My boyfriend is an only child and his parents have no friends. Boyfriend works for his dad and is basically on call all the time for what his parents want on and off the job. They call and drop in a lot. His mother sits at home during the day with a lot of health problems (real & imagined) and her life is her husband and son. The parents are classic narcissists and I have tried to be patient with my boyfriend because his family is so fucked up. Last night he got drunk and talkative and let it slip his mom has been telling him to get rid of me. I have a feeling that in her mind I am taking time away from her that she could be spending with him.
So datalounge, how do I handle this? My first inclination was to call her and confront her. Also the best revenge may be to act like I am really happy with bf so this will burn her. But my boyfriend does not show affection in public so it's not like I can hang on him. What would you do?
Sugar, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but assuming this is not an EST, you're not gonna win this one.
Tell him it's over till his mother dies.
This will either:
(1) end your relationship, but no real loss. You would be free to look for someone else not so encumbered by apron strings, or
(2) he will man up and tell his mommy what his boundaries are with her in regard to you. IOW, she should shut the fuck up about you. At that point you should confirm with the old battle axe that if she meddles in your relationship again with her son, that you will cut her with prejudice.
Easy peasy. That'll be $140.
No it's not an EST. I am sad because I know it's a no win situation. Especially since his income depends on working for his dad. I am upset because my boyfriend never defends me, he just lets his mom go off on her rants. I guess he just is desensitized after years of hearing her bitching but I wish he would stick up for me.
It's not really about her, it's about your bf and whether he knows where to place her in his life.
It's easy to blame her, but if he doesn't prioritize you above her, as he should, then he either learns to or you'll have to find someone else.
Bail. It's only going to get worse as they get older and needier.
How old is your boyfriend?
r6 - boyfriend is 40, I am 35.
Overbearing mothers will never warm up to you, no matter how hard you try. Give you boyfriend and ultimatum: I come first, or not at all.
How long have you been together?
40??? And you're 35?
I was expecting you both to be teenagers.
r9 - we've beem together 4 years. He is the love of my life, I have never felt this way before and that's why I put up with all the family weirdness. I have given his mother rides, visited her in the hospital, tried my best and when he told me that last night I was upset. The dad doesn't speak up to the mother and she is constantly harping on him. The mother is always badmouthing my boyfriend's ex and doesn't like very many people so I figured one day she would turn on me. ACK, I hate for this to be the dealbreaker in our relationship because I really do love him. But I can't live with somebody who won't defend me either.
He may be using his mother as a convenient excuse for why he's going to dump you. He might be laying the groundwork by letting this little nugget of "truth" "slip out" while "drunk."
Went through the same situation, so I shot the bitch. In jail now but I have plenty of boyfriends.
r12 - I can see why you might think that but I don't think it's the case. When I brought it up this morning he held me and said he can't lose me and that I am his world. But since his parents are always around I don't think I can handle it. He just wants to sweep it under the rug.
One of the main reasons no one posts on this site anymore is because as soon as they do, some asshole yells "EST!!!"
It's really fucking tired at this point.
Watch "Everybody Loves Raymond" and just take notes.
Move, far, far away and start anew together.
Confronting his mother is not a good idea. You will only re-affirm her belief that you are bad news for her son. If you give your BF an ultimatum to chose between you and his family, he is going to either pick his family, or if he picks you, he may always resent you for putting a wedge between him and his family. I hate to say this, but I think you need to prepare for the end. If its any consolation, its not really your fault, its not you who is the asshole.
wait, OP, you're a straight woman, right?
OP, it's over. This happened to me. BF's mom was nasty to me from the first. I had no idea why. Turned out she had a friend that she liked, that needed a BF. After a visit with mom and dad, BF suddenly turned cold. I found out later Mommy Dearest had arranged for the two to be alone while we visited Mommy (out of town) and BF fucked mom's friend during that visit. He dumped me not long after. He said to me, "If [Mommy] doesn't like you, there must be a good reason."
