Follow
Share

My longtime BF lives with his 87 year old mother. She's becoming too dependent on him and refuses to ask anyone else for help. He moved in 5 yrs ago after his father died. He gets absolutely no help from siblings at all and won't ask anymore because of the grief they give him (you live there scenario). He is fortunate enough to work from home. We live an hour apart. I have good-paying job that I love and house I own. For the most part it's good....we USUALLY see each other once during week and every weekend. However, mom is getting more dependent on her son and doesn't like him to leave as she gets lonely. I know he feels that he is getting pulled in both directions. I always tell him he will have no regrets and I'll never make him chose....however, she makes him feel guilty when he wants to come see me (i.e.....I'm going to eat supper alone - when will you be back?).

I love his mom very much and we get a long great. She's had a couple strokes and heart problems and is very unstable on her feet. She needs to be checked on here and there. She still drives and cooks, etc. Mother wants son to be with her day in and day out - kinda replacing her husband. I'm getting frustrated and lonely. My BF knows that he's given up his life for his mother. Isn't that selfish of mother?? Some say she's not thinking right because of her strokes, however, I think she likes having her son home with her since her husband died.

I know the saying.....notice how a man treats his mom and he'll treat you the same way. But I'm afraid I can't deal with this situation much longer. His biggest mistake was not setting boundaries but now over 5 years into it, what do we do?

Please help.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
I don't understand. If you had a child, you would hire a babysitter. Why not for mom? Just don't call it that to her. There are a ton of them out there for $10 an hour. She needs some one so get her someone.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Kandy1234, what would you do if boyfriend's mother, all of a sudden, needed genuine 24/7 care? The mother is 87 years old and is afraid of being alone and maybe not for selfish reasons, but because if something happens to her how would she contact her son. My mother was living independently when she died at 82 of complications from surgery to fix a hip fracture from a fall. Thank god she had a medical alert bracelet, but if not, how long would she has suffered on the floor before help arrived. My point is, it is fear and not selfishness that makes her act that way. You say you can't deal with the situation now! Well, it is only going to get worse as she gets older. Your boyfriend is devoted to caring for his mother. Should she agree to go in a nursing home voluntarily, so that her son can have a life for himself? I doubt your boyfriend would even agree to such an unselfish act, considering how much he loves his mother. You have to accept what is and take it or leave it.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

So are you in England? - I was a bit confused by the timings of your post.

How long since he moved back into her house? (I assume it's her house?)

Is he working?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Well Indespair, he's laid it out for you. His mom won't consider outsiders and I guess he won't either. So he's stuck. Now you have to decide what you're willing to put up with, because he's not going to change. And if he was "willing to move heaven and earth" to be with you, believe you me, he'd find a way. It's easier to keep things the way they are. He'd rather face your wrath than the wrath of his mother. So the question is, can you live with that scenario?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

He is living with his Mother and I live a short distance away. He seems to be going crazy living with her and I have suggested to him that he should not be living under the same roof but rather be more of her carer, even if it means going to visit her endless times per day. Its making him so miserable. Its as though his life has been placed on hold and in turn so has mine. He is trying to sort out carers money etc but because he has not lived here long enough he is not yet eligible. He is adamant that she would hate "strangers" going into the house and so won't consider outside carers. He has a brother and a sister living in the area but they have just left him to get on with it while they selfishly get on with their own lives and never visit, never offer any respite etc. I might well be a good friend but I really think I deserve a bit more in regard to my own happiness, I have had more than my share of things to deal with and that's why I am so bitterly disappointed. But its really getting to me ...I keep getting upset about it all and that's going to be the kiss of death for any relationship. Its as though any chance we have of even trying to see if we are suited is being thwarted, its over before it even began etc. I don't think we stand a chance.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My grandmother had exactly this senerio with her long time BF who refused to get married until his mother passed away. They were boyfriend/girlfriend for 9 years when her BF died of a heart attack at age 61. 85 year old mother lived on...

Broke my grandmother's heart. I don't think she was ever the same again.

The original poster may be a troll, but the example she gives happens. If anyone i reading this, don't be my Grandmother. Get out of the relationship and go find someone else if he won't "marry" you because of Dear Old Mom. Life is too short!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Indespair - so where are you, and where is he? And where is Mother?

You're being a good friend to this man, and that is good karma for you; I'm sorry if it isn't going to turn out how you would like. But I am glad that you're alert to the possibility of being used - in your place I would be on my guard there, certainly.

