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Mother Daughter relationships...are they all so complicated?

how is your mother daughter relationship?

  • 1. Perfect. We both give each other exactly what we need. Love and support without negative criticis

    Votes: 12 21.1%
  • 2. Good. We love each other but don't cause much agita and we are always happy to be in each other's

    Votes: 17 29.8%
  • 3. Average. We have good days and bad days but do the best we can.

    Votes: 14 24.6%
  • 4. Below Average. We still see each other but not too often as we cannot get along very well sadly.

    Votes: 7 12.3%
  • 5. No relationship unfortunately. Not worth salvaging it was that bad.

    Votes: 7 12.3%

  • Total voters
    57

missy

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Not sure many of you will have anything to share but let's just say I don't get why they are often so fraught with emotional difficulty, challenges and stress.

Why does it seem that mother daughter relationships are so much more complicated than mother son or father daughter relationships?

If anyone has insight or is willing to share experiences I would greatly appreciate it.

Once again my mother has upset me greatly and I have upset her (for no real reason IMO) and this is a lose lose situation. No matter how often I say to her can't we just behave like 2 loving people who are not only mother daughter but friends too she just lapses back to criticizing me all the time or at least that is how it feels.

I know she loves me and I love her but I cannot take the stress of our volatile relationship anymore. It has gotten worse as she gets older but she has never been a super easy person anyway. I will say both my parents gave us the best childhood and unconditional love and acceptance and support and encouragement and I am forever grateful. But does that wipe away her behavior now? And does that mean I have to tolerate her behavior when she becomes so unreasonable and upsetting to me? And to be fair I know she is crazy upset right now too but I didn't do anything to merit that. That is all in her head. And that is what makes this such a challenging situation. I didn't do anything worthy of this reaction. Honestly.

I don't know how much this kind of stress contributes to physical health but I know it is not inconsequential. The question however is really is there anything I can do about it and sadly no. I cannot control her behavior obviously only my reaction to it but it is easier said than done and ending our relationship is not an option.

:cry:
 

Tanzigrrl

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Re: Mother Daughter relationships...are they all so complica

Missy, I could have written your post. For privacy reasons, I don't want to share too much, but let's just say, I have struggled my entire life with this particular issue and I still have no resolution despite the many different attempts I have made. Big Hugs!
 

missy

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Re: Mother Daughter relationships...are they all so complica

And just like that we're good again. OMG it's the nuttiest relationship ever. I called her to say I cannot continue our relationship being like this with her criticizing me all the time and making me feel so badly. And while she tried interrupting (a few times) before I was finished with what I had to say I made her listen and then she was totally calm and back to our good relationship. Ridiculous how aggravated I had to get before we got back to "normal". :knockout: Sigh. OK so going tonight and probably (hopefully) we will all enjoy ourselves. Family and Mother and Daughter relationships specifically. :roll: ::)

I am still interested if you are willing to share how your Mother/Daughter relationships are and what are your tools for survival LOL.
 

missy

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Re: Mother Daughter relationships...are they all so complica

Tanzigrrl|1461418250|4022739 said:
Missy, I could have written your post. For privacy reasons, I don't want to share too much, but let's just say, I have struggled my entire life with this particular issue and I still have no resolution despite the many different attempts I have made. Big Hugs!
Aww thank you Tanzigrrl. I am so sorry you are dealing with similar issues and big (((hugs))) to you too. Maybe it is just the way these things go. There is so much history and so many ways to push our buttons and potential for hurt. You know that saying. You only hurt the ones you love. Wish we could all have different healthier and better relationships with those who gave birth to us and to those we gave birth to. Thank you for chiming in and letting me see I am not alone in this. (((Hugs))).
 

missy

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Re: Mother Daughter relationships...are they all so complica

Adding Calvin and Hobbes and Bill Watterson's take on things. Always lots of good insight IMO. ;))

_3273.jpeg
 

PintoBean

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Re: Mother Daughter relationships...are they all so complica

When I was living in my parents' home and it was really bad, a coworker summed it up best when she said you can't have two grown women under the same roof because they each have their own way of doing things and will always butt heads :lol: so I try to find comfort in those words and rationalize the, ahem, differences of opinion as a compliment to myself for finally being an independent grown ass woman.
 

liaerfbv

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Re: Mother Daughter relationships...are they all so complica

My mother passed away when I was 25 and it was a relief. We fought my entire life and stopped speaking for a number of years before her death. I could never find a way to have a positive relationship with her and my life was immeasurably better when I stopped trying.
 