Moral of the story: if BF's parents want to make trouble for you, BF will NEVER pick you over his parents. Never. Pull your head out of your ass and start packing. I wish somebody had told me that. I tried everything to hang onto BF, thought he was "the love of my life" too. He was actually an asshole who would put his dick anywhere, and if it made Mommy happy for him to put it somewhere else, that was fine with him.
OP, are you an only child? If they are on in years, he may have a sense of responsibility to them, since he the only child.
It also takes a village to take of the elderly.
How many times have you loudly complained to him about his parents when he needed to do something for them and it interferred with your plans?
So,for four years you are hoing for things to change and you come here to complain and get sympathy?
Does his Dad on the business and you boyfriend is going to take it over one day? Is it something that you can brag about to your friends.. " Yeah,one day we will inherit.." What will you gain monetarily by staying w/ him?
Why don't you both go to counseling and stop looking for arm-chair validation from a bunch of people who don't really know you.
You sound like a bit of an ass, and your boyfriend sounds a bit needy.
How is your realtionship with your parents?
Sorry to keep posting but I want to answer the questions on here.
r17 - his income depends on working for his dad. My boyfriend had a high paying job in a factory for 20 years and was laid off. He only has a high school education and factory jobs in this area have dried up. Also he had problems with the discs (sp?) in his neck and so can't go back into a really physical type job again.
His mother told me once "now that he works for his dad we have more control over him". So the woman knows what she is doing.
LOL r16, I was hoping for 'Throw Momma Off The Train'
Op, pack your shit and leave now. Leave him a note saying, "Heard what you said the other night while drunk. I'm just taking the initiative..."
You deserve better than this.
[quote] It also takes a village to take of the elderly.
I assume you meant "take care of the elderly?"
In any case, no it doesn't. That's what POWER OF ATTORNEY and NURSING HOMES are for.
Punch and delete.
r21 - I had accepted the weird situation with his parents, I knew it wouldn't change. But when he told me last night his mom has been telling him to get rid of me that is what set me off.
Everyone on this thread is correct, OP.
You will not win. If he hasn't learned to be an adult and make his own decisions by now, he never will.
You will always take second place to his mother, and if she doesn't like you, he'll eventually dump you.
For your own self-esteem, you must dump him and be clear to him why you're doing it.
Otherwise, he will let his mother convince him you dumped him because you're a bad person, not because you deserve a bf who puts you first.
There are plenty of us, male and female, gay and straight, who stay close to our families, but most of us know how to have our own adult lives and not let our mothers call the shots.
Unless he's willing to tell his mother to butt out of his personal life and that if she doesn't like you, she'll see less of him, you've already lost the battle and it's only a matter of time before he bails.
Between you thinking it would be fun to "burn her" to stay with her son, and him not defending you and let this come out when he's drunk, the love story isn't really coming through, OP.
In both of my relationships, the past and present one, somehow I never had this problem with my boyfriends' mothers, including one whose son was her only child.
The way you demonize the parents, especially the mother, is either on the money - SHE is the problem and her son's connection to her over you makes this a losing battle - or you're not reflecting enough on yourself.
What I have seen in both women of my ex and current partner is that both wanted what was best for their sons. Both saw that I was patient with their sons, supported their sons emotionally, didn't make excuses for them but tried to help them, and made them feel that I wanted him to be happy, and that was my priority.
Even if it's just that you never got off on the right foot, or she sees you as a threat, or worse, you don't come off as the most lovable person.
And if I were your BF's parent, I'd say "I think this one's going to be petty, possessive, and difficult."
Just my read of the situation.
Wow, some of these responses are harsh, and bitter. Please read them with a grain of salt. Don't take advice from a bitter person. Responses should make sense to you. Also, keep in mind that we live in a gray world, not a black and white world. There is no "right" answer, just degrees of opinion.
I can tell the answer you want is advice on how to keep him. That's understandable. Here is my opinion on what you need to do to keep him.
