My question is: is there any hope for the three of us having at least a semi-normal relationship? Is it terrible and wrong if we have to cut her out of our lives? She has another son, who lives out of the area and limits contact with her, but I feel horrible about the thought of my boyfriend and I doing the same.
I want to some day be able to sit in the same room and feel at peace. What if we have children someday? Should I trust her enough to supervise my child!? My boyfriend and I have both agreed that we will take the steps necessary to focus on a happy and healthy relationship between the two of us. — Dating Addicted
I do sympathize with your predicament, but you’re wrong about something very big. Your “biggest obstacle” is not that your boyfriend’s mother is his supplier — that’s an issue, I will grant you, but it isn’t the biggest one. The biggest obstacle is that your boyfriend is an addict, period, end of story. If he didn’t have a drug addiction, it wouldn’t really matter whether his mother was pushing painkillers or whatever else on him. I mean, yes, it would matter in the sense that his mother would have a problem and that carries its own baggage, but it’s baggage that is much lighter to deal with than a partner who’s an addict.
Rather than focus on your boyfriend’s mother, the two of you need to focus first on your boyfriend’s addiction and figuring out how to navigate a relationship around it. It’s great that your boyfriend is willing to go to counseling and treatment and that you’re so committed to standing by his side. But I’d urge you to also seek counseling or to attend meetings with other friends and family members of drug addicts. Something like Nar-Anon would help give you some insight into the potential long-term issues a spouse of a drug addict faces day-to-day and year-to-year. If you’re serious about spending your life with this man — and if you’re asking about whether you should leave your future kids in his mother’s care as I’m assuming you are — you need to proceed with your eyes wide open. Go to some meetings, talk to people, see what you’d be getting yourself into.
As for your boyfriend’s mom, it’s really up to your boyfriend to determine what kind of relationship he wants with her. I’d suggest he keep in contact with her but establish a zero-tolerance rule when it comes to her pill-pushing. As soon as she offers him pills, he ends whatever it is they are doing, whether that means hanging up the phone, leaving her home, telling her to leave his home, or paying the bill at the restaurant and heading out. Eventually, she will get the message and stop her pushing, and if she doesn’t, she’ll have to deal with the consequences of a severely limited relationship with her son. As for leaving future children in her supervision, no. I have a 92-year-old FIL who is not physically capable of caring for a 15-month-old, so while I am happy to take my son to go see his grandfather, I would never leave him there without me or Drew. Why would I? There are babysitters I can hire if I need them, just as you will have sitters you can hire when you need a break. You do not leave your children in the care of someone who isn’t able to handle the responsibility, and a crazy pill-pushing grandmother definitely falls in that category.
You can follow me on Facebook here and sign up for my weekly newsletter here.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.