How to Stop Your Boyfriend’s Mother From Ruining Your Relationship

Is his mom causing problems in your relationship? Here are a few tips for dealing with your boyfriend’s mother – and how to stop her from ruining your relationship.

I was inspired to write this by a reader who loves her boyfriend, but is struggling with his family members. “My boyfriend’s mother controls everything he does, and he does exactly what she says,” says Olive in response to 7 Ways to Know if Your Relationship is Worth Fighting For. “His sisters and brothers are also controlling him, and he just sits back and follows orders. This has put a huge strain on our relationship and he doesn’t listen to how I feel, no matter how many times I tell him. We are now spending our time together discussing how we will get through the family issues, rather than focusing on us and having quality time. I just want to get out of the relationship, but I love him so much. It hurts to think I might have to leave him because of his mother.”

The first thing to remember when your boyfriend’s mom is interfering with your relationship is that she won’t go away. She is a huge part of your boyfriend’s life, and she always will be. Your boyfriend doesn’t see his mother the way you do, and you can’t see her the way your boyfriend does. They have a special, unique connection that you must respect – even if you think their relationship is unhealthy, controlling, or even destructive.

Focus on your relationship with your boyfriend, not his relationship with his mom. All couples have external problems that affect their relationship, and all healthy couples find ways to work through those problems.

Your main focus should not be on your boyfriend’s mom, or his relationship with his mother. Your focus must be on the only thing you have control over: you.

4 Tips for Coping With Your Boyfriend’s Mother

“Families aren’t easy to join. They’re like an exclusive country club where membership makes impossible demands and the dues for an outsider are exorbitant.” ~ Erma Bombeck, Family: The Ties that Bind … And Gag!

Families create a whole different dynamic when it comes to romantic relationships, especially when an “outsider” like you has come into the picture. You may see your boyfriend’s family as the outsider; they probably see you as the outsider. Your boyfriend’s mother has a whole different perspective on your relationship, and she probably doesn’t think anything needs to change!

Remember this when you’re reading through my tips on how to stop your boyfriend’s mother from ruining your relationship: your boyfriend’s mother doesn’t feel the need to change what she’s doing.

1. Know that you will never change your boyfriend’s mother

If you’ve ever tried to break a habit or change something about yourself, you know how hard it is. There are things about me that I’d love to change – I want to lighten up, be more accepting of myself, be less critical of my husband, and say what I think instead of clamming up. I really really want to make these changes in my life, yet I keep reverting to my old ways.

How about you – what have you wanted to change about yourself? Do you make those changes? I bet it was hard. It’s that hard for you to change yourself…and it’s a million times harder for you to change your boyfriend’s mother. People like things the way they are, thank you very much, and there’s no reason to change. His family may not be aware they’re ruining your boyfriend’s relationship with you – or maybe they just don’t care. Maybe they want to ruin your relationship.

2. Accept that you probably can’t change your boyfriend

Relationship problems are difficult to resolve even when everyone involved is willing and wants to change! If your boyfriend isn’t changing how he interacts with his family, it’s not a sign he doesn’t love you. His family dynamics have been going on for decades – since before your boyfriend was even born! Relationship patterns like that aren’t easily broken.

How to Stop Your Boyfriend’s Mother From Ruining Your Relationship

How to Stop Your Boyfriend’s Mother From Ruining Your Relationship

If your boyfriend hasn’t changed his behavior or perspective on his mother yet, then he probably won’t in the future – no matter how much you argue, beg, threaten, or sweet talk. Men who are controlled by their families don’t cut the ties overnight. Some guys don’t ever cut the family ties. For whatever reason, he is part of his family’s complicated dynamics and there’s not much you can do about that.

If you told your boyfriend that his family is ruining your relationship and he doesn’t seem to care, then you’re fighting an uphill battle. Maybe you’re in an unhealthy relationship? If you’re not sure, here are a few warning signs of bad relationships.

Even though I believe you can’t change how your boyfriend’s mother acts – or how he responds to her – you can try a couple ways to stop her from ruining your relationship…

Marriage Help - Not Counseling

Fix Your Marriage

3. Try “I statements”

This is a classic relationship tip because it often works. Instead of focusing on how interfering, controlling, and downright nasty your boyfriend’s mother is, try explaining how you feel to your boyfriend. I’ve learned that “I statements” come in pretty handy in any relationship – marriage, work, and even my neighbors.

Here’s a formal explanation of why I-Statements work, from the Human Potential Center’s website: “I-Statements require healthy self-disclosure, and self-disclosure requires vulnerability. I-Statements de-fuse rather than fuel arguments. It’s very difficult to carry on an argument when both people are using I-Statements; it’s very difficult to stop an argument when both people are using You-Statements. It’s also very difficult to blame others when we’re using I-Statements. They force us to take responsibility for what we’re thinking and feeling, which protects others from our blame, guilt and judgment.”

Examples of I-Statements in love relationships:

  • I feel scared when it seems like your family is more important to you than I am.
  • I love you, and want our relationship to be strong and healthy.
  • I want to learn how to make our relationship better. Can we read books or go to workshops on relationship-building together?
  • I am committed to you and our relationship, so I will do what I can. What do you think I could do differently, to help support you and us?

Notice the lack of “you love your mother more than me!” and “you’re wrong for putting your family first” statements. Lead with an honest sentence that reflects how you really feel. Even if it doesn’t work, I can guarantee it’ll help you clarify your own feelings and thoughts about your relationship with your boyfriend. Be specific and clear about how you feel, without blaming your boyfriend or his family.

It can be really difficult to build a healthy relationship – or save an unhealthy one – without external advice or guidance. My husband and I went to couples counseling twice: premarital counseling before we got married, and a one-time therapy session because I was insecure and jealous about his ex-girlfriend.

4. Love your boyfriend – and his mother – for who they are

This is the best tip on how to stop your boyfriend’s mother from ruining your relationship – and it’s also the most difficult! Some of my husband’s family members aren’t exactly my cup of tea…we’re very different, and we don’t really get each other. For that matter, some of my own family members aren’t my cup of tea and we don’t understand each other! I bet you feel the same way about your own relatives, don’t you?

boyfriends family ruining relationshipIt’s helpful to read books like How We Love: Discover Your Love Style by Milan and Kay Yerkovich.

This book is a great resource about families, intimacy, and love – it explains how early life experiences affect your current relationships. Knowing why you are the way you are – and why your boyfriend is the way he is – can help you reconnect or let go. It’s important to remember is that your boyfriend’s mother is loving him their way. Your boyfriend is trying to love you his way – and you’re trying to love him your way! Love is the bottom line, but it’s getting in the way of a healthy romantic relationship.

To stop your boyfriend’s mother from breaking you up, you need to get an objective perspective on what’s going on underneath all the drama. Then, you need to figure out if you can do anything to change the situation and stop your boyfriend’s mom from ruining your relationship. If you can, then great! Start moving forward. If you can’t, then you need to decide if you want to love your boyfriend the way he right now – family and all – or if you need to break up with him before his family ruins your relationship.

How to get along with your boyfriend’s mom

How to Stop Your Boyfriend’s Mother From Ruining Your RelationshipReluctantly Related: Secrets To Getting Along With Your Mother-in-Law or Daughter-in-law by Deanna Brann is a helpful resource for coping with in-laws. I know your boyfriend’s mother isn’t your mother-in-law (yet) — but this is exactly the right time to read this book.

Dr Brann reveals the root causes of mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship problems and – more importantly- offers tools to help solve specific situations.

Is your boyfriend’s mother trying to break you up – or ruin your relationship? I welcome your comments below, but I can’t offer relationship advice. Writing is an excellent way to process your thoughts and emotions, though, so I encourage you to write about your experience.

Are you worried that your boyfriend’s family is putting a permanent rift in your relationship with him? Remember that people who are meant to be together will always find their way back.

If a birthday, holiday, or anniversary is approaching, read 10 Gift Ideas for Your Boyfriend’s Parents. You never know what a nice gift might do for your relationship with your future mother-in-law…

Relationship Help

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Get FREE advice and a FREE marriage assessment with Mort Fertel.

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89 Responses

  1. Laurie says:

    When you and your boyfriend are caught in the middle of family problems, you must remember that you can’t change any of them! Not your boyfriend, not his mom, not his brother or father or sister or uncle or grandparents.

    Your boyfriend’s family has relationship patterns that were established before you were born, and they will continue this way until they have a specific and painful reason to change. Can you create this reason, can you make them change? No. Some sort of crisis has to happen – a serious health issue, perhaps, or an accident that threatens someone’s life.

    You need to focus on the things you CAN change. So, you tell me….what things can you change in your self and your relationship? You can’t change your boyfriend and you can’t stop his mother from ruining your relationship…but you can change how you respond.

    What is one thing you can do differently, that would help bring peace to your relationship?

  2. Chloe says:

    Hi my name is Chloe, I’m 18 years old and I’ve been in a relationship with my boyfriend for three years. We were best friends for a year before we got together and during that year I heard numerous stories about how difficult his mother was from some of his childhood friends. I thought the were over exaggerating and I finally met her a few weeks before we got together. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to think of her apart from the fact that her and her son had a very different relationship to me and my mom. My mom and I are very close, her and my boyfriend however, aren’t exactly. She treats him like crap, honestly it’s a horrible thing to have to stand back and watch. Her and her husband split up because of how out of control she was (but she’ll always try to place the blame on her husband) before we turned 18 I was just trying to deal with it and there was a lot to deal with; she’d shout all the time, and most of the time it be at me as well which I find very uncomfortable considering she isn’t my mother, one morning she came in and ripped the duvet off me and screamed at me saying I was lazy because I was still in bed (thankfully I sleep with clothes on) another day she sat me down and wanted to know all about my period and contraception that I was using ect. And it made me feel awkward. I told my mom and she was very upset about the whole situation.

    Now, she’s stopping is from moving in together, she’s making up stories about mom saying she doesn’t want my boyfriend in our house (which isn’t true, she’s just jealous of how close her son and my mom are) he was supposed to be staying at my house a few days a week for college and he’s not left anymore and now he’s not even left come up on weekends either because my mom “doesn’t want him here” the whole situation is out of control, my mom and I are fighting, she’s always crying because she’s raised my boyfriend for the last three years and she’s hurt by the fact that stories are being made up about her.

    My boyfriend doesn’t want to say anything because he’s terrified the rest of his family will turn on him (his mom did the same thing with his older sister) I feel completely at a loss on what I’m supposed to do because I don’t want to leave him but I can’t live like this. And it’s not just because we’re young, she’s stopped his sister from having children and she’s 26 years old.

    His other sister suffers from.depression and she’s always mocking her over it and saying horrible things. I know that his family wouldn’t turn on him because they have to know what she’s like, but how do I convince him that? I’m really stuck and I feel like I can’t do this anymore, I don’t want to lose him but he feels like he owes it to her but all she does is treat him like a slave,

    What do I do?

  3. Sara says:

    I’m going through a similar situation and have no idea what I am to do. I have been with my boyfriend for 3 1/2 years. We have a long distance relationship. We try to see each other most weekends when he’s not out of town working.
    Currently he lives with his parents and his brother and is supporting ALL of them (we are both in our 30’s). After the 1st year of our relationship things went down hill with his family and especially his mother. They absolutely hated me and said ignorant and disgustingly rude things about me to my boyfriend. I suspected they had issues when they realized we were getting serious and thought that I may be taking their cash cow from them. It came out of the blue and I never had any indication they thought of me that way. I always stayed at the house when I was visiting and we would have lots of conversation and laughs.
    His mother has told him I’m not welcome back to the house and that if we were to ever get married she would never accept me as a daughter in law.
    I have tried to ask her to meet me for coffee so that we could talk and she could tell me what her issues were with me to see if we could work on things. She wouldn’t have any part of it.
    My boyfriend and I are still together. We love eachother but the strain his family has caused on our relationship is getting tough. He feels he can’t move forward because his family hates me and he’s close with them and feels like he would be betraying them.
    I have tried telling him that if he’s happy with me and loves me that he needs to tell them that and they should respect his decision and be happy that he is happy. He won’t do it…he thinks it’ll just cause a war and he doesn’t want to deal with it.
    I’m at a stand still and have no idea what I’m to do? I can’t try and mend things if they refuse to see me or speak with me. Do relationships actually last if one side of the family has so much hate?

