02 - Mom is miserable in her marriage
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2. Dear Dr. Smith, my mom is miserable in her marriage and we talk about it from time to time, however, if my husband and I did something great like celebrating an anniversary, birthday, or he may purchase a special gift for me that I may have asked him for, or even to bring me flowers on an ordinary day and I am happy enough to share it with my mom, she seems to have no joy for me. Instead, she sulks, or changes the subject. You see, I had been in an unhappy situation before with my previous husband and she was upset that he treated me that way and says she can't wait for me to find happiness. But now that I have that with a new husband, she does not seem happy for me. I don't seem to understand her and it is affecting our relationship. Could you please shed some light as to why my mom behaves this way. Dr. Smith, I am looking forward to your reply on this issue.

Dear Concerned Friend, your situation is not unusual. Your mom loves you and wants you to be happy, by her own admission. However, she may be unable to express happiness and glee for you because she is unhappy in her own "spirit." That is, it may have nothing to do with you. The experience you are having with her, could be a reflection of what she is truly feeling; sadness, wishing to have a better marriage, maybe a little jealousy (but not wanting less for you), inability to be emotional, (at least, to express it).

She may have some "unfinished business" socially and emotionally and may be unaware of how she reflects this to you. You may share your observations with her and try to have a conversation with her about the way her behavior is perceived by you. Explain to her that you are confused, because you got the impression that she was happy you were now in a nurturing and wholesome relationship. But that you experience her to be less than receptive to you, and in fact, the feeling you get when you share information of your husbands' expressions of love, is that she is not warm to you.

Maybe she is unaware of her behavior, since it may not be a conscious response. If after you have discussed your observations with her, the behavior does not change, I would encourage you to avoid sharing your special moments with her. Try to minimize any situation that will put a wedge between you and your mother. Hopefully she may get to the place in her life where she is able to experience some happiness herself. Keep hopeful and prayerful and may God keep blessing.