Friday, June 21, 2013

How to deal with a difficult parent. (Blog marathon post 10)




Last evening I got this mail in my inbox:

Dear Preeti,

I am a regular reader of your blog and I have read  two of your books too. I
really enjoy your writing style. But more than the style, what completely
impresses me is your great insight about life. I love all those positive
things you write - be it about time management, living life to the fullest
or showing your love to those who matter.

I have been wanting to write to you for a very long time. But I hesitated,
because we have never met or spoken before. But now I saw that you are on a
blog marathon. So I felt this was the right time to mail you, because you
would be obviously in the look out for fresh topics.  I was wondering if
you could take some time out and blog about the issue I have in my life...


I lost my Dad in an accident when I was 4 years old and my sister was 6
years of age. We come from a middle class family hailing from Kerala. My
mom had a government job. My mom was a typical Indian wife who cooked and
cleaned, and had no idea  about what happened in the outside world. After
we lost our Dad, no one came to help us out in any way. So my mom struggled
a lot to raise me and my sister. And I love my mom a lot for all that she
has done for us. That said, my mom is a very unreasonable woman. Even
though she is a very caring person, she never gives me any peace of mind.
She nags and fights with me over every little thing in the world. I do care
a lot about her, and try hard to keep her happy. But at  the end of it, she
still picks on something and blames me about it. Iam tired of trying to
keep her happy all the time.

Then, I met a wonderful woman - an attractive, fun, intelligent and genuine
person. We used to work together in Bangalore, fell in love and got
married. After marriage, I moved to the Middle East, because I got a better
job offer. And I took my mom and wife with me. And ever since we got
married, things have got worse. My mom and wife are always at logger heads.
Initially, my wife was very understanding and supportive. She used to
silently deal with my mom, and she was actually sympathetic towards my mom.
Infact, she used to even mediate the fights between me and my mom. But
after a while, my wife could take no longer.

Now the scene in my house is very chaotic. There is not a single day I can
remain peaceful in my life. I do know that most of the time it is my mom
who is at fault. But she is beyond any reasoning or logic. Since my wife is
an intelligent woman, I tell her to be more understanding. But my wife says
that Iam being very cruel to her, by closing my eyes to my mom's rudeness.
Now things have reached a point where my mom and wife can't stand each
other. My wife is an independent woman who likes to live her life on her
own terms. And my mom is of the old school and believes in controlling both
me and my wife. She doesn't let us enjoy any couple time. She creates a big
hue and cry when I take my wife out. I do know that we are entitled to
couple time. And I don't blame my wife for wanting it. But since my mom is
reacting very strongly against it, I find it very hard to take my wife out.

I don't know how to balance this situation. My mom is old and lonely in her
life. She is overtly dependent on me for everything. And she doesn't want
to live away from me. I can't afford to provide her a different home with
all amenities in the Middle East. I will have to send her back to Kerala.
But I know that she won't be able to cope with that at all. And even I
don't have the heart to do it. I love my mom very dearly.

But I love my wife also very much. She is adamant that she doesn't want to
live with my mom anymore. I know its unfair to tell my wife to tolerate my
unreasonable mom. My wife is a really lovely person, and my mom has hurt
her many times.  But my mom has lived all her life and sacrificed all her
happiness for me and my sister. I want them both, and I want them both to
be happy.

Whenever you are looking for something to blog about, can u pls blog about
my situation? I would really like to hear your feedback about it. I  do
feel that you have a great way of dealing with difficulties in life. And I
feel that since you are both a wife and a mother, you would understand the
perspective of both my wife and mom. My wife is an independent thinking,
open-minded woman of today. But my mom is a narrow-minded, conservative,
dependent person. Feel free to share this mail on your blog, but pls don't
disclose my full name.. If someone has a
similar experience, it would be great to read their experience in your
comment box.

Thank-you so much for reading it. I am really looking forward to your
suggestions and tips.
Warm Regards



After reading the mail, I felt I had to publish it in my blog.

Here is my take on this situation.

Dear Reader who has requested to be anonymous,

Firstly I understand your pain and frustration, and deep sense of duty towards your mother. Your mother raised you and your sister, after your father passed away, and you feel extremely duty-bound towards her, because of this. As a son you have been really dutiful and you have brought her along with you to the Middle East. Your wife has tried her best to be understanding and sweet towards your mother, but both of you are now at your wits end, because of your mother's unreasonable behaviour.

