- 4 years ago
This may get a little long, but pleast bear with me and hear me out.
A little background: my boyfriend and I have been together just short of two and a half years. Overall, we are very, very happy together. We have a lot in common, have supported each other amazingly through tough times, and never fail to make one another laugh. I would also say our relationship is generally extremely “healthy”…we argue now and then just like any other couple, but we rarely, rarely raise our voices, have never cussed at each other, name-called, or said hurtful ‘low blows’ in the heat of the moment. We’re not perfect of course, but we tend to have pretty decent communication. We just moved in together last week. He is 24, about to be 25 soon, and I am 21, about to be 22 in 2 weeks. We frequently talk about marriage in the next couple years.
BF is an only child and his parents have always…babied him, to say the least. Always doubting his decisions, always making him feel like he cant do anything on his own without Mommy’s help, not trusting his judgement, etc. I get that this treatment comes from their immense love and from the fact that they treasure him as their only child, and want him to make the “right decisions”. But this behavior has created a rift in our relationship, and I dont know how it can be fixed.
I have honestly always tried very hard to show his mother love and respect. When she was sick and stressed at work, I delivered flowers to her home. I have always given her presents and cards for every holiday and birthday and mothers day. I offer to help with every single holiday or family gathering. And most of all, I treat her son like a king. That should matter to her.
But his mothers behavior about our relationship has always been really…odd, and hard to explain. One minute Im like the daughter she never had, and the next, Im the wench stealing her son away from her. One minute she takes me shopping, buying me clothes, and out to dinner, and wants a framed picture of me and BF together as a mothers day gift, and the next minute, shes pulling stuff like:
–when BF and I had been dating for 4 months, he was going to take me away to a bed and breakfast overnight as my birthday gift. She made him sit down with her, and told him that this was “extremely inappropriate” behavior and that she didn’t approve, and she wanted him to cancel. Result: he ended up cancelling our trip because he felt our relationship was too early on to be pissing her off like that. I always say now that was the biggest first mistake he could have made, because he failed to establish boundaries with her, and instead gave her power over our relationship.
–After we had been dating for 7 months, unfortunately, my father had a suicide attempt (and survived). My BF was there for me more solidly than I ever dreamed he could be. He was amazing. However, after staying with me for a couple days after it happened, he had to go back home and go back to work. I then noticed a change in him (when we were at the hospital, he was my rock, my anchor, telling me he would do whatever he needed to do to help while my father recovered..buy me groceries, pay a couple of my bills to take some stress of my shoulders, etc.) and he suddenly was texting me a little less, acting as though he cared a little less, and his answers became very sterile and “politically correct”…I remember one specific text that said “I understand how hard of a time this is for you, but as of right now going forward, Im going to take a hands off approach to this situation..of course Im still here for you but I think I need to let you just sort this out with your family.” This was extremely hurtful because he knows my family is horrible and I dont have any kind of support system with them, and it was just weird, because it was as though he flipped a switch. Result: I later found out after he went home and informed his parents what had happened, his mother coached him to send that text and then sat down with him, and asked him if he “loved me, or just liked me a lot”. And said if it was just still “like”, to break up with me immediately. He told her he was in love with me, and she dropped it after that.
–after graduating college, BF moved back home for two years to save as much money as possible before moving out. When he finally did move out on his own this past May, I found out for the couple of months leading up to the move, his mother was making remarks behind my back such as “You know ChicoryCreek is going to want to move in, right? Thats not the right choice.” and “Shes going to want you to give her a key…I would advise against that.” Result: At this point, BF was getting just as, if not more fed up with his mother for this behavior because our relationship was very strong at that point, and he didnt appreciate 1) her saying disrespectful things about me and 2) treating him like a kid who cant make his own decisions. We had already talked about both of those topics, and we had a plan that included me getting a key asap and moving in within the year. After a lot of urging and practically begging from me, he sat down with them and told them how much he loved them, appreciated them, etc., but he needed them to trust him and his decisions more and respect his relationship with me. Truth be told I still have resentment that I even had to ask him to do this in the first place.
