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Old 08-06-2011, 05:44 AM
 
Location: Portland, OR
4,276 posts, read 6,574,626 times
Reputation: 2907

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OK. My mother is 58 years old (I'm her 37 yearl old son.) All of her life she always had to rely on people to help her with things. My uncle raised her growing up. In her adult life she went to him for everything (money, fixing cars, etc.) He was good to her but wouldn't say no. He had passsed away a few years back.

My mother met her current husband (almost 20 years ago already.) They have been married for 13 years. Recently they seperated due to financial issues. She was working part time up until recently (she has a new job now) due to a car accident which left her rotator cuff (Is that what it's called?) torn. My aunt (my late uncle's wife, my mother's SIL) told me that my mother's husband had moved to another state and was living with another woman.

Anyway, since they were separated, we were trying to help my mother be more independent (since she has relied on my uncle all these years and also her hubby.) SHe then got back together with her husband (we say it's because she was lonely.) Anyway I know there's no changing my mother's mind as far as her relationship with her husband.

My main concern is trying to help my mother gain independence and being not so reliant on other people. How can I try to convince her to get out and meet new friends or to get out and do things on her own, so she doesn't feel lonely when no one else is around? She seems to be afraid to eat out by herself or have fun on her own.
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Old 08-06-2011, 06:00 AM
 
Location: Florida
2,291 posts, read 4,943,964 times
Reputation: 5236
Unfortunately, you cannot make her independent. All you can do is not enable her, do not do things for her that she can do for herself.

Many women are preprogrammed to feel dependent on men, and their self esteem is solely based on having a man.

Aside from therapy, I do not know of any way to correct this issue. Perhaps others will have the solution.
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Old 08-06-2011, 06:05 AM
 
Location: Portland, OR
4,276 posts, read 6,574,626 times
Reputation: 2907
I forgot to mention that she lives in a rural mobile home park. She has one close friend that lives out that way, but she is married and has a full time job. There doesn't seem to be much going on or things to do where she lives. I live about a half hour from her (I don't own a car and live in the city.)
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Old 08-06-2011, 06:15 AM
 
Location: southwest TN
8,224 posts, read 14,921,460 times
Reputation: 14983
You can't make her do it. She has to WANT to get out and meet people, to learn some independence. I married an anti-social workaholic so I never lost the independence I'd had as a kid. If I had to learn now as a 62 yo, I don't think I'd be able to without having another crutch - such as a female friend - in your mother's case her sister-in-law. Your mother has learned dependence by always having someone there; perhaps you could get her to a senior citizen center.
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Old 08-06-2011, 06:19 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
1,786 posts, read 2,377,799 times
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Default so sorry.. very difficult to break the dependance..

Quote:
Originally Posted by raubre View Post
OK. My mother is 58 years old (I'm her 37 yearl old son.) All of her life she always had to rely on people to help her with things. My uncle raised her growing up. In her adult life she went to him for everything (money, fixing cars, etc.) He was good to her but wouldn't say no. He had passsed away a few years back.

My mother met her current husband (almost 20 years ago already.) They have been married for 13 years. Recently they seperated due to financial issues. She was working part time up until recently (she has a new job now) due to a car accident which left her rotator cuff (Is that what it's called?) torn. My aunt (my late uncle's wife, my mother's SIL) told me that my mother's husband had moved to another state and was living with another woman.

Anyway, since they were separated, we were trying to help my mother be more independent (since she has relied on my uncle all these years and also her hubby.) SHe then got back together with her husband (we say it's because she was lonely.) Anyway I know there's no changing my mother's mind as far as her relationship with her husband.

My main concern is trying to help my mother gain independence and being not so reliant on other people. How can I try to convince her to get out and meet new friends or to get out and do things on her own, so she doesn't feel lonely when no one else is around? She seems to be afraid to eat out by herself or have fun on her own.
I've had a very long relationship but have always been independant.. I don't have any magic button or suggestions... it is hard to go out and sit alone in a bar, in a restaurant... I've done this but feel that people are starring at you... hard to watch couples together while you are sitting alone. I do things like hiking, fishing and working out at the club... I have hiking clubs and volunteer at the local food bank... no one has to have another person to do these things..

Your mother has never had to try anything by herself.. the saying, "enabling".. the intentions were good on your uncle's part but created a dependancy. She has to come to the decission on her own to seek out new activities and clubs... Try to find a close friend of hers to get her out and involved. Sometimes helping others in need gives one a feeling of accomplishment and help her realize there are others much worse off then her situation. Gives one a feeling that someone needs her and a reason to carry on with her own life. Children grow and have lifes of their own, like mine... I'm there for them but do not rely on them for my everyday activities. "empty nest syndrome" is very real for many women.

