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Need advice regarding an overly critical mother



 
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CARTOON3
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5/2/14 4:16 P

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I can relate to your mother critizing you.My mother did that for years and one time I lost it and told her how I felt and we never discussed it again.
My mother is gone now and I miss her dearly.



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JENNA3
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5/2/14 9:16 A

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I still remember the first time my mother criticized my appearance. We were trying on dresses for my first wedding. She criticized the cellulite, the stretch marks, etc. I was so hurt I nearly cried right there in the dressing room. We picked a dress I didn't even like b/c I couldn't bear the idea of trying on any more with her there.

It took me a year of therapy to accept one very important fact: I can't change someone else. Your mom is not likely to change and you can't make her. Like other posters have said, you need to set boundaries and be ready to defend them. That means being able to walk out if she won't stop. Tell her what you feel. "Mom, I don't like your judgmental comments about my appearance. If you continue with them, I'm going to leave." Then, if she continues, you have to get up and go. If she invites you to go clothes shopping, turn her down. "Sorry Mom, I'm not in the mood to listen to your comments about my appearance, so no thank you." Let her know WHY you're avoiding certain activities with her. It's possible she'll try to change some. But most of all, you're protecting yourself.



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LAURELTOO
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5/1/14 8:08 A

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I hate to say it but she won't change. She isn't unaware of the fact that it bothers you, she just doesn't care. I know a woman who does this with her adult children, and no matter what cruel (and i mean she can be AWFUL to them) thing she says she then claims she was just kidding and that everyone is too sensitive. I don't buy this, because even though I'm a really big kidder myself anyone who is genuinely just joking would be sorry if they unintentionally hurt a persons feelings, and would apologize and/or never say that sort of thing again.

like the others said, boundaries. I know thats easier said than done.



LILSPARKGIRL
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4/30/14 11:33 A

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First, I'm sorry. What a hard way to grow up. Little girls love their moms and moms should be their daughter's biggest cheerleaders. If you continue a relationship, the second she says something mean (and i am not sure your mom has evil intent, it seems more like she has no filter) remain calm and say, Mom that was very unkind, please apologize, in a strong voice while you make eye contact with her. If she continues, you need to be really calm and say, I can see this isn't a good time to visit with you, I am leaving. And then walk out. Don't get sucked into WHY your feelings were hurt or any discussion of them. The point is YOU ARE HURT. and those feelings are REAL. I think it would be helpful for you to place a lot of value in your feelings instead of thinking: that is just how my mom is. because your mom is an adult and if she continues to have no filter, she can apologize for it.

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DIVINITYDANCER
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4/30/14 9:02 A

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I moved 2000 miles away from my mother. If I don't feel up to talking to her, I don't have to answer the phone.



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SCHOPPEK
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3/17/14 8:10 A

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I have very recently cut all ties with my mother, due to issues similar to this. Her callousness over the years has turned many family members against her. She has always told me that I made her fat because she had to quit smoking when she was pregnant with me. OMG.

"Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life."
Proverbs 4:23


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MICHELLEXXXX
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2/21/14 8:05 A

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I came to this decision: I can't change who I must interact with at all times, I can choose to understand they are emotionally/mentally sick and stunted at the emotional maturity of a child. I can choose to pray for them, because for someone to say vile things, their own heart must be wounded. I would pray for her and tell her I will talk to her when she is ready to treat me with kindness and respect.

Hate the sin, not the sinner. She is deeply wounded in some way acting out in fear like any wounded animal. Some people put on a mask of pride to cover the hurt, but no wound can heal under a mask; it needs love. Only she can take off the mask and let herself be healed.

Edited by: MICHELLEXXXX at: 2/21/2014 (08:21)
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16


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FITMOMMY1836
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2/12/14 9:47 P

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Does sound like a piece of work. I used to get quite a bit of that from my Mom and Dad, but since my husband and sister defended me a few years ago it pretty much stopped other then sometimes they will tell me they are worried about my health being overweight.

As for your Mother...and all bullies..because that's what she is, it comes from their inner insecurities. You can't take it personal, because it isn't, it's about them, their fears, their issues. Also the way your mother was raised and I dare say, she maybe too old and or set in her behaviour and thinking to change her ways. My best advice is keep visits short and sweet. Walk in the door saying 'save your criticism, I don't want to hear it' and if she starts tell her you will not accept this kind of negativity from anyone, let alone your own mother and walk out. Sooner or later she will realize that you mean business. You can only expect what you accept.

Never giving up! I CAN do this. I WILL do this. I AM doing this!


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SKYFLOWER13
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2/10/14 7:33 P

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My mother is the same way, only not just with appearances. It's with all aspects of life. "you want to be a dentist? You're not smart enough for that", "you want to be a plumber, you're not strong enough for that."....every time we would talk she just brought so much negativity and sucked so much life out of me that I would be physically exhausted after seeing her for an hour!

I don't know what you should do. In my situation, I couldn't take her anymore. The negativity, the drama she created, the constant put-downs. I haven't talked to my mother in almost a year. She had a massive tantrum about something and ended up calling my fiance a loser/a**hole and that pushed me to end our relationship, but I had been thinking about doing that for a few years.

Honestly, I feel a lot better without her in my life. I feel sadness that she couldn't be a more supportive mother and be a positive person in my life, but when it comes down to it, that's not the person she is. I don't need or want negativity or drama in my life, and they say to cut those people out of your life. My aunt did the same thing with her parents.