  4. Vandana says:

    I have been dating my boyfriend for almost a year and I currently do not have any place to stay sue to family issues I left my home for over 2 years now. I was staying with a friend until finally his mother let me stay in her apartment. His mother can’t get over his last girlfriend that he had for 12 years and she keeps judging me. I am 19 years old and he is 22. She doesn’t like the age difference and keeps calling me a child. Everyday she starts arguments and rants about how she doesn’t want to babysit and everything. She doesn’t respect me as a person. Yes I am nice to her and follow her rules. The one problem is that my bf also takes her side sometimes and I am stuck to defend myself. My bf and I also have an abusive relationship which yes I know I need to leave my I have no place to go I haven’t talked to my friends in years and have no job or money. I feel like I am being treated as a slave. I have to do everything he says or his mom says because I am staying in thier house. I want to leave. Are relationship has not been going well ever since I started to stay with him. His mom kicked me out one time and took my phone and didn’t let me back in. It was over 100 degrees outside. I wish I could leave and start over but I am alone.

  5. Lean says:

    Hey I’m leann I’m 18 my boyfriend and I been together 4 years now we live with each other for 3 years now. his mom is trying set him up with his ex’s sister and treats me like shit she. Doesn’t treat me right I’m always an out cast when she is around and what’s worse his brother has a baby by my boyfriends ex’s sister she treats her like her own daughter treats me like I’m a stranger me and my boyfriend madly in love but his Mom despises that

  6. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    I wish I had some magic advice that will help you know how to stop your boyfriend’s mother from ruining your relationship, but I don’t. Dealing with family problems is complicated and sticky, and the solution isn’t in a forum like this. I can offer general tips for communication, but I can’t tell you how to solve your specific relationship problems.

    I do have a question for you, though: Are you willing to live with this relationship EXACTLY the way it is for the rest of your life?

    Don’t expect your boyfriend’s mother to change. Don’t expect your boyfriend to change. The only person you can change is YOU and your expectations of your boyfriend and his mom.

    Can you live like this forever?

  7. anamijah says:

    my boyfriend of six years never sticks up for me i feel like he should just be in relationship with his parents especially his mom. they always have something to say about me to tell him like the other day we just moved in a new home down the road from his parents house the other day me and my boyfriend got into an argument and i said “you wanna act stupid you can go up the street and live with them, i know his dad heard it because he was in the car and i didn’t care it was NONE of his business! so after work i stop by his parents home and overhear his mom saying why did she say that too you shes so controlling, and my so called boyfriend talking down on me as well saying she acts like the damn house is hers, and in my mind im like “You damn right its lease has just MY NAME on it and I Paid the GOT DAMN Security Deposit !!!! AND I MEANT WHAT I SAID YOU CAN GO STAY WITH THEM SINCE YOU GO SO MUCH TO SAY !I bet you wont tell your parents that, i paid for everything but i would never throw it in your face.I NEED SOME GUIDANCE PLEASE i already have no family down here with me and i feel like they trying to GANG UP ON ME,

    • Amanda H. says:

      My ex of over 7 years and I split up about 4 months ago, because his family made our issues worse by just being around. They were one of our issues! He moved them in and moved me out. It’s upsetting to think about. I am so disgusted with his family… He pays for everything and they stay at home cooking and watching TV and two children he drives them around. He’s a husband to all apparently… Except for me.

      I remember wanting to leave the relationship because his family moving in to the place we shared was heart breaking. I also got tired of getting yelled at by him because he failed to acknowledge that he was an enabler when it came to them selfish! Disgusting! They envied my life with my ex, so they moved themselves in…which lead to our break up. My ex is 41 and I never thought I’d be dealing with this in my 30s.

      Take some time to figure things out for you… What do you want? What do you need? Are all your needs being met? Focus on you.

      Talk calmly to your boyfriend about what’s occurring and how you’re on the verge of leaving him. Be open and honest. He should know your true feelings. See what happens… Let him step up to the plate.

    • Latifah B says:

      im goin thru da same thing. i was working and helping my ex out while he had no job. i kept him out of trouble. He lived with me twice i paided most the bills in both homes because i was making way more than he was. i got him all his jobs and kept him off the streets. i got pregnant and everything changed as i met his mother. i knew that she didnt like me from the beginning but tried to make things work because of the baby and him. further along we moved down the road from his parents house BIGGEST mistake ever. he was never home always down there. she washed his clothes, cooked, ironed his clothes just babied him at all cause. we live together he grown and now with his own family. but No it was like We pay bills here and your moslty down there. i started seeing he refused to care for me even we
      hen i was pregnant and couldn’t do stuff myself. after baby it was clear what his mother wanted was our baby. she tried to control me and i wouldn’t allow her. she came into my hospital room telling me she didn’t want his other side of his family near my baby. told my baby godmother at our house she don’t want her grand baby near her and Im like Hello this is our house. you live down the road. She tried to control me , no go. so she manipulated him into being against me. he allowed her now he treats me like crap abandoned his daughter because she told him he doesn’t need to take care of her. she called and turnt off my lights and water where we were staying together and he moved back in with her. I fought her and he held me down saying her restraint me. But he was whining on how his mom should of never hit me. Whining for me not to hit her not knowing the direction he should take and chose. he was all of a sudden worried of my health. than tried to call me. but when i seen him walking behind me denied calling me when i have proof

  8. Sarah says:

    My boyfriend and I have been dating for nearly a year and have been living together for about 9 months. He has been supporting himself and on his own for the last 4 years and I’m very proud of him. I love him with all of my heart and he loves me with all of his. For the last 2 months we have had unexpected guests. His mother and her husband and their 11 year old son. My boyfriend had a very hard childhood with 10 evictions in 13 years. We have talked about it and he agrees with me that his mother and her husband are not good people at all. He still loves them though and it’s because of this that when they showed up on our doorstep 2 months ago with no place to go we had to let them in. It was under the condition that it would only be for a few days. Let me remind you that neither the mother nor her husband have a job. They fight with each other constantly (police have had to be called). The mother constantly tries to pick fights with me and also harasses me on social media. She tries to pick fights with neighbors. She then tries to play victim and blame the problems she causes on anyone but herself. Throughout all of this my boyfriend is teller her to knock it off. To stop disrespecting himself and me. He asks when they plan on leaving every day. Out of the goodness of my heart and to help them move on I have given them rides to any appointment they have which is nearly every day and have yet to be compensated for it. They claim to not have any money but somehow can still afford to smoke and buy junk food every day. We can’t seem to keep anything in our fridge or cupboards (3 gallons of milk drank in one day!). They also came with 2 cats (one uncut male so he pisses on everything), a big dog and a rabbit that I feed water and clean up after. I even paid for the vet visit and the 2 hour drive to get the male cat fixed. They are messy. Shoes clothes and rocks everywhere in my house (they are rock hounds). I can’t use most of my pot and pans because they use them to collect and “clean” rocks. our electric bill has tripled since they have been here and have been asked to help but somehow “can’t afford it.” To top it all off my boyfriend and I only live in a small one bedroom house already. HELP ME!

  9. Jennifer says:

    My boyfriend and I have been dating for a while and I can’t get over the feeling that his mother just doesn’t approve of him being with me at all. Every time we try to make plans, something changes. The date has to end early or not happen at all but she’ll do just enough to make it seem like she’s on board. She’s so back and forth with things and scattered we can never just set something up and go through with it as planned. He’s never eaten dinner at my house and I haven’t at his. His mother even went so far as to start a disagreement between us right before one of my exams which he knew was happening. Last night we got into another disagreement when he told me I shouldn’t come see his basketball games anymore because it was a family matter and his mother told him it was an intrusion. I only went there with the intention to support him and I feel like I was attacked because of that. Now his mother is trying to plan a ski trip for the family over Valentine’s Day even though we have made plans for it. I guess I’m feeling a little overwhelmed at this point and I still can’t figure out why his mother won’t even take a chance to get to know me. She’s barely talked to me since we started dating and everything is on her agenda. It’s putting what I see as an unnecessary strain in our relationship and when I’ve tried to talk to him about how I feel it’s all about mommy said this and mommy thinks that. I love him and I really want to make this work but I also don’t want to be caught in an unhealthy relationship because of mommy dearest.

  10. Amanda says:

    Hi,my name is Amanda,I’m 18 years old,and am a mixed american (black/euro(or white))
    My boyfriend is Iraqi,who turns 18 in April.
    We have been together now for about a year (2 years if you count our friendship prior to our relationship) and he is just wonderful.He treats me good,doesn’t hit me or anything.I know he had plans to propose to me after highschool/college.However,what is keeping him from that,is his mother.
    She HATES me,Like seriously hates me.Her hate is a cross between Hitler and Stalin,that is how much this woman hates me.The reason:Because I am an american.
    Oh yeah,his mom is not fully arab.She is part turkish but considers them arab.(Yeah she is something,but sadly we can’t fix stupid)
    She had literally told my boyfriend’s brother that I wouldn’t make a good wife because of a culture difference,me being american.
    I know a culture clash,and know how to get used to different cultures (ex:my parents)
    So i know how to deal with that
    Oh it gets better
    She had questioned my virginity.
    She sat him down and started telling him that I’m a slut because all americans are sluts and that i wouldn’t be faithful,etc.
    My boyfriend does stand up for me and had actually asked her besides for me being an american,why does she hate me and she couldn’t answer.
    She couldn’t find a reason to hate me besides my nationality.
    He tells her its not my fault that I’m american but she continues to be trifiling about it.I love him,(i know i’m young) and leaving him is not an option.However,What can I do to deal with her better or at least make her see that I do plan on staying regardless and to either take it or suck it up and shut the hell up about us being together?

  11. aafr says:

    Thank you so much for this tips! It’s too sad how a family can ruin your relationship. Well, we have decided to be friends now. My ex’s mom comes to visit from their country every year and stay here for few months. And of course, as the only single (not married and no kids) among the siblings, his mom stays at his place. During the early times in our relationship, I understood the situation. Then later on their mom decided to get married again after being a widow for couple of years. I thought she will let go of her son already, but I was wrong. She goes and visits her children as usual..take care of the grand kids and cook for the family of her kids and that included me before. It’s too sad for her husband that she is mostly away from him. She divides her time with all her children and their family. But…it was mostly with my ex still. She stayed with us. Sometimes, I already crave for a little bit of privacy. It even sucked that I feel uncomfortable to have a romantic time with my ex coz his mom can just either show up in the condo or my ex will check when she is coming over so we know. It was so sick! I can’t be the woman for my ex coz his mom do the cooking all the time. There were some occassions she let me cook and be the host. She put me where I need to stand when I onlh love his son and still I gave her respect even though I didnt feel respected some times. Make things short…now that she is back again…she must be very happy that I am gone in the condo. She immediately changed how I arranged the living room. She has always done that anyway. My ex has told me that he needs some space and he will only let his mom stay there for three weeks and she has to go back to her husband. Well, she is mostly there still. Instead of having her own husband take her to grocery shopping, it’s with my ex. He doesn’t have the balls to give boundaries to his mom. And I know, we have to decide to split because mom is keeping him and he is letting her do that. He has to pay for mom’s trips, although she is going with her husband…he pays for her cellphone bills when she is here…things like that. It’s okay to help family especially a parent. But this is not acceptable. I hope I am not just over thinking things.

  12. Kate says:

    Argh thats exactly like my boyfriend. I’ve been with him for over 6 years, we have a 7 year old son together too. He still lives at his Dads and he and his mum have to see each other every day. He insists i tag along but shes so nasty to me its messed my head up. He has a set routine of days he sees her. We HAVE to go there for lunch every sunday, so i cant even do a roast for our little family. She tries controlling me and asking impossible things of me, shes a nightmare. If i stick up for myself against her my boyfriend gets annoyed with me. I daydream about running away with our son. Wish I had the guts!

    • Brooke says:

      Our situation is almost identical. And I completely feel you. I wish I had the guts also. :/

    • Mariah says:

      I understand completely but something that I did with my boyfriend was give him an ultimatum. I didn’t ask him to discard his family completely but I told him to not let his mother run our relationship because we can’t have a healthy relationship if it’s turned into a threesome. I’m not gonna tell you how to deal with your situation but I highly recommend that you give your boyfriend an ultimatum saying that you and his son should be his number one priority. He’s not 17 anymore and needs to stop letting mummy and daddy run his life regardless whether he lives with them. He needs to man-up and take responsibility not only for himself but for his family. & if he can’t do that then I hope you can women-up and realize that you don’t need him and your son sure as heck don’t need a father he can’t rely on. I wish you the best good luck!

  13. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Thank you for being brave enough to share your experience here. There aren’t any easy answers, and no quick tips for how to deal with your boyfriend’s family.

    The only person you can change is yourself. You can’t change your boyfriend’s mom or sister, and you can’t even change your boyfriend.

    So the question to ask yourself is this: are you willing to stay in this relationship the way it is?

    If you want to explore ways to try changing your boyfriend’s family, I encourage you to talk to a counselor. You need to learn strategies that might work in your relationship, but you also need guidance in how to approach your boyfriend and his family.

    What steps can you take to change how things are unfolding in your relationship?

  14. Mariah says:

    My boyfriend have been dating since high school. I’m pretty sure his mother hates me or hates that fact that her son is growing up and wants to spend time with his girlfriend rather than his mother (whom he still lives with). When we do get to see each other it’s always at his mother’s house or an event she’s organized. She’s very polite with me, hugs me when we greet one another or say goodbye, we both hate his ex, and laughs when i make jokes. But she won’t let him see me for sometimes weeks at a time, won’t let him talk to me for more than ten minutes on the phone, and literally loses her shiz if he’s five minutes late to being home. I’m about to lose my shiz since we’re both in our 2nd/3rd year in college and have been dating as long as we have (i’m also a year older than him). My family thinks she has some sort of obsession with her son while she lets her 13 year old freshman in HIGH SCHOOL see her boyfriend every weekend and after school among things like roadtrips. Then there’s the part where im a full time student, have a job, planning to get a second job, take care of my disabled mother and still manage to clear at least one day out of the week for my boyfriend who is also a full time student and also has a job that pays handsomely with minimal hours. He gets home around 5 and has the rest of every single night with his mother and sister. Anyway i’m just very lost in this situation and we love each other very much and have always worked through our problems (believe me we’ve had a lot) but this one involves his family and i’d hate to make him choose between us but we have been through too much to let our relationship fall through the cracks. Any advice????

  15. Sweet girl says:

    Hi everyone.

    I have been with my boyfriend for over 2 years. During the first year and a half, everything was okay. We were in love, I didn’t really hear much about his family so I assumed that he wasn’t really close to them, plus they didn’t live in the country.

    Anyway, one summer he told me his parents were coming to visit and we planned that I was going to meet them. Unfortunately we ended up having an argument and he changed his mind about letting me meet them. Everything was fine after that until about 8 months later he told me that his parents wanted him to marry someone else- knowing that me and him were together. In fact, they even went as far as to find someone for him to marry . When he told me , I was so hurt because how could a family that claim to love their son try to destroy a relationship that makes him happy. Who in the hell does that?

    I have been living in hell for the last 8 months, his Dad came to visit him and since then he has ruined the strong relationship we had. His Dad told him to end the relationship with me otherwise he would disown him. As you can imagine I am so fucking angry.

    Anyway my boyfriend played into their game, agreed to listen to his Dad’s wishes and marry the girl they found for him – just to keep the peace but he wasn’t going to actually do it.

    We continued seeing each other like normal, until the other day all hell broke loose once again. His Dad found out he didn’t break up with me, read all of our text messages, stole my number off his IPad and gave my number out to random people.

    I received 20 missed calls from members of my boyfriends family – I didn’t answer the calls but I assume they were calling to threaten me.

    I feel so ashamed At my boyfriends behaviour. I am 24 and he is 30 but I feel like he can’t handle situations in a good manner. What man who loves his woman would let his family treat her like that? What man would let his family control his life?

    I am so sick and tired to my bones and every day I want to walk away. It is the love I have for him that makes me stay and the hope one day this will all be over.

    I hate his family and I never want to cross their path in my life, I wish they would just disappear and leave him the hell alone. I wish he would see his family don’t truly care for him and just cut them off but I know that won’t happen because he’s trying to hold onto the little relationship he has with them- as they shipped him away to another country and didn’t bother to see him for 10 years.

    I need all the advice.


    • diana w says:

      make him man up, you need to know that the man you are with has your back 100% and if it comes down to letting his parents choose who he is going to marry at 30 years old and he can’t tell them no and that he wants to be with you then find someone who will be excited and feel honored to be your husband not someone that hides you from his family and can’t stand up to his parents after 30 years

    • Amanda H. says:

      I couldn’t stand my recent ex’s family as they ate selfish people. However, one of my friend’s also has dealt with cultural differences with her partner, whose family actually went to Egypt on a family vacation where her bf came back engaged to another woman. His mom’s idea! My friend ended their relationship for like the 5th time, because she needed him to man up… He did but it took a couple of years. Here’s my advice… Stay calm and speak with your bf honestly about your feelings…and also state what you need from him as a man. If after a few months nothing changes, Then, tell him that you think it’s best for you to both take some time apart until he can figure things out with his family. Then you have to be strong and follow through. You two can talk but make it clear that this is not a comfortable situation for you. He’ll come through for you. He will if you mean enough to him. I think it’s selfish for people’s families to be so selfish! I just dealt with it self. My ex and I talk, but hrs still just a financial vessel for his live in mom and sister with her kids. It’s upsetting.

  16. diana w. says:

    so i need so advice about my boyfriend’s mother ruining our relationship. i have known my current boyfriend sense i was 8 years old even went to the same school we didn’t date he is two years older than me and we both dated other people he went off to college decided he didn’t like it and came back home his parents are divorced like mine and he moved back in with his mom who was currently living with her mom him are her were sharing a room as well. we started dating about two years ago when i started college. first year college you have to have a dorm so i stayed there during the week he would stay one of two nights out of the week and on weekends we would stay at my moms house. however my mom became unemployed lost her house and my dorm lease was up. so at that point his mom was looking a house of her own. she doesn’t make good money because she doesn’t have a degree but she makes enough not to struggle. but my boyfriend has a full time 40 hours a week good paying job and is 21 so his mom told him he has to pay half the bills.

    because of my situation i moved in with them i pay for my own college i grocery shop for me and my boyfriend wash our clothes and make sure our room is cleaned pay gym member ships for both of us and pay the internet bill at the house. but nothing is ever good enough for her. she went as far as telling me that i was a guest in there house and i don’t see a person that pays bills and lives there permanently is a guest am i wrong? she constantly is asking my boyfriend money of which he normally hand s over no questions ask she has the passwords to his online bank accounts and is in control of paying his bills on time even tho its with his money and his bills.

    i miss not being able to walk around in sweats and a sports bra, taking showers together, leaving a dirty dish in the sink over night and not have to worry about the one sock that fell out of the hamper and vacuuming three times a week. i don’t know how to bring it to his attention bc i do want to be with him but i don’t want to be with his mother and he is totally content with living with his mother.

  17. Heather says:

    I need some advice. My boyfriends mother depends on him too much. We both work alot and as any young couple we have are own busy lives tasks and expenses to take care of. His mother is the sweetest woman but she relies on him for things that i feel a grown woman (that has a boyfriend of her own) shouldnt be depending on her son for. I’m worried that one day his mother and sister are gonna be living with us because they wont pull it together. ive offered to them both to put me down as a referance for where i work and told them about job fairs to try and find something better so they can take care of themselves. At this point i just feel like they are gonna end up living with us one day down the road because they cant save thier money and ive told him i dont ever want that for either of our families and he agrees… obviously if either of our parents became unable to take care of them selves we would have to re discuss… im just worried its not a matter of if but when they wont have some where to go and i feel they arnt preparing/saving incase they ever do need to have another place to live. We both talk about starting a family soon and i dont want his mothers finacial issues to come before me and a child if we are gonna do this. Ughh i could cry i just dont know how to fix this, what to say or who to talk too.

  18. klcw says:

    I need a little help, so I was actually broken up with through his mother because I wasn’t good enough. She told him I was not good, messed up, and I was just all over the place and insecure and I made her miserable. I wasn’t going anything other than being myself. He won’t stand up to her because he’s honestly scared. I can’t do anything either because at the end she’s still his mom! So, we just cut all ties and we still think about each other and want everything to work but she gets mad over the littlest things and I’m sorry I’m not perfect in her eyes, but he tells me I’m perfect in his. I don’t want anyone to get hurt but I’m not sure why I’m getting punished for something I never did or noticed.

    • Anna says:

      I’m going through the same situation, only we were engaged. Cut off all ties with him because I can’t fight her and change her opinion, only he can decide what he wants and what’s more important to him. It hurts so much and I dont know what to do! We are not talking at all, but I know he will contact me and try to work this out, but it’s always going to be on his terms, because he will want to please her. She basically thinks he can do better and sticks her nose in our relationship all the time. Its so painful when your partner does not have guts to stand up for you and your future together.

      • Sher says:

        I feel your pain. My engagement got broken and our wedding got cancelled because of the woman who was going to be my MIL and because the man who I was going to marry didn’t have the guts to stand up for our life together and also didn’t know what he really wanted himself and was getting influenced a lot. It was very heart breaking that he decided that I was the bad person for trying to save our relationship and decided to please his mum and stick with her and lose me. The influence on him was so strong that I could not see any love for me in him any more which was very heart breaking because I loved him with every atom of my body, a stranger would be nicer to me than him at this point. It was very heart breaking at first but now I’m glad about what happened because no woman like a guy who can change what he wants out of life this easily because of the influence of his mum or his siblings. I think as women we need men who we can rely on and know that they have a stable personality so we can lean on them if we need to. Mama boys are not the type of men to be a husband material, they’ll be good sons for their mums but not good husbands because they don’t have the guts to put their wife and children first.

  19. anon says:

    I need some advice im 25 years old im dating a 21 year old guy, i already did the party life and hes just getting into it which is fine cuz i still love to go out but im starting to go back to school and focus on a career and probably traveling after i get my degree. But the problem with our relationship is that his mother doesnt allow him to see me cuz im american and hes bulgarian and they want him to only be with a bulgarian woman and we talk about how we can see a future together but his family cant. This whole problem is just a cultural difference. I accept him and i understand his mothers values. I just hope i have a future with him. Can i get some input? please and thank you… 🙂

  20. Heza says:

    My boyfriend’s mom likes me as a person but, my boyfriend has been having trouble with school and she has decided to ban him from video games and being with me..what should I do? Or can I do anything, is the real question.

  21. Kas says:

    Hi there, thank you and everyone for sharing their stories. My situation is a tad bit different but I’m afraid I have absolutely no idea what to do. My boyfriend and I have been together for 2 years (not long I know) but he has struggled with depression and hard times for a good chunk of his life. But it’s his parents that are the problem. He is one of 5 siblings and is the last one living at home still. His mother is bonkers. If he’s with me past 11pm you can expect his phone to start ringing followed by an interrogation.

