Question: Dear Luise: I’m 24 years old. I went to away to school in Texas for 5 years to get my bachelors and masters degree. My parents live in Chicago) Immediately I moved to Los Angeles for a job where I have been for 1.5 years now. The problem is my mom hates me. She thinks I am selfish for moving away from her and used to be overbearing but now she barely speaks to me. She recently came to California for her supposed best friend’s daughter’s wedding and was sulking the whole time. She is super negative about everything and complains that I don’t call her enough when she never calls me. Even when I do call her, she gives one word answers and 2 minutes later gives the phone to my dad. I want her to let go and try to be happy for me. I met a great guy here and will be getting married in a year and a half and she refuses to accept it. She even went as far as to say I better have two weddings because she refuses to go to one in California. It’s really upsetting. She even told her friend that shes not sure if she loves me anymore because I am disrespectful which I am not. She said she would never be happy for me because I’m not living under her roof. She’s so mean to me when we do talk and she hates when I talk about work, my fiancee, or her friends who live in Calfornia. Please help, she’s driving me crazy and I would like to save some sort of relationship with her eventually. I would also like her to come to my wedding and actually be happy for me one day. Afterall, shes part of the reason why I’m independent (she created me and raised me). J.
Answer: Dear J. There is no way either of us can change your mother into a more amenable person and I am pretty sure after reading your question that there is also no way to please her. I’m afraid that what you have gotten in the past and are getting right now in the present…is what you’re going to continue to get in the future.
This may sound cruel but I think your living on the West coast is wise. You are an adult and one that any mother who wasn’t so self-absorbed would be really proud of. You deserve so much better. One of the most important parts of parenting is learning how to let go while still being supportive when young adults start making their own choices.
I would not indulge her with two weddings. She’d find fault with every detail. And if at all possible, I would suggest you find an understanding counselor to be your sounding board and advocate as you learn to deal with the pathological criticism and rejection that is the norm for you. In addition, I would like to invite you to come over to my Web-forum at www.WiseWomenUnite.com . It was specifically designed for women who have issues like yours. I think you will find support and direction there if you choose to tell them about your situation. Blessings, Luise