Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Disabled Boyfriend’s Mother is Making Me Crazy”

I’m a 25-year-old woman dating and very much in love with my boyfriend of two and a half years. My boyfriend, “Jay” is physically disabled and is in his 40’s, which may alarm some people, but has never been in issue in either of our families.

Jay’s mum moved in with Jay when he first bought his house many years ago, leaving her husband behind in their old house. After that, his sister (let’s call her Lu) also moved in with Jay.

My issue is with his mother. Whilst she is capable of being nice at times, she’s also emotionally manipulative, controlling and paranoid. For instance, when Jay and I first got together, she would often tell his sister Lu that I was “taking Jay away from her” and she felt she “had no purpose” in her life anymore. I felt horrible when I heard this, because it’s absolutely not my intention! She constantly tells me that she hates my being vegetarian, and she doesn’t like my piercings or tattoos (to each their own I guess).

She’ll get angry if I stay too long at Jay’s house because it ruins her routine, which is weird because she doesn’t have a strict regime. No one can invite anyone over to the house because she hates people invading her privacy (we don’t go anywhere near her room or touch her belongings). If Jay and I invite a friend over for a drink or something she’ll get angry and say that we don’t care about her and want her to die, so we’ll feel guilty. She’s also predominately deaf but refuses to get any hearing aids, which means everyone has to talk loudly for her to hear us, but if we talk too loudly she’ll get angry and say we’re “yelling at her.”

Lu and I organised a birthday party for Jay, and when she found out we were going to have a party, she started yelling and saying it was a “stupid idea” and that she “never had a party when she was his age,” and that she was going to move out and told Jay to never contact her ever again and made Lu cry.

If we’re all having a conversation and we don’t make enough eye contact with her, she’ll get angry and bitch about it to someone in the household. If the dog pays more attention to anyone else in the house than to her, she’ll get upset and call the dog over to her until he eventually comes, and if he doesn’t, she’ll say “oh well, he doesn’t love me anymore,” so we make the dog go sit with her to make her feel better.

She’s very nosy, she always wants to know what we’re talking about, what we’re doing, where we’re going and who with. She’ll constantly come to the bedroom door wanting to talk to Jay about something frivolous, interrupting what little possible intimacy we actually have in the house. She’s also very unapologetically racist, which makes me, as well as other family members, super uncomfortable, but nothing we say will actually change or alter her perspective. It wouldn’t be so bad if she didn’t always bring it up.

This is an ongoing dilemma. I’ve spoken to Jay about it so many times, but he always says that she’ll never change and that’s how it is. It’s gotten to the point where a part of me dreads going over to his house because my anxiety levels go through the roof when I’m around her. I would love for him to stay at my place, but unfortunately it’s not wheelchair accessible. We do try to go out as often as possible, which is always really nice when we do, but we don’t always have the money. Sometimes we’ll go for drives to different places, just to get out of the house, but we can’t do that all the time. I suppose I just really need some coping skills. It’s sad that he isn’t allowed the freedom to do what he wants, but the biggest problem is that she spoils him so much that I think he’s dependent on her; even before his accident I was told she would do everything for him.

I don’t hate her, and I’m not suggesting she leave, but I don’t know how to deal with this problem. I love Jay so much and I’d never leave him. I’m not sure if I’m doing something wrong — I mean, I always help out around the house with cleaning, dishes, with their technology issues, whatever they want me to do. I’ve offered to pay board on numerous occasions and they always say no. Advice? — Fed Up with Meddling Mom

I could give you some tips for dealing with this issue in the immediate future, but I’m wondering what your long-term plans are with Jay. You’ve been together for 2 1/2 years now. Have you discussed a long-term commitment, like marriage or living together? What is the next step for you two? At some point, it would seem Jay will need to decide whether he will continue living with his mother (and sister) forever, or whether he opts instead to live alone or with a committed partner (like you). And it would seem that after 2 1/2 years together, you should have some idea where he stands on this, and he should be considering your desires as well as he thinks about his living situation moving forward. Do you ever talk about this? And if not, why not? And if you do, what’s the plan? Are you going to move into the house Jay owns, along with his mother you can’t stand being around and his sister? Are you going to take over in any care Jay needs in regards to his physical disability? Would Jay ever consider hiring an aid or nurse to help with his physical needs rather than depending on his mother? If not, this is obviously something you need to know as you think about and plan your future. (And you SHOULD be thinking about and planning your future).