–When BF and I officially decided it was time for me to start job searching and move in when I secured a job, we knew we would have to tell his parents. We actually sat down for an hour and a half trying to decide the best way to talk about it with them so we didn’t hurt their feelings or make them feel like we were making a rash decision. Bottom line: we put a lot of thought into it. We invited them for dinner, and told them. They ACTED perfectly fine about it, but come the next morning he opened his email to see a long rant-y message from his mother, talking about how hurt she was that we just “sprung it on her with no warning”, asked him why *I* had to be there, I had no business being there, accused him of only bringing me along so he could look to me for answers, and insisted it should have been just the three of them. Result: I was LIVID, to say the least. I felt like I had continually tried so hard to earn this womans respect for myself and our relationship, and here she was doing this kind of thing again. Me and BF fought about it for roughly a week, because I felt like he should have handled this behavior sooner, and more firm, and put a stop to it a while ago, letting her know it was unnacceptable, but he never really did. I was actually SO mad and fed up with his lack of action, I ended up calling her myself. I emphasized how much I respected her, and I spoke softly, calmly, and didnt use any kind of accusatory language. I tried explaining that her bahvior was putting a strain on us, and she literally just flipped out. Wouldn’t let me get a sentence out without interrupting, kept repeating things like HE IS MY SON AND I ALWAYS KNOW WHATS BEST, and ended the call by saying “Im not listening to another word you have to say. I need to talk to my husband and son.” and hung up on me. I proceeded to flip out on my BF, because I was so upset that it had come to this because of his lack of action. He called her the next day and told me that he was firm with her and stuck up to her and explained to her she needed to respect me, I wasnt going anywhere, etc. I appreciated him doing this but honestly, due to past experiences of him never being firm, I still to this day have a really hard time believing he actually said what he claims he did.
–A few weeks ago, his parents invited the both of us out to dinner because apparently she told him she would like for us to smooth things out so nothing is awkward over the holidays. We were out for about two hours and everything was “pleasant”, but there was no mind paid to me whatsoever. I didnt get asked a “how are you”, I didnt get asked about how my job search was going, how my dad was, or ANYTHING about myself, for that matter. We spent the whole time talking about my BF and happenings in their lives..I was more or less ignored. Result: BF seemed in really high spirits after the dinner and we had more plans for the rest of the night and I didn’t want to put a damper on anything so I didn’t bring anything up then, but the next day I mentioned how hurt I was over being ignored, because I went into the dinner wanting to put the past behind us. He actually had not even noticed that I was ignored. He said now that I brought it up, looking back, he sees it clearly, but at the time he didn’t even notice. That hurt a lot, and he never said anything to his parents about it.
This subject matter got brought up again last night when I informed my BF I would have to work on all the holidays this year, and I joked “Your mom’s going to love that. It can be just the three of you again!” He proceeded to act pissy for about 5 minutes, and then decided to look at me and question why I felt the need to say something like that. He said he thought we were going to put everything behind us and it sounded like I was still hanging on to resentment, and asked me to stop.
I was really, really mad. BF has to be literally BEGGED by me to stand up for me and my honor, but the second anytime I make a slightly off color remark about his mother, he turns into Mr Big Balls and suddenly has the confidence to tell me whats what. I told him that I honestly wouldnt be taking him seriously because he has yet to show me he can stand up to his mother, and Im not allowing him to save it all for me. He feigned confusion, and I told him, he couldnt be letting his mother get away with anything and everything but make me act like nothings wrong. The rest of the night was uncomfortable to say the least, and we sat there in silence for about two hours watching tv with a puss on his face. He didnt kiss me or say goodbye when he left for work this morning.
I’m really at the end of my rope here. I dont get whats so hard about him telling his mother to knock it off. I dont want him to freak out on her and disrespect her or hurt her, but if he ever wants this kind of stuff to stop, its his responsibility to put an end to it. And he just doesnt understand that (or doesnt want to). What I REALLY want to say is, “Be a MAN. Because men dont let their mothers push their girlfriends around.” But I’m holding that back because I dont want to get disrespectful with him. I just wish he would get the courage to stop all of this, because the idea of dealing with her BS for the rest of my life makes me sick.