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Caught in a Generation Gap and Boyfriend Advice

Dear Answer Mom: Until recently I really thought that my daughter and I had a really special relationship; that we were really friends. I”m working, and I”m very active and independent and that”s how she always thinks of me.

But a couple of months ago we traveled together to a off-the-beaten-track foreign country and stayed with a friend of hers. We were  in tiny quarters, and  I was jet lagged and not able to get oriented as fast as my daughter and her friend.  My daughter got very annoyed and critical, and we kept arguing. It was as though she and her friend formed an alliance and I was left out.  I was very hurt and angry, but I thought it would pass.

Now she calls me and says, “We can”t travel together anymore.” It feels like I”m shut out and rejected and my head hurts. –Headache

Dear Headache: The reason your head hurts is because you got it caught in the generation gap. There are friends and there are friends. And there”s travel and there”s travel. Mother and daughter friendship is wonderful as long as it”s recognized for what it is. It”s not the online casino same as peer friendships. There”s a real gap involved: age gap, values gap, energy gap, role gap.

Your daughter has always seen the strong parent who was her friend.” Suddenly she had to see the “older woman” who was vulnerable and couldn”t keep up. The left-over child in her got scared. What happened to strong, indestructible Mommy!

She also was with a friend her own age and had expected you to be “one of the girls” or she wouldn”t have brought you. She was embarrassed. Feeling scared and embarrassed made her angry. Her solution, she says,  is “don”t travel with me.” The rest of the sentence is…”because I don”t want to see you that way.”

A strong dose of reality is needed here. You both need to know and accept that you are older and although you australian casinos online and she can still be friends, you can”t be peers. Then there”s travel. If it”s important to you to travel with her choose your destinations carefully. Don”t go to places that are so far away and so different that you become disoriented. You may get bigger gains out of shorter mileage.

Dear Answer Mom: My daughter, 23, is seeing a man who is 30 and divorced. She says she likes him a lot but he always talks badly about his ex-wife. He tells her he needs to talk it out. She says she doesn”t want to hear this and it makes her uncomfortable. We have always been close and she asks me for advice about what to tell him. I”d like to tell her to just dump him but I”d appreciate your suggestion first.–Her Mom

Dear Her Mom: She should tell him that she hopes he won”t have a need to talk about her when she becomes his ex date. He has not disconnected from his past relationship which means he”s not really ready to make a new relationship. So she shouldn”t count on this as a romance, a least not now. She should suggest that he talk to a therapist to deal with his anger. Hopefully, after he has had some really helpful therapy he will be ready for a romantic relationship.

Problems? Want answers? Ask THE ANSWER MOM at mothering21.com or email helox72@comcast.net

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • ruth nemzoff August 2, 2012, 2:33 pm

    Traveling with daughter: When you travel with anyone, you must adjust to different rhythms. Why not suggest that your daughter go about touring and you meet with her later in the day? One comment made in a huff is not the end of a relationship. In fact, its part of every relationship. When you both cool down, have a discussion about how you might travel better in the future. What modifications would serve you both well?
    Ruth Nemzoff, Ed.D.
    Author and Speaker: Don’t Bite Your Tongue: How to Foster Rewarding Relationships with Your Adult Children (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2008)
    Don’t Roll Your Eyes: Making In-Laws Into Family. Forthcoming. (Palgrave/Macmillan, September 2012)

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