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My daughter appears to have me!

(19 Posts)
RubyRedWine Wed 06-Feb-19 23:47:14

I am 65 and our daughter is 43, married with our 12 year old granddaughter, who is delightful.
I am not perfect, but think I have been a good Mother, and have never interfered in the lives of either of our married children, or interfered in the upbringing of our grandchildren. I have loved my children, and have shown them that, without embarrassing them, by doing so.
However from her mid teens, my daughter has shown her contempt for me in so many ways. I have tried my best to ignore this, blaming hormones etc, and hoping we would again connect again, as we did before this started happening.
Marriage to my husband, who I love dearly, hasn't been easy. He is very reactive in certain situations, and has in the past suffered depression to the extent he has self harmed on several occasions. He also doesn't seem to show any empathy to my feelings, and has never supported me by questioning our daughters attitude towards me, to her. He says her behaviour isn't right, but continues to ignore the nasty remarks, when she makes them.
Last year, despite then living within an hour and a half drive from them, we only saw our daughter and family on 4 occasions, and only for the day. Not our doing, but they are always 'busy'! However visits to and from our son in laws parents, who live twice the distance away are pretty frequent.
To be fair, our daughter does ring weekly. She rings us, as our timing if we call her is never convenient. On the phone, chats are always pleasant, so I am at a loss as to why face to face the nastiness starts. This is usually made worse if she has been drinking the night before.
It came to a head this weekend, when they all came to stay. We have moved away from our previous area. This means that any visit will mean an overnight stop, which we hoped would be great. Unfortunately our daughter and Son in Law had been out walking and had visited some local pubs, nothing wrong with that at all, but this was along with several glasses of wine in between. The Sunday morning and she was so abusive, I still can't get my head round it. My husband said nothing, despite him saying many times in the past, that he doesn't like the way she speaks to me. For the first time ever, I told her how upset I was to be spoken to like that, and I hoped that when our granddaughter gets older she treats her the same. I then asked her to leave, but they didn't. My husband then lost his rag and had a go at me, so I walked out. Basically taking myself out of the situation. I actually contemplated doing something to myself, as I felt totally betrayed.
Now we also have a married son, get on really well with him, and my daughter in law is like a daughter to me. They have a teenage son, who is a lovely young man. They visit regularly, and suggest when they can come. We dont fall out ever!
We also have good friends young enough to be our children. Surely if I was that awful, they wouldn't want to be friends, let alone come to visit.
Probably the most insulting thing our daughter has done to me, was for my 65 birthday, she sent me a paperback book, which I had seen in The Works, priced at £2.99 when we visited them.
I am at a loss now over how to proceed from this. My daughter did apologize before they left, but once said some things can't be unsaid. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

Doodle Wed 06-Feb-19 23:58:37

It does seem strange that she is nice on the phone and not in person. Please don’t “do anything” to yourself. You have a son and his family you get on well with. Your DH doesn’t sound as though he gives you much support. Why don’t you wait till your DD calls you again and ask her what caused her outburst and why she acted as she did.

Buffybee Thu 07-Feb-19 00:06:08

And why should these things be unsaid Ruby, you telling your Daughter how upset her behaviour makes you is long over due.
You say that she has been treating you disrespectfully for about 25 years, you should have stood up for yourself long before now.
Your husband turned on you after you had words with your Daughter about her behaviour so I would be having a discussion with him as well.
Tell him that things are going to change from now on, you will not tolerate your Daughters disrespect of you any more not his disloyalty.
Stand up for yourself Ruby, don't let anyone treat you so badly.
At least she apologised for her behaviour before she left, so she is well aware that her behaviour is not acceptable.
Make no apology to any of them for standing up for yourself.
Do not back track now you have made your stand.
Make it clear that this is how it will be from now on and you will not tolerate bad behaviour from either of them.
Be strong, and look after YOU! flowers

Buffybee Thu 07-Feb-19 00:10:02

I apologise, I mis-read that it was your words and not your Daughters words that could not be un-said.
Of course her saying sorry doesn't wipe out the bad things she said to you.
Don't let her do it again!

