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Is it my boyfriend that’s annoying me or his mum?
I'm having a lot of anxiety about my relationship with my boyfriend lately. We've been together for more than 5 years now and despite the usual ups and downs, things have been pretty great overall. Lately though I've been finding myself getting really annoyed every time I go to visit him. He lives with his parents (And has done for our entire relationship except for a 6 month period we rented together - That's another story) and is currently waiting for his own house to finish being built (hopefully end of this year/start of next year).
So each time I go to visit him, I always end up getting really annoyed at his Mum (she drives me insane) for multiple reasons. But now it's like I'm getting annoyed at him as well, because he doesn't seem to see the issue his Mum is causing me, and I guess it's making me feel hurt. I'm starting to get so fed up with it that I don't want to be there anymore. But I'm having trouble convincing myself (and my anxiety) that it's just from the stress his Mum is causing me, and not our actual relationship.
When we're on our own or away from his parents, things are usually pretty great. I suffer major anxiety and depression, and that is bound to get me down occasionally, but otherwise our relationship seems fine. I'm just not sure what to do in the mean time? I want to see my partner, but I hate spending the entire time being annoyed at him and his Mum!!
I asked for some time with JUST us before I went and visited last time, to which he said sure, we could do something by ourselves. But we barely got half a day before we were interrupted by a list of jobs his Mum wanted help with. Now I am happy to help, but we've been helping out EVERY weekend I'm up there (I work away on a mine so I only get to see my partner every 2nd weekend or so, and I'm driving 3hrs after work on a Friday and leaving at 3am on a Monday to go back to work). I was really offended that he didn't see the problem with us not even getting one whole day to ourselves, and we tried to discuss it but it ended in an argument and I'm not sure he quite understood my feelings in the end.
Is this stress fixable? Is this something that is pointing towards the end of my relationship? Or do I just need to get things straight between his Mum and him and me and making time for us? Sorry if this is confusing, it's a long story and I tried to keep it short.
I do not think this is confusing, in fact I think it is a simple matter, though the solution may take grit, particularly by your BF.
From my point of view a successful relationship is built on many things, and one of the essentials is that each person loaves the other enough to want to take care of them -and they are the most important person in their lives. Each has to be able to rely upon the other.
(Yes I know kids are an exception)
This does not seem to be happening as much as it should. It would appear -from what you say, that you BF has a foot in each camp, and that simply does not work.
A loving parent will grant freedom -even if it hurts a lot, a selfish one will hang on. Relations between an offspring and a parent undergo a change when that offspring finds a mate. Does not mean there will not still be love there, but priorities have to change.
All I can suggest is to talk, yes I know you have, but maybe putting things in this way - you need and are entitled to be first, as he is with you, may not have been something you were prepared to say in the past. It may sound selfish, it's not, it simply the nature of a good relationship.
In my own past I had to stand totally against my parents in order to marry the person I loved. It made our relationship stronger and it lasted. Pity my folks were not more flexible.
What do you think?
Hello Maui, I don't see why this would be the reason to end your relaionship, but yes, I understand what you are saying because there are times when the mum has a strong attachment to her son, your BF and finds it difficult to let him go.
He then does what his mum tells him to do and that's why you are helping her out on the week ends, but I don't believe that's fair for you as you only get to see him every second w/e, but while you're driving back from the mines your mind will be turning over and thinking about what his mother is going to do, this isn't going to help you with your anxiety nor your depression.
I'm also concerned for you when you are working away from your BF, even when you are talking to him hoping his mother won't interrupt.
As his house will hopefully be completed at the end of the year, about 2 1/2 months away, have you made any decisions with him about the curtains, tiles, carpet and the colour of the paint for the walls etc. this should be done without his mother being involved.
Can I ask if he has the strength to do this with you only and without his mother's involvement because once his house has been finished then hopefully the two of you can decide on what you want, because a 5 year relationship is a strong one.
Thanks for your replies and your encouraging words - You made me feel a lot better about what I was feeling. I definitely need to talk more with my BF about what I'm feeling, and how I think he can help. I feel like you're right - He has a foot in each camp. I feel so much anger and resentment towards his Mum too because I feel like she's constantly trying to "one-up" me with my BF. Like constant little reminders that she is still the biggest female influence in his life. What's worse is I don't know what my BF thinks - Does he prefer listening to his Mum or me? Is that even a fair question to ask him? I don't want to make him 'choose' between me and his Mum.
