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How Can I Heal The Relationship With My Mother?

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Q. My mother hasn’t spoken to me in over 14 months. She won’t answer the phone, call, or answer her door, she won’t read the mail I send her. You see, we got in a huge fight, screaming match. I pushed her (not hard but still I know i shouldn’t have done it). Also when I saw her a few weeks later she was in her car, I leaned on the car to try to speak to her and she drove off. I had my arm in her car. Then I went to her house and there was more screaming. I have tried to apologize but she won’t accept it. How do I deal with this? I have two teen boys, this isn’t healthy for any of us especially the kids. please help.

How Can I Heal The Relationship With My Mother?

Answered by on -

A.

You might have to give your mother a “cooling off” period. You seem to understand that pushing her was wrong and you have tried, several times to apologize. She does not seem to be receptive to your apologies at this time. It may be best to stop trying to make contact with her, at least for a few weeks.

Time has a way of healing these situations, or at least making them less intense and emotionally charged. It’s possible that at a later date she may be more amenable to discussing this situation in a civilized manner.

It is also possible that she may hold a grudge and continue to refuse your attempts to solve this issue. At this point, only time will tell how this situation will play out.

With regard to your children, it is unhealthy for them to witness their mother and grandmother physically attacking one another. They may learn that this is the way to handle difficult situations. You don’t want them to mimic this type of behavior with others.

You can and should use this opportunity to show your children a more appropriate way to handle conflicts. Use this fight with your mother to model for your children how to properly react in these instances. Teach them that a physical confrontation is an inappropriate way to attempt to solve these sorts of problem. Use this as a “teachable moment.”

For instance, explain to your children, if they saw you push your mother that what you did was wrong. Admit your mistake. Make it clear to them that physical violence is not the correct way to have handled this situation and teach them the alternatives. Have them learn from your mistakes.

After your mother has had time to “cool off” you can approach her again to apologize. If she is still not willing to accept your apology, ask her to at least be civil with you for the sake of the children. I am assuming that your children still want to have contact with her. Maybe she would be willing to at least be civil with you in front of the children.

If this battle continues, you may want to seek the guidance of a therapist who can work with you, or the both of you if she is willing to teach you more effective and appropriate ways to communicate. I suspect this is not the first time the two of you have had disagreements. I hope that with time or a therapist, the two of you can repair or salvage your relationship.

How Can I Heal The Relationship With My Mother?

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). How Can I Heal The Relationship With My Mother?. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 23, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/05/19/how-can-i-heal-the-relationship-with-my-mother/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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