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my mother's no-good boyfriend

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i'm kinda long-winded.. but i think details are important for this.


so, i'm 25 years old and my mother is 53. over the past almost 6 years she has been seeing (and is now engaged to) a man who, to me, is just a complete douchebag. i don't even know how else to describe him.


he thinks he is an alpha male. he's a know-it-all (who really doesn't know very much) and has repeatedly mistreated my mother, me AND my autistic younger (15 y/o) brother. he has coerced my mother into degrading herself sexually (she said no, he persisted, she gave in to make him happy) and i had the displeasure of finding photographic proof a few years ago. he constantly talks down to her, discourages her from doing anything decent with her life and has turned her into an all-around weak person. he also persistently tries to turn her against me. i am not perfect, i have certainly made my share of mistakes, but none so awful as to merit the treatment i continue to get from this "man". when he talks about me to her, he won't even use my name. he refers to me as "fatass" and pretty much does nothing but tell her (and me) how worthless i am. also, on christmas day a few years ago, he screamed at, belittled and humiliated my autistic brother infront of his entire family, simply for watching cartoons when he was asked not to. my brother sat with his nose in a corner, crying uncontrollably for almost an hour and refused to speak to anyone. i have attempted to apologize to my brother on behalf of my mom's fiance, but i don't think it did much good. my brother and i both despise him. (autistic kids really can't be handled that way at all).


almost his entire family is just a bunch of unnecessary drama and has nearly driven my mother out of her mind. i want so badly for her to see the reality of all this and snap out of it, but she won't. i am trying to accept that is her choice and there isn't much i can do. however, she keeps insisting that her fiance and i make amends so they can be happy. i tried, but all he did was tell me how great he is and, again, how worthless i am. i have told her i love her and want her to be happy, but that i cannot have someone like him in my life.


am i wrong to say this? is it selfish of me to not want to be a part of that family? am i going to lose my mother to this crap? i don't know what i should be doing. i just don't feel like there will ever be any resolution between him and i, and i don't really care anymore.

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I have a son with autism, and I'm having a hard time thinking about what he could do to your brother. If there were a man like that abusing my son, I'd probably take the law into my own hands. If possible you could hire a PI to help you rig a camera in the home to record abuse of your brother and your mom. Other than that, I don't have any suggestions that wouldn't get me banned here.

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oh no it's not like that. i couldn't afford to hire a PI anyway lol. my brother actually has asperger's and lives with his father. it's just when he's visited my mom and her fiance's house, he just can't handle it. the people are too harsh for him and he doesn't know how to process it. the fiance doesn't physically abuse my mother or my brother, it's mental/verbal. he completely takes my mother for granted. also, the incident with my brother did occur before we knew he was autistic.. but my mother and i have both told the fiance that my brother was different and had to be handled gently. he completely disregarded that, thinking we were being "too soft" on him and took it upon himself to verbally rough him up.


i do have a for-instance involving my mother, though. i was looking at my mom's e-mail account to find the fiance's e-mail address (to send him a letter in an attempt to make amends, which he promptly crapped all over). i got kinda nosey and read a couple emails between the two of them. my mother wrote out this long letter to him saying, in part, that she felt as though she was being used for money and sex. his reply? "don't flatter yourself".


i just don't understand why/how she thinks he loves her and i don't know what i'm supposed to be doing. i want her to be happy, but i am afraid i might lose her to him. if being a part of her life means him being a part of mine, i just don't think i can do it.

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i don't know. i mean, that's my mom, y'know? she isn't getting any younger and is always having some kind of health problem. nothing too serious as of right now, but still. what if something happens and i'm not there? also, the house i'm living in until september/october i'm renting from her.. so it's a little complicated to just break ties. i don't know what to do.

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Can't you explain to her that you can't be around this man? Tell her how much it hurts you to see her treated this way. And if she wants to visit with you, tell her she is welcome. But just stay away from her home. That is what I suggest.


Hopefully she will realize she deserves better treatment. But sadly, she probably won't. My guess is he isn't safe to be involved with on any level, especially for you. He probably sees you as a threat to his control over your mother. That could put you in danger.

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believe me i have explained that to her more than once. i have brought up many examples of his controlling nature and poor judgement calls.. but she finds some way to justify everything. she says there's good that i "can't see". i have told her the good has to outweigh the bad (which it clearly doesn't), i've said everything i can think of at this point.. but she isn't budging. sometimes she is so sure that she needs to leave and be done with it.. and she has left twice already but always goes back.


*sigh* i guess you're right though. she just needs to know with no uncertainty that i will not have him in my life. i have tried to make that clear already but am not sure she really gets it yet. she thinks we all just need to put everything behind us and get along with everybody.. but i am so far past that point. i have given him and his screwed up family so many chances.. and i just can't do it anymore.

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Your mother is terrified of being alone. What she doesn't understand is this is much worse. All you can hope for is that she comes to her senses. Be strong. Someday your mother will be thankful that YOU could see what she can't. I hope for her sake and yours too that she will see the light very soon. She could be scared to leave him, scared he would hurt her.


