It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing now. Today, we hear from “Disliked By His Mom,” the teenager who wrote in last week about how her boyfriend’s mom disapproved of her. Keep reading for some clarification on her original letter and hope for the future.
Thanks for some of the guidance, but in reading the comments, I guess I wasn’t too clear about a few things and they were taken wrong. I also wanted to update what happened the next morning after I sent this message to you and after he told me about talking to his dad and whatever his dad said that was what was going to happen to our relationship.
So, the next morning, as soon as we saw each other, he told me that he was sorry, that everything he said was not true the night before. He said he is not going to have his parents dictate to him who he can be with and he told me that he was just going to start having me over to his house and making his mom get to know me and if she still doesn’t like me then too bad, he would still have me over anyway and that he didn’t care what she thought anymore. He told me he is just going to ignore her rants from now on and that he doesn’t care what she wants, he is happy with me and is not going to lose me because of her and what she wants.
So, needless to say, this made me extremely happy and I feel a lot better about the fact that he is at least standing up to his mother, and I am hopeful that if she spends more time with me around him, that her opinion might change of me.
To clarify a few other things: His mother is not single — she divorced his father, but she remarried when my boyfriend was about 11. He has an older brother, who is now 20, and their mom is always meddling in his relationships too, so I just think it’s the way she is. And my boyfriend is her youngest, and is basically her slave/maid/cook, etc. (the woman apparently does nothing), and I think she doesn’t like the thought that she might be losing that. I don’t know, but I am happy that he said that he doesn’t care and isn’t going to have her influence him negatively. Hopefully, he follows through with his plan of having me over. We’ll have to see.
Another clarification: when I spoke my parents and them being high school sweethearts, there were some comments indicating that I am speaking of this as if they are perfect. They’re not. I just think it is awesome that, despite life’s ups and downs, they are still together. I should’ve just said that my parents adore my boyfriend and my mom is really close to him, and they have a great relationship. I guess I said this because I wish I had the same relationship with his mother that he has with my family.
Anyway, and about how we have talked about getting married and having kids: I’m not talking about the near future. We both are preparing to attend college after we graduate in six months (both, however, probably going to the same community college), but anyway, we both have our own goals and jobs and our own lives.
Anyway, thank you for your insightful comments.
You may have your own goals and jobs and have lives of your own, but you don’t have homes of your own. Until you pay your own rent or mortgage and get out from under your parents’ roofs, I’m not so sure defying your boyfriend’s mother and coming over to her home against her wishes is the best way to ingratiate yourself with her. Your boyfriend may not “care” what his mother thinks, but I bet he’ll care if she throws him out once he’s 18 because she’s sick of dealing with an unwanted house guest and suddenly he has to pay his own way in the world. Freedom is great, don’t get me wrong, but it comes with a cost. Better make sure you’re prepared to deal with the expense before you go chasing it.
If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.
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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at email@example.com.
bittergaymark December 12, 2012, 2:13 pm
Surprise, surprise. Sorry, I don’t see any of this ending well. I just don’t. But Wendy is especially right about all this foolish and reckless in HER face defiance. Bittergaymark my words, ignoring the Mom’s wishes and making her dislike you even more will totally only DOOM this relationship.
PS: The Mother does NOTHING, eh? You know, except pay all the bills. With statements like the first one, you reveal yourself to be nothing more than a whiney teenager. No wonder “Mom” doesn’t like you.
ktfran December 12, 2012, 2:26 pm
bgm, you might have written this on here before and I never caught it, but “bittergaymark my words” is the best thing I’ve read this week. Thanks for that.
bittergaymark December 12, 2012, 3:15 pm
Oh, I’m sure I have, only nobody’s ever really caught it, or called it out before. (Perhaps because it was too buried in a rant…) It’s me at my absolute most Carrie Bradshaw. Thanks for noticing it.
CassieB December 19, 2012, 12:08 am
I caught it, I just never commented on it. It’s quite catchy, though. 🙂
Amanda December 12, 2012, 2:27 pm
WBGMS. It’s clear that you have a lot of growing up to do, LW.
