Originally created 05/11/04

Problem with mother must be confronted



THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: Me and my boyfriend have been together for over a year now. I love him to death and he loves me back, but he has to sneak to see me and hang out with me because of his mother. He won't stand up to her; he has no freedom. He can't even talk on the phone sometimes. What can I do? His mother is ruining everything I've made this relationship to be.

HERE'S WHAT YOU HAD TO SAY:

I know he loves you and everything, but when you step into a family relationship, that's a whole different situation. ... You cannot interfere with him and his mother.

I think that you should go meet his mother and tell her how you feel about your relationship. Tell her that he is old enough to have some freedom - he's growing up to be a man, at least let him go places, have phone calls. He should be able to go out on dates with his girlfriend.

XTREME REPORTER KAMILLE BOSTICK SAYS: What's the problem here? Is it that his mother doesn't like you, or is it that she is so controlling of him that he can't have a life (and love) of his own?

If it's the former, you should try to see why his mom doesn't like you.

Maybe she just has you pegged all wrong and once you meet her, she'll be able to see you as an asset to her son's life instead of a liability.

Invite her out to lunch one day or have him invite you over for dinner one night so you can work on her impression of you. Be respectful, be courteous but most importantly, be yourself. After she sees how you really are and how well you treat her son, she should allow you two more of a chance.

If your boyfriend's mother is controlling, there's little you can do except talk to him about how his situation is ruining your relationship.

It's also important to tell him that you feel you are making all the sacrifices and doing all the work that's keeping you two together.

Explain to him that when it comes to being a couple, both people are supposed to be helping. Tell him that you aren't trying to make him choose as much as you are trying to make him respect your relationship and your feelings.

Regardless of how mad his mother's rule makes you, you can't put her in check. To do so would risk his turning on you for upsetting her.

It's on your boyfriend to stand up for himself and say to his mom that he wants some freedom, that he wants some privacy, that he wants to be with you.

If he can't do it or won't do it, then that says something about how much he values what you two have.

There are few things worse than trying to be with someone who is unavailable (be that because of parental, emotional, or physical restraints). You have the choice to be patient and hope that this will turn around.

You also have the choice to be practical and realize that this is probably how things are going to stay because most people prefer the comfort of habit to the challenge of change. Where does your boyfriend fall in the scheme of things?

Confront your boyfriend about this. Ask him to speak to his mom about her rules and be ready to follow through with whatever comes afterward.

Next week's problem: Me and this girl have been friends for a very long time and she has constantly bugged me about dating this guy. But when she went on a trip she began to flirt with him and act like she really liked him herself in front of my face. Should I act as if it never happened? Do you have any advice for this 18-year-old Augusta girl? Use the form below to submit your reply or call the Advice Line voice mailbox at 823-3358. You'll have one minute to reply.

Got a problem? Use the form below to tell us about it or call the Advice Line voice mailbox at 823-3358. You'll have one minute to give us your situation. Please speak clearly and state your age and the town you live in.

You can also e-mail your problems to kamille.bostick@augustachronicle.com. Put "Advice Line" in the subject line. Remember to include your age and hometown. All e-mail addresses will be kept confidential. Questions may be condensed for space.