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My Mom and I Constantly Fight

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My mom and I are always fighting. She is constantly telling me how to live my life and that any choices I make are wrong. She always constantly puts down my husband and says the nastiest, most vile things about him and I. I try to talk to her about it but it always ends with her and I yelling at each other and her telling me that I am being disrespectful to her.

She has told me multiple times that she wishes she had a different daughter when all I ever try to do is compromise with her and try to find a solution so we can both be happy and stop fighting.

The most recent incident was the family reunion a couple of weeks ago and my husband had to run to his office really quick to check on something and he ended up being 30 minutes late. This resulted in my mother telling me that he was an awful person and that he was non-committal and that he was worthless. She also went on to say that I was too good for him and that I don’t respect or value myself because I’m with him.

I have tried multiple times to explain to her how much it hurts both him and I when she says things like that and she always responds with, “Well just forget about me then, you treat me horribly anyway”.

I want so badly to have a relationship with my mom. I have tried everything I know to try and nothing seems to help. We always ending up fighting because she says something nasty and vile to me.

Christmas is in two weeks and I would love to spend it with her but I cannot bring myself to go over there and pretend like everything is okay when she isn’t even willing to sit down and talk to me about it.

Please tell me what I can do to help. I’m out of options of what I can do and I am just tired of fighting with her all of the time. My husband is to the point where he never wants to go to her house again as he feels disrespected and unwelcome in her home.

I just want things to be like they used to.

My Mom and I Constantly Fight

Answered by on -

A.

A: From the USA. It take two to have a relationship and your mother’s unforgiving, critical, and aggressive nature seems to prevent you from having a decent relationship. I’m not sure there is much value in pursuing someone who belittles your husband, disrespects you, and invites you to forget about her since she sees your efforts as horrible treatment.
I think it is time to severely limit the time you connect with her. I wouldn’t announce it, explain it, or ask permission to do it. I would unhook from her without a lot of fanfare. If you do see her for the holidays stay a very short time. I’d start making other plans rather than be insulted and disrespected.

In twelve-step programs there is a saying “detaching with love.” It means not to use anger to make a separation, but to detach with compassion from your mother’s limitations in her relationship with you. If you are the only one wanting a good relationship it can’t work.

Finally, stop trying to make your mother happy. Take care of your emotional needs first. If she genuinely becomes interested in why you are no longer coming around you can let her know it is too difficult to be around her. Not as a way of blaming her, but rather as a way of informing her of your need.

If, on the off chance she is ready to try and have a relationship. The find help tab at the top of the page can help you find a family therapist close to you.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

My Mom and I Constantly Fight

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). My Mom and I Constantly Fight. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 22, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2018/12/28/my-mom-and-i-constantly-fight/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 26 Dec 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 26 Dec 2018
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