I have been with my boyfriend for three years. He’s an only son and his mother tends to be controlling. She has always been a little difficult, but we started getting along one day after she was drunk and told me all her true feelings about me. I took it all in, knowing that she’d had it on her chest for the last year and a half.
Fast forward another year. We moved to a different state and decided to all live together to save money. She was upset with me when I moved up because she says I never gave her time to settle into her new home first. Mind you, I finally got a job offer and couldn’t pass it up, which is why I moved up a week after she did. And on top of that, from the very beginning, we had planned to live together. But then, right before we moved, she tried to convince me that I should experiment with living on my own before I moved in with her and my boyfriend. This was after all the plans had been made and we were already apartment hunting.
Anyway, since moving up here it’s been just horrible. Everything I do is wrong. She questions everything: “Why are you doing this like this?” “Why are you cooking that?” “Why do you clean like this?” She drinks herself drunk and then spends hours insulting me. She says I’m not woman enough for her son and that I threw myself on him. She throws tantrums for the smallest things, and she gets nastier when she sees that I get emotional. Once in a restaurant she threw water all over the place, and when I stopped her and got down to clean it, she told me I was an idiot and to leave it alone, telling the waitress that it was a mistake. A woman stood up for me and told her to stop being so nasty.
My boyfriend and I have been having money issues lately because we are covering all the bills; she literally doesn’t pay anything here. She used to cover all the food but says that now it’s our responsibility so that we can learn. She blames me for the money issues, saying I don’t do anything for her son and that he is not happy. She constantly compares our relationship to her life with my boyfriend’s dad (they’re not together); she criticizes how all we do is work and we don’t ever go out. My boyfriend’s schedule is very hectic and it’s hard for us to go out and, when we do, it’s ALWAYS with her. My boyfriend can’t go to school yet because he owes money and can’t go back in until he pays it. Of course, he doesn’t tell her that because he does whatever it takes to avoid one of her explosions. But in her eyes, it’s because I am not pushing him to go.
I can’t catch a break. She tells me that I am disrespectful and unkind, yet all I ever do is bend to her. I listen to her, I do things her way, everything is “yes, ma’am” and “no ma’am,” and I am so kind to her, even after she spends an entire day insulting me. I take care of her when she’s drunk and always try my best to make conversation with her. I don’t know what to do.
I moved here hoping for a new start and trusting that she and I were in a good place. But it’s just gotten to the point where I seriously avoid her. I lock myself in my room and pretend to sleep. My boyfriend comforts me and tells me that nothing she says has any truth and that he needs me to be strong, but I don’t know how much more I can take. She was upset with me because I am going home to spend the holidays with my family and “leaving her son all alone.” I can never do anything right in her eyes, and, when she compliments me on something, it’s a MIRACLE.
I love my boyfriend and I do everything to help him out and I hate to tell him I want to leave, but sometimes I feel like I am getting closer and closer to packing my bags and not coming back. Then I take a step back, and I love him so much I’ll put up with whatever. But I honestly don’t know what else to do. His mother really gets to me and makes me feel like less of a woman. I just feel so stupid when I speak to her. I am DYING to get our own place and she keeps talking about getting another apartment and buying a house together, and I just want to run for the hills screaming. I told my boyfriend that when we move it’s just us and that’s it, and if that doesn’t happen, I’m going back home because I won’t take another year of this. Please help. — Running for the Hills