How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask TherapistMarryAnn Your Own Question
TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5809
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
TherapistMarryAnn is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I'm really quite sure that my Mother has a Narcissistic

This answer was rated:

Hello -
I'm really quite sure that my Mother has a Narcissistic personality disorder.
We've recently had yet another bust up only this time my Wife was dragged in.
My Mother gave my Wife a two hour tongue lashing during which she managed to liberate all of her abnormal views which she managed to accumulate over the last eight years.
It's the usual stuff - she's not interested in being part of the family, we're both rotten, our Wedding was a waste of time because we didn't say we liked her dress, we shouldn't have any friends or hobbies because we should spend more time with her . . .
. . .and saving the most outrageous 'til last - we think that we have great sex but it's not as good as hers and my Dad's.
My Mrs was naturally mortified - I've been listening to this rubbish since I was 5 years old and I'm 42 now.
My Mother refused to appologise because "she hasn't done anything wrong".
I think she sensed that I'm ready to throw in the towel - I haven't been letting her manipulate me these last couple of months.
Then today she phones up (she thought my Wife was still at work) to ask if she can come with us to collect our children from school.
Then she comes - no embarrassment, no appology or anything.
What is her game ?
I wouldn't dare show my face ever again if I'd said that lot.

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

It sounds like you may be right about your mother having a personality disorder. Unfortunately, personality disorders are some of the hardest to cope with because the person usually lacks the insight to see that there behavior is damaging, to them and the people around them.

Your mother learned her behavior from somewhere, most likely childhood. When children grow up in a home that has some form of abuse- emotional/psychological, physical or sexual, the child learns to cope by reacting in dysfunctional ways. They are not taught normal behavior and they also do not get their needs met. So they learn to manipulate or in your mother's case, put others down, so they feel better and get what they need. In your mother's case, she needs to put you and your wife down so she feels superior.

Unless your mother can see that she is damaging her relationship with you and your wife, she will not get better. You are unfortunately looking at the same behavior from her for as long as she is able to dish it out.

So your only option is to decide how you (and your wife) want to respond. Because you have been treated this way by your mother for your entire life, you have been essentially abused by her. Adult children who have been abused often feel the need to still associate with their abusers because they are their mother, father or some other important relative. But that is not true. Just because she is your mother does not mean you have to put up with how she treats you.

If you must have contact, consider the few sentences you are willing to communicate to her. Something neutral and non provoking. If she tries to provoke you, ignore it or leave and tell her why. Get your business done and go. If you do not have to have contact, then you may want to keep to yourself. You are not obligated to see her or have contact with her. This does not mean you do not love her or care, but her behavior does not allow you to express those feelings so keeping to yourself is the only way to protect yourself.

If you feel that the effects of your mother's behavior has caused any issues for you, consider seeing a therapist. Even just talking out how you feel for a short term helps you have the guidance you need to feel better and move on with your life.

I hope this has helped you,

TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

Related Mental Health Questions