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When You and Your Mother Can't Be Friends: Resolving the Most Complicated Relationship of Your Life Kindle Edition

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Length: 428 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In her well-researched study freelance journalist Secunda draws on 100 interviews with grown daughters in which they describe early painful relationships with their mothers, protracted in their adult emotional lives and memories. To help repair the damage done to the psyches of daughters whose mothers are characterized as, for instance, the Avenger, the Doormat, the Smotherer, the author suggests a measure of separation from the mother--"divorce" if need be--designed to rid the daughter of guilt, restore her self-esteem and prepare her for her own motherhood. Secunda advises daughters to forgive their fallible mothers, "who did the best they could," and attempt a balance based on generosity and self-preservation. Nevertheless, this study tends to treat daughters as hapless victims, underestimating the pressures imposed on mothers of yesterday and today. Major ad/promo; first serial to Redbook; BOMC featured alternate; author tour.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Extensive research went into this detailed study of troubled mother-daughter relationships and how these relationships can be improved, usually through the efforts of the daughter. Dysfunctional parents usually raise dysfunctional children who pass the same behavior on to their children unless a conscientious effort, often with the help of therapy, is made to break the chain. Practical advice on how to come to terms with, and often improve, unhealthy mother-daughter bonds is offered through excerpts from many interviews and quotes from experts. Serial rights to Cosmopolitan and Redbook will bring additional attention to this book.
-Marguerite Mroz, Baltimore Cty. P.L.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 709 KB
  • Print Length: 428 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0385304234
  • Publisher: Delta; Reprint edition (November 4, 2009)
  • Publication Date: November 4, 2009
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0031W1E0E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,200 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

355 of 360 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
I read this book a couple of years ago, and it literally changed my life. For so many years I felt guilty about the tensions between my hyper-critical mother and myself -- as if it were somehow my fault that she got under my skin and that I should somehow be able to rise above it and simply accept her for who she is, which is what a lot of "experts" on this subject seem to suggest. Victoria Secunda takes a different perspective -- she looks at the situation from the daughter's point of view. Her first goal is to empathize with the daughters who are suffering from their mothers' unhealthy patterns, and to validate their feelings. She describes the "Bad Mommy Taboo," which is society's tendency to glorify the mother-daughter connection and condemn all valid negative feelings daughters might have toward their moms. This leaves the daughters feeling as if their pain is somehow their own doing; that daring to find fault with their mothers makes them horrible, ungrateful children. Thankfully, Secunda, by naming this syndrome, gives us permission to look at our mothers more objectively. I'm now at the stage where I am working on myself, trying to strengthen my boundaries and sense of self, because I now know my mother won't change -- she'll probably keep her critical ways for the rest of her life. My pain is real, however, and I'm working on transforming it. Secunda shows us how, and gives us hope that we don't have to prolong these patterns into the next generation. This book is a wonderful gift from the author to daughters everywhere. I marvel at the courage it must have taken to write it! Thank you Victoria Secunda!!!
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257 of 267 people found the following review helpful By Sister Renee Pittelli on December 18, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Learn how your relationship with your mother colors your other relationships and influences your choice of a mate, how to recognize the difference between a healthy or destructive mother-daughter relationship, how mothers manipulate us and how we react, why you tend to become your mother's opposite- or her twin, how to find your truest self, and how to stop the cycle.
The book discusses the Bad Mommy Taboo, in which many in society refuse to accept that a mother can be destructive to her children, but prefer to see all moms as warm, loving, "America and apple pie" types. Great pressure is put on adult children not to mention or discuss anything bad their mothers might do, and to accept abuse because "she's your mother". A daughter who rebels or stands up and tells the truth is often criticized by acquaintances, and even outcast from the family. "And so the Bad Mommy on a cultural level gets protected. Or she protects herself. Or she is protected by her husband."
I found myself nodding in agreement as I related my own life testimony, as well as other testimonies I have heard in the course of my ministry, Luke 17:3 Ministries, to many of the teachings in this book, especially the Bad Mommy Taboo. It is amazing just how universal and pervasive this is. People with normal mothers find it difficult to understand how it can be possible to have a destructive mother. But the strange thing is that even those with very abusive, controlling, or downright evil mothers can still be in deep denial concerning their mothers' true natures. Many continue to take the blame for an unsuccessful relationship and to expose themselves to abuse, thinking there must be something wrong with them because mom couldn't possibly be the problem.
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135 of 143 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 15, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book helped me regain my sanity. My mother for lack of a better word is a self-proclaimed matyr and I felt guilty since I can remember for ever making her the least bit uncomfortable, my sister did too. This book helped me realize that just because someone is a mother doesn't make them a good parent and that there are others like me. It takes you through your family's history and helps you to understand why mom may be the way she is and what you can do to deal with (or chose not to deal with) that relationship.
I was on the verge of never speaking to my mother or her side of the family again, but this book turned it around and now although I doubt we will ever be like a TV 50s family, I can talk to my mom and she appears to listen to what I say.
I highly recommend this book if you are feeling the least bit guilty about what you feel about dear old mom, want to cut her out of your life, or just want to understand why you and your mom have little to nothing in common.
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55 of 57 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
Fianlly, a book with some answers! It was so truthful, I was shocked! It said everyhting I was feeling, and then some! It was a very detailed book, with many quotes from daughters and experts. If you ever wondered why it is nearly impossible to deal with you mom, (and your brother got off easy), why you still want to talk to her even when you are angry... This book discusses the major types of mothers and daughters, why there is guilt in "not liking your mom", and how to resolve what you can with your mom while being realistic. Even if your mom has passed away or you have a great relationship this book will still help explain a very important realtionship that affects every area of one's life.
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