- 1 year ago
- Wedding: June 2020
A really good friend of mine, Dennis, has a girlfriend (Leigh) who has very bad issues with her mom. Leigh is also a friend of mine, although I’m much closer with Dennis. I’m hoping to get to know her better and become closer soon, as she is moving to my town, and attending the same college as me in September. Dennis comes to me for advice on many things (which I love!), but this time Leigh is also reaching out to me through him (since she’s extremely shy about opening up to problems).
Basically, her mom is extremely controlling (always has been, and has been a problem for years now) and is trying to restrict Leigh’s independence as she moves away for college. Examples of this include:
– Encouraging Leigh to break up with Dennis for years, without any reasoning as to why outside of “I don’t like him”
– Telling Leigh where she’s allowed to work
– Not letting Leigh buy a car (which then restricts how much Leigh can see Dennis, where she can work, and overall freedom)
– Restricting what activities Leigh can be in so she doesn’t accidentally stress herself out too much
Now since most of this occurred in high school, and her dad’s an enabler, there’s not much Leigh could really do about it. Now that she’s gearing up to leave for college, she has more options, which of course means her mom is freaking out more and constantly trying to pull back the reins. Recently, her mom expressed how she wasn’t going to pay for Leigh’s college tuition, but doesn’t want her to get a job in fear she’ll get too stressed out. She also won’t allow Leigh to buy a car, despite the school being 200+ miles away from home, because Leigh can’t afford anything ‘reliable’, the family won’t pay for it because they’d go into debt, and Leigh should just ask her cousins (that she doesn’t know well) for rides back and forth.
After I gave my advice on the situation, Leigh had a sit down conversation with her parents, with Dennis present and giving me live updates, where she explained why she needed a car, and a job in the town she’s moving to for college. She also said while she respects her parents opinions, she is going to make her own decisions going forward and needs her parents to respect her opinion regarding her own life. Of course this didn’t go well, and according Dennis, the mom was guilt tripping, twisting words, and said word-for-word, “I can’t let you because I just don’t know how everything is going to work out.”
Dennis’s mom is even helping out in this situation, giving advice and support, because things are so bad, half of the time Leigh sees Dennis, she’s crying. I have given the approval of Leigh living at our house effective immediately, which gives her the opportunity to move much sooner, and get a job/car before the semester starts. Most of the jobs in town she could even bike to for the first few months to save up money.
I’m willingly, and happily involved in do whatever I can to help out Leigh. At this point, I just don’t know what advice to give, especially since I haven’t experienced such a relationship myself. Leigh has all the resources needed to move out as soon as she wants and never look back, but she’s absolutely terrified to do so, and doesn’t want to ruin her relationship with her mom, especially since it would restrict her ability to see her dad or little brother from now on. I don’t know how to encourage her, or how to support Dennis in encouraging her, to take the plunge and start cutting ties with her toxic mom.