By going on giving in to your mother's demands, you have inadvertently set yourself up for the 'victim' role.  I am sorry to say this so frankly--but your mother is definitely bullying you. You are unable to say a firm NO to her. There are constant fights between your mother and you and you have said that your wife used to even mediate between you two. I must say your wife is a remarkably understanding woman.


Perhaps your mother is subconsciously projecting her  frustrations on to you? It must definitely not have been easy for her to raise you and your sister by herself. She must be having a lot of suppressed pain and emotions, which she does not know how to deal with. It comes out in her interactions with you, as you are the closest to her. (we are usually our true selves only to the ones closest to us)


You have not mentioned what your sister does. Is she earning? Can you not send your mother to your sister's place for 6 months of the year, and then keep her with you , for the remaining six?

You also have not mentioned whether your mother has any siblings or not. Can your mother not spend a month or two with a sibling?

I understand your mother is old. But by letting her being overtly dependent on you, to the point of it affecting your marriage--that is just not done. No matter how much she has sacrificed for you and your sister, rudeness is just not acceptable---especially towards your children, who love you!

As much as we love our parents, we have to realize  that we are really not responsible for our adult parent's happiness. What you are trying to do is parent your mother (By trying to be everything for her)--and that is simply not possible. Quit trying to make her happy all the time. You cannot do that. She has to take responsibility for her happiness--ALLOW her to do so. (Right now, from what I gather, the moment she wants you to 'fix something', whether, real or imagined, you rush and oblige.Stop doing that.) Do not allow her to pick on you.

You will definitely have to put your foot down and tell your mother that you have to take your wife out. She might resist in the beginning. Be firm but kind towards your mother. Be patient towards her. Don't fight with her. Just smile and say "Yeah mama--I will be back at so-and-so time and we are going to so-and-so place." She is bound to throw a huge tantrum probably. Be prepared for it. But whatever disapproval she expresses, don't react or retort. Just smile. (This is easy to say but very very hard to follow, I know..because this is what I try to do)

Your wife is a woman who fell in love with you--and you too love her a lot and appreciate her so much. Keep that love alive. Guard it. Do not allow negativity to cloud that. It is precious. Tell your wife how much you appreciate her. Hold her hand. Take her for drives (if you own a car). tell her how beautiful she looks, and how much you admire her intelligence.

Tell your mother that you love her a lot, but you will not tolerate negativity, fault-finding and rudeness. And sending her to Kerala for 6 months or 3 months or whatever time-frame you choose, is really not being cruel, provided she is in a safe and comfortable place. So don't feel guilty about it.

I do hope my words have helped.
May your home be filled with love and peace. 
 Sending you positive vibes.
Love
Preeti

I do invite all of you, to comment with your take on the situation. Do share your thoughts. If you want to remain anonymous, you can. (All it takes is a valid e-mail id for commenting on this blog. Name need not be disclosed)

Sharing is empowering.

Do offer your thoughts, and perhaps they will help this person who has reached out and is asking for help.

I look forward to your comments

_____________________________________________________________
 To Buy my books in India, click here.
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35 comments:

  1. I totally agree preeti mam...Sir Pls dont ruin ur married life by just being a victim.Its always good to say "No" at appropriate place ...nothing wrong.Always remember " we can never make happy every one all time.."....Be kind and calm to ur mom all time...at the same time u r bound to keep ur wife happy.Say a "Polite No" wherever required.If u feel by doing all this u r self centered...I can tell u only one single statement....every one are self centered in this world ..the only thing is that the radius differ ! :)

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  3. From what he has said, it looks like his mom has been with him for a very long period. So it will be too painful for her to pack up to a different place, be it Kerala or to sister's place. Try bringing over the sister or other relatives to your place for some days. I understand that it might be hard for relatives to travel all the way from India. But if it's feasible, it can be done. The mother seems to need some people to talk her heart out-to someone she feels personally connected, like neighbours of her age or people from her past(not her children) Monotony of old age could take a toll on the temper. So like I said, first bring in people to your current place. Later, You can think of suggesting her to live elsewhere for a few months. Chances are that she might take this easily without being hurt, rather than sending her to a different home suddenly. This type of change is very necessary for aged people as they spend a boring life after retirement. And to the one who has mailed-I hope this helps you. Like Preeti says, take care of your wife's happiness too. So you gotta give this idea a try. Stay positive.

