Need Help In Forgiving/Dealing With My Mother


*****Hello Everyone,

I’m new here. I’m a 41 year old WAHM from Northeastern U.S. And I’m having a bit of difficulty regarding my relationship with my mother. Please let me explain.

I’ve always loved my mother very much, and I still do. She had me when she was 19 years old, and she and my father separated before I was born. I went years between seeing him, so he wasn’t a factor in my life, and he and I have no contact at all now. He’s not the problem, since I’ve given up on a relationship with him. The problem is my mother.

Approximately 20 years ago, my mother met a man named Dean at a club in a neighboring town. When she met Dean, she lied about her age, saying she was 11 years younger than she is. She also told Dean she was never married and had no children. At the time, my mother was a nurse, but she didn’t work. She told Dean that she was in medical school to be a doctor. I met Dean only once, briefly, at a political function. I was introduced as my mother’s sister instead of her daughter. My mother lived with me, but she would visit Dean on weekends. Dean has two sons, and the boys would go over every other weekend, so my mother had a relationship with them, although she told me she didn’t. I found pictures of her with the boys. She also had a relationship with Dean’s mother and aunt. But I was never invited to any family activities or to Dean’s house. Well, a few years after meeting Dean, he proposed marriage. He was planning a wedding. She was becoming panicked due to all of the lies. Soon, she told Dean that her mother, who lived in Europe, died, and she was too distraught to have a wedding. She just wanted to marry quickly in Las Vegas. Well, that was a total lie. Her mother (my grandmother) never lived in Europe and passed years prior to her meeting Dean. When she returned from Las Vegas, she continued living with me and visiting him on weekends. Soon, I married and my husband bought a house with a vacation house at the edge of the backyard so my mother could live there. He paid for it to be fixed properly, and he paid her bills for a very long time. I had a baby two years after I married. Dean knew nothing of my husband or my son. About four years ago, my mother left and moved in with Dean. She didn’t tell me she was moving. She just left her dog for me to care for and took her clothes and jewelry and we wouldn’t hear from her for three or four days at a time. She told us that she was giving him one Christmas (this was in November), and after that, she was going to leave him. Well, that didn’t happen. But here’s what did happen.

She now lives with Dean (in a neighboring town) without him knowing she has a family here - me, my husband, my son, my aunt and uncle (her sister and brother-in-law) who live next door to me. She comes to my house every day except Tuesdays and Saturdays. She comes to my house from 10 until 4. I believe it’s because she’s telling Dean she’s working as a doctor. My aunt called Dean’s house one time and was told she was at the hospital working. She insists that she tells him she’s visiting “her sister” every day. This is very annoying to me. My son attends a Catholic School, and I’m heavily involved there as a volunteer on a daily basis. I’m there at least an hour every day. My mother use to come with me, but now she just stays at my house while I’m gone, watching TV. My husband works out of town and leaves at 7 a.m., not coming home until 6 p.m., so she’s gone before he comes home. But I can’t work while she’s here or do anything I need to because I can’t concentrate properly. I feel like I’m being used terribly because she’s lying to her husband and needs a place to go. I can’t visit her or even call her house, yet she’s at my house every day while I’m suppose to be working (I’m a professional writer).

However, the main issues are the lies and denial of me and my son. I have argued with her countless times to tell her husband the truth. If he accepts it and forgives her, wonderful. If he doesn’t, then it’s a bed she needs to lie in. Her response, every time, is that she isn’t telling him the truth because she’s going to leave him. And until she leaves him, she wants peace. She’s having a health issue right now, and she says after it’s over, she’s getting an apartment. She’s been saying this for years now. I don’t know how much more of this I could take.

My mother was always loving. But she did have moments of trouble. When I was 9, she started dating an alcoholic that caused trouble for her (and me). That was short-lived. Later, when I was a teenager and in my early 20’s, she would beat me on occasion. And believe me, I wasn’t a bad teenager. Never involved with sex or drugs or drinking. Thinking back, I can’t even remember why I was beat. It wasn’t daily but at times during an argument. When I was in my 20’s, she stole money and clothes from me. And she was verbally abusive. We started to mend things to my satsifaction when this situation starting going on with Dean.

She has said she was sorry, but she’s not doing anything to correct the situation. What I’m asking for is for advice on forgiving her and mending the relationship. I really have periods of resentment and anger. I feel disrespected and used. Any advice would be wonderful.

Thank you.



