She cut me off and said, “I have to say it”, and went on about how my biological clock is ticking, I WILL want a baby of my own one day, I won’t feel the same with an adopted child, you can’t love an adopted child the same, etc. To top it off she blames my husband for not wanting biological children because he doesn’t like babies! He’s not the biggest fan of babies (neither am I, honestly), but we both know that babies grow up. We haven’t decided on the age range we are interested in yet — we are open at this point.
I was so flustered that I stuttered in my husband’s defense that it was ultimately my choice. I was so stunned I didn’t point out that what she said is terribly rude. I am crushed by her words.
The relationship between myself and my mother has been non-existent or strained for most of my life, and it’s only in the last few years that we’ve been “ok” (she is medicated now and is better than she used to be). I don’t think it’s ok to call her up to “politely” point out her insensitive comments, but I am losing sleep over this and I am angry. Do I wait to correct her if she brings it up again? I certainly don’t want her treating my potential future adopted child the way I now fear she will. After having such an awful relationship with me, her biological child, who is she to say anything about loving children? — Crushed By Mom’s Words
I’m so sorry for your mother’s cruel, heartless words. And I have to say it: Your relationship with your mother doesn’t, in fact, sound “ok.” It sounds draining and stressful, to have to worry about what horrible thing she might say next and how she might treat a potential adopted child of yours. After having your mother be nonexistent in your life up until a few years ago, what benefit do you get from having a relationship with her now, especially if it consists of her saying things that crush you and make you lose sleep?
You say you don’t think it’s ok to call up your mother and point out her insensitive comments, but I not only think it’s ok, I also believe it’s necessary, especially if you decide to down-grade this relationship or cut it out of your life completely. For what it’s worth: People we love can and will say things that hurt us from time to time. But what your mother said goes beyond insensitivity. And with a history of hurt behind you two, the bond just doesn’t seem strong enough to withstand the pain she’s causing you now and the worry you rightfully have about your future with her (and about her relationship with your potential child). So I would say something like this to your mother:
“What you said about adoption was not only hurtful, but also it was untrue. I will love any child of mine with all my heart. I will make choices about parenthood — the when and the how — with my husband and him only. If you can’t respect that, and if you continue to give me reason to believe you won’t be a present and loving grandmother to any future child of mine, whether biological or adopted, you leave me with no choice but to cut you out of my life. My emotional well-being, the security of my marriage, and the health and well-being of my future children are too important to risk the pain that a close relationship with someone who doesn’t love us unconditionally will likely cause.”
If she chooses to abandon you and your family, that’s on her. You can’t control another person’s actions or words, but you sure as hell can control how you respond. To continue letting her emotionally abuse you, and to have access to a future grandchild whom she may also hurt the same way she’s hurt you, isn’t healthy. I can’t imagine what you may get out of relationship with her that would be worth what you lose.
As time has gone by, the issues come more frequently. Recently Sylvia texted Fred asking when our wedding is and telling him about her daughter moving to Texas. Prior to this, she’d mentioned how she was waiting for her invite to arrive, and she made a comment on his photo that we took at the beach about how much he’s grown. Though the comments seem harmless, I think they’re inappropriate considering she’s married and she’s his ex FWB. I can’t believe she expects to be invited to the wedding; I’d never invite her, let alone anyone I’ve dated or had sex with, to a party.
I, again, tell him it’s seems like a slap in my face that he carries on this relationship while in the past he’s gone through my phone, read messages from a guy friend back home saying he missed me, and then accused me of cheating on him. I’d never put my boyfriend in a situation like he’s put me into with his ex. He doesn’t understand my concerns, and I get so annoyed that when, out of respect, I don’t have exes or old lovers hanging around so that he never has to feel insecure, he doesn’t extend the same consideration to me. Am I being jealous or territorial? Am I in the wrong for feeling this way? Am I threatend by this woman? — No Invite for the Ex
Uh, yeah, clearly you’re threatened by this woman. She likes photos of his on social media, makes comments here and there, and sends a random occasional text to say hi? Big whoop. If your relationship was solid, this would not be a threat to you. And your boyfriend wouldn’t be monitoring your communication with your guy friends. And you wouldn’t feel the need to protect him from any guy from your past for fear of making him insecure. You don’t trust each other. You definitely aren’t ready for marriage (and the ex’s request for an invitation to your wedding is something that can easily be ignored! I don’t understand why you’re fixated on it unless your boyfriend actually would want to invite her).
It’s time to be really honest with yourselves and each other. What is it about your boyfriend — about him or about his history with this woman — that you can’t trust? I get that you’re weirded out by a 45-year-old woman screwing your then-16-year-old boyfriend. But that was ten years ago. What are you concerned about now, at this point? Do you think Fred has feelings for her? Fantasizes about her? What? If you can’t get past this, I think you need to MOA. Your relationship isn’t built on trust, and without that foundation you won’t have the stability you need to grow together.
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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.