Arts & Leisure

Dear Mari: Mom and daughter woes

MOTHERS and daughters don’t always get along.

Dear Marilyn,

My relationship with my mother is very strained. I had a rough time growing up. She was never the kind and nurturing type of mom that my friends have.

I am now engaged to the most wonderful guy in the world. My mom has not even asked to meet him. Last night she called and let me know that she is moving to a new apartment. She asked me to ask my fiancé if he and I would help her with the move.

   I was amazed. She has never even met him, yet she has no qualms about asking him for a favor. I was so surprised, that I really didn’t know what to say. So, I just told her that I would find out, and get back to her.

I asked my fiancé, and he was very kind and gracious. He said he’d be glad to help, if I would like him to. I keep hoping that my mom will change. I think that she has a lot of nerve to ask for his help, under the circumstances. So, I guess that she’s not going to ever change.

What would you suggest that I do?

Signed, Bewildered Daughter

Dear Bewildered Daughter,

   You are exactly right. It is extremely unlikely that your mom is ever going to change her behavior. You, however, have a choice as to how you will to respond to her.

   You could choose to tell her that you are not available at the time she needs the help. You could also let her know you would like to see her at some other time, and that you’d like to introduce her to your fiancé at that time.

   Or, you can let her know that you and your fiancé will help her. If you make this choice, it is because you are choosing to do a kindness for your mom.

   It is not because you expect her to be extremely grateful, or to reciprocate and assist you in any way. That is highly unlikely.

   You have the power to control your emotions and your reaction to her. I know that you are extremely disappointed in her. This is very understandable. So, you really can make the choice.

   Since you asked for my suggestion, I would suggest that you help her. This is especially true since your fiancé is willing. However, as I mentioned, the choice is really yours.

Dear Marilyn,

I have been with my boyfriend for three years. He is constantly telling me to change how I look, and to try to mold me into this image that he seems to want.

I think it is time to end our relationship, but I don’t know how to do it. Every time that I try to end it, he changes his ways for a while. He is extremely nice, and stops being critical.

Then, we get back together, and the cycle returns again. When I break up with him, he keeps calling me, and then he gets mad if I don’t answer the phone. Then he apologizes so sweetly, and I end up forgiving him again.

I just want my space. I try to tell him, but he doesn’t want to break up.

What should I do? I need your advice.

Signed, Prisoner of Love


Dear Prisoner of Love,

   You are in a prison of your own making. It is time for you to break up with this loser once and for all.

You are a person of value and worth. He is not treating you as such, and you know it. There is no reason for you to be on this emotional yo-yo with him. Break up with once and for all, and stick with it.

   Let him know that you need to end the relationship, and that you mean it. Tell him that you will not be responding to his calls.

   He is probably pushing you because he knows that you will give in. When he sees that you are firm, and that you mean business, he should leave you alone.

   If he calls you, advise that you do not wish to speak with him, and end the call. He should get the message, after you stick to your resolve for a couple of calls.

   If he doesn’t, then get a restraining order. But, under no circumstances should you continue the relationship with him. Be strong.

Please send your questions to Remember to include “Dear Mari” in the subject line.


Leave a Reply