Need Thoughts on Mom Being a Peacemaker at All Costs...even you


#1

I’m really miffed because I have a mom who revels in being the “peacemaker” at all costs, even over loyalty to her own kids.
I feel so hurt lately again because my “pastor’s wife” mother, just revels in her role as always trying so hard to understand the other side, even at the expense of her own kids.

When one of my sisters divorced her husband, our mom would proudly announce how “she had an hour phone conversation with Tom” and how she really understands his side, etc., etc. Needless to say, this hurt my sis alot. Why did she do this in the first place?
Now, just this past week, I’ve been sick with the flu, something awful, causing me to miss a family reunion. Well, my MIL, has been sick too, and hospitalized as of late. (Now you all know, my MIL has not been the nicest person to me), etc., but sure enough, Mom announces how at MY family reunion, everyone got together and signed a get-well card for my MIL.!!! Yes, that’s right!!! I can just see her pushing it in everyone’s faces! This really hurt my feelings, as I’ve been so sick myself. And not only that but mom has made endless phone calls to me, during my sickness, to find out how my MIL is. I mean Geeeezzzz!

I’ve tried to just drop it, be polite, be courteous, and Christian-like and of course I wish my MIL better health too, but what is my mother’s problem? She’s always been this way. Always taken the other person’s side over her own flesh and blood. It’s very puzzling to all us kids. I don’t know if I should say something to her or not. She’ll say to my face how she’s sorry for me “having such a terrible MIL like I do”, then do a gesture such as this, the card thing. Guess some folks will never change. It goes on and on. Guess she prides herself on being the “peacemaker”. I really feel loyalty is a virtue. maybe she doesn’t.

Any thoughts? Thank you in advance for all your advice.


#2

It sounds like your mother likes to flaunt her good deeds in front of her extended family and community for the praise she expects in return. Of course, while this might have all the markings of a Christian response to a situation, her lack of charity to her own children demonstrates that she cares more for the good opinions of others than she does for the needs of her children. She is abusing her title as mother, obviously believing that you owe her love and loyalty by virtue of her role in your life and that you should expect nothing in return that might be what you actually need at the moment.

Sparkle, her spiritual problem runs deep and it’s called pride. And it’s a control issue as well. As long as she’s the queen bee, she’s at the center of everything calling the shots. And fundamentally, she’s avoiding the issues that she can’t face in her own life that cause her pain and sorrow. Don’t take anything personally. And keep your distance, this behavior is toxic.


#3

[quote=Cupofkindness]It sounds like your mother likes to flaunt her good deeds in front of her extended family and community for the praise she expects in return. Of course, while this might have all the markings of a Christian response to a situation, her lack of charity to her own children demonstrates that she cares more for the good opinions of others than she does for the needs of her children. She is abusing her title as mother, obviously believing that you owe her love and loyalty by virtue of her role in your life and that you should expect nothing in return that might be what you actually need at the moment.

Sparkle, her spiritual problem runs deep and it’s called pride. And it’s a control issue as well. As long as she’s the queen bee, she’s at the center of everything calling the shots. And fundamentally, she’s avoiding the issues that she can’t face in her own life that cause her pain and sorrow. Don’t take anything personally. And keep your distance, this behavior is toxic.
[/quote]

Thanks so much Cupofkindness:

I soooo appreciate hearing from you, and giving your opinion. This as I said, has gone on my whole life, and I never really looked at it before, now I see it hurts my feelings. I can remember so many instances, where she took the side of the other person instead of me. Yes, always needing the praise of others, which she got of course. Many of my friends told me: “Your mother is so much nicer than my own mother”. For even my best friend growing up who left her husband a few years back, and whom I asked to perhaps forgive her husband for his discrepancies and perhaps try to mend her family", has called my mom on numerous occasions. My own mom flaunts these phone discussions with me, proudly exclaiming what she says, and how I was wrong to take a stand for marriage, etc., and how SHE has been so sympathetic, letting the person cry on her shoulder, etc., This really hurts my feelings.