Could you say a little more about what his set-up is? It could be that he does need help getting his mother's care sorted out and doesn't know where to start. I'm still sceptical, but then again - even leaving the relationship to one side - helping is what friends are for, isn't it.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

You may be right about how he now feels about me but he previously said he would move heaven and earth to be with me but now he is stuck with his Mother he just seems really depressed and miserable. He cant seem to cope with his Mother and neither can I. And its all very well being friends but sometimes you can be used and taken advantage of when men play the "friend" card. Been there done it and got the t-shirt. I am very wary of that. I have said to him that he doesn't seem all that bothered about me any more and yes -I have said to him that I think if he was bothered he would find a way but he just keeps saying he hasn't got the emotional energy to do any more than he is doing at the moment. Stalemate ! And yes I am in despair and very disappointed. But trying to be reasonable and as understanding as I can be..
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Sorry, I hit the wrong button there. Anyway, will all of this leave scars on your relationship?

If this is something he feels he has to do and you just have to understand, then maybe it is not working for you any longer. I do agree with a lot of people here that long term relationships without commitment are just stalling mechanisms. He is comfortable. I have seen it over and over.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Kandy this is between your BF and his mother. It is up to him to talk to her about the situation, it is up to him to decide which of you to put first in this relationship. If you were married, would anything be different? Or would you still be in the backseat so to speak. What you have is a man and a mother without boundaries. Mom wants for whatever reason to dominate his life and he is letting her. It is one thing to have to take the backseat to an ill parent for a while but something entirely different to be pushed to the backseat.

Don't talk to mom, talk to him. And you have to ask yourself what is going to be left once she passes. Can you go back to being they way you we
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Hm. Indespair (and I'm sorry if that's how you feel, by the way - don't!), does it occur to you that if Mr NY was that bowled over by you he'd have handled things a bit differently?

Is this man English or American? English ones are incredibly bad - monumentally, criminally bad - at telling the truth if they think it might be rude. As in, for example, telling the girl that you thought might be the perfect woman that, actually, on closer inspection, no she's not.

I think you should probably take a nice new friendship from this, continue to go to the pub with him, be pleasant to his mother if you see her, and enjoy what time together is convenient to all concerned. Forget the romantic angle with him and find someone who needs more urgently to spend his life with you.

And for goodness' sake don't blame his mother. No man in this country is obliged to spend more time with his mother than he wants to - you can't stir a step without seeing conveniently placed care homes round every corner, Social Services will send a carer to his home if he wants to go out of an evening, the possibilities are endless. If he's not making space for you, then I'm afraid it's because he doesn't want to and he doesn't know how to tell you.

Or that's what it looks like from that angle. I'm sorry, but to look on the bright side there's no shortage of lonely people round here, is there? Write it off with no hard feelings and you'll be fine.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I met a man about a year ago. He had been living in NY for many years but was coming back to England to support his elderly, supposedly confused Mother. He said when he came back he wanted to get to know me, to go on dates, and that he thought I might be the perfect woman for him. Since then he has been here in the UK twice now for very extended periods but quite frankly all the plans we had, all the promises of our getting to know each other have been for nothing. His Mother has taken over his life, totally and utterly. We are going backwards not forwards in our relationship and I am so disappointed I cannot tell you. She expects him to be there constantly and if he wants to take me out for a drink she either sulks until he brings her along or he cancels on me and stays home. We can never plan any outings or dates, all we can ever do is go for a quick drink in the local pub. I try to be gracious when she comes out with him but even if he brings her along its never enough, she wants to go somewhere else the next day ... there's no concession on her part. I am finding myself getting angry with him and all that does is make him feel worse (and I don't feel good about it either) I think we are doomed and its so so sad. We are great together but we never have any peace. I really question if she is being selfish because she is a bit confused or if she is just manipulating the situation -she doesn't seem very confused to me -just a bit forgetful
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Sorry, I meant Geo AND Eve........
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Eve - your words are encouraging......I know he's stretched at both ends and he gets overwhelmed in balancing both. But I deserve to be his priority every once and a while. I try in a nice way to inform him of that. I wish I could say something to the mom.....but don't want to hurt her feelings.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Kandy1234, you know you can't make anyone else happy. And, seriously, I didn't want to make you feel like some kind of outsider in this where it's your problem, not theirs.

Let me put it, this way, and I hope this will make what I'm trying to get at, clearer:
We have a variety of people in our lives. It's not easy to balance them and we do sometimes give short shrift to people who truly are important. If he and she aren't creating a balance, that doesn't make it your fault. Unfortunately, it doesn't make it hurt any less, either.

