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Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Can You Change Your Mom?

A willingness to change helps in every relationship. We aren’t perfect and all bring some emotional baggage to our relationships. Perhaps you and your mother are locked in a situation now where a change is needed, but it seems too difficult to even think about.

I’ve had a number of women say to me. “My mother is the one who should change. After all she is the mother and supposed to be more mature. I’ll change when she changes.”

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My answer to this comment is, “Maybe your mother isn’t in a position to change right now, or maybe she just refuses to change at all. Since only children fight about who should go first, are you ready to be a grown-up and start working on your relationship. You make changes and you’ll see a relationship change .

I like to borrow author Harriet Lerner’s visual picture of relationships. Mother-daughter relationships can be thought of like a dance. You take a step, then she does and a familiar dance emerges. Get that picture in your mind. If you make a change in the familiar dance, it changes the dance. That idea should give you hope. You are not a victim if your mother won’t change because any change you make in the relationship, will change the relationship. Expect resistance when you change because we all like to do things the same old way–it’s comfortable and what we know. Change is uncomfortable but possible.

If you want to begin making changes in your mother-daughter relationship, don’t keep hoping your mom will change. Instead, you concentrate on your step in the mother-daughter dance. Make the necessary changes. Work on your reactions to her and I promise, change will take place.

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