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la tortuga
October 13th, 2009, 08:43 PM
Okay!

So, my boyfriend and I moved in together recently and I am in the process of moving out of my parents' house. I'm vey excited, and I'm honestly thinking that this is it. I see my relationship with his family as in-laws and his relationship with my family as in-laws and vice-a-versa. Just to point out that it's serious, not some "oh okay let's move in together!" scheme that's not well thought-out or planned.

Except my mother has been causing difficulties since the relationship began and I'm not quite sure how to deal with it. A bit of back story, my boyfriend is legally blind but has recently bought a house, has a career but no degree at the age of 23. My mother has a failing back and will have to go on full military disability benefits next year, and recently asked me if I would stay with her to take care of the family when this happens. Since it's something that will be decided in the future, I assumed it wasn't a decision I had to make right away. This came up after my boyfriend and I started dating.

Well, ever since this has proven, in my mother's eyes, that it's not some random fling, she's been doing and saying some nasty things all directed toward my boyfriend. She makes fun of him when he's not there due to his bad eyesight, and even last night we were playing Life and he had to bring one of the cards really close to his face to read it and she nearly started to laugh at him. Also last night while playing the board game, before my boyfriend had arrived, everyone decided to go the college route and my brother, who is six, proclaimed he was going to do so because he "wasn't going to be a bum". My parents, of course, encourage this type of behavior to encourage him to go to college. However, I decided to go the career route and told him that some people don't have to go to college to get really good jobs and do well, and used my boyfriend as an example. I just don't want him to grow up to be snooty and look down on others because they live their lives differently than he was taught, which I would hope my parents would embrace. Instead, my mother said something along the lines of "Well, I would assume he is going to school since he works for a University." and made a nasty face as if it's unacceptable for him to want to go home after a 9-5 workday instead of stay on campus and take however many more hours of class.

Other than last night, my mother asked me what causes his blindness and I told her it's some sort of congenital degenerative illness, we're not really sure, and she warned me not to "dive into the shallow end of the gene pool". The most humiliating thing, though, was when my godmother, who is best friends with my mother, called while I was taking my boyfriend his lunch in his office. My godmother speaks with incredible volume and the first thing out of her mouth was "So I hear you're dating a blind guy!" loud enough for him and his BOSS to hear in the next office. I had to swallow my pride and explain that, no, he's not blind but is legally blind, basically just cannot see well enough to drive. Her next comment, which I know for a FACT came directly from my mother's mouth, it sounds just like several comments she'd made in the past, was "Oh, so you cart him around all the time, then? That must suck!". My godmother is a funny woman and it doesn't hurt my feelings so much when she says things like this when I know it's because she was discussing it with my mother and that's what she told her. The worst part of this situation is that my mother didn't even bother to pass along his name. He's apparently just some nameless, blind, genetically impure, unsophisticated boy to my mother, and that's what hurts me the most.

So, on top of all of this she is sweet as honey to my boyfriend to his face. He knows everything, all of this, and he is nice in return. He offered to have my entire family (not a small number of people, by the way!) over for dinner at his house to have a nice "meet the parents" evening, which she called and cancelled. He has tried to make conversation with them and has been ignored. He took the job of fixing one of the impossibly broken computers for my sister to use, at my parents' insistance and even though he doesn't have the time. He has treated me better than anyone I've ever been with and I'm at my wit's end as to how to calmly deal with this situation. I avoid going to see my parents because I don't want to hear it anymore, last night's antics brought me to tears when I got home. I don't want to cry over this anymore and I don't know how to tell my mother that she's being inappropriate by making such callous jokes about his handicap and that the things she says hurt me.

Any advice?

Glowy
October 13th, 2009, 08:53 PM
Yes- move out if that will make you happy.

I know what your BF has, and it will lead to blindness. A frisbee player and close friend of mine back at uni had that.

Taking care of the family will be a full 100% thing for you, not that you should not help when u can, but u should have the chance to live as u want to

la tortuga
October 13th, 2009, 09:06 PM
Yes- move out if that will make you happy.

I know what your BF has, and it will lead to blindness. A frisbee player and close friend of mine back at uni had that.

Taking care of the family will be a full 100% thing for you, not that you should not help when u can, but u should have the chance to live as u want to

Thanks, Glowy. The decision to leave has been made. Honestly the fact that we're a 7-member household managing in a 5-bedroom house makes it kind of a no-brainer, for me.

Yes, he will be blind eventually. I don't know if it is the same thing, there are a few problems that lead to similar effects. I have a hunch it's a predominately male disorder, though, but I'd have to do more research to confirm.

The reason she wants me to stay is purely financial. She has my younger sister and 33-year-old cousin, neither of whom can work to make much money, to rely on for help around the house. I know a great part of me has decided to help wherever I can... but I can't be the hermit woman who never had a chance at a life of her own for the sake of supporting my family, especially when my father makes enough for them to live very comfortably, just not what they're used to, if that makes any sense...