    To get to my point, I need help. He will stay out on a weekend with me or with friends or camping or whatever it may be, we are 20 years old. But the minute he gets home it’s a fight. My boyfriend works quite a bit. 11am to 5pm and then again 11pm to 5am milking cows, and then assisting other neighbouring farms with hay. His days rack up and he needs to rest, or on the weekends maybe actually relax. But every day his mother doesn’t do anything. She sits on the couch and watches tv and drinks a coke. But then orders her son to pick up dog poo off the lawn, or clean the bathroom. he puts a load of his work clothes in the washer, she’ll yell at him because it’ll be done in an hour but he won’t be there in an hour to take them out for her because for example he was hanging out with me for the evening. Everyday in that house they are yelling and getting mad and accusing him of lieing. They straight up don’t like me because when he tells them he’s leaving to see me they reply with “what do you have to see her for? You just saw her yesterday… Come on we’ve got stuff we need you to do around here”

    On long days he’ll come home and have a beer or two with his older brother and talk about their day – this has now translated to them he has a drinking problem and they’re worried about him…

    To get to my point, his parents are bullying him and cause him to feel strongly depressed. He says he can’t take it anymore and hates his life. I don’t even know what to say to him most of the time and that makes him even more upset because he feels he can’t talk to me about it. I want him to move out but right now and for a while longer he won’t be able to afford it and not a lot of places are one for rent right now.

    I am sick of him calling me crying and telling me he’s done and hates them and hates his life. I don’t know what to say or do. There’s so much more about them I could tell you guys but we’d be here reading for a year. How can I help him make his life better at home for the time being? Probably nothing I know but I don’t even know how to reply to these insane actions his parents are doing. They’re driving my boyfriend insane and it has gotten very serious And dangerous in the past.

    I hope someone can give me some advice..

  22. Sad girl says:

    I’m going through the same thing with my boyfriend we been together for 412 years and his family rins him like crazy his mom calls him every 5 mins and then gets mad when he don’t call her and let her know he is off of work she cooks his lunches mind you he lives with me at first he didn’t want to because he was scared of what she might say and then she moved with they cousin and her lil family and he didn’t have nowhere to go so now its like she calls and asked him to bring her chocolate and we live very far from her she’ll call and want him to go grocery shopping and she lives down the street from Walmart and one night I went through his phone and read the text messaging between then and the discission was about me saying she want him to leave me and I need to get myself together because recently I let my stna license get expired but I plan on going back but why is that any of her business he doesn’t take care of me I plenty money in the bank but I just wanna know why he discussed are business and household information with that mad e not like me even more I need help because im ready to leave and at the same time I love him I don’t know I’m confused…

  23. Kyra says:

    Here is my hellride of a situation with my boyfriend’s mother and family. Please enjoy~

    My boyfriend and I have been together for 5 years – Lived together for 4. Originally, I moved in with him and his roommate, but we wanted to get our own place. I encouraged him to move back to his home town where his family and friends were because they seemed excited to meet me, and I was excited to meet them. The first few months were great, and it seemed like me and his family were getting along rather well. I was super excited.

    Then, every time his mother and sister came over, they would make little underhanded comments about everything. The house wasn’t clean enough, I wasn’t making enough money, they didn’t like my dogs, or they didn’t think me and my boyfriend were ‘affectionate enough’ in front of them, so they were worried ‘I didn’t love him’. First it started with the grandma being out-and-out rude to me, saying that she wouldn’t come to the wedding if me and my boyfriend ever got married, then it all kind of trickled down from there – Everyone in the family kind of made me the running joke. Sweet to my face with underhanded comments – Underhanded enough that my boyfriend didn’t notice them for a long while.

    I eventually got incredibly depressed. I had moved across the country to be with him and everyone I was surrounded by hated me and was constantly waiting for me to fail. He is very close with his family, so the more depressed I got, the more they kept telling him to leave and that he deserved better. 2 years of constant breaking up and reconciling due to his family ensued, and I was in the worst place I had ever been in my life.

    Finally, after 4 years of dealing with this, his sister sent him a text outlining everything that is wrong with me. How she thinks I’m pulling him down and he would be happier without me and I don’t clean enough (I’ve seen her and her brother’s house.. It’s way worse than mine..And it’s laughable because my boyfriend is the messiest person alive), and how they never see him because of me. (They see him multiple times a week.. More than most 26-year-old men see their families)… I finally broke down and told my boyfriend that I was done with his poison family and that if he wanted to be with me, he would have to accept that I would not be spending any time with them ever again… And if he wasn’t okay with that, we should break up.

    Since not having them in my life, we haven’t had a single fight, we have been more romantic, more relaxed, and happier than we have ever been since being together.

    Ladies… DO NOT LET YOUR BOYFRIEND’S FAMILY BULLY YOU! You can be with a man whose family is awful and still be happy. DON’T. PUT. UP. WITH. IT. You do NOT owe them ANYTHING. Your boyfriend chose you, he is the one that has to be happy with you – Not them. If he is okay with you being bullied and made to feel likes less-than, he is not the one for you and you need to get the fuck out.

    Learn from my mistakes. I wasted many years trying to appease people who had no intention of ever getting to know me or like me.

    • Sandra D. says:

      I thought I was 110% alone on having my boyfriend’s mother ruin my relationship!
      My boyfriend and I have even dating for almost 3 years now and his family has always disliked me. They all have serious problems and deny any help. His mom puts her ‘love’ for her ‘husband’ above anything else-even her kids-and she’s just so dirty and nasty to me. His dad and sister are the only ones who try to be nice to me. I almost liked his sister until I realized all the underhanded jokes and smerks she and her mother would make. They’d give me dirty looks and laugh at me. I got so tired of it I’m done with having his mother in my life anymore. She always tries to bug me one way or another whenever I go over or she knows I can hear. I’ve been nothing but myself and she calls me fake and tells me I’m trying to show off.. I hate going to see her because no matter what-she’ll always end up throwing curve balls at me and being so rude.
      I feel bad for my boyfriend because he has to live with her and she’s kind of a mean mom. She’ll make him work when he’s sick, she’ll be so mean to him when his dad leave and doesn’t come when all my boyfriend tries to do is be there for her when his dad isn’t. She’s just so mean and I’m done with her.
      I’m lucky to have him defend me though when she goes off on a rant about how terrible I am. He knows it wouldn’t do much, but he speaks up to her when She’s straight out wrong.
      I know my boyfriend loves me the same way I love him, his mother is definitely baggage, but it’s nothing I can’t come out of alive with him by my side.
      If you love him and he really loves you. You’ll find out that sometimes you’ll both be happier by cutting out not negative things an negative people

  24. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Thank you for being here, and sharing your experience. I can’t offer advice on how to stop your boyfriend’s mother from ruining your relationship. But, I can encourage you to pursue peace and understanding.

    I don’t know why your boyfriend’s mother is acting the way she is, but I know she loves her son. She wants the best for him. My prayer is that you find ways to see things from her point of view — not because she’s right, but because aligning with her may be the best way to stay connected to your boyfriend and his family.

    May you find the wisdom and courage you need to resolve these relationship issues, and move forward in peace and freedom. May you learn how to deal with the most important things in your life, and may you find emotional and spiritual healing. May you walk forward in love and compassion, knowing that God loves you and is with you. May you seek His love, and feel His comforting peace.

    • tim says:

      I think your wrong laurie. Some women are just that evil. She did the correct thing by cutting the snakes head off. The real issue though is the man is manipulated by his mother.

      Mother thinks hers is the only way. The mother is a manipulative bitch and truly needs help. She is lucky she managed to save hers by putting down her foot.

      I sit here after seven months of abuse to the point of a mother trying to fix her daughter up with other men while I am here in another country while significant other is trying to make peace with her. Our only saving grace is that we leave to go home in a week.

      I pray we can the love and friendship we once had until this maipulative mother in hell came into our lives. The irony i had to talk her into coming here to spend time with her before she dies. This woman takes great pride in flirting seriously with married seniors and braggs to her daughter about cheating on her 81 year husband.

      There is evil spawn out there the peace you need is whith yourself and the understanding you need is that some people are just plain worthless and harmful.

      Good luck and keep that mother in her chains.

  25. Becky says:

    My boyfriend and I have been together for 4 years. We have lived together for almost 3 years. The problem is that my bf is an only child and his mother just will not let up. She is always asking my boyfriend to do things for her so she feels like her needs of having her little boy be there for her are taking care of. She says jump and he says how high and I am sick of it. My boyfriend works a full time job and also farms about 300 acres. I have a career and go to college. My life is just as important as my boyfriends life but his mother does not act if what I do even matters to her. This summer she has done some very disrespectful things to me. Telling me one time that my boyfriend does more for me than he has any other gf he has had. She is jealous that he has and I don’t think she can get over it. Trying to ask her about comments she has made after I give myself sometime to think it over it like talking to s brick wall. She makes sure to have selective memory and denies she even said what she said in the first place. This summer she has tried to contact me when I have been at my busiest to get my homework done and take my tests online. I have told her I cannot talk or doe whatever it is she wants me to do, and I think she has taken it personally. She has went so far as to say to me “it’s a farmers life, no excuses!” I was like excuse me, my boyfriend is a part time farmer and I have a career and go to college. I am at my wits end. We are on vacation right now and she sent text message to him as if she misses her little sonny boy while he is away. It is making me sick to my stomach. I don’t know what to do except go see a counselor at this point.

  26. Denise says:

    I’m in my late 60’s and have been with my boyfriend for five years. He’s 2 years older. His sisters, especially one who is very outspoken and the ring leader, have hopped in on his life. He’s generous to a fault so the hungry sister told him I was poisoning him because every time I come to be with him( we live in different states) I notice he’s not doing well, medically. He’s had heart surgery, is diabetic, and has had prostate cancer. Over the years I’ve forced him to go to the hospital on three occasions. Twice because of UTIs, and once because of a stroke. His sisters said he’s never sick till I visit, so I must be the cause. Of course nothing was said when he went to the hospital a few weeks ago under their care!!! This one controlling sister called me early one morning to ask if he had a will, that she wants everything and more. Now they concocted a plan that has him living in their family home, which had been vacant for several years. They had him fix it up, buy furniture, appliances, etc. In two months he’s spent over$15,000, decorated and equipped to their liking for when he dies. Why does he need a 25 cubic foot fridge when he doesn’t cook or a built in dishwasher for styro foam take out containers? They have barred me from the house and he acts afraid. Last week I went to visit him and the mean sister cane in and started yelling and pointing a finger in my face. She told me to leave her man alone…not her brother. She’s already been in the psych ward recently. What used to be a loving relationship between him and me is now a night mare. They have lied so much about me( one sister is in my corner and knows the truth but can’t say or do anything as she now lives hours away). The mean sister has gotten on his computer and blocked me on his Facebook. He didn’t even know she did that. She had has gotten into his head and said do many mean things and lies that he is confused. I don’t want him rooted off by then. I loved taking care of him. We had a very simple and quiet life but he’s afraid. Any help would be appreciated.

