His mother is honestly our only serious problem and he refuses to fix it…

posted 3 years ago in Family
Post # 3
Member
1864 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

Oh man… she sounds tough and very irritating. I don’t understand why some mothers have this twisted notion in their minds that they are losing their son to “another woman”… If I was a mother and had a boy, I would love knowing that he found a great girl that loves him and will take care of him.

If this guy is someone you truly love and see yourself marrying someday, you need to make it crystal clear to him that you will not tolerate him not sticking up for you. Otherwise, I personally would end it. I want to know that my SO will stick up for me regardless of whether I ask him to or not. I want to feel welcomed into a family that I would be marrying into.

I actually dated a “mama’s boy” once. He had some similar traits to what you wrote about. Early into dating, we were supposed to go to a ballgame in the afternoon and then a wedding one in the evening on a Saturday. Since his mom thought it was dumb of us to go to a game and then have to go home and get ready for a wedding, that we were taking her to with us because she was also invited and apparently can’t just drive her own car(!), he said he didn’t want to go to the game anymore. I was like, what? Not really sure why 1) his mom cares what WE do and 2) he listened! 

Needless to say that relationship didn’t last. It was ALWAYS his parent’s opinion on things before mine. At one point, we were going house hunting. Well, he brought his father along with us without even asking me if it was okay. He just arrives with his dad and I’m thinking WTF. Then his dad says, “Hope you don’t mind that I came along.. haha”. I wanted to say, “What difference would it make, you’re already here”, but I bit my tongue. Then his father was commenting about every place more than me, and my ex was more interested in what his dad had to say about the homes. In fact, there was a town house that his father and him really liked, but I didn’t because even though it was nice on the inside, I didn’t like the fact that it was near a busy street because I’m thinking of future kids… My ex didn’t care and still thought we should put an offer on the house days later. I broke up with him shortly after that because I realized that mommy and daddy will always be first and I wasn’t about to deal with that for the rest of my life. I couldn’t even imagine how it would be with them when they became grandparents to our kids, because there’s no way in hell I would’ve let them interfere in that department and I just saw endless fights with my ex and I in the future.  

I don’t know what to tell you. I don’t like telling other people what decisions they should make in their relationship, but I personally wouldn’t be able to deal with a situation like yours. My ex was the only son in a family of two and his sister lived her own life away from them, which I began to realize was probably intentional, so it was literally always my ex and his overbearing mom and dad.

I’m sorry you’re going through this. It’s tough and very frustrating, I know. But you have to put your happiness first, and think about the future. I met my wonderful fiance 6 months after breaking up with my ex and I can happily say that he is nothing like him. 

Post # 4
Member
1500 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@ChicoryCreek:  I’m so sorry to hear about this, you guys sound like such a cool couple and so supportive of each other. 

 

This is a case of needing to cut the apron strings. If this is already happening in the relationship, if he is ultimately serious about you guys long-term, he needs to put you ahead of his parents.

 

I learned this the hard way – I was the one who couldn’t make the decision to stand up for my husband or respect my parents’ wishes. Ultimately, my husband (while we were engaged) made it very clear that in order to be with him, we had to create a NEW family where he and I were the central unit, and my parents were secondary to that.

 

It was hard because he also had to constantly remind me of instances where my parents were not being respectful.

 

I think you need to remind your BF more frequently and more often when you are hurt. Don’t hold it in, be proactive about discussing this and also make the long-term implication clear – if he does not honor you above his parents, you cannot stay  in this relationship. It sounds like you don’t want to push him, but the more you delay this, the less he will see  this as a problem he has to solve. It is definitely your right to ask to be respected by his parents and ask for him to stand up for you. If he is not willing to follow through, then you also need to think seriously if this is the relationship you want. A marriage ultimately involves his family as well, and bad family relationships have broken many an engagement.

Post # 5
Member
9137 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

This is not something that will get better or go away after you get married.  Even the wedding will be a chance for her to wlak all over you and him to just sit back and watch it happen.  I recommend having a very clear and concise conversation telling him that you expect for him to stand up to his mother when it comes to you.  The next time she does something and he does nothing, point it out to him immediately to give him the chance to fix it.  If he does nothing then you know where you stand with him and that he will always side with his mother over you.  You don’t need or deserve that and you need to be prepared to leave him over it.