I would sit him down and tell him that you need to come first in his life. He needs to prove that to you by putting boundaries on his relationship with his mother. Unless she has a reason to dislike you, her motivation is purely selfish, and that is unhealthy for both you and him. He needs to confront her, and tell her that you come first, and if she doesn't like it, then tough. If she threatens him, he needs to stand firm. Even if she threatens that she will have him "fired", he needs to stand fast. It's unlikely that will happen, because that is one thing that lets her keep control. Also, unless he puts boundaries on the job situation, then he will be "on call" until they die. Being on call 24/7 is ridiculous and unreasonable. So, he needs to set boundaries with his father as well.
If he cannot do this, then you will have to either put up with it, or leave. Those are your only two choices. If his mother forces him to break up with you, then you don't even have to make a decision, and you will be BETTER OFF anyway.
Don't complicate it any more than that. Either he sets boundaries with his mother and his job, and proves that to you, or he doesn't. At that point, it's up to you to decide if you want to put up with it, or wait and see what happens.
Relationships are not easy, and there is no "one size fits all" answer. You have to do what is in your best interest. The hard part is finding out what that is.
Did his Mom ever catch you and the BF playing hide the sausage? If so then maybe that is what seems to upset her about you.
Do not call or confront his mother about this, it will make the situation worse and cause animosity between you and your boyfriend, the best thing to do is to talk your boyfriend about how this makes you feel and make it clear that he needs to honest about how he feels about you and how he intends on handling his mother.
OP if it means anything, the fact that you are willing to put up with this cut him some slack because he comes from a dysfunctional family means that you are least a decent person who someday will find someone that really appreciates you.
I am really this close to losing my shit!!!
Matt is hilarious, at once telling you how to keep him (with ultimatums) and then to leave if he says no.
If Matt is correct, this tells you what kind of relationship you have. He may be the love of your life, but either you or he both have issues that are making it difficult for that love to be what guides you in your decisions.
[quote]Sorry to keep posting but I want to answer the questions on here.[quote]
You haven't answered my question.
[quote] I come first, or not at all.
Better yet "I come first, or you don't come at all."
Of course I'm kidding, since withholding sex only works with ugly straight men.
But the news is bad. The problem is not with the mother. It's with your boyfriend. Him being the "love of your life" only makes you blinder to the root of the problem.
How many scorned partners always blame "the other woman" or "the other guy", saving all their venom for the easier scapegoat (the one you have no feelings for) and oblivious to the fact that they have a partner who's fucking around on them and betraying them?
This is no different, except that other emotional ties are iinvolved. Still, you have two people having their say at your expense, one putting you in second place, and another plotting to get you out of the running altogether.
And there are too many mundane issues (job security, family ties - who knows, maybe even homophobia) that are interfering with your rightful position at number 1.
Sorry to say, a separation may be the only wake up call - or last nail on the coffin - for this relationship. Either way you'll come out a stronger, better person.
My mother would never do this to you - and I would never let her.
In hetero relationships this was normally worked out, in a lot of cases, as soon as the woman gave the crone a grand baby. Then you had a bargaining tool. I don't see that happening here.
Why not hang in there? Take your bf at his word and unless she's rude to you, just go on. He won't grow up until she's dead, but it may be worth waiting for.
I hate being misquoted, especially by "Anonymous".
Ultimatum: A demand whose fulfillment is requested in a specified period of time and which is backed up by a threat to be followed through in case of noncompliance. An ultimatum is generally the final demand in a series of requests. As such, the time allotted is usually short, and the request is understood not to be open to further negotiation.
Here is EXACTLY what I wrote:
"If he cannot do this, then you will have to either put up with it, or leave. Those are your only two choices."
"I would sit him down and tell him that you need to come first in his life. "
Where is the ultimatum? I said she should set boundaries by telling him that she comes first. Please look up the word "Ultimatum". There was no "or else" anywhere in my comment....lol. Either he does or he doesn't. If he doesn't, then she just needs to decide if she wants to put up with it.
