I am twenty-four years old, and I live with my parents. I have deep sadness in my heart because of my mother…. She got very angry because I didn’t become a doctor, and she compares me with my younger sister, who was able to finish her degree program before I did.
I have fallen into depression because of not making my mother happy with my career or my life. I try to always speak to her with respect, but she does not feel honored.
I work and I’m still in school. I’ve told her that I want to move out and become independent, but she takes it the wrong way and tells me not to move out until I get married.
We can understand why you feel disheartened. When someone we love is disappointed in us, it usually makes us feel badly about ourselves. Then that feeling of inadequacy causes us to have recurring thoughts that question all our beliefs about who we are. And when we doubt ourselves, it is very difficult to be motivated about the future.
We must say that we cannot judge your mother because we don’t know her nor her circumstances. It is possible that she pushes you because she never accomplished what she wanted to in her own life and, as a result, she doesn’t want you to have the life-long regrets that she has lived with. Or it could be that she believes her job as your mother is to push you when you don’t accomplish what she thinks you are capable of.
Parents of adult children must transition from being providers, protectors, and instructors, to being close friends and encouragers. However, some parents never come to understand that this natural transition is healthy. And other parents are influenced by their own insecurities and dominating personalities, or by their own immaturity and egotism.
Your mother has the idea that she will protect you by keeping you in her house until you are married. But what if you decide not to marry? What if you get married, but not for another ten years? Adult children who continue living with their parents sometimes find that it becomes more difficult to become independent with each passing year.
If you have the financial resources to live on your own, then we believe it is an acceptable choice for you to move out and become independent. However, this decision must be taken within your cultural context, because some cultures don’t allow women to be on their own.
You say that your mother doesn’t feel as though you honor her, even though you speak to her with respect. Since one of the Ten Commandments is to honor your parents, we encourage you to always treat your mother with honor. However, honoring her does not mean obeying her or agreeing with her on every subject. Nor does it mean that you are forced to pursue the profession that she wants for you.
We wish you well,