1. How to Build Positivity in Married Life? : Click Here
    Dismiss Notice

What Is A Healthy Mother-daughter Relationship?

Discussion in 'Parents & Siblings' started by BhumiBabe, May 1, 2017.

  1. BhumiBabe

    BhumiBabe Platinum IL'ite

    Messages:
    1,025
    Likes Received:
    2,215
    Trophy Points:
    285
    Gender:
    Female
    I grew up with an overprotective mom (and dad) and I can say with all surety, it has left me emotionally dependent on them as an adult. I still look toward my parents for approval for any major decisions or purchases, though I'm "independent" in all other regard. It was with my parent's support and approval I started working in IT and married an Indian man through an arranged marriage. These two things are not particularly strange for a girl growing up in India, but I grew up in the US. There is a peculiar amount of closeness created by circumstance of being far away from any other family. I share a lot of my thoughts and beliefs with my mother and discuss philosophy and lifestyle thing. We're pretty close. But the problem now, is we have different beliefs about quality of life.

    Particularly, about depression. I think I have always had a penchant for clinical depression (though I have self-regulated mostly), but I was never diagnosed. Recently, I have noticed that it's really affecting my relationship with my son (since I'm afraid to cry uncontrollably or burst out, I suppress ALL my emotions). My depression is worsened by my husband, so I can hardly depend on him to help me out. Apparently, I'm too American, which is why I have American problems and make a big deal out of nothing.:neutral: Previously, my mother knows about my mood swings and encourages me to exercise or take ashwagandha and other natural treatments. I was able to manage and pull myself out of depression with music or talking out my feelings or crafts or writing and reading. Recently, my husband has prevented my normal modes to pull myself back (he thinks I'm slacking off or doing "American" things - whatever that means) and I was trying to tell my mom about this issue and trying to reach out for encouragement, or a lifeline. She told me to toughen up and that now that I have a family, I can't do the things I used to do. This took me aback because I only opened up because I was struggling and feeling isolated from everything (no friends locally, and I hate to be a downer on the phone).

    But it made me reevaluate my relationship with my mom. She is the one person who is at my back and understands my flaws, but I have started feeling like I can't put 100% of my trust in her words backed by her beliefs.

    Anyway, I started to rant, but I what I really wanted to do, is ask everyone about their relationships with their mother and how much their mother's play a part on their life decisions, etc. What is a healthy relationship between mother and daughter, and what is actually detrimental?
     
    sindmani and Umanga like this.
    Loading...

  2. blindpup10

    blindpup10 Platinum IL'ite

    Messages:
    1,245
    Likes Received:
    1,996
    Trophy Points:
    290
    Gender:
    Female
    I see 3 issues right away-
    1.You need to talk to your PCP and don't self-medicate. Even if it's over the counter ashwagandha. My husband and I take ashwagandha too on occasions. My husband ( has an anxiety disorder). Ashwagandha works beautifully only when taken at random times in a stressful situation. You should get diagnosed properly that what you are going through. I highly discourage self-medicating.
    2. Parent and children relationships keep evolving during our lifetime. You may not feel the same way about your mother a week or month from now. Saying that- I will share my experience- I was raised to be fiercely independent and real life starts to take form ( which is usually after 27) I realized emotionally I needed my mother. Even though I wasn't raised to seek her opinion or help. I wanted to ask her but my mother wasn't there for me.
    I figured out my path in whatever ways I chose and I realized there is no point in blaming her. By the end of the day- its my life and I do it or don't do it. The choice is mine.
    Maybe in your case, your mother may have been a bit frustrated to hear the same problems. Don't get too upset because of this. It's normal to feel the way you are feeling. Especially when you don't get the support you were seeking. However, this gives you an opportunity to venture out and find a support system for yourself.
    3. Don't put up with your Husband calling you "too American". A marriage is only successful if you are ready to meet your partner halfway. He married you willingly, right? He is supposed to meet you halfway, learn from you, be with you, understand you.
    Instead of doing any of it- I believe he has found a scapegoat "label you as too American", then the responsibility of upholding Indian culture, adjusting, taking responsibility falls on you. He is being an irresponsible husband by not realizing what is required in a happy marriage. I hope someone calls him out on this aspect.