BecBoo84 December 12, 2012, 3:03 pm
Well yes… of course she does. She’s not even out of hs yet. Heck, I’m a pretty put together 28 year old, and I have “grown up” a ton over the past 5-10 years, and I imagine I’ll continue maturing, growing, and changing throughout the rest of my life. Insulting this LW for acting young, etc seems kind of unnecessary to me. It’s not as if she’s a fully grown, functioning adult who’s still not acting like a “grown up.”
katie December 12, 2012, 3:06 pm
no, but she is trying to navigate very grown up decisions like hierarchy of family vs. spouses, marriage and kids. theres a difference.
theattack December 12, 2012, 3:06 pm
That’s true. But at the same time, people “grow up” at least partially when their behavior is rejected by society (especially for teens). DWers are rejecting this behavior in hopes that the LW will learn how to carry on a more mature relationship.
BecBoo84 December 12, 2012, 3:12 pm
I completely get your point. I just thought the tone of that particular comment was unnecessarily condescending.
Amanda December 12, 2012, 3:23 pm
I disagree. Please see below
Amanda December 12, 2012, 3:22 pm
My statement is not an insult to the LW. She is very young and has much to learn about life and navigating adult relationships. It was a mere statement of fact that most, if not all, high school students have/had a “lot of growing up to do” before they become/became awesome adults. As BGM said, coming over to her boyfriend’s mother’s house uninvited by his mother is very unwise. She will learn this eventually, and fortunately the LW has her whole life ahead of her to learn these lessons.
bittergaymark December 12, 2012, 3:48 pm
Yikes… Oh dear… If BecBoo84 took issue with Amanda’s mild comment, I shudder at what she will eventually think of some of mine…
LM December 12, 2012, 4:31 pm
Yes! What the LW fails to realize that is that she needs to respect the Mom’s rules. Until the bf or she have their own money and bank accounts to pay for anything, they are under the scrutiny of the parents. I even told this to my daughter last night – Hubby and I pay the bills. The house is our and she needs to respect our rules. Until she can financially contribute, she has no say. Same thing goes with the LW. I think though, the boyfriend was being disrespectful to his mother and needs to understand the same thing. He could have easily gotten his point across with some tact. She shouldn’t be at the house uninvited. And they both need to remember that there are boundaries that they shouldn’t cross and thinking they are the same as their parents is one of them.
Classic December 12, 2012, 2:32 pm
Thanks for the chuckle, BGM– my morning had been a little humorless until I read the “Bittergaymark my words.”
Diablo December 12, 2012, 2:42 pm
I nominate the phrase “Bittergaymark my words” for DW saying of the year!!!
Regina Chapman December 12, 2012, 4:02 pm
I could like ‘bittergaymark my words’ a thousand times.
Northern Mermaid December 12, 2012, 5:26 pm
I used “Bittergaymark my words” today in real conversation. My friend is not a DW’er. I got kind of a funny look, but it’s so brilliant that it’s going into my normal conversations forever.
Red_Lady December 13, 2012, 12:05 am
Awesome!! I’ll have to try that
katie December 12, 2012, 2:25 pm
So thanks but no thanks, we’re getting married anyway?
kerrycontrary December 12, 2012, 2:34 pm
I’m glad your boyfriend grew a pair, but I think that you are underestimating the effect of strained relations with a MIL (or FIL) figure can have on your relationship. Marriages have ended due to someone’s mom not liking their wife (and vice versa).
Desiree December 12, 2012, 2:35 pm
It sounds like the LW is hoping to build a positive relationship with the boyfriend’s mom, not just be obnoxiously in her face all the time. Sure she’s young, but I think she is being a lot less bratty about this then many of the 17/18 y/os I know would be. It’s likely this romantic relationship won’t work out in the end, of course, but part of me is a little nostalgic for the reckless optimism of being that age.
lemongrass December 12, 2012, 2:38 pm
“basically her slave/maid/cook, etc. (the woman apparently does nothing)” This is an incredibly immature thing to say. It just screams “I have no idea what life will be like when I move out!” It is honestly easier for parents to do all the household work themselves than to fight with their kids to get them to help out. But they do it not so they can sit around on their asses (if you honestly think this woman does nothing you have another thing coming when you grow up) but to teach their kids responsibility and how to run a household.