Anyway, I guess I'll stop before I dig my hole deeper, here, but I'm really trying to be supportive and understanding to you in my own clumsy way.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Thanks for understanding Geo........yes, I am very close to his mother and we go on trips together, go see plays, go to dinner, etc. I think you were spot on about elderly people being lonely. But she shared her life with someone for a very long time. I would think she would want her son to be able to share some time alone with his girlfriend. My bf did move out of state when he was 18 yrs old (after high school) and his career kept him away for 25 yrs - just recently (5 yrs ago) moved back home to take care of his mom. Yes, I am the one with the problem - he's just trying to please his mother and his girlfriend and trying to make them both happy.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

ohdear, I don't mean to suggest that she's at all at fault or should share any burden of this, necessarily. However, when you have a significant other who is a caregiver, that is going to affect your life, too, and she does sound like she's a little close to the mother or I wouldn't have suggested any of it.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

geo123 I respectfully disagree with your approach. First of all I see that all the burden has been placed on Kandy, to come up with a solution. Unless Kandy left something out her posts, I saw nothing that said her bf was cooperative with her in making any kind of changes in the relationship. I think the boyfriend is very happy with the way things are with his mother. They probably have always had a too close relationship, read, " dysfunctional, " and I wonder if he has ever left home. This guy has his cake and is eating it too. He knows Kandy may make a fuss at times but she is not going anywhere.
Until people learn how to be alone and enjoy their own company they are needy folks and often settle for unhealthy relationships so as not to be alone. From personal experience, until you face your loneliness and develop a rewarding independent life that does not center on being in a relationship you set yourself up for attracting unhealthy relationships. I had to learn to have my life center around me, not another person. If that person could not enhance my life than they cannot be a part of it. Also patience is needed to wait for the right one to come along. That is also another reason you need to, " get a life , " because the right person for you isn't going to appear overnight.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Sorry but I misworded my post, Kathy1234. Your boyfriend needs to find the caregiver, not you. I didn't mean that you should do it even though I used the word "you" but I meant the plural "you" sort of, but meant more "you folks" not "you, Kathy1234." This is all something he'd do and that you'd just participate in is what I meant.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Someone in here mentioned that Kandy1234 should watch for a ring. I don't think I see a post where she said she wanted to get married. Let's not assume that she does. And, just because her and her boyfriend aren't married and live apart doesn't mean they don't deserve time together.

To comment on what Captain just said, I agree with him. I do think there's a double standard for men and women caretakers. I do think people sometimes are just too nicey-nicey to me about what a "wonderful thing you're doing for your mom" that I don't know that I've heard people say to men.

One thing I'd like to comment on that Kathy1234 said, though, was that she does love her boyfriend's mother and gets along with her. I'm not convinced the mother is necessarily trying to drive Kathy1234 away. With my own mom, she sometimes reacts out of fear. My mom is not afraid to be alone but a lot of older people are. I don't mean that I think that Kathy1234 should take the boyfriend's mom along or do things at the boyfriend and Mom's house (like a meal together), but I'm running across other caretakers that are telling me that their parent is just afraid of being alone and of meeting new people. It's not something they do on purpose, but it's still a problem.

With my own Mom, I make a huge deal about doing things just with her. My husband makes a huge deal about doing things just him and her. We make a big deal about doing things together. We make a big deal about how husband and I will have time alone. We make a big deal about how we all need our private time. Mom's memory isn't great so we'll say things like, "We had a great time went we went out the three of us, yesterday, can't wait to do it, again, and we'll be thinking of you when we have our husband/wife alone time at the concert, tonight." Sometimes, we invite her to things we know she won't like, like loud concerts. I realize it's harder for you, Kathy1234, because you're not always there where it's easy to do this and maybe you feel a little like an intruder, there, not sure.

Now, I don't know this woman so this is just a suggestion, not saying it will work, but consider this and maybe adjust it to her personality, but if you called her before he comes out to pick you up or meet you and chat with her a bit to make sure she's doing okay for the night, tell her how you want to make sure she's all set before you have your night out, something of that sort, do you think it would help? I realize it's an extra bit of time on your part, but it's just a suggestion. And, maybe calling the next day to say you'd wanted to make sure she'd been okay while you were both out the evening/day before and just wanted to check.

Meanwhile, one more suggestion: find a person who could stay with her but maybe could be a friend, sort of. If you could find someone who your boyfriend could meet and feel comfortable with as a paid caregiver, then maybe have all over you over (he'd be there, you'd come over, outside caregiver come over) and do something fun with Mom, introducing her as a friend, do you think she'd buy it? I realize money might be tight, but if you could do this once in awhile to establish the person as a friend, maybe she could even do this when you want to go away for a weekend.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Kandy1234 you have a right to ask for change, but once you saw your boyfriend's strong attachment to his mother, your next step should have been to walk away. This guy is superglued to his mother. He even works from home. If you cannot accept what he has to give you then find someone who can give you more, because you will always have to fit into his life in his spare time. The mother does not appear to be senile etc. She acts the way she does because she percieves you as a threat in taking away her son, or somehow you changing their mother son relationship in a way that will be unacceptable to her. Bet your boyfriend has a pattern of the same behavior in past relationships. What happened to his last girlfriend before you ? By the way I think you are aware of all the points I made here. Whatever the reason you refuse to move on. The same problem you had in 2013 you still have in 2014. Will you still be on the same treadmill in 2015 ?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Nsister.....thank you for your response - this is exactly what I was looking for.....information on how elderly people think and why they do what they sometimes do.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Did you ever consider his mom might not be able to help herself with her attitude? As a person ages, their arteries get harder and they literally do not get the same blood flow to the brain. This makes it much harder for them to be flexible, or to deal with even small changes in routine. (We are dealing with similar scenario with my 95 y.o. mother who currently lives with my sister.)
It sounds like his mom feels very insecure on her own, and yes, is probably on the selfish side. That being said, the choices are to give in to her, or to accept that she will feel that way but do what you need to do anyway. Her reactions are not your responsibility, they are hers. If it's possible to have someone else stay with her while he's away, that might help. If he's going to keep taking care of her, he needs to take care of himself, too, so he doesn't burn out.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

