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Unreasonable Mom

Discussion in 'Parents & Siblings' started by SGBV, Apr 17, 2017.

  1. SGBV

    SGBV IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear all,

    I am not sure where to start. But I had a time to self introspection, and I feel like I should share what I found out with others, to have different perspectives.

    Here we go :)

    As you all know, I love my mom so dearly. She is my world, and my greatest support system.
    As a parent, she has done so much and she always be there for me.
    Eg: If I get a slightest fever, she would be the first one to worry about it, and she would be the first to push me to a doctor and then pamper me like a kid, so that I would recover fast. During such times, she would be extremely worried thinking about the worst; thus pray for my speedy recovery all the time. So, no doubt that I am blessed to have her around, at my home. She not only mothers me, but also mothers my kids as if they are her own. That's a great relief since I am a full time working mom, with a type of job - which demands a lot from me.

    Even then, I feel extremely stressed out and uncomfortable when my mom is around. It is because, she is the greatest problem in my marriage and I often forced to be a referee between my mom and husband.

    Having said that, I would like to give you a little bit of my background here. Sorry for the long post!

    My mom and I had a roller coaster relationship ever since I was born. She loved me, but she did not like the way I was.
    According to my mom, I am the younger version of my paternal aunt - whom she hates to the core.
    So, she hated the way I looked, the way I spoke, the way I behaved. She would criticize me for all this, and often compare me to my aunt only to embarrass me. At the same time, she was too proud of my bro and then about my sis as they both looked like mom with mostly her qualities.
    When I was 10, she insulted me for my voice tone, and asked me to follow her friends' DDs who were of my age then.
    Since that time, I was forced to copy some X, Y and Z leaving my originality because my mom felt I was good for nothing. Everything I did was criticized and compared with others only to put me down.

    At that age, I did not have confidence about my looks or character; thus I felt inferior and lacked self confidence because of this. I hated my color, my hair and I felt I could never be better like those X, Y and Z.
    But I sincerely tried to copy them though I never liked them or their mannerism, yet I tried to be in the good books of mom.
    Not that she never loved me. She loved me, cared for me, stood by me. But she did not respect me for who I was.
    She would put it as if she cares a lot about me, since I was good for nothing. Thus she would encourage me to change and be good like my siblings.

    When I was a teen, I chose to become a vegetarian despite of my liking for non-veg. It was because my mom was a vegetarian, and I felt I could earn her respect my being so.
    It worked wonders, because that was the first time she appreciated me and accepted that I have inherited her qualities. She proudly announced to others that her DD has her qualities though her physical looks resembled her SIL.
    So, I voluntarily continued to become a vegetarian, and enjoyed her favor. She would go extra miles to cook me a special alternative meal (which she has never done for herself) whenever others ate non-veg.

    Like this, I have started to copy her in everything I did, even though I miserably failed in many. We had completely different personalities, yet I was appreciated by mom for that.

    She would chose my friends, chose my education, my field of career and almost everything. Often her choices are all about her wishes, and I had a hard time to embrace them. Thus, I was always an average student, average looking girl, and was considered below average in general. I hated to be so, yet I accepted because it gave some love from my dear mom.

    My siblings had their own life as per their own choice. They were never tested as me, thus they enjoyed their life independently. Even they thought that I was good for nothing, yet I follow my mom's foot steps all the time.

    That's when mom chose a groom for me. He was our relative, but not at all a suitable guy for me. Except the fact that he was of our caste (high caste), there was nothing great about him. He was 10 yrs older to me, short fella, no permanent job, had several failed love affairs and what not. But mom was ready for this gambling game called marriage, hoping everything would be fine after marriage. She was happy that she was somewhat able to chose someone of her caste as the groom, else who would marry this dump - not so good looking girl.
    But thankfully my bro who was only 17 that time, rescued me from that disaster. Then I was allowed to complete my degree, and mom chose my career in a bank via her banker friend.

    She was always proud about my sissy and bro and had dreams about their luxurious future. She would say that my sissy looks great just as her, and my bro is intelligent and good looking, so people would chase after them for marriage.

    That time I worked in a bank, and I hated my job to the core. Due to the stress of handling money against my will, I developed acidity and loads of health issues.
    That's when I met my H. He came as a prince of my life.
    He liked me for who I am, and often asked me to be natural instead of copying others or trying something artificial.
    He liked my tone, my character, my looks and often found them interesting and appreciated me for that.
    He was the first one with whom I was able to be myself without having to worry.
    He encouraged me to follow my passion, study my preferred field, and settle with a career of my choice.
    He stood by me as a back bone whenever I lacked the confidence to move on.
    He helped me chose my real friends, and showed me the meaning of real happiness.
    He motivated me to taste non-veg and live the life for me, instead of pleasing others.