Post # 6
Member
13 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@ChicoryCreek:  Good Morning, ChicoryCreek.  I’m sorry you are going through this and you must feel very alone right now.  There are a lot of moving parts in your lives at this time and it can be very confusing and overwhelming.  You are job hunting – which goes hand in hand with at least a little stress about money. You just moved – which is very stressful in itself let alone mixing that with trying to get used to living with each other.  No matter how much you love someone, adapting to another person living in the same space takes time.  And you have your father’s situation.  So this issue w/ your BF and his mother is really coming at a bad time.  My suggestion is to just let this one issue sit for awhile.  Let it play out and see what happens.  I think his mother sees a power struggle here between you and her.  It probably bothers her that her son is now grown and doing his own thing without her.  She may feel he doesn’t NEED her anymore and is replacing her with you.   As an only child of what sounds like a dominant woman, I think it’s going to be hard for BF to go against her for awhile. If they are talking one-on-one, it will be very hard for him not to slip back into the role of the son speaking to his mother instead of maintaining the role of “grown man with a life of his own.”

Don’t get me wrong, he does need to be supportive of you and be a man at some point.  But for now, concentrate on finding that job and making a home together.  Keep your dignity. Don’t go overboard trying to win her over.  She needs to respect your place in his life.  Hopefully she will see that you are not going anywhere and you make her son happy and she will gradually and quietly let go.   Good luck!

Post # 7
Member
162 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

@ChicoryCreek:  You poor thing. I have had similar experiences with my FILs and to be honest the only thing that really made them come around was having FI tell them that if they didn’t quit it that they wouldn’t be a part of his life any more. That conversation was after we had dealt with so much drama and rudeness from them; after i got raped his dad constantly makes rape jokes while I’m around, his mum writing him a letter of “concern” for him which was basically a list of reasons he should break up with me (mainly we’re so worried about you, don’t you want to sleep with other people) and so many other ridiculous things. (We have a really good relationship, I am taking on a lot of the financial burden while we are studying and they know that, he has a HD average at uni, and is an all around lovely human being).

Initially he did take on some of what they were saying and we did have fights because I felt like I was stuck in the middle of this wierd resentment towards me, but we talked about those problems and sorted that. Then he would be polite and try and change the subject if they were rude about me when I wasn’t around.  

Finally after the letter from his mother (which came after we had been together for about seven years(?) and after we had been living together for years were already engaged. He sort of went crazy at them (normally he’s very level headed with them and won’t be confrontational) but he went on a big rant and told them they would have to be nice to me or they wouldn’t see him. 

 

The only advice I can give you is that the best things we did were openly talk about the issues with his parents and I guess make it into an us vs. them situation so we were always on the same side of arguments or what have you. Also his big go at them has helped, they’re really good with me now and we get along very well. 

Post # 8
Member
919 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@ChicoryCreek:  It’s really hard to stand up to our parents when they’re trashing or seem to be sabotaging things with our SO’s. That said, I do get very frustrated when mine lets his mom get away with so many bad things that she does. While he’s stood up to her a few times, I’m honestly not satisfied with everything because she still says hurtful things.

Try to remember though that when people trash you, it’s almost never personal. I mean it in the sense that they are probably just upset about something in their own life so they lash out at others and are mean. Maybe she doesn’t feel as important to her son anymore. That’s her problem. Some moms, my MIL included, want so many things from their sons to the point where the sons’ happiness isn’t a priority anymore. Hopefully your SO will realize this because ultimately it is his mom and he needs to lay down the boundaries.

Post # 9
Member
4513 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Yikes! If she’s like this now can you imagine how it’ll be when she’s your MIL or grandmother to your babies? Ahh!

I think you need to have a serious discussion with your BF about this. This woman isn’t going to back off on her own, she needs to hear it directly from her son. ILs can really put a wedge in relationships if allowed. I would shut it down now while you’re still ahead.

I feel like you really laid out a lot of specific scenarios with good detail. Honestly I would go over all of these with your BF, that way you have concrete examples to support your point instead of just emotions. I would make it clear that you need his support. That it isn’t a matter of choosing between his mother or his GF, but a matter of setting appropriate boundaries. At 25-yrs-old no one’s parents should be meddling in their relationship to that extent.

Post # 10
Member
965 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

This is a huge warning sign. If you think she is bad now, just wait. She will have an opinion (and possibly a say?) on large financial decisions, your wedding, and your kids. When you and SO get married (if you get married) it needs to be you and him first. If he can’t do that, I would walk away.

