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Escaping clutches of control freak

While I'm away, readers give the advice.

On the mother who despised her daughter's boyfriend for being blue-collar:

The mom is a control freak. If she is in control and getting her way, she's happy others are miserable. If she isn't getting her way, she's difficult to live with.

How do I know? This was me over 40 years ago. I had a college degree, my fiance had a tech-school degree. According to my mother, he was never good enough for me. I didn't care. My dad was a good man, he tolerated her outbursts and demands. She made many demands, and if you "bucked" her, there were threats of being disowned. This is how she got her way. I didn't care.

My fiance and I married and are still happily married with children and grandchildren. My mother decided she didn't want to establish a loving relationship with our children. Her choice, her mistake, her problem. We maintained contact, especially while my dad was still living. After that, we saw her several times a year, but not every week. Our choice.

When she realized she couldn't control me, my brother was her next target. She succeeded. He married then divorced; the girl wasn't good enough, according to my mother. He went through life believing she knew best, never remarried, was alone.

When my dad passed, she controlled my brother even more. He eventually moved in with her due to medical problems. She refused to allow him to move to assisted living when she couldn't take care of him anymore. She controlled again. He passed away in his early 60s. She is now in a nursing home, and my husband and I are her only visitors. Why? She had to be in control so much she alienated everyone. So sad, and so many things she could have enjoyed through life, she didn't. Why? She had to be in control.

To anyone with a parent like this: If you are truly happy, do not let the anger of your parent destroy what you have. The snide remarks, nastiness, etc., are things a brainwasher does: chip away to gain control.

My mother made a comment years ago about how well I get along with my children. It's easy when you've been shown what not to do.

-- Still happily married


On pre-empting bitterness after having to uproot for a mate:

Jobs change, bosses change, co-workers change, companies are bought and sold. While it might be difficult to leave something we love, we must remind ourselves that had we stayed, the job (or neighborhood, or friendships) may not have remained the same.

-- Been there more than once