This man of hers is very aggressive and manipulative. When she had a job at Wal-mart during the beginning of their relationship, he would change her schedule so she’d miss her scheduled shifts and show up when she wasn’t scheduled. In 2020, when I was eight months pregnant with my second child, I got into a fight with her boyfriend and his brother. Technically, I posted a picture on my mom’s Facebook timeline and her boyfriend became very aggressive with me. I blocked them. Since then, he has gone on other people’s accounts and had my mom’s friends post derogatory comments on my public Facebook wall. Mind you, this is from a 50-year-old man.
I finally gave her an ultimatum. Either she be a present grandmother, which she hasn’t been, and be involved in our lives without this man’s control over her, or we were done. She chose the man. I had been paying for her cellphone at the time and also paying some other bills. I stopped since there’s no reason to pay for these things for someone I don’t even speak with. It’s been six months since this decision and, from what I understand, she’s okay with it. She hasn’t reached out, and I know her terrible boyfriend has rules in place to not communicate with us.
As a mother myself, I don’t understand how you could ever not be involved with your child. As a strong woman, I don’t understand how you can let a man dictate whether you can go to the grocery store or doctor or to see your family. As someone who spoke with my mom twice a day my entire adult life, I don’t understand how she’s just okay with letting it go. To be completely transparent, I don’t know if I want her back in my life, even if she wanted to come back. She really screwed me over by not being here for the birth of her second grandchild. I don’t know that I want to be there in the future to support her health emergencies or provide financial support for her when she needs it. All of this has put a real hindrance on my relationship with my brother and aunt. I feel like they don’t want to talk to me anymore and I’m not sure what to do about any of this. — Feeling Abandoned
I can understand how painful it must be to feel like you’ve lost your mother and that your kids are missing out on a relationship with her. I think you’re right to be focusing on your relationship with the family who might still be receptive to you – your brother and your aunt, and it’s concerning that you feel they don’t want to talk to you anymore. You cannot control anyone else’s behavior or their reaction to your behavior; you can, though, control your own. And you can reflect on past behavior that may have complicated your relationships with family members. For example, you say you posted a picture to your mom’s FB timeline that resulted in her boyfriend being very aggressive with you. Then, he went to other people’s accounts and had your mom’s friends post derogatory comments on your wall? What on earth did you post that riled people up like this? Why would your mom’s friends cooperate with what sounds like an abusive boyfriend of your mother’s? Is there anything in YOUR behavior here that maybe harmed your case?
You say that you feel like your brother and aunt don’t want to talk to you anymore. Your brother was basically abandoned by your mom while he was still in high school. What is it that he’s upset with *you* about? Is it because you (understandably) stopped paying for your mother’s cell phone and her bills? How is your mother now communicating with your brother and your aunt? What is it she’s saying to them about you? It seems like they might be getting one side of the story and, based on what you’ve described of your social media behavior, I am concerned about the side of the story you’ve been expressing. It’s probably time for a heart-to-heart with your brother and your aunt, in which you let them know how important your relationship with each of them is and ask them with an open heart how you can help repair it. It’s important to really listen to them and to try not to be defensive.
Finally, I think it would be best for you to get off FB and social media. It sounds like it’s been harmful to your mental health and to your various relationships. Really evaluate what you’re getting from it. There are other, much better, ways to communicate with loved ones. Your anger and pain are probably justified – at least in terms of your mother’s disappearance from your life – and it would be such a shame if you’re using social media to express that pain in a way that can be used against you, which happens so often. It can be easy to fall into a trap of sending passive aggressive messages through social media posts rather than picking up a phone and calling the people we are desperate to make our points with. Talking directly forces you to be more assertive as well as to actively listen. I suspect that direct communication could go a long way in addressing the issues in your relationships with your brother and your aunt. And I think reinforcing those relationships will give you the support you need to figure out what role you want to have in your mother’s life and what boundaries are needed to pursue that role.
When I approached my partner about it the next day, he said it is just the way she is and not to care about it. The problem is he goes up there alone quite regularly to watch rugby or have a few drinks, and now I am mortified. Do you think I should approach her? Just for the record, she is a possessive woman herself over her husband. Help! — Uncomfortable
No, you shouldn’t approach her; you should approach your boyfriend and tell him you aren’t comfortable with the lack of boundaries he has with your employees and that he needs to put a kibosh on the personal/intimate behavior with this other woman or you will approach her as her boss and tell her to knock it off. Just because this behavior is “just the way she is,” doesn’t mean your boyfriend should engage in said behavior – especially when you’re expressing your discomfort with it.