I know MANY children from narsisitic parents that had to do that and there is nothing wrong with that. You just have to find what works out the best for you.
One last thing, I STRONGLY recomend therapy. I am personally going through it right now and I never realized just how much she has negativly effected me. It can be a long and frustrating journy to go through but I am realizing how amazing life is now where previously I was constantly in fight or flight mode.
Post # 20
sassy411: VERY well said.
Post # 21
OP you’re still trying to mitigate the effects of what she says and does, instead of nipping it in the bud. For instance, the minute your mother made your Fiance tear up was when it was appropriate to take her aside and tell her that her behavior was way out of line and you’re leaving, and if she ever disrespects your future husband again you wont talk to her or see her for a month. You don’t let these people have control over you. Not financially, emotionally or physically. The minute they do they run with it and make your life very unpleasant. The more you avoid confrontation the more they grow in power. Another vote for personal counseling so you can learn to set healthy boundaries for yourself, your marriage and future family.
Post # 22
Im so sorry that you Mom is really making wedding planning stressful for you. The best way to get to the bottom of the situation is to ask her whats going on.
Have a heart to heart with your mom. You seem to be surprised by her behavior so she isnt typically like this. Maybe she is feeling that she is loosing you too (like she divorced (lost) her husband. She also seems to have a lot of resintment towards her Ex and the institution of marriage in general. Just know that it is probally hard for her to see you about to take this step. She is your mother and wants the best for you however the way she is expressing herself is unacceptable but understandable.
Reassure her that you are still her little girl. What is done is done so dont expect her to appoligize for past actions but move forward. You may need to call her everyday in the beginning, ask her for her opinion even if you already know what you are going to do. Just listen. When she says something inappropriate take the high road. for example when she mentions divorce I would say “you are right mom, 50% of all marriages do end in divorce, but right now he makes me so happy and I would regret not giving it a try to see if it’s for me” Then you can even ask her for advice. It may not be what you want to hear but try to stay calm and just enjoy the convo. Be her shoulder to lean on. Once you two talk things out, she may be able to behave better
Have things improved/ changed since your last post?
Post # 23
She’s your mom & you love her, but she doesn’t mean you or anyone else any good. She needs help & you don’t need the stress. I’d cut ties now & let her bitter butt count her losses
Post # 24
I think you’re acting like a total pushover. She is a huge bitch and does NOT deserve to have anything to do with you or the wedding! If I saw her treating my Fiance like that I’d slap her! Choose between Fiance and you? Well I know who I’m choosing. Bye felicia!
Post # 25
Thank you. I’m happy to share my own experiences if it might help someone. My father was an abusive narcissist, abusive in every way. Not surprisingly, I also married one.
My radar was broken until about 5 years of therapy. Now it’s pretty finely tuned & I think I’ve gotten pretty good at spoting the red flags for narcissism & abuse. So many abusers are narcissists.
My Dh is definitely not narcissistic, he’s a wonderful loving husband who treats me wonderfully well.
There is hope for happiness after tangling with narcissists. It won’t feel like it right away–they’ll have you too off balance. But, you can recover & find love.
Post # 26
sassy411: Im glad to hear that life has turned around for you! It’s amazing to feel free doesn’t it?! I am currently going through therapy because of both of my narsistic parents. I’m finally getting past the anger stage but I’m stuck in the stage where I’m learnining my own voice. I’m trying to figure out what I want and not what everyone else wants as well as being kind to myself. It’s a bit frustrating since I’m impatiant but I do respect the process and LOVE the person I’m that I am finding out I am. Of course it also helps that I finally live in a “war” free home and that my Fiance is showing me what the word love actually means.
Post # 27
Desilu09: First, big hugs. My mother is also a narcissist. I know I’m a total stranger, but you are NOT crap. You have strength.
I echo others who are recommending therapy. A therapist can help you out with coping mechanisms. Like hermom says, I also highly recommend the book, “Will I Ever Be Good Enough?” by Karyl McBride. The book has some good exercises and advice in it.
I won’t get into too many details, but two years ago I made the decision to stop contacting my mother. She hasn’t reached out to me since. It sucks not to have your mom around for wedding planning, dress shopping, etc. But I am healing, and I’m finally starting to feel like more of a whole person than a walking punching bag. I’m not saying this is the right decision for you, but my therapist said to me that we have our biological families and our chosen families. They are sometimes the same, but this isn’t the case for some people.
PM me if you want to talk. Again, big hugs to all.
Post # 28
AHJ: You took the words right out of my mouth!
OP It’s always hard when its a family member. And I dont mean to put you in a worse postion but if you have been hanging around on this forum you have probably come across the (kind of) common dinominator that is the BITCH of a mother in law. You know the type? The bitch who does nothing but insult and belittle the bride to be. How much of a horrid person she is? Have you also come across the fact that some of the brides seem to have SO that are NOT standning up for them to their mothers? Have you read the replys to such past where we all say “TELL THE BITCH TO BURN IN HELL AND TAKE HER SHIT WITH HER” well guess what darling. You mother IS in fact a Future Mother-In-Law. You fiance in this case is the hurt partner who is despreatly trying to make things work with his Future Mother-In-Law while you stand to the side. Choose him or her? Like she said. Well at some point you are going to have to! Sooner or later! This wont end with her ruining her wedding day, and TRUST me she WILL! Even if she is afraid of ruining her image. You don’t have to make a scene to do damage. She will however tear your down slice by slice. Think she is being a bitch about the ring now? Just you wait until your wedding day when she will whisper snide comments about it to you and to people who are willing to listen (and there will always be someone, we all have that one family member.) This will continue on and on until two things happen. 1 Divorce (or utter misery for you poor man since she seems hell bent on making him suffer) or 2. You actually womaning yo and telling her to grow the fuck up. You grow up, kids do that. Get over it! Either she can be a happy part of the wedding or she can do as she threatens to and not be a part of it! It’s her loss not yours.
Sorry for my grammer/spelling english isn’t my naitive language
Post # 29
sassy411: juanita.kelly.9: flummoxed: atenaksk: Soon2ElopeBee: Lokie85: CrankyTurtle: AHJ: sassy411: atenaksk: peaseblossoms: AliceMAL:
thank you ladies for the advice. I haven’t talked to her since before my original post. She has tried calling twice but I havent returned any calls.
I wanted to make a couple things clear though, I feel I didn’t explain some things well enough.
My mom has been like this for a very long time. we really aren’t close at all, haven’t been for years.
I don’t want you ladies to think that I didnt stand up for my Fiance, I definitly did, and he stood up for me as well. She knows that he is off limits if she wants to be in our life.
I have been in therapy and I find it to be very helpful. I was hoping to get advice from fellow brides that have experience with this type of situation and I am so relieved to find that I’m not crazy! Haha
I know a lot of you recommend that I try to talk to her and make her see my side, unfortunately, with people like her, that is almost useless. I have tried many times and she blows up on me and then lies to everyone saying I said things I didn’t actually say. (Much like another poster said has happened to her)
I have decided that anytime I talk to her about the wedding or anything related to it (like her being in the room when I get ready, or when they are coming out here) I am going to ask that my stepdad be on the phone with us (he is very calm and a lot more reasonable) that way she can’t twist my words around and if she starts getting out of control, he can step in.
I really appreciate all of your responses! I always have to remind myself that I’m not crazy and that I’m not the problem (Although, I do lose my temper with her)
Post # 30
Desilu09: at least you know that it’s not your fault. She’s responsible for her own actions. Some people will beat themselves up and take all the blame for someone else’s poor character. Thanks for being one of the sane ones