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My Boyfriends Mum is Ruining our Relationship and making me depressed.

Community Member
I apologise if this is a long one, but I desperately need advice.
So I've been dating this amazing guy for just over two years. He has helped me in many ways with my anxiety/depression, he knew about it from the beginning and has helped me get out of my shell and do many things I was never able to do. Over-all I've been a lot happier. Before dating him I had a year off working (we're both 23) where I would literally not leave the house because of my anxiety. I had previously been sexually assaulted by an ex, so he also knew to take a lot of things slower than normal which he was very respectful in.
Also at the beginning of our relationship, his brother and his brother's girlfriend were living at his parents house with him. She had moved States to be with him. His Mum spend majority of her time gossiping to me about his brothers girlfriend. She was always comparing her and me together, even the gifts that we had given her sons.. the way we acted, everything. Majority of the time, she was praising me and putting her down. I remember one time I was over at their house and the girlfriend had run down the stairs crying and begged us to take her shopping with us so she would be able to leave the house. His mum had just found out they were moving States and the mum had blamed her for taking away her son and ruining their relationship. Fast-foward 6 months, they've moved out and now they are the golden children in his mums eyes. She has "fixed" her relationship with the gf and all is good.
Except now I am the hated girlfriend. She has said some horrible things, always makes her son choose her over me. She complains when we spend time together saying that her son "prioritises" me over her. Yesterday was his birthday and she spent the whole night complaining that he had spent some of the day with me and not her. She made a comment that if we were to get married and have children she would be pissed off but if her other son and his gf would she would be fine about it. We both have full time jobs, but her son and other girlfriend are on casual work.. and the gf is currently un-employed.
Im at breaking point, there are so many stories i could share about her horrid-ness but this would be an essay (which it almost is) We have plans to move out soon but we can't afford it. There is an option for him to move into my parents house but we can't sleep in the same bed...
Please help
4 Replies 4

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Missrogue~

Unfortunately there are some parents who simply cannot come to terms with the fact that their children grow up and move on to having their own lives. They seem to be incapable of a stable relationship with their offspring's partner. My own parents did not want me to get married, and put all sorts of obstacles in the way, as well as being rude and cruel to her.

I guess you may well have started to have suspicions when your partner's mother badmouthed the other girlfriend in front of you. Now she is out of reach so you have become the target.

Being put down and blamed is a terribly destructive thing, and any person, no matter how sensible, can start to feel most unhappy and feel a loss of control. From what you say I can't see things improving long-term.

It is bad for both you and your partner to have to try to deal with this corrosive wedge constantly put between you, and I wonder if you would think it so bad to go to your parent's place for a while? Even if it did mean separate beds. At least that way you could be sure your partner is putting you first before his mother - something that realy needs to happen for a stable secure relationship.

Being driven to near breaking point by other person is a horrible away to live, apart from moving out do you see any other remedies?


Community Member
Thank you for your reply! Im sorry I didn't respond right away.
Well, It's been over 6 months now and nothing has changed.
We haven't moved out and for a while things were going ok with his mum. It seems to go in waves, one week she will be lovely and the week after she will be the devil. This week she didn't realise that I was on speaker phone with her son and she made a comment saying that "I would never want to work for (insert my name) she would be a bitchy selfish boss, I'd much rather work for a man any day" (im a store manager) She then blatantly lied and quoted me saying i had said "im the boss, I can do what I want".
She has put forward the notion that when they sell their house and buy new that they would buy one with a granny flat attached so their son could live in it. Apparently according to my partner the conversation was a nice one stating that I was welcome as well.
When that was brought up in the same phone conversation my partner said "when you thinking of buying the house for (my name) and i to move in to?" (mainly to change the convo) she then said "has nothing to do with (my name), its for you" Basically saying that she doesn't want me there at all. It's just so she can keep her claws on her son.
I feel like the fact im in the picture i'm building a wedge between them, my partner thinks I over-react when I start crying about the things she has said, like the ones above. He thinks she doesn't mean them, but i know she does.
My brother has offered us to move into his house for a reasonable price but my partner doesn't want to do it saying that he wants to get his career job sorted before we move out. The thing is we have been waiting 2 years to move out and it's getting harder and harder to deal with the devil everyday.

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi missrogue

Even before I got to your comment 'It's just so she can keep her claws on her son', I was thinking this sounds like a 'lioness and her cub' scenario: Eliminate the threat.

Sounds like this woman is not adapting with her son. What I mean by this is as her son matures and becomes more independent, she is not maturing and becoming more independent (from him). He obviously represents something important in her life, something she's not willing to let go of. If he represents purpose (say, a reason for living), security, love, a sense of value etc, you can understand her intense need to keep those claws out. Whilst lioness' let their cubs wander, learn and grow, unfortunately human mothers are not as simplistic in their role.

Do you think, deep down, she's a fairly insecure person? Without me wanting to pry too much, is it possible she's in a fairly loveless marriage, which could explain why she looks to her son/s to give her the love she craves (through attention, time and undivided loyalty)? There could be a number of reasons for her behaviour. Is it possible to try to understand where she's coming from, from a psychological point of view. If you do not care for her in any way, it could simply become a matter of 'Know thy enemy'.

Seeing relationships are typically based on how we relate to people, are you able to pinpoint why she's relating to you differently at different times? For example, is she relating to you differently when there's talk of you moving out? Could she be seeing you as someone who represents jeopardising her sense of security? When there's talk of starting a family, I imagine things would be even worse. Her cub is talking about leaving the pride, to start his own. Perhaps finding ways to feed her sense of security might make things a little easier for you - mentioning the important roles and connections she will have in the future. It can become about looking forward to what she can gain as opposed to her looking at what she has to lose.

When it comes to you and your partner, I believe it would pay for you to both begin talking about solid plans such as timelines for moving out, career goals etc. You also need definite things to look forward to in life.

Deeply fearful people can display some pretty intense behaviours. If your partner is aware of his mum's fears (if this is the case), it would pay for him to address them constructively, serving all involved. Enabling behaviour serves no one.

Take care of yourself missrogue

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Missrogue~

Welcome back, and I'm sorry to hear things have not improved. sometimes a parent will see any other person as a threat to their relationship with their offspring and it comes out as poison. I'm sure I'm not telling you anything new.

It is bad all round, you are constantly upset and wondering what will happen next - you are not even living in a place you can regard as 'home', just an intruder in an existing family setup.

It is bad for your partner, who has to make peace to smooth over his mother's actions. Actually I doubt he is blind to the situation, just - to put it unkindly - fence sitting.

It's not even that good for his mother, who is imagining she is being cut out all the time and is constantly making things worse, so no peace for her either.

Really speaking your partner needs to make a firm choice in your favor, move to make you feel secure and loved, and ensure that you always feel your are first in his affections - that is what a partner does, not out of duty or being coerced, but from simple affection.

I had to do it, my parents disproved of my choice of a bride and disinherited me as a result. I could have tried to appease them, but to what point? It was the best thing I ever did, made me grow up, take responsibility and learn to really support a loved one.

I'm not saying it would be easy for your partner, flying in the face of all that childhood relationship, nor am I saying he should sever contact with his mother, just take every step to look after you. and live with you in harmony

Sorry to be so blunt, but I can't see any half measures that will work out well.