As for shorter-term solutions: I still say spending more time out of Jay’s house can only help matters. You don’t need money to hang out at a park or go for walks or sit in a coffee shop or meander through a book store or flea market or mall. And if your relationship is serious enough — 2 1/2 years now and you say you are “very much in love” — maybe it’s time for you tp find a home that’s wheelchair accessible so that you have another place to be together. But, again, a move like that requires some discussion and decisions about your future — discussions it sounds like maybe you have not had. And, really, THAT seems to be the biggest issue here. Where’s your communication?

Finally, as much as you say your age difference is a non-issue, I don’t believe your youth and naiveté aren’t part of the problem here. You are putting up with behavior that someone with more life experience wouldn’t be as likely to tolerate. Your boyfriend’s dependence on his mother to the detriment of your relationship is just the tip of the iceberg. His reluctance to create boundaries in his own home so that his girlfriend of 2 1/2 years is comfortable and your seeming acceptance of all that (or, at the very least, lack of “coping skills” in this situation) points to a power imbalance that isn’t surprising in an age difference like yours (particularly considering that you were, what, 22 or 23 when you started dating?). Frankly, it’s almost a little alarming that your family hasn’t shown some concern for you in regards to this relationship, but maybe they aren’t privy to the details you’ve shared in this letter.

The bottom line here is that the mother sounds like a fucking head case and your boyfriend doesn’t sound like he’s in any rush at all to change his living situation or create any kind of boundaries with this woman. That he was super-dependent on her even before he became physically disabled is telling, and that she seems to think her life would basically be over if she didn’t have him to take care of is really disturbing. Theirs sounds like a truly dysfunctional relationship — one that even with some physical distance (i.e. separate living arrangements) will probably continue being an enormous part of his life–and, as long as you are part of it, your life, too. You ask how you can “cope” with that, but my question to you is: Why would you want to?

If you decide that this isn’t a deal-breaker for you and you’re willing to commit yourself to a life that includes this kind of dysfunction, I think that YOU need to be the one to set very clear boundaries. Maintain a space for yourself that is just yours (where the mother isn’t welcome). Maintain friendships and activities away from this dysfunction where you can re-charge and disengage from the madness. And practice communicating your needs with your boyfriend so that together you can reach some solutions and compromises that work for both of you. But, above all else, go forward with your eyes wide open here. This IS dysfunctional. Neither party seems interested in changing. And it WILL be a big part of your life as long as you remain with your boyfriend. Only you can decide if that’s a deal-breaker or not.

***************

Follow along on Facebook, and Instagram.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

36 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Laura Hope April 21, 2015, 8:14 am

    “Jay” is in a relationship with his mother (or she’s in a relationship with him and he’s allowing it. She left her husband for him!) He needs to break up with her before he can be available to you. In the meantime you’re just spinning your wheels trying to push your way in. Good luck with that.

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    • Raccoon eyes

      Raccoon eyes April 21, 2015, 8:36 am

      WWS and I agree with you, LH. The relationships in this letter give me the “icks.”
      *
      Is there an antonym for “symbiotic?” Because that is what I would call Jay and his mother’s relationship. As in symbiotic is a mutually beneficial thing, if I recall junior high science correctly- and while I dont doubt that they both benefit from their relationship, it sounds like it is also hugely detrimental. Jay and his mother obviously depend on each other pretty heavily and it sounds like neither is willing and/or able to cut the cord. This does not bode well for you, LW.