“he was just going to start having me over to his house.” That would be great, if he had a house. He does not. He lives with his mother, that is HER house. You get your own house when you pay the rent/morgage and bills. It is one thing not to let your parents dictate who you are in a relationship with- it is another thing altogether to flaunt it in their face and to force a relationship between the two of you (this will backfire!)
theattack December 12, 2012, 3:03 pm
Preach it, lemongrass!
paperheart220 December 12, 2012, 3:48 pm
I agree with all of that, but I just wanted to say that SOME parents really do use their kids as slaves and do nothing all day. My best friend in high school was like that. Ever time I came over (which was pretty much every weekend) I would help her (the friend) cook all the meals, clean the house, and feed all of their animals, (7 dogs, 4 cats, and over 15 horses) all while her mom watched movies in the living room.
Now I’m definitely not saying that the LW was right in saying that, I think that since it’s the mom’s house, it’s the mom’s rules. If the mom wants the kid to do all of those things, those are her rules, and until he moves out he’ll have to deal with it. And my friend never complained (to her mother) about all the things she had to do around the house.
I guess I’m just trying to say that some mothers do go overboard with that kind of stuff, and this mother could very well be one of them. Or she could have said it because her boyfriend is always complaining about it and making it a bigger deal than it is. Or maybe she really is immature and doesn’t realize that it’s normal for mothers to need help around the house.
lemongrass December 12, 2012, 4:10 pm
Of course there are some. It’s pretty rare though and those kids tend to be pretty subservient- not the kind that will defy their mother’s wishes and bring their girlfriend over. I imagine he doesn’t do all of the household chores if he has time to go to school, be at his father’s every other weekend and have a girlfriend. She also didn’t mention it in her original letter- meaning that it didn’t pop into her head as a big issue in his life and now she is scraping the bottom of the barrel for ways to make his mother look bad and therefore him look better.
MertleJ December 12, 2012, 5:00 pm
I had a friend like this too- and then, when she left for college, her mom would literally let a gigantic disgusting pile of dishes build up for WEEKS so my friend would do them the next time she was home. It was the cooking, the shopping, the cleaning, the gardening, watching her sibs, all while the mother slept or watched tv all day… she was a horrible mother.
temperance December 12, 2012, 5:09 pm
Sounds like my mom, except once I moved out she actually started doing things and taking care of my younger siblings.
Sue Jones December 12, 2012, 3:01 pm
Ah, his mom probably won’t throw him out. He is after all her cook/maid/slave. I think it is great that he is going to stand up to her. She sounds like a real piece of work.
Sue Jones December 12, 2012, 3:13 pm
I guess I am on “Team Younglove” today… and what exactly are the mother’s objections to the LW? Is it that she is the wrong ethnic/religious background. That her parents aren’t wealthy enough? Mom doesn’t thing she is pretty enough? Not the right body type? Too quiet? Those types of reasons in my mind are unconscionable and mom needs to be disciplined. But does LW use drugs and steal? Is LW a poor student? Hang with a rough crowd? Those would be decent enough reasons to object as a parent, but those are also behaviors that can be changed.
So if Mom is being truly unreasonable, then the son is doing the absolutely right thing by standing up for LW. I came from an area of the country where “who your parents were and how rich they were” was extremely important. I moved to another area of the country where none of that matters, where a person succeeds on their own merits. It has its advantages.
katie December 12, 2012, 3:17 pm
its a growing up thing. mom probably just hates the role of girlfriend in her sons life- and i think that even more so now that the LW says that he is the baby. many, many women have unhealthy attachments to their kids, particularly the baby (youngest), and they see their kids growing up as a bad thing instead of just something that happens to everyone everywhere…
anyway, im not on team young love because they are wanting very grown up things without being grown up. that just annoys me. i know i did it too, and now looking back i know how stupid i was.