But yes, maybe it's time I started saying "It's my turn to come first" which I definitely have NOT been during this year so far. As far as making decisions together, I've kind of being standing back a bit from his house decisions because I feel a bit like an outsider. He's not asking his Mum for opinions though, he does seem to prefer my opinion in that case which is definitely nice - I don't think I could handle coming second to her in everything!
I've decided to ask if he can make more of an effort to come down to where I stay every few weekends to give me a break from the travelling after work. I also feel like I'll be able to manage his Mum if it's in smaller doses. Otherwise I'm generally trying to avoid his parents' house. I'm going up this weekend but staying with friends instead of with him. This makes me sad, but I know I wouldn't enjoy it AT ALL if I was to stay with him and his parents again. It's safer for me to just wait it out until he has his own house. Maybe it will make him realise things have to change as well, if he realises I won't come to visit if it means having to see his Mum again??
Thanks again for your replies - This is a new experience for me and I don't particularly like the feelings it leaves with me.
Hello Maui, that's your strength beginning to show, if you stay at your friend's house then for him, love is stronger than staying with his mother.
Questions will be asked and he will realise either this time or the next time when you come down to see him.
He will be excited when his house is finished then you will both be free in a couple of months, maybe he can move in earlier if he can organise the tradesmen to suit him.
You won't be happy staying at his parent's house so it's a catch-22 situation, perhaps you can spend a night in a motel, that would be so romantic,
Let us know how you get on.
"I don't want to make him 'choose' between me and his Mum."
You are not, his mum is. Parents have to let go of the reins. This is a necessary but brave thing to do, becuse the have to trust that the love they have built up wiht their offspring throughout their lives life is strong enough that relations will not simply be severed.
His mum obviously either does not have that confidence or else is simply a controlling type personality. Either way it is - to be frank - her problem. When you think about it she should be looking after you, partly out of simple human decency, and partly to ensure her son has a happy life.
If your BF genuinely puts you first there will be no problem, and you will both have the confidence to treat his mother decently, though in moderation and with restraint.
Please do not feel guilty for wanting the natural and right place in his affections.
Hi again Croix and Geoff,
First of all thanks for your support - you don’t know what it means to me that I can get this off my chest here and have such strong, helpful responses.
So the weekend actually went really well. I found myself missing my boyfriend but when we spent time together it was so much nicer! He came to where I was staying and we went out and watched a movie and chilled together. It was such a relief not having his Mum there to annoy me. I also got to spend time with my friends which Amadeus me realise how much I’d been missing them too.
My boyfriend took it very well. I tried explaining as best I could how I felt about his mum and how I know it sucks but I can’t change how I’m feeling and I think it’s best if I remove myself from those situations wherever possible. It definitely made me feel lighter and happier! And after the weekend was up, I found myself missing my BFs company, which I haven’t felt in ages. So although it sucks missing him, at least I’ve gotten around the negative feelings I was associating with seeing him!!
His mum still proves to be problematic, as she is still an issue for my BF. In my opinion she is mentally unwell and is suffering some depression and anxiety and has been for a while. But I feel it’s not my place to step in, and my BF doesn’t think she will ever get better. He is so stressed about it because she acts depressed to the point of being suicidal, yet he doesn’t know how else he can help her. He already does WAY too much for her and his dad, going well out of his way. But he won’t suggest she gets help, and they all seem to kind of hope she will get better.
Confusing twist to the story I know, but it’s still stressing me because it’s stressing my BF and I hate that I’m not mentally strong enough myself to handle her, cause maybe I could help if I was well enough my self. But I know from experience I have to put my own mental health first here. I’ve given him beyond blues websites on how to have a conversation with people, and tried giving him some pointers and encouraged him to offer that support to his mum but the rest is out of my hands.
Sorry for the confusing post - it’s hard to keep this short and simple 😕
I don't think it uhave been easy telling your BF the truth, you are pretty impressive and I'm very glad it seems to have made things better.
I suspect you are right in thinking his mother will not magically come on side and be considerate. So there will always be pressure on your BF until he decides he wants you for his life.
If a person is in danger of taking their life, and it is not so immediate you ring 000 then there are several things to consider. No one person keeps another alive, it is a join effort between a medical team, persons in that person's life, and the person themselves. So competent medical help is a start, both short term to deal with the suicidal thoughts, and long term to deal with the underlying problems (maybe depression, I don't know).
Contingency plans are gold. Refer your BF to
The BeyondNow app there is a wonderful tool, and not what you might expect.
I could go on with measures, however I am not sure you post is the place to do it, your BF and his dad need to take steps to inform themselves. Your health comes here.
It is however something he, and his dad, have to try to deal with in a way that lets them have a balance in their lives, otherwise they may well get ill too.