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      • Raccoon eyes

        Raccoon eyes April 21, 2015, 8:40 am

        Wendy, I just used the “modify” button. (I just noticed it was back, which means it has probably been there for a few days…) Awesome!! Thank you for working that out!

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy April 21, 2015, 8:43 am

        You’re welcome!

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      • becboo84

        becboo84 April 21, 2015, 8:52 am

        I am not necessarily defending the relationship between Jay and his mother, as there are obviously some serious boundary issues; however, when a person is physically dependent on another person for their very existence, I think t is difficult to judge their dynamic when it’s not something you’ve experienced firsthand. I think Wendy’s suggestion that Jay look into a paid aid of some type could be a good step forward.

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      • mrmidtwenties

        mrmidtwenties April 21, 2015, 8:55 am

        @becboo84, You worded it so much better than I did.

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      • Raccoon eyes

        Raccoon eyes April 21, 2015, 9:27 am

        I agree to a point, but let’s call the spade a spade here- Momma rules the roost here, and she does it with a mighty trident of mental/emotional abuse-y tactics. LW even says she is “emotionally manipulative, controlling, and paranoid.” Mommy Dearest tells sister Lu that she no longer has purpose when Jay starts dating LW. Umm, wow. Mommy says (constantly!) that she hates LW’s vegetarianism (is that a word? whatever, I like it), tattoos, and piercings. Umm, WTF. Mommy also gets angry if LW and/or Jay have a friend over bc that means they dont care and want her to die. WHAT THE MOTHERLIVING F*CK??? (Dont get my started on the dividing up of the dog’s attention!)
        *
        Yes, it is easy to judge when you arent directly involved in the dynamic/relationship, but WHOA, this is all kinds of messed up, and LW just wants some coping mechanisms? Talk about a tall order.

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      • avatar

        Ange April 21, 2015, 7:08 pm

        We don’t know that he’s physically dependent on his mother for sure though do we? A person who uses a wheelchair can still be fully independent – if they WANT to be. He might just not realise what he’s capable of because mother has created this learned helplessness in him. I used to work with people who were quadriplegics and still lived on their own, drive, shop, play sport, whatever.

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      • avatar

        Seriously? Seriously! April 21, 2015, 11:56 am

        The word you are looking for is “parasitic.”

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    • mrmidtwenties

      mrmidtwenties April 21, 2015, 8:54 am

      I’m going to slightly disagree. If I were in his situation, of course I would try and set some boundaries with my mother, but at the same time I would be depending on her for care. So I would certainly be hesitant to strain that relationship based on a romantic relationship that hasn’t figured out where it is going. Unfortunately in his situation, the choice between being cared for by his somewhat crazy mother or not being cared for at all, you have to choose to be taken care of, there’s not much other option.

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  • mrmidtwenties

    mrmidtwenties April 21, 2015, 8:32 am

    I’m with Wendy here, you need to have a very serious talk about your future and what you both want and what direction your relationship is heading. If you move in together and mom and sister are gone, does that mean you are going to take care of him? If it does, be prepared for a quick change in the dynamic or your relationship. His mother probably does a lot more than you or him give him credit for. I watched the dynamics of my parents’ relationship change when my father went on disability, and my mom would work full time and also be a caregiver to my father. For them it was a much slower process due to different circumstances, but in your situation it would be all of a sudden. Are you ready for this responsibility? Also, you say that no one has a problem with your age difference, but it is something to consider along with his disability.

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  • juliecatharine

    juliecatharine April 21, 2015, 8:59 am

    WWS x1000. LW, is this your first serious relationship? You seem hell-bent on binding yourself to a man who is almost twice your age, in a very dysfunctional relationship with his mother, shows no inclination towards change, and is confined to a wheelchair to boot. I’m sorry to throw the last one in there but it really is something that you need to think about while you’re taking Wendy’s advice and contemplating your future.

