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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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My answer to the initial question is to leave him. Yes, you might say that's easy for you to say but its not. I am ready to leave my boyfriend that I love. We live in the same house with his Mother who demands his attention, completely controls his life, hates me and manipulates him therefore causing him guilt. He will not begin to live his life until she dies. She has made it clear that he is her servent (without pay or even an "I love you" or "thank you") I don't know if he will live his life then either because he will become so depressed losing the person (slave master) that has run his life for him. Gotta go, I am packing.
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Here we go again! lol (Inside joke, Anon. Someone else asked about this same issue not too long ago)

Run. PLEASE run!


"As to your comment JessieBelle; I'm willing to "sacrifice" a lot for the man I love (moving to France, living in the same village as his mother does and supporting him to look after his mother) but I simply refuse to live where he lives now."

Well, that's a good thing because you'll be the one doing ALL the sacrificing. Ol' boy ditched two women because of reason having to do with mummy and that's the first thing I thought too, before I even read that far. You'll do all the sacrificing or you'll be number three getting the boot. And really, in case you hadn't realized it, mom's had a death grip on this 'man's' balls for quite some time and from the sounds of it she's not about to let loose. And he allows it. Those red flags are whipping in the wind.
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I can tell you from first hand experience, a man or woman who is who so stuck on everything being the way they were raised...their mamapapa could walk on water and do no wrong....run for your life. You will spend your life measuring up to their parent who pounded it in their head that if you don't do things the way She/He does, you are doing it wrong.
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Sorry dear but your boyfriend has never separated from his mother. I am sure she never intended to let him go. I know these types and they emotionally cripple their children for life. This will not change. Someone said "if two people are not running to the alter for marriage" then run away. It is not right.

I have two 27 year old daughters. One daughter met a lovely young man who let her know from the very beginning he was interested in her as a wife and life partner. They married and are happy. Her sister was with a young man for 10 years who had to get his master's degree, then his law degree and then establish himself. All the while she supported him and encouraged him. Even bought a home with him only to have him decide he no longer wanted to gets married. Jerk.

Don't waste one more day on this man.
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Run for your life! Whatever wonderful qualities you see in this man he's lacking a couple of things - maturity and a backbone. Look at the movie "Moonstruck". It's old but the female lead character (Cher) is where you are. Do you want to wait to have a real life until his nasty mother dies? By then you may be too old to have children of your own. Get out, start dating others. I so hope you find someone who truly cares for you and you can make a life together.
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I am having the exact same issues with my bf. However, I am 49 and he is 44. His mom is 64 and moved down here due to her loneliness and health issues. Her mother is over 100 and was just recently put in a caring facility. He says his mother only receives $600.00 a month and that is all she has to her name. He is an only child. He has never been married, and says he wants to marry me. We have been dating 3 months. At my age I want to be sure about the man I marry. He is truly thee most amazing man I have met. His mother has met me once but refuses to talk to me again. He says she doesn't like people and does not talk to anyone. She stays in the master bedroom with her little dog. He takes his mother to eat nearly every night of the week. (costly)
He watches movies with his mother (in her room, as he put the big screen, only t.v. in her room.) I feel left out and he tells his mother everything. He says she is his best friend. SEVERAL times I had expected to spend a Sat. afternoon with him, only to have him tell me, he is taking his mom antiquing, on a long drive, etc. I asked him, before he told me she did not like people, "sometime maybe we could all 3 do something together so I can have time with you also." He never answered me. So, he told me yesterday, Thurs., "Tomorrow is payday and I am taking mom to dinner, she has been eating soup because I ran short on money. So she has dibbs no matter what."
Here is the other side. I live with my mother. However, I have 2 brothers that if NEEDED, would care for her. But, I am responsible to, take her to her Dr., appts., shopping, etc. I did live away and just traveled to take care of my mom.
What a dilemma we have. So confused.
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Thank you both (jeannegibbs and sharynmarie). I think I do know what I have to do but I am having a hard time actually doing it. I've been told too by several people to "take a break" which is something my bf and I have actually discussed. I think it's time to really do that. I think he needs to heal and concentrate on himself a little right now and not so much on our relationship. He'll beg to differ of course but I know for a fact he has a hard time multitasking and just needs to concentrate on himself right now. It's not going to be easy but I suppose it is better to do it now before we do get anymore serious (move in together!) Not gonna happen! Thanks! I will keep you posted. ..
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I am going to tell you a true story and I hope I can write it so it makes the point I want to make.
My sister met an older man who had taken a leave of absence to take care of his dying wife (cancer). His wife had already died when they met. During their 15 year relationship, his deceased wife was a source of excuses as to why he could not move forward with his relationship with my sister. They would go away together for the weekend, toward bedtime, he would start fights so they never ended up sleeping in the same bed. He was very generous, took her to nice restaurants, bought her nice gifts and always did things to help her out (she had 2 girls under 18 yrs.) He also had to be the center of attention. Once her girls reached adulthood, he didn't want them at her house when he was around. This was his excuse to not spend the night. He even set up the younger daughter in an apartment paying the deposit and first 6 months rent. He did all this in a way that it came across as generosity but the fact was he didn't want the girls around because the attention couldn't be fully focused on him. The 1-1/2 years of their relationship he did finally move into her house but he didn't like her waterbed. So they had several different beds they tried on a trial basis, air beds, tempur pedic...you name it they tried every one out there and he couldn't sleep on any of them. My sister got fed up with that and went back to the waterbed. He slept in one of the other bedrooms. In the mean time his behavior became more irrational. He would leave early in the morning on the weekends and go to places where he would sit and drink coffee and spend hours talking with strangers. My sister just got to where she wanted him out of her house...it took 6 months to accomplish that. He finally told her he was schziophrenic. I'm not saying this is your case, what I am saying is pay attention to the red flags because the red flags will only start a fire once you are living together.
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I beg to differ with you, parkcj. I think that you DO know what to do. It is pretty obvious from what you've written that you need to fish or cut bait. Consider your options. Pick one and get on with it. I'll bet you can even multi-task to the point where you can hold a job and maintain your household and have a few friends and still get on with your decision, whatever it is.

