I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for over three years. We’re talking about getting engaged. Everything would be perfect if it wasn’t for one thing: his mother.
His mother has emotional problems due to a rough life. This has led her to be very co-dependent and irrational at times. I am worried that once my boyfriend and I take the next step, she will expect us to help her out constantly, despite my objections at choices she has made that led to the situation she is currently in.
I have been taught that family is FAMILY. However, I ‘m not sure if I can stand taking care of a woman who doesn’t learn from her mistakes or respects her son’s desire to start a new life. My boyfriend and I argue about it, even though he says he will not let her run our lives. I’m not sure that when that time comes, he will be able to do that.
If I can’t fully commit to taking care of his mother, is it best to just break off the relationship?
Frustrated Future Daughter-in-law
You are not responsible for his mother. She will have to stand on her own two feet. You be kind, try to be understanding, keep your distance. If there is not good feelings, try to be as civil as possible. You are not responsible for taking care of his mother. If there is no other family other than your husband, it is too bad. She will have to realize that she is responsible for herself. There is always medicare, or she can go to the City of Hope.
In many ways, this is in your husband’s hands. He is the one who has the relationship with his mother and he needs to make a choice about how he wants to move forward. If he does not understand your feelings, make them clear to him. If he continues to make excuses for her, then you get to make a decision about how this will impact your relationship. Perhaps you can come to a compromise? Only you know how important this issue is to you.
If your husband is resigned to bailing his mother out and you simply cannot live that way, then you have a problem. But it is better if you figure these things out in the beginning of a relationship. This is the first of many decisions you will make together and it is important that both people hear each other and agree to act as a team.
Good luck to you.