No ultimatum issued! Jeez!
"Of course I'm kidding, since withholding sex only works with ugly straight men."
And is only used by dysfunctional women, whose advice is only going to be bad...
Also, withholding sex only works on dysfunctional men who have no self-esteem. Ugly straight men? Man-hater much! Beauty is in the eye of the holder, my dear. You need therapy.
R19 - I thought you were kidding. I am a gay man.
r34 is not me
Thanks for all your advice. The funny thing is I was willing to be 2nd place most of the time because I loved him so much. But like I stated earlier, the thing that sent me over the edge was finding out his mother wants him to dump me. I am not claiming to be the perfect boyfriend and I know it sounds like I am exaggerating about his mother. I have never dealt with anybody like her, I have been dating for years and never had a problem with the mother of my previous boyfriends.
I guess I just wanted some hope but I knew in my heart it was a no win situation. I also realize this is probably not the best forum to ask for help but I have been posting here for many years and sometimes it feels like home.
Okay I am done rambling, thanks again to everybody who responded.
Matt, your advice might be appropriate if the guy was in his early 20s, without a lot of life experience outside school and family.
But he's 40.
If he hasn't set boundaries with his mother by now, he never will.
The problem isn't that his mother doesn't like OP. The problem is she thinks (actually knows) she can influence her son to dump him.
If her son had set boundaries with her when it was appropriate, she would have learned to keep her mouth shut about his bfs.
Since she knows she can say what she wants, she also knows her 40-year-old son will never put her in her place and choose a bf against her wishes. He may drag it out, but eventually he'll give in to her demands.
And when OP is out of his life, he'll sulk and be mad at his mom, but the next time he starts dating someone, his mom will call the shots again.
OP will never win with this mama's boy. Better move on sooner than later, on his terms, not on BF's mom's.
Don't break off with him. Don't give ultimatums. Don't confront the mother. Ask your bf to try some couples counseling. It will help the two of you navigate this, and probably the counselor will recognize the difficulties your bf has with being an adult and help him gain insight.
This will also make it clear whether or not his drunken admission was a cry for help or an advance warning for you.
I think most of DL seems to agree that the problem lies with the 40-yr-old boyfriend, not his meddling Mom.
Good advice if you ask me.
He already has someone else lined up. They always do.
"Matt, your advice might be appropriate if the guy was in his early 20s, without a lot of life experience outside school and family.
But he's 40."
I respectfully disagree. It's not age that's an issue, but his maturtiy level. I can't see how he could have matured if he is still dominated by his mother.
I guess what I'm saying is that it's hard enough to find love already. If you do find it, then you have to fight for it. It's hard work no matter how you slice it, and it's never easy.
But, I love him. There must be something else I can do.
Matt, people on this thread are bitter because they have been emotionally abused by people who put their parents' interference before their partner's happiness.
I wish I didn't have to be bitter. I really would have enjoyed spending those years in a relationship with a person who cared about my happiness instead.
Unfortunately, I had the misfortune to love someone with all my heart, and they didn't care for my happiness in return. I wasted yers of my life with a person who would never make me happy, no matter how hard I tried or what I did. I can never get those years back.
I would really like to see OP learn from my experience and get on with his life, before he has to be bitter too. And because I advise OP from personal experience, this makes my advice invalid?
You need to have a few life experiences yourself, Matt.
"But, I love him. There must be something else I can do."
Accept it then, and get over it. So what if his mother doesn't like you! If he loves you, he won't break up with you no matter what his mother says.
I wouldn't break it off. Hang tough and fight for him (not literally!). Just kill his mother with kindnes. It won't change her, but it will make you feel good about yourself.
Why do you feel pressure to do anything! Relax, and just hang in there for awhile. If it becomes obvious, then you'll know what to do....
Matt (and damn proud of it!)
r48 is not me
I don't think an ultimatum would work, he is too entwined with his parents. I do appreciate reading your replies and it makes me realize my options are suck it up and take it or leave.