Glowy
October 13th, 2009, 09:17 PM
You should never be the hermit woman- go be free and live your life to the fullest!!

Sakurako
October 13th, 2009, 09:31 PM
My husband and I had similar problems. My mother is really snooty/shallow when it comes to money and my boyfriend and his family at the time didn't have much (he's now my husband :smile:) She used to tell anyone who would listen how 'beneath" her families stature he was, made rude and innapropirate comments and was pretty much a bitch for the first 4yrs of our relationship.

Have you said anything to her about this? Have you told her that she is behaving inappropriately and you don't appreciate it? Unfortunatly sometimes just ignoring the behaviour gives people the false impression that they are justly able to behave that way. It looks like your mum has some concerns about your relationship but she should be sitting down like a responsible adult and talking them through with you not behaving in a less than tastefull way.

la tortuga
October 13th, 2009, 09:36 PM
My husband and I had similar problems. My mother is really snooty/shallow when it comes to money and my boyfriend and his family at the time didn't have much (he's now my husband :smile:) She used to tell anyone who would listen how 'beneath" her families stature he was, made rude and innapropirate comments and was pretty much a bitch for the first 4yrs of our relationship.

Have you said anything to her about this? Have you told her that she is behaving inappropriately and you don't appreciate it? Unfortunatly sometimes just ignoring the behaviour gives people the false impression that they are justly able to behave that way. It looks like your mum has some concerns about your relationship but she should be sitting down like a responsible adult and talking them through with you not behaving in a less than tastefull way.

I do recognize that this comes from a legitimate concern of hers for my happiness in the long run, and I understand where she's coming from with all of that.

Just the childish way of doing it is driving me mad, and I've just resorted to pointing things out about me that aren't perfect, either, to knock her off her podium. For example, I have several problems that are due to genetic disorders that come from my mother's side of the family. I was not afraid to tell her that, yeah, maybe due to his genetic problems our kids might be a bit messed up, but honestly it's nothing in comparison to the life-threatening illnesses that I've endured at the cruel genetic lot I was dealt, and he accepts me with that in mind, as well.

That shut her up for about an hour.

sarabethv
October 16th, 2009, 12:02 AM
Good luck dear.

You might also consider standing up to these people. What they are doing is just flat out rude and inconsiderate.

Kraheera
October 16th, 2009, 12:47 PM
Warning: I'm a cold hearted biotch sometimes.

I would sit your mother down, and calmly explain that if she has a problem with his eyesight, to shut up about it. I would then explain that love is what is important. Not genetics. Not status.

Then I would go into a lecture about manners and being an adult. I would speak about how it is truly rude to make such remarks, to get someone else to call and say rude things, how being such a child just drives you away and that if it continues, you WILL stop coming to visit.

And I would make this a blunt conversation by the way, so that there is no misunderstanding.

la tortuga
October 16th, 2009, 02:36 PM
Good luck dear.

You might also consider standing up to these people. What they are doing is just flat out rude and inconsiderate.


Warning: I'm a cold hearted biotch sometimes.

I would sit your mother down, and calmly explain that if she has a problem with his eyesight, to shut up about it. I would then explain that love is what is important. Not genetics. Not status.

Then I would go into a lecture about manners and being an adult. I would speak about how it is truly rude to make such remarks, to get someone else to call and say rude things, how being such a child just drives you away and that if it continues, you WILL stop coming to visit.

And I would make this a blunt conversation by the way, so that there is no misunderstanding.

Hmmm thank you both. Sadly I think before I even typed this whole deal out I knew that this was the answer, I just didn't want it to be true. The idea of confronting my mother is incredibly scary, I've never seen her intimidated by anything at all, ever. She's one of those women who can beat you into submission with one look and has no problems with letting her opinions flow freely, despite how illogical or stupid.

So, cross my fingers, and I'll have myself prepared to discuss it for next time I visit without Chris in the event that she makes any comment.

Kraheera
October 16th, 2009, 02:40 PM
Hmmm thank you both. Sadly I think before I even typed this whole deal out I knew that this was the answer, I just didn't want it to be true. The idea of confronting my mother is incredibly scary, I've never seen her intimidated by anything at all, ever. She's one of those women who can beat you into submission with one look and has no problems with letting her opinions flow freely, despite how illogical or stupid.

So, cross my fingers, and I'll have myself prepared to discuss it for next time I visit without Chris in the event that she makes any comment.


I'll send some "bad ass" vibes your way, hun. I've been in that situation with my own mother, and sadly, I eventually had to pick between her and me. I haven't spoken to her in years now, due to our problems.