    I asked if this is your first serious relationship not to be condescending but because when I was your age I spent four years in a relationship that was doomed from the start because I truly believed that finding love was a one time thing and that I absolutely had to make things work or I would be throwing something precious away. I’m older and slightly wiser now and am grateful that I finally prioritized my own sanity over the love I felt for a man who wasn’t capable of giving me what I needed. Please do some soul searching. You’re really young and there are a lot of wonderful men out there who don’t live with Mrs. Bates.

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    • avatar

      joanna April 21, 2015, 9:21 am

      I totally identify with what you’re describing. When I was younger and inexperienced in relationships, I thought I had to find a man ASAP and bind myself to him. I didn’t realize that life is a journey and it can happen anywhere along the way. I thought my only prospects to attract a man were in my early 20s and I was running out of time, so I tried to force every little tryst I had into a serious life-long relationship no matter what the cost.

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  • Addie Pray

    Addie Pray April 21, 2015, 9:01 am

    You mention Jay is disabled but then don’t mention his disability anymore. Does his disability have anything to do with the issue? Because of the disability, is he dependent on his mother for physical help, or maybe monetary help? Can you provide the help he would need if he moved out and in with you? Wendy noted that Jay “doesn’t sound like he’s any rush at all to change his living situation or create any kind of boundaries with this woman,” but I’m wondering if he is even able to. Maybe his disability has nothing to do with this, but because you brought it up, I suspect it does. I don’t know that my advice would be any different than Wendy’s or the others’, but, well, I just feel like we’re missing a big chunk of the story.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy April 21, 2015, 9:15 am

      Well, she said he’s in a wheelchair and that her home isn’t wheelchair accessible, which is why they have to spend time at his place when they hang out together. And his place is where is mother always is. Reading between the lines, I’m assuming he is very physically dependent on his mother and that his mother very much likes to be needed in that way. Changing the living situation and creating some boundaries would mean finding alternate assistance, like in a paid aid, for example, and from what the LW shared, it doesn’t sound like anyone is in a rush to make that sort of move. But you’re right there are chunks of the story missing and I suspect that’s because the LW has failed to actually discuss these things with her boyfriend and has no clue what his future plans are and how she fits into them. She talks a big talk about their age difference not being a big deal, but I can’t imagine that someone older and more established and experienced would tolerate this sort of role in a relationship after 2 1/2 years.

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      • mrmidtwenties

        mrmidtwenties April 21, 2015, 9:27 am

        Paid aid is a little less simple that a lot of people that haven’t dealt with it make it sound and that’s without factoring in the cost. Depending on the disability and care needed, it can be a great tool and there are a lot of amazing people that work in the industry. With my father over his final couple years we had a nurse in twice a day. The problem is despite all the amazing people, there a lot of under qualified people in the industry. For the first 6 months of him getting a nurse, he would be routinely be in more pain and when my mother would have hours of cleaning up their screw ups. Once he had someone that could actually take care of him properly we refused to have anyone else and my mother would take time off if the specific person couldn’t be there, because the others would make things that much more difficult. What I’m saying is, a lot of people will try paid aid, and will refuse to have it again because they will have such a bad experience, also it took my father a long time to get used to the idea of a stranger coming in to take care of him, it definitely makes you feel very vulnerable.

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      • avatar

        jlyfsh April 21, 2015, 9:37 am

        I do agree but if the LW’s bf was writing in I would be asking him what his long term plans are. Assuming say his Mom had him when she was 20 she’s now in her 60s. What are her abilities at this point? Is the sister going to take over care when she can’t? Have they made plans for when that happens? I think if the LW were older she would have potentially thought about that angle and discussed those things with him already. Because, they are of great concern. I know I watched my Grandmother take care of my Great Grandmother in her 60s and then my Grandfather in her 70s. It was a much different story when she was in her 70s. Much of his care was regulated to others. She just couldn’t physically do what she could just 10 years before. Even if the LW and the bf don’t stay together this is something the family will be forced to think about very soon. My family was very lucky both times to have excellent care from local Hospice groups, but I have definitely heard horror stories that make me very sad for people who rely on others for their daily care.