  27. Cam says:

    I’m in the same boat. Im 36 and my ex/bf is 22 bus parents hate me because if my age and I have two kids. But he loves me and we have already been married once. I wish I could help you but seems like I can’t even help myself

  28. Judith says:

    Hi Laurie, I need to tell you that my partners mother doesn’t Like me and she controls him. And he as a good son is obedient to his parents. Let me give you a background. I am 36 and he is 27I also have two kids which now they’re 16 and 18. I met him years back when I was 30. I would have never dated someone younger but he insisted and was in love with me. He introduce me to his family and those 10 mths Were the most amazing of my life. He treated me like no one had done before. So I fell in love and we enjoyed every bit. Until his family started pressuring him because of the age and kids. I felt Like a witch. His family would ignore me when he would take me to their house and more. But we lived each other so we continue. One day i decided to leave him because i realize he wasn’t ready. I wanted a secure future anand I began to be afraid. I left him started dating. But it wasn’t easy so I went back with him but then left me because I had dated another man. I was deeply hurt. He was 21, and me 30 at the time . I never heard from him. 3 yrs later we started seeing each other. At this point he told me he lived with an ex girlfriend from High school who had a child from someone else. The mother approved of her so he went to live with her and he gave her a promise ring. They only only were together 4wks. So we started going out and more and more that now he’s had become more loving, caring, taking care of me, but he doesn’t tell his parents. He shows me off with his friends when they take their wives. But his parents have prohibited him from seeing me and I think he is afraid of his parents. He is always helping his parents arround the ranch. I really love him I understand the age difference, people cant tell the age until we tell them. But still there is a difference he is very responsible, knows how to treat a lady, and mature about life, succeeding and, working but I dont know how much to wait. We have talked but not lately we just go out and enjoy the time together. The ex has tried to get him back but he won’t because he is with me. It’s been Like this for 2yrs. Hidding from his family. I know if they find out arguements and a struggle will begin. Help me please

  29. Cam says:

    My ex husbands mother and father hate me. They are the reason we got divorced in the first place. We want to be together but everytime they find out we are together they make up lies on me and tell him horrible stuff about me to get him to leave me. I love him so much and I want to spend my life with him and he says the same about me but they always find a way inside his head and he leaves me every time. What do I do?

  30. karen t says:

    Please tell me what am I missing here, because I have been in this relationship 20+ yrs and it’s a family affair for sure. I recently angered his mom by saying I told him I am tired of a 3 person relationship. He still lives at home, she cooks dinner daily for him. She knocks on his door to wake him for work. She said the other day I owe her an apology for being disrespectful about the 3 person relationship comment. I don’t agree. He works at the post office and every time he is off, she makes plans to use his car before asking because she knows he won’t say no. The engine went out in her car 11/2013. She is not trying to get it fixed. He gives her money every payday and she goes on the casino. We went to Branson last summer and she called so many times, then sent text, both with no avail. She then had his aunts call and text saying his mom was worried. She even called my phone. I told her when we returned that my mom doesn’t do that. She said my family has issues, because people need to know where you are at if something happens. True, but he is 45yrs old. He has NEVER lived on his own. The military for 4 1/2 yrs, his mom 9, she lost the house, an aunt about 12, the grandmother about 3, then a friend for almost a yr in TN. Everytime he talks about moving his mom gets sick. She had cancer and had surgery before Thanksgiving 2012. This was the time he was living in TN. He came back, and would visit his mom, but I think she felt and so did her sisters that he needed to spend more time with his mom because she was sick. The problem I had was we visited an aunt and were standing in her kitchen and she told him to take me home and come back because he didn’t need me following him around like a little puppy. He said nothing. I know this came from his mom complaining because he was spending time with me. It just angers me so much, because he won’t stand up to his mom, because he is worried about her feelings. That’s unfair, because he should have gotten out of the relationship years ago if he wasn’t happy. The issue the other day was in reference to me going to the doctor about my finger. They cancelled, but he told his mom he was going to the doctor like he was ashamed to say it was me because she would be upset. She made plans to go to the movies with a female friend. She needed to make sure he would be back in times. My problem was it’s always a time limit when it comes to me. His mom said we should let people know what we are going to do. WHY. We are adults. Please tell me what am I missing and is it going to get better.

    • Jodie says:

      I’m in a 3 person relationship to , we have been together for 2 1/2 yrs now, he lives at home with mum n dad just on 70 yrs old now she controls his personal life, he works as a surgical theatre personnel I see him maybe twice in a week usually a weekend, while with me she will either call or text or text to get him to call she comes up with some lame excuse for him to come home or she will call him home to babysit his sisters kids while they go out ALLDAY , the last 2 weekends I have not seen him, during the week he’s at work. I don’t know what to do, I have tried talking to him about it but he carries on says he’s helping his family and that I have a problem with it. Then while he is doing what they want late in the arvo/evening he will text me saying that they are on their way home, 40 mins later I get another text saying “I’m free now” . We have even been going out the door of my place and while in transit for a date he gets a text saying he needs to go home. We had a date planned last week , his mother hears him on the phone to me finds out where we are meeting up she then goes to the shops an hour earlier and ends up at the same cafe, he arrived a tad before me she’s there but he never says anything, the date was us 3 I had to sit at the table like a third wheel, couldn’t get a word in to him baca use she never shuts up. A sad situation

  31. Tabatha says:

    Hi Laurie,
    Great article! Certainly something that resonates with me. About 3 weeks ago my now ex-bf broke up with me because his parents (who never met me) don’t like me. We were dating 2 months and the last 4-5 weeks our plans kept getting mowed over because something kept coming up. And he couldn’t get away from them, he does live with them about an hour and a half away. We’re both 26. Well he was getting stressed out about not getting his work done, he works from home. I suggested he talk to his parents about it. And he did, well he bullet pointed our conversation basically and anything I said may have been relayed wrong and misunderstood. So some things I thought that’d either stay between us or I would say consider mentioning if it’s bothering you, he did. They think I overstepped my boundaries, I was bossy and controlling of him then was trying to extend that onto to them. This is something that went on for a couple days, they went from Saturday night not caring what he did if he continued to see me he was an adult. Just had 0 respect for me now. (Hindsight I think they already dislike me, the idea of him getting a gf) to Monday he should stop seeing me and surprised he was even still talking to me. He said he wouldn’t keep in a relationship that couldn’t function as one, because they won’t let use any of the vehicles to come see me or get dropped off. So they’d do everything to prevent us from seeing one another.
    It blows my mind he would go for this or go with it, based on what we had. But I guess actions speak louder then words. His last text to me says things like “writing is on the wall they don’t like you and you don’t like them. You viewed them as a obstacle not a family to be part of” etc. I feel like he was justifying it a bit to himself, amongst other things.
    None the less his parents ultimate dislike of me was I encouraged him to have this conversation with parents. Mainly because he was stressed and I wanted him to start practiceing some self care. Apparently he wouldn’t ever have a conversation like this with his parents so they knew the influence was me. (He also has been getting more independent and spending time away from them)
    At this point I’ve accepted the break-up pretty much, just mind blown he’d so willingly go with his parents ending it for us. When it seemed it wasn’t what either of us wanted. I do miss him and would hate to see our friendship at least go to the wayside. I am concerned about him, and his well being. No local friends for support and living fairly secluded in a small town. Only support is his family.
    But it’s been just over 3 weeks now, no contact from him. I do feel I will hear from him eventually. Just when, however maybe he will never reach out I wouldn’t be surprised either but that we will talk again yes. I instigated at least 30 days of no contact for myself.
    At 26 he let his parents have this much say, influence and do what they accused me of, for some reason I am holding onto to a little glimmer of hope that we’ll be in touch, and discuss things. Will he change? Probably not, I valued that his family was important to him. but simply that neither one of us wanted this and it was sudden. And we had a good thing and were starting to think long term.
    I’m starting to think should I chalk this up? I realize it was short and family is influential to guys. Should I even attempt to reconnect ever?
    Thank you for your input and sorry for so long

  32. Renita says:

    Hi Laurie,
    So I have been having issues with my boyfriend because I am extremely possessive (probably because of my anxiety) and I can’t seem to control myself when it comes to topic of his mother. We have been dating for over a year and a half and I still haven’t really met her. I met her once when we were first dating, but it was in a group of people and we didn’t talk much at all. Since then, I haven’t seen her at all and it is really starting to eat away at me. His mother lives 4 hours away so its not too hard to see her plus she makes him go home every few weeks anyways. We are in college so he is still dependent on his mother for certain things. Also, my boyfriend claims it is not intentional that we haven’t really met yet. He claims that everytime she comes to town they have a list of things they need to do so they don’t have time to relax and meet me plus her mother is dying so she has to take care of her. While this is true for the last 2 months, it has just built up for so long that I really can’t stand the excuses anymore. What also really pisses me off and makes me rant about his mother (which I know will only push him away, but I can’t seem to stop myself) is that she treats him like a husband. She is divorced and has been single since he was a toddler so its been many years since he is about to be 22. Anyways, she makes him do everything for her and its really hard not to lose control and get mad about it because it seems like everything has to be her way and I am the type of person where I want everything to be my way. I just can’t stand that she makes him drive for 4 hours just to do chores for her. It also really hurts that she can’t seem to make an effort to meet me. She knew about some of our previous issues in the beginning of our relationship because she would catch my boyfriend upset and I know she was hesitant to meet me before, but he doesn’t talk to her about that anymore so it’s not an issue anymore. I just don’t know what to do anymore because whenever he is with his mother I get super angry and freak out on him because it just makes me really upset and that pushes him away because it sees it as me being needy, possessive, and trying to ruin the time he has with his mother.

  33. Geej says:

    Hi, I’m getting extremely frustrated. My boyfriend is 30 and still lives at home with his mum – because of the fact that she doesn’t have a job so lives off the rent that he pays for as he works and thinks it’s okay for her to do so, he is completely manipulated by her. She has no intentions of getting a job and he makes excuses for her all the time such as ‘she wont want to work as she’s never had a job’ She has even said to me that she doesn’t want a job. This is an issue as I’m ready to live with him now, it’s almost a year now I have been with him, I feel if he doesn’t do it now he never will. She does everything for him, cooks, cleans, makes his bed!!! Even touches my stuff in my room – and when I complain to my boyfriend, the response is ‘she likes doing it, must be OCD’, She knows whats she’s doing though. She’s made comments such as ‘I might be homeless one day’, suggesting the fact that when he leaves thats what will happen, I just think GET A JOB AND STOP SPONGING OFF YOUR SON. I even walked in from work one day and she had touched and sorted all of his clothes to sort to go to the charity shop, without his consent?! WEIRD. She still buys gifts on behalf of him for his fathers birthday as he doesn’t get along with him but he’s old enough to make his decisions himself. It’s driving me insane. Me and him have spoken about it but I’m just bad mouthing his mum apparently. Its hard, I’ve gained a huge resentment for her. I feel like i’m with a child and that i’m in a 3 way relationship with his mum. Please help because I cant cope with her. I do spend a lot of time at his but it’s because he prefers it at home.

    • mel says:

      Omg i read your story and it sounds terrible. How old is she? My bfs mum lives in my bfs house and 1 time she told him to pay all the bills so that he can be independent + so that she can save money before she retire but every weekend all she does was waste her money on food that goes bad, jewellry & alot of perfume.

  34. Confused says:

    Hi im in a weird situation right now, ive been together with my high school boyfriend for 8 years we have a child together, i find myself always getting mad at him because he doesng spend time with us and i feel his family is more important to him then me or our family. I recently found out he was talking to someone n right now were trying to make things work. I found out through him that his mother suggested to him to find someone new to be with and be happy so were nit miserable. They have never approved of my parenting and i for one want better for my child i dont want my child to grow up and be like his family (high school drop outs and making terrible decision and drugs and alcohol) i want better for my child so of course any parent in there right mine if there seeing this behavior are going to distant themselves from them (which has led them to dislike me and talk about me behind my back) and i think this is why we keep having problems maybe one of the reason aside from him not wanting to grow up and blaming me for always being the bread winner and him relaying on me. Ive suggestted couples therapy so well see how that goes. What do you think i should do ive considered moving to a different city were we can buy a home and distance ourselves from his family he doesnt get along with my family i guess because the tension of living with them after he made some bad choices and lost our home. I would like to stop biting my tongue after all these years and tell her how i feel and to back off but doing so will only cause more problems between us i have mentioned to him how i feel about him not spending time with us. I guess im just trying to get some perspective and figure out if its really me that thinks this way or were just not made for eachother

    • Lana b says:

      Hi Confused,
      I am so taken by you because you remind me of me and I know exactly where your problem is. You are too good for that family. Your amazing qualities and your intellect make them hate you instead of appreciating you, because they feel inferior to you. This is sad truth of life – much less classy people and unfortunately classy people fall in love with low uneducated masses. And you would think that your good manners, working hard and willing to make things work must deserve empathy – no! The nicer you are , the more mistreatment you will get from them. Move if you can and distant yourself from them.

