Problems With My Mom

*Warning, this will be long*

I have problems with my mom and they are causing issues within my marriage.

My mother feels that I should be calling her everyday, especially because she just turned 60 years old. She lets me know that it's a part of honoring my mother and my father and that I am sinning if I do not. She also tells me that when she dies I will regret not calling her every day.

I know that what she is saying is a guilt trip and my wife sees it as well. I have tried explaining to my mom that when I got married, I was to leave her and my step-dad (my mom and dad are divorced and I do not know my dad) and cleave to my wife. That calling every day is not a part of honoring one's parents. She pretty much has dismissed what I say.

Now my mom is Catholic, where I no longer am. Although she has gone to church all of about two times since she was in church for my grandfather's funeral back in 2001. I can't really say much about that myself since I haven't been to church (I have depression and I do not want to be around a bunch of people) in about 1 1/2 months, but I do listen to my church's service because they stream it live. So I believe her thought process comes from a catholic standpoint, as well as an Italian one as we're Italian.

Last Wednesday, she emailed me to let me know that my son had posted on Facebook about his dog, which is my dog as well, was probably dying. I am no longer with his mother after a long term 10 year relationship ended where we were not married. This happened before I became a Christian. In my mom's email, she only copy and pasted what he had said and nothing more.

That night, I cried and was upset all night long because of my dog and her seemingly uncaring email. My wife was mad because the email seemed callous and it wasn't for my mother to tell me the "news" in any way. My wife feels it was disrespectful of my mom.

I didn't respond back to her or talk to her until today when she called. She called me and when I said hello, her following questions were, are you alive? Are you breathing? Do you still have a mother? To which my answers were, yes, I'm talking aren't I, and yes. She feels that I should have called her this week to discuss the email. I let her know that I thought it was wrong of her to do and that it upset me. That I will be told when my dog dies, even though she doesn't think that I will be.

At the end of the conversation, she let me know that my step-dad was thinking about going fishing and that he probably isn't anymore. I let her know that if he decides to go that he can call me to see if I would like to go. She said she will let him know. Then she said to call her whenever and that she doesn't know what the h**l she did wrong.

I have explained this all to her before about not having to call her every day, that I still love her and that I am still her son, but ti seems to have no effect. She blames my wife for changing me.

This does have an effect on my wife because she sees the pain and hurt that I go through, she also feels that I walk a tightrope between pleasing her and my mother, which she is correct on. I know that if I lay down the rules to my mother, she will just tell me she no longer wants to speak with me and she will hold a grudge against me, just as my grandmother did with her son. She took it to her grave.

I do not want that happening with me and my mom.

I have been praying for help, and to give me the words to say that won't offend my mother, or not cause her to drop talking to me at all.

I am asking for help here on these forums.
Hi, I would give your mom Eccl 3:1-8.

I have decided to visit my parents and my wife's at least once a month. Everyday with wife and once a month with parents seems reasonable.

There is something else going on / wrong with your mother. Perhaps something in her past she needs to deal with or she is currently in a bad relationship and needs you to be her crutch. Whatever it is, you can and should be their for her. But try find the heart of the problem before it affects your marriage. Calling her everyday can worsen the problem...kind of like you are her headache tablet when she needs to be drinking more water.
I have no doubt this is a tough spot for you to be in.

I think Mark 10:6-9 is valid in this scenario. While you should indeed honor your mother as, well, she is your mother, it's still necessary for you to put your wife in the foreground. I don't know all the details between what you wrote, but being a good husband and being there for your wife is by no means being dishonorable to your mother.

I'm sure you've discussed this with your wife many times, but going off the cuff with advice, maybe take about 5-10 minutes a day to call your mom. It doesn't need to be anything heavy, just a "Hi, mom--how are you? How are things going? I love you, take care." I can imagine your mom might find more problems even if you were to call everyday, but you aren't superman, nor are you two people, nor can you put your mother and your wife on the same level of priorities. Your wife is number 1. I have no doubt you already know this, but you're probably feelings somewhat guilty, even though you know you're right.

Perhaps you also feel guilty because your father left your mother at an early age. My mother-in-law was sent away from Spain to the States by her mother at a young age. She also barely got to know her half-sister from Cuba (until she was in her late teens). She has experienced quite a bit of abandonment and sometimes seems to have a tough time letting go.

I suspect you really are doing all you can despite all of this. The best advice I can give because I don't know your difficulty is to oblige her with a quick call everyday, tell her you love her, and above all, continue to be committed to your wife. But along with all of that, also remember to pray for your mother.

I hope this provides some encouragement. I'll be praying for you.
My mother feels that I should be calling her everyday, especially because she just turned 60 years old.......

Sorry, am not in your shoes obviously : )

Why you can’t call her everyday? What limits you?

Ok, maybe every day is too much, but why not offer at least a specific day of the week:

Specific day: so there will be regularity, she has at least a specific day of looking forward to.