Mother won't call me

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-22-2009
Mother won't call me
Tue, 04-10-2012 - 9:46pm

Hi All,

I am 41 and my mom is 60. I dont know where to begin, but, I call my mom, but she won't call me. I have no idea why. We have always lived in the same town mostly and it's always been this way. Now if I call her and leave a message she will "calll me back", but she will never be the one to call first. Any insights here? Background: as a child she was not warm and loving. She never played with me or interacted with me much. She name called, I would say she was verbally abusive. She would call me stupid idiot, etc. so no, we were never close, we just appeared close to others. Even as an adult, one time when I was going through a divorce and had made some bad decisions she said to me "if you weren't my daughter I wouldn't have anything to do with you". After my divorce I cut off contact with her for about a year. We even worked in the same building. I don't remember how the relationship started back but it was slow- I was getting married again. Anyway, it's been "okay" for 8 years now. When I say okay I mean no real fights or anything, I just noticed that I was the onle always calling her. But get this- if I don't call her she gets mad at me. Now I have moved away, 300 miles and she has not called once to say hello or to see how we like it here. I did call her a few times after we first got here, then I decided to see how long it would take her to call. It's been 2 months. She has facebooked me and emailed me. Not to say hi or how are you- only to ask for my address!!!! Literally her email said "I need your address you forgot to give it to me" and that's it! Plus, I had given it to her, she must have lost it. Anyway, now it's getting really awkward and I'm so tired of being the only one who calls. Anybody have any advise?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-22-2009
Thu, 04-12-2012 - 10:21am

thank you. Yes, counseling would be good, but I can't b/c we are having money issues right now. As far as asking her why she never calls me...... the reason I won't is because I know her and she would immediately get ANGRY and say something mean, and find a way to blame me for it. She is not someone who can calmly and maturely talk an issue out. She would take it as an attack no matter how nicely I phrased it and she would come unglued. This is how it would go:

Me:(nice calm voice) Mom, I was just wondering, can you please tell me why you never call me?


So now you can see why it is pointless to bring it up. She has never been wrong in her whole life. Must be nice to have never ever made a mistake in you whole life, right? lol.

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Wed, 04-11-2012 - 6:37pm

Have you asked her why she never calls you, and why she gets mad when you don't call often enough even though she doesn't call?

There could be lots of reasons why she doesn't call you. Maybe she doesn't understand reciprocity, or she's completely self-absorbed, or she doesn't have a maternal bone in her body, or she suffers from depression and its too much effort to call, or she doesn't care about you as much as you would wish. All/any of those things are her problem, and her loss because they prevent her from having a full relationship with you and her grandson. You cannot change her, you can only change the way that you react to her.

Like someone else suggested, maybe you can change the method of communication to email or IM. I don't think that blocking her on FB would help anything but it could cause problems.

If you feel that its important to keep up phone contact with her then just call her because its what you need or want to do for yourself, not for her reasons. You might find it helpful to get some counseling to deal with the painful issues from your childhood. If you can let go of some of that then maybe you can start feeling more at peace with this situation.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2004
Wed, 04-11-2012 - 4:18pm

I guess I don't quite understand the problem.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-19-2002
Wed, 04-11-2012 - 3:14pm

I understand what you mean.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-23-2010
Wed, 04-11-2012 - 10:22am
I'm in the same situation and I disagree with Silly. This is a small issue that is important because of how it makes YOU feel. No one can dictate how YOU should feel about this.

My Mother stopped calling me when I set strong boundaries. It's her passive aggressive way of manipulating me and when she complains I don't call her enough I remind her she never calls me. She quickly responds that everytime she calls me I'm always busy or napping and it makes her feel like she's interrupting. Again...playing the victim she loves to play. I've learned to enjoy that she doesn't call.

I would respond to her similarly when she complains you don't call..let her know she doesn't call you and see what she says.

Good luck.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-22-2009
Wed, 04-11-2012 - 8:32am

I get what you're saying. I'm glad she's not a smothering mother. And yes I'm sure it goes back to childhood because the main thing here is that I feel she doesn't care about me at all (I have always felt that way). And, with any relationship, if it's totally one sided, that is not normal. If this were a friend or a boyfriend I would be done with them, but we are expected to say it's ok because it's your mother? I mean, if she doesn't care enough about me or her grandson (whom she claims to love, he's 6) to pick up the phone and call us, to me, it says she does NOT love us.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2004
Wed, 04-11-2012 - 2:06am

You're 41 years old and you're actually getting your panties in a wad because your mother doesn't phone you?

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-05-2008
Tue, 04-10-2012 - 10:44pm

wow.... I can absolutely relate to you.