jeanie99 Thu 07-Feb-19 02:56:09

Next time your daughter plans for a visit just make sure it is convenient to yourself as well as her.
On the visit I would make a sharp answer on any nastiness promptly so that she knows you have totally had enough of her abuse.
Husband, yes I know all about this, my husband was the same. His mother now dead was a hateful person and no matter what nasty comments she made he never said anything to her or supported me. I was always expected to say nothing and for a long time I as you say, kept the cart on the wheels until one day when I told her exactly what I thought about her comments.
Nothing changed but I felt good and I only visited when really necessary hubby went on is own. She treated our children different to my husbands sisters children. They were the ones who got all the treats, taking out weekends at their home our children never once stayed over. It was only years later my husband acknowledged that his mother was not a very nice mother and grandmother to us.

mumofmadboys Thu 07-Feb-19 05:34:58

If your DD has apologised for being rude on this occasion I wouldn't mention it again. However if she is rude again I think it would be best to mention it at the time - 'I find that rather hurtful/ rude but perhaps you didn't mean it to come over like that' It is hurtful when she buys you a cheap present but best not to mention it. Good luck. You will need to be firm and persistent as having got in the habit of treating you badly it will take a while to change this behaviour.

Madgran77 Thu 07-Feb-19 06:59:51

It might be worth trying brevity in responses as it helps to not get caught up in emotional outbursts which usually make things worse. So next time she is nasty a brief statement..."That was unkind!" ..she may respond with an apology, if so acknowledge with a smile, no more. If she replies with more nastiness then "That was also unkind!" ...and keep it going with versions of the same "That was hurtful!"; "that was rather sharp" etc etc.
This is not about not sticking up for yourself by the way. But it can be a very effective way of not getting caught up in huge arguments and focussing solely on the unkindness.

Another way is to ask questions continuously about her feelings as that can get to the nub of things ...but doing this it is harder to stick to because the reasonable instinct is to respond to what one might feel are unfair accusations. But a version of tho might be "That was unkind. What is up?" ...she responds repeat her response as in "Are you feeling angry with me?" ...she responds say " so what do you want? ...she responds say ..."why.what..?" etc depending on most appropriate. This type of response usually deflates someone's anger to the point that they explain themselves better and a proper responses can be had but it is not always easy.

When it comes to your husband, when he gets cross with you tell him you would prefer to work together on this ... ask him what he's going to do next time he thinks your daughters behaviour is unreasonable! When he replies work with him if his response is helpful to you, or tell him ok if he thinks that is best and you will do what you think is best!

It is so hard I know but do try to find a way through to stand up for

Davidhs Thu 07-Feb-19 07:49:44

You were probably too tolerant of teenaged tantrums years ago and she got into the selfish inconsiderate mindset. Now all you can do stand your ground and get your husband to back you up, you may we’ll have to be more assertive with him too.
Having said that daughters being hostile to mothers is common, a love, hate relationship so often, sometimes with good cause, others for no reason.

BlueBelle Thu 07-Feb-19 07:58:46

All those questions you are suggesting Madgran can and probably will be blocked ‘What is up’ ‘ nothing’ ‘are you feeling angry with me’ ‘no’ It’s going to take much more than that unfortunately
Is your husband the girls father (I m getting the feeling he might not be) if he is, he sounds as if he has some mental health problems depression, self harm, no empathy for me, reactive, not supporting so could he have passed some dna on, if he's not the father could there be some resentment or even worry about you, on your daughters behalf, you say it started mid teens could that tie in with your marriage ?
She rings every week and is pleasant on the phone calls so that’s positive
Why do they have to stay overnight if they only live an hour and a half away ?
Does drink always play a part?
To talk about doing something to yourself over a row shows you yourself have problems because that’s not a normal reaction
The fact your daughter bought you a cheap present isn’t really a reason to feel resentful she remembered
It seems the son and daughter in law are the golden family could there be some sibling rivalry involved ?
Many questions I know but exploring is the only way forward

Anja Thu 07-Feb-19 08:08:06

Sounds like your daughter might have a drink problem.

Put this behind you. Try just to treat her as you would a guest when next you visit or she visits and try not to expect too much from this mother - daughter relationship.

