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.