Cupofkindness:

Do you think I should say anything to my mom? What I feel she does? Maybe in a letter? Or should I just keep my distance? I feel perhaps she does not know she’s this way, but “always means well”, etc., etc., What is your advice?
Thank you friend. I do appreciate your words.

Sincerely,


#4

I am abstaining from posting on this forum due to Lent but your post reminded me somewhat of my own mother. My mom liked to play the martyr and she would go out of her way to help people who she knew would use her. Then she would complain about how everyone took advantage of her. My siblings and I grew up hearing from my mom that we were cold and unfeeling compared to her. So, I understand the pain that such a parent can cause.

Before you confront your mom, you have to ask yourself what you hope to accomplish with such an act. Do you really believe that it would change your mother’s behavior? If she is like mine then nothing will change and you will only end up looking like the bad guy.

I agree with Cupof Kindness in that this is a type of pride on your mom’s part.


#5

Sparkle:

You will never regret being more loving to your mother. Perhaps she sees you as an extension of herself, that is, strong and not needing of her intervention? So be her ally. As our parents age things become very different. It helps to imagine a future where she isn’t present, that might be good and that might be bad, but usually our parents die first.

I have learned that I cannot rely on my parents for love, support and affirmation. And you know what? About half of us cannot. Most of my friends have to go it alone, without the nurturing of our parents. And let me tell you that my friends are wonderful people. It’s just that many people stall in their growth and their capacity to give somehow shrinks as they grow older. Or maybe it was never really deep to begin with, and being a parent just drained the well. I don’t know, Sparkle. But I do think that you will be happiest if you can accept your mother and love her as she is. Now, if she is sick (meaning dysfunctional) or simply mean, stay as far away as you graciously can without creating a tension in your family that your children will be affected adversely by.

And speaking of children, my own are fighting so I need to go! God bless you!


#6

Thanks again “CupOKindness” and to Deb too! I really appreciate it so much for your thoughts.

God Bless!!
Love,


#7

Sparkle,

My mom has some of these traits - maybe not as strong a degree as yours, but I empathize with your feelings. There are times when I have talked about this (or other complaints) to my mom - she is the type of person who wants to improve her relationship with her children, and because of that, if my complaint is worded correctly (mom, when you say these things, it makes me feel…), she often tries to improve. If your mom is the type of person who can take constructive criticism and seems to want to improve her relationships, and if you haven’t already complained about this to her repeatedly, then it might be worth a try to find a time to gently and in a non-accusing way (I know you don’t mean to make me feel…, but when you say or do…, I do end up feeling…) talk about it with her.

On the other hand, I am learning that alot of my mom’s negative traits are very ingrained, and are not things she is willing to look at. And many times, I have thought “what will I accomplish” if I bring it up and came up with the answer that I’d just cause more stress for myself. So many times, I just let it go. I avoid the conversations where she plays her games, and just stay away from the topic. If your mom does not take constructive criticism well, and doesn’t think she has anything to improve, then I think this is your only option. She’s not going to change, don’t stress yourself trying to get her to.

I’m not saying this from the perspective of one who has got a perfect handle on the situation - I still get very frustrated and have many a “what should I do” conversations with my dh. But when i step back, and try to see the situation from an outside point of view, this is what I come up with.

God Bless,
TKC


#8

Sparkle, you described not only my mother, but my husband!

As to confronting my mother about it, I never will. I believe she did it because she hated it, when she was growing up, to see other mothers play favorites with their kids. Or to teach us to put others first. Or some such noble sentiment. She is no doubt convinced of the rightness of her ways, and nothing I say is going to change that.

In addition, if I say anything, she’ll simply go into self-pitying mode. She’s VERY good at that, and I don’t feel like dealing with it, especially knowing it will get me nowhere in the end.

Finally, as I look at the world, and as a parent myself, I’m coming to terms with the way she behaved because all parents make mistakes, but I figure she did the best she could.

I am actually finally beginning to lose the negative feelings about it, because I’m learning to accept that all people have their limitations, and to accept what she does have to offer. She is very generous with me and my family in too many ways to list.

