My mother continually betrays me

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2003
My mother continually betrays me
Wed, 06-04-2003 - 7:13pm
Hi everyone,

Thank you for reading my posting. I really could use some advice with my family. My new husband and I just recently moved 2,000 miles to be closer to my family. We stayed Memorial weekend with them and on our way out the door (I wasn't in the room) my mother took my husband aside and told him what a bad child I was, that I got bad grades, how she learned from my behavior, etc. and this is all sooo far from the truth. I was an excellent student in school, was in gifted programs and was a good child. My father was physically abusive to me as a child and when my mother found out I think she became jealous and maybe this is her reason now for the way she treats me and why she may want to ruin my current relationship, she might think I ruined hers. My mother is somewhat well-off and has always given material things to my sister while giving me nothing. My sister lives in a $350,000.00 house, drives a $50,000.00 car, has a housekeeper, gardener and babysitter and is a second year teacher. Not to mention being given appliances, credit cards and a college education she constantly has my mother's love and support. I tried to overlook all of this for the sake of getting along.

But this past weekend at her house sent me over the edge. I asked her why she said these things to my husband and she at first denied saying them and now says there's a misunderstanding. There was no misunderstanding since my husband repeated some childhood things that I have never told him.

I can't have her ruining my marriage, I've had to find friends to vouch for me and tell my husband that I wasn't a bad child and that my mother is bi-polar. My sister never calls me, never sends holiday cards, never thanks me for gifts I send her son or even acknowledges she gets them in the mail. She rarely speaks to me at family gatherings. I think she's afraid if we all get along that I will get some of my mother's money. Now my mother has my grandmother mad at me, my sister mad at me and my stepfather even called me defending my mother. He raised his voice at me saying that I should ignore her for the sake of getting along. I think he's asking me to allow myself to be abused for the sake of my mother. I really don't know what to do, my husband and I will have no family if we break all ties with them again and we just moved 2,000 miles to be closer to them! (he only has a sister and father who don't speak to us and live 1,500 miles away, his mother is deceased) But also I can't go on with a toxic family......

Edited 6/4/2003 7:17:09 PM ET by cagirl767

Edited 6/4/2003 7:21:56 PM ET by cagirl767

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 06-05-2003 - 5:42am

It does sound like you want to love your family but its hard when they are emotionally abusive towards you. Have you tried consuling with your mom and/or sister? It might give you a chance to make amends or find out why they act how they do. If not maybe try going alone. Im sure a real consulor could give you ways to deal with the stress. It sounds like your stepfather believes what your mom says. Personally I would cut the ties and try to make a new family with just my husband. Id be worried about the tension putting undue stress on my new marriage. I do wish you luck because it sound like a terrible situation to be in.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-02-2003
Thu, 06-05-2003 - 10:26am
It sounds like you have done ENOUGH for the sake of getting along. I am not one tol hold grudges but these people who are supposed to beyour loving family do not sound very kind of supportive. I wouldn't talk to them until they offer some apologies and decent behavior. Maybe I am the one who is wrong but I just couldn't live with that kind of BS. If this post sounds a little bit harsh it is NOT toward you it just literally made me angry reading your post about how they treat you and I don't even know you! Hugs, Rhiannon
Avatar for marsgen
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 06-05-2003 - 12:19pm

I really understand where you are coming from since we really have a lot in common when it comes to our families. Thanks for your response to my post by the way.

My parents and relatives have always made me feel like I was the one who had the problem and I finally understood that it was emotional abuse. I even had an aunt tell me that if I did not forgive my father for almost hitting me that I would be responsible for my mother's death because she could not bear to see my father and I not talking to each other. Can you imagine how cruel that is to say to someone who has just been through such an ordeal? My relatives know that my father is emotionally and physically abusive, but they do not want to deal with it, so that aunt tried to guilt me into getting back into a horrible situation so she would be free to do as she pleased.

All my family lives in pure hypocricy. Everyone talks behind other people's backs. They cut me out of their lives because I was honest and because I did not play their games.

Anyway, it is really hard being alone without a family, but I am better without them than with them. So follow your heart and do what is best for you.



Avatar for cl_2and1more
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Thu, 06-05-2003 - 3:18pm
You didn't say why you moved to be closer to the family. Did you miss them? Did they need you? Did you just think being closer to family would help you in some way?

I really don't know why your mother would say you were a bad child but how could this make any difference to you now? Would your husband feel differently about you if you had been bad as a kid? That questions bothers me more than the things your mother said.

I hope that your husband will learn that your family is just "like that". And takes the good with the bad. You moved to the area for a reason. Don't let a few misunderstandings get in the way. Overlooking things does not mean that you are weak.