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      • mrmidtwenties

        mrmidtwenties April 21, 2015, 9:47 am

        I agree with you 100%, that he needs to have a plan in place and it definitely something he and the LW need to figure out, but also the boyfriend, his mother, and sister need to figure out as well.

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray April 21, 2015, 9:29 am

        Oh whoops I missed the reference to the wheelchair. I also failed to note the age difference. My reading comprehension is lacking these days. Still, I can’t tell if the boyfriend’s dependency is because he’s spoiled/likes it/doesn’t want to change anything, etc. or if it’s because of his disability and what, if anything, the LW can help him with.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy April 21, 2015, 9:36 am

        I think probably all of the above.

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  • avatar

    cleopatra jones April 21, 2015, 9:05 am

    WWS.
    As I was reading this, I thought that there’s no way in hell that I would put up with a 40 year man who doesn’t have any boundaries in his own house with his mother and sister. But I can see how a 25 year old would probably think that it was OK or that’s how it was.
    .
    While I get that you like Jay, I wouldn’t necessarily go forward with this relationship BECAUSE even if both of y’all move in together without the mom & sister, Jay doesn’t have a history of being independent. That means you are going to become his surrogate mother. And honestly, that’s going to get real old, real fast.
    .
    Besides, you don’t want to date/marry someone who will be essentially your ‘kid’ forever. I’ve said it on DW before, the problem with raising an adult is that they never grow up. At least with your own children, there’s an expectation that they will grow up and move into their own independence–with a man-child, they are perpetually in a ‘kid or young’ mindset. And that my dear is a recipe for bitterness and resentment on your part.
    .
    You should definitely have a talk with him and express your concerns. Once you have done that, slow down and see if he’s making any effort to address those concerns. If not, you should probably move on.

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    • mrmidtwenties

      mrmidtwenties April 21, 2015, 9:58 am

      I understand why you used the term “surrogate mommy” in response to this letter. But I would avoid ever making the comparison between a partner/caregiver and mother. It is horribly offensive to the relationship between the disabled partner and the caregiving partner. The same goes for comparing the disabled partner to a child. These comparisons are absolutely disgusting and invalidate the romantic relationship between partners, and people seem to have no problems making these comments to disabled people and their partners’ faces. Just an FYI, I understand why you made the comparison here, but I would certainly not recommend ever making that comparison in another situation.

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      • avatar

        cleopatra jones April 21, 2015, 10:34 am

        I can see your point however this isn’t a normal parent/caregiver/partner relationship.
        .
        Normally, I wouldn’t make the comparison but honestly his mother is way past the caregiver part, she has moved into a whole other realm of dysfunction. His mother moved in (which I could see shortly after the accident but many years later–not so much), she left her own relationship to care for him which is truly dysfunctional to me. It’s not even that she comes by every day to make sure he’s OK, she moved in with him & left.her.husband! And she acts if he has a relationship that she is somehow going to be replaced in his heart. Additionally the LW has stated that she was very much like that before the accident. This feels so very off and kind of smothering to me.
        .
        The point I was trying to get across is that he’s never ever had the opportunity to be an independent adult (not even pre-accident), he is so very used to having his mother taking care of all of his needs. IMO, if the LW moves in with him, he is going to expect the same level of attention from her. Couple that with his disability, my feelings are that she is going to feel trapped, guilty because this turned out to be more than she thought, and if she has somehow replaced his mother in the dynamic. That does not bode well for any long term healthy relationship.
        .
        This whole letter feels like 30 years later version of the letter from last week where the LW wanted to know if she could get married just to have a child.

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      • avatar

        Ange April 21, 2015, 7:10 pm

        Well said, besides there isn’t any concrete evidence he actually needs his mother there at all.

