Friday, July 5, 2013

Just Ask Joyce: "Is it wrong to be happier without my mom in my life?"

July 2013

Q: “I have had a rocky relationship with my mom for years. Nothing I do suits her, from my choice of husband, how I rear my kids, decorate my house, friends, or church. Eight months ago, we had a huge argument and have not spoken since. My kids miss her, and I feel miserable for my kids. But really, I am happier. Is it wrong to be happier without my mom in my life?”

Joyce: The saddest arguments are those where people refuse to reconcile. Familial arguing is heart-wrenching and robs a strong legacy. My pastor husband and I have witnessed firsthand the lingering effects of unresolved differences between family members long after the grass grew over a cemetery plot.

Should you feel guilty for not being miserable? Absolutely not. I am leaning to believe, however, that you are restless in the absence of your mother's strong and natural presence in your life. But I have good news for you: This is an argument both you and your mom can win! Here are a few ways you could do what’s right for all concerned, especially your children.

  • Call a truce. Pull out the surrender flag and take the first step toward reconciliation. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but “a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down.”
  • I need your forgiveness. That’s your line. Approaching your mom with this tone immediately tears down walls of defense. You’re not asking for hers, but if she has any maturity, compassion and gumption about her at all, she will spill forth her apologies. If those qualities don’t exist, you’re still doing the right thing, and that can’t be wrong.
  • Grab a cup of tea and talk. As a rule, nothing gets resolved without discussion. And, here’s where the sugar comes in. It’s important you embrace the problem with tenderness. Don’t point fingers. Simply note the two of you have differing opinions about how you live your life. Explain to Mom, however, that your life is yours – mistakes and all. Let her hear your appreciation of the job she has done in equipping you for adulthood. Tell her you will not do everything like her, but God made you different. It’s a challenge every day, and you need her support, not her criticism.
  • Show her your heart. Here’s where she needs to realize the lifetime of friendship you two are missing. Explain to her that now is the season the two of you should and could be friends. Ask her what you can do to facilitate that. If she suggests things you are incapable of doing, you can tell her the reasons you won’t be able to meet those expectations. Sprinkle a dose of gentleness atop your firmness, but be the woman of resolve your family needs.
  • Let her know how important she is. Tell her she has been missed. Explain how your heart has been unsteady but serene during this absence of conflict. It’s no way to live for either of you, and especially the void that’s left for the kids. 
  • Makes plans for reuniting with the family. Invite her to dinner immediately. Make plans as soon as possible to reintroduce her presence into your family. Energize your kids with the idea of “Grandma’s coming to dinner!” and dispel the tension surrounding the unfortunate estrangement. Remember, your kids will be adults someday. What you model today sets the stage for how they honor you tomorrow.

Change your family life … NOW! Write Joyce Oglesby, Family-Life Fitness Pro™, at I’m here to help! Order my bookends for marriage today at They’re for every marriage – the good, the bad, or the ugly!

No comments:

Post a Comment

You've decided to leave a comment – that's great! Please keep in mind that comments are moderated. So, please do not use a spammy keyword or domain in your comment, or it will be deleted. Let's have a meaningful conversation instead. Thanks for stopping by!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...