    Goodluck
     
  3. BhumiBabe

    BhumiBabe Platinum IL'ite

    Messages:
    1,025
    Likes Received:
    2,215
    Trophy Points:
    285
    Gender:
    Female
    Thanks for the feedback. I'm going to get myself to my PCP asap. I haven't really seriously considered it, until very recently.
    I needed that reminder, that I need to make my decisions, not let others make it for me. It's really tough, because I want to please everyone, and in the end, I have to pay for my stupid decisions. I don't often blame my mom, I just feel very trapped, because I have to follow her advise.
    I can see where she would be really frustrated. She already knows about my troubled marriage, and tries to help me deal with spirituality and religion. Since it doesn't work for me and I just want someone to hear me, we end up not seeing eye to eye. After marriage, I lost my friends circle (my husband doesn't like that I am happy around them, so he makes it very difficult for me to see or talk to them) so it's been hard to rebuild that. I am trying to, but it's hard to create a support system when I'm not able to give them the attention to support them as well.
    My being "too American" is just another one of his insults. It's a rocky marriage that never seems to have much sunshine. I'm trying to tackle one problem at a time. If I can fix my depression, I'll have enough ammunition to figure out my marriage. As long as he can use my emotions against me, I'm pretty stuck.
     
    blindpup10 and Sunshine04 like this.
  4. blindpup10

    blindpup10 Platinum IL'ite

    Messages:
    1,245
    Likes Received:
    1,996
    Trophy Points:
    290
    Gender:
    Female
    @BhumiBabe- I have read your posts on/ off- If I got few things wrong, please correct me--
    I am gonna share my story-
    I got an arranged marriage at later age of 28, my husband and I are from the same caste and we both came to US to do MS. One would think, that we have so much similarities going for us. But NO-
    My husband and I are very much alike in certain aspects and very very different in many things.
    1. I was raised by super liberal parents, I was allowed to wear shorts in my city. My husband was raised super conservative and was dragged to every temple in town.
    2. Doing good in school didnt mean everything in my family, being street smart was highlighted. But he was raised to feel there is no option but first place.
    3.My husband is thoroughly bred momma's boy, he has the need to be understood of his every min situation by his mom ( sometimes me).On the other hand, I don't need approval or my mom's help in making a choice. Sometimes I feel lost, there is lot of second guessing.

    These are very evident differences that can happen to people in arrange marriage. My first year of marriage was hell. My husband also has a lifelong condition which can cause him mood swings, anxiety, depression. Although I dated my husband for 3-4 months before marriage and knew about this condition I didn't know what it would be like to live with him. Living under one roof adds to the pressure of arrange marriage and rediscovering your partner.

    In my 4 years of marriage, there are hair-tearing moments and some really good memories. One thing that works and I have stressed in my other threads is listening is an art & communication is gold in a marriage.

    Coming to your issue--Many of the issues that I remember from your previous posts like serving dinner/ coffee or tea, seems like typical adjusting problems. It not "too American" or "too Indian" thing. Neither you nor your husband should brush this aside and say " Oh she has to get her head down to be an Indian".

    1.Give him some responsibility at home- Both of you are living in the US. You or he shouldn't be living like people who live in India ( where wife does 100% of household/ work/ childcare). If he says " you are too American" Why are you not answering gback? and tell him you are American coz you were born here.
    2.Know how to tackle your husband- "all men needs to be tamed to your needs" told by my aunt. In a marriage both husband and wife change for their partners. Some men like my husband big time foodie- can be appealed through food, some through logic, some through insults, taunts, some through intimacy. Figure out what kind of a man you are with and you need to do this coz it seems like you both are not on the same page. To get him to your page ( because he doesn't seem to be trying to get you anywhere but hurling insults) You need to figure out what his likes/ dislikes are. As silly as it sounds use it to up your game. Do his likes when you are in a good zone, when he has behaved good otherwise don't do anything or if you want to go an extra mile do his dislikes.
    3. Pick a side- Be an American and fight for it with your husband. Or be an Indian. You are coming across as trying to be both and it's straining you as a person. It's giving him a chance to talk about you that you are "too American"
    If you are mocked repeatedly that you are "too American" Answer back-
    ask him- 1 didn't he know that you are an American before marriage?
    2. How will he feel if you keep calling him " too Indian"?
    3. Didn't he know you were born in the US?
    4. Ask him " why are you stating the obvious", nobody is that dumb to state things that are so obvious.
    5. Has he forgotten by any chance, if he is in America and not India?
    4.Dont go to mom for relationship advice- On whatever circumstance you got arranged marriage, going forward don't seek your mom's advice.
    1. Your mom has lived in the US with your dad ( both were immigrants) their struggles were shared, understood or valued. She is not able to relate to yours.
    2. Your mom has left the Indian culture 30-40 years ago. She is no longer the right person to go to for Indian relationship advice because she isnt in touch with the Indian culture. People in India have evolved too- her advice may seem a bit outdated.
    3. You are a catch among Indian men ( dont forget that). Every immigrant who comes here to do MS and gets H1 struggle through the immirgation process by being tied up to a company for nearly 12 years minimum. You are the golden goose. Up your cards with your husband who brands you as " too American".

