I Have Mommy Issues & It’s Ruining My Relationships

My mom and I have never had a good relationship, and now that I’m older and slightly wiser, I’m beginning to notice the effect it’s had on me. Frankly, my “mommy issues” are getting in the way of healthy relationships and I don’t know what to do about it.

  1. My first heartbreak was the first big eye-opener. It happened freshman year of college and it threw me in to such a depression that I almost flunked the semester. As I started to pull myself together, I quickly realized it wasn’t the relationship I was having issues with, it was love. I’ve never really received love from my mom in any concrete way; in fact, I can’t remember the last time my mom actually told me she loved me. When I finally had someone openly tell me they loved me and then leave me anyway, I was devastated. I felt worthless and unlovable.
  2. I can’t express my feelings and it’s causing problems. As every new relationship begins to blossom, I relearn just how bad I am at handling emotions. Because I never really had a close relationship with my mom, I never had anyone teach me how to express my feelings or to listen to me when I did. My dad was always there, but sometimes girls just need that mother/daughter bond. I began to suppress all my emotions and developed an “I don’t care” attitude, which is obviously not conducive to a healthy relationship. Nobody wants a partner who doesn’t care or can’t deal with emotions, and I think it may be the main reason why my relationships never succeed.
  3. When feelings get too real, I run. I worry that I might have to go through another bad breakup or that the person I’m dating will lose interest due to all of my baggage, so I remove myself from the situation before it happens. I desperately want love and I go into every situation hoping for the best, but the cycle is hard to break and the same thing ends up happening every single time. I realize that I’m in control of my own happiness, but fear that a bad breakup might take that away from me makes me too scared to truly be vulnerable with the people I date.
  4. I’ve taken on some of my mom’s worst qualities. For a while, I found myself being very mean and selfish toward the people I care about—just like my mom. It took a lot of self-reflection and hard work to start changing that behavior. I now try to focus on positive vibes and doing what makes me happy every day, regardless of any negativity my mom radiates. Not only has my mood drastically improved, but my relationships with my closet friends and flings have improved as well. That being said, sometimes these tendencies still overtake me and I have to take a step back to stop my toxicity in its tracks.
  5. In order to avoid confrontation, I simply hide everything. My mom is the poster child for being overly opinionated and judgmental. Because she acts this way, I hide about 90% of my life from her. This includes relationships, new jobs, social events with my friends, literally everything. She knows how to turn even the positive thing into a drama, so I’d rather just avoid it altogether. It gets pretty draining when you can’t be yourself around your mom and have a casual conversation, but I’ve found support elsewhere. My friends’ moms have become like second mothers to me, and I can confide in them as if I was their daughter. They know me way better than my actual mom and it’s comforting knowing they won’t judge.
  6. I have zero self-esteem because my mom is so unsupportive. I don’t think it’s intentional, but her hard-headed ways have always hindered me. She’s always belittled or outright ignored my passions, hobbies, and interests, and it’s a total confidence killer. Her lack of support has made me feel unimportant, unrespected, and incomplete. Because of this, I’ve ended up dating nothing but lying, cheating scumbags. I’ve worked hard to leave toxicity behind, but it’s still hard when one of the toxic people is a permanent fixture in your life.
  7. I’ve never brought a boyfriend home to meet the family. I would love to bring someone home to meet my dad, but that’s not possible without my mom being involved. Whenever my mom finds out I even have a new fling, all I hear are degrading and negative comments from her. If she can’t even meet someone before judging them, why would I actually allow that meeting to happen? I fear my mom would be rude toward them, so I avoid the situation at all costs.
  8. My resentment sometimes gets the best of me. I carry a lot of resentment toward my mom for not being a good mother figure and it’s causing a tear in my life. Sometimes I get mad when I see my friends making memories with their amazing moms and I get sad when I realize I don’t have that same relationship with mine. Why don’t I get to have fun mani/pedi days or snuggle next to my mom during a movie? What’s wrong with me? When I get in those moods, I come off as passive-aggressive toward my own relationships and it’s not a good look.
  9. I don’t really know what a healthy relationship looks like. Because I basically have no emotional relationship with my mom, I’ve never built any other bond strong enough to take its place. I have no role model to look up to when it comes to a healthy relationship and I don’t really know what it takes to make one. This may be one of the biggest effects my mommy issues have had on me.
  10. There are a few positives: I know who I don’t want to be. I’ll always keep a positive outlook on things, I’ll never be judgmental, I’ll always keep an open mind, and Ill be the best mom on the planet. I’ll crush motherhood and be the mommy figure I never had.