Shortcuts: “My Husband Calls Me His Mom”

It’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in just a few sentences because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great that being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go.

How do I stop my husband’s rudeness? He is constantly interrupting me, telling me that I don’t know what I’m talking about, or talking about me while I’m standing right there, as if I am not there or I’m a child. I finally had to quit my job because there were too many complaints about his texting and calling me at work; I talked to him about not texting me and calling me and it still continued. He’s 55 years old and acts like a child. He pouts if he doesn’t get his own way. He also calls me Ma or Mom constantly. It drives me NUTS!! I’ve asked him more than once to stop and he still continues. Getting angry with him doesn’t help. Neither does being nice. What do I do? — Sick of My Rude Husband

You QUIT YOUR JOB because your husband was texting and calling too much? Please tell me you had another one lined up first. Regardless, this goes beyond simple rudeness. Your husband is controlling and emotionally abusive and has no respect for boundaries. Get thee to a marriage counselor and leave his ass if he refuses to go or if his behavior doesn’t show improvement within 4-6 months. Also, if you’ve started a new job, don’t answer his texts while you’re at work, turn your phone on vibrate only, and don’t give him the office phone number.

My boyfriend and I have been together over a year now. We’re expecting our first child soon and he’s been staying the night at my place since before I got pregnant. He knows I don’t always like the way his mother talks to me or treats me, so he understands why I do not go over to her house all that often; however, he is over at her house every night so he can grab some clothing or have dinner with her, or simply because “he has stuff to do.” I have offered for him to bring clothing over to my place so he doesn’t have to go home every night, but he ignores the proposal and continues to do the same things even though he knows it bothers me. I’m worried because we’re about to have a child together and he can’t even shower at my place, let alone stay at my house without going to his mom’s first. I’m not too sure if I’m just really hormonal or if this is just his trying to get his last bit of freedom before the child is born. I’m really not sure as to what to do or how to bring up to him how I’m feeling without his dismissing it as if it’s no problem and I’m just raging with hormones. — Pregnant and Worried

Well, what exactly is your plan for after the baby is born? Is your boyfriend going to move in with you? Are you going to maintain separate homes? How are you going to support this child? All conversations right now should be framed around your plan for caring for your baby. Leave your feelings out of this if you’re worried they’re going to be dismissed and stick with practicalities: “We have a baby coming very soon. What is your plan for helping me care for it? I don’t see how you can continue having dinner with your mother every night and be present for us in the way we are going to need you to be present.” I’d also be sure to line up some other support since it sounds unlikely this boyfriend is going to be the help you’re going to need him to be.

I’m crushing hard on this guy I work with. He happens to be a heavy smoker and his mom is a lesbian. But let’s be honest, I don’t care about that stuff because I really, truly like him because he is a pretty great person. However, my mom can’t stand him for those reasons and she gets mad at me pretty much every day. So is it worth it to like him and ruin my mom’s respect or better to ruin the chance of an epic love? — Crushing on a Heavy Smoker

If you and your mom think having a lesbian mother is something to be ashamed of or something that should go in the “con” column for a potential match, you’re a couple of homophobic bigots and my advice to you is to leave this guy alone because, let’s be honest, the chance of an “epic love” here is minimal and it isn’t worth dragging him into any head-fuckery your bigotry might create. And if you aren’t a bigot and are simply worried about your mother’s opinion and respect, I’d stop worrying about that and start making your own decisions based on your own values, which are hopefully grounded in less hate and intolerance than your mom’s. (I do agree that heavy smoking is pretty gross though).


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  1. Sunshine Brite says:

    LW1: That’s well past rudeness. Has he always been like this? How long have you been living with that?

    LW2: You probably should’ve thought about that before you had a kid with someone you didn’t know. Right now I don’t see a huge problem that he stops off somewhere before he comes home. It’s almost possessive to be that annoyed. Like I hear that it happens every day but if he’s not living with her then what’s the problem with stopping home and seeing his mom besides the mom annoying her by just being in his life.
    WWS, create that post-baby plan and shift your focus.
    Also sidenote, the phrase “last bit of freedom” always bugs me in relation to getting married, having a kid, etc. It’s like fun is supposed to end after those milestones and you’re losing an identity.
    LW3: Please never use the phrase “epic love” again. Life isn’t a romcom.
    Something tells me he won’t (or shouldn’t) be interested in someone who is at most just willing to overlook that his mom is a lesbian and has a homophobic mother. I can’t imagine dishing with my mom about the guys I’ve been into over the years.