"I would really like to see OP learn from my experience and get on with his life, before he has to be bitter too. And because I advise OP from personal experience, this makes my advice invalid?"
Yes, because you are trying to get back at the boyfriend that hurt you, not because you are trying to help the OP. However, I didn't say you could not have an opinion. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and mine is no better than yours in that case. I just don't think that bitterness is a good place from which to give advice...
LOL, at "get some life experience". If only you knew.
Have a nice day.
Matt...beaten down by life, but got back up again!
Matt, I haven't seen that guy for years. I have no reason to "want to get back at him." My life got a lot better after he was gone. Even if I somehow thought the way to get back at that long-ago BF was to go around breaking up random other people's relationships "in revenge," that would make no sense. It's not like it would harm him in any way or he would even know.
Don't automatically assume that people who don't agree with your point of view are crazy. That's very disrespectful and childish.
Agree with R44 and most of Matt's advice. Unless you're leaving a lot out of the story, there is no reason to panic. You will find out for certain in due time. Just tell him calmly how this is making you feel. FWIW I am from a similar family and I was in my forties before I really understood that my mother did not necessarily care about or know what was best for me. Now I am considerate of her but her opinions are pretty much irrelevant. Don't give up on him yet. No relationship is perfect.
"Matt, I haven't seen that guy for years. I have no reason to "want to get back at him." My life got a lot better after he was gone. Even if I somehow thought the way to get back at that long-ago BF was to go around breaking up random other people's relationships "in revenge," that would make no sense. It's not like it would harm him in any way or he would even know"
Of course it would not make sense to cause other people to break up. That was my point. Now that you have specifically stated that you are not intending harm, it brings more color to your statements. No disrespect was intended. That was my opinion. You are entitled to yours. Your post, taken by itself, sounded bitter. You admitted to being bitter. I am simply saying that bitterness is not a good place from which to supply advice.
Now, you will want to rebut my statement, and that is fine, but any future comment will be intended for OP, not bickering with you. Peace! Sorry if I offended you.
Have a nice day
I also agree with R44.
Couples counseling can be helpful for both of you, and can teach you a lot, especially if he's worth sticking it out for.
Look, old ladies can be bitches. Sometimes being a bitch is all you got to hold on to, to quote Stephen King/Dolores Claiborne.
Often times, the bitchiness has ZERO meat to it, it's just hot air. It's quite possible that the mother isn't as bad you are painting her in your head to be.
You didn't specify the living situation though. Are you all living under one roof? It sounds like it. If so, it would be best if the two of you get your own place nearby to the elders.
A boyfriend who is a bit of a whimp when it comes to his elderly mother is NOT a dealbreaker. That's a sweet man who wants to do right by everyone. Hang on to him. I disagree that he's 'obviously shackled and immature' as others have asserted.
It seems like you had a talk, and told the BF how you feel, that's a start. Just keep track of all the things you have to endure, make a list. It'll make you feel better to get it off your chest. You may discover the problem is better or worse than you are imagining it, and you won't be so confused about what to do..whether to stick it our drop it altogether.
Here's a soulful but disturbing song that sums up your BF, OP:
[quote]Also the best revenge may be to act like I am really happy with bf so this will burn her.
Yes, seeking revenge against your beloved's mother is always a sign of a healthy and happy relationship.
I can't imagine why she wants him to dump you--you sound full of charm and positive energy.
There are two sides to every story, hussy!
[quote]But like I stated earlier, the thing that sent me over the edge was finding out his mother wants him to dump me.
Which you found out from your drunken BF. Here's a hint: when people are drunk, they say things in a more exaggerated and dramatic fashion. In other words, it's possible that his mother just made a stupid comment, and that comment is actually bothering your BF, so it slipped out when he was trying to spare you the bitchiness.
Again, a bitchy comment from an old lady taken out of context can mean a lot of things in your peabrain. It's entirely possible that she isn't actively campaigning against you at all, but just made a selfish remark. MAN UP.