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CAREN_BLUEJEANS
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2/6/14 9:32 P

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Sorry, you can't change your mother. Or anyone else for that matter. I suggest you set up some serious boundaries around your life. Everything within those big, tall, strong walls is your business, and none of hers. You have your work cut out for you.

A book that helped me is "Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life" by Henry Cloud
www.amazon.com/Boundaries-When-Take-Contro
l-Your/dp/0310247454


It's kinda religious, but if that's not your thing, you can still gleam some gems.

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ALICAT207
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2/6/14 5:30 P

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Hey everyone,

I hope this is the right board for this. I apologize if it isn't. I need some advice regarding my mother, and I apologize in advance, because I know it's going to be long! My mother has been critical of my appearance for over half of my life. She was the athletic and pretty member of her family while growing up. But after she married my dad in her early 20's she started gaining weight over the years. She's been obese as long as I can remember and has Type 2 Diabetes. When I was in my teens and 20s she constantly nagged me about my looks. I was thin back then so the comments were never about weight, but rather my hair, makeup and clothes. "You have a wide face, don't wear your hair like that" / "don't put your blush on that way, put it on this way" / "don't wear that shirt, wear this one" / "You'd be prettier if...", etc. And for some reason I never fought back or stood up for myself.

Then I got into my 30s and unfortunately started putting on weight, and the focus of her comments shifted to my weight/body. "Suck in your stomach" / "don't wear that dress, it shows your gut" / "you'll have a hard time finding a husband if you are overweight". Once time, we went to a social event together. It was winter so I had on my heavy coat. Before we got out of the car she told me to take off my coat because it made me look big. I refused and she started trying to pull it off me. I pushed her hand away and got out of the car. She was afraid that Mr. Right was waiting inside and would be repulsed at the sight of an average sized woman (I was probably a 12, maybe a 14) in a heavy coat.

Well despite her prediction of spinsterhood, later that same year I did meet Mr. Right and got married. We met through church. A couple years after we got married, he confessed something to me that my mother said to him during our engagement. She said "I know she (me) isn't thin or as pretty as some of the other girls at your church, but she is a good person". Um, thaaanks Mom?? Her comment made me feel like she was apologizing to my future husband because in her mind I only had inner attractiveness. FWIW, I've had many people tell me over the years that I'm very pretty so I know I'm completely unfortunate looking! LOL. And my husband thinks I'm beautiful just the way I am and isn't bothered by extra pounds.

Just this past summer I was back home for a week and we were shopping together (word to the wise: NEVER go clothes shopping with someone who is critical of your looks). She saw a dress on a manequin and said to me "wouldn't it be nice if we were small enough to wear that dress? Maybe one day we will be thin enough to". I was floored. It was as though she thought if you weren't the same size as that fake model, you couldn't wear that dress because it only came in one size. FTR, she thinks a size 6/8 (US) is the holy grail of body sizes. Anything larger and you're fat, anything smaller and you're too thin. The only thing that stopped me from packing up and leaving was the fact that she was scheduled for a lumpectomy in 2 days and I was home to help care for her after surgery. I let her know I was hurt and angry, but I stayed for her sake.

She told me a story once about when she had come home from college for the summer and was about 15 pounds heavier. As soon as her mother saw her she said, "fatty fatty 2x4, can't fit through an open door" and immediately put her on a diet. She acted like that didn't hurt her feelings, but how could that not hurt a young woman's feelings? I have a hunch that she thinks because her mother said that to her, its her right as my mother to criticize me whenever she feels the need.
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I have talked to her countless times and told her that her comments hurt my feelings, make me feel bad about myself, and that it is not fair for her to criticize my weight when she is overweight herself. I have asked her to stop, begged her to stop even. She tells me I am just being too sensitive and that I've said things that hurt her feelings before too (backwards do unto others, Mom?). She eventually apologizes but it never sounds convincing (I've heard her sincerely apologize for other things, it's not like she can't do it). She will stop for a few weeks and then it starts back up again. It's like she gets in a funk over her own body issues and decides to transfer them to me so that she feels better. She doesn't take my requests to stop the criticizing seriously. I don't know what to do. I have just started working with a weight loss counselor. I have set a goal to lose 20 pounds by early Spring. Have I told my mother? No, and I don't plan to. Her countless comments have left me not wanting her to even know what I'm doing. I don't want to field her questions because I know it will just lead to arguing and hurt feelings. Admittedly, I am somewhat defensive, but that is only because of all the unwarranted things she has said over the years. It builds up until your back is automatically against the wall.

Has anybody been through this, or can you relate to it? I would really love any suggestions on how to handle it, how to get her to stop. I am 40 years old and quite frankly feel like I have bigger things to deal with than my mother's hangup over weight. Right now it seems it won't stop until I reach the weight/body size I was growing up (an 8). But if I get back down to a size 8, will she then start criticizing my hair and clothes again?? I just feel like I am being punished because I wasn't a beauty qeeen growing up like she was.

Oh, one more thing. It isn't always just me who she scorns. Several years ago a friend of mine had a baby. About 8 weeks later my mother saw my friend from a distance, and do you know what the the first thing out of her mouth was? Not how is the baby. Not how is she adjusting to motherhood. She said, "she still hasn't lost that baby weight has she!". Piece of work, isn't she? TIA!



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