    My whole family liked my H (then friend) for changing me as someone very lively and happy. But my mom considered him as a rival.
    She would always criticize him, and say he was using me and he was gonna make my life miserable one day with an hidden agenda.
    She would nit pick the tiniest problems and make a mountain out of a mole hill. When I fell in love with him, my mom was shattered.
    She hoped that we would split and my H's real face would be known to all. So, she went on to chose another groom for me, and awaited for my love to fail. But my H stood by me during all the storms from both families (due to inter- religious marriage), and finally married me.

    After meeting my H, I grew out to be a very confident and strong woman. I changed my career, and progressed so well in that front. I changed my physical looks (like straightened hair, dressing, etc..) and looked very confident overall.
    So, I was able to stand firm with my choice, and marry my H though mom had created all sort of emotional traumas back then. But eventually she gave up everything to accept and bless us wholeheartedly.

    When I was newly wedded, I had all sorts of initial problems in terms of adjustment, in laws etc.. since ours was an inter religious marriage, the trouble was high. Instead of supporting, my mom was making them blow out of proportion, and always came up with " I told you....
    She would make my marriage look like a greatest failure in my life, since I went ahead to marry my choice against her wish.

    However, when I had the most trying times in my marriage, it was my mom who stood by me and made me stronger only to teach a lesson to my H - her rival.
    But then, she was really unhappy that I made a choice to reconcile with my H again.

    Fast forward to today...

    My mom often compares my marriage to others' marriage only to put me down. It is like every day story here at my home. She doesn't do it purposely, but it just happens that she truly believes that I have made a wrong choice; thus she tries very hard to prove me this.
    So, daily she would speak something or the other about my SIL like how blessed she must be to marry my bro - who treats her like a pet, and provides her everything despite of her being a house wife.
    She would praise my sister's MIL and say my sister must be blessed.
    Earlier she would directly make these comparisons and ends everything by saying, "look... except you everyone is enjoying their life. Only you are living in a troubled marriage". she would say.. "It is foolishness to put up with all the troubles, and you will be better off without him..."
    She would be like, putting senses to my head... thus make the comparisons to show how badly I am deprived of love, and respect.
    She would daily criticize my H for spending time with friends, or spending less money on family by saying married men should spend all their time with wife and that's how other men do. She says "If he has personal space, then it means he doesn't value you."
    Like wise, she would also criticize him for letting me chose my career and be independent. She says he is after my money, that's why he encourages me to be in a hi-fi profession, so that he can have a relax life.

    Even though I know every person is different, and we should not compare. I know my bro pays more attention on his wife, but I do not require such a close attention from my H. I like to be independent. \More so, my bro has his own negative qualities which as a wife, I could not stand. Thankfully, My H does not have such negatives so I am comfortable with him.
    However, with mom's constant nagging, I often end up believing that I lack love, care and respect in life compared to others; thus fight with my H for his attention and end up making the same comparison with him.

    Even though I have told my mom on her face that I love my H, and I am happy with who he is, my mom would end the conversation by saying you are a looser, and you don't understand what you are loosing now.
    Each time she would make me feel guilt for arguing with her by not understanding her well meaning advice. Thus she would show a long face, and refuse to eat or behave normal but go on silent mode for days.

    Even with kids too, mom interferes a lot. She would not allow my H to discipline them. She would say that I am a fool to let my H to touch (means physical punishment) the kids. She would blow it as a huge matter, and make the kids feel unfortunate to have such a cruel dad for a small pat on their back for being extremely naughty.
    Knowing this, my H repeatedly punish the kids when mom is around, as he is supper irritated with her.
    But he is a cool dad when she is not around.
    So, mom would say... like your kids have psychological issues, they fear a lot and then she would compare them to other kids and conclude it is all because of my H's punishments. But I swear, my H would max pat them on their back for being uncontrollable, and that too when it is extremely necessary.

    She would not talk to my H directly. But does everything by talking at length with me. There are days when I hated going back to my home due to this.

    Now that, I am so irritated. I badly wanted to prove mom that I am happy and living a fabulous life. Even I do that by enjoying vacations and special dinner etc with H. But it all ends in bad taste that mom would show a long face or stop babysitting the kids or pretend to be sick every time after my "happy day| with H.

