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How Do I Change My Relationship with My Mom?

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From a young woman in the U.S. : I know what it may seem like, but I promise that I understand what being married at 19 might look like. Last school year, I had a falling out with my mother because of her push to make me choose a major that I had no real interest in, all while telling me constantly that I was going to do nothing but fail college, work at Whataburger forever, and end up pregnant with a child in a year because I started to date a Hispanic man. She also made many claims that I was faking my mental health issues, and even had a conversation with my (then boyfriend) about how I was “unstable and had daddy issues”.

To name a few more instances, she constantly stalked me through my phone, called me horrendous names to my face and on social media, purposely exposed an event that was completely personal to my extended family¬† with the full intention of embarassing me, mocked my boyfriend, and made outrageous claims and convinced my siblings that I was “going down a dark path”.

I finally went to my school and tried to file for independency considering the above situations, and we started the process only eventually be denied since I had never talked to a professional about what was going on previous to that moment- but they all recommended that I avoid her.

My problem, however, is that she is still my mother and all I have ever wanted from her was emotional support and respect- things she has no comprehension of. Recently I had fallen on tough times and I really wanted the comfort of my siblings and step-father, so I started to return home. My mother then took this as an opportunity to talk trash about me while I was in the same room, yell at me for driving my (now husband’s) car, and to make more disrespectful claims to both me, and him.

I have tried giving up so much but I wont give up my husband or my fight for my own direction in life- the exact things she demands. To make matters worse, my husband I are always upset with each other lately, mostly due to stress from school and how tight our money is. People always react negatively when they see my ring, and I suppose I don’t blame them. What do I do?

How Do I Change My Relationship with My Mom?

Answered by on -

A.

Thank you for writing. I’m sure this is very painful. It’s natural to want comfort and love from one’s mother. But sadly, not everyone gets a mother who knows how to mother. It’s likely your mother has some issues of her own that she is taking out on you.

If you used a well to get water and it dried up, how many times do you think you would lower the bucket before you admitted that the well was dry? It doesn’t help to keep going back to lower the bucket yet another time. You have to go find your “water” — in this case love — somewhere else.

In your case, you have married to fill your bucket with the love and support you don’t get from your mom. Although 19 is young to be married, it isn’t necessarily a poor choice. People find love and partnership at any age. But if you focus on your relationship with your mother, instead of your relationship with your husband, your marriage won’t deepen as it could.

The early years of any marriage are a time when the couple learns how to be a team. You and your husband need to learn how to be a team in supporting you in your schooling and in solving your money problems. Fighting with your mother is a great distraction but it won’t change your mom and it doesn’t solve the problems you and your husband need to work on.

You and your husband have some challenging problems including money, the relationship with your family, and how to help you continue your education. You also have the problem of not knowing how to solve problems without fighting.¬† If you and your husband can’t figure that out, I do suggest that you consider seeing a couples therapist for a few sessions to get some practical advice.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

How Do I Change My Relationship with My Mom?

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2019). How Do I Change My Relationship with My Mom?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 5, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2019/11/25/how-do-i-change-my-relationship-with-my-mom/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 22 Nov 2019 (Originally: 25 Nov 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 22 Nov 2019
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.