I have a friend who has grown up in an Asian community. My friend is in her 30's and is enjoying the companionship of living with her father and grandma. The problem is this, her mother is a very authoritarian, tactless individual, forcing the girl to take the sciences in university instead of allowing her to choose her own major. Dictating who she did or did not date, and for at lease the last 10 years has constantly criticized her for not being married, or comparing her to every other woman in her community that is being married. She has told her mom to please stop comparing her to others, that she has decided that she would rather not be married, than to marry someone just for the sake of being married and making her mother happy. The comparisons continue, no matter what has been said to try to stop it. She is at the point where she wants to tell her mother to not call her anymore. She says that she doesn't mind accepting emails from her mother, as long as they are not comparing her to others, and this says to me that she does want to have a relationship of some kind with her mother. She is at the point where she wants to send an email telling her mother, that she has talked alot about her mother comparing her to others, and found that this is abusive and, as such, is consistently negatively affecting her, and citing examples that she has received from the advice of friends, and online sites like Medhelp.
I have suggested that my friend talk to a psychologist about how to go forward. My question to a Doctor is this. Is it considered emotionally abusive for a mother to constantly compare her adult child to other woman with regard to their career path, educational status, and marriage status?
I am not sure if this technically falls under the category of "emotional abuse," however, what seems more important that that this relationship is having an emotional impact on your friend. It is important for her to really take care of herself during this time. Only she can determine what feels best as far as how to move forward in this relationship with her mother.
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