Kristen December 12, 2012, 4:14 pm
I don’t see how it’s wrong to want “grown up things without being grown up.” How else do teens set goals for themselves and plan for their future? I’m biased because I wanted all the same things the LW did when I was in high school and made them happen, but still. I don’t think it’s unreasonable for high schoolers to have plans and goals for future – romantically or otherwise. If her relationship doesn’t work out because they grow apart as they grow up, then that’s okay. But we shouldn’t make her seem like a young kid in puppy love who doesn’t understand how “real relationships” work. My relationship was real back then, and it’s still real now. In some cases, you grow closer together as you grow up. She’s the only one who knows if it’s worth it to find out.
lemongrass December 12, 2012, 4:23 pm
I have friends who got together at 14 and are now 26. I myself was 19 when I got together with my husband. So I’m not one to say that young love can’t work and that people can’t grow together. I don’t think that this couple can though. It’s not that all young people don’t understand how “real relationships” work- it’s that this couple doesn’t. They are having a hard enough time trying to navigate his parental relationship that it is making it MUCH harder trying to navigate their romantic one. They haven’t developed the ability to draw healthy boundaries in their relationships that you and I, and others have. Everyone matures at different rates, and some parts of our lives mature at different rates too.
katie December 12, 2012, 4:28 pm
its stupid because at 18, both living with their parents, no set career plans, no ways at the present moment to live independently, ect, you should not be making grown up plans like marriage, babies, and deciding the hierarchy of you mom vs your girlfriend.
envisioning your future, i think, is different then actually *doing* those things while still being a child for all intents and purposes.
Kristen December 12, 2012, 5:06 pm
I guess I don’t see the LW actually doing those things, either. They aren’t planning a wedding or talking about having babies in the next couple of years. They’re just dating and seeing how it goes. Trying and living are the only ways to learn things anyway. We can’t expect people to hold off on doing anything remotely mature or grown up until they’re already there, or they’ll never be ready. Just my thoughts.
Holly December 12, 2012, 4:46 pm
SO VERY MUCH THIS. Not all moms, of course, but some are extremely attached to their kids, or to one kid, and they get very territorial when a girl comes in and “takes away her little boy.”
LM December 12, 2012, 4:36 pm
I had made a comment last week that my stepson has a girlfriend that I wasn’t too keen on the first few times we met, maybe 6 or 7. It didn’t have anything to do with her looks, ethnicity, religion, etc. The reason I wasn’t super fond of her because she was incredibly awkward and came off very rude. It seemed like she was missing something essential in how to communicate with people.
I don’t honestly think that the mother is being unreasonable. I think there is definitely more to the story that we are hearing and that the mother is painted in an unkind light. The LW seems immature for her age and that could be a big part of it.
Classic December 12, 2012, 3:18 pm
I am the devoted mom of an intelligent and handsome 21-years-old son for whom I have provided sole support since his conception. My son has many friends who enjoy visiting him at our home, and he has been a girl magnet since he was in elementary school. I love my son more than anything, so I have always chosen to provide a pleasant environment for his friends and girlfriend. Providing meals, snacks, and entertainment for these young adults costs me $400 – $1,200 every month. This means that I must work a substantial number of extra hours just to provide these things; do you understand this concept?
You know which friends/girlfriends I am most happy to see? The ones who bring their own food/entertainment. BIG bonus points for the very few who bring something extra to share. If their parents are the ones who have chipped in, that is great.
My least favorite visitors? The ones who have always shown up empty-handed, “starving”, and checking for new video games here. Are you contributing? I haven’t read anything yet about this particular aspect of your situation, but if you have not been contributing, I suggest you start now.
LM December 12, 2012, 4:38 pm
Preach! My mom always told me to never go to someone’s house empty handed. To this day, if I go and visit even my friends, I always bring something.
bagge72 December 12, 2012, 3:22 pm
I think just like the fact that he was lying about how he was going to do what is father says, I think he maybe lying to you about how his mother really feels. It seems like he is making up a lot of stories here, and they are to screw around with you. It actually seems like you might have added a lot to what your boyfriend said too, just to get us off of your back. Nothing seems right here to me for some reason, and I think it is because you are both very young, and are still acting like it.
Holly December 12, 2012, 3:59 pm
Sorry, LW, but I don’t see this ending well either. I’ve been in this situation before, where the mom of my now ex-bf hated me, and each time I was there it ended in misery on my part, especially when my bf finally got tired of standing up to her and began to resent me instead. Moving to my own apartment didn’t help much – the family dynamic remained. Good luck, but be cautious.
