Dear Manay Gina,
I’m now a mother but I still can’t establish a warm relationship with my own mom. In the first place, our relationship has always been difficult. While I was never physically abused, I suffered emotional abuse from her.
I know that I should honor my mother, but a part of me feels that it would be best to lie low in our relationship. Another part of me is wondering though whether I should just pretend to ignore what bothers me and maintain a connection so that she remains to be a big part of my life and that of my children. What do you suggest?
While I can’t imagine that your mother will accept a suggestion coming from you, perhaps she will accept a suggestion from someone that she respects and listens to. So, if there’s someone that you feel comfortable speaking with, let him or her know how you would like to improve your relationship with your mother.
If the situation doesn’t improve, try to make the time you spend together less frequent. A relationship over the phone is often much less volatile than one in person. And if you are to spend time together, try doing so on your turf. Sometimes she will treat you much better when she is in your home and your guest than when you are under her roof and her control. You shouldn’t feel that out of respect you need to be around her, if being around her is extremely unhealthy for you.
However, any communication that you do have with your mother, must at all times be respectful. I also hope that you will find a counselor who can help you work through your past issues with your mother and help you create a plan for whatever kind of relationship you will have with her for the present and the future.
“Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.” — Albert Schweitzer
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