I love you, mom, but shut it. For your sake, for my sake, for all of our sakes...
May 4, 2011 11:24 AM Subscribe
I want my mother to stop trying to discuss with me a specific relationship problem she's having. Is this unreasonable? How do I defend my request to her and not feel like a jerk?
posted by kitcat to Human Relations (18 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I've been trying to get my mother to stop talking to me about a complicated relationship she's in. In a nutshell, she was involved with a deadbeat guy for a while who was never very into her and who was and still is using her (for small amounts of money, emotion support, housework). She is still pursuing him, despite the fact that he is with another woman now. This has been going on for over a year now.
Throughout all this, I have ranged from being supportive to being completely frank about what I think of this guy and downright mean, telling her that I think she's being a fool and that she deserves the heartache that is coming out of all this. I don't want to talk about this situation with her anymore because:
- I've given her my advice repeatedly and have no more and no different advice to offer
- At this point, I can't talk to her about the situation without being mean. I don't want to be mean to my mother.
- The longer this goes on, the more respect I lose for her and this bothers me
- I simply have no more patience or sympathy for her
- I find the drama of it exhausting
- I'm angry that, at a time when my mother should be modeling for me how to be a good mother and and adult in general, I'm the one taking on the parent role
- Being my mother's confidante, especially regarding her sexual life, makes me feel icky
- Worrying about this and being angry about it is taking up too much mental space in my world
- The situation occasionally causes fights with my husband, because he takes my lead and makes fun of my mom and then I switch over to defending her, confusing both him and myself.
I've asked her to stop, but she keeps bringing it up. She'll do childish things like insert 'my friend' for his name, but continue to bring up her confusion over his 'mixed signals' and his problems, which I'm supposed to feel compassion for. She seems to think that because I'm an adult in a happy relationship, I owe her my attention to her crappy non-relationship. She's said outright that I should just get over my reluctance to talk to her about her sex life, as though it's prudish on my part. I can't avoid her; we're together a lot more often lately to spend time with and babysit my new daughter. And, although it can be tough to see them, there are things about my mom that I like. I appreciate her help and advice in talking care of my daughter. She's wonderful with young children, but just not so much with her adult children. My sister feels the same way about this as I do.
Please help. How do I talk to her about this - hopefully for the last time?