Ann Landers would have said no one can take advantage of you unless you let them. the first time you met “Dean” you should have cleared the air, but as years when on you became complicit with the lying, and these things always come back to hurt you.


Wow, tough pickle you’ve allowed yourself to get into there. First off I’d say work on boundaries that you are comfortable with and then tell her how it’s going to work from now on if she wants to continue seeing you. Personally I’d pack up the whole family and go visit Dean and his boys at their house one day while your mom is there and bring her something she forgot at your house… but I’m a tad cruel sometimes. Good luck and I’m sure you’ll get a lot of suggestions about how to properly set up and enforce boundaries with controlling relatives.


***I was very young when I met Dean, and I didn’t think it was my place to tell him the truth. And my husband tells me the same, it’s not my place. So my main concern now is dealing with my own feelings and forgiving her so I could come to a place of peace from within and have a peaceful relationship with her.

Thank you for responding.

Have a blessed Easter.


Of course you feel used, because you ARE being used.

You don’t need to find a way to “mend the relationship” you need to tell her to hit the road. Seriously. She can only use you as long as you let her. At a minimum, tell her she cannot come over daily and hide out at your house. Don’t allow her to run your life or suck you into her lies.

Personally, I’d tell her she is not welcome in my home until she fesses up to Dean and is ready to introduce me as her daughter. Even then I’d think twice about allowing her around my children. And, I would not spend another dime on her.

Your mother has serious mental issues, she needs psychiatric help. Normal people do not fabricate lies and deceptions such as this, nor do they manipulate their family the way she does you.


You aren’t going to have a “peaceful” relationship with her. She’s not the peaceful type. She’s the drama, manipulation, crazy lies type.

She will continue to inflict this on you as long as you continue to allow it. There isn’t anything you can DO to make it better or change her. The problem isn’t YOU.

The only thing you can change is your behavior and your reaction to her.


You are a grown adult, married, with children, living in your own home. Change the locks.


I’m very sorry for what you are going through. I know you love your mother, but she is abusing you in another form again by using you in her lies.

Do NOT let her hide at your house! You are feeding into the lies by being complicit with her. Seriously, I wouldn’t trust her around my house, my belongings, my children, etc, given her history.

She should not be welcome until she gets some help for her emotional issues. The truth is that abusive people have the tendency to abuse over and over again. She needs help, badly.

And as a nurse, I find it kinda scary that she is one herself, but that’s just me :shrug:


I think its easier said than done when giving advice on the delicate matter of children and their relationship with their parents.

When you have grown up in a toxic environment it is not easy to unravel years and years of manipulative behavior and lies inflicted on a child by a parent.

Nicoletta, I don’t know if you have gone to counseling concerning all of this but I think this would be the first step towards helping you find the strength to set up boundaries for your mother. It is very easy for others to say to you to tell your mom to hit the road but your mother’s behavior has probably devasted your feelings of self-worth making it very hard for you to cut off the toxic relationship you have with your mother.

I have no right to tell you to cut your mom off or any other similar advice. All I can say is that I know where you are coming from… I had a terrible relationship with my father growing up and I know its not easy to just close the door when inside you have years of yearning for a pure unconditional love from your mom that she has been totally incapable of giving to you.

I pray that you are already receiving counseling and will be praying for your mom as well.



I think it should be obvious to all that your mother is a very sick and very sad woman. Unless you have reason to believe she is in an abusive relationship with Dean, and therefore is in need of protection, then you need to insist her husband be told the truth. I would give her a deadline of a week and then I would contact Dean myself. If he now knows, I would introduce myself and my husband (don’t go alone, but don’t bring the children); if he does not know, well, then you will tell him. If she is lying to everyone else, she is likely lying to you as well.

You – and your mum – are in my prayers.


First and foremost, CHANGE THE LOCKS. Work into it if you have to, gradually, but someday soon, CHANGE THE LOCKS. If you can’t afford to have a professional rekey them, then have your husband go to Target, Wal-Mart, or a hardware store and buy new ones. They are not that hard to install. I do not want to read about you and yours on the news, or hear about you on the news. DO NOT GIVE YOUR MOTHER A KEY. If you can swing it, get an alarm system through ADT or Brink’s. DO NOT GIVE YOUR MOTHER THE PASS CODE. Your mother might not seem violent now, but this is way, way, way over the line. Seek your own protection and that of your husband little boy first.

You and your husband stop paying her bills, today. Period. Take over the utilities for the side house in your name if you haven’t already, but don’t pay another thing in her name.