    1. While life doesn’t end after having a child, it does change pretty drastically and in ways that are not entirely positive (I do want kids and think it is majority positive, but there are downsides don’t lie). I can see the “last bit of freedom” thing making sense in terms of having kids. Certainly I know couples who are generally well-adjusted and having very wanted babies who still experience that fear of the loss of freedom. For at least a couple months, you have a thing that literally depends on you to survive and could not survive without you. That’s some serious shit. So… yeah, I can see it. Also why this LW needs to stop talking about feewings and start worrying about that helpless mini-human who is about to need support, sustenance, and love from its parents.
      However… I find the concept totally revolting in relation to marriage. Because if you are in a committed relationship (and/or engaged) and think you still have the freedom to sleep around (open relationships aside), you are a cheating bastard who should not get married. Unless this is a shotgun or arranged marriage, you aren’t having one last night as a single guy… you’re already coupled.

  2. Amazing, Wendy!!!!
    The shortcuts are always just perfect. Especially to LW 3.

  3. tbrucemom says:

    1. Wendy’s advice is spot on but I don’t think the LW will take it. Seriously who quits their job because someone texts and calls too much? There’s a very simple way to stop that as Wendy stated. The LW obviously has bigger problems than her husband calling her “mom”.
    2. Again spot on advice. The bigger question should be what’s the plan for after the baby’s born. I have a feeling these two are very young and the baby daddy IS hanging out at mom’s for moral support because he’s having a hard time dealing with the fact that he’s going to be a dad.
    3. Obviously the LW DOES care about those issues or she is very young to rely on having her mother’s opinion carry that much weight in a relationship. As a mother, I understand how her being around a heavy smoker would be concerning, but if he’s truly a great person then she’s going to have to accept that there are much worse things he could be doing. I don’t even know what to say about the whole mother is a lesbian comment. Unless she’s a horrible person/mother who HAPPENS to be a lesbian, but there’s nothing stating that in the letter so I’m going to have to assume that’s not the case.

  4. Unwanted_Truth says:

    I love the shortcuts….Now I am just waiting on the day when any, if not most, of the LW’s will update or reply back at all. Takes the fun out of it. Wees as well.

  5. bostonpupgal says:

    Wendy, you should make a checklist of the things a couple needs, and should be/do/have before having a baby, similar to the list about moving in together! I never fail to be shocked at the LWs who write in with the most immature, dysfunctional, and ridiculous relationships, and who are also pregnant.

    1. Avatar photo Dear Wendy says:

      That’s a good idea.
      I have to say, I’ve gotten so, so many emails lately from people having unplanned babies they aren’t even close to emotionally/financially/logistically prepared for that it’s starting to really depress me.

      1. Me too, Wendy.

      2. Yeah this is depressing. We need to invent time travel so we can go back a few months and tell all these LW’s: “Birth control. Trust me.”

      3. agreed. I’m starting to come around to the comment from last week that seemed a bit harsh suggesting forced IUDs… Maybe we need to start a charity that gives IUD insertions free at high schools (without parental permission for kids who are 18+)?

      4. Well, FORCED would be harsh. But making it more available would be awesome. Like the blood donation bus but instead its a mobile gynecologist!

      5. There’s a method to my madness. Vote Cassie 2020.

    2. Stillrunning says:

      And they all seem to be minutes away from giving birth.

  6. Unwanted_Truth says:

    Guess it’s time for Freaky Friday then eh!!!! 😉

  7. Laura Hope says:

    Lw1 Oy vey.
    LW2 Double oy vey.
    LW3 Triple oy vey.

  8. LW1… You really really really do not have to answer every call and text, especially while at work. I think this is a generational thing that I see with my in-laws as well. When you were home and the house phone rang, you dropped what you were doing to answer it. But then if you left the house, you missed calls you didn’t even know about. And the world didn’t end.
    Now that your phone goes with you, you have the same urge to drop everything to answer it all the time. Take a page from “kids these days” and screen your calls. And definitely use vibrate or silent. Ringtones are so 1999.

  9. Hmm, so let me see if I have my emotional math right:
    Epic Love > Special Love > In Love > Love, but not in love > Talking > Like

  10. simonthegrey says:

    Since we often talk about cultural things for LWs, I wonder if there’s a cultural issue at play for LW3. Namely that her mother is very religious, and she has been raised very strictly. It actually could be very daring for her to say she doesn’t have a problem with the guy’s mom being a lesbian, depending on her family. If she’s both young (which was my association from the letter) and from a religious background, separating her own thoughts/desires from her mother’s can be hard, and I think calling her a bigot is a huge overreaction. Her mother, yes. Her? If all she has heard is negatives about gay people, but she is trying to change that, I don’t know that I would stick her with a label immediately that will most likely shut down any conversation.

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