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  4. Sorry sir!!!!
    Im not really capable of taking decision, regarding this matter! Since I haven't married yet!!!
    Hope preeti Mam given good solution on this!!!
    Do follow!!!!
    One thing I wanna say!! Do respect your mother at any point of time... Because she's the bedrock who brought you to this level!!!!!
    Take Care!!!!! I pray Good to shower your family with full of joy & Happiness!!!


    Regards,
    Prabhu!!!!!

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    1. :)

      No, he should not disrespect his mom. But of course, he should draw a line.

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  5. How about old age homes.?? I dont suggest this directly, but when you are at deepest shit and you dont find any other way, then old age homes are best option to pick up. Try convincing your mom why you choose that option. If she really understands what you are saying i guess she will adjust with you and your wife in your home itself.I dont disrespect old age people, but everything has its own limits..!!

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    1. oh no :(
      Old age homes are sad, i feel.

      Retirement communities (where each person is totally independent with their own home) are still okay and acceptable.

      Delete
  6. I have to gently suggest that it is your mother, who maybe without realizing it, is "playing the victim". When your father died young she was in a terrible situation. But things have changed. And she needs to change as things became easier / better. But she got stuck in that past. Some people simply do not learn to open their eyes and see the change.

    Of course you need to ensure that she is fine. Keep looking for every opportunity to ensure that she is. But as Preeti says - work at being firm while ensuring that you are taking care of all her reasonable needs.

    Couple time out and more is extremely important and when you do that - seek your wife's support by getting her ideas for what can be done best.
    I think Preeti is right when she says "if you are firm with your mother, she will have to see reason, even if she cribs at first"

    And yes - do try and get relatives / friends to talk to her too! All the best!!

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    1. Thank you so much for the comment Vasu. Much appreciate.

      Folks--Vasu is someone whose wisdom and views I respect a lot. She was my senior at school.

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  7. Sir

    I would not b able to give it an insight as am not married. But I think, one thing that you can do is to engage her in other activities (if possible) like reading, gardening etc.... This may divert her mind to an extent and she may feel @peace. Also, this will help her to meet people (if she goes to a library etc) and she may leave things behind and start spending time with herself....

    Hope this is of some use to your problem.... I salute your spirit of keeping the two special ladies of your life together (else people dont even care abt thr old parents)...

    Praying for your inner peace n harmony

    Regards

    Prachi

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  9. Old age is the stage where everyone needs someone; someone to laugh with, someone to smile with and someone to share everything with. Seeing you and your wife together as a couple, your mother may reminisce about her time with your father and now that you are with your spouse, she is missing her's most. Now that you have got your own world, she may be scared for being unable to claim anything entirely as her own.

    I guess the solution might lay in searching some occupation for her; such thing that she can do easily like starting up any classes at home (like cooking, sewing etc.). Or, give her a club membership established for old people. This way she can inadvertently keep herself busy.

    Remember, an empty mind is a devil's workshop. Before your world goes upside down anymore, understand your mother's loneliness and help her through it because she needs your support most at this time. Best of luck.

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  10. A very difficult situation, indeed. I wanted to ask, what was your mother's profession ? Is she passionate about anything?? If she was interested in music, help her with some good music of her choice..music can certainly change one's state of mind..but yeah..one needs to have a flair for music or any art for that matter, but I strongly feel every person is blessed with some positives at least...if she is a challenging person and is not very old, ask her to attend some spiritual sessions which could bring peace withing herself and to all at your place or even some new course where she could learn something new!
    I hope your mom turns out to be a more open-minded lady...I have a feeling she certainly will :) lots of respect to your wife and to you! You haven't failed in your duties that is what is your greatness :) May lord bless your family..and may your house and hearts be filled with peace,love,happiness,positive vibes,laughter and lots joy! (my heartfelt wishes) :)

    Love,
    Kavya

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  11. I have seen such kind of mothers in real. No offense to his mother, but the case which I am talking about is about a women who kind of enjoy the separation between the couple. But in this case, I really think that the sender has gone too far for his mother and its not easy to draw himself back from that place. But dear sender, you have your own life too and please do fix that before it gets ruin... The only solution for these kind of situation is talking and that too very politely. Talking in a manner that you don't offend your mom. Try to explain things to her from the very beginning and make her understand your current situation either in a way which Preeti Mam has already suggested or a way which suits you the best. Showing your frustration and irritation won't help at all. If you think that she will understand by your anger then its not gonna happen that way... You need to talk to her before it gets on to your marriage... Try harder, its not impossible, she is a human being too... :)

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    1. Sunshine---Yes I hear you totally. I too have seen mothers who are kind of jealous about the intimacy and love between a couple.