You mentioned that your mother is bi-polar. Has she been to the doctor and gotten the help she needs? Or were you just using the term to describe her? I hope that if she needs help that she is getting it. We have people here who deal with bi-polar situations and if your mother truely is then maybe they can offer you some encouragement as you learn to deal with it.

Best to you,


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 06-05-2003 - 4:11pm
Your family sounds a lot like mine. No one is happy if everyone is speaking. Their only way of communicating is to talk behind someone's back and deny to their face that anything is wrong. They can't deal in reality or honesty and handle conflict by pretending they don't understand what I'm talking about or that I'm "crazy" or the "one with the problem". Know what I finally figured out? I have a lot more time and energy for the relationships in my life that matter when I quit focusing on those that don't. So now, my family is my husband, my daughter, SIL and 2 dgc. I've written off sisters, BILS, nieces and my own parents. After 50 years I finally realized that my father, whose family has mental illness going back at least 4 generations that I know about, is a very manipulative, controlling passive-aggressive person and very abusive emotionally. His way of operating is "divide and conquer" with innuendos, favoritism and outright lies. I don't need that anymore. It took me too many years to recover from my childhood and I think too much of myself to allow it anymore.

WHY did you move 2000 miles to be closer to your family? If you think they are ever going to change, you are probably mistaken. If you think you can ever make them love you, you are setting yourself up for more heartache. Family doesn't have to mean people whose blood you share.

As for your husband, why in the world did you need people to "testify" as to your childhood? What kind of man would even care about his wife's childhood other than how he can help her overcome how she looks at herself b/c of an abusive one?

Please, live your life for you. Love yourself b/c no one cares more about you than you do.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2003
Thu, 06-05-2003 - 9:56pm
Hi Ginny,

Thanks for your reply, nice to hear from you! We do seem to have very similar experiences.

You're lucky you got out before your dad actuallly did hit you. Good for you for being brave and recognizing an unhealthful situation.

Like your aunt, My BIL and sister actually told me that I was responsible for my mother's alcohol abuse! Then they continued on and told me that everyone was upset because I moved 2,000 miles away (of course they were, who were they going to nag in my absence?). And also how my mother would just sit around at night crying and drinking (of course she's crying alcohol is a depressant AND she was clinically depressed).

You bring up a good point about hypocrisy and talking behind others backs. My mother does that too, so what makes me think she wont talk behind mine? My mother told me many years ago she wasn't going to change, and I should have believed her then.

What do you do for holidays, aren't you sad that you're basically alone? Holidays will be the toughest for me. And I feel bad for my future kids who will have no family. No cousins, aunts, uncles or grandparents.

Hugs to you too!

Thanks again!

Avatar for marsgen
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 06-05-2003 - 11:10pm
Hi Cagirl,

I am glad you decided to post to me again; we have a lot ot share with one another I think. By the way, I too moved 1600 miles away from home and I was the only one in my entire family to do so. I am from a province where most people live close to their parents for the rest of their lives, so I was a major exception. My mother started to get really depressed when I left because I have always been what has held my parent's marriage together. When I left there was nothing left.

As for the holidays, last Christmas was my first one without my parents so my husband and I traveled and that's what we will keep on doing. It's fun and keeps our minds off the family gatherings and all. By the way, my husband's parents are both deceased and he only has one sister but she is not nice at all to say the least. So our family is almost non-existent. Right now I am working on building a family of friends instead.

Take care,


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2003
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 1:14pm

I, too, have a family similar to yours. They have always made me feel like there was something wrong with me, but in therapy I learned there was something wrong with them -- they are verbally abusive. The thing to remember, is that you really can't do anything to change them. All you can do is take care of yourself. If they are going to act rudely and unreasonably, you have to distance yourself somehow. A therapist gave me this great piece of advice to help step back from the situation: When your mother begins to act unreasonably and out of line, treat her as you would a neighbor who was behaving this way. The point of this exercise is to take away the family baggage and just treat her as you would an ordinary person who was behaving badly. I have tried this with my own parents and it does help, if only to gain some perspective! One other thing: now that you have moved closer to them, that doesn't mean you are at their beck and call. You don't have to go over and visit every time they call. You can always say you have other plans -- and then make sure you make them!

Good luck, girl!


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2003
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 8:19pm
Hi Tracy,

Thanks so much to you and everyone who has responded to my "issues"! I didn't realize there were so many people who had dysfunctional families like mine.

If I try that advice of the therapist, I'm sure I'd never talk to my family again! But you're right, we shouldn't have to live with their insults and verbal abuse. Don't you ever wonder why your family treats you this way? Are you the only one who they single out? I sure am and would really like to know why (and have asked MANY times), but probably will never find out.

Do you know of anywhere to adopt a family? (haha) I'd like a couple of aunts and uncles, cousins, a few siblings and of course, a new mother and father!

Thanks again, good luck to you and I hope you find happiness.