Boyfriend has co-dependent mother

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-28-2012
Boyfriend has co-dependent mother
9
Fri, 09-28-2012 - 9:32pm
I have been dating this guy for 9 months now. He is 30 and I am 26. When we first got together everything was fine and we were happy. He had been engaged for two years and had broken it off 7 months before we met, and he was going back to school, so for the time Being he was living back with his parents. At the time, it wasn't a big deal. We had broken things off 3 months into the relationship because he was so focused on school, and felt bad that he couldn't give me the attention I wanted. Fair enough. A few weeks later he calls me and says he misses me and wants me back in his life, so I said yes. Time goes on and everything was good.. I went to family events and was very well accepted (his mom would introduce me as his future fiancee) and it made me very happy, but his mother constantly called and had him do tedious things at the house. She would take him shopping, do his laundry, he gave her money to pay his bills, she'd go take him to dinner, and other things which always cut into our time together (especially on the weekends). I was invited to come along most of the time, but really, it cramped my style hanging with my boyfriend and his folks all the time. Well, over the months, both of his grandmothers died (one was living with them at the time she died) and I went to the visitations and funerals, wrote sympathy cards, and held my boyfriend's hand through the whole thing. He said he needed time with his family and I understood that even though I felt he spent plenty of time with them in the first place. After that, his mother became desperately codependent, and now since he has started school he has progressively distanced himself from me. I decided that we needed a break but I'm wondering if it is even worth it to work things out. I feel that his mother is jealous of me, and is controlling every aspect of his life to keep him with her. It is hard because I have such an emotional investment in this relationship, but "mommy" as he calls her, wont cut the cord and he is just letting her be that way towards him. Im thinking I should just learn a lesson from this and move on but I would like some advice.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-28-2012
Wed, 10-03-2012 - 3:35am
Yeah, everyone has pretty much been telling me the same thing. Thank you for all the feedback! I know what I need to do, and that is to focus on improving myself and getting rid of all this unneccisary pain I'm going through.
Avatar for khatru1
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2004
Mon, 10-01-2012 - 2:45pm
I think you are right to move on and learn a lesson.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-27-2004
Sun, 09-30-2012 - 10:01am

I agree with with Kendahke1--there's no way you can win this.  It's not up to Mom to cut the cord, it's up to Sonny.  As long as he's happy with the status quo, nothing will change, and you will always be the second woman in his life.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sat, 09-29-2012 - 8:51pm

When you have kids, the goal should be to raise them to be responsible adults who can take care of themselves, not dependant adults.  My son just turned 17 and he can do his own laundry & buy his own clothes and at the age of 30 I certainly wouldn't be paying his bills--he would need to take care of that himself.  I don't think it's terrible that they go out to dinner, but the other stuff sounds wierd.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-04-2006
Sat, 09-29-2012 - 12:02am
To be honest, I never understood that kind of reasoning. I mean, if you've spent X number of months/years unhappy, the solution is...to spend even more months/years unhappy???

I think we all deserve the chance to pursue happiness. Deliberately attaching oneself to someone who allows "Mommy" to run his life at the age of 30 doesn't sound like a recipe for happiness to me.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-28-2012
Fri, 09-28-2012 - 9:57pm
That really helps a lot. Part if me is thinking,"Crap, I've been through all of this with him and I don't want to be all for nothing" but at the same time, I know I deserve to be happy, and I'm not and haven't been for a while.
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-04-2006
Fri, 09-28-2012 - 9:45pm
Just FYI, "co-dependent" doesn't mean someone who is overly attached to someone else, it actually means someone who puts others' wants and needs above their own, often to the detriment of their own well-being. I think you meant that his mother is overly attached to him and overly involved in his life. Am I correct?

Honestly, there isn't much you can do if your boyfriend doesn't think there's a problem. You can't force him to detach from his mother and you can't insist he do so. He would have to see the attachment as excessive or unhealthy and decide on his own that he wants to back away or make changes.

I think instead of a "break" (which solves nothing, even if your goal is to get him to "miss" you, that doesn't change the dynamic he has with his mother), you might consider letting him know that you aren't satisfied in the relationship as it is now and you have chosen to end it. If he decides ON HIS OWN that he needs to make changes in how he relates to his mother and how involved she'll be in his life, then maybe you two can reconsider.