Good luck... not an easy task indeed.. so glad she has a child who cares enough to try to help.
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Old 08-06-2011, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,884 posts, read 25,306,858 times
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At her age, it's not likely she will change. She would have to really WANT to change. Probably that would take some kind of significant event in her life.
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Old 08-06-2011, 08:33 AM
 
12,887 posts, read 15,421,155 times
Reputation: 14847
Quote:
Originally Posted by raubre View Post
How can I try to convince her to get out and meet new friends or to get out and do things on her own, so she doesn't feel lonely when no one else is around? She seems to be afraid to eat out by herself or have fun on her own.
Are you sure it's not you that's unhappy with how she lives??Maybe she's content or "set in her ways" and likes the way she is....maybe she's not really lonely...that's just your perception because she doesn't get out much.
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Old 08-06-2011, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Portland, OR
4,276 posts, read 6,574,626 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purehuman View Post
Are you sure it's not you that's unhappy with how she lives??Maybe she's content or "set in her ways" and likes the way she is....maybe she's not really lonely...that's just your perception because she doesn't get out much.
Of course I'm not really happy about the way she is. She depends on too many people for things and can't do for herself.

I had said earlier that

Quote:
My aunt (my late uncle's wife, my mother's SIL) told me that my mother's husband had moved to another state and was living with another woman.
and

Quote:
SHe then got back together with her husband
If she wasn't lonely, why else would she want to take him back after he was living with another woman?
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Old 08-06-2011, 08:51 AM
 
Location: NW Montana
6,258 posts, read 12,910,648 times
Reputation: 3429
Quote:
Originally Posted by raubre View Post
OK. My mother is 58 years old (I'm her 37 yearl old son.) All of her life she always had to rely on people to help her with things. My uncle raised her growing up. In her adult life she went to him for everything (money, fixing cars, etc.) He was good to her but wouldn't say no. He had passsed away a few years back.

My mother met her current husband (almost 20 years ago already.) They have been married for 13 years. Recently they seperated due to financial issues. She was working part time up until recently (she has a new job now) due to a car accident which left her rotator cuff (Is that what it's called?) torn. My aunt (my late uncle's wife, my mother's SIL) told me that my mother's husband had moved to another state and was living with another woman.

Anyway, since they were separated, we were trying to help my mother be more independent (since she has relied on my uncle all these years and also her hubby.) SHe then got back together with her husband (we say it's because she was lonely.) Anyway I know there's no changing my mother's mind as far as her relationship with her husband.

My main concern is trying to help my mother gain independence and being not so reliant on other people. How can I try to convince her to get out and meet new friends or to get out and do things on her own, so she doesn't feel lonely when no one else is around? She seems to be afraid to eat out by herself or have fun on her own.
Very simple,
Just say no.
She will have to hack it on her own, just the fact you are asking look you are looking for a way to do it for her.
Stay firm. Good luck.
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Old 08-06-2011, 11:54 AM
 
47,573 posts, read 60,610,897 times
Reputation: 22283
Quote:
Originally Posted by raubre View Post
OK. My mother is 58 years old (I'm her 37 yearl old son.) All of her life she always had to rely on people to help her with things. My uncle raised her growing up. In her adult life she went to him for everything (money, fixing cars, etc.) He was good to her but wouldn't say no. He had passsed away a few years back.

My mother met her current husband (almost 20 years ago already.) They have been married for 13 years. Recently they seperated due to financial issues. She was working part time up until recently (she has a new job now) due to a car accident which left her rotator cuff (Is that what it's called?) torn. My aunt (my late uncle's wife, my mother's SIL) told me that my mother's husband had moved to another state and was living with another woman.

Anyway, since they were separated, we were trying to help my mother be more independent (since she has relied on my uncle all these years and also her hubby.) SHe then got back together with her husband (we say it's because she was lonely.) Anyway I know there's no changing my mother's mind as far as her relationship with her husband.

My main concern is trying to help my mother gain independence and being not so reliant on other people. How can I try to convince her to get out and meet new friends or to get out and do things on her own, so she doesn't feel lonely when no one else is around? She seems to be afraid to eat out by herself or have fun on her own.
You can't change her, she can change herself but probably doesn't want to.
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