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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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All I really want is to make it work. - May 7th 2010, 01:15 AM

I'm having this problem with my mom lately. Or.. maybe not so much her as her new boyfriend, but let me give you a little background first.
I have NEVER had a relationship, good or bad, with my mother. We've lived together and pissed eachother off like teenagers and parents do, but nothing that ever remotely resembled a relationship. I ran away from home and lived elsewhere for two years until recently [maybe 8 mo ago] when I moved back in with her. We started pissing eachother off again, so I wrote her a letter and she wrote me back. We agreed that we'd like to have at least a functioning relationship. Try to TALK things out. Actually get to KNOW one another as people. Real basic stuff.
Within the last year she left my stepdad [they were together for 9 years] for some married guy who she met at work. I don't have a real problem with him. I don't like that he's married and I don't get a GOOD vibe from him but I don't get a BAD one either. He makes her happy and who she wants to date isn't my business so whatever.
About a month ago she tells me that this guy who I barely know is moving in with us. So.. okay I guess. Then she says she wants me to do his laundry, and I'm sorry but I'm not washing his dirty underwear. He's got two arms and two legs, if he wanted someone to do his laundry he shouldn't have left his wife. That was the beginning.
Well now since he lives here I haven't had twenty minutes alone with my mom and she's been kinda pissy towards me and you know, I've been trying to get to know her and have a relationship and everything so thats a little bit frustrating but.. he is going through a divorce, and my mom is trying to help him figure out what to do and like.. be his emotional support or whatever, I get that, so I guess thats cool.
Today I realized what it really is though.
I sat down and just talked to my mom today for an hour at least. It was very nice, I've discovered that we can actually get along quite nicely and I enjoy her company most of the time which is.. a HUGE step. Its all fine and dandy, we're in the kitchen cooking and listening to music from my computer. Discussing the different songs and artists, even at one point singing and dancing together! Then her boyfriend walks in and she gets this real short like.. snippy tone and is like "You need to turn off your music" "You need to do the dishes" "You need to take the trash out" then just kinda ignores me and goes and plays WoW and gets completely absorbed, and suddenly it's like I don't exist. [She's a WoW ADDICT. It is her second full time job.]

Now, I'm not complaining because she asked me to do chores, or because suddenly I wasn't the center of her attention. I'm complaining because I've realized that whenever her boyfriend is around I suddenly take almost no priority to her and that seems to defeat the purpose of the whole lets-build-a-relationship thing. And I know thats kind of ridiculous, it seems like such a small thing and it really is. But it's ONE TINY step towards what a mother and daughter are supposed to have. It's something that should have been established a long time ago and I've gone my whole life without. And yes, because of a lack of connection with her for so long, you'd think I could just be like "Oh well, its her loss" and let it go. I have this theory though.. everyone deep down somewhere inside of them wants their mommies and daddies to love them or.. you know.. give a crap about them.

Sorry this was kinda long, but.. total downer. I was in such a good mood, but you know moms have that power to take you from standing tall and confident, having a good day, and turn you into a depressed blubbering idiot in three words if they want.
   
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Re: All I really want is to make it work. - May 8th 2010, 03:34 AM

Hey there, Chelsea.

Well, first of all, I'm glad that you're making progress toward having a better relationship with your mom. =) To be honest, I think you DID have a relationship with your mom prior to all of this... it was just a very weak and unhealthy one. But, given time, I think that can change. You may never have the "perfect" mother-daughter relati0nship, but things can certainly improve!

Unfortunately, new partners tend to complicate things in the household. Right now, she's probably focused on looking good for her new boyfriend... she doesn't want him to think that you're going to "get in the way", should the two ever marry.

I would take things slowly. When it doesn't seem like she's busy with her boyfriend or any other chores, ask if you could talk to her for a few minutes. Focus on the positive things the two of you did together (cooking and listening to music together), vs. the negative things (her snappy attitude when her boyfriend entered the room). Give her positive reinforcement, so that she knows her efforts aren't in vain... and hopefully, she'll continue to work with you in the months and years to come. It may take time... heck, she may NEVER relax when her boyfriend/husband is around... but at least it's better than what you had one year ago. =)






   
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