Take your mother’s name off any emgency contct forms.

Take Mama to lunch. Take your husband and somebody else you trust who is strong and not given to Mama’s lies. Make it abundantly clear to Mama that she is married to Dean, at least civilly, and she needs to stay with him. I am sure, given her creativity, that she can come up with a lie to tide her over- perhaps a spring vacation is in order for her, paid for from her medical practice.:wink: In any event, she should not be allowed to live with you any more and perpetuate this lie. Until she is done with it, and until you AND YOUR HUSBAND have the skills to deal with her, she needs to be out of your lives,and most importantly, out of your house. Don’t tell her until you’ve done it, but put any remaining stuff she has in a storage locker, give her the key to the storage locker lock, and tell her she has thirty days to pick it up or you don’t care what happens to it. Storage places are used to these kind of exchanges, and do them all the time. Tell her she may not set foot on your property again until you tell her otherwise (not just if she tells Dean- your mother is dangerous). Do not be afraid to call the cops if she shows up at your door, begging, pounding, etc. I take it you never gave her a lease. And you can always tell the cops about Dean, giving them his phone number, etc., if your mother persists in the lie.

Whether or not she tells Dean after you do this, or whether you choose not to live the lie any more and tell Dean the next time you see him is immaterial. I would, if I were you, have my birth certificate at the ready in case you are the one who has to break it to Dean. He’s going to want some proof. Your mother is going to blame you if her marriage to Dean breaks up over this. Be prepared for her to say and do anything!!!

Secondly, you need better counsel than you can receive online in a forum. Can you make an appointment with your priest AFTER Easter? This lie has gone on a long time. It can hold out until Easter Monday or Tuesday. DO talk with your priest, or somebody you trust. It’s my opinion (and I am not a priest or a counselor) that you have not committed a mortal sin by perpetuating these lies. I think your mother had you over an emotional barrel.

I would not be surprised if your priest told you that you and your husband need counseling to learn to deal effectively with your mother and her manipulations. A good counselor can give you the skills to deal with her. Please get some, both you and your husband. This is by far one of the most convoluted things I’ve ever read or heard. It is going to take more than a week or two to work out. My prayers for you.


Everything she said.

Plus I will add, your mother is a very emotionally sick person. If you go along with her web of lies she can never get better. Don’t have any part in it.


Someone has to ASK for forgiveness before you can forgive them!

Even God, who is ready and waiting to forgive us, not matte what we do, requires us to honestly, remorsefully ASK him to forgive!

Your mother has spent her life denying you and has never asked for forgiveness. You and your husband have gone way above and beyond your duty to her.

Stop pining for what you cannot have, which is a normal relationship with a normal mother, and accept what is. Let your mother run her life, but by no means let her take over yours.

May I recommend Bad Childhood, Good Life by Dr. Laura Schlessinger? It sounds to me like you could really use that book.


***I want to thank each and every one of you for taking the time to read my posting and responding. It means so much to me.

I’ve decided to speak to my priest regarding closure and set some serious boundaries. I can’t change her, but I can change my reacton to her. I know she loves us, but she has mental and emotional problems that overshadow sensibility and reality. And my family doesn’t need to be subjected to this insanity. Sometimes I wonder how I ended up as sane as I am. I attended the same Catholic school my son does, my mother and aunt attended before me and my grandfather before them. I was raised in the Church, and my mother and I lived with my grandparents (while I was growing up) who were devoutly religious. So perhaps their morals and strengths passed down to me. I’m teaching my son strict morals, and he’s becoming conflicted with her lies. Please let me clarify that my husband, my son, my aunt and uncle and I have no part of her lies. I saw Dean only once in passing during my mother’s entire 20 year relationship with him. So we are not covering for her or supporting the lies in a direct way. Perhaps enabling by allowing her in our lives. And that’s what I have to close and change.

Again, thank you all for your care and kindness. I’m thrilled to have found this forum. Wishing you the most blessed, wonderful Easter.



Hi again Nikki:)

Wow, I’m sorry this has gone on, and for so long. The real issues lie within your mother–why she is and has been lying, and it actually shows that she doesn’t trust (or love) Dean, if she can’t be honest with him. True love would mean being completely honest, and accepting the consequences. She can’t undo the past, but she should try to ‘come clean’ now. How this relates to you, is it’s very hard to be there for your mom, when she continues to hide your existence from this man. It’s hard to forgive someone, who isn’t trying to change. She is sorry perhaps for doing all this, and hurting you, but she still remains in it.

