Repairing mother/daughter relationship now that I am getting married?

posted 1 year ago in Relationships
Post # 2
5564 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2017

throwawayneedadvice :  

You could try to message her more and see if she engages. Ideas for your dress or centerpieces etc.

You should keep in mind that she might appear stable but not be stable at all. Or, she could be stable for a bit and then fall off the wagon.

It sounds like you’ve had a lot of separation from her, I actually don’t sense a lot of hurt in your post. It seems like you’ve worked through a lot of the resentment that you would feel by living the life that you did.

I call this conditional contact. For me, I had to go no contact for a while to heal. Now I am able to do conditional contact, if you’re stable, I’m around. If you’re not, I’m gone. This comes with its own problems because it’s a lot of ups and downs.

I think that would work for you, to kind of test the waters to see if she has changed. With what she’s been through, I would be hesitant to believe that she’s changed. But with your level of separation, you might be able to have some contact during periods of sobriety. It could also mess with your head though, and open old wounds when she does decline.

My advice, tentatively try more contact but stay firm in your boundaries

Post # 3
2254 posts
Buzzing bee

I don’t think you should. This sounds like a recipe for disaster.

If things don’t go well, if she acts as she did before, what will you do? How will you feel? That’s what you have to ask yourself, because that’s what really matters.

Frankly, this sounds like a perfect opportunity for her talk about your taste; it would be too easy for her to do that. She has made improvements, but she’s still herself at the end of the day. I know you want those special moments, but it’s a huge risk to try to have those moments with her. It’s not uncommon to not have those mother/daughter moments you were speaking of, so don’t try to force them. Doing so could mess up other parts of the wedding that you would have treasured.

You have to focus on you right now, not your relationship with her. You don’t need your attention divided between two big events. If you want to reconcile with her, wait until after the wedding — months afterward when your wedding won’t be impacted by her behavior if she behaves poorly again.

Post # 4
8831 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

throwawayneedadvice :  Hmm, this is complicated, bee. My mom is a drug addict and alcoholic so I know how hard it is to grow up with that. On the one hand, you’re compassionate and want to help them, but on the other, you know that you CAN’T help and you need to protect yourself. My recommendation is, don’t make this about your wedding. If you want to try to establish a relationship with your mom, do it because you want to get to know her and try to have a relationship with her. If you do it because you want to have pinterest moments, you’re likely to end up disappointed. Regarding how to start it, is there anything you can think of that you’d like to thank her for? Maybe you could call her or write a letter to let her know about something you appreciate. I would take small steps and not expect a lot to begin with. Best wishes.

Post # 6
121 posts
Blushing bee

Hey bee! I’m so sorry to hear about the challenges you have experienced with your family, and your mom in particular. In a lot of ways, I have had similar struggles with my mom. I just want to remind you that you are not responsible for your mother’s happiness. It’s important that you created boundaries around your life to keep yourself safe, and happy.

I also think it’s completely natural to have points in your life where you want to try and heal the “mother wound” and be a supportive, positive force in your mom’s life. I want to remind you that just like a wedding is not a reason to repair an old friendship, it’s probably not the right time to repair a familial relationship either. If you do decide to reach out to your mom at this time, do it independently of the wedding. And do it because you see the positive change you’ve seen her make in her own life. Start slow and small. Maybe a phonecall once a week to chat about life more generally. Maybe a coffee date or a movie or a dinner once a month. If these things are going well, maybe include her in dress-shopping. Or if you’ve already purchased one, take her to the alterations appointment. You want this to be a sustainable change in your relationship and weddings are drama-filled and stressful at the best of times. Also, try to meet your mom where she’s at — she might have anxiety about going to a sushi restaurant. Why not go somewhere she would feel more comfortable, like a local diner for example.

If these things don’t work out the way you hope, just remember that your wedding is about you and your partner. It’s really not about anyone else. I went to one store with my mom while wedding dress shopping and picked one on the spot (I was not looking forward to this), and I had my friend help me put on my wedding dress for that typically “mother/daughter” photo because I didn’t want my mom’s anxiety around pre-wedding ceremony. Trust me, it’s not a big deal! 

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