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Am I the only person that won't tell his mother he loves her?

1281 Views 16 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  moondiapers
I'm not sure what's wrong with me, but every time I talk to my mom on the phone (probably twice a week or so), when we are about to get off the phone she says, "Love you" or some derivation thereof, and I just say, "bye." I feel kind of mean. Thing is, I actually like and love my mother quite a bit--I don't know what my problem is. I have no problem saying that to my wife or my kids, but I just don't say it to anyone else. My mom is the only one I feel bad about though.

Anyone else like that?
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I felt weird saying it to my brother, but I said it once right before he went on a trip and after that it go a lot easier. I do love him also, but I know how you feel about it being weird. Try it once. It gets a lol easier!


sweetest lil babe
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I never used to tell my parents that I loved them, neither one of them. But as I grew older, I guess I started thinking that the last time I spoke to them could REALLY be the last time, ya know?

I was over 30 when I started trying to say it sometimes, (and I know they were maybe a bit surprised, and it helped them to open up a bit more in the affection department, I think,) and really by age 35 it was very easy to say, and now it is a part of my conversations.

Funny, I have always been very affectionate with my own children, and they say it frequently. It may be an age or generational thing, when my parents were children, it probably wasn't normal to be very affectionate, then with me, they were a little affectionate, and I am very affectionate and my children are too, LOL.

I hope my ramblings have somehow shed some light on your dilemma...
My mother's Sicilian and I'm 1/2 Italian so I grew up always saying it and still do, although we live very far from one another and don't talk too much these days as we are soooo busy in life. She's helping raise a newborn grandchild in TX and we're in the Northeast with our toddler.

We're pretty affectionate people so it's not a problem. But keep trying it. It will come naturally. My father is an Okie (born and raised in farm county in Oklahoma) so he never said it until I was an adult and then it came more naturally to him. An Okie farm boy in a family of 10 doesn't have a lot of voice, especially in the 1920's, 1930's growing up. I think I used to freak him out saying it when I was an adolescent...but he's cool now.

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My husband has commented on it several times. Nobody in my family ever really says "I love you" to each other. I say it to my husband and kids all the time...constantly. But, mom, dad & my siblings - never. I think I've said it to my mom twice as an adult...and I'm almost 37. With my dad and my sister, there are some mixed feelings, which explains it. And, I love my brother, but he's very standoffish about saying it, so that's probably part of why I don't say it to him...actually, now that I think about it, my mom is, too.

I think once you get a dynamic in place, forcing change is hard, and feels weird. Maybe the OP can try to make it happen, and I will, too.

(The funny thing is...I have no trouble saying it in print. I've given memory books to every member of my immediate family on significant birthdays - each book has a whole page that's basically "here are the things I love most about you". I just can't say it in person.)
My dh had the same "problem" but that was because he had a challenging relationship with his mom and that made it hard for him to feel loving towards her, nevermind saying it to her.
I've only been able to say it to my immediate family and really mean it. Me and my mom say it every time we talk on the phone (almost daily, or multiple times a day due to me not working :p) and my stepfather and I haven't really had a parent/child relationship/friendship so it's strange for me to say it to him or even HEAR it from him.

As for my brother...we have our understanding, which means it's not necessary to say it whenever we talk...but when one of us is going away for a while we definately say it to each other just to make sure than rememberance is still there.

My husband is the complete opposite though, but I think that as weird as my family and I are, him and his family were horrible towards each other in his younger years. I can actually tell that he never really fully learned the idea of compassion and empathy toward others, as it shows in his life every time we are around other people or talking about them.

Also, his mother has hidden a lot of things from him that he has had to hear from other members of his family, as well as her not taking care of him when his grandmother tried to take his life with her car, so it's very...I want to say hostile...on his end. He doesn't believe that his mother deserves for him to love her unconditionally, because even as much as I know of their history, she never gave him that unconditional love that a parent usually gives. for his step-father, they have the sort of understanding that I and my brother have...but that's another story.
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Just say it. It's not that hard and after a while it becomes almost routine. I was not really on good terms with my stepdad in my late teens, and one day I decided to hug him when I saw him. His response wasn't much the first time, but I kept doing it and now we hug all the time. It makes life better.