They - "they"! Tsk! What am I saying? I know all older people are not the same; but - they can get quite childish and clingy. I'm afraid the only thing your b/f can do about that is harden his heart. And as long as he knows, objectively speaking, that she will be fine - that someone is going to give her a hot meal, make sure she gets to bed, takes her meds - he should be able to work on going out in spite of pouting, whining or protests and please himself. It's rather like with clingy toddlers - they go through phases where only one parent will do and they will Accept No Substitutes. And as with toddlers, sometimes it isn't in anyone's interest just to give in.

Btw, I don't mean that your b/f's mother is a child or should be spoken to as if she were. Talk to her as you would to any intelligent, consenting adult and encourage your b/f to do the same. Best of luck!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Kandy,

1. How has the situation changed, if at all, since you posted in April, 2013?

2. What have you tried to change it or adapt a different approach? How have those techniques worked or not worked?

If you ask the same question 14 months later, I expect that you've made efforts to change your attitude and approach - otherwise, what's the point in raising the issue again?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

My purpose of posting is I'd like support on how to deal with his mother. I want his mother to realize that her son has a life outside of taking care of her every once and a while and she should not wimper when we want to do things without her. If this is whining, then maybe I'm out of line in posting in this support thread and for that I apologize.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

IMHO bf (if this all is real at all, which I doubt) is just using you for s*x. Try cutting him off and see what he does. I expect he'll be on the Internet pdq looking for another to cater to his male needs and string along.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

OK, so what is it you actually want, your purpose in posting here? No-one can help you unless you help yourself. As I said before, recently there was someone posting here about much the same situation under a different name ... you maybe?

You want his mother to let go and be gone. Hiring a hit man is one way to go. The other is to get BF a pair of big boy pants and have him set boundaries with mommy. Hire a sitter for times when you want to go out. Only you can sort it out between you. Whining on here is going to achieve diddly squat.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Countrymouse - thanks for your nice words. I think you actually understand what kind of man he is and that he is doing the right thing for his elderly mom. I get that she feels comfortable with him as he is the only one that takes such good care of her. I do know he deals with the guilt and he chooses to live this way. However, I actually do witness her sulking a lot when we inform her we're not going to be home for supper or he's going to spend the weekend at my house. "You mean I have to eat alone tonight". That's what upsets me - she shared her life with someone for 58 years, she should want her son to get a way and enjoy his life a little too. That's why I think she's a tad selfish..........

My BF does come stay with me once during the week and I go to his place on weekends and we all get along wonderful when we are together. I'd do anything for her and vice versa. It is just difficult for me to have to inform her of every move we make and when we're coming home and why we won't be home until later. We have a life too and that is what she forgets.

Thanks for your ear and you're not being critical at all. It's hard to explain our relationship through this forum for everyone to understand. Thanks for your time.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Kandy, she won't depend on her other children because they've made themselves scarce.

Why "she makes him so guilty when he does things with me," now - hmmmmmm. She makes him? Or he feels, even though she's doing nothing? What I'm getting at is: you're 87, you're not in great shape, you're getting a bit anxious, you are as a matter of plain fact wholly dependent on this lovely boy who has proved he does give a damn… and when he walks out the front door, you get the jitters. And maybe, too, you're going downhill a bit and he's not so happy as he was about leaving you on your own. So: his feeling more guilty about it isn't necessarily anything she's doing, is what I mean. It could just be a gradual shift in how confident either of them feels about her being on her own.

Kandy, not asking this critically, just to address it in practical terms: what would you like to happen? How would you like the schedule to run? I mean, for example, how would it be if you went over one night a week, cooked dinner for all three of you as a family, stayed over? - would that be possible, or H*ll on wheels? How about his getting a paid care-giver in to "mother-sit" in the evenings? What *practical* steps might help?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter