I cut contact with my mother and have never been happier - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-04-2015, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
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I cut contact with my mother and have never been happier

For years, I allowed my mother to have a negative impact on our marriage, though not in the ways you usually hear. If she said or did something rude, I would correct her, ask for an apology, etc. Mom never complained directly to me about my wife, but gossiped terribly, so word would always get back to us in the end. In these instances, I would again correct, look for an apology.

She would call just as we would be coming home from work. She would call in the evening. There were calls for me to take her to the ER, which all came back as her being fine. My mother was always terrible with money, and when I was still single, I lent her money quite often. This stopped before my wedding, when I told her that I could no longer help her, as I had to contribute to my household alone. After the marriage, my mother continued to place herself in financial peril, and call to tell us of the stress. We found that, as time went on, we were constantly driving her from one place to another: doctor's appointments, grocery store; you name it. In other, we (but especially me) allowed her to impose herself into our lives.

A couple of years ago, my mother re-married, and leading up to the wedding, my wife did more and more to help, convinced it would make things better between them. It didn't. We were asked to hold off on our daughter's birthday party, as the wedding and my mother's birthday were all around the same time. The wedding went off, and my mother made a point of thanking a friend who helped for one day, and didn't mention my wife. Two days later, Mom asked us over to her place for her own birthday party, and when we invited her to our girl's party on the weekend, Mom said she was much too tired and wouldn't be attending. She ended up never wishing her a HB or even giving her a gift.

I didn't even know what to do anymore. Even the mention of my mother's name, or anything about her was enough to aggravate my wife. I didn't want to have an argument over somebody whose behaviour I didn't know how to change. I was mad as hell at my mother, but saw no point in even mentioning anything to her. Things were stressful in our house, and it didn't have much of anything to do with our own dealings with each other.

Soon after, my mother and her husband moved away, and promptly lost my phone number. Whereas before, I sometimes felt like she was stalking me, the phone rang so much, our phone became dead quiet with her gone. It was only after she left that we both noticed just how much weight she really placed on our lives.

We began to talk about it, and my wife told me just how bad she always felt when dealing with my mother, and I told Mrs. SH that if she didn't want to, she'd never have to do it again. The bit of weight that was there lifted, and the longer I went without my mother doing her thing, the better I felt.

One sticking point for my wife and I was that our long term goal was to move...... to the place my mother moved to. With Mom living there, we felt that was closed to us, because we didn't want to move there and begin that old cycle all over again with my mother. But:

We ended up moving anyway. It took both couples and individual counseling, but I really was able to look and see that I could do it. After assuring my wife that I was serious about maintaining boundaries with my mother, Mrs. SH felt secure enough to move here. I've held up that bargain for two years now, and we LOVE living here.

What I've figured out:
-My mother used me for a very long time. When I was a kid, it was as a weapon against my Dad, particularly after their divorce. The highlight would probably be when I was 16, and she told me that he would no longer be paying child support, and I would need to work to make up the income difference. I did as I was told, and signed all of my paycheques to her. Of course, she wasn't being honest.

The day I decided to cut contact with my mother is the day my life and marriage got better in a hurry:
- It's a sad statement, but a true one regardless.

PS - Sorry about the monster post, but I thought that perhaps it might help somebody else who struggles with similar things.

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-04-2015, 05:52 PM
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Re: I cut contact with my mother and have never been happier

It sounds like you have found a solution that works for you. I know it's a hard thing to cut family off, but sometimes it's the only workable solution.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-04-2015, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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Re: I cut contact with my mother and have never been happier

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It sounds like you have found a solution that works for you. I know it's a hard thing to cut family off, but sometimes it's the only workable solution.
Yeah, that's how the cookie crumbles sometimes.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-04-2015, 06:23 PM
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Re: I cut contact with my mother and have never been happier

I have a brother that I used to be very close to. Unfortunately he is the youngest of 5 siblings and, as such, he always had an entitled mentality. He never moved out of my mother's house...eventually she built a duplex to move him into so she could have her own space.

He got married to a woman who is a shallow, user type (he got her pregnant a couple months into their relationship and had to propose). It was none of my business except my brother allowed his new wife to take extreme advantage of my mom when she was still alive. Running up lines of credit for spa visits, hair extensions, breast implants, etc...and she was extremely disrespectful and rude to my mom. They also had a baby and would use my mom to babysit and never pay her or even notify her...they just dropped the kid off at any and all hours of the day. They then ended up getting two dogs and doing the same thing with the dogs and by then, my mom was having trouble getting around and it was tough for her to deal with it.

