Love Hate Relationships
I’m writing this post for those of us who have ever experienced a love hate relationship with our moms. I can raise two hands and stand up on this one. I can truly say that my God is an awesome wonder because He repaired my relationship with my mom.
How does it get so complicated? Why are relationships between mother and daughters strained the way they are? I believe it goes back to our expectations of the role moms plays and what we believe a mom should be. I think most would agree with these characteristics. When they are not lived up to, the relationship suffers. When I think of mom I think of someone who is nurturing, loving, one who sacrifices, takes care of, encourages, believes, leads, builds her house, one who is trustworthy, has all the answers, makes no mistakes, and can fix any problem. Have any of you ever fell into the mindset of the last three ideas or expectations of what a mom should be? Here‘s my story. In my earlier years, my mom was all of these things in my eyes. She was nuturing, loving, she sacrificed, took good care of us, trustworthy, a great leader, all of these things. And of course, I thought she had all the answers, made no mistakes, and could solve every problem. In my latter years between 11 and 18 things began to fall apart. We were all trapped inside of this abusive marriage. Our lives were spinning out of control. My mother, my protector, slowly begin to not match or live up to my expectations of what a mother should be. I felt like I was slowly losing my grasp and she was slipping away. It was as if her priorities shifted. She was married now and was going to do whatever it would take to make her marriage work. Whatever he needed her to be, became her focus and we became the after thought. We always had good communication with our mom so we would ask her why she was putting his needs and his daughter above ours and she would respond, “you all know how much I love you, now I’m just trying to show them the same.” Well, that thought worked for about a year but as years past by we were inclined to believe that we were no longer the priority. I felt completely rejected. I was broken by the time that marriage ended. Actually,I feel like broken puts it lightly. I was a hot mess after my moms divorce. I suffered PTSD and this new Stacey showing up in the world was angry, depressed, fearful, mean, controlling (shall I go on). During that time, I held onto unforgiveness towards my step dad but I hated my mom for putting our family at risk, for choosing my step dad over us and for not making the best decisions for her children. I was so confused because I never experienced loving and hating someone at the same time. I loved her because I remembered all of the good. I hated her for not meeting my expectations of what a “good” mother should be.
It took therapy, a willingness to want to repair the relationship and honestly my ex husband giving me this perspective. What he told me forever changed the way I viewed my mother so I’m going to share it with you in hopes of you leaving this post empowered with a changed mind.
He said, “ you’re mom is chronologically older than you but think about where she is mentally, what she had to endure, who she actually was at your age. Just because she’s older doesn’t mean she has all the answers, doesn’t mean she won’t make mistakes. She’s just a person who grew up with her life experiences.” Honestly, I never considered the fact that my mom didn’t know better, that she could make huge mistakes, or that the decisions she made were all deeply rooted in her past. I just believed moms didn’t do that. I believed that moms magically had it together by the time they had children. I never looked at the situation from my mother’s eyes or even considered her past experiences that were affecting her decisions. I’m sure by now you’re guessing, I didn’t have children at this point or I was pretty darn naive. Well, the answer is both. Had I had children at that time, I definitely would have been more understanding of the fact that just because she was a mom didn’t mean she would have all the answers. I look at my own life now and the tough decisions I‘ve had to make in my marriage and I pray to God I’m doing what’s best for me and my children. There is no road map showing how to perfectly handle every situation that comes up.
I’ll leave you with this. If you are experiencing a love/ hate relationship with your mother try to understand that although she’s older, she still is a woman who carries with her all the experiences from her past. She may not have done everything perfectly but she made the best decisions with who she was (at that time) and what she had. If she didn’t do it the way you thought was best, that’s ok too. My mom didn’t do everything the way I thought she should have either but Im happy I’ve been able to find compassion and understanding in who she is/was as a woman. This understanding and forgiveness has helped heal our relationship and makes me a better mom, ultimately keeping me free!
Whats keeping you stuck in the love/ hate relationship? What needs to happen for you to gain more understanding so that you can release your mother? I’d love to help walk you through the process. Connect with me at 3pministry.com