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

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  175 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
This, the first book ever to say that mother is not always a girl's best friend, is based on a landmark study of the mother-daughter relationships. Secunda offers breakthrough advice on understanding, and improving, what could be a woman's most critical relationship.
Paperback, 432 pages
Published May 1st 1991 by Delta (first published 1990)
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Brigit Zelenak
Nov 08, 2009 rated it liked it
I bought this for obvious reasons. Being estranged from your mother can be a lonely, isolating thing. After all, how many people do you know who aren't close to their mother? Not in a "Grrr, she drives me crazy... let the answering machine pick up & I'll deal with her later" kind of way, but in a "I haven't spoken to my mother in years and it's better that way" way?

Personally I don't know of anyone other than, well, me. And in that sense this book is a tremendous help. Reading the first-hand
Sep 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I would recommend this book to anyone who has ever had problems with their mother or simply need to understand mother-daughter dynamics. This interplay does not only effect the direct protagonists but it also has a profound effect on our choice of friends, partners and work. Understanding this relationship means starting the road to real maturity.
I myself being a person who is in therapy because of a dominating mother, found this book helpful. Reading about other women having problems with thei
After reading a few books that skim over real mother-daughter issues, it was a breath of fresh air to read one that felt as if the author knew me. This was probably because mothers & daughters have had stressed relationships since the beginning of time, and my experience is nothing new in relation to the bigger picture.

It felt good to know that what I went through isn't normal, that I shouldn't feel guilty for something that has been a generational problem, and that protecting my mental/psy
Jun 25, 2011 rated it liked it
As always with this type of book, I think there is too much of putting people into little "boxes."

I also thought there were too many examples that didn't really fit the labels.

I did enjoy the chapters called "The Doormat" and "Truce". They were helpful.

page 82: Anita describes her Doormat mother this way: My mother is so sensitive, the smallest criticism reduces her to tears. So everything with her is sweetness and light. Any problems I ever had with her, if I tried to talk about them, she'd jus
Jan 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Neverovatno je da je autorica dala oglas da bi volela razgovarati sa osobama koje nisu u dobrim odnosima sa svojim majkama ili cerkama i proputovala pola Amerike da bi intervjuisala sve one koje su se javile na oglas, a sve zarad studije koju je radila na tu temu i tako je nastala ova knjiga.

Veoma poucna i informativna studija o svim aspektima odnosa majki i cerki i njihov uticaj na zivot i licnost obeju, a i najblizih oko njih. Prvenstveno je namenjena osobama koje imaju 'nerazresenih racuna' i
Apr 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Definitely a great read for anyone struggling with their Mother. This book rang true for me in many areas, especially the parenting styles, and offered insight into my Mother's ongoing emotionally abusive behavior and controlling nature: and particularly those generational mistakes which I do not want to repeat with my own young daughter. I would recommend this book for anyone who has suffered greatly at the hands of their own Mother or just wants some insight in how to deal with a complicated M ...more
Apr 09, 2014 rated it liked it
I read about 1/2 of this book before my mother died. It rang true in so many areas of my life. After my mom died, it was interesting to note that the things I had highlighted and found so relevant at the time didn't seem to matter to me anymore. I would recommend this book to anyone that struggled with a challenging mother/child relationship as it often felt like the author had been skulking outside my house watching me grow up.
Feb 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those who are looking for advice regarding familial relationships
I have had some problems with my Mom over the last couple of years and this book has brought so many insights into her behavior and what causes the behavior and how to handle it. It has been very helpful. I recommend it to anyone that may be having familial relationship issues. Although the book focuses on the mother/daughter relationship I think it is applicable for just about any familial relationship
Eva M.
Mar 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Purchased and read this book in 1990 when it was first published. Just returned to skim the areas I highlighted way back then, and found some new insights, in addition to reaffirming the author's clear-headed truths. This is a difficult but important book for any woman who has a challenging (or unresolved) adult relationship with her mother. Absolutely recommend.
Aug 09, 2008 rated it liked it
I was surprised by how accurate the author's descriptions of the 5 different mothering styles and 5 daughter styles were. I learned a lot about myself, but not so much about how to improve my relationships with my mother or my daughters. Good book, but not much useful advice.
Nov 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very good - would love an update for Generation X/Millenials but overall message and takeaways from book were extremely valuable. Not a light read and goes into historical context which I think is great but very rewarding nonetheless.
Jessica D Kaufman
Jan 04, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
So so

This is very typical of today's self help movement. Maybe in another 20 years someone will have something to help me with my relationship with my mother. This didn't at all.
Jenny Duffy
Apr 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'm just about half way through, but so far this book is excellent!
Feb 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology-books
Full of information, insight, and honesty
Jun 13, 2011 is currently reading it
Read the introduction and it felt clinical
Nov 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
The book offers insight into dealing with a difficult mother.
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Apr 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: daughters who like cut-and-dried categories
Another really solid title for adult daughters who are navigating difficulties with their mothers. This focused more on the identification of mother-daughter archetypes (critic, smotherer, avenger, etc. and angel, superachiever, cipher, etc.) and on the ways those relationships can play out (friendship, truce, divorce). It was a satisfying read in a somewhat-detached and cut-and-dried way, but it didn't offer the practical, emotional support that Susan Forward's Mothers Who Can't Love did. The c ...more
Ilona Peic
Nov 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book I need in my life!
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“At the same time, the daughters, in adulthood, must also make the effort to really know their mothers—which many daughters do not—in order to understand what forces shaped those mothers. These daughters need to discover what torment may have unwittingly informed their mothers’ parental choices, and to see their mothers as composites of strengths and weaknesses, rather than as all good or all bad.” 1 likes
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