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Old 10-03-07, 05:15 PM   #1
BLIMP
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familial relationships

Do any of you have particularly strained ones? Living across the country from the majority of my family, having wildly different priorities than them, and being unwilling/able to come home for more than a couple days at a time, once or twice a year, is completely ruining my relationship with my mother. Talking to her today (a "rare" [~every 2 weeks] event because our conversations rarely end well) I explained that if I come home for xmas I'd only be able to stay for about 3 days because I'd already made plans for the entirety of my winter break. Acknowledging this, she then suggested I come home for turkey. When I told her that the time constraints were about the same but that works out just as well for me she started screaming at me, saying I'm not being considerate of other peoples schedules, only my own.

I really don't get this at all. Maybe it's because she's a 51 year old widow? Maybe I'm a complete *******? Either way it's not doing my mental health any favors. Can't be helping her much either.


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Old 10-03-07, 05:22 PM   #2
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I have always enjoyed a very good relationship with my family. It's tough though in today's society to make time for everyone. Once a year is about all I see my family. Fortunately my children are close enough for more regular visits. I don't have a solution to your problem. Make sure your mother knows you love her. It will eventually work itself out.
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Old 10-03-07, 05:39 PM   #3
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I've never really "fit in" with my family. How do I delicately say this. Higher education was NEVER a priority with any of them. I think two other cousins are the only other members of my family who graduated college. I did just move 3200 miles away from them, and it was not a "difficult decision" on my side.

Even my mom once joked "How did you get in to this family? You just soooo don't fit in.". I responded "Thanks".

That being said, I do have a good relationship with my brother and my g-ma. When my g-ma dies, I'm working on getting my brother interested in moving out here.
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Old 10-03-07, 05:49 PM   #4
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Visit your family once, and they're warm for a few days. Set them on fire, and they're warm forever!

Honestly, if you live across the country from them, visiting twice a year and talking on the phone every two weeks isn't exactly estrangement. Talk to her about it, and tell her that you're busy, and can't always drop everything and fly across the country for a week or two (I'd probably avoid mentioning a money issue if one is present, so that it doesn't sound like a plea for money. ). Tell her how much you treasure the visits you are able to make. Maybe tell her that you'll see if you can make a longer trip someday, not necessarily during a holiday, but whenever you can.

Try not to let it all overwhelm you and blow up, though. Someday there'll be a time you wish you could talk to your mom, but you can't...
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Old 10-03-07, 10:01 PM   #5
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I have no relationship with my parents. they are judgemental and selfish
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Old 10-03-07, 11:16 PM   #6
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I don't talk to my brother or his wife. It's not like she was the reason I stopped talking to him. I wouldn't talk to either of them, no matter what their relation to me.
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Old 10-03-07, 11:43 PM   #7
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You should be able to set a week aside for your mother once a year.
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Old 10-03-07, 11:58 PM   #8
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I live accross town (smaller town) from my Mom....I contact her less than you.....I do love her and my step dad as well....they are just different...ideas...attitudes....you name it...

I guess I am sort of a loaner.....sort of....
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Old 10-04-07, 01:03 AM   #9
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I'm trying to do my best with it, but considering other issues I have, this is only adding to the pile.


Thanks for all the advice.
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Old 10-04-07, 09:47 AM   #10
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I really don't get this at all. Maybe it's because she's a 51 year old widow? Maybe I'm a complete *******? Either way it's not doing my mental health any favors. Can't be helping her much either.


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Long ago I learned I can't answer things like this for someone else, even someone I know well, let alone a complete stranger. But I have found that sometimes I can point to some helpful questions. I might not be the best for this, my family relationships are fine.

When you made plans for near X-mas did you think that family might be doing something over the holidays? If you did why did you make other plans first? (Hmm here a bit more information would help. Mom being 51 puts it where you can be quite different. lets say anywhere from 21 to 31 and perhaps a bit past either end. A failure here to even consider family plans looks bad in hindsight if you are 21, but really not at all out of line. At 31 it would seem to indicate you are a bit of an @ss, but even there it depends on how long you have been away from family. E.g. if this is first holiday season away just a mistake, if 10th far more serious).

Do you want to spend time with yuor family or do you want to avoid it? Or perhaps is it even a case where 2 days is good, 3 Ok, 4 getting bad and after a week it is h3ll. If you can honestly say the last then it would seem you may be making a good choice. If you are trying to minimize contact be honest with yourself about it. Once that is done then decide how much you are willing to endure for others.

If family time is not enjoyable for you I think you should ask yourself if there are others like you in the family. (Sort of the setup others have mentioned a few that do not fit in). If this is the case consider that you may be abandoning those others. What yuo want to do with that is up to you.

First determine what you want and why and go from there. Be honest with yourself. Do not be dishonest with others, but that does not mean being open with others.

Remember when family relationships are not good there is seldom a painless solution, do not expect one in your case.
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Old 10-04-07, 10:13 AM   #11
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My parents and I get along great and live a few miles away so we see each other pretty often. Also, they're in their 80s and dads been in a wheelchair since 1980 so I do a lot for them. I have two sisters 13 and 16 years older than I am. The older one got married and moved out at 18 and the younger one at 16 so I really didn't grow up with them. I rarely see or talk to either of them. It's not that we don't like each other, it's just that we have nothing in common.

My daughter is another issue. I left her mother when she was 6. I saw her every other weekend and lots of other times. Then somewhere in her early teens she got involved in so many activities at school that she had to cancel most of our weekends. I thought that was great for her as I now wish I had been more involved in things at that age. But somehow over the years this got turned into "Dad never sees me or has anything to do with me". Now she's 23 and talks to me on holidays. And btw she's working on a Masters in Behavioral Science so she still never has any time. I'm trying to fix it but am a little lost as to what to do.
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Old 10-04-07, 11:09 AM   #12
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Sounds to me like your mother is hurt because she feels like she's 2nd in the priority of who you'd like to spend time with on your vacation.

Rather on the same page on this as Keith99. If you didn't discuss in advance your vacation plans with your Mother and you know she wants to see you then it comes down to what your priorities are. Simply with what you've provided here I would gather it wasn't important you spend a lot of time with her. If it was, you'd have made more time for it.

I was told once, what you spend your time on is what you consider important.
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