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    2. I really feel bad for the victims in such kind of scenarios... :(
      God help them all!!

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  12. dont think too much shit abt them.....they will do great...

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  13. If he has a sister, my first suggestion would be for his mom to spend some time during the year with her, and for the sister to pick up responsibility too of caring for the mom in her old age.

    Next would be to talk about boundaries when living under one roof. When you live together, there needs to be a clear communication of what is acceptable and what counts as interference. This needs to happen at both ends.

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  14. A difficult situation really. I think his mother is too much demanding and as ma'am you have said sending her to a different place will help. Probably try to convince her to take up some activity to keep herself occupied. The comment above by Kavya also stresses upon the things which I would favour in this situation. Explain everything with calmness and a bit of persuasiveness. Also, Tell her straight away that negativism and constant bickering is not helping anyone's cause and it would be better for her to divert her energies towards something which might take them on the road to happiness. Some spiritual lessons thrown in will also help.
    I think you are an awesome individual. You and your wife are really good human beings. I hope that this is resolved quickly. May God bless you with loads of happiness.!!

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  15. As already said the root cause for such a behavior is definitely suppressed emotions and anger due to the tragic events in life and tough life thereafter. And natural healing does wonders in such cases e.g, reiki, hypnotherapy etc. I have experienced it in my life and seen in others also. Such therapies change your life. If the sender can convince her mom to go through such form healing i guess the core issue would be addressed and life would be much simpler and happier. Embrace reiki and live life with love and happiness.

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    1. Some ppl vent out their frustrations with unnecessary fights and nagging. It is difficult to change a persons personality after a certain age. Suggest ur wife to take up a job. This will keep all 3 of you busy and engaged. Tell you mom that your wedding is at danger. An understnding mom should coperate. Join some community service group as per your taste. They have several weekend programs and events . Join the toastmaster groups as a couple. This shall help to enhance your public speaking skill, at the same time go out with your wife in the evenings. Keep making urself busy as well as your family by taking up further education chances, social functions, family outings without leaving a gap for fights which usually develops when you sit inside four walls of a flat life.

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  17. I think may be mom is suffering from mental illness? May be.Just thinking aloud.After going through so much at her young age, she must have bottled up everything within her... loneliness, insecurities, desires, troubles she went through, frustration, etc. She is a human. Everybody has different way of handling problems and issues. Here, she is not able to and thus picks up fight every now and then. She can't see you going out with your wife because she hasn't been able to enjoy life much. It's frustration, jealousy. It cannot go long way, cannot continue like this and make all lives miserable including hers. It could help talking to a Psychiatrist. Many a times this is not considered thinking we don't have any such problems. Such therapies may help...by talking. Please don't take it other way. I am just thinking of possibilities. You have to take care of her, yet stop the negativity,fights and welcome peace in your life too. Every individual deserves it. I am single. I may not have experienced this personally but have a best friend who went through a lot after her marriage and can completely relate to your wife. I know every nitty-gritty detail and life was hell for my friend. Son didnt know why is this happening. They were ok till now. He decided firmly, bought another home for himself and moved out with his wife. But he moved out closeby (just 10mins away) He had consulted Psychiatrist and found they had mental illness,more so with his unmarried sis. Being jealous of his wife and becoming insecure that they will lose their person. The treatment continued and they lived in separate homes. I am sharing this because even he couldn't leave his mom or unmarried sis since their father had died at an early age. He was the only support for them. At the same time, he loved his wife dearly too. He had to think from everyone's perspective. But he did it with heavy heart. He visited them everyday since they were close-by and the issue slowly started resolving...so much so that mom-in-law begged my friend to forgive her. Took couple of years...they realised after living separately. Then they used to have a happy get-together once in a while and everybody tried living their life in their own world. Just because mom-in-law asked forgiveness, they didn't start living together (point to be noted). They continued living separately and life became good. Hence there is nothing wrong to consider options of happiness and peace for yourself, your wife and may be ultimately your mom too. Like Preeti madam said you haven't given details of your sibling,etc. But I think now you can figure out the best solution.
    My friend's story seemed to be a similar situation when I read your story. I could empathise your wife's situation with hers. Hence shared.