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  • findingtheearth

    findingtheearth April 21, 2015, 9:59 am

    I think the LW needs to sit down and think about her own future and goals. Does she want children? Can Jay provide that? Does she want to live with him? Can they afford to modify a home to be wheelchair accessible? Can they actually live together or does Jay need around the clock assistance? Does Jay qualify for respite care?

    Also, is his mother depressed? Growing old is difficult and so is losing your child’s affection to someone else. If she has been the primary caregiver, it may be difficult for her to know how to shed that part of her life. Does she need help/qualify for respite care herself?

    Either way, I think the LW is at a point in her life where settling down and marriage can become more appealing. She needs to decide what her goals are and if Jay can help her meet them

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  • mylaray

    mylaray April 21, 2015, 10:30 am

    Boundaries are really, really important in a relationship like this. My husband and I dealt with this a little while dating because he lived with his parents due to severe health issues, with his mom taking on a lot of his medical care. Setting boundaries became more crucial as we became serious and transitioned to me being in more of the caretaker role. It was a slow and careful adjustment that we thoughtfully discussed. There were some tense moments with his mom. You do need to start setting boundaries here, but LW, your boyfriend needs to want to change the status quo in order for this to work. His mom doesn’t sound very reasonable, but it sounds like a sticky situation. If he doesn’t want to rock the boat and set boundaries with his mom in his 40s, that doesn’t bode well for the future. I do agree that the age difference is something to think about here, and I think that may be more pronounced with someone who is disabled. And while he may be physically disabled, he can indeed be independent in other ways. But maybe he doesn’t want to, or feel pushed to do so yet.

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  • Ika

    Ika April 21, 2015, 11:10 am

    As someone who works with people with physical disablities, I have to say that family dynamics are usually pretty fucked up. he mothers of disabld kids especially are often very special. And not in good way hahah. When I worked in centers there was a ton of stuff I did´tget, but,since I have been doing house calls for the last 7 years, it can get scary.
    Not to generalize but a lot of the time the mothers devote themselves so much to the kid with problems that they pretty much abandon their husbands (if he´even in the picture). And a lot of mothers do absoltely everything for the kid. Which can be frustrating, since my goal is to foster independence.
    Of course Jay is no longer a kid, but I get the feeling his disability has been present since he was a child going by the dynamic explained in this letter. Lifelong patterns can be hard to break!

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    • Ika

      Ika April 21, 2015, 11:18 am

      Oops, reread. That was a long letter, I had skimmed over the part about the accident. It would be interesting to know how old Jay was at the time of the accident.

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  • avatar

    bostonpupgal April 21, 2015, 11:24 am

    LW, your boyfriend is in his forties. His mother’s behaviour is extremely, extremely concerning, and the dynamic between her, your boyfriend, and the sister is dysfunctional. The mother sounds, at best, emotionally abusive and, at worst, may suffer from a personality disorder or mental illness.

    You say you will never leave your boyfriend. Why in the world not? Why would your sign yourself up for a lifetime of dealing with that? Especially when your boyfriend has shown no sign of wanting anything to change. I also suspect you aren’t being honest with your family, or if you are there is some dysfunction there as well, because I cannot imagine a parent wanting their daughter in the situation you are in. I agree with Wendy, and strongly encourage you to walk away from this relationship. I know that’s not what you want to hear, but it’s what needs to happen. I’d also suggest you see a therapist. He or she may be able to help you realize how toxic this situation is, help you process your feelings, and help you learn to value yourself and choose better relationships in the future.

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  • avatar

    pebblesntrix April 21, 2015, 12:31 pm

    WWS!

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  • something random

    something random April 21, 2015, 12:34 pm

    Letter writer, what do you want for yourself long-term emotionally and physically? I ask because very few could get the level of intimacy, support, and companionship most desire in this situation. That doesn’t mean nobody would sign up. But that somebody would have to be getting something (that you aren’t) out of the current arrangement.

    Sorry, but your boyfriend sounds comfortable with his level of reliance and enmeshment with mom. You can’t fix this without it all falling down on you.

