Mothers, Daughters & Weddings

The Question
I posted this Survey Question on my website:

Since your engagement, what has been the most difficult and/or most challenging relationship?

The Answer
100% of brides who responded said “my mother.” They are not alone. Nearly every bride who attends Emotionally Engagedworkshops says their relationships with their mothers have changed since they got engaged. Lucky ones relate stories of getting much closer, emotionally, in the engagement/wedding planning process. Mother and daughter become more bonded. Not far in the distance, however, looms a wrenching separation when the daughter leaves to form her own family with her new husband.

Mothers’ Behaviors
Most brides, however, report turbulence in their relationships with their mothers. Mothers demanding center stage. Mothers harping on minor details. Mothers treating adult daughters like incompetent adolescents. Mothers angry and jealous. Mothers disinterested and distant. Mothers depressed. Mothers daily on the phone, “Have you done this?” “You need to do this!” Mothers disapproving, unforgiving, critical. Mothers too weepy. Mothers too generous.

Brides whose mothers have died also find their mothers taking center stage during their engagements. These brides often find themselves revisiting their grief — deeply and painfully connected to the loss of their mothers — as well as feeling angry she is not present for this pivotal event in their lives. And then they often feel guilty for being angry.

Why, during what’s supposed to be the happiest time of your life, do mothers cause daughters such pain?

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