You could stay with this Momma's boy, continue giving him the benefit of the doubt over and over and over, feel resentment then feel guilty for feeling it, wait indefinitely to see anything accomplished, whether it is clearing a house or enrolling in school, or finding work. If this is your decision, don't say you didn't know what you were getting in to! If this is what you want, suck it up and learn to live at your boyfriend's pace.

You could seek some counselling to deal with questions like "what kind of GF am I?" And perhaps get some insight into why you have put yourself in this situation.

You could, with sadness and regret and a little guilt and a lot of relief, end this untennable relationship and get on with your life.

I guess it is clear what I think you should do.
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This is an close to my situation that I can get. The difference is my boyfriend's mother died 4 months before I met him(he was her caretaker. she died of cancer). She was a single mother, he's an only child and he's lived with her his whole life (he was 37 when she passed). I've been with him two years now and am still waiting for his place (his mother's old place) to be cleared of her belongings. It's VERY hard for him as he was VERY close to his mom. Which in my opinion was not good at all. I keep giving him the benefit of a doubt and trying to be support and help him but it's gotten to the point where I feel resentful going over there so I don't as much. He's "understanding" but what kind of GF am I?! I feel bad and unsupportive but he is taking a very long time to do things. I did not mention he's unemployed, looking to go back to school but not a multitasker at all so nothing is getting done or if it is it's very very slowly. I don't know what to do anymore. A part of me wishes I didn't get so serious with him during his grieving stage but I feel bad for saying that. Ugh
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Easy for me to say, having been 26 myself awhile ago (ahem) but really think this through as I realize you are doing here.

If I were your mother, I'd tell you to run away as fast and as far as you can. His commitment is to his mother as evidenced in his past relationships. He's stringing you along hoping you'll stick with him to share in the misery of his life being a momma's boy. His emotional bond will continue to be with his mother it sounds and that doesn't bode well for your future. She will always come first and you could very well miss your child-bearing years waiting for her to pass.

JeanneGibbs is so right, as she is on so many issues here. I just have to put my two cents in as I know 26 only comes along once. The love and passion you feel today my result in bitterness and resentment in the years ahead if you don't think wisely about your choices now.
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Puce, if you are going to start a family, you need to do it in the next what -- 9 to 12 years, ideally sooner than that? And ideally you are well established in the marriage relationship before you add kids to the mix. But there is no guarentee that Mom will conveniently die in the next 9 to 12 years. Maybe yes and maybe no. But how ghastly to know that you can't start your married life until someone else dies. Not good!

So while you are willing to move to a different country and start all over, are you willing to take a chance that you will never have children? If that sacrifice sounds too severe, reconsider this relationship.

The age gap between me and my husband is greater than that between you and your sweetie. I do not regret marrying him, and I'd probably do it over again. But I must honestly tell you that it does add challenges to the relationship, especially in the later years. Add this to a relationship that already faces huge challenges and I think the odds are stacked against you.

So, let's say you wait 12 years for Mum to die. You marry. Anxious to start a family you don't take time to establish the marriage firmly first. You have a lovely child. And within 2 years the marriage dissolves because of all the stresses over the years. You are forty years old and raising a toddler by yourself. Is that an appealing picture?

