Thanks for the feedback guys. I felt a bit guilty about keeping this from SeriousCat, partly because we share almost everything. But I really couldn't see any good coming from telling him this, and it's good to know that others agree.
I've really been shrinking from conflict with my mother, because all conflict leaves me feeling sick to my stomach. I avoid it whenever I can. But I think this is one of those cases where rocking the boat is the only option. Just letting her get away with belittling him not only makes me feel bad, but I feel like I'm betraying SeriousCat by not standing up for him more.
Has SeriousCat met your mother? If yes, then I don't see why you can't tell him if you are upset.
SeriousCat has met my mother, but in person she's a bit intimidated by him. She actually asks his opinions and defers to his judgement in a way that she never has to me or my sister. This is partly because she English is not her first language, and she's a bit intimidated by native english speakers, and partly because he's male. She also she misreads his behavior around her. He is shy, quiet, and on "company behavior" around her, but she thinks that he is reserved and forbidding. Since makes her behave more "formally" around him - eg. she never lectures him
on his eating habit as she does us- I haven't corrected her.
Serious cat does know that she's not entirely er... normal, from what I've told him, but he doesn't dislike her as a person. Their relationship
is cordial, if not especially close.
No, don't tell him. It'll only color his opinion of your mother. Might give him the right idea . . .
HonorH, you post totally gave me the giggles LOL. I'm not sure threatening to move back in with her would work though, because in myculture, grown children live with their parents until marriage and, in some cases, even after. My mother would very much like to have all her children living with her forever, where she can "protect" them.
Instead tell your mother that, unless and until she stops making comments, you will not come to visit her, call her, whatever. And the minute she starts up, the visit, call, etc., ends.
I hate to do this, because it means I'll see a lot less of my dad too, but it may be the only way
It's getting hard to deal with her comments otherwise.
The last time stung because it came totally out of the blue. We were laughing, having such a pleasant, fun conversation, and then she took by surprise asking "What do you see in that bald guy! hahahaha!" It just deflated me entirely. I think I replied with something along the lines of "He's totally awesome" and tried to change the subject, but she wouldn't drop it for a while.
I know that she not-so-secretly feels that I have settled for less. In myculture, appearances are a big deal, and SeriousCat doesn't live up the the image of the perfect son in law. He's overweight, bearded, balding, isn't a engineer, doctor or lawyer (the only real
professions), works on a contract basis rather than a "real" 9-5 job, isn't rich enough (only 6 digits a year will do!), dresses too casually, and any number of other superficial little things. She's even "joked", a couple of times, that it's not to late for her to find me a nice, rich, doctor if I'll reconsider.
It frustrates me that she focuses on these surface details instead of the awesome, wickedly funny, brilliantly creative evil genius I love.