How do you keep your head above water when your mom is 100% critical about everything?

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My mom is completely negative and critical about everything. She has been with us for almost 2 years in her own beautiful suite and still complains about EVERYTHING. I know she has a lot of issues from her past, but you can't even watch a movie without her critizing it. She hates our town, refuses to meet people, can't stand my husband, doesn't know her grandkids because she disowned me when I married my husband. Still as the dutiful daughter, I asked her to come live with us after my dad passed away. There was no way she could live by herself. Not because she wasn't capable of getting around, but people would take advantage of her living in the city all by herself. Plus she can't drive and my dad did EVERYTHING for her, so she was totally clueless. Everytime I go out with her it gets so frustrating I'm ready to dig my own grave. HELP!!!!!

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Donna; I'm currently married to my second husband, who is a doll.

After we'd been dating for a while, I met his mom. She had been diagnosed with dementia, but she had told her three sons "that doctor is wrong; there is nothing wrong with me". And they all bought it.

She and I had a fairly cordial relationship, but it was clear to me that her cognitive and reasoning skills were not normal. She made assumptions about me and about my three grown children that were quite off base. When DH and I talked about getting married, I had one condition, which was that he would never, ever expect me to have her move into our apartment or for me to become her caregiver. I offered him the same promise about my mom, who was healthy at the time. We agreed.

I really don't understand putting the needs of your mother over the needs of your husband! Yes, we all love our mothers, but what I think of as the "hierarchy of caring" goes like this: 1. Minor children 2. spouse 3. Adult children. 4. Minor grandchildren. 5. parents.

You also have to take care of yourself in order to care for anyone else. If you are being abused, that takes a toll that is almost uncountable.
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The one clencher in this is that she has always disliked your husband and disowned her own grandchildren because of it. I'd find her that place in an independent living community as fast as I could. You had hoped things would work out and she would change. But they didn't work out and she's making your home miserable. It's time to find a new home for her. An independent living community will provide everything she needs. She'll even be able to talk to the other residents about how awful her SIL is. Grr. He actually must be a sweetie to have let her move in.
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Dear Donna,

I know you are doing your best for your mom. Its so hard when your efforts are met with criticisms. Its very hard.

Has she always been like this? Do you think her negativity could be due to depression after your father's passing? High blood pressure? Diabetes? Vascular dementia? Diet? Dehydration?

I know we all want to please our parents. I did too. I took care of my dad after his stroke but it took a toll on me. I should never have allowed myself to get so angry and resentful about caring for him. I should have considered family therapy, respite care or possibly moving my dad into assisted living. But I kept thinking I could do it, but it was increasingly hard to keep my head above water.

If you can try to have heart to heart with her and let her know where you're at and let her know you will move her out if this continues.
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Donna,, maybe you should tell her that a new place to live is about to be discussed because you all have "just realized" how unhappy she is living with you, and it makes "you feel awful that she feels that way". They tote her out to look a few places.... You don;t mention demenia, etc.. so maybe her lucid mind needs a big old wake up call. After all.. tell her you can understand why she " would not want to continue living like this since she is so unhappy" and you want to help her feel more comfortable. Maybe by putting this back on her a bit, it would make you less of the bad guy,, and shake her grumpy butt up!
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I can't imagine inviting anyone like that into my home to live. I'd explore what the cause is and then decide if I would continue to tolerate it.

If she is just a toxic and negative person and that's the way she has always been, then, I don't see why she would change now. I'd explore the options and seek therapy to learn ways to cope. I'd consider the negative impact on young children and your husband Living with that kind of thing is not conducive to a happy home.

And if the negativity is recent, then, I explore if she has depression, dementia, illness or something else that is causing it and if it can be treated. Some conditions render the person helpless and unable to control the things they say. It's still difficult to tolerate, but, if it's a brain disorder, at least you know the cause.

I might explore the options to see where mom might be well cared for in a place that you don't have to hear the negativity nonstop. If she's so unhappy, maybe, a new place would help.
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My dear, please Google the term "narcissistic mother" and let us know if it appears to fit your situation.

Has your mother always been like this? How does your husband feel about having someone who hates him living in his home?

Has your mother ever been evaluated by a geriatric psychiatrist? Is it possible that she's depressed?
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