A man and his mother

A man and his mother

The relationship between adult and married children with their parents rarely line up without a hitch. Two different generations have their own motivations and attitudes, therefore supporting each other easily and unselfishly is not always. But it is necessary.

When a family has faced a difficult situation of this kind, my client Oksana asked to advise her husband. She linked family problems with her mother in law and its negative impact on the situation in the young family. The first consultation with Fedor was also dedicated “weather in the house”, where the keynote theme of his relationship with his mother, and the man said that he would like to try to understand this… In the process of dialogue between the psychologist and client, it became clear – the light of peace and understanding as an umbrella will help this family to live in peace.

Fedor: I Have a bad relationship with my mother. I would be upset and worried. We talk, she comes to us sometimes. And then there is a strong tension. Oksana doesn’t love my mom, and this is evident even in how she offers to drink her tea. I understand it, is for what. Mom repeatedly said she terribly unfair words and continues to do so. From the beginning the relationship was cool, but now Oksana barely tolerate the presence of mother in the house. I feel caught in the middle. I understand that Oksana has the right to treat a mother-in-law, but it prevents me to establish its own contact with the mother.

Julia Vasilkina: Let’s start from the beginning. How did you develop your relationship with your mom growing up?

F.: my Mother was never particularly affectionate with me. I remember a few vivid cases. At first I gave in the all-day kindergarten. However, the mode for me was “lightweight”: I was being taken home on the night from Wednesday to Thursday. In four years I almost died, I had developed peritonitis. Remember taking me on the gurney, I yell to mom I had, and she pays no attention to me, talking to the doctor. Now I certainly understand that the conversation with the doctor was important, but to somehow cheer could she? Often the child heard the sentence: “I like this son does not need” when I was young, in her opinion, wasn’t acting. Now I think that was good, “free” child: he did homework, cooked meals, cleaned their own went to a sports school. But my mom could easily walk away, slam the door and say the most insulting phrase. Until I was five or six years, crying hysterically. Then somehow used to it.

Fedor continued the story. According to him, the mother tried to take care of it, but in a strange way. This care was not. There have been many tips, advice, aspirations to find out any details of his life. If he was Frank with the mother, then could hear her discussing it with a friend on the phone, then laughing, then with indignation. Gradually, he tried to dissociate itself from the persistent attention, although Frank had no resistance. The man said that she “put a spoke in the wheel” any of its undertaking, many times returning to the theme and assuring that my son will not work, explaining in detail why. But the more she tried, the harder Fedor has achieved the goal. From prosperous Moscow, he went to study in unfamiliar to him Peter. Returned to Moscow after seven years with the diploma of the Institute of architecture and characteristics of promising design engineer. Returned to the parents, being confident that the relationship will change now. But there it was. Mom rushed him to the new relentless perseverance, trying to control his life.

At that time, successful young man got acquainted with Oksana, and it quickly became clear that the feelings are mutual and strong. But my mother nurtured the idea of his wedding with a different girl that Fedor took no more than friendly. When meeting with a future daughter-in-law she immediately slipped of the pepper, describing the dignity of the other. About the wedding with her mother at first would not hear, but her opinion Fedor ignored, especially because of the need to live with his mother at young luckily was not.

F: I think that mom and now, after all our vicissitudes have not given up hope to trick me with Oksana and married to a friend of the family. But we have a teenage son, her grandson. Oksana feels it, and the relationships get complicated. Assistance with the child from it will not wait, but advice – as much as necessary. And then painted all the relatives how bad daughter-in-law takes every little thing exaggerating.

Yu: the Relationship really is quite complicated. What was a challenge you set for yourself and for me for this consultation?

F.: I would like to deal with feeling… guilt. Clarify – the feeling consistently occurs after communication with the mother. Not during a call, and then. While chatting with her, I feel tense, sometimes angry at her for the nasty language, that cannot or does not want to support me, their only son. And then comes the wine – after all she is my mother… I would like to feel relaxed, communicating with her.

Yu: of course, You realise that this miracle is unlikely to happen. Our communication with you may be directed only to your own activity. Change mom we can’t. Moreover, even if you change, it can be absolutely not ready for this and resistance at first may be great. What is the result of the consultation, which will manifest immediately or in the early days, you would be considered sufficient?

F.: I would like to outline the ways to solve this problem, to see what I can do in this situation. My attempts to change our relationship for the better ineffectual, every time I have enough for a while. Although Oksana thinks I’m a “Mama’s boy” because I try not to be rude mom and “put her in her place”, as I would like my wife. And I can’t afford boorish attitude. Not educated. About things she said and aloud are not solved. Probably don’t want to be even more “unworthy” son, it is now.

Yu: In your story you are not a sissy. I see a rather independent man who takes important decisions in life, from school years. I think that you have enough resources to continue to approach the task you have set for ourselves now.

I have divided the list into two parts and offered the client to write in the left column, a few remarks on the topic “I want my relationship with my mother…”.

And this is what appeared:
…to what was said, not handed down within the family;
…so I don’t have to think about every word in the conversation;
…to let go, it was not hyperopic;
…the communication to be personal and not over the phone.

Now was set out concrete guidelines with which to work. Had to fill in the right part of the sheet where it reads: “I am ready to do…” And that’s what the client has identified for itself. To cope with the first task (not to take anything outside of the family), he decided to be with my mother less than candid not to talk to her about serious issues. He explained this by the fact that the mother can not be undone and she can hardly refrain from discussions with numerous friends. To “in not boiled”, he decided to be more forthright with his wife and her parents, with whom he had cordial relations. The second problem was solved by itself: no serious topics, no need to think about every word.

As for hyperopic, Fedor decided to continue to prove by their actions that they are able to achieve their goals independently. We talked a bit about what he had already did this, but mom the grip of hyperopic to break the unwilling. Then Fedor said that should probably be treated with a little more humor to questioning mom about what he ate today and whether the scarf. I agreed: where there is humor, there is no irritation.

The fourth task was more difficult. The son wanted to chat with the mom personally, at least sometimes to see her. She rarely came to their house. Wife of Theodore has taken a tough stance: the less mother-in-law in the house, the better. Fedor was ready to see mom with the whole family, but it stopped that mom holds a grudge against Oksana. He didn’t want to upset my wife. So he decided that sometimes he will come to mom’s to visit her.

PS Typically, the client leaves the consultation, enthusiastic and feels the willingness to solve problems, from which he had come. But a single consultation so bad, that further feedback is difficult. Often there is initial enthusiasm is lost in a matter of days. Fortunately, Fedor showed his determination and autonomy for the relationship with my mother was moved to a new stage of mutual understanding. Since the consultation it has been four years, he is happy with the balance in the relationship that has been achieved, and recalled that it was before. According to him, he got rid of the oppressive tension in the relationship with the mother for a year and a half. As for women, now they communicate quite neutral, without much warmth, but without the intensity, which was at the beginning. Personal communication has become more. My serious and intelligent client situation the world’s in the family quite happy! And that’s encouraging.