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How do you relate to your mother if she is disappointed in you?

My mother has be very clear recently about how she is disappointed in me (and my brother). I am 48 yo. She is 69. She has been a great grandmother to my children. I have been in counseling on and off since I left home and I know the basic premise of my life was given to me by my mother: I am a disappointment. Thanfully, I know I am valuable and I finally understand the message I have been trying to overcome all these years. I want to see her only at holidays anymore, kind of socially and only in the future if she really needs help or care. Thoughts to help me work it through?


Asked by Anonymous at 8:23 AM on Dec. 29, 2008 in Relationships

This question is closed.
Answers (5)
  • I'm 40 and my mother (64) and I are COMPLETELY estranged (my choice) for the past 5+ years. Our relationship was ALWAYS strained at best. She has ALWAYS made it a point to cut me down behind closed doors, but would put me on a pedestal in public (all to fill her Narcissistic tendencies). I did EVERYTHING right...did well in school, was a top athlete,was involved in my communities, graduated from college at 21 with honors, left home at 23, had a series of financially successful careers, married at age 32, first child at 33, etc. I'm still VERY happily married, have all kinds of nice material things, etc... And I have still managed to be a DISAPPOINTMENT to her! Whatever! Don't feel guilty, people like MY mother will never be happy for others as long as THEY are miserable! My advice, live YOUR life, and be happy--it's the only thing you CAN control! :o)

    Answer by LoriKeet at 8:54 AM on Dec. 29, 2008

  • I had similar issues and reached out to my mom as a person, not my mother. I found she had as many issues as I did. I think because we have the mother daughter relationship that as adults we can sometimes miss they are women just like we are. They have their own issues, life problems, relationship issues etc. They arent perfect no more then anyone on cafemom with a child is. Parenting is a learning exp and no child comes with a handbook, and being a parent never ends. Now that my mom and I talk to each other like friends and grown women with similar bacgrounds we get along much better. I talk to her everyday & we have come to terms with why she acted as she did & why I reacted the way I did.

    Answer by gemgem at 8:48 AM on Dec. 29, 2008

  • Has she specifically told you that you were a disappointment to her? Or are you just feeling that way? A lot of times we as children hold ourselves to a much higher standard than everyone else and we automatically assume that we are disappointing our parents when thats not how they feel at all, but yet they can't seem to express to us anything different. Also at some point, we have to stop blaming our parents for how we think, feel and believe about ourselves. They can set the tone for certain mindsets, but there comes a time when we become responsible for them.

    Answer by momofsaee at 9:07 AM on Dec. 29, 2008

  • Is she just generally disappointed that you didn't meet all of her expectations, or have you done something that you knew would cause her great pain? The answer to this question would affect what I think you should do. If you intentionally did something, have you confessed that to her and asked her to forgive you? If it's that she had some preconceived idea of what you should be and that was unrealistic, then the problem is entirely hers. Either way, you can still respect the "office" of mother and show respect on that basis. It doesn't mean you have to be best friends with her.

    Answer by NannyB. at 9:19 AM on Dec. 29, 2008

  • Thank God I have a counselor and had an appointment today! My mother doesn't see the good in me. I have been caring all my life. A community volunteer since my teens, a nurse for twenty five years, a loving mother for 16 and a devoted wife for 18. I believe the foundation of a happy and healthy life is love and forgiveness. I have felt guilty and angry over this. When I asked this question, I was struggling. I see now that it is her problem and I need to take care of myself. You ladies have been helpful. I appreciate you taking the time.

    Answer by happi-ladi at 4:01 PM on Dec. 29, 2008