    All our best wishes are with you and your family. May God shower you joy, peace and love.

    Good luck and cheers,
    Lakshmi

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  18. I think may be mom is suffering from mental illness? May be.Just thinking aloud.After going through so much at her young age, she must have bottled up everything within her... loneliness, insecurities, desires, troubles she went through, frustration, etc. She is a human. Everybody has different way of handling problems and issues. Here, she is not able to and thus picks up fight every now and then. She can't see you going out with your wife because she hasn't been able to enjoy life much. It's frustration, jealousy. It cannot go long way, cannot continue like this and make all lives miserable including hers. It could help talking to a Psychiatrist. Many a times this is not considered thinking we don't have any such problems. Such therapies may help...by talking. Please don't take it other way. I am just thinking of possibilities. You have to take care of her, yet stop the negativity,fights and welcome peace in your life too. Every individual deserves it. I am single. I may not have experienced this personally but have a best friend who went through a lot after her marriage and can completely relate to your wife. I know every nitty-gritty detail and life was hell for my friend. Son didnt know why is this happening. They were ok till now. He decided firmly, bought another home for himself and moved out with his wife. But he moved out closeby (just 10mins away) He had consulted Psychiatrist and found they had mental illness,more so with his unmarried sis. Being jealous of his wife and becoming insecure that they will lose their person. The treatment continued and they lived in separate homes. I am sharing this because even he couldn't leave his mom or unmarried sis since their father had died at an early age. He was the only support for them. At the same time, he loved his wife dearly too. He had to think from everyone's perspective. But he did it with heavy heart. He visited them everyday since they were close-by and the issue slowly started resolving...so much so that mom-in-law begged my friend to forgive her. Took couple of years...they realised after living separately. Then they used to have a happy get-together once in a while and everybody tried living their life in their own world. Just because mom-in-law asked forgiveness, they didn't start living together (point to be noted). They continued living separately and life became good. Hence there is nothing wrong to consider options of happiness and peace for yourself, your wife and may be ultimately your mom too. Like Preeti madam said you haven't given details of your sibling,etc. But I think now you can figure out the best solution.
    My friend's story seemed to be a similar situation when I read your story. I could empathise your wife's situation with hers. Hence shared.

    All our best wishes are with you and your family. May God shower you joy, peace and love.

    Good luck and cheers,
    Lakshmi

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  19. fundamentally. appreciate the women who has been brave in difficult situations and handled th responsibility so well.
    it seems that wife has done everything to have peace with his mom and make life better.
    but any person for that matter cant take the nags the fights daily.she is sensible and understandable for sure. on the other hand his mom has done everything for son's upbringing and might be she is very insecured about certain things in her life as she has been alone althrough her life.probably she hasn't shared much of her emotions and thats an emotional outburts that makes her behave this way.
    i feel its high time that both live independently and visit each other in occasions. that would be better. but how the son'e makes her agree to this to bring about a peace is in his hand. 1000 people say 1000 things here but he got to act for himself.
    finally appreciate Preeti ma'm for her frank suggestions. she is really inspiring
    Keep learning, keep acheiving, keep inspiring
    cheers.
    Supreet

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  20. Life is all about understanding. I can't say you are right always but with identifying the root cause we can solve many of the problems. All we need is proper understaning. You have some duty towards your mother. I am not sure how much she likes being outside India. May be her desire is to go back and live in India which is causing all these trouble and she does not want to tell this as she pretends you understand everything. So my suggestion will be to have a through discussion and try to find the issue and then you will be happy. No need to favour eaither your mother or wife , both are your part of your life so try to solve the puzzle and you will be happpy.

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  21. I think it is a case of boredom, does your mother enjoy staying in middle-east? What about her friends and community back home? she misses them? What does she do in her spare time? I think she might be doing all this to get your attention. If I were you I would talk to her, say to her you want to listen to all she has to say. Though confrontation is difficult it does yield results provided you are ready to listen. Give her the benefit of doubt, she is your mother, surely she wants you to be happy. One can give what he/she has, if she is filled with negative emotions you shouldn't expect her to be all kind and understanding and I think saying a firm No might blow up the things more. So you are providing for her, well-done and she must appreciate that, but she sacrificed a lot of things when you and your sister were little, i think its her time to enjoy.

