anonymous97335 Asked January 2012

My boyfriend is unable to both start a life with me AND look after his elderly mum. What could or should I do?

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After having spend hours and hours on the internet I finally found THE website where I think I could get the most helpful answers to my question.

To briefly describe the situation; Me (26) and my boyfriend (41) have been dating for a little over 2 years now. We're in a LDR as he lives in Toulouse, France and myself in Amsterdam, Holland. We met through work as I'm a flight attendant and he works at Toulouse Airport.

His mother is 78 now and suffering from COPD and we suspect that she's developping Alzheimer too. His father passed away 16 years ago aged 70 when my boyfriend was only 24.....
When his dad passed away he kind of made the promise to himself to always look after his mum. Which is absolutely understandable and it does show the good hearted caring person he is.

He did get married once (lasted 2 years) and had another 2 year relationship, both not giving him the satisfaction and love he seeked.

Until we met.
Things have been great for over a year and a half but then when things started to become more serious he got stuck in between his feelings. Feelings of guilt that he would let down his mum if he'd go and start a life and family of his own on one hand and the drive to actually make something of his own life...(which in the past 16 years have all revolved around his mum and keeping her happy).

He is not happy with the situation and feels trapped. He told me he feels like standing on the side of his life iso in the middle of it. Looking after his mum is becoming more and more of a burden (mainly because she is a horrible, horrible selfish person). and he has realised how he's missing out on life because of the choices he made.

If he has a good day; he'll say he's ready to build up his own life, if he's got a bad day he'll say his life can only begin once his mother has passed away.

I (having no more parents left) understand his responsability to look after his mum, but I'm reaching the age where I start thinking about marriage and starting a family of my own.

He is truly the most amazing and loving person I've ever dated and both he and I consider each other as the one we want to share our lifes with.

We've talked about his feelings over and over again and he does see that waiting for his mum to die before he can start his own life will and then maybe having missed out on many chances in life, will end up him feeling resentful towards his mum.

What doesn't help either is that he lives in his grandparents house on the same property as his mum's house but that I am no longer welcome there (his mum made it pretty clear a few times). So he will say he's gonna find a place of his own but in the end he always comes back to wanting to stay in this house and redo it entirely (heating broke down 6 years ago and many more things need some fixing). Kind of ignoring that everything belongs to his mother and she doesnt'want him to redo anything what so ever.

So I just don't know what to do anymore. It's a very complex situation with my boyfriend being stuck between his guilt, fears and desires.

What could or should I do? I've reached the point where I think breaking up is the best to do. I love him, but I cannot wait with him for his mum to die and then start a life....

