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Thread: Unsure How To Deal With Boyfriends Mother

  1. #21
    Platinum Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    I sit on both sides of the fence as I'm a mother of sons, I have a MIL (mother-in-law) and I am a DIL (daughter-in-law). My son has a girlfriend, too.

    I agree with others. It's your fiance's job to rectify this situation with his mother regarding childcare. They need to handle this among themselves.

    Having said that, you need to respect and honor your MIL's status as a childcare provider, as the grandmother and your fiance's mother ~ even if you disagree with her. She has earned her status whereas you have not. Even though she is manipulating this dilemma for you, you need to ask yourself, "Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?" If I were you, I'd choose the latter.

    As a DIL, I've been in predicaments with my MIL and I've always acquiesced in order to keep the peace. The cost was not high either.

    There are times when you need to swallow your pride for the sake of the whole. Don't think about what's right, what the principle is, which point you need to prove and demonstrate your form of "justice" because it won't work. You're just blowing hot air. It will only fall on deaf ears and at the end of the day, the son's mother has the final say.

    Be prepared because this is what you're marrying into. If you're already starting out on a rough patch with your future MIL, it will only grow worse about some other issue.

    In the meantime, stop spending the night with your fiance, wait until you're married and then act like a married couple. Your future MIL is more old-school / traditional and prefers sleeping arrangements to be legally proper in front of her grandchildren. My MIL is the same way and I am the same way regarding my sons. If you need a room, book a hotel with him! NOT in my house!

    Abide by the rules or know WW3 is about to erupt sometime in the near future and do you want an acrimonious relationship over this with your future MIL? Is it worth the fight?

    Know your place in the family. It is not at the top.

  2. #22
    Forum Supporter ~Seraphim ~'s Avatar
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    Hire a before and after day home. I own my own day home and I charge $15 for before and after care . It also includes a snack in both segments. That removes mother from the threat game altogether . But your boyfriend has to do this.

  3. #23
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Unfortunately he's asking grandma for favors, so she can set whatever terms she wants. If he gets a sitter, nanny or lets the kids stay with their mother more often, then he can set different terms. Your bf's childcare arrangements are the problem, not his mother. He needs to get more organized. Maybe he is telling you this to rope you into babysitting for free for him?

    Why doesn't he stay at your place? Why do you have to stay there when his kids are there? Stay when they are with their mom or when they stay at grandma's. As long as he wants free babysitting he will pay in other ways. He is the problem not her. She's not dictating anything. He is choosing free babysitting services and that is his choice. Do not let him fob it off as if his mother is the issue. This guy seems to have some major issues with his kids, their mother and his mother. Your relationship is merely collateral damage.

    Keep in mind you are not married, do not live there, it's not your house, they are not your kids, she is not your mother, she doesn't babysit for you and basically you have no say in any of this. And that's how your bf is playing this.
    Originally Posted by angelita0609
    My BF & I have been together for 4 years.

    I have a great relationship with his kids & will sometimes stay the night when they are there.

    Sheís threatened to stop helping him out with the kids if I continue to stay at all

    However neither of us are happy at all about her using her offer for assistance as leverage to control something in our relationship.

  4. #24
    Gold Member SarahLancaster's Avatar
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    I don't know that the mother is being unfair and coercive. She is entitled to believe that you should not be sleeping together with the children around without benefit of marriage. And she is providing a service for your boyfriend, I'm assuming free of charge?

    If you don't like the terms, you have a few choices. Either stop spending the night with him or get married and as someone else suggested, don't move in together until the logistics can be worked out.

    You can also get child care elsewhere.

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  6. #25
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    Originally Posted by Rose Mosse
    Thank you for sharing more of your situation. It helps give a lot more perspective. I can see why you're feeling this is so unhealthy.

    It's really up to your boyfriend and his mother to sort those boundaries, I think. If he's not ok with his mother, what he should be doing is arranging another safe and viable option to care for the kids. Ultimately this is really between him, his kids and his mother. What he does in his alone or private time is his business (with you, for example). He should be the one who's initiating those boundaries and looking for other options. If he's not spearheading that or doesn't have the courage to, it's not your place to push for it. I fear you may be hurting yourself in all this if your bf really doesn't have it in him to do what he needs to do.
    Totally agree.

    OP, he needs to get some outside help.

  7. #26
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by angelita0609
    And when the next issue comes along that she doesnít agree with & this same thing happens again, Iím just supposed to sit back & accept it & think of it as itís his family & therefore I need to take their wishes of our relationship into consideration even with threats attached?.
    But that hasn't happened yet. Deal with this issue at hand. Not the 'what if' ones

  8. #27
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    I think you're getting great advice here on a tough situation.

    The way I see it you have a value clash with his mother. She's old-school, does not think a man and woman should share a bed until married, especially when kids are involved. She thinks that's a "bad" thing for kids to grow up around, even in a relationship that is hardly new or wobbly. That is how she sees the world, no different than someone who firmly believes that kindergarten teachers should bring guns to school for the safety of the children. You're never going to change this, ever.

    Tricky part is that your boyfriend holds your values, by the sound of it, but doesn't want to rock the boat. He loves his mother, for starters, and he feels, right now, that he needs her help with childcareóbe that a choice made for financial reasons, because he values that kind of dynamic inside his family more than he values a "modern family" relationship dynamic with you, or because he just has a weak spine when it comes to standing up for himself to his mother. Still, that is all on him, whether he wants to dig in on this one or let it go.

    That leaves you in a place that is either simple or complicated, depending on how you look at it. Basically, you can either accept these rules, and work within them, or not, with "not" kind of meaning leaving the relationship. For you, marriage is predicated on waiting until your daughter finishes high school, which is, in the big picture, not a hard rule of life but just a "value," of yours, that has made it a rule in your life. So you are fortunate, right now, that you have a boyfriend who is not fighting you on your value/rule, that its respected. That is a "win." This situation is a "loss." Life is little wins and losses, and if we're with someone they'll play out inside relationships. We get to decide which losses we can take.

