Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Tell Me About It: Daughter wonders why mother tries to find ways to see her alone

Q: I got married about a year ago, at age 30. Before that, I lived with my parents for a few years in my 20s to save some money after school. This really helped us relate to each other better as adults, but it also made it very tough for them when I moved out and later got married. Even though she likes my husband, Mom is always trying to find ways to see me alone. Is this normal?

It's not like my husband and I are conjoined at the hip. I visit my parents by myself plenty of the time. I feel like Mom is uncomfortable relating to the married me and doesn't enjoy my company unless I'm alone. Any thoughts?

Virginia

A: Have you brought this out into the open with your mom? "I may be reading this wrong, but it appears to me that you're always trying to maneuver ways to see me without Chuckles. Is there something you're not telling me? Please don't be afraid to tell me the truth."

Then don't react emotionally when she does. It might help if you think of any truth as a better outcome than, "Oh, no, everything's fine," which has almost zero productive worth when you've witnessed an odd pattern in someone's behavior. All you can say to that one is, "Okay, I'll take you at your word, but if anything changes let me know" — and see if her way of dealing with you and your husband does, in fact, change.

If she does offer a reason, then handling her answer gracefully will help with whatever follows.

The most likely answer is that she just misses your company, and your company is something that changes when a spouse is or isn't around. A less-likely answer is that she doesn't like your husband or doesn't like the way you are around him.

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