My Mom’s Complaining Spooks Me

Categories Ghosts, Haunted Houses

Dear Impractical Advice: My husband and I live in a haunted house with out two children. We’ve been trying to sell since we discovered the haunting, but the market for creepy Victorians that have been the scene of several murder-suicides is slow, so we’re stuck making the best of living here.

My biggest problem now is not dealing with the dead spirits though – it’s dealing with my living mother. Whenever she visits, she complains constantly.  If she sees the bloody writing appear on the wall of the nursery, she comment on my lack of housekeeping. She tell us that we haven’t properly child-proofed even after we installed padlocks on all the secret passageways. Every morning she tells me how the cold spots in the house are freezing and the banging and moaning noises kept her all night. I’ve offered her a sweater and noise-cancelling headphones like my husband and children use, but she refuses and seem to prefer making me feel bad with her complaints.

I love my mother very much and I want her to be a part of our family’s life, but her disapproval is very hurtful. My husband has gotten so frustrated with her criticism that every time she visits, he spends almost the entire time locked in his study alone, working on his novel. How can I let her know that her complaining is damaging our relationship?

Haunted By The Living

Dear Haunted,

Impractical Advice usually has one piece of guidance when it comes to haunted houses: GET OUT! In this case, though, she’d pass that sentiment along to your mother, rather than you and your family.

You’re doing your best but your mother’s unsolicited advice and kvetching are only making your situation even more difficult. At a certain point, a house guest’s clueless behavior moves from thoughtlessness to rudeness. At that point, and your mother is well past that point, guests should be politely, but firmly informed that their behavior is unacceptable and will no longer be tolerated if they wish to remain welcome.

Let’s give your mother the benefit of the doubt that she is doing this because deep down she loves you and somehow believes that her comments are helpful. Let her know that you appreciate her feelings, but that if she is so unhappy when visiting your home that she can’t keep criticism to herself, in the future it would be best if you and the children spend time with her at a different location like a restaurant or a park.

If she won’t concede and argues the point, listen patiently but firmly and politely hold your ground. This is your home, period. You have every right to enjoy it as much as you can without the constant moaning of living relatives.

Leave a Reply