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Thread: In laws too invasive

  1. #1

    In laws too invasive

    I'm dating this guy for half a year and everything has been amazing. We're compatible in everyway. Everything is perfect except his mom is usually too invasive and protective of him. Whenever they visit his grandparents' city, his mum wouldn't let him board the train alone (he's 26 and the city is among those that have the lowest crime rate in the world). When he insisted to go out alone, they would be worried about him all the time. When we first started dating, he was planning a two people trip in my country but his mom wanted to come along though he explained it was intended to be a couple trip. We ended up travelling with his mum and it feels super awkward as we couldn't hold hands or kiss in front of her. It's not like I didn't want to travel with her and get to know her but I was just a bit concerned about the fact that he told me no one in his family could ever say no to her.
    The trip was a success (I could tell she didn't hate me). What concerns me again was that on the final day, his mum met up with his dad who was travelling for his business trip and we seprated from them. Before that, his mum was askimg him how we would get there and if we're gonna stay together and said she doesn't think we should sleep together cause we've just met. I found this to be absolutely rude and invasive. Afterall, it should be us who decide if we want to stay together.
    I came from a developing country while he's half Asian and Australian (both are developed countries). His mum was extremely worried when he visited me. When she was there she said this in a joking manner "Isn't this the most dangerous place in the world".
    She now stays mostly with his aging grandparents. Everytime he goes there it becomes incredibly hard to talk to him as he's always being made doing things with them. I don't want to take up all of his time but even calling for 10 or 15 minutes a day is difficult. We once tried. He sat in the bathroom (the house was small so it's more private to talk in tbr bathroom). We were talking before his grandma knocked on the door telling him to go play mahjong with them. He told them to go ahead without him. A while later, his mum angrily knocked om the door asking why he hasnt yet gone out play with them. I was shocked at how rude this is. They knew he was talking to me and still knocked on the door and shouted in loudly. Of course I heard and understood everything they said. It feels like being shouted in the face.
    We sometimes did some short trip together within Australia. His mom who is staying temporarily (she travels back and forth between two countries very often) with his grandparents would get angry if he didn't tell her about the trip (sometimes he was just busy and didn't have the chance yet to tell her). Most recently, he called him asking him if he has to pay for everything during our trips and this is the last straw for me. It's ubderstandable that she's overprotective and can worry too much about his safety but this one is just unacceptable. I feel insulted so I stormed out and went home.
    It might be cultural but I believe in most cultures, parents don't interfere with financial arrangement between couples. What she asked basically makes me feel like I'm desperate for his money tho he's not that rich. We were recent graduates looking for full time jobs. I worked hard while studying to support myself. He got small savings from scholarship. We either do 50 50 when together or he shouted me and I shouted him back. But even if he had paid for everything it was none of her business.
    He also admitted he felt suffocated from his mom being overbearing but again people in his family (his dad and older sister) are not very good at going against her will. He lives with his parents and we're planning to move out soon but after this I have a feeling it's gonna next move to "Do you have to cover everything for her living together?" Or in the future "do you have to pay for everything for the wedding". This makes me just want to move away to another city far away from her but I'm sure she will hate me for that and think I'm manipulating her son.
    I really love my boyfriend and don't want to lose him. Just don't know how to deal with his mum.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    I think you need to recognise that you're not just dating your boyfriend, but him and his mum. You can wait to see if things improve once he leaves home, and I'd advise that, but also be prepared for her continued presence in some form - whether physical presence or continued contact by phone, text etc.

    The only person who can change this situation is him, and so far he does not seem to be asserting any rights to his privacy and autonomy. Whether it's cultural or not is irrelevant, really; he's still not detaching himself from his mother and she will continue to be a major force - if not THE major force - in his life until/unless he does.

    I get that you don't want to lose him, but you need to ask yourself if you can continue with the relationship as it stands. You can't change another person, and you certainly can't change his mum - do you want to carry on, knowing that this is the reality of the situation? As I say, wait to see if it all becomes palatable to you once he's moved out from his parents' place, but it may well not. In a way, this is similar to dating someone with kids; they are part of the package. His mum is part of the package at the moment.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Snny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    First of all, you guys arenít married and you do not have ďin-laws.Ē

    Second, asserting boundaries with his mother is his responsibility. You canít do anything about it; it entirely falls on him to speak up and mean business. Throughout your relationship people will test your relationship boundaries- friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, etc. You both need to act as a team and be on the same page for a relationship OR marriage to work and last. The fact that he constantly caves to her and her guilt trips gives you a clear picture of their dynamic and who he is. If he isnít able to stand up to his mother, then this is the kind of relationship that will affect you for a good while.

    Do not expect this to change.

    I personally would of dropped from the trip the moment he allowed his mother to come along and reconsider the whole relationship if I were you. Him doing this behind your back was not ok. He violated your trust and didnít have your back like a good boyfriend.

    Is his mother Asian? I ask because my husband is Filipino and in his culture, mother rules the roost and makes all the family decisions. I canít say this for ALL Asian cultures, but thatís been my observation from one culture. We had problems with him asserting boundaries with her regarding his family coming over and overstayed their welcome right around the arrival of our daughter. There was also an established order from her when we came to visit his family in his home country in terms of where to go AND who was to accompany us (this was during our honeymoon). Nice lady, but is a bit pushy for my likes and occasionally overbearing.