There is a situation still in which I can see her going out of her way to be hospitable to people who have been less than gracious or even decent to me, and if that ever happens, I know I will be hurt and angry again. Hopefully, if it happens, I can remember what I’ve written here. I do feel your pain.


#9

Hey thanks for the couple responses. I really appreciate it, and it’s very helpful! My mom also told me long ago, she hated seeing other mothers always playing favorites with their kids, so you know what? she went the total opposite way—playing favorites with everyone else except me–my friends----my husband, my kids, even one of my sister’s x-husbands who was a louse. Oh well. I decided to not discuss it unless it comes up sometime–not to make a huge issue over it.

One instance happened just recently where my mom got a X-mas card from my mom’s sister’s grandchild, and the kid’s own grandmother didn’t even get one. Of course mom broadcasted to her own sister: “how did you like so and so’s X-mas card”–I think knowing she probably didn’t get one-since they’re not on the greatest of terms. Mom tells me “I can’t imagine why my sister didn’t one from her own grandaughter, when she sent me one”. Of course she loved to let her own sister know this.------ewwww. She told me she was thinking of bringing to to show off at a luncheon-until I said no mom that wouldn’t be a good idea–just make your sister feel even more terrible. Weird huh? Guess I never really saw all these things until just lately. She obviously needs alot of praise from others, that’s the most important thing to her, sometimes I feel even more than her own children.

Thx for listening!


#10

Hi Sparkle,

Your posts are what brought me here to this forum. I’m trying to learn how to handle abusive people in my life too. I was wondering about your title to this thread. I wouldn’t call what your mom is doing as being a Peacemaker. To me it looks like abuse in the form of shaming and controlling. It’s definitely covert and I can see why it was something you didn’t notice for a long time.

From what I’ve read and learned, abusive people rarely change and the best we can do is stay away from them. I wish I had some better advice for you. Your mom should be on your side not the other person’s. I think what’s really telling is that this is a repeated theme with her. Your mom is hurting you on purpose.

If my mom did that to me, I would set my boundary by saying, “You’re hurting me by always taking the other person’s side and I think you’re doing it on purpose and I won’t accept this treatment from you anymore,” Then when she does it again I’d leave or tell her “bye” on the phone and hang up. I wouldn’t allow her to hurt others in my family in my presence either because that would hurt me too.

I would still give her chances to change afterwards and maybe if you do this she will realize she can’t get away with it anymore. At least not with you.

I know it hurts to have to deal with yet another person whose being abusive, and especially your own mom, but you have a right to set your boundaries and hold people to them. It seems to me that it would be more hurtful to you to just go along and say nothing now that you see what’s really going on.

Prayers and hugs,
Crystal :gopray:


#11

Thanks Crystal.

I called the thread this, because at times in the past when I have expressed my feelings to my mom, she says: “Yes, I want to be the peacemaker…that’s what the Bible says to do.”…
Thank you so much Crystal for your input. It helps me alot!

God Bless You~~


#12

Hi Sparkle,
I’m glad I could help you :slight_smile: Your honesty and sharing about your problems have helped me too.

If you can, let me know what you think of this:

I know it’s hard to deal with abusive people when they deny or excuse their behavior, which is always! Your boundary setting isn’t for her, it’s for you. If she wants to use the Bible to excuse her behavior, fine. You might say, “That’s nice, Mom. But did you hear the part about you hurting me in the process?” Of course she won’t. You might never get the response you want but you will be letting her know you know! You know? You can still hold your boundaries. She hurts you or others in this way after you’ve told her you won’t tolerate it; boom! You’re out the door, or off the phone or she’s ignored and then not invited back next time.

You’ll probably never get her to acknowledge the hurt she’s caused you and others you care about and I don’t believe it’s worth the energy trying to. But I think it’s worth telling her in a coincise, calm, assertive way that you don’t like it and won’t tolerate it anymore.

I’m just learning about emotional/verbal abuse and setting boundaries myself so please feel free to let me know what works and what doesn’t or why you would try this or not.

Hope you’re having a nice day.:slight_smile:
Crystal


closed #13

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