In addition, this girl is intrusive. I'm a fairly private person and I dislike gossip and conflict...especially in my personal life. She's just the type who gossips endlessly about everyone and either embellishes a story or lies in order to cause conflict between people. And I think because I keep to myself, it bothers her and she feels some driving need to interfere in my life.

For example, during my divorce, she became (and remains) very good friends with my ex who is kind of a weird guy and whom no one in my family really liked during my marriage to him. When she sees my kids to this day, she'll try to interrogate them to find out things about me and my new husband. Luckily, my kids are very loyal private kids...like me and never tell her anything. Its actually really creepy.

I tried a number of tactics to try to have a relationship with just my brother and niece and not my brother's wife but she just wasn't having it. She just caused massive amounts of trouble.

They also always had severe money issues due to trying to live up to an image. They ran up lines of credit using my mom's house as collateral. This was none of my business and I ignored it until they ended up using my name on a credit application for a furniture store without my permission and then not paying the bill so that I kept getting calls at my home.

The last straw for me was when they conned my mom into giving them her house while she was ill. I didn't want or need any inheritance from my mom but my mom wanted to leave something for one of my sisters who could have used some help at the time and she was unable because my brother and his wife literally stole my mom's house. It was pretty awful. And when my mom passed away, they were just like swooping vultures. They literally cleaned her house out.

So in the end, I had to cut them out of my life. Not just my brother's wife but my brother and my niece. My niece is basically starting to exhibit the same behavior as her mother...its such a shame. My brother was really a nice, good guy but he had tendencies to be greedy and shallow that it seems like she fed and he ended up at her level.

I can honestly say that I don't miss the nonsense and noise caused by having a relationship with my brother and his wife. If I ever think about my brother, I try to remember him as he was...not as he is.

I think its always a great shame when these things happen but its a reality. At the end of the day, when relationships cause nothing but trouble, you really need to evaluate whether or not its necessary to continue them.

The quality of your life is very much affected by the company you keep. I feel zero guilt about the fact that I choose to spend my life around people that share similar life values to my own.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-04-2015, 06:50 PM
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I cut contact with my mother and have never been happier

I cut off my mother about 15 years ago and it has been great! Now that she is 84 I'm looking forward to news of the final cutoff. Not holding my breath though; nasty people have a way of outliving scores of nice folks.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-04-2015, 07:18 PM
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Re: I cut contact with my mother and have never been happier

I had to cut off my stepmother in what turned out to be the last year of her life because she became such a hard-core alcoholic that she ended up suffering from dementia induced by it, according to a couple of her doctors. She woke up one day and decided that one of my brothers - her favorite one - and I had come to her house in another state - I live in Florida, he lives in NY, and she lived in NC - for an entire weekend, trashed her kitchen, and never spoke to her the whole time. She could not be extricated from this delusion, even by her own children. Really, she made it easy and necessary for me. But first, I tried to reach out to her when it turned out she had lung cancer, but she would not answer or return my calls and texts, and she shunned me when I went up there to see her and help her and try to set things right.

She was always an awful person, though. She was with my Dad for 42 years of my 50 - and she wasn't the one he left my Mom for - that was a different one I mercifully never had to meet. I could write a book about the horrible things she did and said to my brothers and me - and my father - over the years. When he died 7 years ago, as I was leaving to go back home after his services, she gave me a speech in front of my son and then husband about how proud my Dad was of me, and how she hoped I'd have a good life. She pretty much thought I was going to write her off then and there. I should have.

Some people are just toxic. It makes me sad to hear of mothers being this way to their own children (my stepmother treated hers like royalty, and I had a great relationship with my own mother - she was the best friend I ever had). But it doesn't always go that way. My two brothers barely speak to each other, and they live about 10 miles apart. There's been blood between them for decades.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-04-2015, 08:05 PM
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It is wonderful that you have made this choice for your family. I know that your wife must appreciate it too. It is a courageous man who makes this sacrifice for/gift to his family.

I cut my father out of my life a couple years ago and have not regretted it once. I wish I had been brave enough to do it decades ago.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-04-2015, 08:10 PM
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Re: I cut contact with my mother and have never been happier

Damn. I need to call my Mama and tell her I love her.

Virginia: "Why can't you kids leave well enough alone? Everything was fine until you started digging around."

