Home / World News / Mom wants to run daughter’s life from a distance – The Denver Post

Mom wants to run daughter’s life from a distance – The Denver Post

Dear Amy: I’m 36, married, financially independent and living hours away from my mother, but she still wants to run my life. She expects to be involved in all decisions my husband and I make. When we don’t consult her (or do as she suggests) on the most minor question, she rants that nobody cares about her. Even the most benign conversations escalate to her claiming that I don’t listen, don’t respect her and don’t appreciate her.

A common point of friction is the topic of vacations: She’s an extremely disorganized person who never plans her own time, but wants me to commit months in advance to my family to visiting her over any/all vacations. (She’ll start pressuring me about Christmas in October.)

We have been generous with our time, but my husband and I both have demanding jobs. We don’t want to spend every Christmas holiday sitting on my mother’s couch.

I’m at a loss. Conversations with her often end in her feeling attacked and/or abandoned. Attempts to politely refuse invitations or set boundaries have been fruitless at best, and can result in toxic rant-fests in which our parenting/life skills are called into question.

At least once a month, I’m faced with the decision to fulfil a perceived obligation to bring my kids to her, or face an extreme guilt trip for choosing not to do so. I can’t ever have a weekend with my family, guilt-free. How can I take this pressure off of my marriage and family without deeply hurting my mother?

— Emotionally Exhausted

Dear Exhausted: You wonder how you can get what you need without “deeply hurting” your mother. Short answer: You can’t, because she’s not going to let you.

Your mother’s emotional manipulations have affected you so profoundly that you continue to basically put her (perceived) needs before your own. Stop that.

You should assume that — for any boundary you draw, your mother will always perceive it as a deep wound, and will act out.

But it is her job to figure out how to feel better about her own life. You do you.

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