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Is my mum being unreasonable?
Hi, it's been a while since I posted. Things are good. I have a nice partner who I've been with for a year and a half. He lives in his place and I live in my place with my elderly mum who is partially dependent on me for things like showering, shopping, dr's appointments etc.
I love my mum and I try and go out of my way to show her this. I like taking her out and including her with certain of my social events with friends, etc. She has social anxiety and has no social life except through me.
My partner has invited her to things with me and his family on occasion, but not on every occasion.
My partner's parents are coming to stay with him for a while and when they arrive he has arranged to take them and me out to lunch. Mum is very upset that she's not invited and explained that she was also hurt when not invited to previous events. She's not stopping me from going but she I can see that she may be beginning to dislike my partner.
Is she being unreasonable? Should my partner have invited her to lunch with me and his parents? It's hard for me to be objective and I just feel torn between them.
I would really appreciate others' advice and/or opinions.
I think that your mum is being a tad unreasonable, as there’s no expectation that she has to be invited. I am always invited to my partner’s parents events but my parents often aren’t and vice versa. But they do come when invited and have a good time but don’t expect to be there every time. I think the difference here is that your mum is on her own, so she feels being ‘left out’ more acutely. It likely comes from a place of insecurity, and she may also worry that she is being replaced by your partner’s parents. I think a bit of communication would be good here - to your mum, letting her know that she can’t always expect to be invited, and also reassuring her that you love her and she will always be your mother. And also gently letting her know that you won’t entertain any issues. And then a word to your partner, explaining that your mum is quite isolated and would it be alright if she comes to family events from time to time. Does that sound reasonable?
After re-reading your post, I realize that she seems most hurt by the fact that she wasn’t invited to that particular lunch. Can you maybe chat to her and ask her what she is feeling? When describing it, she may herself realize she’s being a bit unreasonable. Is there an option to have another lunch during their stay which your mum is invited to?
I think you are spot on in an assessing why my mum is reacting the way she is, e.g. feeling isolated and insecure because I'm her only company. Thank you for your sound advice.
When I get home tonight I'll talk with mum and do my best to listen and understand. But I also want to be honest with her. Namely, I don't feel that she's ever been unfairly excluded for anything - this lunch included.
I really do appreciate you responding to me. It helps so much to get an objective, but compassionate opinion.
Thank you, RG
Yes, the guilt can really weigh me down! I so appreciate your words of support reminding me that this kind of tension is normal in parent/child relationships where the parent is the dependent.
I will keep your words in mind tonight when I'm with my mum. I know I am entitled to a life of my own and mum often says this to me but sometimes (like now) her actions say something different. I guess I will have to learn to be ok with occasionally living my life on my terms at the expense of her happiness because I don't think I'm being unfair.
I think honest but empathetic is a perfect approach. You sound like a really lovely and caring daughter and I’m sure your mother must realize that. I wish you all the best with your chat and please do pop in and let us know how you go - good luck 👍!!
mum and I talked last night and while emotions ran high it cleared the air. I reassured her that she’s loved and reminded her that she actually is invited to many outings we me and my partner, if not all of them, and that’s quite normal and ok.
Mum has bipolar and today we both realised it’s time to visit the psychiatrist again because it seems she’s descending into another episode. That’s what’s triggered this whole drama I think.
thanks again for your advice and support . It really did help me handle the matter better than I might have.