My partner's mother is causing a problem in our relationship. Any advice?


Hi there, I am in a relationship for 1 year with my partner. When I first met him it was clear that he had issues with his parents - his dad has a few health issue but he is still active and mobile and his mother has been 'caring' for the father. My partner's mother has always been extremely self absorbed, unappreciative and just a total nightmare at times and she has put my partner on so many guilt trips, even though the has supported them financially and emotionally. He has spoken very badly of her in the past and it's been very abnormal behaviour from all three of them. The problem now is that his mother has been unwell, she ended up in the hospital for only two days before our holiday that we had planned and really looking forward to, she then seemed OK but she begged him not to go on holiday, we offered to get someone in to care for them and provide some support but he refused and she is not open to options - she only wants her son. we ended up going on holiday but she was on the phone crying most days not letting him enjoy himself. I find her manipulative and she is a hypochondriac, my partner says the same thing about her. She recently ended up in hospital again with vasculitis, but through all of this she does not want any other help other than her son, the stress and the relationship between them at times has made him feel physically sick.. Long story short, she is still recovering its been 5 months now and all she is still not quite well and she doesn't allow her husband who has to listen to her crying and moaning every day out of the house even for a break. my partner goes there every week and I have not been allowed to go with him, as she hasn't wanted to see anybody. There have been times where we have planned to go together and then last minute she says she is not well enough for company and then I get dumped for the day. We have had another trip booked for months which we were both really looking forward to and now he has told me he can't go because she is not well enough, but yet once again she does not want proper care or help and I think she knows he has this trip planned (he says he didn't tell her!why?) and obv doesn't want him to go. There are other options for them but he has now pushed me aside and I have to go on my own. His father told him that he shouldn't go on this trip. From what I have seen and experienced, he has a problem saying no to his mother or stepping up, even including me at times - if she says no I can't come to visit with him, he just accepts that and I must be happy with that. I must be happy that with the last two trips we have planned there has been an issue. My partner is 42 years old! I feel like I am competing with his mother for his time at times and also - I have seen a nasty side to him, he talks very badly, swears and me and gets very frustrated with me, this started after 3months of meeting him, I have a feeling he has so much resentment towards her and deeper issues and that's why he is nasty to me? Apparently now - she has changed and is a nice person, but I feel like he is just saying that now because in the beginning he painted such a bad picture of her. In the past she has demanded ridiculous requests from him (like going through her summer and winter clothes to decided what she wants to keep etc and he does it. I do not feel like a priority and feel like she is always going to come first. I know she is not well right now and neither is the father ... but what do I do? He has health issues too from all the stress and he keeps saying he is going to get them proper help but why hasn't that happened and then my life is basically based around how she is feeling. I would like a family but I wonder how this possible because it feels like he already has two kids (his parents!) his spare room and bathroom are full of her clothes and cosmetics, weird stuff like that. he is riddled with guilt that she has laid on him and now he feels like he needs to support them even more and it should be just up to him. She is depressed also and I think mentally something else going on but again - she wont accept help or talk to someone so she is on the phone everyday crying and repeating herself and my partner makes excuses and carry's on with these calls and not to mention the financial aspect - they bought an expensive car without telling him but he has to make the payments every month! but what do I do because they are not well and I have been made to feel like I am heartless, I am 32yrs old and I am arguing about my partners parents with him all the time because he cant, wont manage or stand up to her and doesn't want to upset her by talking about getting them proper care.

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So you have been in what sounds like a awful relationship for a year. Can you picture a life of it? Always being 3rd fiddle to difficult parents? It would be one thing if it was a loving and nurturing relationship with elderly parents, but they're toxic. And you partner is choosing them over you. Youre young and only have a year invested in this, it’s time to value yourself enough to say “enough”.
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Reply to rocketjcat

Run, run as fast as you can!
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Reply to anonymous439773

Definitely run.
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Reply to Dorianne

Don't waste any more time - he is already married, to Mom!!
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Reply to rovana

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Reply to BlackHole

Sorry for your situation. But it is definitely unhealthy. You should move on, sorry.
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Reply to smeshque

Please reread your post as if I wrote it. What would your advise be to me?

As I see it, there is NO future with this guy. He's tied to mommie's apron strings and is fully enmeshed in her guilt trip. At his age, he will never change. The more you nag to get "your" time, the more he will resent you.

I think you can see the writing on the wall. You TWO will never go on vacation as long as they are alive.  How rude of him to cancel plans for your vacation. Is this how you want to be treated the rest of your relationship? Aren't you worth more than playing second fiddle to your future MIL?  

This man is not husband or father material. And the minute he starts screaming or getting angry at you, I'd say "Adios". 
This is a very disfunctional family that you're not going to fix. Do you really want to be involved?

Turn around and run!
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Reply to SueC1957

Mich123,Your partner is unavailable for any relationship.
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Reply to Sendhelp

This is a one year relationship which has been, let's say politely, less than wonderful for nine months. Add up. A full 75% of the time you have spent with this person has been a bit rubbish.

You're 32. My *daughter* is 32, for Heaven's sake. It's not like you're running out of time and will never love again.

Why are you still with him?

I just can't think what else you're expecting anyone to say.

And, by the way, the mother isn't the problem. The boyfriend is the problem. "There are no victims, there are only volunteers" is only a half-truth, but this time it's spot on.
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Reply to Countrymouse

I am sorry, but I see all sorts of red flags for your relationship. You fellow is enmeshed with his parents, especially his mother. That will not change, unless he makes a concerted effort to put boundaries in place.

He has not been kind to you in the past and is not kind to you now.

I think you need to move on. His parents are going to get needier, he will ignore you even more and if you have children, they will learn that his behaviour is normal.
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Reply to Tothill