    You can assert some small boundaries here and there to where things are more palatable and enjoy it as long as it satisfies you enough. You sound like you have the time and energy to invest in living and attaining big picture stuff. Maybe you do have something to learn from this situation. But if it isn’t what you want long-term I’d be mindful of the clock (that’s just me, of course).

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  • avatar

    SasLinna April 21, 2015, 1:18 pm

    The mother is absolutely terrible and Jay won’t put up any boundaries with her. That’s all you need to know. Unless you want to sign up for decades of misery, move on.

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  • Diablo

    Diablo April 21, 2015, 2:52 pm

    “Clang.” – The Bell of Relationship Doom.
    .
    All other issues aside, the guy is in his 40’s, and his mother determines who is allowed in HIS house. She’s a raving narcissist. The only way this works is if Jay is prepared to cut his mother and sister off, and therefore probably out of his life, in favour of the LW, and she is willing to commit to his care from that point forward. There’s no effing way this ends well. I’m sorry for saying so. After more than two years, these are patterns that are well and truly set WITHIN the relationship, not just in Jay’s life, and to break them involves breaking some of the people/relationships involved. This is one of those scenarios where love is simply not enough. I wish it were, but…MOA.

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  • avatar

    Sunshine Brite April 21, 2015, 2:55 pm

    I’ve never been a fan of people in their early-mid twenties dating above 40. It should be a different life stage once the gap gets closer to 20 years. But I have seen a big age gap (17 years) work, although they met when the younger was 30.

    I’m wondering if when the mother moved in “leaving her husband behind” coincided with Jay’s disability becoming a problem or if it was something within her own marriage that was a problem.

    She does sound irrational at times, racist, and overbearing, but I know doing caregiving tasks that even if you don’t have a strict routine that it’s easy to get off schedule and not get everything done like you wanted for the day. It’s difficult for people with hearing loss and she probably has lost some purpose in life as her abilities decrease and probably why she’s so picky with eye contact. Boundaries change once you have to help someone when they’re at their weakest and most vulnerable. If Jay wants change then he needs to start formulating a plan that includes re-established boundaries.

    I would try to become part of her routine somehow since staying at your place isn’t a possibility. Practice positive coping skills and find those glimmers of empathy to hang onto. I don’t know when his accident was, but that’s a defining moment in your boyfriend’s life, but also his mother’s. Everything that she saw for him changed and with an accident his life could’ve been in the balance. If she hadn’t spoiled him before, she certainly would’ve then.

    Society’s perspectives on disabilities are just starting to change again. Part of why Jay might get along with someone in their mid-20s who likely sees him as more able than people his age. Especially if he still needs to gain independent skills through practice. It’s possible his mother just grew up with the understanding that people with disabilities are unable to do many things, possibly are supposed to be hidden away, and also possibly has that fear for herself as her sense of hearing goes.

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  • avatar

    Sketchee April 21, 2015, 7:40 pm

    It doesn’t sound like this is about his mother really. It’s about Jay. Why don’t you expect your boyfriend to help you be comfortable in his home, LW. Why is it okay that he is dismissive of your concerns? He has made his point of view clear. As for the mother, I’d suggest removing her from your presence as much as possible and finding out who Jay is with out her. Her schedule, routine, feelings are really for her to deal with. And for Jay to set boundaries about. That’s not actually something you need to concern yourself with. As for the question, you’ve done nothing wrong. Her problems are not your responsibility,even though she has irrational decided to hold you and Jay as responsible. I would consider therapy to try and figure out what you want and how to set boundaries. Try to focus on your relationship rather than your relationship with his mother or your relationship with her. It’s not a threescore polygamous relationship although your boyfriend and his mother seem to think so.

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    MsMisery April 22, 2015, 12:14 pm

    “NORMAN?!?!?”
    .
    “Yes, mother!!”
    .
    Your boyfriend and his mom. Unless you want to end up in a lake, MOA.

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