Monday, January 26, 2009

Keeping it mum with mom and dad

So it's a month past Christmas and New Year's, and I think I've finally caught up with all of the friends and coworkers I hadn't seen since trips here and there to visit families.

I've heard all the war stories from holiday break -- and many seem to carry the same theme, which leaves me with the question:

Which details about your relationship should you share with your parents (mostly your mother)? And which you should leave out for their own good?

The stories I heard all went something like this: My sister/friend/sister-in-law/cousin told my mom about a disagreement/split/other issue with her boyfriend/husband, and then mom was caught up in the drama for the entire visit. And, more often than not, the issue was resolved independent of mom's and dad's fretting -- because it really wasn't that serious after all or because the sister/friend/sister-in-law/cousin had it under control ... and could actually work through the problem without dragging the whole family into it.

So holiday visits across the country were sent into a tailspin for no good reason.

Which leads me to ask these three little things of family drama instigators everywhere:

-- Don't say the word "divorce" to mom and dad if you don't really want it to happen -- or think it's going to happen.

-- Be careful about telling your parents about every little thing your dear one does (either on purpose or unintentionally) to annoy you. Your parents will grow to dislike him. Do you really want that?

-- When you get the urge to call mom to complain about your relationship, call a trusted third party (friend, sibling, sibling-in-law) to unload. Then, call mom and dad if you feel you still need feedback or comfort.

Your parents love you. Which means that, if you hurt, they hurt. If you lead your mom to believe your life is falling apart, she's going to fret and worry. Her blood pressure is going to rise. She will lose sleep. Please, only inflict that stress on her (and the rest of the family, by extension) when you really need their help through a tough time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Some people like creating drama to get attention from family. Some mothers are enablers who can best relate to their troubled children vs. their more stable, successful kids. And think twice about complaining about your man to any of your girlfriends. There are plenty of gals who will always think men are dogs, and you're just reinforcing that belief by sharing the down sides of your relationship (even though that's reality). I'm lucky to have a good friend who understands that complaining about a relationship doesn't mean that leaving is the answer.