    5. Couple counseling- it's a far-fetched idea now but you need to get your husband to participate in counseling. Start by going to a therapist by yourself.


    remember this always dont ask what everyone wants to eat- make a menu and prepare it. They are free to walk out if they don't like your menu. Be strong.
    Strong NO- you are in your late 20's or early 30's maybe. You don't need relationship advice in perspective of religion or spirituality. You need practical advice which work for first gen Indian American.
    - Wrong, very wrong. Please reconnect or make new friends. Look into "meetup" app where you and your husband can connect with real people in your place. You personally need friends and as a couple, you guys too need friends to hang out. Do your own things, your husband is not your life. You have your life,your husband is welcome to be a part of it. Dont make him the sun and revolve around him.
    Now now, don't go labeling yourself what you might think you have. You need to get diagnosed what you are going through.

    I am going to share this link- some of the best-suggested books are here- please pick any and make sure you and your husband read it. Wave a white flag and make him understand you, your child and him have to change something in your marriage to have a better tomorrow and maybe reading a relationship book may help you and your husband to self-evaluate.
    Books Helpful In Dealing With Life Situations

    goodluck
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2017
    coffeecups, SGBV and Chulbuli04 like this.
  5. livingitup

    livingitup Bronze IL'ite

    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    38
    First things first: please get a professional diagnosis.

    I hear you in some aspects, as I feel my relationship with my mom/parents changed post marriage.

    I didn't change from my side, but sure feel the change in her attitude. There were many such things, though small, bothered me very much.

    I was shocked to see this and felt very let down, the behavior was as if 'I am done with my responsibility, now its up to you.'
     
  6. BhumiBabe

    BhumiBabe Platinum IL'ite

    Messages:
    1,025
    Likes Received:
    2,215
    Trophy Points:
    285
    Gender:
    Female
    Isn't it the worst, when it seems like they are washing their hands of the problem, when in many ways, they are the reason its lead up to this situation. I take responsibility for nodding my head like an idiot, but my marriage happened under their watch. My parents should be somewhat accountable for giving me terrible advice, that things will get better after marriage. :BangHead:

    And to follow it up with 'God's plan' and 'you are only given challenges that you can face', makes me....grr, I don't have words.

    I should have included this in my post. I do go to a marriage counselor, and while she is NOT a psychiatrist, she has recommended that I get diagnosed since I exhibit many symptoms of depression (cyclically feeling disconnected and shut off from the world). I am planning to meet with a doctor to get diagnosed and figure out a way to manage these symptoms.
     
  7. Shreema86

    Shreema86 Platinum IL'ite

    Messages:
    497
    Likes Received:
    1,107
    Trophy Points:
    248
    Gender:
    Female
    I chAt once every two weeks with my mother , 5 minutes max. Just hi, how are you, is everything ok kinda conversation, we don't share much stuff. I would categorise us as being not so close . majority of women tend to be close to their mothers , level of sharing differs. If you have been close to your mother , her reaction must have been hurtful. My mother gets very unhappy and disturbed if I share any problem with my father or her . She told me not tell any problems to them as that disturbs their peace of mind, they already have gone through enough etc.. I stopped sharing problems and realised that it's my path, I have to walk this on my own . But this had made me very independent . I have become my own problem solver. When you have no one to catch your back, you learn to catch your own. I see women close to their mothers are emotionally dependant on them , when the mothers face any kind of problem in life it affects the daughters life equally. Being not so close has its advantages in the sense that moderate problems that arise in mothers life do not throw daughters life off course, you learn to be detached .

