little bird Posted July 10, 2008 Share Posted July 10, 2008 Hi all, I have been with my partner for over 3 years now, and for a lot of that time I've been unhappy about his relationship with his mother. I've posted briefly about it elsewhere, but basically they are in a weird codependent relationship where he spends most of his free time with her, goes on holiday with her, has dinner with her 4 nights a week, meets up with her for coffee morning, noon and night (because they live within walking distance of each other). He also rings her every day, no matter what. He's 45, and never been married or had kids, only had one live-in relationship that failed after about 4 years. He has a sister, similar age, who is much the same way, who also has not married or had children, and who also lives within walking distance (in fact, she's probably even more enmeshed with the mother than he is! She and the mother have dinner together every single night and spend *all* of their free time together.) He has difficulty dealing with arguments and emotional issues in our relationship. It recently occurred to me that this is hardly surprising, since emotionally he really is an adolescent. I've read the book 'When He's Married to Mom' and it describes him perfectly. I often feel second-best in the relationship, often feel as though he is holding back, often feel as though our relationship is play-acting - that if he were forced to make a serious commitment to me, that he'd choose his mother instead. Despite all of this, I love him dearly. He's a beautiful person and I don't want to lose him. He can be the kindest, most sweet, funny man, and he is my best friend. I can't imagine life without him. I really want to stress this part. I'm not a martyr; I would never have remained with a man who is abusive or who *deliberately* treats me badly. He just can't see that there is a problem at all. The one or two times I've tried to talk about this (it's a very sensitive topic), he accused me of not being generous enough to share him with the other people in his life. He said that I was being controlling. Reality is, I think his fear of being controlled is just a projection onto me of what his mother is doing to him. So here's the thing. I've realised that the situation will probably not change. I am writing him a long letter to explain all of what I've written here, and how I feel about things. I am writing that I love him and want things to work out between us, but that there is a huge problem he needs to recognise. I realise that this may lead us to break up, but I've finally come to an acceptance of that possibility and I'm prepared to deal with that if it happens. I'm asking for some help from all you clever people out there. How do I explain to him why his mother is such an issue between us, when he thinks that theirs is nothing more than a very close relationship? When he thinks that the problem is my inability to share him with others? How do I explain what enmeshment is to someone who is enmeshed and cannot see it? Importantly, how do I explain the difference between a normal, loving bond between mother and son and the unhealthy thing that he has going with her? (I am very stuck with this part). I'm having trouble with this. I don't want to attack him or blame him for what's happened. I understand why his mother is the way she is (she had a trauma in her past. I get that. But IMO, she's ruining her son's life by not giving him the freedom to form healthy relationships with other women). Most importantly, I want to leave open the possibility, however small, that the letter will resonate with him somehow, that he will think hard about what I've said and agree to work on this. Maybe I'm dreaming, but I still want to try. It's taken me a long time to get to this point, and I've barely slept for two weeks, knowing that we will probably break up after he reads the letter. I am so, so, so scared. But I need to do this. Writing it down makes me realise just how much. Thanks. Link to comment
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