Any advice is welcome

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Crazzzyj Aug 11, 2017
I'm in a similar situation. He is living in his mom's house that he's hoping to have once she passes, says it's for us. She's 93, we are both 62 and have been together for 6 years. I have no answers, however even though we are exclusive, I feel we are just dating while everyone else's relationships move forward.
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jeannegibbs Jun 2017
Anonymouss, I think all the answers already posted to the original question apply to your situation as well. Have you read them all?
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Anonymouss Jun 2017
Im currently in a similar situation looking for help. Dating a lovely guy but feel im in a partime relationship as he chooses to care full-time for his father so he gets carers allowance and doesnt have to work and has done for the past 10 yrs. Fed up having a unavailable boyfriend i work full-time we go out nowhere at nights. I want to get a house but he will continue to live with daddy till he dies which could be another 15 yrs. a homehelp was suggested but daddy refused. The rest of family help abit but my weekends off are spent on my own or going out with friends. He refuses to leave or get a homehelp in as he'll loose his carers allowance
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Anonymouss Jun 2017
Hi
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This is the 2nd post, where girl friend is tired of boy friend's mother. How in the world does the guy do it...Caregiver, employed, and a girlfriend? I take care of my Mom and I have no idea how anyone could even imagine being in a relationship too!~ The guy probably doesn't have time sleep. Wow, just Wow!
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dotville May 2016
whoops, should not have put this in this thread. Im new to this site. I have reposted it as a new question. thank you
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dotville May 2016
I am 57 and have been dating a man (also 57) for the last 5 months.His 80 year old mother lives with him. She has dementia and mental illness. Given her age and situation it is not unusual that she clings to him. Actually she clings to both of us. Therein lies the problem. She acts up terribly if we choose to go out. I feel guilty when she gets so upset, as I understand her loneliness. Frankly, I really dont want her to come with us as she acts up. We are only together on weekends, so she has him all week. Friday evening when I arrive, she is in bed and we have good "couple time". We have a peaceful dinner, watch TV and just be us. The trouble starts first thing in the morning. I get tense thinking about this. If she hasnt bathed properly, he mentions it to her and she becomes very angry.I suspect he lets the hygiene slide during the week to avoid strife and encourages her to be clean when I visit, thankfully. Then she starts bugging him about what our plans are for the day as she wants to join us.Sometimes she starts crying or gets angry to manipulate. I become very stressed. If we offer her breakfast she argues she is not hungry then when we make ourselves something, she wants it. (typical of dementia) This is bothersome, so I just make her what we are eating and either she eats it or continues to complain. She has tried anger and tears to get her own way. He wont tolerate this, puts his foot down and the tension mounts. We have zero privacy during the day when she is up unless we flee the house to be alone. It is very difficult to get to know someone if you are always on the go. Not having time within a home environment when dating impedes the development of the relationship. We just cant hang and be ourselves. We cant enjoy morning coffee together, be able to have a conversation without her constant interruptions or dirty looks and it is stalling our relationship from further developing. We need time to bond, just the two of us and she will not leave us alone. Ideally, without the issue of dementia, a mother might have the common sense to let the lovebirds be alone. Make herself scarce. She likes me as I am a source of entertainment if you will and she loves to manipulate and play on my guilt. He and I had a conversation about this as he recognizes what she is doing to me and what I was allowing to happen. I think you all have the picture.
So, what is this doing to us as a couple? I feel like I am in the middle of a threesome! I am starting to dread going to his house on the weekends because of the tension. I am getting cranky in my day to day life at home as I dread being with her. I am resentful that we cant develop as we should have by now. He has talked about marriage in the future, which I hope for as well, but never will it be the three of us. She qualifies to be in a home, but since she is still somewhat functioning, he hates to put her in one at this time. I dread the day, if it comes, that I have to tell him, its one of us not both of us. Obviously, this is taking a toll on our relationship as I am getting more and more on edge. I find myself crankier and less tolleratant in my general life and its creeping into our relationship which makes me very sad. I am going to have to encourage him to start spending more weekends at my home in order to salvage this relationship. The problem is, leaving the mother alone....
Help!
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Um, move on? After all, a woman can't wait forever because the biological clock is ticking and even running down the longer you wait. I agree with the one poster who mentioned that you will miss out on your childbearing years if you continue down this path, because as mentioned there really is no guarantee she'll pass anytime soon, that is correct. You may face resentment later if you continue down this path and miss out on children. This is why am moving on as you mentioned is the smart thing to do. It's not to say that you can't still be friends with this man, this is definitely possible though you've moved on. You can still be friends with no strings attached. I also strongly agree with what was mentioned about him stringing you along, because this might also be the situation to get you to stay. He may also be confused and not even know what he really wants. Another thing to consider is financial stability. If he cannot provide financially for his family, he's not marriage material, especially if he's a mama's boy. I would hate to see you waste any number of years waiting around for him, only for God to reveal the real truth down the road. It's just not worth wasting any part of your life waiting around for something you later realize will never happen. Relationships can be rather tricky and complicated, but don't bank on anything anyone says, even if it's a promise. Actions speak much louder than words so if someone says or promises you something, only believe it if you actually see it, but don't wait around for it to happen because it may not. I had to learn this lesson for myself and I actually didn't know if I was actually supposed to be learning anything from it, but even if I wasn't supposed to learn something from it, (but I did anyway). I learned an awful lot from past experience. I can tell you from experience that God has been awfully patient with me and probably waiting for me to give up and move on without the people I was waiting for, the very people who was actually supposed to be my family through marriage. God knew it was too painful for me to sever the unhealthy relationship with the toxic people and just move on. I think this is what God was waiting for all along but I would never otherwise do it and I would've of ended up wasting the rest of my life in a never-ending cycle waiting for something I would eventually realize would never happen. What I learned is not to commit to something toxic, and never wait around for something to happen. You must move on without it and without whoever it is you're waiting for. This is what I had to end up doing, because had God not revealed in a vision that things would not change and would remain the same even 20 years from now, I would've definitely wasted the rest of my life only to find out on the other side this would've never happened anyway. I hope you can use my experience as an example for your own life because it's not worth wasting your life waiting around for someone who may never come around or something that may never happen.
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jeannegibbs Mar 2016
FYI This thread is 4 years old. The most recent posting are more than 2 years old.
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Are all British Mothers this way? I noticed all the people saying Mum. His "Mum" is British and I think she thinks she's the Queen Mum.
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