Mom Runs Hot and Cold

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

My mom is incredibly hot and cold. She will love me so much one day and then be incredibly verbally abusive the next day. I am in the process of planing my wedding and I am only a few weeks away and she called me saying she hated me and I had never been good enough for her or my father and that they wish they had never adopted me.

I am really at a loss for what to do now, its like my own mother hated me my whole life and is just now saying it because I am starting my own life without her and she is threatening to take away everything that I have, and kick me and my fiancĂ© out of our home, I just feel so unwanted and like i was a mistake. I haven’t felt like this since before I went into a mental health institution the 4th time.

A: How very sad for you both. Stress brings out the best and the worst in people. Instead of being able to enjoy your transition into this new and important stage in your life, your mother is separating herself from it. I’m concerned that your mother is so upset about letting you go that she is essentially telling you, “You can’t fire me, I quit!” She is pushing you away to blunt the pain she thinks she will feel when you leave home. That doesn’t excuse her behavior but maybe it helps to explain it.

Please don’t let her thoughtless comments now shadow your memories of your whole life. Those comments are not about you. They are about her own conflicts. Focus on the good times. Remind yourself that you couldn’t be the sensitive person you are if you hadn’t had some good stuff from your parents while growing up. If you can, talk to your dad about how to help your mother through this transition so you two can have a decent relationship as adults.

Enjoy your wedding. Let it be fun. Focus on the wonderful man you are marrying and all the family and friends who are there to celebrate with you. Your first loyalty now is to the man you marry. Reach to him for some emotional support. With him by your side, I hope you can handle your mother.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 2 Oct 2013

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2013). Mom Runs Hot and Cold. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 12, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/10/02/mom-runs-hot-and-cold/

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