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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5763
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Hi, Ill try to make this as short as possible

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Hi, I'll try to make this as short as possible:) I've had a very toxic relationship with my mother for over 20 years. My mother is huge gossip, she fabricates stories and tries to sabotage relationships. My mother has always made my business known to everyone she knows, including people I know and family, thats been since I was a little girl. I'm now 36. My mother has dragged myself and 3 siblings through 6 marriages! She never takes responsibility for the things she has done. When I was 16 I fell in love with a family friend that was 27 years my senior. We both had feelings for each other and he asked to marry him when I turned 18 and I said yes. We've been married now for 16 years and we have 6 wonderful children! Now, my mother , like I said has been married 6 times and many flings in between. When she found out about my relationship(I wasn't about to tell her since everyone else would know!) when I was 16 she flipped out with jealousy! I was shocked! She was ranting and raving saying she loved him and they were going to get married and numerous hate laden words spewed from her mouth. I was so shocked that I couldn't speak for a while. I had never seen her like this. Although she is a gossip, she had always treated me lovingly. But that night it all changed and she even told me that she would never love me again. I knew what she was saying were lies, she even went as far as to say that he had murdered his ex wife! She was an alcoholic and tragically drove her car of a cliff. My mother has always had a screw loose but this was unthinkable. Before I make the next comment I have to say mother knew that I had been in a relationship with guy that was over eighteen( not nearly as old as my husband was) and she was just fine with that. Ok so as she was ranting and raving she said to me "oh ya, well I'll just call the cops"! I have been molested by 2 of her husbands and she knew about it and not once has did she ever do anything about them but now she is going to call the police on someone because in her mind she didn't get this man , i did. I begged her not to but she was so scourned it was evil. I called Jim to tell him and asked him what I should do and he said well just tell them the truth. I really wished I hadn't. He is now a felon, he was on probation for 4 years and during the 4 years we could have zero contact or he would be put in jail.
So, we waited for the 4 years to come to fruition and we got married and we are happy! It's been very difficult for my husband to see and be around my mother because if all the lies she has said about him, but we have both tried to be the bigger person and be around so she could see her grandchildren. But now I have heard form a many family members that she still tells everyone those lies! What??!! I thought that was a thing of the past especially since Jim is here to say she is wacked out of her mind and lying. I truly think that she has lied so much that she believes what she says. She has gone as far as to tell people that she and Jim were ready to walk down the isle , everything was in place and then I stole him away! She has told my children personal things about me that I would never have told them. My feelings and my husbands are that we don't want anything else to do with her. I don't even want her around my children because I can't trust her with what she'll say that's none of their business. Let alone that she's been married 6 times!!! We want to cut it off and never see her again. I want to know if this is the right thing to do? Or am I being unreasonable? I've tried to condense the story as best I could!:) feel free to ask questions please. Thank you!

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.


It sounds like your mother has a personality disorder. A personality disorder is usually caused when someone is abused as a child or mistreated. It develops as a way for the child to cope with the dysfunctional behavior of the adults around them. When someone has a personality disorder, they usually have little to no insight into their behavior. They have difficulty with all of their relationships and how they relate the world around them. They feel everyone is at fault but them and they will try to manipulate the people and circumstances so they benefit.


If your mother has a personality disorder, it is unlikely she will change unless she wants to. And even with therapy, personality disorders are ingrained so it does take some time to work them through. Since it sounds unlikely your mother will gain insight about her problems, the only choice you have is how you react.


You and your husband have tried to work with your mother but to no avail. The relationship has come to the point where you are experiencing distress rather than benefiting from it. In that case, you have little choice but to end all contact. That does not mean you do not love your mother or care for her. But contact with her has become too difficult to manage. You need to protect yourself and your family, particularly your children since they will not understand her behavior as you and your husband do.


I hope this has helped you,

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your insight. My mother had a very normal upbringing. My grandparents were very successful and had a very good relationship, they were married for over 50 years. I think mom has Histronic Personality Disorder. She fits the disorder to a T. So your usumption of her having a personality disorder is spot on. I am considering taking legal action against her for defamation of character. My husband and his family are prominent people in our city and if this was to get out to the public it would not be good. I don't want to do anything rash but I want to protect my family. What is your opinion on this? I asked my sister and her stand was, " Oh, you shouldn't do that because it will hurt her". So, I will be hurting my relationship with other family even though they know what mom has done to my husband and I ! I guess I'm looking for any other way to do this without suing her, but if I have to I will. Thank you for your consideration.

I understand your frustration with your mother and your desire to stop her behavior. I am not sure of the legal aspect, you may want to consult your attorney. Mental health wise, if she does have a personality disorder, suing her may only make it worse. It would give her a platform to broadcast more hurtful comments and she may find new ways to hurt you. She could also use your actions against you by saying you are out to hurt her. Suing her will probably just give her more focus and motivation to hurt you and your family. The best option is to cut off as much contact as you can. If you do have to see her, keep your communication brief and to the point. Leave out emotions and personal comments. Much like you would with a stranger. This keeps the emotions out of the situation and makes it less likely she can upset you or find something to use against you.



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