But, all that being said…here is something to think about. Sometimes, sin, whether it be lies, or whatever, can overtake and overwhelm us. I’m sure your mother would love to be able to come clean, but she doesn’t–out of fear. Fear of losing this man–and looking foolish, etc. I think that if you walk to her about it like that, you might get somewhere. She just sounds overwhelmed and weighted down by her lies, but there is a way out–she just has to be honest with Dean, and take whatever happens. For you, I would try your best to not take it personally, although that is tough right now. I would keep the dialogue going with your mom–not nagging, etc…but asking her to come clean with this man. That is the only way your relationship with her will be at its best–until then, you’ll only have fragments of your mom.

If she doesn’t tell the truth, sooner or later, something might happen that reveals it to him, whether she likes it or not. I pray that this works out–and that she chooses to come clean soon…Have a blessed Easter.


Finally something I know something about…
Forgive her, if you need to practice (and if she is as controlling and manipulative as she sounds-you need to practice) your dh may be a good person to role play her as he probably knows her pretty well. Go full out on the role play, work out responses for the manipulative statements she may use. Say it in your head, 'I forgive you", every time a thought/feeling about the situation comes into your mind. Pray for the strength to forgive her. Pray some more. Pray some more. It may take some time before you feel comfortable in the role playing, when that happens, take the next opportunity to do the real deal.

One thing that is hard for us adult children is to realize that we can love and honor our mothers without continuing a destructive relationship.

Be prepared that her behavior may not change. My Mom’s didn’t. But I don’t carry the burden of hurt and anger anymore. She still is very manipulative, but I limit my contact with her, and pray every time I do have contact with her. Most times I forgive her again (in prayer not outloud to her) because she remains hurtful & manipulative. But I am blessed to live far away and have caller ID, so the limiting is much easier.

One thing that helped me to forgive her (for the longest I didn’t feel like it was my responsibility-she admits no wrongdoing) someone pointed out to me that Christ asked The Father to forgive those who were crucifying him, they did not ask for forgiveness, they were not sorrowful, they were not going to stop the wrong they were doing and Christ knew that when he made His petition. And He did it anyway.

Trust me, the weight lifted is worth it. And it is teaching my teenagers to speak the truth in love-they are better at it with her than I am!

God be with you :console:


Please remember that another individual - Dean - is also in the middle of this. What are you going to do if Dean decides you and your husband were in on a ‘plot’ to deceive him? Put yourself in his shoes for a moment. That said please, please pay attention to what the other poster said about changing the locks on your house, etc. What if your mother is also involved with other people (that you now know nothing about) to whom she is also lying to. What if they show up at YOUR home where you live with your family. While she has been in your home - alone - has she had access to your paperwork - bank accounts, property records, social security numbers, credit cards, etc. Be prepared to learn the worst has happened. Please protect yourself and your family. Your mother may be a poor misled soul but that does not mean you have to let her take away your peace and happiness. I’m sorry if some of the things I’ve said offend you. Take care.


Then she made you complicit in her lies, against your will, and a child has nothing to cope with this. She put you in a position of believing that you could possibly be the reason for her life going to hell. Which, is common with children…children worry things are their fault, when they are just children and it is the adults being twits. And, this is something you believe to this day…that you could be at fault for you mother’s misery. And she tells you this, in her own way.

This is not your fault. It is hers. Thoroughly and completely. But, you are no longer a child. Tell her that you can’t live this way any longer, and that she is no longer welcome to hide out at your house. Offer to get her psychiatric help. She needs it. And so do you.


I have problems with my mother also.

My mom gave me a sewing machine that doesn’t work,on purpose,and then tried to tell me there was nothing wrong with it,that it was me. All so she could feel superior. I quit trying to sew because I believed her. That lasted about 8 years.Then my husband encouraged me to buy a new machine because he knew I wanted to sew and I had that thing up and running less then 30 minutes after I took it out of the box.When it occured to me that she had done this on purpose.She enjoyed asking me if I had it up and running yet then hearing me say “no,I don’t know what’s wrong with it” then she would say "theres nothing wrong with it, you just can’t sew.’ and she would smile,I believed her.

There are worse stories but this is about you and yours…

still love her and honor her by being the best Catholic you can be.


If your mom told her husband she is working as a doctor (and that is why she is gone every day) shouldn’t she be getting a paycheck? There are parts of this story that wouldn’t make sense from her husband or stepsons point of view.
Tell your mom how hurt this has made you feel and see what she says.

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