Wedding Woes

Oh no, LW. This is awful.

Dear Prudence,

My husband and I have been trying for a second child for almost two years and will soon begin fertility treatments. It’s been tough. I’ve got a lot of shame and embarrassment about our secondary infertility, so I’ve limited my support circle to those whose compassion I thought I could count on, including my mother. Recently, I was honest and vulnerable with her about how hard I thought the Fourth of July weekend would be—we’re spending it in a small family cabin with my sister-in-law, who recently announced that she is expecting a second child of her own, whereas I’ll need to make time over the weekend for a bunch of invasive interviews with our new fertility docs. My mom was kind and comforting.

So you can imagine my shock and dismay when a technologically impaired family member accidentally made a voice note of a conversation my mom was having and dropped it in the family chat (there’s no question it was an accident). In the short clip, I hear my mother talking about my feelings re: the holiday weekend to a friend of hers, describing my situation with some detail and then saying that I’m, “sulking, wah wah wah” as she makes little noises of complaint. It comes across as more glib than mocking. When I confronted her in the chat, she immediately said that she was just describing the situation to someone who’s known me since I was born and who would be sympathetic to what I’m going through. She apologized profusely and said she would never have used that kind of language with me, which I believe, but which doesn’t actually make things better! I’m mortified that she would talk about my fertility issues with anyone, even if it’s a very close family friend. I’m heartbroken that she would use such belittling language to describe my profound grief. I’m terrified that if my longstanding anxieties and depressive thoughts have been proven right in this instance, in that my mother really does think I’m a whiny crybaby and feels inconvenienced by my feelings, then they’re right about all the other awful things they say about me and about the way others feel about me. What do I do with this fresh new hurt on top of the existing pain of my situation? Where can my relationship with my mom possibly go from here? How do I, or she and I, begin to heal?

—I Would Have Called Us Close

Re: Oh no, LW. This is awful.

  • Easier said than done, but the LW should try to chalk this up to her mother being worried about her and the fertility issues.  But sometimes stress will come out in ways to lighten it and it seems like this is what happened here.
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  • This is awful. But- your mom felt awful and apologized. She was venting and whoever recorded it honestly sucks and why would they do that and send it around? 

    But this doesn’t have to mean more than you let it. She made a big mistake and owned it. It doesn’t mean everyone hates you and is talking about you.  
  • I know LW wants to think the recording and sharing of the recording was an 'oopsie daisy', but first...who records conversations? Second, you have to put effort into sharing things in a group text.  So it's not passing the sniff test for me. 

    As far as mom letting off steam, I'm SURE I pissed my mom off a lot and she talked crap about me and my choices.  Shit, DH and I vent about the kiddo and DefConn to each other all of the time. 

    The conversation was never meant for LW.  Mom has apologized. 

    It's a hard bell to unring.  But LW needs to reflect on the fact that feelings and thoughts aren't the truth until the end of time.  Most things you think and feel are fleeting and change based on time and/or new information.  No one stays mad/sad/happy/etc forever. 
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