Steeze December 12, 2012, 4:04 pm
um… first off, i really dont like the attitude towards the mother. she might not like you for valid reasons you might not understand… but the kid being agressive towards her and inviting you over and shoving you in her face sounds not so smart.
and the woman does nothing? um, shes teaching him to be self sufficient. my mom did the same. i cooked, i cleaned, i drove my siblings around… its called helping the family out and not just thinking of your own needs.
but i guess i shouldnt be surprised at an entitled teenager. every time you get to sleep in a warm bed and eat food and get pretty things and basically go to school you should be grateful to your parents for providing those things for you.
maybe you should try being nice to his mom and having a conversation with her when you go over. offer to help with dinner and clean up afterwards. ask her about her life and encourage her son to have a positive relationship with her…
but i guess being a brat is easier.
Steeze December 12, 2012, 4:13 pm
oh and this bf of yours doesnt sound like a prize either. who goes running to his gf to tell her how horrible mommy thinks she is? if my mom complained about my bf, i would listen, find out what it is about him that she doesnt like. i wouldnt tell him my mom hates this and that about him but i would help him improve those aspects of his personality or correct whatever behaviour she doesnt like (that is if i agreed).
y’all have a lot of growing up to do and i strongly suggest you take some time to look at yourself honestly and see what role you and your bf have played in all of this.
Desiree December 12, 2012, 4:23 pm
I don’t really know that “reforming” the behavior of a SO is necessarily the appropriate way react to a parent not liking the SO.
Steeze December 12, 2012, 4:25 pm
well, if the character flaws actually bother me too, i will listen. like if the mother told her son, your gf is antisocial, i might say to her, ya my mom likes it when you tell her about yourself dont be shy…
BecBoo84 December 12, 2012, 4:16 pm
Really? A child, or teenager, should be thankful because they have a warm bed, food to eat, and are entitled to a basic education? Maybe it’s because I’m part of that “entitlement” generation, but I consider those three basics when you’re having kids in the developed world, and especially in the United States. I have children, and I consider providing them food and shelter part of my basic job description, and I certainly don’t expect a thanks for dropping them off and picking them up at school every day. That’s my job, as their mother. This is not, in any way, meant to insult those who come across a rough time and are unable to provide those basics on their own, but this is to say I don’t think it’s going above and beyond when those three very basic necessities are meant.
The LW could, by all means, be a bratty, entitled teenager, and the language she used when discussing her boyfriend’s mom was certainly questionable at times, but I don’t think those three examples you gave really made that point.
Steeze December 12, 2012, 4:24 pm
i dunno, my parents had nothing growing up (like dirt poor, no schooling, dad had one pair of shoes… that whole thing). im assuming these parents work hard to give these kids a nice home and send them to decent schools and give them opportunities in life that a lot of other kids dont have.
so ya, im grateful to my parents for giving me these things. i know for some people its basic stuff… but sadly we live a world where not every kid gets those things.
so when i hear someone bitching that the kid is a slave for cooking and cleaning i just thing brat… sorry, just how i was raised.
Kristen December 12, 2012, 4:19 pm
I disagree with the idea that kids should be eternally grateful that they have a bed to sleep in and food to eat. It’s a parent’s very job to make sure their kids have at least those kinds of basic necessities. Kids don’t ask to be born. I think it’s a little unfair to call the LW an “entitled teenager” for that reason alone.
However, I do agree that it’s important for kids to learn to be self-sufficient as they grow up by taking on additional responsibilities and doing their fair share of the housework.
I also think it’s a great idea for the LW to go out of her way to impress his mother. Little things like doing the dishes or bringing over a candle she thought the mother would like will go a long way.
lets_be_honest December 12, 2012, 4:24 pm
I think his point was that they should Be grateful for those things, and grateful to their parents for those things, whether they are a given or not. Whether you are actually entitled to something doesn’t change the fact you should be grateful for it. Right?
Steeze December 12, 2012, 4:26 pm
TaraMonster December 12, 2012, 4:39 pm
Exactly. 100000x this.