Lady_Disdain

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Re: Mother Daughter relationships...are they all so complica

My situation is the opposite. I have a very good relationship with my mother but my father can be quite complicated.

My husband has cut relations with his mother, though.
 

tyty333

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Re: Mother Daughter relationships...are they all so complica

I would rate my relationship with my mother good to perfect. She is very supportive, gives her opinions when asked, doesnt criticize
and is very helpful. The things that bug me about her are pretty small (she goes into a lot of detail about things I could care less
about). She can be negative at times for reasons I dont understand and that annoys me but it's usually not very often. I dont like
the way she talks to my dad but I stay out of that except for times when she brings it up.

Seems like over the years my parents have mellowed and our relationship has become easier and easier.

However, I have a 12 year old daughter and WOW can that relationship be annoying. I mentioned to her the other day that she should
wear her Roxy flip flops (we were going somewhere and they matched better) and she said that she was going to until I mentioned it!
So...I have to find a way to make it her idea or just not say anything at all...so annoying!

Edit ...my MIL is another story. Not bad but she does try to "mother" me at times and does criticize but I dont think she would call
it that. She grew up in a place that stating your opinion without being asked was the norm. We pretty much go with the dont
state your opinion unless it's asked or if need be put it out there gently and see if it's going to push any buttons.
 

Alex T

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Re: Mother Daughter relationships...are they all so complica

I am so sorry to hear about your difficult relationships with your mothers. :((

Thankfully I have always had a fantastic relationship with my own mother, as do my 3 siblings. She is very easy going & of the "live & let live" school of thought. She has very strong morals, but that was something we grew up with & so have never pressed those buttons, such as having children outside of marriage, etc. In fact, that was the only reason why my brother married: They wanted children & his girlfriend was very against marriage having grown up in a very messy divorcee home, but there was no compromise from him. They married & came home from honeymoon pregnant.

I have a lot to thank my mother for. A lot. And not just day to day, but with everything. She has gone above & beyond over the last 15 years since we lost dad. She was at my door in a flash last Saturday whilst my husband was in the US & I had a post-op bleed & ended up back at hospital. She is just an amazing constant, full of love & support & hugs & kisses. I wish there were many more out there like her.

Missy, I am glad you have resolved your issues today & here's wishing you both peace moving forward. Sometimes I think mothers & daughters can be so incredibly similar & cut from the same cloth, that they lock horns. My eldest & I are VERY similar & I think we may be headed that way at times. But I try to diffuse with a hug. It's what my own mum has always done, so fingers crossed it works for me too.
 

moneymeister

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Re: Mother Daughter relationships...are they all so complica

PintoBean|1461421229|4022752 said:
When I was living in my parents' home and it was really bad, a coworker summed it up best when she said you can't have two grown women under the same roof because they each have their own way of doing things and will always butt heads :lol: so I try to find comfort in those words and rationalize the, ahem, differences of opinion as a compliment to myself for finally being an independent grown a$$ woman.
This, I second the struggle of two grown women under one roof.
 

VRBeauty

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Re: Mother Daughter relationships...are they all so complica

Yup, ours was that complicated - and then some - even after we reached some sort of detente. There were times when we got into arguments that my mother would wail "why do you hate me?" Well I didn't hate her, of course, I just found it hard to say, without qualification, that I loved her. My maternal grandmother died when my mother was still in her teens, and she had been bed ridden, and hardly a mother figure since my mother was about ten. I remember replying to my mother once that she didn't know how difficult it was to separate from her mother and establish her independence (or words to that effect) because she never had to go through that. In retrospect I realize how cruel those words must have seemed to my mother, but I do think a lot of that need to establish an independent life was part of it. And what my mother saw as "guidance" or "correction," but I internalized as criticism... that's a part of it too. As were the walls I built to protect myself from what I saw as criticism and control. I suspect my mother suffered as much over the relationship as I did. And I wish our relationship had been different.

Huggz to you, Missy. And no, you don't have to accept unreasonable behavior and yes, you can set some boundaries.

BTW things did ease up in the last 5-10 years or so of her life, for which I'm very grateful, but we never really had an easy-going "friendship" type relationship.
 

moneymeister

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Re: Mother Daughter relationships...are they all so complica

This topic is tender for me as well. My mom has issues. Never diagnosed, except for anger issues, but all three of us kids know something is terribly wrong. I could fill this page with stories I would rather forget. We are sure there is something in a manual that could give it a name, but we grew up hurt from her theatrics and volatile behavior. She loves God. She doesnt think much of anyone who falls short of perfection and especially Christian morals. She burns bridges at churches she attends and attends about a year at each church until she decides they are not where God wants her and moves on.

