My mother manipulates me even as a married adult. She won’t see the hurt she has and is causing me. I just wish things were a lot different between us and not causing what seems like World War 3 in my family.
Hey there @SouzyLive_Fans.
It sucks to have a parent manipulating you. But why is she manipulating you? What does she hope to achieve? This may be her way of trying to help you, even (or especially) if it’s about something you don’t think needs help. That might be why she overlooks your pain.
Don’t give up hope that things could be different. Conflicts can bring people closer together, but then again it can also do the opposite.
It can be so infuriating to feel like your mother still treats you like a child. Like she isn’t willing to let you be your own person, to be an adult, to grow up – rather, to be who you already are, a fully grown person! Especially when that “holding on” ends up being toxic…like it’s causing more drama and pain in your life than you care to deal with, and it just feels like it’d be so much easier if you just discarded that connection, and didn’t even have to deal with that garbage. But…then the guilt comes, right…/she’s your mom/ and you could never do that. So you stay, and you see the damage she’s causing, the rifts in your family, the troubles in your marriage, the turmoil inside you. It feels like too much, and it feels unwarranted…it feels like things would be different if she could just let go.
I can relate a lot to this. My mom acted constantly like she haaaaaated my wife. I’d address it with her, and then she’d say, “Oh my gosh no, no problem at all,” but then continue the passive/aggressive/manipulation bit, and it caused all of that kind of effect – the tension, the turmoil, etc. It took a couple years for her to change her tune and apologize. And what was probably the most valuable thing about that repentance was that she had identified that she resented my wife because she took me away from my mom. It felt like all of a sudden all of that drama made sense and sucked the bitterness and replaced it with compassion. I saw my mom as someone who was hurting and didn’t know how to respond to that pain. It humanized her, and so it changed my perspective.
Not making excuses for her actions, just sharing my experience and what helped resolve things in my relationship with my mom. I hope something happens to help unravel the tension on your side too. At the end of the day, your mom really does love you! And I hope that truth gets communicated clearly sometime soon.
Hey thanks for the reply. So my mother has been toxic all my life. I never really understood the hold she had on me until I tried using that same method on my husband and step kids. It did not change till my husband and I were forced to live with my mom and for her to force us out for my husband to see that hold. It took a couple hard years for me to break that pattern and then a year later try to communicate to my mom the pain and hurt I feel. She twisted things around to make me feel guilty for communicating my hurt. Last message we have (which she kept telling me to leave my sister out of it and I did until…) … my mother ends with you’re losing your mother, sister, niece and nephew over this. I messaged my sister saying really you gonna take moms side on this. She told me she had no idea what was really going on and she didn’t want to be involved. I broke down and told my sister some of the hurt she is doing to me and she finally realized what she was doing as well.
I love my mom and its breaking my heart that this is happening but when I say its toxic rn, i really mean it. It was something my husband and his had to endure till we moved in with my mom for a short time that my husband realized where and why I was doing the same toxic stuff. God has changed me and my step kids are now seeing that. I wish my mother would.
Oh I know my mom loves me, but her actions sometimes speaks louder than words. I’m a physical touch/words of affirmation type. Being toxic to me bring my love tank straight to empty but luckily I have God most importantly but I also have my Godsquadchurch fam along with my husband who is keeping my love tank overflowing!!
It’s really frustrating to feel like you have a parent who’s manipulating you, who’s putting their own needs and interests before yours, who doesn’t see you as you are. And it’s even harder when it’s all implicit, also when your parent doesn’t want to face the problem. I’m sorry you’re feeling that way. Sorry you’re in this situation.
My mom is someone who is very manipulative too. She always had this tendency to criticize my siblings and I behind our backs, to highlight our mistakes (or what was “mistakes” in her own perspective) and being very judging about almost everything. I still don’t really understand why, but my mom couldn’t help it. Yet she would have this other discourse in front of us, saying that she’s proud of us, that she keeps saying it to everyone… But it hurts, for sure, to feel like you’re never enough, no matter what you do or say. It creates this unhealthy relationship when you’re constantly trying to read between the lines, because trust has been impacted in some way. And trust has been really impacted when she strated to criticize my husband. She crossed some major boundaries by doing this.
When we were kids, my mom was also very abusive, so it was hard to grow up with those mixed messages between love and rejection. When we are young, we just want our parents to love us as we are and, sometimes, we can be willing to do anything to please them and fit to their own expectations. It costed me a lot of energy and disappointment. But it’s also different when we become independant and have our own life. And man, it’s frustrating to see that you change, you grow, but your parent is still stuck in the same patterns.
Honestly, it took me several years to maintain some healthy distance with her and to try to communicate differently, but it’s not easy and it requires a lot of patience. She never wanted to face her own behavior either, despite the attemps that my sister and I did to communicate honestly. Her reactions were always aggressive and frustrating, and she denied everything. Again, it hurts. A lot. Because it felt like she was saying that our own pain wasn’t legitimate. Also she was trying to make us feel guilty for this situation… I was mad at her too for being in such denial while everyone in our family was hurting because of her own behavior. I was frustrated to realize that she was living in a different reality than ours.
But also, I think her reaction was understandable. Not saying it was okay, but it makes sense. It’s certainly hard for a parent to realize that they’ve been hurting their children. And, more generally, as human beings we can understand the difficulty of facing our own mistakes, the hurt we did to the people we love. It requires a lot of humility and vulnerability. And doing that takes practice. Especially if it’s something that you never did in your family. So, even if it takes time, I want to believe that things can change and I hope that, in your family, you’ll have the opportunity to make the best of this situation, to find new ways to communicate. I’ve been experiencing it for several years now. And I can assure you that, a few years ago, I thought it wouldn’t be possible to gain more respect from my own mom.
At some point, I thought that I had no other choice but: to keep suffering of her behavior in silence or to stop talking to her definitely and create this turmoil in my family… But honestly, none of these possibilities were what I wanted. So I’ve been trying to follow an alternate path by 1/acknowledging how I feel and being 100% okay with that, allowing myself to express it with my partner, my sister and even my doctor when I was very depressed (sometimes, writing also helped me, such as writing letters to my mom that I never sent) - 2/ learning to perceive my mom as a human being before being a mom, meaning with her own strengths and flaws, her own story, fears, pains, and have more compassion for her as I would with someone who’s not my mom - 3/ setting boundaries for myself, in regards of how much we interact together, what I share with her and what I keep private, being more honest with her through our interactions. At first, those boundaries were quite strict, and with time it became more open.
By sharing all of this, I’m not saying it’s the only way to handle this kind of situation, of course. I hear your frustration and it’s totally understandable. I only hope that you’ll both be able to work on this together and not against each other, because it would mean that respect, honesty and love become a priority. But everything has to come at its time and there’s no need to go against your heart either. Despite all of this, what remains important is to take care of yourself, to reach your own goals and have a fulfilling life. If you need to set some boundaries for yourself, even temporary, because you’re hurting, it’s okay too - even it’s uncomfortable.
I’m sorry you’re in the middle of this situation. My reply is not of a great help, but I guess I wanted to say that what you describe is very relatable and you’re definitely not alone.
Thinking of you. Rooting for you. Know that you’ll always be supported here as well.