BecBoo84 December 12, 2012, 4:40 pm
Agreed! I think you said what I was trying to say in a better, and more succinct, way.
Sue Jones December 12, 2012, 5:30 pm
And what if mom lays around the house all day drunk and barks orders at her kids? Would you still think the kids are entitled just because they aren’t on the street? The mom is rude. Nobody seems to understand why. She is possessive of her older son, too. I have a friend, now 54, who never married and has a similar type of mother. He was sick last year and she came to take care of him and pretty much kicked his live-in girlfriend of 2 years out of the house. Some mothers are just like that… and they need to be put in their place. And while I personally would not want to be involved with someone who had a mother who was rude to me, at least he has a dad and a stepmom who are nice and he could always go and live there for a while.
katie December 12, 2012, 5:49 pm
And the mature adult response would be to become completely independent, having the freedom to then make the choices you see fit, and establish healthy boundaries with the mother.
Oh, wait. There gonna go with the angsty teen approach: the Angry Hangout.
Sue Jones December 12, 2012, 5:58 pm
It was a bit hard for my 54 year old friend to set boundaries with his mother because he was in a coma … but whatever…my point being that some mothers are overbearing, controlling shrews and they do not change.
LM December 12, 2012, 6:39 pm
My mother would be considered one of those “overbearing, controlling shrews” you speak of. Yet, my mother has changed a bit when I did what katie had said up there. I have become completely independent and I do have the freedom to make the choices I see fit. She and I now have boundaries, though she does sometimes try to step over them. I remind her – tactfully – that I make my decisions as I see fit, whether that’s in raising my children, how I work with my husband, my job, whatever.
Just because you get older doesn’t mean you don’t have growing up to do.
TaraMonster December 12, 2012, 4:28 pm
So far your boyfriend….
1. repeats all the negative stuff his mom says about you to you.
Maybe you remember that I mentioned in my original advice that my first “real” boyfriend’s mother disliked me too. Guess how I knew that? I’ll give you a hint: it wasn’t because she said it to my face ever. She was always smiling and pleasant to my face. And then would do psycho things later, but that is a tale best left untold.
2. decided the best way to handle his mom’s rants are to LIE to her and say you broke up.
Not respectful to either one of you. Also, cowardly.
3. put the decision in his dad’s hands!
He gets 1/2 a point for realizing that was idiotic. Or maybe his dad TOLD him he was being idiotic. Who knows!
4. says “fuck it!” you can come over whenever you want! Mom will just have to DEAL!
And you just nod your head along with him as he makes his mother out to be the bad guy. Poor baby! Maybe your boyfriend’s mom is NOT a nice person. She may not ever like you, but your boyfriend is the issue here, not her. I would say he has really terrible problem solving skills at the least, and a warped perception of reality at best. Maybe that’s because his mom is bonkers or his childhood was unstable and emotionally abusive, but I’m not going to pretend to be able to psychoanalyze him.
Now you on the other hand politely thanked us for our advice while simultaneously marching away with your pony tail bouncing haughtily behind you. Anecdote time: Way back when I was dating my ex I did do a lot of things that contributed to his mother’s dislike of me. I was soooo in love with her son that I was a bit blind to my brattish behavior. I wasn’t a bad kid, but I was a kid and some things I did and said were unintentionally thoughtless.*
I go back to my original advice: focus on YOU. Part of that involves taking a good hard look at the situation and what you are doing to contribute to it.
*Just a point of interest: One of my best friends married my ex’s older brother. That was an awkward wedding (my speech was amazeballs tho)! Also- their mother is even WORSE to my friend than she ever was to me, and it’s worsened more since they had a kid. Ooof. It’s a 9.5 on the Evil MIL Scale. Bullet dodged.
lets_be_honest December 12, 2012, 4:32 pm
“marching away with your pony tail bouncing haughtily behind you”
Classic December 12, 2012, 4:39 pm
Like! From older, mom-type person. You young but savvy people are awesome.