    Yesterday after a discussion, my H said that he loved him because I had my dad's qualities which impressed him. But now, after marriage, I mostly show my mom's quality which he hates.

    I can't kick my mom out of my house. I can't completely stop her doing all this, because it is a long story.
    But I know that I must do something, else my marriage will have bitter taste.

    Mom is 67 years old, very fragile emotionally, and very much insecure overall for her health issues and widowhood status.
    She will not live with others, and I will not be happy with the guilt of sending her away from my place.

    My H is extremely understanding, but when it comes to mom's matters, he goes mad and wants to revenge. I have become a puppet in their hands, and I feel sad for loosing my sanity and the innocence hence growing as a bad mom due to all this.

    Vent over
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017
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  2. vinodsinha

    vinodsinha Bronze IL'ite

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    Please make no mistakes, @SGBV a 67 years old emotionally fragile widow, can never be changed. She will continue to act based on her own whims and fancies !

    You just can not change the way she thinks and acts !
     
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  3. SGBV

    SGBV IL Hall of Fame

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    I know that, and I would never try to change her either. Perhaps changing her might create further problems between us, and I am not ready to face anything else right now.
    I know she is old, fragile and all that. I know I will be in guilt forever with the kind of minds we both have, should I try anything to change this equation. But this is just a vent. I feel relieved after writing my heart out.
     
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  4. SunPa

    SunPa Platinum IL'ite

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    I think you should. Your mom is old and insecure, loves you a lot but you have to draw boundaries. Leaving this likely lead to bigger problems later on?

    What does your mom want? You are married with two kids. Does she think you should leave your DH ? If not what?
    You have to let her know that yes your DH is not perfect, but you love him and are hurt to hear her criticising him so much. Would you be ok, if your MIL tells your kids that you are a bad/usless mom? Would you not want your DH to intervene? i dont thnk you should ignore the situation.

    She could look after your kids like a mother but she is not their mother. And if you are more or less agree with his style of parenting she should not interfere. Period. Because this sends confusing signals to the child who is being disciplined - am i the one who is wrong or is dad the one who is wrong in punishing me? If she grumbles , tell her calmly that you are ok with it.

    Start with one area at a time with her.
    And when she is bring up issues which make you seem like a looser to her, you have to first convince yourself that she is wrong and that you will not be influenced by her. Going to be hard, because there will be times when you are irritated by your DH, if in those moments she says negative things about him, you will likely be influenced .
    also explore the fact that you are probably seeking her approval constantly, perhaps you are even guilty of having married your DH who she was against . You are a big girl now and have accomplished a lot. In her heart she is proud of you. Perhaps she feels you deserve a lot more in life. But you have to overcome that need to seek her approval. Only then her opinions will stop colouring your opinions.
     
  5. iamsrihere

    iamsrihere Platinum IL'ite

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    Just as how women get affected with mils criticism,even men will get irritated. We women dont just ignore saying MIL is old.And when you yourself feel that your equation with your DH is affected,Time to think of sorting this.
     
  6. SGBV

    SGBV IL Hall of Fame

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    Thanks @SunPa

    First of all, I have clearly told her several times via several methods (confronting, calmly, happily, argument etc) that I love my H regardless of his flaws, as no man is perfect, and I am not perfect either to expect someone perfect. I have clearly told her directly and indirectly that the people whom she compares with my H (my dad, my bro, my BIL, my cousins etc) are not perfect either. I have pointed out their flaws, and told her how bad their other side is. This way, I have explained her that every person has their positive and negative sides, and it is all about how one can adjust with their partner comfortably.
    For instance, my bro has this bad drinking habit, and he controls his wife way too much like how she should dress, how she should feed the kid, bathe the kid, teach the kid etc... but he loves her and showers her with money and comforts and she rules the family otherwise.
    I personally can not live with someone who controls me like this. I love to be independent and free, and my H gives me such independence by letting me free. He does not interfere into my parenting choices, or dressing or even social matters as he fully trusts in me. He doesn't drink either.
    But he doesn't dump his pay ch to me, rather expect me to share my salary to run the family. He has other responsibilities like in laws, and he doesn't make a huge money as my bro does. But I earn good, and can earn better and this way we manage our household better or at least equally as my bro's household. I think comparison is not necessary here.
    But she repeats this every time regardless of how much I am visibly irritated with that, and our arguments- bitter talks followed that.
    No matter how hard I try to prove all this, she thinks that I am blind folded and she must help me to see through it.
    She tries via different means to prove the same. That's why I am giving it up....