    My sincere advice... if you have dated him for 6 months and are having these red flags NOW, your best bet is to find somebody else. An overbearing parent who crashes on a trip and inquires very private details that doesnít concern her with a boyfriend who canít tell her to back off would send me well on my way. He sounds too dependent on her and even allows her to make decisions for you guys. He needs to step up or you quit.
    Last edited by Snny; 08-20-2019 at 09:08 AM.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member Snny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Sorry to double post, but I also found more:

    He also admitted he felt suffocated from his mom being overbearing but again people in his family (his dad and older sister) are not very good at going against her will.
    This is a glaring red flag. Even if you have a problem with her, the whole family isnít going to be supportive of you and your boyfriendís individual decisions. These are the kind of people who do not know how to handle conflict because there is so much tension, so they would rather bury their problems by giving into demand to the one who is the squeaky wheel (the mother).

    This is a reflection of your boyfriend and how this level of influence will affect him handling relationship conflicts with you. Definitely something to be wary of.

    And if they are all close-knit, then itís going to be ďyou-against-themĒ ordeal. You will be treated as an infidel corrupting the son, and will be villianized. Not good. This is WHY he has to have your back or this relationship will fail.

    He lives with his parents and we're planning to move out soon but after this I have a feeling it's gonna next move to "Do you have to cover everything for her living together?" Or in the future "do you have to pay for everything for the wedding". This makes me just want to move away to another city far away from her but I'm sure she will hate me for that and think I'm manipulating her son.
    Until he moves out, you cannot pursue the adult relationship you want with him. Thatís a big reason why she is in your allís business.

    However, even if you both move out she will still remain overbearing. You canít change a family dynamic. She becomes part of the package deal when you marry your boyfriend and ESPECIALLY have children with him. I am lucky that my husbandís family lives in another country, but I do have an overbearing father that I occasionally argue with because he tries to overstep boundaries even though he means well.


  6. #5
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    This will not change. They are not your "in laws."

    You should have ended things when he agreed to the mother joining on the trip. He is 26, not 15. This situation is ridiculous.

    I would get out now!

  7. #6
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    A six month relationship doesn't make his mother your mother in law. Unless you got married. Did you?

    Until he moves out, this is the way things will be. It might not change even after.

    This issue combined with his refusal to block his ex and delaying breaking up with her for months after he was supposed to be dating you...yeah, this doesn't seem to have much chance of lasting.

    Funny how he acts like "wimpy boy" with everyone but you. He apparently thinks it's ok to cater to everyone else but not you. What does that tell you?

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    These are modern, progressive times. According to the latest trends and my experience on this topic, according to the young people, the only communication healthy, normal adults should have with their parents is "hi dad, hi mom, bye mom, bye dad" on 4 major holidays a year. Anything more is viewed as creepy, weird, abnormal.

  9. #8
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Cloud Nine
    You are the 24 week college girlfriend...nothing more. You are completely culturally and otherwise incompatible. There is no commitment, no talk of future...so relax. You will find someone more compatible in the future.

    This is his family, his culture, his parents, whom he lives with and you need to butt out and mind your own business. His family and their ways is what it is. You're the one being invasive by trying to disrupt an entire extended family and their dynamics. He's not the one for you. Cut your losses and next time if you don't like a guy's family, stop dating.
    Originally Posted by SalsaPanimi
    I'm dating this guy for half a year.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member j.man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Firstly, they're not your "in-laws." You've been dating half a year, and I'll be honest-- between this thread and your newer one, there are just as many flags to pick from for your part as there are from his behavior.

    Whether some may like it or not, men's whims don't supersede the autonomy of their mothers. 2019 is a funny year, I know. If she's going to call, she's going to call. If she's going to ask goofy questions, she'll ask goofy questions. This lady's womb happens to be the one he popped out from. Insisting on third-wheeling it is a strange flex, but **** it, if she's gonna book a ticket and put her son in a position to invite her along or let her be an estranged woman in a foreign country, that's what she's gonna do, too. That's not saying she hasn't been a saint of a woman and mother in a million other ways (of which his appreciation and respect may contribute to his tolerance). Still, at the end of the day, he can't exactly crawl back in an request to get beamed up for another go. Given this is the one mother he's ever going to have, it's a choice between when to tell her to **** off or when to adopt the path of least resistance. I certainly don't know him nor his family well enough to presume to know better than him in that category.

    Now none of that is saying you're under any obligation to integrate that into your own life to any extent. It just is what it is, and you gotta take it or leave it. I can only assume if it's too much for you or that he's not enough for it to be worth it, there's another lady and another guy out there who'd make better matches for the he and you, respectively.
    Last edited by j.man; 08-20-2019 at 11:41 AM.

  11. #10
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Aside from the mother/son relationship, if you are successful at creating some boundaries with his family - I can't help but wonder , all things aside, what type of partner your man will be, long term.

    He is accustomed to this dynamic and the relationship with his mom will influence how he interacts with you as a husband and ultimately a father (if you choose to have children) That matrix runs deep and it will not change.

    You may be so focused on mom and think that if she were put in her place your issues will be gone. But what you will likely be left with is a man who is uncomfortable asserting himself with women and will be a passive participant in your relationship.

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