    Don't let anyone undermine your health needs. Take it into your own hands. I was in grade 12 when I suffered from a severe form of IBS. I don't want to go into details but it was a horrible horrible phase, I was in so much physical distress but since there was no outward manifestation of symptoms I was constantly told it was all in my head and was because of exam stress . I suffered for a long time before being correctly diagnosed and treated by homeopathy . No one could understand that I went through hell . This is a harsh world, Stop expecting empathy from anyone . You know that you are suffering mild depression , do what ever it takes to heal. Your mother and husband can't understand your problems because they are not living in your body and mind. Remember the airplane rule, put oxygen mask for yourself first .
     
    coffeecups, Giri12 and BhumiBabe like this.
  8. momsky

    momsky Gold IL'ite

    Messages:
    464
    Likes Received:
    751
    Trophy Points:
    180
    Gender:
    Female
    I don't think there's anything wrong with what your mom said @BhumiBabe . It is probably difficult for you to accept these kind of words from your mom esp. if you're not used to it, but I don't think her point was to pull you down further.

    I'm not close to my mother at all, I'm actually closer to my dad but I hardly ask for any of their advice. Even my husband was my choice so I couldn't blame them when the relationship collapsed.
     
    Amica and BhumiBabe like this.
  9. BhumiBabe

    BhumiBabe Platinum IL'ite

    Messages:
    1,025
    Likes Received:
    2,215
    Trophy Points:
    285
    Gender:
    Female
    To be honest, when I take myself out of the situation, I don't think it's entirely bad that she said that. It's understandable. She was married my father and ended up moving far away from her family or people who spoke the same language, and she had to survive - with a newborn, no less. Even if she wasn't susceptible to depression, I cannot imagine a more depressing circumstance.

    My idea of marriage was different than even what my parents had. I guess I had romanticized it, and though it would naturally be a partnership because Arranged marriages aren't all that backwards. There are so many people who made it work and did it well. The thing is, that's not what happened in my relationship, and even at engagement, I was unsure about marriage because we seemed like a misfit. We had disagreements/fights weekly (and all over the phone), every time we did speak. I took my concerns to my mom, and she advised me that it will get better after marriage and we can't do anything about postponing the wedding.

    I grew up thinking that my parents are pretty smart and I can trust them with my problems, but I ended up learning that it's not always the case. They may be sympathetic, but that's it. They aren't capable of giving unbiased advice. I just keep wanting to please them, and not be a further burden on them, by shaking the boat and following what I want.
     
    sindmani, Umanga and momsky like this.
  10. SGBV

    SGBV Finest Post Winner

    Messages:
    5,806
    Likes Received:
    11,213
    Trophy Points:
    438
    Gender:
    Female
    The relationship between a mom and DD evolves constantly and it is different in each stages.

    When I was small, my mom was my hero. I thought she was smart and a super hero; thus my savior.
    But as a teen, I had so much differences with her. She seemed controlling and her love was very much conditioned.
    Then we both met at a middle point where we became best friends.
    I thought my mom is the only person with whom I could share all my secrets, problems and negatives. I trusted her a lot.
    But very soon, she proved to be a human by backfiring me with my secrets and problems when she was challenged.
    Unfortunately that was the most weakest time for both. However, that's when I've learnt to accept and understand the truth behind all this.

    For me, a mother never stops mothering you.
    Motherhood is not limited to love. It is about guidance, protection, care and the list has no end.
    Sadly, we can't always be their daughters only. When we evolve as wives, mothers, DILs, friends, professionals etc... it becomes really difficult to place your mom on top of everything.

    A healthy boundary with solid understanding about this evolution from both mom and daughter is the key here.

    For ex: When I was young, my mom was my superhero. I trusted that she could protect me from any evil/harm; thus I had no problems when she controlled me. I though she was being overprotective of me.

    As an adult married woman, the same over protectiveness and controlling irritates me. I feel that I know something more than my mom and her conditioning are an extra burden.

    Similarly when I long for her consolation as a kid, she was all there for me. But as an adult, she is clueless and feels equally upset as me; hence unable to support.

    I think, after certain stages of life, it is better we respect and love each other as two adults by leaving this conditioned mom-DD relationship.
     

Share This Page