  35. christie says:

    my boyfriends mum and family come round to our house nearly everyday i cant take it any longer! we need time to ourselves especially when i am working all day i have no time to myself after dinner as they turn up at the door 🙁 i wouldn’t mind twice a week or something but everyday? geez im so glad to read im not the only one with this!

  36. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Thank you for being here, and sharing how your boyfriend’s mother is affecting your relationship. It’s so difficult, to love a guy and know that his family is ruining how you’re interacting and being together. The worst part is there’s not much you can do. You can’t make your boyfriend choose between his mom and his girlfriend, because you’ll just be creating more problems and tensions in your relationship.

    Each situation is different, and there is no “one size fits all” advice on what to do when your boyfriend’s family is ruining your relationship. The most important thing to remember is that people don’t change. You can’t change your boyfriend or his mother…but you can change how you respond to them. What does that mean to you?

    I wish you all the best as you move forward in your relationship.


    • mel says:

      Thanks laurie :-). I dont go to my boyfriends house anymore so that i dont have to see his mum = no problem but if i see her somewhere i will still be respectful as always.

  37. LL says:

    Hey Laurie,
    I know this thread and post is kind of old but I really need your help. I love my boyfriend more than anyone in this world. We have been best friends since we were 12 and have been dating two years. I adore his family, I didn’t at first due to the fact I’ve had bad family experiences and I don’t trust family units easily. But now I do, I’m good friends with both of his older sisters and I used to like his brother before he started to act very immature (he’s older than both of us) since he got a girlfriend. I also love his extended family and his dad but there is not a person on earth I hate more than his mother. she is so ignorant and rude to me all the time. My boyfriend says she’s just an old lady who doesn’t have social skills because she was a stay at home mom most of her life, but that doesn’t change the fact she’s very condescending and disrespectful. She’s made comments on my looks like; when I dyed my hair blonde and she said “oh you dyed your hair? I preferred it brown.”, “I think it’s weird you have long eyelashes and that you wear makeup, that is just too much for me.” And the list goes on. The thing that gets me the most is when she degrades me on my intelligence. I just graduated high school and she has made rude comments to me for these past two years almost constantly about it. She thinks I’m stupid because I wasn’t in the top ten percent of my class like she and all of her kids were, one time she told me “well it’s too late for you to improve on that now.” And started laughing at me. And just a side note, I have gotten straight A’s throughout my high school career except for my freshman year. My parents very suddenly got divorced and I was about a C-B average that year for the first time in my life. She also got mad at me when she found out my ACT score which was a 29 and I guess she didn’t do very good on it or something because she was very offended and said something along the lines of “well I didn’t do good on that but I was still top ten percent and you could’ve been to if you tried hard enough” the most recent thing and the last straw for me was graduation. I was already annoyed because I knew she would be harassing me all day about pictures and “being proud of high school”, I’m sorry but high school has never mattered to me. It’s not a very big achievement to do well academically here, especially at my high school where we were babied way too much. Anyways, at graduation I was talking with my boyfriend and an old teacher of ours when his mom walked up, tapped me on the shoulder and started off “you need to be more proud of yourself and less shy about your accomplishments.” So I said “well in all honesty I’m not shy. And this is high school, it’s not that exciting.” “Well you didn’t go to the awards banquet and you won two awards and a scholarship.” And I said “it’s not a big deal. I’m not very interested in events like that.” And she went on to say that I should and I actually got openly angry and was like no *insert name* and my boyfriend stepped in and told her to leave me alone but she wouldn’t so I left the conversation and told my parents that I wasn’t going to his party because I was too sick of her being rude to me for today and my mom chased me out and my step dad got my boyfriend and I eventually got calmed down but I was still mad the entire day but I put on a good face for his party so that he could have a good time. But when we got alone time I gave him the ultimatum that if he doesn’t talk to his mom or if he does and she treats me like this again that we are done no matter how much I love him. I should note that all of her kids tried to get away from her except for my boyfriends older brother because she is so crazy and nosy and tries to micromanage everyone. I also want to say that I know I should be able to immediately move past her behavior but I cannot stand being disrespected or downgraded by someone who does the same job that a high schooler could do. I already have too many bad family situations where I’m mistreated and I refuse to enter to another one.

  38. nesha says:

    Me and my boyfriend have been dating for 3almost 4years and his mom is trying to break us up. I’m friends w . my bf cousin and my bf mom Is saying I’m cheating on my bf with his cousin! Which is very messed up. Ive never done such a thing. And my bf has really bad anger issue and doesnt know how to control it and so his mom blaming me for my bf being angery and feeling like he should kill himself and she made her son leave me. She is very immature talking crap about me saying I’m doing things and also she gave her son a gun just so he would go to school because he wouldn’t go to school and he 17 and I’m 19 . I feel like she in the wrong for starting all of this and idk what to do.

  39. Disappointed Girl says:

    I’m going through a terrible ‘make it or break it’ phase now. Me and my bf have been together for 9 years, and we are both from different countries but met each other while studying and working in another country. We had decided to move to HK (another neutral country for us) to try to build a future for both of us and maybe lead to marriage in a year or two years time. But he dragged on the plan to move to HK for 10 months due to his parents not approving him to move away from his home country and dislikes me for no reason. Eventually we did move, but 3 months in, his dad passed on. So we had to leave HK and my bf wants to stay with his mom for an indefinite time, saying he doesn’t know what will happen or if his mom is comfortable for him to move on so he does not want to plan anything for us for the next few years. I feel abandoned as now I’m all alone struggling as I’m left deciding where I should go, or whether I should continue this relationship as I’m at a stage where I want to get married and have kids. My bf said he doesn’t see a future for us if I don’t follow him to his country, but even if I do move to his country, I will have to live by myself as his mom does not like me, and find a job that can sponsor my visa etc . Am I being unreasonable by suggesting that we should leave his country / essentially his overbearing mom after 1 year of accompanying her and staying in his country? Is that really too little? I tried to convince him he should be more responsible to our relationship but he said he cannot make any commitment to a time limit. He is a nice guy etc but I feel I should break up with him and move alone to somewhere else as I don’t feel like I’m being valued. I would really appreciate your thoughts. Thank you.

  40. mel says:

    Hi i need your opinion badly cos idk what to do anymore. Btw its gonna be a long story ✌
    My bf and i love each other soo much + we think were perfect for each other and were planning on movin in together soon and were already makin plans for our future but last yr and just recently we had our biggest fights because of his mum. Were goin out for nearly 4 yrs now. The 1st time i met his mum i thought she was good as she grew up in the same country as i did + shes very nice to me &everyone else including my family but i didnt know that she could be mean as she was always smiling and seems happy all the time. His parents lived in his house therefore i get to see them when we hang out together.
    1st yr when we go on dates his mum always calls him asking where we are as her + her husband are already waiting for us to have lunch @ a local restaurant this continued to happened on the weekends for about 2 yrs. As soon as she calls my bf we had to cancel whatever were doing cos we had to immediately go there i didnt had a problem with it at 1st. my bfs dad was mostly away on the weekends for his job so then his dad asked him to take her mum where she wants while i was there and i seen her mum smiling about it. When me + bf goes somewhere like shopping and eat lunch his mum decided to come with us as she doesnt wanna drive cos apparently shes scared to drive which is ridiculous cos she used to drive to work for yrs until when she moved to bfs working place. At 1st i got no problem with her comin with us on our dates as she doesnt have anyone else to go with but there were alot of times that we wait for her at the shops. We go there at 11:30 and most of the time we go home until closing down(4:30) as she doesnt wanna go home yet. My bfs annoyed with it and when he tells his mum to hurry up as we dont wanna follow her around anymore cos were gettin tired shed say wait and then my bf will shutup.

    I love my boyfriend to bits but his mom is ruining our relationship. I feel that he loves me too but i told him about his mum acting like that again and he said he guess love is blind cos he didnt see his mum could do those things but on the last arguments we had about this he said he believes me and that he felt guilty for not believing in me. 🙁

  41. bunnyslovechild says:

    My boyfriends mom moved in with me she claimed to be some nice chill lady who would help me but things took a left when she had alot of company in and out of my home my landlord spoke with me i spoke with her soon as i said can u slow your company down she lashed out at me things never been the same ive felt disrespected. She smokes in my home and my baby has cancer uts alot anyways my boyfriend told ger to start looking for another place well she bypassed him and me and doesnt shes even called the cops on me! And lied saying i threw her stuff out.

  42. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Cha,

    Thank you for being here, and sharing how your boyfriend’s family is affecting and even ruining your relationship with him. Your experience will be helpful to other readers, even if yours is a bit different.

    The bottom line for all girlfriends, however, is that they can’t change their boyfriends. You can’t expect your boyfriend to stand up for you if he always lets his family get their way. Your boyfriend will always choose his family over you. It’s just the way he is – his family has control and power over him.

    It’s not right, it’s not fair, and it’s certainly not healthy for a boyfriend to be ruled or controlled by his family. But, it’s the way it is. You could try to learn how to change your boyfriend – but I don’t have any advice for that. My advice is acceptance. This is the way your boyfriend is, this is the way his family is. Either you learn to live with them the way they are, or you let your boyfriend go.

    I believe you can’t stop your boyfriend’s family from ruining your relationship — unless, of course, your boyfriend sincerely wants to change his life.

    If you want to learn psychological techniques for getting your boyfriend and his family to do what you want, you might talk to a counselor or psychologist in person or online. Maybe he or she can help you gain control of your relationship.

    Wishing you all the best,

    • Cha says:

      Thank you so much Ms. Laurie for this response and of course for the reply. I really appreciated everything you said. More power! And God bless 🙂

  43. Cha says:

    I have read all the stories and experiences of all the girls out here and I also felt the same way as with them. But in my experience I have different experience from all of these girls. Because in my relationship with my boyfriend right now, for me it’s the worst, hardest and painful experiences I had experienced in my life ever. Because its his mother and father who really doesn’t like me at all. Even though I think for me, I didn’t do anything wrong with them specially to their son. I am a singer in hotels and casinos here in our country and I earn enough money, the problem is my boyfriends family is rich, they keep on telling my boyfriend that maybe all I want from my boyfriend is his money, car or whatsoever. Even though to think I have all of them too. And every time I’m with my boyfriend they keep on texting my boyfriend to go home even if its still early, or whatsoever so for me how can we spend time together because were both busy with our jobs? we just meet once a week. Then there comes a time that one of his family sent me a message saying that “all of them really don’t like me, they hate me, I am ruining their family and many more” but my boyfriend just don’t have a choice but to always follow his parents when they said go home, he will truly go home even were on a date. And the time that one of his family sent me that message he just keep in silence and don’t fight for me. And now the issue is his father gets mad at him because yesterday morning we’re supposed to meet and go to church with my family and eat lunch together, so his father got mad at him and didn’t let him to go out with me and my boyfriend shared to me that his father told him to choose between me or him(his father) and my boyfriend told to his father can’t it be both? So my boyfriend chooses to stay with his family now and “told me that he is just getting his father’s feelings for our relationship to be approved with them”. So now we’re not meeting for 1 week and for me its really unfair that he just stayed with his family rather than choosing me or making a way to be still with me just in a while, he always follows the commands of his family, we’re 7 months now, but this issue is not new to us, ever since we went in a relationship, this has always been the issue, my boyfriend really loves me, and he’s almost perfect, he’s so kind and many more attitudes that I loved most, but its just that he can’t fight for me. Even though I think I’m really worth fighting for because I really love him, and before I’m just swallowing ny pride even though his family is hurting my feelings and ruining our relationship. But now, I think I’m almost tired of understanding their sides, issues, etc. And I think I have to let him go because I think I deserve better than this. I’m not poor, I’m not ugly, I’m talented, smart almost perfect girlfriend. Its just its really unfair for me. (by the way my family doesn’t have any problem with my boyfriend, they just support me because they all know that Iam happy with my boyfriend so it feels like its really unfair right? I’m the girl but there’s no problem on the side of my family)

    Please help me on what will I do with this. :'(
    I am really hoping for your response, suggestions and advices.

