Bad Influence

Last week, I decided to pick my mother up and take her to dinner with us.  I also decided that I would finally tell her what J and I have been talking about recently.  Reconciliation and his girlfriend topped the agenda.  My mother was shocked.

She told me, “But you sounded so final about the whole thing.  Why would you change your mind now?”

Right at that point, I knew I made the wrong decision in confiding in her.  My family and I know that my mom cannot keep a secret to save her life and that she only has negative things to say about our spouses.  What was I thinking?  Why did I tell this woman what was in my heart and in my head?  I thought I could find some comfort and support.  I told her about  confronting J’s girlfriend via email.

“Don’t go back with him.  You know you were unhappy.  He’s a jerk,” she blurted out with a look of disgust on her face.

“Okay, mom, you need to listen.  I am not asking for your input.  I don’t need a response,” I shot back.

I was fuming but have been trying to be nice to her since the car accident.  She seems more vulnerable lately.

You see, my mom has always been like this.  J has treated her like gold.  Whenever she needed something, he was there at her side helping her.  She has never had a nice thing to say about J.  When we were all living together for that few months after moving here, I would return from work and she would tattle on him.  “J didn’t do that.  J fed your son this after you asked him not to.  J is too loud when he’s on the phone.”  I never responded and ignored her.  I should have always stood up for my husband, but I knew that I would never get through to her.  I never had in the past, so I stopped trying.  Ignoring her seemed the best route.

She pulls the same shit with my brother and his wife.  My sister-in-law does nothing but help my mother.  It was her that convinced my brother to let my mom move in with them.  In her culture, you take care of your elders no matter what.  My brother said, “Okay, but I will be in the garage drinking more beer than usual.”

Before dinner, she told me that she knew for a fact that my SIL was sleeping while watching my son.  I chose not to believe her.  I asked her how she knew.  She had no good answer.  I just told her that I did not think that was the case.

My mother is one of the reasons I had troubles with my husband and my marriage.  It was like she was always that bug in my ear expressing doubt.  I believe she had a lot of influence over my decision and did not help when we were having trouble.  She was not there to merely listen, she tore him down all the time.  She did see and hear me cry many times over something he had done or a big fight from the night before. And I can understand, even as an adult, you probably want to protect your child.  But at what point do you let them live their lives and not meddle?  I hope I do not end up meddling in my son’s affairs.  I hope I am not that kind of mother.

One of my best friends also disliked my husband from the beginning.  She knew more about our relationship than my mother did.  I told her everything.  EVERYTHING!  When J and I got engaged, she began to distance herself from me.  Soon, she stopped talking to me all together.  She didn’t attend our wedding, not a brides maid as I had planned.  She wouldn’t even tell me why or why she was abandoning our friendship.  She finally told me about a couple years ago.  It was at that time I told her that I was thinking about leaving J, she was all for it.  She liked him as a person, but did not like him as my husband.

The thing you must understand about my friend, she is eternally single.  She can do without commitment forever.  She was jealous when I announced the engagement.  She hated she was losing her best single friend to marriage.  But, whatever.  She was happy to hear I wanted to leave my husband.  She encourage me to do so.  She told me we didn’t belong together.

So, my mother and best friend.  Both have influence over me and not sure why.  Are they my voices of reason, discontent and justice?  Or did they just hate the fact that they lost me to someone else and all of my attention was taken from them?

Not sure.




About smommy

I am a single mom, by choice. I decided to separate from my husband and an unhappy marriage over three years ago. My son was two at the time. I am pretty much raising my kid on my own with occasional support of my family when I need it. (I don't like to admit I need it, ever!) My soon to be ex-husband (STBX) is an alcoholic and after we separated and he moved back to San Francisco, he became a drug addict also. Life is a struggle, but a sweet one since I have this awesome boy and we love each other sooooo much! Now, if I could magically be divorced, that would be great...but alas, I cannot force him to sign the documents. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but there are moments when it seems so far away and unreachable.
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One Response to Bad Influence

  1. jen@reclaimingfreedom says:

    Thanks for the post 🙂 My ex-husband and I allowed his mother to stay with us for a couple of months when she had left the man she is now marrying. She repeatedly stabbed both of us in the back, and repeatedly attempted to convince my ex to move with her into a house in Windsor with the kids. To be fair to him, it was one of the only times he actually stood up for our family.

    Unfortunately, we all have those people in our lives who do their best to undermine us in whatever way they can. It’s as though in order to feel better about themselves, they need to bring others down to their level if not lower. As in your case, I’ve learned to tune out at a certain point because it would bring me down too much otherwise. It’s far harder when it’s flesh and blood consistently bad mouthing others, and boundaries still get crossed from time to time.

    As long as you’re mindful of the traits you don’t want to inherit, you won’t meddle in your son’s life as he grows into adulthood. It’s the blessing of being witness to things you wish were left unsaid.

    Take Care,

    Jennifer Lynn

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