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Old 07-08-2008, 05:41 PM
 
Location: Eastern NC
12,810 posts, read 8,020,007 times
Reputation: 10248
Default Moms who talk down to their daughters

I have a mother-inlaw who constantly talks down to her daughter, my wife. my wife has made me promise to never say anything to her when she does this and you don't know how hard this has been. The other day my wife went shopping with her mom and her mom told her that she looks pregnant, my wife has gained some wieght and is trying to lose it. Another time at dinner after I opened a jar for her mom, her mom made the comment "I don't know why people want girls, boys are so much more helpfull" I held my tongue but I could see the tears in my wife's eyes. In the 10 years I have been with my wife, I can remember dozens of times when that woman has bought my wife to tears. Why do mothers do this to their daughters? I understand not all mothers are like this. But I have seen my own mother do this to my sister and I know of other women who have this problem. She also openly favors her son over my wife.

By the way, my wife suffers from severe anxiety, depression and OCD. I believe alot of her problems has to do with her mother but my wife won't admit it. I have tried to convince my wife not to go to her parent house, they live 15 minutes away, but she loves them to much to stop visiting.
I also support my wife 100% and try every day to compliment her and let her know how much I love her but sometimes it just don't seem to help.

What drives a woman to hurt, knowingly or not, her daughter?
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Old 07-08-2008, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Home!
8,696 posts, read 6,864,892 times
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Wow. I feel so bad for your wife. It was bringing tears to my eyes reading those things. While people say stupid things occasionally, they hopefully apologize. Doesn't sound like her mom does. Maybe she needs to be talked to. I don't think I could stand by and watch or listen without saying something. Maybe type up a letter and mail it from a different city?

I would try to encourage your wife to see a counselor. You do not want her to repeat this with her children.

As far as why, I am sure it goes further back in her mom's past as to why. Maybe she was not favored or she was put down. Not sure. I have 3 girls and a boy and I love them all for all their strengths and weaknesses.

You are a wonderful, caring husband to her. She is lucky to have you.
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Old 07-08-2008, 07:04 PM
 
Location: Chicago
2,481 posts, read 8,656,107 times
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So sorry to hear about you MIL. I can tell you that MOST mothers are not like this and your wife needs to realize that. I agree that some counseling may be in order for her (by the way OCD is an anxiety disorder, and depression is highly related to this. Is she getting treatment?)
Regardless of what your wife says, next time her mother says something in front of you, I would say something. Sorry. You can't be expected to be mute. You don't have to freak out on her, if she says that your wife looks fat, I would say, "MIL, I don't know what you are talking about. I think my wife looks great!" or (when she says something about favoring boys) "Wow, MIL, I'm sure glad you had this wonderful daughter." Just counteract everything she says. You can do so in an oh so pleasant voice :-) Research shows that for everything bad someone hear, it takes at least 3 good things to even start to counteract that. Just continue with the positive praise as much as possible.
If it continues, I would seriously pull MIL aside and have a talk with her.
Also, I don't know know if you have kids, but you need to definitely intervene is your MIL is saying ANYTHING about your wife in front of your kids as this makes it 100x's worse
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Old 07-08-2008, 07:13 PM
 
Location: in my mind
2,746 posts, read 9,646,961 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jessiegirl_98 View Post
So sorry to hear about you MIL. I can tell you that MOST mothers are not like this and your wife needs to realize that. I agree that some counseling may be in order for her (by the way OCD is an anxiety disorder, and depression is highly related to this. Is she getting treatment?)
Regardless of what your wife says, next time her mother says something in front of you, I would say something. Sorry. You can't be expected to be mute. You don't have to freak out on her, if she says that your wife looks fat, I would say, "MIL, I don't know what you are talking about. I think my wife looks great!" or (when she says something about favoring boys) "Wow, MIL, I'm sure glad you had this wonderful daughter." Just counteract everything she says. You can do so in an oh so pleasant voice :-) Research shows that for everything bad someone hear, it takes at least 3 good things to even start to counteract that. Just continue with the positive praise as much as possible.
If it continues, I would seriously pull MIL aside and have a talk with her.
Also, I don't know know if you have kids, but you need to definitely intervene is your MIL is saying ANYTHING about your wife in front of your kids as this makes it 100x's worse
I totally agree with this post.

My mom is "one of those" moms. In a different way but still highly critical and well, just mean.

My partner gets really angry because it's apparent how my mom hurts me. I generally limit my contact with my mom when possible... its' a crazy love/hate relationship.

Anyway my partner will do things like the suggestions above... drives my mom crazy but shuts her up. Example, my mom says "You really need to do something with your hair!", my partner is right on top of it with "Honey I think your hair is GORGEOUS!"....

So there's no direct confrontation of my mom there's still a vocal contradiction to her hatefulness, and it still has the end result of letting her know she's being a witch.

you get the idea.