Burt: "You sound like a Scooby Doo villain."
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-04-2015, 08:50 PM
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Re: I cut contact with my mother and have never been happier

It's okay to cut contact or limit contact with someone you love but who's also harmful to you.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-05-2015, 07:29 AM Thread Starter
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Re: I cut contact with my mother and have never been happier

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I cut off my mother about 15 years ago and it has been great! Now that she is 84 I'm looking forward to news of the final cutoff. Not holding my breath though; nasty people have a way of outliving scores of nice folks.
It's only when you get a chance to breathe clean air that you realize how polluted it was previously. I hope it doesn't come to that with my mother, but after I had a chance to really look at things without the constant turmoil and drama, the decision was easier to make.

It's in her hands, really.

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-05-2015, 08:14 AM
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Re: I cut contact with my mother and have never been happier

I am glad you have found some peace for yourself and your family. Together with your wife you get make the life and the world that you want for your children. You don't -nor ever will -need her to make good memories for your children. To create a happy life for them.

I understand the need to cut yourself off from someone - having been the one cut-off. My mother hasn't been in my life since I was very young -I have no memories of her as a mother; no first day of school, no breakfast in bed when I was sick, no birthdays (not even birthday cards), no christmas mornings with her there, no cookies baking in the kitchen,...nothing. She traded me for a car, cash and a house. I have sons she has never met- my oldest is 24. The last time i saw her was the day I graduated from college...she was there for about 10 minutes. I found out later my dad had essentially...rented her / payed her to attend. He always wanted...and still does..want me to have some sort of relationship with her -probably because he had such a great and fulfilling relationship with his mother (she was a wonderful person).....I couldn't miss what I never had -nor want what I didn't understand the need for. I appreciate his effort though.

Just because a woman gives birth to you doesn't mean she gets to have some wonderful special place in your life or heart. She has to earn that. You stay strong for your family -and keep the good boundaries you have created. You are a good man.

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-05-2015, 08:36 AM
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Re: I cut contact with my mother and have never been happier

Say this often to yourself: I and my family matter the most to me. Its a privilege to know us and I expect all relationships to be nurtured and cared for all the time by both parties. If anyone (including parents) do not abide by this then I will not continue the effort as hard as it is, I take the high ground for my new family who respects relationships.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-05-2015, 08:40 AM Thread Starter
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Re: I cut contact with my mother and have never been happier

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I am glad you have found some peace for yourself and your family. Together with your wife you get make the life and the world that you want for your children. You don't -nor ever will -need her to make good memories for your children. To create a happy life for them.
What's sad about the entire things has been the reaction of our kids to all of this. Our son (16) hasn't asked about her, or to talk to her, visit or anything. A couple of times when my mother came up in conversation, our daughter (11) has said "We haven't seen Grandma in awhile" and that's about it.

And there's nothing strange about their reaction. My Mom never really much did anything with them, and never tried to spend time with them, or anybody else in our family. It was all about me. About 5 years ago, she asked if I would be willing to drop the kids off at church with her, but when around other people, all of a sudden, it was "Come here, my babies!"

Kids have their own way of seeing through BS, I suppose.

Quote:
I understand the need to cut yourself off from someone - having been the one cut-off. My mother hasn't been in my life since I was very young -I have no memories of her as a mother; no first day of school, no breakfast in bed when I was sick, no birthdays (not even birthday cards), no christmas mornings with her there, no cookies baking in the kitchen,...nothing. She traded me for a car, cash and a house. I have sons she has never met- my oldest is 24. The last time i saw her was the day I graduated from college...she was there for about 10 minutes. I found out later my dad had essentially...rented her / payed her to attend. He always wanted...and still does..want me to have some sort of relationship with her -probably because he had such a great and fulfilling relationship with his mother (she was a wonderful person).....I couldn't miss what I never had -nor want what I didn't understand the need for. I appreciate his effort though.

Just because a woman gives birth to you doesn't mean she gets to have some wonderful special place in your life or heart. She has to earn that. You stay strong for your family -and keep the good boundaries you have created. You are a good man.
Thanks for the kind word.

Last edited by sh987; 08-05-2015 at 08:44 AM.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-05-2015, 09:00 AM
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Re: I cut contact with my mother and have never been happier

MarriedDude, I'm sorry you missed out on your mom but it sounds like you got lucky in the dad department. Your mom missed out on so much and is still missing out.

sh987, some parents don't know what to do once we're grown so they cling to us. Usually out of fear of not having a purpose in life and usually it manifests in the form of covert contracts where they help in some ways but the help is motivated by them needing to control and manage things. My mom has always been this way to younger siblings and it's just about crippled.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-05-2015, 09:52 AM
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Re: I cut contact with my mother and have never been happier

Good for you, OP.

Sorry that it had to come to this, but it's good to shed the layers that toxic people create. And you are correct, kids see through all the BS. They knew Grandma wasn't sincere, "Come here, my babies!!"

*ugh*

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