I hope you will keep posting here and let us know how things are going. So sorry you're going through this tough time.

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i don't think she's afraid he will hurt her, it's not like that. he's not physically abusive, just emotionally/mentally. but i do agree she is afraid to be alone. she has always gone after the wrong men. this one is really getting to me though. i don't want to care about this but i just feel helpless and it's just messing me up. between this and all the other stuff i'm dealing with.. i dono.. i'm just not sure how to get through it anymore. i keep saying it will get better, i'll find a way.. but it isn't and i haven't.


i went out tonight with some friends and tried to have fun, but i couldn't even do that. one of my friends told me even though i was dancing, my face didn't change at all. she said i just continuously had this look like i didn't want to be there. hardly anyone talked to me, no one wanted to dance with me and i totally brought down my friend's mood. i feel like i am watching myself sabotage my life and i'm not sure how to stop it. i don't like that i'm that person.


sorry.. i know that's a lot.. but i don't really feel like anyone else is listening.

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Hey there,


Sorry to hear about your dilemma -- and I can see why you feel so conflicted about the situation.


I'm certain that others will come by with better advice BUT if I may offer my two cents:

while the situation is complicated, the resolution might be more simple than you think: you can either choose to stay OR go.


The problem is neither option is "perfect" and both, unfortunately, will entail residual feelings of guilt on your part.


1) You extricate yourself from this situation and refuse to allow this man to emotionally/mentally/verbally abuse you any longer.


-> BUT if you go, you will also be distancing yourself from your mom, whom you seem to care for very deeply and whose well-being you're concerned about.


-> However, she has made it clear that she is not yet willing to break things off with him, even at the risk of alienating you -- her daughter.


2) You stay in order to support your mom. In other words, you are placing your mother's happiness above your own.


-> But if you stay, you are exposing yourself to persistent abuse that CAN be avoided.


-> Moreover, even if you stay, the ways in which you can support your mom are limited because you will not be able to actively intervene in how he mistreats your mom. And this may exacerbate your feelings of helplessness re: the situation.


If it were me, I'd opt for #1: It'd kill me to leave mom BUT I think I would need to get away from the abuse in order to firmly situate myself and get myself grounded and stabilized -- both emotionally and also financially. This way, when my mom really needs my support, I will be in a good place to give my mom the type of support she needs -- be it a shoulder to cry on OR a place to stay while she tries to sort out/end her relationship with this man.


It sounds like you're emotionally spent right now and staying will only make things worse for you.


If you choose to leave: please make sure that you reiterate what you've said all along -- you love her and care for her so if she ever needs you, you are there for her.


Take care of yourself and good luck to you.

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ellie, thank you so much for the advice. you're right.


my mom actually came down here last night. when i woke up this morning, i had a long talk with her about all this. she apparently wasn't aware how strongly i felt and i guess thought my disapproval of her relationship with him was based mostly on a personal bias against him. but i told her how much it hurts me to see her doing this to herself over and over.. and how much it scares me that i will end up just like her. she says she understands better now and claims she is giving serious thought to just being done with the whole thing. i've heard that several times before though, so i am trying not to put too much stock into it.


i am also giving some thought to moving in with a friend of mine and getting out of this house. if she does leave him, she will move in here and as much as i love her, i know i can't live with her. if she doesn't leave him, he and his family will be visiting here from time to time (it's a summer home at the beach) and i refuse to be here for that and don't like the idea of being kicked out of my house whenever they decide to show up.


so.. keep your fingers crossed for me lol. i have no idea what will happen from this point, but i am hoping things will get better one way or another.

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yeah, i do. i don't really want to move but we'll just have to see how things play out.


i dono. i'm still really not happy with how things have gone over the last several days. i really feel like i ruined my friend's night on sunday because of all this and i'm not quite sure what to say to her.

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my mom sent the fiance a big long e-mail about how she's done and wants to move down here on june 5th. she's giving her 2 weeks notice at her job, can't take the bull * * * * anymore, etc etc. she is SO convinced that it's not working, it's been 6 years and enough is enough. she's done.


until he replies. i don't know what he said, but i knew i shouldn't get my hopes up over this. she has no * * * * ing spine at all. she e-mailed me earlier and said that they are going to continue things and the mistake she keeps making is "talking to everyone about my relationship with him and getting everyones opinions". apparently me telling her how much it hurts me that she is hurting herself is a bad thing. great. awesome. one of his daughters and a friend of her's are coming down here on the 18th and she told me i don't need to go anywhere and i "just need to get over it". fantastic.


so, i guess i am moving. i barely even know the girl who is offering the room and i did just lose my job (partially because of all this). i can find something else soon i guess, 'cause it is the summer and there's jobs everywhere. i just have to keep telling myself this is only a temporary situation and i don't have to live here/with this other girl forever.


i think i might be done. my mom clearly made her choice yesterday in sending that e-mail, then clearly had her choice remade for her. i don't think i can take this flip-flopping crap anymore. i can't watch her do this to herself. she's my mom and i love her.. but this hurts me way too much. i think i'm just gonna put some distance between her and i. that is going to be really hard, but i don't even know what else to do.

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