As for what drives this behavior? Who knows. I guess that's best left to a shrink.. . I do have some guesses though. I think, with my mom, she didn't do a lot of things she wanted to do in life and when she had a girl she thought it was her second chance, she had high hopes of being able to live vicariously THROUGH me. When I turned out to be my own person, not another version of her, and I chose my own path in life, she had a hard time with that.

My grandmother is also this way, and openly favors ALL male relatives over the girls. So my brother was the favored grandchild, my uncle the favored child. My grandmother has a very weird misogynistic outlook on life. I didn't realize a woman could be misogynistic but she proved me wrong. Perhaps it was due to her upbringing (she WAS born in 1919 after all), perhaps it has something to do with abandonment issues (her mother died when she was 11).. I don't know, but she doesn't value women, women's opinions, etc. My mom can make a suggestion to her and she will dismiss it. My uncle makes the same suggestion an hour later and it's a brilliant idea.

It's just sad that my mom has unknowingly repeated her own mother's mistakes in parenting. My brother should be the "black sheep".. he's got alcohol issues, mental health issues, he's in prison for the 3rd time, he abandoned his own daughters.. yet the focus is always on ME somehow.
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Old 07-08-2008, 07:17 PM
 
Location: Eastern NC
12,810 posts, read 8,020,007 times
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My wife see's a psych and a therapist for her problems. She has 2 older children, one boy and one girl. She is great with her daughter who has 2 children of her own. So it is deffinitely not being passed down. The only reason I don't say anything is because of the promise I made to my wife. She holds promises deep in her heart.
I get the contradiction thing, I will most certainly try it although she is rarely critical of her in front of me. I usually hear about it after the fact.
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Old 07-08-2008, 08:09 PM
 
3,191 posts, read 5,550,817 times
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IMO- Please please please beg your wife to let you renege on your promise, and let you be her man, her protector, and say something to your MIL.
You must have the patience of a saint, but oh do try to intervene.
But, do you go to the therapist too, and asked what is suggested you do, other than stand by seeing her pain??Surely it is time to change this situation.
good luck
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Old 07-08-2008, 08:16 PM
 
Location: Cosmic Consciousness
3,874 posts, read 11,312,051 times
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Counseling, counseling, counseling. Your wife needs HELP, professional help, to understand that what her mother says is about HER MOTHER, not about your wife and how and why. Your wife is still reacting as though she is 3 years old, and she needs efficient professional help detaching from that destruction of her world. Get her help -- so that she can learn how to choose to live in happiness, not anguish.

And if she doesn't get help dissolving this pain, she will spend the REST OF HER LIFE not understanding why she was never acceptable to her mother. The rest of her life in anguish!! There is a choice here! And you, as her loving, caring, thoughtful, wise partner in life, get to make that choice -- for her, for you, for the children, for your marriage, for the rest of her life!

Last edited by allforcats; 07-08-2008 at 09:05 PM..
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Old 07-08-2008, 08:20 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
10,593 posts, read 22,138,597 times
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Sounds exactly like my Mother and your wife sounds alot like me.

I know with my Mother she felt very threatened by my sister and I. It was all a competition to her. Instead of being glad that I was learning to cook, she was threatened by it. She even openly ridiculed me when I couldn't get my daughter to breast feed. Words fail when I try to describe how I felt before she said something then when she started making fun of me in front of other people, I honestly didn't know what to say.

She was very threatened by me becoming a Mother and seeing how close I am to my own daughter.

I don't know why they do it but I do beleive there are people out there who should never have children. My Mother is one of them and it sounds like your MIL is one of them also.

I do hope if you guys have children, you don't allow your children to witness this kind of behavior, it encourages them to believe this kind of behavior is OK.
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Old 07-08-2008, 09:44 PM
 
4,892 posts, read 11,825,656 times
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i actually dont know any mom who does not critizise her daughter. my mom is like that with me, her mom is like that with her, there is constant fighting etc. my friends have the same problems i do.
my mom favors my brother, her mom favors her 2 sons over the daughetrs. she is more affectionate towards them, although i know she loves the girls also.
i havedecided to break the cycle and only have sons-
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Old 07-08-2008, 10:51 PM
 
Location: S. New Hampshire
909 posts, read 1,918,297 times
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My mom is not that mean, in fact she means well, but she is also very critical, has always been. AND she thinks nothing of making very personal remarks about people's appearance. She did this to all of her daughters, and I am used to it now, pretty much shrug it off. But once she said something about my older dd, comparing her to my younger dd, and I cut her off right there. I REFUSE to let my daughters grow up hearing the same stupid remarks about physical appearance. I don't say these things to them, and I won't let my mother say these things to them either. They are only 2.5 and 1, but they hear and understand everything.
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