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It's time to accept this is who your mother is, not who you want her to be.

Dear Prudence,

I have an issue with my mother that I feel is maybe a bit over dramatic but is still bothering me. My parents divorced almost 15 years ago. My father screwed my mother over in the divorce and it was really hard for her for a couple of years. I had a strained relationship with my father because of it. About 10 years ago, my father died unexpectedly. His estate was a mess. Basically, my sister and I had a good claim to most of his money and we, along with my mother, all had some legal claim to the house. Because of the money we got, as well as the way my father treated my mother in the divorce, my sister and I decided to let my mother have the house to make the legal proceedings easier. I don’t regret this. What is making me upset, though is that my mom doesn’t seem to be very grateful about it. It’s like she felt entitled to the house. I understand that, but it was still a sacrifice my sister and I made.

Well, she sold the house to move closer to both me and my sister. That doesn’t bother me, the house wasn’t special to us. What bothers me is that my mother claims to want to maintain a relationship with me, but is buying a house that will make that extremely difficult. I got a job offer and was able to pick a city close to where my sister lives. My sister is pregnant and my mom decided to move closer to her as I don’t expect to have kids. That’s all fine. But now my mother expects me to come up regularly, yet won’t buy a house I can stay in. I live about 2.5 hours away. It’s not impossible to do a day trip to see my mother, but it is difficult and not something I want to do regularly. The problem is I am very sensitive to mold due to a chronic illness. I cannot stay overnight in a home with mold. After getting very sick in a home with a lot of mold, it took me two years to recover. I then bought a crappy house, tore it down, and built something new to make sure it didn’t have any. After seeing how sick I got, my sister did the same thing.

My mom is not willing to do that. It is the cheaper option for my mother and my sister even found a good house through some local connections. My sister told my mom she could stay with her while it was being done. My mother is refusing. I get that building a house is difficult, but I literally won’t be able to visit my mom in her own home and won’t be able to visit that much at all (my sister has her mother-in-law living with her, so I only have a couch to sleep on there, which I am not comfortable with). I can afford to pay for a hotel every so often and my mom can come to visit me, but she is being incredibly stubborn about both of those options, saying, “They don’t work” for her. I’m feeling very resentful about the sacrifices I made when I was young and how little my mother is willing to sacrifice now. I know that once I gave her the house, it was hers to do with what she wanted, but I can’t help feeling like my mother took advantage of me when it was convenient and is now throwing me away when it’s not. At first, it seemed like this was out of the blue, but now I’ve realized my mother has a pattern of prioritizing small conveniences for herself over things that are big issues for me. I don’t really know what to do. She used to be such a good mother. A part of me feels like I might be blowing it out of proportion, though. What do you think?

—Moving Mother

Re: It's time to accept this is who your mother is, not who you want her to be.

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    banana468banana468 member
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    Where do they live that every house has an extensive mold problem and needs to be bulldozed and rebuilt? 
    That bother only one person???

    I'm not saying that this isn't possible but something isn't adding up.  And if all of this is true then LW needs to stop trying to get mom to be something she never will be

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    mrsconn23mrsconn23 member
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    edited July 3
    mrsconn23 said:

    Dear Prudence,

    I have an issue with my mother that I feel is maybe a bit over dramatic but is still bothering me. My parents divorced almost 15 years ago. My father screwed my mother over in the divorce and it was really hard for her for a couple of years. I had a strained relationship with my father because of it. About 10 years ago, my father died unexpectedly. His estate was a mess. Basically, my sister and I had a good claim to most of his money and we, along with my mother, all had some legal claim to the house. Because of the money we got, as well as the way my father treated my mother in the divorce, my sister and I decided to let my mother have the house to make the legal proceedings easier. I don’t regret this. What is making me upset, though is that my mom doesn’t seem to be very grateful about it. It’s like she felt entitled to the house. I understand that, but it was still a sacrifice my sister and I made.

    This first paragraph, especially the bolded, is informing the rest of this.  The mold is secondary.  LW is pissed that mom didn't fall over herself to thank LW and sister for letting her have the house free and clear. 

    Now LW is trying to dictate what mom does with the house money as some weird means of control.  LW, get some therapy to move past your parent's divorce.  

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    VarunaTTVarunaTT member
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    This honestly doesn't make sense.  If the climate is such that houses all over are full of mold, the outside is as well.  Mold is year round.  OP making that decision for herself is one thing, but I find it absurd anyone else would do the same.  And they are buying crappy houses, tearing them down and building new?  Why not just...buy new?  Or close-to-new? Or install a better HVAC system?  Mold is not some new-to-humans problem, we have answers. This is awfully extreme and I'm skeptical.

    Also, both of them sound rather terrible and unwilling to compromise.  I'd just go when I wanted and get a hotel room and if that's not enough for mom, that's really just too bad.  She can visit or not, but each person gets to make decisions about their level of commitment here.
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    A thank you would have been appropriate, but prostrating herself for your immense gratitude is over the top. Tearing down a house is not a reasonable expectation, even for a severe reaction to mold. Surely there’s an actual alternative (mold remediation, extensive professional cleaning, high powered humidifiers). Your mother isn’t going to change but I also think tearing down a house and building new isn’t a minor inconvenience. 
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    MesmrEweMesmrEwe member
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    LW hasn't ever been to a lumber yard to discover even modern wood often has mold on it!  Not every house has mold, and those that have mold it can be mitigated but it's expensive but to say a new build doesn't have mold is foolish at best especially watching home inspection videos of how common it is.  A brand new build doesn't mean squat as far as mold is concerned and sns absolutely unreasonable to expect people to buy a house, bulldoze, and build fresh because of LW's problem that won't be magic fairy wand fixed with a new build.

    LW is resenting that their Mom was a contributor in the divorce and found out probably why as an adult.  LW needs to let their Mom do their Mom... 
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    levioosalevioosa member
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    Well, the apple didn’t fall very fall from the tree. 


    image
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    VarunaTT said:
    This honestly doesn't make sense.  If the climate is such that houses all over are full of mold, the outside is as well.  Mold is year round.  OP making that decision for herself is one thing, but I find it absurd anyone else would do the same.  And they are buying crappy houses, tearing them down and building new?  Why not just...buy new?  Or close-to-new? Or install a better HVAC system?  Mold is not some new-to-humans problem, we have answers. This is awfully extreme and I'm skeptical.

    Also, both of them sound rather terrible and unwilling to compromise.  I'd just go when I wanted and get a hotel room and if that's not enough for mom, that's really just too bad.  She can visit or not, but each person gets to make decisions about their level of commitment here.
    No!  Not a hotel room!  Not unless the hotel was also razed to the ground recently and rebuilt /s.

    The other part of this letter that isn't making sense is in one sentence the LW is talking about that the mother could stay with her daughter while a new construction house is being built.  But then in another sentence is talking about that the LW can't stay with their sister for visits because the MIL lives there.

    I also like how the LW infers that building a house vs. buying an already built house is a "minor inconvenience" to their mother. 

    Though I am on the LW's side that they should only visit when they feel like it and if their mom doesn't like it that's tough.  Especially since it sounds like the mom refuses to visit them.
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