Don't dump the BF over this, idiot. The BF clearly feels bad, and has his focus on you, and on the situation at hand.
Counseling for you, for sure. Maybe couples counseling too.
If the boyfriend is 40 and his life has always been deeply and inextricably tied to his parents, you're not going to win this by confronting his mother. Besides, it's a pussy move.
You might be able, gradually, to win the woman by kindness, and to position your boyfriend to convince himself that he has to set more time apart, uninterrupted, for you. Both of those things require cunning; you have to plant the seeds for each to come around to your way of thinking, without any visible interference of string-pulling on your part. That's not to say you have to be a great manipulator, but you will need great patience and persistence and conviction that it's worth it. Whether it's worth it is up to you, but getting caught at trying to change someone's fundamental way of thinking is a recipe for failure.
[quote]But like I stated earlier, the thing that sent me over the edge was finding out his mother wants him to dump me.
You want to dump your boyfriend because of something he has no control over?
So his mother shares her opinion of you with her son, so what? You're still around, so he obviously doesn't listen to her. If every couple in the world broke up because a relative disliked their family member's chosen mate, there would be no couples in the world.
The real problem is that the boyfriend shared mom's opinion with you. He should have just kept quiet about it. Your ego has been bruised, understandably so, and it might be too difficult for you to put it behind you.
Still, this isn't an unusual situation. Just ask some straight women about their mothers-in-law.
Okay, I read R60's reply after I posted mine, and his is the best comment in this thread. Listen to him, OP.
What difference does it make that his mother wants him to get rid of you if he's not going to do it? You already have recognized that she would hate ANYONE her son is with. Just limit the amount of time you spend with her.
Shouldn't you be more concerned with your algebra homework, OP?
Thanks R62, I actually like the way you phrased it better.
To let you know, OP, where I'm coming from...here's a bit of my own family drama, not dissimilar to yours:
My mom is 72, and can be a grouch.
My brother is 53 and he works too much, but worships mom. His wife, 48, successfully battled breast cancer 3 years ago. Because of that, my brother focused more on his wife for quite a while.
My mom made a couple bitchy comments about it, and it's obvious mom doesn't like my brother's mother-in-law either, because she's looting the State, so some comments were made about all the family bullshit.
Such comments were repeated to my brother by his stupid daughters, who don't know enough to keep their mouths shut.
Result? NOBODY is speaking to my mother, for the past 3 years...all over some bitchy comments. Now everyone is waiting for someone else to apologize, and the rest of us have to dance around the issue.
In a healthy family, my bitchy mother would've been ignored OR confronted...not passive aggressively hated and then dismissed from the family.
Such comments built a life of their own due to the gossip mill.
Don't let your situation mirror mine. Don't let your BF's admission to you become a Jerry Springer incident. Let a bitchy comment be what it is, no more no less.
From OP's description of the b/f, he sounds like a total loser and not worth waiting around for mommy and daddy to kick off before he grows some balls.
All bets are off, though, if mommy and daddy are loaded and there's a big payoff coming when they're gone. If that's the case, make sure you don't get off the gravy train too soon, OP.
^^mega projection from a lonely prisspot.
OP, just be glad you could be his good time fuck for this long. Your relationship is pretty much doomed.
Sorry OP it's time for you to accept things won't improve. Your bf has been prepped from birth to always put his parents first no matter what. In the end you will be used for everything and be unappreciated and disrespected. Your bf has learned to be manipulative by his mother who obviously does the same to both husband and son. Time for you to get out of your disfunctional comfort zone and prepare to move out and move on. You deserve better. Good luck.
Boy, sounds like a lot of you guys cut and run at first sign of trouble.
No wonder you're single.
Boyfriends that do this never got enough love from their mommies. I have a BF like this right now and his mother is a fucking wench. She's constantly trying to start drama between us and the saddest part is that he lets her win. I plan on leaving him. I didn't get with him, have a child with him, to have a relationship with "baba yaga" Peace out mother fucker!
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