My Mom (78) plays favorites with her grandchildren.

Follow
Share

My mother has been living with 2 different sisters for the last 10 years. Before that she lived with me for about 2 years. During this time she interrfered with my children's lives, most were adults by then I only had one other under 12. She was always critical of my sons girlfriend who is now his wife . worst of it she never accepts her and is rude to her which hurts my sons feelings. My other son and his wife are neutral and take it or leave but my eldest get hurts and doesn't understand. Now he has 2 children and she only visits my daughter and her family and ignores him. When I say anything to her she says that my son has never given her the propermrespect from my son and says that his wife was never right for him and is cold toward her. I ndont know what to say to my sdokns when he asks me why she is this way yo him.

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
4

Comments

Show:
Bless you heart. The middle child, like my mother who was a middle child, often feel that no one listens to them and that does happen. Her mother did not the emotional energy she needed to meet all three of her children's emotional needs and mom was left out and just like her mother, my mother did not meet my emotional needs either and I was an only child. When I was a young adult, my mom even told me that she did not meet my emotional needs and said that she could not help it, but would do better with my children as her grandchildren, but she failed there too. Her mother's excuse for not meeting her emotional needs was that she had her hands full with her alcoholic husband who was a very important person in that small town who often need her to cover for him or prop him up when needed for the sake of keeping up appearances.

Maybe your situation in growing up was a financial things and it is good hearted of you to prefer to believe that.

My mother was ok with my wife, but to some degree felt that she was loosing me for she had absorbed so much of me into herself to meet her needs as a single mom for a while and even after she got married again. It was a battle to get my freedom.

On the other hand my MIL did not and has not like me from the start which now is 30 some years ago. She only likes feminized men whom she can dominate like she enslaved her passive husband. She was very clear about how much she disliked my stealing her daughter from her for her plans for her daughter was to return to home after going to college and taking care of her parents for the rest of her life.

It was not possible to keep our boys from seeing how narcissistic/borderline she is. My wife once witnessed her mother verbally abusing our boys just like her mom had done to her and to her twin sister. That was the straw that broke the camel's back. I had already set some boundaries about her mother which my wife found it hard to abide by although she had agreed to. After that experience with her mom and the boys, she changed her mind and chose to live by those boundaries and stand up to her mother for the first time in her life.

Our boys have turned out to be fine young men. They have graduated from college and like their parents are going to attend graduate school. My MIL does not show any interest in their lives and neither does my SIL who only is basically hospitable for she lives insulated in her own world.

My boys prefer not to visit her, as do I, and we all prefer to visit only a very short time and unlike the past, we have been staying in our own hotel room and insist if they come to visit up that they stay in a hotel room as well.

There is far too much emotional enmeshement in that family between my wife, her mother and her twin sister for us to stay in the same house with them during a visit or for them to stay with us. The enmeshment is not as bad as it was but when all three of them get together is does return to a degree. There have been times in visiting with that family that I did not feel like I existed at all and our boys have felt that too at times. They are respectful toward their grandmother and aunt, but have expressed not interest in visiting them when they have families of their own. Anyhow, their grandmother will be dead by that time.

I'm sorry for how your mother has treated your boys and am glad to hear that they turned out so well. That is a compliment to your work as their mother. It is awesome that you have a good marriage.

I can understand your sadness about your sons not calling her or visiting her, but it is understandable and their way of protecting themselves with some solid boundaries. It is your mother's loss, but she is what she is and evidently has always been that way.

Somehow, you emerged as a totally separate and healthy functioning adult form a rather dysfunctional family system. What was your dad like? Maybe his influence helped you survive. However, you survived is great and you are to be complemented for building a better family life for your own family.

I've also been disliked by my step-mother who died a while back and she was very critical of my wife. She could not stand for my dad to compliment my boys in her presence. If he did, she would immediately say something about her children who never gave her any grandchildren. She is dead now. My dad did make trips by himself to us to spend time with us and the boys for several years. They have grown up feeling connected to him and enjoy visiting him.