    Thank you so much and more power!

  44. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Amy,

    I’ve been married for 10 years, and one of the biggest surprises was that when you marry a man, you marry his family! My husband’s family lives about 13 hours away from us by car, and yet they are an integral part of our lives. We only visit them a couple times a year, but they affect our surprising ways. I didn’t realize how influential a man’s family is on a marriage (and vice versa, of course) – and I urge all couples to seriously consider the family they’re marrying into before getting too serious about the relationship.

    If you want to have a future with your boyfriend, you need to accept his parents for who they are right now. They won’t change. The only thing you can change is your attitude and thoughts towards them. This change you make will have amazing and wonderful effects on you! If you continue to fight who they are, then you will suffer. Your boyfriend will suffer. You may even give your boyfriend’s mother fuel to ruin your relationship if you fight them.

    Love is acceptance. You love your boyfriend, right? Well, he is who he is because of his mom and dad. You need to find ways to love them if you want to be happy with your boyfriend.

    I wish you all the best in your relationship! May you and your boyfriend build a solid, strong, loving relationship – and may both of you find healthy ways to support and love his parents.


  45. Amy S. says:

    I am at a loss what to do with my boyfriend. I am 27 he is 32. We have been together about a year and things are only getting worse with his parents (both my relationship with them, his relationship with them and our relationship). They are a bit older…72 and 70. He is their only child. His mom was a stay at home mom and his dad retired 20 years ago or so. From the beginning, things felt tense. His Mom has a way of making me feel like everything I do either displeases or disappoints her. This is surprising because he claims that they always confronted his ex about her being still in school at 26 and not sure what she wanted to do with her life – Basically she just wanted to be a stay at home mom. I am the complete opposite: I have always been very career driven (I’m a CPA) and am very successful. My boyfriend is also extremely career driven (he’s a lawyer) and we decided that we will not be having kids when we get married. I guess, he hasn’t mentioned this to his parents until recently to his mom. She seemed to just blow it off saying “all of our friends that don’t have kids are really unhappy with their lives”. I guess she will just have to deal with that one later. Anyways, she is pretty passive aggressive and is probably the most toxic person that I have ever met. Both her and his dad actually – They are constantly complaining and basically unhappy unless they get 100% what the way. His mom and dad don’t sleep in the same bed anymore and they don’t have any interests other than food, sleeping, watching tv, and spending time with my boyfriend. As such, they’ve become very needy. His dad texts him all day long while he’s at work and get disappointed when they don’t see him often. I would say that we (or sometimes just he) sees them typically once every 3 weeks or so. My boyfriend said this frequency is normal, but that he used to spend longer periods of time with them – i.e. dinner, wine, sleepover at their house, brunch and hang out part of the next day. I shut that whole idea down real fast. We live 20 minutes away from them, there is absolutely no reason for us to stay. If we had too much to drink, I suggested just taking a cab home and he said that they would be “offended” if we did that, so we have just been avoiding that situation lately. His parents are starting to get even needier, now that they see us getting closer, and are wanting to hang out every weekend…always what they want to do, no compromises. Apparently, they are “creatures of habit” and wouldn’t be happy doing anything other than hanging out their house (and eating) or eating at their favorite restaurant. They are extremely lazy and overweight. My boyfriend and I are the opposite – We are both fit, work out daily and eat healthy. I am at my wits end with what to do. I don’t want these people in my life for the foreseeable future but I love my boyfriend very much and we don’t have any other issues/fights other than this. What should I do?

  46. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Thank you for being here, and sharing how painful it is when your boyfriend’s family or mother ruins your relationship. It’s especially sad when it was a good relationship, and you could’ve had a wonderful future with your boyfriend if it wasn’t for his family.

    May all boyfriends and girlfriends find strength and wisdom. May they know how and when to leave their families to start a healthy romantic relationship – and may they find the balance between honoring their parents and loving their partners. It can be difficult to do both, there’s no doubt about that, especially if a family is intent on ruining a relationship. My prayer is for peace, love, and acceptance in all relationships.


  47. Anii says:

    His parents are old school typical Pakistani parents. We’ve had a really good relationship, I can’t complain. We decided to give us a go bearing in mind his parents would be very difficult with the idea of us together (he is a different sect of Islam than I am). My bf studies here in the uk and lives with his 19 year old sister. His parents found out about us and his dad flew all the way over from Dubai to the uk (as he works there), somehow found my address and came barging to my parents door. I never told anyone where I lived. But his mum and dad are Trying to split us up and threatened my family. My boyfriend is under house arrest and I can’t contact him whatsoever. They have taken his phone away from him and his laptop and most likely brainwashed him against me. They are so old fashioned it is unreal. If my bf has any sort of brain to realise how psychoticlly controlling they are, he needs to realise this and get out asap.
    This has just happened but it doesn’t look like we can be together anymore. My parents have said I can’t get involved with crazy people like this. It’s so sad because we had a really good relationship 🙁

  48. confessed girlfriend24 says:

    I feel sorry for all these women on here who have to put up with crazy mother in laws like mine .when we respect u and we get nothing but Insanity back

  49. crissy says:

    I love my bf with all my heart! We have been together now about eight years, but his mother wow she is is 54 years old with not even a place to live. She is addicted to pills and other hard drugs. She has 4 other children she never calls on for help because they have made it clear they are not gonna help so she only calls my bf. He feels sorry for her and she she knows it and uses it to her advantage to get whatever she can off him . She has made up lie after lie about me going as far as saying I was with his brother just wanting him to leave me!!! Luv my man to death but am ready to leave him cause of her!!!!!!

  50. Laurie says:

    Dear Nichole,

    Thank you for being here, and for being brave enough to share what your boyfriend’s mother did. My prayer for you is that you find the strength to put your physical safety and emotional health ahead of your desire to make this relationship work.

    Your boyfriend’s mother assaulted you, and I wish someone had called the police. If you had been treated like that on the bus or on the street, the cops would’ve been called! This is a physical and verbal assault, and the police should be involved.

    Okay – back to my prayer 🙂 I pray you find the courage you need to talk to your parents — because you know that’s the right thing to do. May you see your boyfriend’s situation and life with clarity and insight, and may you find the strength to make good decisions about your life. Be strong, my friend. Take heart, connect with your source of strength and courage, and don’t lose yourself. Amen.


  51. Laurie says:

    Dear LH,

    Thank you for being here, and sharing how your boyfriend’s mother is affecting your relationship. I can’t give advice, but I know you can’t change how she lives her life. She is an alcoholic and she is destroying herself. There is nothing you can do about that, except pray that she hits rock bottom and realizes what she’s doing to herself and her loved ones.

    I encourage you to focus on building a healthy, strong relationship with your boyfriend. I also think it might be helpful to read the Boundaries books by Cloud and Townsend, so you can figure out what is and isn’t appropriate for you and your boyfriend to do when his mom calls drunk.


  52. Nichole says:

    I was reading this and it didn’t go into detail if the mother was just plain violent. Just this thanksgiving my boyfriend and I decided to go visit his parents up north together. He told me they were completely normal, but his ex-roommate told me otherwise. This was our first trip together and I was pretty excited. The week started off great, then the mom wanted to deal with drama (from back at college) that had nothing to do with her. She came into the house with my boyfriend after finding out partial information and started screaming and threatening to hurt me. My boyfriend just stood there. He didn’t defend me nor did he protect me. I was harassed to the point where I could hardly breath. I ran upstairs and his mom screamed about what an awful human being I was. I was terrified and didn’t know what to do. I was over 1,000 miles away from home and trapped in a scary environment. His mom said she would, “Destroy that mf b*tch.” I was crying, shaking and gasping for air as I locked myself in the upstairs bedroom. I don’t know what to do, I am scared out of my whit’s end and coming back from the trip, I found that I am covered in bruises from when I was grabbed, thrown to the ground and restrained while at his parent’s house. I am so scared to tell my parents because I want this relationship to work more than anything, but I fear I am also putting myself in danger. I love him, I truly do, but I need help.

  53. Laurie says:

    Dear Tasha,

    Take it one step at a time. Don’t jump too far ahead — don’t let yourself get caught up in “what if my boyfriend’s family doesn’t like me, or says no we can’t get married.”

    Your first decision is about going to Abu Dhabi, to meet his parents. Also, you need to know now where you and he will live if you get married. You also need to know that his parents will always, always be involved in your marriage and relationship. They come from a culture that is heavily family-oriented, and it will never be just you and your husband on your own.

    Now is the time to very, very serious consider if you can marry his parents when you marry your boyfriend. When you marry a man, you marry his family — and vice versa.

    If you haven’t met his parents and you have the money and a spirit of adventure, why not fly over there and talk to them? If you have any reason not to, then don’t. This decision really is as simple as that…..until you bring your heart and emotions into it. Then it gets complicated, for sure. But, love does NOT solve all problems – and it doesn’t make family relationships easier.

    I wish you all the best, and pray you find wisdom and clarity and trustworthy guidance as you plan your future.


  54. LH says:

    I don’t know what to do. My boyfriend and I have been together almost 3 years. His mother has always loved me (our families have known each other for about 12 years). My boyfriend and her have never had a good relationship, she drinks too much and is in and out of boyfriends (his parents are divorced and have been since he was little) and is always in and out of jobs. Many nights in our relationship have been spent picking her up when she is too drunk to drive or when she is talking suicide. We have tried to get her help for those issues but that is besides the point where I am at a loss — she blames me for her son not talking to her. Her son will not talk to her for months but be the first one she calls when she needs help. He is very non-confrontational and doesn’t like his mother’s lifestyle, so it’s easier for him to ignore it than to constantly be stressed from her stress. Luckily, my boyfriend knows I’m not an issue and stands up for me. She doesn’t understand that I am the one who suggests that he answer her calls and texts and go see her, but when he doesn’t want to, it’s out of my control – he’s a grown man and will do what he wants in the end. I wish our relationship could be better but she just doesn’t want anything to do with me. Advice please?

  55. Tasha says:

    Me and my boyfriend have been together for a year now and have decided to get engaged in january. He is Syrian and i am canadian. His parents were fine with it because we had the same religion, but now they dont want him to propse to me because they think i would be able to raise the kids properly because i am not an arab. He is in Abu Dhabi atm with them and i am in canada, i will be going there in january still and he wants me to sit with them and explain my views on parenting etc and he wants them to get to know me better and try to change their minds. I don’t know if i should still go or what and if i do go and cant convince them and they still say no. i’m afraid he wont stand up for us and tell them to back off that hes going to marry me anyway… i guess i need some advice as to what i should do?

  56. Laurie says:

    Dear Girl,

    The most important thing is to treat your boyfriend’s family with respect, even if they aren’t kind to you – and even if you believe they’re ruining your relationship. If you make your boyfriend choose between you and them, you’ll lose. He may choose you now, but it won’t be a healthy, long-term choice.

    The hardest thing is the right thing: to hold your boyfriend’s family in highest regard, and be polite. Stand up for yourself if his mother abuses you physically or verbally, but don’t resort to anger or the bitterness she displays. You need to rise above, be stronger, and find healthy ways to relate to your boyfriend and his family so they don’t ruin your relationship.

