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Boyfriend & His Relationship with His Mom

by Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I have been dating my boyfriend for about 1 year now. I moved from Arizona to Colorado to be with him. HE was living with his Mom and so I moved in as well. He paid her rent for his room and he did things for her around the house. When I moved in she also charged me for rent for sharing HIS Room. At first we got along but as time went on I began to notice things. She would constantly text him while we were just in the room next to her, she would constantly yell out his name for him to come… and just ask things of him. HE isn’t working as he is on disability and had been in jail. Well soon he got into some trouble again and his mom called the police on him and my mom and I had to bail him out ..his mom wouldn’t and sat around saying how glad she was he in jail. Now that he is out she is back to the same..this time we don’t live there but she is always asking him to do this and that and talking badly of me. They text constantly and even sometimes when he and I are talking he will text her. and it’s weird stuff..like how handsome her son is and calls him her baby and sends him emoji’s like sunshines and things. I find it strange how he is always needing to go see her and will find any excuse to do so. While he was living with her he gave her all his money and she gave it out to him accordingly., I came along and I pointed out how he needs to be independent.. he is 48 years old!!!! so he did listen to me on that. But I can’t seem to understand this relationship with his mom. She isn’t very good to him and he is allows her to be so disrespectful to me. I am getting tired of it.

I don’t have enough information to appropriately assess their relationship but one thing is certain: if you decide to stay in this relationship, you will have to learn to live with his relationship with his mother.

You should never try to change people; he is who he is and his relationship with his mother is as you see it. Like the famous poet and writer Maya Angelou once said “when people show you who they are, believe them.”

In all likelihood, the way they behave together has always been that way and will always be that way. He has to achieve independence on his own; you cannot do it for him. You’re trying to change him and make him more independent is destined for failure.

Naturally, your attempts to change him are upsetting his mother. From your perspective you’re trying to improve his life but that’s likely not how she sees it. From her perspective, she might see you as a meddling intruder, someone who is trying to change her relationship with her son, to take him away from her. To her, you are a negative force in this life. Unless both she and her son see their relationship dynamic as problematic and agree to intensive family therapy to change that dynamic, it’s unlikely to ever change.

Getting to know if someone is a match for you is the purpose of dating. If you don’t like their relationship and do not want to deal with it, then you should leave. You might consider consulting a therapist about this dilemma. They specialize in helping people have healthy and satisfactory relationships. In addition, it is always important to weigh the pros and cons of any major decision. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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