I'm not sure how to explain to your sons why your mother treats them the way she does.

My wife and I have been through enough separately that our therapist have told us their unofficial diagnosis of our mothers and my step-mother. My MIL is a typical queen borderline mom who splits people in her family into all bad and all good. She does not like me and she very deeply does not like my BIL who is a unique person, but I think he has both a mental illness and a learning disability. My mother is a whole unique story which I will not go into, but she had her own problems. I have been successful in helping my SIL to understand her mother, but only recently has she become so emotionally insulated she she bears so much in overseeing her mother's care and she lives in assisted living. Unfortunately, she does not have the emotional freedom from her mother that my wife has. She also basically has to care for her needy husband. I never have understood how those to got together, but he is a sad case and she is very committed to him. Frankly, I hope her mom dies before my SIL dies for she deserves several years on earth without her dominating, self-centered mom. Maybe then she would stop being so emotionally insulated. BTW, she is a uterine cancer survivor since 2001 which is a major miracle for people who have had that particular cancer.

I said all of that to say this, maybe you could say that her experiences in life have shaped her into the person that she is?

What we have told our boys and explained to them is that their grandmother has a personality disorder and some very painful things happen to her when she was young. (Her brothers took advantage of her behind the barn on the farm when she was a teenager. Ever since then, she has carried a basic hatred for men unless they are very passive. That part we have not told the boys about. )

We also explained to them that my step-mother came from an abusive family and an abusive previous marriage before my dad as well as she never got the education that my dad did and although he never made anything of it, she seemed to live with a sense of inadequacy because of that and jealousy of anyone like me or my wife who had been able to gain a lot of education. We both have our doctorates. The were always nice to her, but really liked my dad.

I'm not sure that I completely answered your question, but I think that I have given you some ideas in sharing my own story.

You just might want to do a search on this site in the upper right hand corner using the phrase narcissistic mother and then do a search using the word borderline mothers and see if either description fits your mother. She is a troubled individual and is so for some reason. While my mother did not do the best with me, I understand her better by learning more about her own childhood and mother.

Good night.
(0)
Report

It is what it is. At this point there is nothing to be gained by trying to excuse her or rationalize her behavior to your kids. They can see what is going on. Don't insult them by trying to convince them she is not doing what she is clearly doing.

For them to distance themselves from her seems perfectly reasonable to me.

Personally, I would not let my mother talk negative about my kids to me. At the very least I would change the subject. "Your Janice never calls me. She has no respect for her elders. She was always impudent ..." "Mother, I will not listen to that kind of talk about my children. Let's change the subject." or "That is between you and Janice. Did you notice the big sale Harry's is having on Winter boots? I recall you said you were looking for some."

Sad seems to be a perfectly appropriate reaction to your mother's behavior.
(1)
Report

Yes cmagnum, I am the middle child , it was hard the two oldest and myself were treated a little different growng up but we accepted it. The two youngest got to take dance classes and etc. But i prefer to believe it was a financial thing and they just did not have the money to send the 4 girls to extraciricular activities. Shes a bit strange, she was always critcal of my husband and said that I thought my kids were perfect. I didn,t allow her to babysit them because she wanted to discipline them and i knew how that was so I think thats why she criticized me.
I didnt want my kids to see that she could be mean and i wanted them to love and respect her. So my 3 sisters always had her babysiting and i never did. But all 3 were divorced and I was the only one married and still am. Yet the 3 niece and 3 nephews have amounted to nothing, but she always feels sorry them , and doing for them and my kids have great education, excellent jobs, very responsible married and she gives them no credit for it. She doesnt acknowledge them at all. My kids stay away from her because she interferred alot in their teens and always bashed them with her criticism. She did it for years, but talks about them because they dont call her or visit. It makes me sad.
(0)
Report

She sounds like she is someone who splits certain people into all good or all bad which is not the sign of a healthy person. What was your experience of your mother growing up? Did she interfere in your and your sisters lives? Does she favor one daughter over another? Is she critical of any of her daughters husbands?
(1)
Report

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Related
Questions