    Once I openly asked her whether she expects me to divorce and lead a lonely life? She said that is not her intention, but that would be a better threat to control my H.
    I asked her, what if he moved out permanently? To which she says I am unnecessarily worried and have really low confidence; thus accepts my H's flaws and unreasonable treatments without questioning.
    But I really do not know what is really unreasonable here?

    If my H goes out of city and forgets to call me that day, mom would hint as if he has some EMA in the other city. If he goes to the same city for office matters repeatedly, she would hint subtly about the people who had EMA and how they behaved. She would cite examples from movies, real life people etc...
    But she would not directly say " your H has an ema".
    But if I say, don't worry I trust my H and I have no problems about his going out... then she will call me an innocent fool.
    No matter what I say, at the end of the day she will make me look like an innocent fool only.

    Sadly, these kind of interference are getting to my brain now a days. Actually I have no doubt on my H's character and will never doubt him. Yet, last time during our verbal fight on something, I asked him whether he has an EMA. He was shattered, and almost cried since I asked that. I felt extremely guilt for asking.

    Basically, mom thinks that I would be better off without my H. She says, I am settled, have amazing kids, financial independence etc... and why the hell I am adjusting to have a husband. In fact, she is uncomfortable if my H is around. She can't feel my home as hers when he is around, and she is insecure and feels threatened about her stay here due to my H's strong presence here.
    Earlier he used to work in diff city, and came home only during weekends. So, mom felt comfortable.
    So, she often advises me to send H to abroad for better money and pretend that would be greater for the kids, else he would harm them badly.

    In fact, as you say the kids have mixed opinion about their dad. They never think that dad punishes them for their mistakes. But they think dad has anger management problem and poor upbringing; thus punishing them.
    That's why I am forced to ask my H to back off, and started disciplining kids.

    All in all, mom will be mom and she will not change. But I want your advice with regards to possible changes in me. I prefer to change the way how I face mom, and how I give importance to her opinions, and how I carry out things against her wish.
    I want this to happen smoothly though...
     
  7. SGBV

    SGBV IL Hall of Fame

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    I understand. This is why I become the referee between them at the cost of loosing my own sanity.
    Just that, unlike the DILs my H is not vulnerable. He is strong, influential and has his fullest power in home. But he is keeping his mouth shut because of me.
    Unlike MILs, my mom doesn't have the power. She is insecure and a complete dependent on us. So, we are basically reluctant to cause any frictions and permanent damage to this relationship by hurting her.

    A simple "shut up and mind your business" from my H's mouth would be enough to permanently put my mom off, and burn our relationship and that of my siblings forever. That will cause me heart ache and complete guilt for life.
    Had she been doing this in her home with all the authority, we would have left her place and given back nicely long back. But being her host, and care giver during her old age makes it hard to go black and white.

    That's why I am here to look for grey areas, and mostly to change myself as how I react to her problems.
     
  8. vinodsinha

    vinodsinha Bronze IL'ite

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    She is a woman without a husband. A widow. You are a woman with a lovely husband. Your bond with him and affection with him is also very nice. You have something very nice and wonderful, which she doesn't.

    Is she jealous on you ?

    A jealousy, which comes to many Old widows' mind, when they see their sons bonding affectionately with their DILs. A bond of affection and love between a man and woman is an object of jealousy for them. Be it between their son and DIL or between neighbourhood man and his wife.

    Jealousy is jealousy ! A mother can be jealous at her own daughter, though it is not very common. I have seen such jealous mothers in my extended family.
     
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  9. paru123

    paru123 Gold IL'ite

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    She is 60+, so as couple you should learn to ignore her. Don't divulge too much details to her. If she asks give her answers that wouldn't lead to her further lecturing. For eg, the telephone incident that you mentioned, better to say to her that he messaged you. Don't share your worries with her. If situation at home is very bad or good, just ask her to stay at your siblings house for a week. Sometimes even they need to have a change of place for a short time to make them realise that all houses will have some or other problems.
     
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  10. iamsrihere

    iamsrihere Platinum IL'ite

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    I understand your situation. But better to make her understand in some way possible. Your mother doesn't have only you as a child.You have your brother.But i know your mother likes to stay with you,but there is a lot of difference between staying because she likes vs staying because you are the only support.

    If it so happens that your DH thinks this way going forward,it is going to become even more complex.
     
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