    I really feel for you. Personally, I don't agree with his mother, which I'd find frustrating; I could make a sound argument that her attitude is more corrosive to a young child than helpful. Even more frustrating to me would be that your boyfriend does not set boundaries that support his personal truth and philosophy. But that's just me, my value system, and I'm not a part of this dynamic. You are, so you're the one who needs to make peace with it rather than foaming at the mouth, which you've learned gets you nothing but a nasty taste on your tongue.

    I'd say, if you want to stay in this, and at peace in it, remind yourself that this is just a chapter toward marriage. He doesn't get to marry you until your child has graduated, which is a sacrifice. You don't get to share a bed with him, when his kids are home, until you are married. Another sacrifice. Even scales. No need to forecast what all this means for your marriage, since being married means committing to take things on together, as they come, whatever those things are.

  9. #28
    Platinum Member Andrina's Avatar
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    Most people live paycheck to paycheck, and having childcare/transportation costs for not one, but two or more kids is very expensive. Plus, the children get to spend more time with a lady who would die for them, and cherishes their every word, versus a paid caregiver who has a giant group of kids who they can't give much individual time to.

    How about looking at it as each person has flaws, and she is from a different generation, so she's picking a battle she feels strongly about. Each person in my life, whether it be my parents, brothers, kids, husband, friends, have totally pissed me off about things over the years. They each have flaws that are difficult to deal with, but they also have good points, and as for the ones I want to retain in my life, I just have to let things go, while of course speaking up at times to let them know of an issue, depending on the situation. And I know I've got my own issues they find annoying, because rarely does each person on the planet behave with perfection 100 percent of the time.

    Like others have said, why not have a marriage ceremony now and not live together yet? Since you both have been married before, I expect you don't need a big shindig. My husband and I, each married once before, went by ourselves with one pastor and 1 photographer to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and got married by a creek.

    It doesn't seem like he's a doormat with his mother. He probably just can't afford alternative daycare, so he's stuck. You're going to be around her for the rest of your life, including holidays. I'd try to overlook this one issue, and praise her for all the time and effort she's taking to make your bf's life simpler. I'd even suggest to him that you two take her out to dinner, or cook a nice dinner for her, to thank her for all she does. If that sets a foundation for better family relations, it's a win-win. When kids see family drama, it stresses them out, so if you and your bf have to be the more mature adults in this situation, so be it for the kids' sake.

  10. #29
    Platinum Member itsallgrand's Avatar
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    Honestly, I think you are overreacting to this.
    I also think your boyfriend made it easy for you to do so.
    How simple would it have been for him to handle this on his own and keep you out the drama? It's his decision to make, whether he wishes to continue to have grandma do as she does under her terms, or no. You didn't even need to know it was said, as it's not really any of your business.
    Your business is the relationship between you and your bf. When he presented his ' dilemma' to you, an alternative would have been to simply ask " So what have you decided? Let me know".

    If you set aside the principles you think you are both fighting for, what it comes down to is a complicated situation in which children are being raised. They have mom, then some time with dad, and grandma and perhaps others helping with parenting duties. Dad has a girlfriend who they are familiar with and spend time with sometimes, that lady ( you) has a child too but you live in seperate houses.
    Is it the end of the world if you don't spend the night? Realistically, is it totally necessary as a couple?

    I have a cousin who I am close to, and he mostly raised his two kids from young as a single dad. The mom had minimal presence, by her own choice. So family members, including grandma and grandpa and cousins, stepped in to help fill holes in that gap where he needed help. He later got into a serious relationship with a woman, she also had kids. They were together for years, each with their own homes and raising their kids that way, spending time together and with the kids without sleepovers when kids were around. They are together to this day, with kids all out of the house, and it works. They didn't get married but no one questions how serious they are as a couple.

    You don't have to ' prove ' how serious you two are about each other, and you aren't there nor going to be there ( at least for a good while ) in a caregiver role for the kids. So why push this? Why not just make it easy on your bf and say " I don't HAVE to spend the night when the kids are there. Do what you need to. You don't have to worry about my end. " That also makes him more inclined to start looking at alternate care instead of grandma if you staying the night is such a high priority for him. But I don't get why it would be in these circumstances and it's sure not a hill worth causing ill will over?

  11. #30
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    Itís interesting that many feel itís ok for the mother to be in charge so to speak, just because sheís the mother, grandmother, matriarch or other familial figure rather than the idea of respect & boundaries being of equal or more importance. I appreciate all the insight & perspectives, but Iím curious as to how you would all respond, married or not to your husband/wife/significant otherís mother if she were to stick her nose in where it didnít belong or how you would respond to in essence being told to parent according to your parents beliefs which may differ from your own. Would you comply based on sheís your mother & their grandmother or would you assert & uphold your own parenting beliefs and practices? I realize from many of your perspectives itís a pick your battles type situation, youíre not family, donít poke the bear, donít ruffle feathers or rock the boat & practice being respectful of her traditional views, however when does respect on her part enter into the importance of the equation? Isnít there a time when itís a matter of this is your adult son & there needs to be to be respect for him, his life & his decisions whether they mirror your own or not? When do boundaries get factored in?

    While I can respectfully see your points, I am a bit surprised that for some itís all about itís his family, his mother, their grandmother, sheís the matriarch, etc. in essence allow the coercion to take place based on the aforementioned. I strongly feel respect & boundaries should still be factors & would feel the same even if this situation pertained to something else she didnít like regarding his parenting even if it had nothing to do with me.

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