Grandma Is Being More of a Baby Than the Baby

Stacey - posted on 02/28/2014 ( 4 moms have responded )

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My Mom and I have always had a very close relationship, but she has really relied on me throughout my life to be her emotional punching bag, often blaming me for things, like, "Oh, well, I married your Dad because I didn't want you to grow up without a father." And in the same sentence talking about how she never loved him and he ruined her life. There is a LOT of emotional blackmail and manipulation in my past with her, but we're mostly past it and have, as mentioned, a pretty great, close relationship.

As an adult, I've been very supportive of her life choices. Separating from my Dad, selling their house, dating someone after just one month, moving in with him after just 3 months, moving 5 hours away just because he didn't like the city anymore. Whatever it was, I just tried to smile, make sure it was what she really wanted, and be happy for her.

Her partner and I don't get along. He's manipulative and controlling and we disagree on most topics. (Politics, parenting, religion, being nice to people, you name it...) She knows this, but often says that I should try to make more of an effort. (It's been 5 years...at this point I think the ball is officially in his court, and I've said as much while maintaining that I'm open to a mutually respectful relationship.)

Recently my husband and I made the very hard decision to move somewhere that we can be close to more family (my Dad, sister, and all of our extended family live in the same place, about 16 hours from us). My Mom is only 5 hours away, but when it comes to needing some help with our two kids and wanting to be close to family, that can seem like a million years away. (We can't live in her town because there is no work for my husband or I and neither of us are prepared to give up our careers.) With this move our skills are transferable, and we both work in industries that are in high demand where we are going. It's a very smart choice for us.

Sadly, my Mom took the news very poorly and is now saying that it's my fault she is with her partner in the first place (because I pushed her into it), that I'm just not trying hard enough to find work in her town, that I'm choosing my Dad over her, and that I'm preventing her from being the Grandparent she always imagined she would be. *eye roll*

I'm angry and hurt that she can't do what I've been doing all these years and just be happy and supportive. The decision to make such a big move wasn't easy and she's making it a lot more difficult. Fortunately, the rest of our friends and family are very supportive, but I'm really disappointed in my Mom. We HAVE talked about it, but her attitude hasn't changed.

Is there any way to keep this from being a source of constant resentment for me? Any tips on letting go of disappointment that your parents have caused you? Am I being childish...or is she really out of line? I'm so conflicted and feeling a lot of guilt over letting her down. (Which I'm sure is due to years of her manipulating me with guilt.) What would you do?

Thanks.

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Michelle - posted on 02/28/2014

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I have been on the receiving and of emotional abuse like you from my own Mother (yes it is abuse). She's a grown woman and if she can't accept her life choices it's her fault, no one else's.
You need to let her know that it's your life and you will be making the move for YOUR family, NOT her, your Dad or siblings.
My Mum is married to a complete a$$hole (sorry but he is). He tried to get into bed with my grandmother only 6 months after my grandfather passed away (they had been together for over 60 years) and he's also tried to crack onto me.
My Mum blamed me for the breakup of her 2nd marriage and for almost 2 years I had a phone call every day saying I had ruined her life. She is now with #3 (yes even after what he's done) and refuses to divorce him. She knows I won't be around him and she has had her relationship with her grandchildren suffer because of it.
You need to realize that she has to take responsibility for her actions and it's not your fault. I would suggest that you let her know that if she can't be nice then you will have to cut off contact for a while until she can be nice. I know it's hard because we are supposed to love our Mum's but mine has hurt me far too much. I still see her but it's very limited now and her husband never comes over for Christmas or any family gatherings, he's not welcome in my home and my Mum knows it.

Star - posted on 03/04/2014

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You need to do what is best for your whole family, not just your mom. It's not fair to your children that they have to see their grandmother treat their mother like this and it sends the message that it's okay to let others emotionally abuse you. IMHO, She is acting very immature (my own mother is like that sometimes) and just like with a toddler if you give in to them they will continue to think that is okay, she's needs to learn that she no longer has control over you. You also need to realize that you can't control what she does, thinks, or says; but you can control how you think, say and what you do. If she wants to be closer to you and your family then she needs to rearrange her own life around that, not expect you to accomedate her petty little war against your father (honestly, no parent should make you feel like you have to choose between them).
The best thing to do is to NOT give in to her toddler-esque tantrums. The best thing to do is to just tell her "We are moving to (city/town) and that's final". Don't say anything else don't respond to her, might be easier to say on the phone and just hang up after words. Eventually she will get warn down and either exept it or just stew in her own anger (again, her choice). Relationships go both ways, if she really wanted to make the effort to be there for you or your children then she will find a way; if she can't then she just isn't trying hard enough or is being stuborn on purpose for pitty (again, DON'T give in!).!).

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Kennishia - posted on 03/13/2014

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Here's a good book for you if you like reading 'Boundaries' by Henry Cloud.

Sam - posted on 03/04/2014

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Bless you, do what is right for you, youve considered all options and been open with her about it.Dont take offence but I get the impression shes quite selfish and needs to accept consiquences of decisions she has made for herself. If not she can always visit (in small doses) hehe

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