Fabelle December 13, 2012, 9:10 am
Late to this party, but damn. I feel like everybody was kinda harsh! I mean, obviously, this dude still lives under his mother’s roof & should be respectful, but I didn’t really get the sense that inviting the LW over was necessarily an “f you, mom!” thing.
A lot of the comments on this girl’s last letter were to the tune of “your boyfriend has no backbone!” so I think she may have over-emphasized the “…but now he’s saying he’ll stay with me no matter what! and invite me over even though his mom doesn’t want to see my face!! so, there!!!” bit. The reality could be that these two are actually trying to turn things around with the mother? In some way? yes, I’m giving them a generous benefit-of-the-doubt, but I just don’t see their plan-of-action actually being this big, crusading rebellion thing.
Do I think their union will be successful? Prrrobably not, but they’re a young couple, so I don’t see the point in trying to pound it into this LW’s head that her relationship will fail & it’s stupid to be talking about marriage. They seem to be discussing it in a very abstract way, which is fine. Yes, the LW shows her age in her writing. That’s because she is, what, 17?
Anyway, I feel my point unraveling, so I’ll just stop here. Normally, I wouldn’t even touch this a day later, but I am extremely, extremely tired & need something to care about so I don’t nod off at my desk right now! (& the forums are still down :'()
Classic December 13, 2012, 12:48 pm
I agree that some of us were too harsh, Fabelle. I woke up early, feeling worried that I had been too harsh, and regretting it. I can’t say why her boyfriend’s mom doesn’t like her, but the fact that the flippant tone of the letter rubbed me the wrong way may provide a clue about why the BF’s mom bristles. LW, perhaps you’ve already been doing all of these things, but just to re-iterate: Always be polite and respectful, don’t dress provocatively, no PDA with your boyfriend, pay attention, put away your phone and don’t text, use proper language and be aware of your tone of voice, bring a little hostess gift, clean up after yourself, offer to help. Try thinking of some pleasant topics of conversation in advance, so you’ll have something to say. Say “hello” and ask how she’s doing. Good luck, Sweetie.
Ali December 13, 2012, 10:19 am
I am kind of in an in-between about this. I categorically hate overbearing moms–my mother-in-law is a nightmare because my husband is the youngest of 11 and all the other kids have moved away from her due to her behavior. But my two brothers also live with my husband and I, and we struggle a lot with feeling that the younger one (18 years old & does not pay rent) takes advantage, acts ungrateful and entitled, and brings people around our home that we do not want there. Our situation is different from other parents’ on this threat in that we can’t necessarily “punish” him because we are NOT his parents and he came to us at a time when he already had his own car, video game system, etc. and plenty of friends to “crash” with when we piss him off by saying “no” to him. But he has had two girlfriends that we did not particularly like, and whom he insisted on bringing around anyway. Neither of the girls was a “bad” person–they were just very immature and went along with my brother’s disrespect of the rules of our house (i.e. staying past 11pm, shutting the bedroom door, etc.). I knew neither of these girls would be around long-term, so while I was firm in reprimanding him for breaking the rules, I didn’t get overly crazy because he wasn’t talking about having a future of any kind with either one. Maybe the LW’s bf’s mother feels that she has to be harder on this relationship because she’s concerned that he is trying to get serious with the wrong girl. I echo what another commenter said about not liking someone just because they come off as awkward or rude–both of my brother’s gfs just rubbed me the wrong way.
AND, as for the issue of kids cleaning the house and feeling grateful for having a place to sleep–I think it’s overboard. EVERYONE who has kids should be well aware that cooking, cleaning, paying, arguing and generally RAISING their kids is going to be part of the deal. It’s one thing to teach them to do their own laundry and clean their own rooms–basically to start taking care of themselves so that they are prepared for college and real life–but it is not the child’s responsibility to run your house and take care of themselves. As everyone keeps saying, the parents are the ones paying the rent/mortgage–and they are the ones who decided to have kids–and now they are obligated to fulfill all the responsibilities that come along with that. Kids should feel grateful for the gifts and privileges their parents give them, and they should work hard to maintain, but they should not be made to feel guilty or obligated because their parents have to work and take care of them. This is not a society where we have kids so that they can take care of US, it’s one where we have kids so we can give them a good life with more opportunities for THEM.