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Advice for dealing with toxic Mum who hates my partner?

Community Member

Hi, all. My partner and I have been living together at my Mum's place for about a year now and recently things have taken a turn for the worst. My mum recently remarried and offered up the spare room to her husband's daughter, which would have been fine if his daughter didn't like to throw parties at random times. We had about an hour of warning before she brought her friends over, with a toddler stamping its feet loudly upstairs and serving to negate what sleep we could have gotten that night. My partner and I have the lower floor of the house, and while the party wasn't extremely boisterous, it was still very difficult to get to sleep knowing that they could have come downstairs and taken our stuff without our knowledge. It was hellish trying to get to sleep that night. Mum thought I needed to be more tolerant of the daughter, who lied through text that she was going to quiet things down but it was extremely unfair that we were denied sleep because of her. I've tried to get her to see my side of things but my Mum just completely refuses to listen. She believes that because I want to do different things with my partner instead of her, that my partner is the problem. She's belitted my partner, talked behind her back, chastised her and hasn't accepted her as a family member at all.

I'm beginning to suspect my mum is emotionally abusive to me. I know that the internet has droves of unhelpful information, but from what I read it seems like my experience lines up with what the article I read classifies as symptoms of emotional abuse. Instances like not taking my emotions seriously, saying that I embarrass her, talking down to me subtly in public and trying to guilt-trip me emotionally have lead me to believe that she could be doing this without realizing. Regardless of her intentions, I honestly can't take this fight between her and my partner anymore and I can't handle her talking down to my partner. Thank you for reading. Any advice on how to keep my Mum at arm's length until my partner and I land our own place would be very much appreciated. We are going up to my partner's parents' to get away from this for a while.

3 Replies 3

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Vulcan171,

That sounds like a tough situation, I hate loud people upstairs and have specifically chosen to live on the top floor of my little apartment block to avoid it!

The boundaries between families can be tricky as we get older. As parents have had the control for so long, sometimes they're not so good at seeing us as adults, and they can take certain liberties with the way they treat us, knowing that we're going to stick around because we're family.

You mention that you are trying to find your own place, and that you're staying with your partner's folks for a while. That sounds like a great idea. I love my mother, but living with her just wouldn't be sustainable, we all need to find our own way, and hope that our parents can adapt to our adulthood, and come along for the ride as fellow humans, not as parent and child.

I think there are difficulties when different generations and families are living together, but that doesn't really excuse any belittlement or rudeness to your partner. It must be difficult sharing a house with both your mum and partner if they don't get along that well. As we get older, our allegiance to our mum diminishes, and our loyalty to our partner increases, so parents need to learn that they must fit into how we choose to live our lives, and accept the people we've chosen to share it with, or else they may be the ones who get less and less time with us.

Have you thought about seeing a psychologist? I've seen a few over my time and they have been super helpful in figuring out how I feel about this kind of stuff. If you can come through this phase and into your own place while still being on ok terms with both your partner and your mum, that would be the ideal outcome!

Hang in there and feel free to chat some more,


Hi Jackson,

Thanks for the reply. Honestly, it is a very tough situation since my partner and I are quiet people who keep to ourselves and try to avoid confrontation. My mum's response trying to defend the actions of her husband's daughter just show how much she plays favourites. To her mind, the daughter is only home a few days a week and her parties only have a few friends at a time, so to her we should have nothing to complain about. What she doesn't understand is that it isn't about how many people or how often she does it, it's about the fact this daughter threw a party on a weeknight when my partner and I were exhausted. Mum preaches about living harmoniously, but when push comes to shove she shows how willing she is to accommodate her husband's family, even if it's at the detriment to other people. My mum and I had an argument today about how my partner insulted the daughter, though I honestly can't blame my partner. She's sick of living in a place where we are put down and repeatedly made to feel like shit. How mum talked to my partner today made me furious and I know I need to put my foot down with the way she speaks to us.

I think you're definitely right about how parents need to accommodate their children as adults. My partner and I are very different people to her which is completely fine. She can't understand this and treats us like children which is something I'm going to address. If she continues to belittle and insult my partner, I'll have to consider how much time I spend with her, since it's unacceptable.

As for a Psychologist, I've seen a few throughout my life due to anxiety and self esteem issues at high school, though it's been a year or so the last time I talked to one. A uni counsellor is giving me a call this Friday and hopefully I can arrange an appointment with her as soon as possible. Thank you for your kind words. I'll do my best to hang in there while my partner and I get a place.

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

That's great! I'm really glad you've reached out to your uni counsellor.

It's an inherently tricky time, as you're old enough to be able to make your own decisions, but still living under the same roof so you all need to somehow fit in together. I think you have a good mentality, and just try to keep things as civil as possible until you're able to find alternative arrangements, if that's what you decide to do.

Good luck with your counsellor on Friday, and I'm sure this will all work out 🙂