    When she finds joy in her life I am very confident she would leave you two alone.

    Good luck :)

    PS for Preeti: I am loving Blog Marathon and thank you for all that you do.

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  22. Take "Blame" out of the equation! You're all adults and you're sharing the same world, from three angles! For the desired harmony, communication is the key! Everyone needs to have an equal say and deserve equal respect, as adults you are capable of communicating without the need for childish dramas.
    Take your wife and mum out for a nice meal and talk. A public place will help dim the possibility of a big blow out and give you the chance to actually talk and listen.
    See your world from both your wife and mother's angle...hear how it is from them, do not assume anything! Share your views also...and once you've all seen the bigger picture and realise how wonderful your world is...you can make a promise to one another to be happy and enjoy this beautiful world.
    All of your mum's struggles and hardships whilst raising you single handedly will pay off with every smile and laughter you all share together. It sounds like you've all worked very very very hard for a secure and happy future...well...this is it my friends! Enjoy it!
    God Bless You All :-)
    My best wishes are also with you :-)

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  23. dear, sir
    i can understand how much you love your mom and your wife the only thing you need to do is to take a conversation with your mom and make her understand how much you love & admire her try to be very clear in your views....like preeti mam said your mom is depressed in sadness of losing your father and still she hasn't came out of it and she is afraid to lose you to your wife so she is trying to keep a hold of you by her stubbornness...hold you mom hand and make her understand how much she means to you and no matter whatever happens you will never let her go.....if you provide a harsh environment to your mother by asking her to leave to kerala you will not only going to hurt mom but you will spoil your wife's name in your mother's heart....no problem is without a solution.....sit and talk to your mother everything will be fine..............................sry if my words weren't good for you...

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  26. feel the mother has too much of emotional baggage which she doesn't know how to handle. If necessary it is better to take the help of a counciller. I don't mean she has a mental problem but i feel she definitely needs some professional help. May be i am wrong.

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  27. Great insight preeti,..I think you are totally right about the pent up emotions in letter writer (LW) 's mom. She has struggled a lot and has perhaps missed the fun or happiness in the way and is not able to accept it in her son's and daughter in law's life thereby creating problems in their life..Same was the case with my aunt and she would silently bear with everything..
    I think what I would like to suggest is trying to involve her in some activity like yoga or meditation where she would have to listen to someone else's instruction and in the long run would be able to calm herself.. may be you can also encourage her to find some friends for herself of her same age group and have fun with them like go for a short trip without you guys and enjoy her life.. I really don't know how much of my suggestions are helpful but what I think is all these might encourage her to get over her bitterness and frustrations and perhaps help her to enjoy life today...

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  28. I can easily see my husband in this man's situation. My MIL almost does the same thing to him. My FIL from what I can gather has not been a very ideal husband, and more often than not has not given her any husband-wife kind of love or pleasure,ever.
    She's having major health problems, caused mainly because of her refusal to follow doctor's advice, and doesn't keep well a lot. Whenever we've tried to make them come and stay with us it has resulted in a major fiasco, with similar situations like; we can't go out anywhere, she can't stand my husband spending time with me, she wants him at her beck and call all the time, etc. I guess she doesn't like us getting the love and attention she didn't get.
    My husband is appreciatively firm in this regard. I have a bro-in-law who runs every time she calls him, but my husband doesn't. He empathizes with her but knows what an acting queen she can be. Morever he also understands that I can't keep trying all the time and expects me to listen to her only for as long as she's in front of me.
    In this case, I think the marriage would hit a rocky patch if things don't change quickly. Like Preeti said, sending her to her relatives or native isn't all that bad an idea. It'll be good for her. She may go and bitch about you there, but there's precious little you can do about it anyway. In a different country she might find it tough to adjust, but her own place will make her calmer and wiser, I hope.

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  29. You said middle east, Right? I am sure there will be some clubs / communities of Indians. You can make your mother join them. She will meet new people and feel fresh.
    Loneliness maybe the Reason for her frustration. Afterall, you are her only closed. Thats why, she does not like to send you and your wife out, alone, fearing that you might not return to her, she has lost her husband already.
    She needs love and security not sympathy, Take her out sometimes, make her feel Important, she will change with time. After all she is a mother, she will always like her child to be happy. Good Luck :)

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