You have a loving son and DiL make the most of them instead

sodapop Thu 07-Feb-19 08:11:31

I agree with the points BlueBelle has made, I wonder if some of your daughter's difficult behaviour is alcohol related.
Don't compare the two families, accept them as being different. I think you need to step back a little, enjoy the phone chats and tell your daughter when her remarks hurt you.
Please talk to someone about your low mood, get some support.

Badenkate Thu 07-Feb-19 09:13:16

I agree with Anja and Sodapop that your daughter may well have an alcohol problem. You, yourself, mentioned drinking a couple of times in your post. Is it likely she started drinking in her mid-teens when you say she changed? Thankfully I've never had to deal with something like this, so I couldn't begin to think how you'd go about finding out. Possibly if you have a good relationship with your son, you could ask if he has any idea if she's got a problem - brothers and sisters often know more about what's going on than their parents!

Luckygirl Thu 07-Feb-19 09:14:11

Mother and daughters.....hmmmm.

So often a problem that persists throughout life.

I am sorry that you are having to deal with this. It sounds as though you need to pursue a phone relationship for a while and get things a bit less fraught.

I picked up on the alcohol link too - but frankly there is little you can do about that.

I had a rather distant relationship with my mother, but we never rowed in any way - I always just let my grievances ride and bit my tongue. Was this a better way? - I do not know.

The only way to proceed is not to rise to her bait; and to tell her you love her lots.

Grammaretto Thu 07-Feb-19 09:15:36

There have been books written about mother/daughter relationships.
eg : Nancy Friday, my mother myself
It sounds like a pattern of behaviour but DD sounds like a bully.
Perhaps you were too kind and accommodating to her when she was growing up?.
I wouldn't hope her DD treats her the same way though.
DH joining in to hurt you is horrid.
Your DD takes her own resentments out on you because she can and always has. You have stopped her now so keep it up. You can do without her nastiness.
I think she has the problem not you. You shouldn't have to run out of your own house.

Elegran Thu 07-Feb-19 09:44:30

RubyRedWine Why did you choose your username?

Bibbity Thu 07-Feb-19 09:57:07

You speak of how difficult your marriage was.
But she grew up in that household and you can’t underestimate the effect that could have on her.
She may have made the conscious decision not to spend a significant amount of time with you both in one go as she doesn’t like the situation.
Form one argument you wanted to harm yourself?! That is such an extreme reaction and again makes me think how much of an emeptional burden has been placed on her over the years from both of her parents.
What you said regarding her daughter treating her a certain way was wrong and should also be apologised for.

Just because people are related does not mean they have to get on.
You are all individuals and as such have your own personalities.

If the previous relationship of day visits worked then go back to that.
Instead of on of you doing the whole journey find a pub/restaurant half way and meet there for a day.

Urmstongran Thu 07-Feb-19 10:08:18

RRW if your husband isn’t the father of your daughter, perhaps he just doesn’t want to interfere. Plus he has mental health issues of his own so perhaps he has to be mindful of that. When he didn’t back you up maybe he just hopes it will all go away.
Alcohol seems to make your daughter nasty as you get on fine during the day when she phones you each week.
The old saying ‘in vino veritas’ comes to mind.
Would it work better if you just told her on the phone that although you love her you are weary of all this, it’s gone on for years and next time she visits you would just like to have a pleasant time.
Could you not do the travelling and maybe stay overnight in a B&B which would take some of the pressure off - plus you could both leave to go home at your own convenience?

Stansgran Thu 07-Feb-19 11:55:13

If a relative is being difficult I try to get in the mindset that they are a visiting stranger and try to treat them as if I had just met them. It is surprising how well this has worked for me. My sister in law was always deeply unpleasant when my mil was alive- they egged each other on . Now I really get on better with her than my DH does and I actually not enjoy but tolerate visits and phone calls from her because I feel indifferent to her attempts at putting us down and can laugh at her foibles.

Grammaretto Thu 07-Feb-19 12:05:20

Very true stansgran I was thinking something similar. Also as we get older the relationship changes. Mil is famous for her put downs but if we, ours and our AC generation can smile about them and realise it's her not us, it makes it easier.