Dear Barb – Giving in to Mom

Dear Barb:

My mother and I had a falling out and I have chosen not to speak to her for the last year. Recently I ran into her and we talked a bit. She wants to get together, but I’m not sure that’s what I want. I feel awkward around her and would rather not get involved with her again. We are very different people and I don’t think she approves of my lifestyle. She doesn’t say anything, but I just get that feeling. All my friends make me feel guilty and say she is my mother and I should have a relationship with her. Am I totally weird because I don’t want a relationship with my mother? Melissa

Hi Melissa:

I’m not sure what happened between you and your mother, but it seems like your mother wants to reconcile. If it is possible to restore your relationship with your mother you should do it, otherwise you could end up with a huge void in your life. Maybe you need to get some counseling to discover why you don’t want a relationship with your mother. There may be something more to this situation that you may be blocking out or choosing not to remember. Your relationship with your parents is one of your first relationships and often set the tone for future relationships, therefore it’s best to resolve any unfinished issues. Thanks for writing in Melissa.

Dear Barb:

My wife and I have been married four years. She is great I really love her, except she is a very strong woman. Often I feel completely overwhelmed trying to get my point across in arguments. I don’t think she is aware of how frustrated I am. I don’t want this to affect our marriage, but I think after a while it will. It’s easier to give in to her, rather than argue. Do you have any suggestions about how to deal with a strong woman? Looking forward to your response, Keith.

Hi Keith:

It can be quite challenging to argue with a strong person, whether male or female. There are skills you can use that will allow you to express yourself, so you don’t end up feeling suppressed and frustrated. You might begin by discussing your feelings with your wife, but not in the midst of an argument, but rather during a regular conversation. If you have never told her how you feel, she probably does not have any idea that you feel this way. When arguments begin to escalate, you might try to defuse the situation before it erupts into a full blown battle. For example, tell your wife you need a few minutes to compose yourself. At this point do some deep breathing. If your wife continues arguing, do not respond; bring your body to a relaxed place before you continue. This few minutes may give your wife time to compose herself as well. When you resume the discussion, it will be much less intense and perhaps you will both realize being right really isn’t important. Ultimately taking a few moments will give you both time to get in touch with what is really important and that should be your relationship and the love you both share. Hope this helps.

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Email your questions to Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.

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