I beleive you when you say that he is the most amazing and loving person you've ever dated. But please don't believe that he is the only amazing and loving person in Europe! There are other men well suited to be your soul mate -- give yourself a chance to find one. No one is without flaws. But the flaws that are starting to show in your present relationship may be fatal to a longterm committment that involves a family.

Think of what you want out of life, and then consider how likely you are to achieve that if you continue down this path.

Good luck to you.
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Puce, (a wonderful old color, btw) First: what is the common denominator in his failed relationships? There is only one answer. Second, he is too old for you, no matter how mature you are. He is emotionally immature for whatever reason, and maybe you have a Daddy complex? A good example of a real man is one who puts his wife first, and children, and sets up and manages his dependent parents
Housing and medical needs, gets the caregiver help necessary so he can live his life. Men don't whine and blame everyone else for their unhappiness. Two many red flags. As my Grandmother told me, 'there are many fish in the sea.' You can catch one who is not snagged and flopping all over trying to get away. When things are meant to be, you don't have to try so hard to make it work. Cut bait and I bet you will feel resolved. All the best, dear one.
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No Naheaton, my answer to that question is: I don't
Thanks for your comment.
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Puce85, gotta ask yourself this question: Do I want to stay in a relationship where my boyfriend is going to put his mother ahead of me until she dies. Which could be another 10 -15 years? There's your answer.
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Txcatlover, I know and that is excactly the reason why I came to post my situation here. You are all on the side of the caregiver so you understand his situation, but also see that this is not the healthiest way to do it.
Thank you for your input.
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Thanks Lilliput and JessieBelle for your comments so far. They're really helpful and point out what I actually deep inside of me somewhere do know.

Lilliput to answer your questions; To be honest, I do think that his loyalty to his mum has helped ruin his previous relationships. He was the one to end both his marriage and his relationship as he didn't get from it what he was expecting and so turned more to looking after his mum which I don't think helped his relationships very much.
He ended up with financial problems both times which kindda forced him to return to his grandparents place as he didn't have the money to rent something. I've been in the same situation when I ended my first long term relationship so that was a plausible reason for me.

The last time he found himself back to scratch after the second failed relationship he told him that he wasn't going to move anywhere anymore and that the next time it was gonna happen in his place (well officially speaking his mums place).

You're absolutely right that it is worriesome that he doesn't want to leave the family property. His reply is that he doesn't want to invest money in renting some place but invest money in what will someday be his anyway.....

He's got a twin brother bu contrary to my boyfriend he is more capable of building his own life and who will actually get married next saturday. He too looks after their mother, but manages to keep his distance. Probably cause out of the two sons he wasn't the "prefered" one.

You've been pointing out quite a few things that I know he won't be able to change. He told me 6 times that he was gonna find an appartment where we both could live , made a few efforts but then always to come back to "No I want to stay here and make it here with you"....
Getting his mum into some sort of care taking place is out of the question... she simply refuses. She can still take care of her self for the moment, but soon the time will come she no longer will be.

I'm gathering more and more strength that the best way for me is to end this relationship.

As to your comment JessieBelle; I'm willing to "sacrifice" a lot for the man I love (moving to France, living in the same village as his mother does and supporting him to look after his mother) but I simply refuse to live where he lives now.
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I see a pattern where as long as his mother is living, you will always be second fiddle. If he can't make changes before you are married, he won't after.
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My main question here is about what you are willing to sacrifice in your life. You are in the prime of your life. As an older woman, I see all the clues of a relationship that not as good as you hope. If he is choosing to live to accommodate his mother and sacrificing being with you to do it, it is a bad sign.
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There are really two things happening here. Your boyfriend's self-imposed, overly protective duty to his Mom and the need for you two to develop your own relationship.

From what I have read above, it seems that you two will not be able to move forward until the issues with his mother are resolved.

If his past two relationships were doomed because of his Mom, that is sending up a red flag. Also, his reluctance to move out on his own and leave the family property is worrisome.

You did not mention whether he has siblings or not. Are there other family members who are involved in her care?

Really, the only way you will know for sure if he is sincere, is if he starts making arrangements for his Mom's care so that it is not consuming his entire life. No one deserves that much of another's time and it is just not healthy.

The other option is to decide if you can marry into this twosome...that his Mom would live with you two...which I think may be his "ideal" plan.

Everyone in this forum has dealt with this issue. Loving a parent and being a responsible child does NOT mean that the parent can demand that their child's lives be devoted to them solely. But, getting your boyfriend to see that is going to be difficult...he has been doing this for many years and has convinced himself that only he can take care of her properly.

One thing you can try is to look at alternative housing for her in the town you plan to live in. Most new facilities offer a variety of care which she may need soon if she is developing Dementia.

Bottom line: proceed carefully and be realisitic.
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