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#1 of 12 Old 01-26-2005, 12:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am in a situation that could get very difficult and I'm having a hard time dealing with conflicting thoughts and feelings. It's a very long story but I'll give the abridged version.

My mother and I were estranged for six years but have now reunited. The estrangement occurred after about ten years of tension due to her marriage to a man I did not like when I was 18. My own father had passed away a few months before her marriage, but they had been divorced since I was three.

The man my mother was married to really disliked me, and I knew it. I tried hard to get along with him even though i couldn't stand him, but nothing was ever good enough. He ACTED fine towards me and always went out of his way to help me out, and I tried my best to please him, but I was young and he was the adult and he just took every little thing I did and made it out to be negative. He sort of turned my mom against me too. It all culminated in some horrible ugly stuff six years ago surrounding the birth of my only child, and that was the last time we spoke. It's been hell for me, but I've really dealt with it pretty well and have had lots of therapy!

Anyway, my grandfather - my mother's dad - just passed away and I went to the funeral. My mother and her husband live in another state, the same one as her parents. What could have been awful turned out much better than expected - my mother seemed really happy to see me and wants to have me back in her life, and she wants to know my daughter. Unfortunately, her husband is a control freak and very unforgiving, and she has let me know that he doesn't want to have anything to do with me unless I "apologize" to him. Of course, if he has nothing to do with me, it will put limits on my relationship with my mother. It's really a sad statement about their marriage. My husband would never be so self-centered no matter how he feels about my mom.

I'm much more mature than I was six years ago when a similar thing was asked of me, but I am trying to find a balance between appeasing this guy so he will no longer be able to call all the shots and preserving my dignity. I will not allow him to set things up so that he looks like the grand poobah and I'm the bad girl begging for forgiveness. On the other hand, I'm willing to sacrifice a bit to have my mother back in my life. I hate that this is becoming my problem when it is really between them. I feel sorry for her, really. But theri marriage isn't my business.

Any advice?
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#2 of 12 Old 01-26-2005, 12:48 PM
 
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No advice, but ((((lunamom))))
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#3 of 12 Old 01-26-2005, 03:38 PM
 
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I don't know. What a tough situation. Personally from what you've said so far, I wouldn't apologize. Deal with your mom without dealing with him. Don't allow him into your life.

And yet... that might be difficult. Play it by ear. See how much he "allows" your mom into your life (oy. I can't even imagine being married to a person like that, but it is ultimately her decision to stay with him).

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#4 of 12 Old 01-28-2005, 08:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I came to the realization that this is SO about their marriage and not about me, and that because she doesn't want to look at the fact that the man she is married to is trying to deprive her of a relationship with her daughter, she's making it my responsibility to solve their problem by apologizing to him. And trust me, he doesn't really want an apology from me. He's just looking for ways to keep me away from my mother.

So I found a very careful way to let her know that this is between them and not my responsibility, and that I am doing all I need to do to help us build a new relationship. I let her know that the limitations being placed upon our relationship are not my doing and it is not my job to alleviate them. I told her that she and I have gotten to a place where we are ready to move forward and not keep blaming each other for the past, and if her husband is not in that place, it is not my job to get him there.

I actually managed to get all this across without mentioning her husband's name to her once. It wasn't easy.

Isn't that man a piece of work? He's making her choose between himself and her daughter. He's a selfish pr*#k is what he is. I feel sorry for my mother and thankful that my own husband would never do something like that to me.
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#5 of 12 Old 01-28-2005, 10:04 PM
 
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I hope your mom realizes what she is missing.
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#6 of 12 Old 01-29-2005, 04:28 PM
 
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LunaMom, you are an amazingly wise woman. I hope things work out for you and your mom.
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#7 of 12 Old 01-29-2005, 10:43 PM
 
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LunaMom Sounds like you have made the right decision! I hope you and your mom can work things out on your own
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#8 of 12 Old 01-30-2005, 04:30 PM
 
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LunaMom, I am so impressed with the way you handled that situation. You took the "grownup" perspective, and let your mom know that you still care. The bal is in her court now. I hope this all works out for you and your mother.
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#9 of 12 Old 01-30-2005, 06:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, whaddya know, being a grownup and putting the ball back in her hands got me the result I had hoped for - but did not expect from her selfish ass of a husband.

All of a sudden the man is willing to let bygones be bygones (at least she says he is ready) and be civil to me and my husband.

You know, all a bully needs is one person to stand up to them and say NO loud and clear.

So we'll see what happens the next time I see them (which will be in three weeks at my niece's birthday party).

Thank you all for your support and kind words.
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#10 of 12 Old 02-08-2005, 12:54 PM
 
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this is hard. any updates? i don't think you should have to kiss butt. that's silly. but then again sometimes we have to do things in order to have things that are important-relationships or whatever.

it's a tough sitch all around!

JEN

JEN, Hoopdancin' mama to Mairi Elizabeth 12/04, Catriana Quinn stillborn 41w 1/07 and our rainbow Elijah Asher 3/09, wife to Keith for 9 years.
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#11 of 12 Old 02-08-2005, 07:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It's going pretty well, actually - no further input from the husband, but my mother and I have had a few pleasant phone conversations and chatty e-mails.

It's definitely a situation that will have to be monitored and managed for a while, but I'm glad to be communicating with my mother again. Being estranged from your mom sucks. Period. No matter how screwed up your relationship was. And it's funny, but I think the estrangement helped us to really understand each other better.
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#12 of 12 Old 02-11-2005, 10:09 AM
 
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I think you handled it beautifully! If I were you, I'd have no interest in any sort of relationship with that man. While I wouldn't be rude to him, I would not go out of my way for him in the least bit either. Your poor mom - she must feel so weak inside to have let this man come between you.
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