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Recent Letter to the ElderWisdomCircle™

DATING/RELATIONSHIP: My 45 Year Old Boyfriend Is a Mama's Bou
Letter #: 405496
Category: Dating/Relationship

Original Letter

I am tired of my mom's boy boyfriend. He refuses to move out of his mother's house. We have a 2 year old child together. We are in a relationship. His excuse something about making a promise to his dad before his dad died. My boyfriend promised his father that he would take care of the house and take care of his mother. He is 44 years old almost 45. His 50 year old brother lives there too. I believe that even if he did move out. We would not work because she would call ALL the time and ask for money or something needs done with the house. Instead of getting a job because of the lack of money. Her excuse is she is too old to work. I feel she is taking my daughter's father away from her. And this grown women should be ashamed of herself. She is selfish and only cares about herself. She always has an excuse. I am tired of it. I want to end the relationship. It has been 4 years. I am done. I love him and want to be with him but I am at my wits end. Please help!

Elder Response

You're in an interesting situation, Mel and a complicated one.  But I think your boyfriend is showing you what the future may be like, because he can't seem to break away from his mother.  And, from what you've told me, seems to always have her as the top priority.

I completely get wanting to be a loyal child...and that's commendable.  However, what you're describing is almost obsessive on both the part of the mother and son.  If he won't work so that he can be at her beck and call, there's something that, to me, is very "off".  The mother appears to be sick and dependent...you do have a grasp on that.  But most of the time children get help for their folks or find a way to integrate that responsibility into their lives - especially when they are married or partnered with someone and there are children involved.  Your boyfriend is putting his mother first to the exclusion of his spouse, child and even himself.

I can't tell you to leave or not, I will tell you to be honest with yourself and see, realistically, where this is or is not going. Your child is your first priority.  If this man doesn't seem to have the time for his kid or you - I might try to find a man who has different values - that of HIS spouse and her child.  

You deserve a life and a man who is fully invested and a participant in YOUR relationship.  That doesn't mean he can't be devoted to a parent...  I was devoted to my folks and most of my friends were too.  But they didn't forgo their marriages and relationships (and children!) for a parent.  Again, be honest, even seek some counseling if you have the ability to do so.  You need support through this and a therapist may help.  Often there are lower costs counselors from state agencies or universities that can be arranged if you look.  I wish you and your child only the attention and respect you deserve.  Good luck.

Best Regards,



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