She has mellowed in the years, but is still capable of a strike without warning. I am the child closest to her geographically and see her occasionally. The relationship is awkward. She does not approve of me. Years ago she had a friend call me to warn me about the way she talked about me when I am not around. I remember my daughter coming home from church with her with a Mother's Day card that read; "Happy Mother's Day. I wish you were a Christian." It's funny, but horrible too. if you laughed, it's okay, so did I. :read:

I could not find peace or the patience to be around her until I realized she wouldn't change and I would have to accept her in her broken state and love the good times. Also, I thank a very good and patient therapist who helped me sort out closets full of hard feelings.

Wish I had a different type of Mom, but I have what and who I have. Saying that, after therapy I learned if I gave up my dreams and accepted her as she was, I could find peace. After a few years of being able to love her she was/is, we have been able to get closer. She is a woman who did the best she could and had mental illness. I think as she gets older she also is cognizant she should be on better behavior, as the kids are all she has to take care of her someday.

Hugs to you Missy. I hope this smoothes out for you. Mother and daughter relationships do seem like they are prone to tension, even with good ones.
 

liaerfbv

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Re: Mother Daughter relationships...are they all so complica

moneymeister|1461424236|4022765 said:
PintoBean|1461421229|4022752 said:
When I was living in my parents' home and it was really bad, a coworker summed it up best when she said you can't have two grown women under the same roof because they each have their own way of doing things and will always butt heads :lol: so I try to find comfort in those words and rationalize the, ahem, differences of opinion as a compliment to myself for finally being an independent grown a$$ woman.
This, I second the struggle of two grown women under one roof.
It's funny, my in laws lived with DH and I for a few years and I had NO issues with my MIL. Granted, she is VERY wasp-y and almost overly polite, but everyone in my life thought it would be a disaster and it actually strengthened our relationship.
 

Queenie60

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Re: Mother Daughter relationships...are they all so complica

I have an 18 year old daughter and we have a good relationship. She is finishing up her first year of college and our relationship has become better this past year as she has grown. The last year of high school was hell. She was angry at me all of the time and I couldn't wait for her to go away to school. I now feel that this was god's way of allowing me to let her go. Had she continued to be the sweet, loving girl I raised, allowing her to go away to school would have been awful. She calls me 2 or more times per day just to talk about what's going on in her life. I have been so happy that our relationship has bloomed and I am positive that it will become stronger and better as she matures. I will do everything in my power to be sure that we have a good mother/daughter relationship even if it means keeping my ideas and opinions to myself. I want my daughter to love and cherish the time we spend together in the years to come. Mother/daughter relationships can be very complicated, this is going to take a lot of work!
 

Jambalaya

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Re: Mother Daughter relationships...are they all so complica

Awww, Missy, I'm sorry. That sounds very difficult. I had a sister who was difficult like you describe, and she was always the same from the beginning to end of her life. I realized that she actually couldn't help it - there was something inside her which just compelled her to be difficult. It was almost like a curse. I think some people are just difficult, and it's very hard for those of us who mostly just want to get along with others to understand. Perhaps you are more like your dad?

I wonder if it's also possible that your mother has always suffered from depression, or another disorder like some kind of mild personality disorder? I'm sorry if that sounds offensive in any way - I only say this because it sounds very up-and-down, as if your mother has her episodes (you said it was a nutty relationship and suddenly you're all good again, but only after you've been terribly upset). That pattern sounds like the kind of pattern you often find when relating to someone who has some mental-illness issues. Even issues on the milder end of the spectrum can cause periodic bad stress for their relatives.

I also note what you say about your childhood relationship being better than your adult one. I have observed that same thing sometimes with mothers and daughters. It's as if the mothers are hardly bad enough people to be mean to a child, but once you're grown-up, the gloves are off. I don't have children so I don't know, but I wonder if some mothers feel a real sense of ownership over the grown-up child? And they never come to terms with the concept of letting your adult children go, emotionally speaking? (Or, they're not interested in that concept!) I have one friend who has two young children and she has basically said that she feels entitled to cause them grief when they're older if she feels like it, "since I'm the one who made them."

I have one friend who simply will not stop criticizing her adult daughter's hair. She seems to take perverse pleasure in saying how messy it looks when she knows full well the daughter has just brushed it.

My own opinion is that some mothers just cannot bear to lose control over their "baby."