Sometimes one is forced to choose between their own happiness and making their family happy. It's a sad fact of life.

la tortuga
October 16th, 2009, 02:53 PM
I'll send some "bad ass" vibes your way, hun. I've been in that situation with my own mother, and sadly, I eventually had to pick between her and me. I haven't spoken to her in years now, due to our problems.

Sometimes one is forced to choose between their own happiness and making their family happy. It's a sad fact of life.

I really hope it does not have to come to that, but the way another friend described it is that she is most definitely my past and, if I'm not horribly wrong, he is most definitely my future. It's up to her if she wants to be there, too.

And, honestly, all that I have sacrificed as far as my future goes to help her so far, I'm slowly realizing that I'm not as afraid of the whole having to break away from her thing as I thought I would be, I'm just worried about the actual confrontation, blech!

I'll let you know how it goes and thanks for the badassery, it helps. :)

faye_cat
October 16th, 2009, 02:54 PM
I agree with Kraheera. I would soften it a little (I'm a little more of a pushover than I think she is. :thumbsup: )but ultimately you have to say "Mom, look. If you can't accept him as he is, then you are forcing me to choose. And it won't be you."

Good luck hun, and pm if you need anything. I'm going through something similar (mom doesn't approve of hubby) but not to the same extent. What I tell myself is that if you really are in it for the long run, she can't be this nasty forever, right? (Kept me from crying all the time)

Kraheera
October 16th, 2009, 03:09 PM
I agree with Kraheera. I would soften it a little (I'm a little more of a pushover than I think she is. :thumbsup: )but ultimately you have to say "Mom, look. If you can't accept him as he is, then you are forcing me to choose. And it won't be you."

Good luck hun, and pm if you need anything. I'm going through something similar (mom doesn't approve of hubby) but not to the same extent. What I tell myself is that if you really are in it for the long run, she can't be this nasty forever, right? (Kept me from crying all the time)


Yeah, I'm more of a brick to the head. My friends said I have no subtlety... I do... I just don't see the point in using it for familial confrontations. I like my family to know just what my position is so that there are ZERO miscommunications later. LOL.

I learned that lesson the hard way. My mother was a manipulative bitch.

sarabethv
October 16th, 2009, 04:00 PM
I wouldn't soften it in this case, because it seems to me that if there is a chance to misunderstand she will. You also don't want to appear soft.

You know, I've had to stand up to people who I really didn't want to and it isn't as bad as you might think. She may actually respect you more for it. If not, well its her loss.

Sequoia
October 16th, 2009, 04:50 PM
It sounds like your mum is desperately trying to cling to you, because she knows that SHE is going to be pretty helpless in the future, and wants someone she trusts to take care of her.

The whole situation is kind of sad, actually. I think you are doing the right thing, standing up to her and making your own adult choices... but I can also see where she is coming from, and although I don't believe in the most minuscule amount that she's gone about it the right way, I can understand WHY she's trying to alienate him from you. She's clinging to you, and thinks that he's going to take you away from her permanently.

You might want to reassure your mother that if she's NICE, you'll stay in close contact, maybe bring her meals or visit with her, etc. Things you know she values and likes. Kindnesses that she appreciates.

Because in the end, she's being a scared old lady clinging desperately to her daughter, whom she apparently thinks is the only one left standing who will take care of her in her infirmity.

By all means, be firm with her. But let her know that if she DOES "come around", you will still "be there" for her just as you always have been, and that having a boyfriend doesn't mean you'll automatically abandon her.

Does that make any sense?

faye_cat
October 16th, 2009, 04:58 PM
It sounds like your mum is desperately trying to cling to you, because she knows that SHE is going to be pretty helpless in the future, and wants someone she trusts to take care of her.

The whole situation is kind of sad, actually. I think you are doing the right thing, standing up to her and making your own adult choices... but I can also see where she is coming from, and although I don't believe in the most minuscule amount that she's gone about it the right way, I can understand WHY she's trying to alienate him from you. She's clinging to you, and thinks that he's going to take you away from her permanently.

You might want to reassure your mother that if she's NICE, you'll stay in close contact, maybe bring her meals or visit with her, etc. Things you know she values and likes. Kindnesses that she appreciates.

Because in the end, she's being a scared old lady clinging desperately to her daughter, whom she apparently thinks is the only one left standing who will take care of her in her infirmity.

By all means, be firm with her. But let her know that if she DOES "come around", you will still "be there" for her just as you always have been, and that having a boyfriend doesn't mean you'll automatically abandon her.

Does that make any sense? That's what I meant by soften it. ^^ Sequoia just says things so much better lol.

Terra Mater
October 17th, 2009, 03:49 AM
Any advice?

Yeah the same advice I gave my oldest when he realized that I don't like his wife-to-be.

What you think about him is the only opinion that matters. Your parents opinion is only important while you live with them and some opinions aren't even important then.

Or you could just tell your mom that one more negative word from the family means that when they need help in the future you are gonna let him decide if he wants you two to help them. :hahugh: