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How do you honor an emotionally needy mother?

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  • How do you honor an emotionally needy mother?

    Hello everyone :)

    My husband recently got a great job offer that would require us to move 4 hours away from where we live now. Since my mother would never be ok with me moving more than 20 mins from her, my husband asked her and my father if they would be open to moving with us (they're retired and we would get them their own place and take care of them). My father said yes, in his words, "We got nothing to lose!". My mother, on the other hand, is not open to the idea at all because she's "used to living here". I reminded her that we would not be moving for another 6+ months so she still has time to think about it. She then started crying and said, "So you're just gonna leave me?".:rolleyes:

    I don't know what to do. We must honor our parents, but our spouses come first, right? I feel so conflicted because I love them both. I pray my mom changes her mind and comes with us or at least lets me go without trying to guilt trip me. She made me feel guilty when I moved in with my husband 15 years ago, and still til this day whenever my husband and I go on trips without her. It's getting so old.

  • #2
    Originally posted by EmCo View Post
    She made me feel guilty when I moved in with my husband 15 years ago, and still til this day whenever my husband and I go on trips without her.
    You are required to honor your parents but that doesn't mean you have to let them control your life and make unreasonable demands. If you live 4 hours from her you will still be close enough to help if she is in real trouble. Moving away might even be good for her because she might realize that she can no longer manipulate you by making you feel guilty.
    Clyde Herrin's Blog
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    • #3
      Thank you for replying.

      Originally posted by theophilus View Post
      Moving away might even be good for her because she might realize that she can no longer manipulate you by making you feel guilty.

      I sure hope so.
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      • #4
        Originally posted by EmCo View Post
        I don't know what to do. .
        Hello Emco and Welcome (since you are relatively new here). I would agree with theophilus. While it is evident that you love and honor your parents, it is also clear that your mother wishes to continue manipulating you. You can simply and kindly let her know you and your husband have already made a decision, and now it is up to her to make a decision (regarding the move). No need to get into any lengthy discussions.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by EmCo View Post
          She then started crying and said, "So you're just gonna leave me?".:rolleyes:
          I can't help but relate to your feelings here. I too have a very emotionally needy mom who I try to honor (I try really hard) but most of the time she drives me crazy. I had to go to therapy because of the emotional distress that my situation caused me. I ended up coming to realize that what theophilus is 100% truth. No one can control our lives but us. I hope and pray she realizes so too. Please keep us updated.
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          • #6
            So it's both your Mom and Dad -- your mother is not widowed or divorced.

            What does your father do to help your mother less emotionally needy. Is there anything he could do to help your mother feel more emotionally Secure?

            How old are your parents?

            Would your parents ever go to therapy? Your Mother?
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Vyck View Post

              I can't help but relate to your feelings here. I too have a very emotionally needy mom who I try to honor (I try really hard) but most of the time she drives me crazy. I had to go to therapy because of the emotional distress that my situation caused me. I ended up coming to realize that what theophilus is 100% truth. No one can control our lives but us. I hope and pray she realizes so too. Please keep us updated.
              Finally someone who can relate! It's not easy being the child of an emotionally needy parent. Maybe I should see a therapy.

              I'll be sure to keep you all updated.
              Last edited by EmCo; 06-29-2017, 07:09 PM.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by Sue D. View Post
                So it's both your Mom and Dad -- your mother is not widowed or divorced.
                Correct. It would be different if she was alone, but she is not.


                What does your father do to help your mother less emotionally needy. Is there anything he could do to help your mother feel more emotionally Secure?
                He's always there for her. He loves my mother as Christ commands. When she had knee surgery last year, he pretty much lived at the hospital with her. She would beg him to go home and get rest. I don't believe there is anything more he could do to help her feel more emotionally secure. For some reason, my mom looks to me for that emotional secureness.

                How old are your parents?
                My mother is 71 and my father is 68.

                Would your parents ever go to therapy? Your Mother?
                My father already sees a therapist. My mother used to see one.
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                • #9
                  Time, distance, and shielding.
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                  • #10
                    Why did she stop seeing the therapist? They are about my age.

                    How long had she been seeing the therapist? How long has your Dad been seeing one?

                    Is it a Christian therapist?

                    Lots of question for you -- hopefully you don't mind -- I've had some experience in that area. Having gone to a Biblical counselor myself for about two years. And it's an area I've had interest in as well.

                    I've also had somewhat of problem with emotional dependency.
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                    • #11
                      I totally agree with theophilus. It is great that you honor and respect your mother but doesn't mean that she couldn't let go of you or make you feel guilty when you are moving. Talk to your mother about this and make her understand how you feel about this. Trust me I have been in the same situation about convincing my mother like this and it is not an easy task. :)
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Sue D. View Post
                        Why did she stop seeing the therapist? They are about my age.

                        How long had she been seeing the therapist? How long has your Dad been seeing one?

                        Is it a Christian therapist?

                        Lots of question for you -- hopefully you don't mind -- I've had some experience in that area. Having gone to a Biblical counselor myself for about two years. And it's an area I've had interest in as well.

                        I've also had somewhat of problem with emotional dependency.

                        I don't mind the questions, at all.

                        I don't know my my mom stopped seeing her therapist. I guess she figured she didn't need one anymore. My dad has been his therapist for about 2 years. No they were/are not Christian therapists.
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                        • #13
                          You commented that your Dad loves your Mom as Christ commands -- as Christ loves the Church - so the husband is to love his wife. Your comments suggest that he doesn't meet some of her needs for connection like you do. Relationships can be complicated. Have you thought about going to a therapist / Christian counselor with your Mom? Or talking with the pastors' wife -- both of you.

                          Sometimes we don't recognize our personal needs. We might for a while, but we feel cured when we really aren't.

                          You said 'they' -- your Dad was seeing one and your Mom another one?

                          Life sure can get complicated.

                          One thing I'm trying to learn / practice is taking all our cares / worries / problems to God. Sometimes our wills will be counter to God's will.
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Sue D. View Post
                            You commented that your Dad loves your Mom as Christ commands -- as Christ loves the Church - so the husband is to love his wife. Your comments suggest that he doesn't meet some of her needs for connection like you do. Relationships can be complicated. Have you thought about going to a therapist / Christian counselor with your Mom? Or talking with the pastors' wife -- both of you.
                            You are right. This is just my opinion, but I don't think my parents are "in love" anymore and they have not been for a while. The romance died a long time ago and I don't think any of them care or know how to rekindle it. I can't remember how this came up, but I remember my dad saying that him and my mom are "more like old friends". Knowing my mother, I think she would be offended if I suggested we see a therapist/counselor. :(



                            You said 'they' -- your Dad was seeing one and your Mom another one?
                            Correct.



                            Sometimes our wills will be counter to God's will.
                            Ain't that the truth!




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                            • #15
                              Honestly -- sometimes I've felt that having a good friend but without the ability to have sex would be just as good As -- if not better than a relationship With sex but no real friendship. My husband and I have been married for 45 yrs. , 4 grown kids and 6 grandkids. I know that God put us together , but since marriage is lived out here on earth -- it Can have it's really rocky times. If you want to share more -- feel free to contact me via PMing :)
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