Regardless, I'm really sorry that you're dealing with this, Missy. When it's an immediate relative, that is a very difficult situation. I've been there, and for my own sanity I had to just expect nothing from the person, otherwise I got very hurt and disappointed. It's such a pity because if you have to be on your guard to expect nothing, you can never really relax in their company. But that's what it's like dealing with the textbook Difficult Person.

I think all you can do is limit contact with her to the extent you feel comfortable, and try to take the good while trying not to let the bad upset you. It's a delicate balancing act and life skill, which I'm still working on myself. J xxx
 

Jambalaya

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Re: Mother Daughter relationships...are they all so complica

liaerfbv|1461426286|4022777 said:
moneymeister|1461424236|4022765 said:
PintoBean|1461421229|4022752 said:
When I was living in my parents' home and it was really bad, a coworker summed it up best when she said you can't have two grown women under the same roof because they each have their own way of doing things and will always butt heads :lol: so I try to find comfort in those words and rationalize the, ahem, differences of opinion as a compliment to myself for finally being an independent grown a$$ woman.
This, I second the struggle of two grown women under one roof.
It's funny, my in laws lived with DH and I for a few years and I had NO issues with my MIL. Granted, she is VERY wasp-y and almost overly polite, but everyone in my life thought it would be a disaster and it actually strengthened our relationship.
I had a family member who always said that different generations can't live together (when they are adults). But I guess it depends on the person. Perhaps your MIL's politeness saved the day in many ways!
 

swingirl

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Re: Mother Daughter relationships...are they all so complica

I have a good relationship with my daughter. I have learned, though, that I have to be very aware of what I say. My rules are--

1. Don't offer an opinion unless asked. I listen for the, "mom, what do you think" or "what would you do if..."
2. Don't criticize, period. Either compliment or stay quiet.
3. Ask what she wants/needs. Don't assume you know. "Let me know if I can help".
4. Offer praise, encouragement, confidence and positivity. My favorite thing to tell her is that I trust she will figure it out, whatever the issue may be. I realize her decision for herself is far better than anything I could come up with---unless she asks for my opinion or feedback.

In the past I may have been too negative and too opinionated about her life, but that never works. So I learned.
 

kenny

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Re: Mother Daughter relationships...are they all so complica

Why are mother daughter relationships so complicated? ... because (from mom's perspective) their daughters are not the way they 'should' be.

(IMO 'should' is the most problematic word in language.)

But what mom doesn't get is her right to train and control ends when the daughter reaches 18.
Actually, it should begin to taper off when the girl reaches adolescence.

Part of becoming an adult is separating from the parents ... this is painful for the mother so they hang on to the dynamic of control that was appropriate for a child.

And why is it more complicated for mom/daughter?
Perhaps because babies are literally made in the mom's body, not the dad's.
When a mom has a son that child will never make a baby.
IMO being a woman is magical in this way.
The mom/daughter bond has to be the among the strongest bonds that humans know, hence difficult for the mom to let go as her daughter grows up.
 

Jambalaya

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Re: Mother Daughter relationships...are they all so complica

swingirl|1461433193|4022817 said:
I have a good relationship with my daughter. I have learned, though, that I have to be very aware of what I say. My rules are--

1. Don't offer an opinion unless asked. I listen for the, "mom, what do you think" or "what would you do if..."
2. Don't criticize, period. Either compliment or stay quiet.
3. Ask what she wants/needs. Don't assume you know. "Let me know if I can help".
4. Offer praise, encouragement, confidence and positivity. My favorite thing to tell her is that I trust she will figure it out, whatever the issue may be. I realize her decision for herself is far better than anything I could come up with---unless she asks for my opinion or feedback.

In the past I may have been too negative and too opinionated about her life, but that never works. So I learned.
Man, that's unusual and you should celebrate yourself with a bottle of champagne for being so enlightened!

In my experience, close family members who are negative and opinionated about another member's life tend to stay that way. It seems very rare for someone to see the error of their ways when it comes to this. You're absolutely right to behave the way you do, because I've been on the receiving end of what you describe and all it does it make you seethe with resentment against the criticizer, make you vow you'll never share the good times with the criticizer, and you go your own merry way, anyway. All it achieves it to make the recipient of your criticism loathe you at times - not good. Years ago I had a friend who was under so much baby pressure from her parents after she got married that when she did get pregnant, she didn't tell them for six months. Hardly an ideal outcome!
 