    Wishing you all the best,

  57. Girl says:

    So i need adivce, I have been with my boyfriend for 2 1/2 years and been friends for years and years. about 5 months ago his mother verbally abused me when i was standing up to her and she almost physically harmed me. His parents are devoriced but since this situation happened they have double teamed him. Everyone in his family didnt want him around becaise hus parents spread lies about me. We worked though it slowly. as of recently they are back in his life. they will not apologize to me. or even trsat me with respect. which hurts because the love of my life just lets them manipulate him again with money and he does not stand up for me anymore. he tells me to get over it and stop holding on to it. I dont think i cant since they havent attempeted to recencille anything. even when i reach out. Am I wrong for feeling he should want them to do that so our relationship does not suffer from it? since this has happened a wedge is tgere. i didnt pit it there but how i feel makes it grow bigger. he thinks im the problem….

  58. Laurie says:

    Dear SMH,

    I don’t know if there is hope for your relationship, or if your boyfriend’s family will ruin what you have with him. It really depends on your boyfriend, and his ability and willingness to pull away from his parents.

    The problem is, it’s much easier said than done! He and his family are reliving patterns that were started decades ago, and those patterns aren’t easy to change…especially if nobody wants to. It sounds like you’re the only one who really wants things to change. Your boyfriend is sad that his family is affecting your relationship, but he’s not doing anything about it.

    What do YOU think – is there hope for your relationship? Will your boyfriend change his relationship with his family, to save his relationship with you?

    The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior, I’m afraid.

    Stay true to you,

  59. SMH says:

    To make a long story short, I need some advice. My boyfriend of two years has his older brother living with him for free. My boyfriend and I are very much in love, have talked about moving in together to save and talked about marriage and what our wedding will be like on numerous occasstions. Mind you his brother is 40 years old and my boyfriend is in his late 30s. The issue is his parents encourage him supporting his brother, they are a very tight knit group of four. With me being at the point in life early 30s, to where I have a career, want marriage, want children and even bigger goals, it just doesn’t seem like he is never going to come around to seeing the bigger picture: His family is stifling his future with me. I have discussed this with him, he agrees, he sees it saddens me, and it saddens him . . .but there is no follow through and I feel like he doesn’t want to let them down, but all the while is letting me down. I am almost to my breaking point, to where I may have to move on. Is there hope?

  60. Weeser1 says:

    Thanks Laurie for posting your response. It is so true. How does a man think he will hold onto such a dysfunctional relationship? Maybe they don’t think ? I spent 18 years single after a divorce & learned a lot. Mostly about survival. Financial, emotional, physical. A woman can’t change a man. I have sat & waited for dates, that stood me up. Married a man in the 70’s that left me in the 80’s. In fact two weeks before Christmas . He broke my sons hearts that year, they were 12 & 16. We did survive & quite well without him. In those years I came to see that he was not contributing to our family, in any way. Now maybe this is another round of similar happenings ? We can only change ourselves & our choices. I choose to not be hurt , blamed, or held back by a man.

  61. Laurie says:

    Dear Weeser1,

    Your husband’s daughter is really doing a number on you and your marriage! I agree, it’s especially difficult when you dislike confrontation. And, making a spouse “choose” between his child and his wife is awkward.

    The worst part is when the men don’t stand by the women they chose to be with.

  62. Weeser1 says:

    Iam married to a man with daughter issues. Actually , he has three grown kids in their 30’s. I have two sons 37, 41. We have been married 6 1/2 years. It is similar to Michelle’s situation. His daughter is allowed to call me dog & tell lies behind my back, then come to my house to get my trailer to haul junk, which I wasn’t asked about. Also I prefer her to stay away. I believe it’s called use and really is a form of disrespect & abuse. If a woman dislikes confrontation it makes it even harder to deal with. In my case, it’s only gotten worse. A man is showing his true side and lack of loyalty. Also that you can’t count on him.

  63. Laurie says:

    Jess, thanks for the book recommendation and your tips! Good advice, that we should stop thinking we can change men…or their family members.

    Either we accept them for who they are, or cut them loose. Or a third option: change our response to them.

  64. Jess S. says:

    I hightly recommend the book, “When He’s Married To Mom,” by Kenneth Adams and Alexander Morgan. I am in the process of healing from a breakup from my fourth mother-enmeshed man. Before I read this book, I had a lot of confusion and pain. I now have no problem recognizing when this problem exists, how to handle it, and (with the help of my therapist) saying that I’m not comfortable when I am not a priority.

    The biggest mistake I made was thinking I could change these men. You can’t! Unless they admit they have a problem and seek therapy they will destroy every relationship they are in…ESPECIALLY the good ones!

  65. Laurie says:

    Thanks for your comments! I’m sorry I missed them, except for Cindy’s (I’m glad you were here, Cindy, because your comments brought this article to the surface).

    I think you’re right, about the acceptance of your friend’s boyfriend’s family. Sometimes all you can do is just live with who they are, because you can’t change them!

    If you want to be happy, you have to remember that the only person you can change is you.

  66. Cindy Buchanan says:

    Sam’s story is real. Abandonment is legitamite frustration.
    Because they saw your strength and determination. Rejection may be
    their way of challenging you!

  67. Cindy Buchanan says:

    A moto says .. “except, change, or eliminate”.
    Just remember, being alone is the price
    for finding greener grass!

  68. Cindy Buchanan says:

    My friend is in the same boat. Her partner’s family members
    live on the couch with no contribution. She cooks for the group, has requested assistance with doing dishes from the homeless siblings with no avail. Her family is very large and tightly blocks her out for the many years she has stayed
    humble and honorable and submissive to their structure.
    Though financially care for by the family, she is sad and
    hurt by the lack of personal communication and consideration. I am her friend. I understand there is not
    much to do to but acceptance sometimes.

  69. Raq. Jardim says:

    Im in a slightly different but none the less simular situtaion..
    Ive been with my boyfriend for 2 years, hes amazing and everything i want but.. sometimes i feel like we just dont get one another.

    For the first year of our relationship we lived in a little island and we were very up and down because he was so strongly influenced by his father (he had moved to the island to be reunited with his dad).. not knowing my father either i understood. His father isn’t a good a man, but i decided to keep my mouth shut alot of the time as i thought it was best to let him figure it out himself.

    But then when i moved location to attend uni his behaviour got worst. Like not calling me from friday to sunday night, id question wether he loved me and eventually split up with him. it broke my heart but we were being horriable to each other due to the long distance and lack of communication on his part. He then moved location to be closer to me and spent months winning me back! i caved in and we’ve been so happy ever since! buuut when he moved..he moved back to his mothers house.
    which i thought was cool, she seemed really nice and she lived an hours drive from me.

    Now the problem is- when he first moved back, he said after a year of living with his mum he’d move in with me.. which i excitidly agreed with..
    Ever since hes moved back hes struggled to get a job in his proffession near where his mum lives,(its a crappy dead end area tbh) ive suggested he looks round where i live and why not move in now? as we’d get to see each other more oftern than just on the weekends for a day or two.
    He to begin with use to say “ive only just got back.. let me have more time” which was ok.
    its now been 9mnths 4 of which have been spent working.

    hes jobless again and now flat out refuses to move in with me!!
    i feel like its got something to do with his mother; she gives him money, cooks him dinner, iron and packs his weekend bag for when he stays at mine, she treats him like a prince as she hadnt had him around for 3years.
    I totally understand that she loves him and wants him around.. but hes 27!!!!
    she needs to let go and accept he needs a life too!
    shes told me a few times that i need to get it into my head that hes never going to move for me.
    and shes even asked me what she can do to keep him there!! wtf!!!!
    she says she’ll be lost without him..
    he drinks every day and is usually hammered by 5pm
    he sleeps on the couch coz there isnt a bed for him.
    He always comes to mine with some family drama on his soliders, which i have to deal with.

    he knows shes selfish and has even called her a gold digger, shes been married 3 times and her current partner pays for everything! she hasnt worked for 6years. her partner cant even afford to take time off work coz of her spending.

    I dont know what to do!?

    He says he’d like to get a house near his family once i graduate, which scares me so much.
    i just feel theres more to life than settling for that straight away… we have the rest of our lives to live near his family.. why do it when im 23 and hes 27?
    am i the bad person in this?
    so confusing!
    any comments would be much appricated!

  70. Sam says:

    I don’t know if this is just me being crazy or what but I’m upset first of all I was unemployed for about six months I had no car so I pretty much had to sit at home with nothing to do all day I was upset n lonely for obvious reasons anyways thie whole six months I cried begged got angry over and did anything I could to tell my boyfriend how alone I was and he would come up with some excuse or he’d be like you need to get a hobby instead he would go to his house that his sister lives in and hang out with her while I was at home crying we would make plans I hung out with him two days a week then I finally got a job now I work 5 days a week and not long ago his sister lost her job one weekend we had plans to go to Hardrock and I just wanted to spend time with just us but he decided to bring his dad n he said his mom would pick him up on her way home and I was like ok fine whatever then he’s like should I invite my sister too i feel bad n don’t know what to say bc she’s home alone and has nothing to do ?? Uhh well wasn’t I alone for 6 months ?? And he never gave a damn we’d had to hang out with her on my two days off so we never had any alone time for like 4 months I told him how I felt and I don’t even think he ever even apologized he never likes to apologize I talked to his sister and she said it was messed up how he treated me and she’d talk to him and he changed but I think it’s more the fact that she just got a job so he doesn’t hang out with her as much now I work 5 days a week and he said our days to hang out will be sat sun mon n tues which is fine he’s always busy doing something for his family but if his parents book a trip or they do something on like sat hell hang out with them n not me but I can never say let’s watch a movie on a Wednesday night bc he always has some bull rap excuse yet when he has to do something with them on my days it’s fine and he doesn’t care is this normal and I’m being irrational or is he not worth my time

  71. Lara says:

    I am in the exact same situation. My boyfriend and I tried to work through some issues over the phone after he cheated on me. He refused to come to fly to my city stating that his mother was feeling sick and it would make her worse (and I work in different locations in the summer so I couldn’t go to him) – so we had to use the phone. I’ll admit we spent a lot of time on the phone, but one day his brother-in-law came into the room and started calling me profanities and telling my boyfriend to just hang up on me because it was clearly making him upset…
    Um…he cheated on me…of course he should be upset…

    My boyfriend ALWAYS puts his family ahead of my needs. I’m supposed to get along with them even though his mother hates me for not being the same race/religion as her. His siblings encouraged him to cheat on me and then called me names.

    Why are we still with them? Clearly we care more about being with someone than we do about ourselves.

  72. Michelle B. says:

    How do you handle when he does actually put his family before your relationship? We currently live in my home together. He works while I go to school. (His decision not mine) They do take advantage of him when they get a chance. His brother actually went off on me (called me bad names and said some pretty awful stuff) publicly on Facebook. He has never apologized. My boyfriend didn’t stand up for me. My boyfriend actually invited him over for the 4th of July. I stood my ground & said he wasn’t welcome here because he disrespected me. I spent the 4th inside my home alone while they “partied” outside. I felt betrayed and hurt. This comes about just after my boyfriend and I went through some infidelty issues (did he or didn’t he cheat) concerning a “friend” of mine! I am about to give up. I feel like property not a girlfriend. I feel like he pretty much gave his brother the “go ahead” to speak to me any way he chooses.

    • Kyra says:

      My boyfriend and I are going through this too. We recently came to an agreement that me and his family will no longer be a part of each other’s lives. (They are awful, awful humans).

      I think you can work through this, but it will take a lot of soul searching. If he prioritizes his family, he probably always will in some way. If that’s something you can deal with, you may be able to minimize the ways in which he prioritizes them… But at the end of the day, you will probably always be shirked in some situations, or at some point. Is that okay with you? When you talk to him about how you feel, does he get angry at YOU for feeling that way? Are you okay with making sacrifices where he is not willing?

      He may just not be mature enough for a relationship with a woman that requires starting a life together. Is that something you can work through and not be bitter or resentful about?

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