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User Topic: Fight with Foo?
KBeguile
Member
Member # 38348
Default  Posted: 5:25 PM, December 17th (Tuesday)

Over the past few days, my mother has been dropping "not so subtle" hints that she wants me to make the same kinds of Winter/Christmas memories with DS as she and my dad did with me and my sister.

She has texted me:
- wanting (nee "demanding") pictures of DS playing in the snow
- wondering if we put up the Christmas tree yet or not (and following it up with "how sad" it is that we're not giving DS these childhood memories)

Now, my thinking is this: that was the family she and I shared, DS is in a family that *I* control (in part, and jointly with Heart) that doesn't specifically include Mom. These, in my mind, are distinct sets (to use math terminology) where the only single overlapping element is me.

While I am appreciative of the fact that she is so interested in making sure her only grandchild has fond memories of home during this time of year: (a) she's not dealing with the mess I made of my M with Heart, nor does she know or even want to know about it, (b) she's not the one in charge of this household, (c) she's trying to guilt-trip me into doing these things, which I've always seen as a temper-flaring hot-button issue with me.

So far, I was very polite about the snow issue, even going out of my way to come home an hour early yesterday and get suited up for time out in the snow, where DS wanted to have snowball fights the whole time. I did, and Heart took pictures. I haven't sent them to my Mom because I usually make her a calendar of pictures of DS for the year, and I want to surprise her with them in that calendar.

However, the guilt-trip about the tree not being up really set me off. When I got the picture from Heart of the completed tree at noonish today, I simply passive-aggressively replied by text to my Mom that "The Christmas tree is up." No pictures, no indication of how it was done, but just the fact that it was done so that she would leave me alone with the guilt.

Part of my FOO issues have been my Mom, specifically in how she psychologically manipulated us as kids. I subconsciously and consciously avoided contact with her for many years because I didn't want to make myself vulnerable to that kind of treatment again, and now that I've resolved myself to fix those FOO issues, it's starting all over again, and I don't care for it one bit.

So ... tl;dr ... how should I best deal with my Mom?


Me: fWS 32
Her: BS 35 (HeartInADustpan)
DS: 4yo
M: 7 years
DDays: 2012/11/14, 2013/02/05, 2013/03/09
-
"Everything that happens now is happening 'now.'"
"What happened to 'then'?"
"We passed 'then.'"

Posts: 754 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: St. Louis
ThoughtIKnewYa
Member
Member # 18449
Default  Posted: 6:00 PM, December 17th (Tuesday)

I can relate on the pictures thing. MIL has a habit of asking for certain poses and certain situations from the past that we don't have pictures of and can't re-create, then gets ticked when we can't give them to her.

As far as the rest goes, limit how much you talk about your daily life, just "Uh-huh" her, and go on about living your life, YOUR way.


Posts: 11399 | Registered: Mar 2008
knightsbff
Member
Member # 36853
Default  Posted: 9:39 PM, December 17th (Tuesday)

I can totally relate. The guilt trips...especially r/t the kids. Fun, fun!

My mom is pissed off at me right now. Not totally sure why but I think it's because I reported her loser WH to the police for stealing my BH's gun. Whatevs crazy people....


FWW 40's
D-day August 27, 2012
3 kids and 2 dogs

Posts: 1386 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: Deep South, USA
20WrongsVs1
Member
Member # 39000
Wink  Posted: 8:11 AM, December 18th (Wednesday)

KB, I'm all about the empathy these days, and trying to "hear the feelings" instead of just the words.

What is your mother feeling? She's feeling...concerned, maybe, that her grandchild is not experiencing the magical Christmases she gave you! (Minor sarcasm there.) She's feeling love for her grandchild and wants only the best for him. Maybe she's even feeling a little guilty herself, that she failed as a mother because she raised a son who cheated. (My mom has this.)

What are you feeling? Guilt. Anger. Sadness. Unresolved resentment from your own childhood.

Your feelings are not wrong, and you're entitled to them. Both of you, all of you, are. But take a moment and recognize how you're feeling. Then act deliberately, in the highest and best way you can, instead of unconsciously reacting to your feelings by being (self-admittedly) passive-aggressive.

I was very polite about the snow issue, even going out of my way to come home an hour early yesterday and get suited up for time out in the snow, where DS wanted to have snowball fights the whole time

So, you acted on an idea Mom gave you, and DS had a super fun time? This isn't an easy thing I'm suggesting, but...what if instead of sending her passive-aggressive texts, you thanked your mom? "Mom, we've been really busy and distracted lately, but because of your message I took DS out to play in the snow and he loved it. Great idea, thanks."

How do you deal with your mom? Recognize that she, too, is acting (probably unconsciously) from her feelings. Choose to interpret her "not-so-subtle hints" as "she loves us and wants us to be happy" instead of

she's trying to guilt-trip me into doing these things, which I've always seen as a temper-flaring hot-button issue with me

[This message edited by 20WrongsVs1 at 8:13 AM, December 18th (Wednesday)]


fWW: 42
BH: 52
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
"Between stimulus and response there’s a space, in that space lies our power to choose our response, in our response lies our growth and our freedom." V. Frankl

Posts: 1044 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
Topic Posts: 4