Alex T

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Re: Mother Daughter relationships...are they all so complica

swingirl|1461433193|4022817 said:
I have a good relationship with my daughter. I have learned, though, that I have to be very aware of what I say. My rules are--

1. Don't offer an opinion unless asked. I listen for the, "mom, what do you think" or "what would you do if..."
2. Don't criticize, period. Either compliment or stay quiet.
3. Ask what she wants/needs. Don't assume you know. "Let me know if I can help".
4. Offer praise, encouragement, confidence and positivity. My favorite thing to tell her is that I trust she will figure it out, whatever the issue may be. I realize her decision for herself is far better than anything I could come up with---unless she asks for my opinion or feedback.

In the past I may have been too negative and too opinionated about her life, but that never works. So I learned.
Wow :appl: I am going to mark this page & refer to it as my daughters grow. Very wise words - thank you :wavey:
 

Calliecake

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Re: Mother Daughter relationships...are they all so complica

Missy, I am so sorry you are going thru this honey. If it makes you feel any better I think many of us find this relationship to be the most frustrating. My mom and I were extremely close until I was reached my forties. We had a couple fall outs that made me realize I valued the relationship much more than she did. From that point on I distanced myself to some degree. The constant criticism also got to me.
You are not alone Missy.

Swingirl, I do not have children but if I did I would hang your post somewhere where I would see it Every Single Day. On second thought I am going to print your post and use your advice when dealing with my nieces. Very, very helpful advice. I bet you are a wonderful mom.
 

NOYFB

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Re: Mother Daughter relationships...are they all so complica

Neither my sister nor I have have spoken to our mother in over 8 years. She is a horrible person who calls herself a Christian and acts like the Devil. When my sister decided she no longer wanted to be married to the father of her 2 children (then ages 7 and 13), our mother tried to first convince my ex-BIL to fight for custody of the kids and then give them to her. Seriously. Then when ex-BIL decided not to do that (he was living with his parents and knew he couldn't keep the kids full time), she tried to get custody of them herself. When THAT didn't work, she fought for grandparent visitation rights. My sister was in court for years. I was even subpoenaed and had to appear in court at one point. Our mother lost every battle, because she had no case, but my sister and her kids were the ones who really paid. My sister drained her 401K to pay for all the court costs. For years, I had to get the kids Christmas gifts because my sister couldn't afford to because of the court costs. The kids were tortured by this woman for years. My nephew had to see a psychiatrist because he would get physically ill every time he came back from visiting grandma (before all the court cases were done she still saw the kids every other weekend because my ex-BIL allowed it). It was all psychological because he was being traumatized by this woman badgering him about his mother, showing up to every sporting event, etc. She did the same thing to my niece, who is younger. My niece actually walked up to her at a soccer game once and told her "I don't want you here. You're making me uncomfortable". Yet, she continued to do so and torment these kids. Since she lost the last case (the next step would have been the Supreme Court, that's how far she tried to take it but she ran out of money), my ex-BIL has written her off as well, and everyone has been much happier.

We don't have a relationship with our biological father either (although we tried 6 years ago). It's sad, in a way, but we've both thrived and survived as a result of not having these toxic relationships. And I honestly don't miss either one of them.

**of course there are LOTS of details that I did not disclose, nor do I wish to, but just know that this was definitely the right thing for us to do.
 

AprilBaby

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Re: Mother Daughter relationships...are they all so complica

swingirl|1461433193|4022817 said:
I have a good relationship with my daughter. I have learned, though, that I have to be very aware of what I say. My rules are--

1. Don't offer an opinion unless asked. I listen for the, "mom, what do you think" or "what would you do if..."
2. Don't criticize, period. Either compliment or stay quiet.
3. Ask what she wants/needs. Don't assume you know. "Let me know if I can help".
4. Offer praise, encouragement, confidence and positivity. My favorite thing to tell her is that I trust she will figure it out, whatever the issue may be. I realize her decision for herself is far better than anything I could come up with---unless she asks for my opinion or feedback.