Chad, DH to Cathy
I always tell my mom I love her. Never had a problem with it. Say it to my dad and brothers too.
My Dh's family also does the "love you" as a goodbye on the phone and I actually really don't like it. Dh used to do it with me on the phone all the time too, until I asked him to stop. I would rather here it less, and in a more meaningful way than just automatically without really thinking about it. Plus, then I felt obligated to say it back, and it just felt weird.

But I do admit, I don't tell my family (parents, siblings) I love them and would find it difficult. Not that I don't, but we just didn't grow up saying it a lot. It is different written, as in email. With Dh and kids, we do say it, but not all the time, which is how *I* like it.

Just thought I would add a different perspective.
MY DH says it to his mom but not his dad. I say it to both parents, but more often my mom. Dad and I have never been very close.

My brother says it now every time I talk to him on the phone. (All these people are out of state. If they lived in town and I saw them more often I probably wouldn't say it.) It's a little weird because we were rather astranged for about 10 years due to his drug problem (he's now in recovery). I do make a point to say I love you to my brother now though. Because, yeah, I do love him. And also because he used to think that I hated him and I don't want him to ever think that again.

So, I wouldn't necessarily think you are weird or anything. But if it bothers you and you DO love your mother, I guess I'd suggest saying it to her. It does feel less strange after awhile - I have some friends (again out of state) who almost always say I love you. It felt a bit weird at first to reciprocate, but I do so now because I do feel love for them.
i guess you are not much close to your mother that is why its hard for you to say to your mother..though it would be hard for you to say, you can always express your affection to your mom in many other ways, action speaks louder than words..
I don't say it, not to anyone but my husband and son. And only if nobody else is in hearing range. I think part of htis is that my mom is the kind of person who has always tried to, like, force that kind of thing from people. So in your face about how she will always be ther eto listen or whatever that it turns her into the last person on earth anyone would want to share their feelings with. Kwim? I stopped saying it when I was a kid, maybe around 10 or so? I didn't like feeling obligated about it, so I just wouldn't do it. Now it's this big awkward thing between us htat she soemtimes mentions, ie: will you *ever* say hte words to me, sob sob drama. And of course no matter how close I may have been getting ot getting over this thing about the L-word with family that sets me back to square one. Who is she to tell me waht to say and feel and how to express my emotions? And if it's coerced what could it possibly mean anyway?

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I generally do not come in this forum (I PROMISE) but when I saw the title on the main page I wanted to come and look and tell DP to respond.

:LOL Should have known better
i agree with moonshine here. saying it all the time trivialises it. i v. rarely say it to my daughter and mostly to reciprocate. when xh and i were together and we both craved physical touch not having grown up with it we would use if v. often with each other because we needed it - not just the words, but simple touches, a flick here and there.

well i kinda guess it also depends on the kind of relationship and what u have grown up with. my family was not a v. physical one. we were just the opposite to ur mom. i dont think i have ever said i love u to my dad ever. not once in my life (dont remember kid memories). neither did he. and we didnt need to. we were kindred spirits who understood each other. and we believed in action rather than words. i never craved the words, but craved hugs.

now my mom ever since my dad died says i love u on the phone once in a while. never having heard that it felt strange. and i never reciprocated. then one day my mom began this huge emotional argument about me not saying i love her (still upset over my dad's death). i first said it, and i went over our relationship and asked did she really need those words to know how i felt. we discussed it v. openly and found we didnt need to say those words. we agreed words are so easy to say but actions are what really proves things. but yes hearing her say i love u i could not repeat it to her and felt strange that i did not.
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I'm a woman but I won't do it either.

I have a thing that if someone expects me or wants me to do something I get uncomfortable and shy away from it.
We say it all of the time. And EVERY time my children, husband, mother...etc. say it to me, I feel my heart swell up. I don't think it can ever be said enough.
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