That being said, it doesn’t sound like things are too far gone. I know you said you can talk to him, and you bring these things up, but make a plan. I know you feel like you are trying so hard and he is giving nothing in return, and only you can say when enough is enough.

Good luck!

Post # 11
Member
258 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

One of the things that my mom told me and I have found to be true is that even when children are grown, when they go home the immediately revert back in to their childhood roles.  Your bf’s role in his family was probably to do what he was told so that he won’t upset his mom. She has a stranglehold on the family and she likes it that way.

 

This is not about you. It is about his relationship with his mother. He has to be the one to set boundaries, and unfortunately you can’t do that for him. He will have to be the one to stand up to his mom. Once the boundaries are set, things might get a little better, but keep in mind that she will most likely always blame you for the change in relationship with her son.

 

it sucks, majorly. But it happens all the time. He has to decide to stand up, and until he does that, nothing will change.

Post # 12
Member
11668 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@ChicoryCreek:  If his relationship with his family is something you cannot deal with for the rest of your life, then you need to make the decision to leave. While I don’t think the relationship is the healthiest, it isn’t your place to make him change it if he doesn’t want to.  And honestly, sometimes these situations cannot be changed.  You’re in for a lifetime of frustration and hurt if you think things will change if you get married.

Post # 13
Member
1259 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

This is such a tough situation. It seems like she is being so unreasonable. It doesn’t make sense that she is fine one minute, then not fine the next. I respect the fact that she loves her son and family, but I think you’re right and she needs to let him go a little.

I think you have been handling it pretty well so far. You have tried to be respectful and you and your boyfriend have made smart choices as to how to handle it (sitting them down to discuss things etc).

Its hard to give advice in this situation. You have to be careful because it is his Mom and he obviously loves her, even when she is being difficult. As much as you want him to stick up for himself, you and your relationship… you may push him away if you push to hard. You don’t want him to resent you either. It sounds like he really loves you. He maybe has not made the best decisions through all this but you have to remember… this is his family. He still cares for you, he is just in a really bad place. I agree that this really isn’t about you, it is between him and his mother and I really think that no matter who he is dating, she would be acting this way with anyone. You have not done anything wrong, nothing to make her fear her son is not happy or loved. She may feel like she is losing him. This is something they will have to work out.

I hope you are all able to work things out.

Post # 14
Member
4760 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

@MrsWBS:  +1

I had to dump a momma’s boy too.  He is clearly choosing his mother, so you just gotta let him have her.  

Sorry you have a huge baby who needs his mommy on your hands, but you’re not his mommy.

I think it is a red flag when a guy can stand up to you but not his mother.  I couldn’t deal with this either.  

Post # 15
Member
1202 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

Your concerns are valid, I just want to let you know what it’s like from the other side.

I come from a very close, protective family.  I’m older than your BF, but I still rely on my parents’ advice from time to time because I respect their wisdom and life experience. When me and SO were first talking about marriage, we drove 6 hours to introduce him to my parents because they have a big place in my life.  They asked politely about his work and his family, but when he left, they gave me the third degree.  How much money did he make, what kind of family is he from, what kind of car did he drive, what were his religious views, did he own property, what did he think about kids, etc.  I was really insulted at first, but I knew it was coming from a place of love.  My parents have been married over 40 years, and they told me how little things can become huge stressors in a marriage.      

As a result, we pushed back our wedding timeline.  People might think I’m weak or a daddy’s girl for doing it, I don’t care, it was a smart move.  Me and SO resolved issues that would have been painful to talk about while engaged.  As we get closer to marriage, I know it’s important to distance myself from my parents’ advice, but they’ve always been there for me and I owe them so much. 

Post # 16
Member
1646 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

FI’s mom can be like this and is does NOT go away. She has improved, due to him having to basically have breaking points with her. He tends to get overwhelmed about “being in the middle.”  This term, I hate! He is NOT in the middle. He is with me. He has gotten better with this as well. It’s a MAJOR work in progress and I know that her tendencies will never completely go away- but he is a big part of that as well. It only goes as far as you tolerate it. We have ironed out a lot.

 

My parents are the total opposite. They do not get involved in matters they believe should be between FI and I. They do not push anything on us, question anything. They have trust in both of us and that means the world to me.

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