In the past I may have been too negative and too opinionated about her life, but that never works. So I learned.
Excellent advice that I follow too! My mother died when I was 5 so I had no mother. I was determined to have that relationship with my daughter. She is 28 and we live by these rules. We have an excellent relationship! She confides often in me ( except what I don't need to know) and I always tell her how proud I am of her. She always figures it out!
 

rainwood

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Re: Mother Daughter relationships...are they all so complica

I was lucky enough to be able to vote for Perfect. My mom and I had a really good relationship. She's gone now, but I don't regret anything about the time I had with her. I was going to give her all of the credit, but I think it was partly to my credit too. I was problematic on some of the smaller things as a kid (picky eater, didn't clean my room), but was a good kid on all the stuff that mattered. She was very go with the flow most of the time, and some of the things that she and my older sister tangled over paved the way for her being different when I got to that same point, plus I wasn't as interested in pushing boundaries as my sister had been. I even lived at home for college because I had no reason not to. She trusted me to make my own decisions and it saved me a ton of money as financially I needed to pay my own way. My mother had a challenging life, but she was a great mother to both her daughters and she was much loved when she died at 92. My sister and I know we were lucky, having won a wonderful person in the mom lottery.
 

luv2sparkle

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Re: Mother Daughter relationships...are they all so complica

Missy, my daughter made me absolutely crazy from 16 till about 24. The only reason she lived through it was because she was the oldest and I couldn't go to jail when I have others left at home to raise. Talk about pushing all your buttons. She was incredibly rebellious and got into trouble for various reasons more times that I can count. Not only that, she was an instigator, and taught her brothers to do all the messed up things she was doing. I remember telling one of my friends that I didn't think I would ever even like her. One time, she had a bunch of girlfriends over to the house and I had fixed them burritos. She smarted off to me and it escalated and I shoved the burrito in her face! Not proud of that moment, but we laugh about it now. She really did deserve it.

Now, she is 33, married (as of last august) and having a baby next week!!!! We are so very close. We think and speak so much alike it is scary. I can't even begin to believe this turn of events, but I am really grateful. We still can push each others buttons but it doesn't happen very often.

I guess all relationships are complicated and take a bit of work and understanding. I hope yours and your moms will improve as time goes on!
 

ckrickett

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5,348
Re: Mother Daughter relationships...are they all so complica

I am really very blessed to have an amazing Mom. Sometimes we can find each other obnoxious, but thats because our personalities can vary slightly. Ever since I was little she had always been very supportive of my dreams and goals. The only bad things I can say was she was to strict, and at times would get in her head things had to be a certain way, or done a certain way, and it made no sense and we would butt heads. I had a very bad rough patch in High school, a practical breakdown if you will and my family didn't quite know how to handle me. They made a lot of mistakes, but the mistakes they made were out of love, compassion, fear, and trying to get me the help I needed.

Now we are very much closer, and I don't hold back my opinions on things I know she needs to do and change, and neither does she. But I love her for that and I am very glad to have her in my life.
 

momhappy

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Messages
4,660
Re: Mother Daughter relationships...are they all so complica

I don't think all mother/daughter relationships are complicated - any more than mother/son, father/daughter, or father/son relationships can be. In other words, personality conflicts can happen with any parent/child relationship.
I am sorry that you are having a difficult time with your mom, missy :((
 

sonnyjane

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 13, 2008
Messages
2,471
Re: Mother Daughter relationships...are they all so complica

From a biological/evolutionary/anthropological standpoint, same-sex cohorts are rivals, and can lead to tension, even if it's mother/daughter.

My mom and I have the best relationship ever now that we are 2,000 miles apart...
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Re: Mother Daughter relationships...are they all so complica

This subject is a draining one for me. But maybe it will help you for me to post.

My relationship with my mother has spanned the whole spectrum. We've been closer than close. I've been ready to cut her out permanently.

Ultimately, I couldn't cut her out. Not wouldn't. Actually couldn't. I tried, for over half a year. I really did. But realized it was like amputating part of me. Despite the fact that she is a narcissist and despite our past, I realized I would regret it forever if I didn't give it one last shot. And that's what it was. A LAST shot.

So I resolved to see what I could do to make it so I didn't bleed each time I saw her. And so I wrote her a letter. A very BLUNT letter that just laid it all out on the line, including the fact that this was a last ditch effort and that she would lose me if there was no solution to the issue. And sent it to her. She replied, defensively, but there was progress there, and that was enough. So then we met for lunch somewhere that gave us the privacy to talk, but was still out in public so we couldn't raise our voices. And we came to some compromises. And yes, rules for our relationship.

I suspect that if someone asked my mother her list it of the rules that I laid out would read like swingirl's list of rules.

Boundaries are good things. It took until my mother really FELT that she would permanently lose me for her to agree to the ones I set. But she DID agree. Because ultimately she loves me enough to do that for me. Which is something that I recognize and give her credit for. That doesn't mean she doesn't slip. She does. But I'm kinder about it, and she apologizes and then really DOES correct the behavior. As long as that effort is there and that love is there, and she really keeps TRYING to keep to the rules, I am okay.
 
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