Mommie Weirdest

17 Feb

Dear LetterBalm: My boyfriend and I have been together for two years and have a solid relationship. Except for his mother. She’s begun doing some intrusive and obnoxious things. Several months ago, she got a new cellphone and began texting me countless times a day (when I’m at home, at work, etc.) with unimportant texts. She calls my apartment several times during the evening for mindless stuff – and she gets angry if I let her go to voicemail or shut off my phone. Every time I go on a business trip, she calls my parents to find out if I’m O.K. and accuses me of cheating on my boyfriend on the road. She tells him that he and I should break up because I’m not good enough for him. Last month at my boyfriend’s birthday dinner, she announced that after he and I get married (we aren’t even at engagement yet), every Christmas and Thanksgiving must be spent at her house. My boyfriend and I want to be together always, but his mother’s behavior is putting me off. I don’t want a mother-in-law like this.

–Interloper Girlfriend

Absolutely, you don’t want a mother-in-law like this. What does your boyfriend say about his mother’s behavior towards you? You assert you have a “solid relationship.” Well, where’s the evidence? Ms. L.B. believes your beloved should be falling all over himself to tell his mother that her actions are unacceptable – not only involving you, but your parents and co-workers. You might want to raise questions: Has your boyfriend’s mom always behaved like this? If her bizarre conduct is something new, might this indicate a medical or psychological problem? Has she undergone any recent stress or change – a loss, a financial reversal, being fired from a job, sickness – that might be having a negative effect on her? Consider all this carefully and think about what you will say to your boyfriend. Sit with him when the two of you are alone and your phones shut off. You need to get to the bottom of this. If he can’t or won’t speak up, you have to decide whether you can live with his mother’s meddling because she’ll be the third person in your marriage:

Darling, let’s talk about your mom. You know I care about her and love her energy and intelligence, but you must admit she’s been acting bizarrely in the past year. She’s interfering in my life and trying to run things in all kinds of unacceptable ways. Do you think she might have a medical or psychological problem? Should you talk with your siblings about the best way to get her to her doctor for an evaluation? In any case, honey, I must tell you I’m disappointed you aren’t defending me to your mom and fighting for me. If she continues to intrude, we’ll have a big problem in our relationship and may not be able to continue, which would be horrible. I don’t want to lose what we have, and I think you agree. But your mother has to back off. What do you think we should do?

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