My boyfriend is a mama’s boy and his mom is the third wheel in our relationship. She’s always making these crazy demands of him and he feels obligated because she is his mother. I don’t know if she just doesn’t like me or is afraid of losing him, etc. What can I do? It’s stressing both of us out!
What She Said:
In a nutshell, be supportive of your boyfriend without saying a disparaging word about his mother. It’s similar to that slippery slope of slagging on a friend’s bad boyfriend. If they break up, she might try to place the blame on you for being vocal about his behavior. If they stay together, you’re the jerk that talked s*@t about her man. It’s not fair, but this one has never been a win/win situation.
Stand Up For Your Man
The trick here is to let your boyfriend know that you’re on his side. Let him vent, if he so chooses. You want him to know that he can trust you and that you’re there to help as much as you can. On the flip side, the unhealthy dynamic is between the two of them so, whatever you do, don’t get in the middle.
A trained therapist or mediator might be able to fix things; you will not. Plus, you could risk putting your relationship in jeopardy – especially if this is someone you’d consider getting married. You don’t want to walk down the aisle hauling a bunch of baggage with your potential mother-in-law before you’ve even cut the cake.
Where To Draw The Line
Do what you can to help point out healthy boundaries to your beau. He can still talk to his mom without accepting the guilt trips. He should also learn the importance of separating his mood from his interactions with mom. He can’t control his mother, but he can control how he reacts to her.
It sounds like your boyfriend would benefit from individual counseling in order to gain some additional coping skills. These two have been emotionally intertwined for a while and he might need someone detached from the situation to help him sort it out.
The bond between the two of you should be a source of strength for him. Let him know that you love him and gently point out that you’re his partner – you’re one of the bright spots in his life, not the dumping ground for ancillary stress.
What He Said:
That poor, poor bastard. He’s caught in between the two most important women in his life, and his world is being yanked in different directions. He’s probably stressed because he feels screwed no matter what he does. Not the kind of three way most men look forward to.
Is His Mom To Blame?
She may not like you, but probably it’s not about you, it’s about her and cutting the cord. It’s long over due, but she can’t pull the trigger. He’s not a baby anymore and he doesn’t really need her like he did when he was five. The baby bird has flown the nest and that’s really hard for her. She’s aware, but she’s been hellbent on preventing this moment for years, probably.
Then you show up. IF you and your man are committed, you will be in his life for a long time, and more importantly, you’ve bumped her down the totem pole. You are the most important woman in his life now and that’s not so hot with her. And she’s pissed.
Your Man Is Going To Have To Man Up
Basically your man is going to have to man up and lay down the law with her. He probably already knows this and he knows she’s not going to take it well. It will be nasty and painful, but hopefully she’ll get over it and return to normal soon.