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My (F/23) boyfriend's (M/28) mum wont let me visit him in hospital.


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Advice please!

Me and my boyfriend have been together almost 2 years, and he is having a major surgery in a hospital near his parents house, who will be looking after him after the surgery. We dont live together but are in a very committed and serious relationship, and planning to move in together once we can afford it. I have not met his parents yet, mainly due to me having a very busy schedule (I'm currently working 3 jobs), and his mum saying she needs 2 weeks notice before I can visit. I had planned to go down to his parents house for 4 days, to be with him during and after the surgery, as he said he wanted me to be there, and of course I do too. He said he mentioned this to his parents a few weeks ago, who were fine with it at the time, however when he brought it up again this week, his mum apparently started flapping about it and said she didnt think it was a good idea, but could not give any reason as to why. Of course I respect her decision as it is her home and if she does not feel happy with me staying there then that is up to her.

She then messaged me today (first time we have spoken), saying she did not think it was a good idea for me to visit him until the week after his surgery. However I dont have a day off work at all that week, but have booked the time of his operation off so I could be there and support him. She has been very sweet over text and said she is looking forward to meeting me. However my boyfriend has told me that his mum is very controlling and over-protective (he is the youngest of 4), and I am getting the impression she just does not want me there as she wants to be the only one looking after him.

I am planning to go to the hospital regardless to visit for a couple of hours in the evening. However when he mentioned this to his mum she was not happy about it and said she would be anxious about me travelling there?? It is only a short journey and as someone who has lived completely independently for the last 5 years, seems quite patronising and a strange thing to say? I have always been a very independent person, and am not at all used to people or parents making decisions for me or telling me what I can/can't do. I feel as though I am being treated like a child, and as though our relationship is not deemed important. In my eyes, me and my partner are in a serious, adult relationship and I dont understand why his mother feels she has any right to decide whether or not I visit him. However I also dont want to start off on the wrong foot and create any tension between us before we have even met! Am I being unreasonable, and how do I handle this?

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This is not an issue with the mother, this is an issue with your boyfriend. He's 28 years old for goodness sake! If he wants you there, he can darn well make sure you're there.

 

If he refuses to stand up to her and to let it be known how important you are to him and why he wants you there, then HE is the one who is not making this happen.

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You've been together for 2 years, but have never met his parents???? Sounds like the issue is more your bf, then his mother.

 

A completely different perspective about the hospital thing is that some people really really don't want company when they are sick and don't want visitors in the hospital. It might be hard to understand, but they exist. Could it be that your bf is like that, but rather than telling you the truth, he is using his mother to convey the message and run interference because he is afraid to hurt your feelings over this?

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I agree I think it is his responsibility to be setting these boundaries, as by not doing so it is putting me in an uncomfortable position. He is a big mummy's boy and said its easier to just leave it and not stress her out. Obviously he is stressed himself about the surgery, and also about his job as things have been tough lately, so I feel like this is just adding to the stress. I dont really know how to approach it.

 

With not meeting the parents, I know where you are coming from, but I am working 3 jobs and my days off are usually scattered all over the place so having a) a full weekend free and b) knowing about it in advance (as his mum has said she needs weeks notice beforehand) is near impossible. I have no doubts about the seriousness of the relationship.

 

Also he is definately not the type to use this as an excuse for me not to come, he would definately tell me if he didnt want me there. I have also said to him several times that if he doesnt want me there then that is fine, but I'm not happy with not coming purely on account of his mother. He agreed and said I should just come if I want to. Its a good way to look at it tho!

 

Im really not a confrontational person, and it is really important to me that me and his mum can have a good relationship, so I'm just not sure what to do so that she isnt annoyed about me coming.

 

Thank you everyone for your help so far :)

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Depending on where you two live relative to his parents, whether his visits home later in the relationship have lined up with your ability and availability, etc., I don't find it terribly inconceivable you haven't met yet. But the devil would be in the details.

 

What has your boyfriend actually said about you coming? I understand he's told you his mom doesn't want you to visit, but was that him saying not to come or giving you a heads up she's not happy about it? I understand many for some reason believe men have control over their mothers and their reactions, but he can't make her not be upset with you for coming. If he's relaying the excuses she's offered for her feelings, it sounds like he's done a fair bit of bucking. She's going to do what she's going to do. So long as you've got your boyfriend's blessing and are willing to weather the brief potential storm that would come with it, I say do your thing. Bottom line is that he can make sure the desk knows you're an approved visitor. It's not the mom's place to "let" you visit.

 

It's also worth considering DF's posit. If he is indeed more or less telling you not to come on account of his mother, it could be he doesn't want you going out of your way to suffer a hospital room with him. When my lung collapsed and I was having 2L of fluid drained from my pleurae, I very much and genuinely discouraged my then fiancee from squeezing in visits. It just made me uncomfortable. Maybe if I were dying, but so long as I know I'll be recovered, even if it sucks in the meantime, I'm kinda cool with "see you when I get out." IF that is the case, I'd hope he'd be more direct about it, though of course with a dash of sugar, but it's worth considering.

 

If all else is going well, I wouldn't worry too much. It's easy for us to extrapolate single incidents into a broader context when it's all we know.

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Well....here is the thing. Two years, you say that you are serious about this relationship, but then you have all these excuses for not meeting/developing some kind of a relationship with his parents. Whether the obstacles are coming from you, him, or parents - the problem is that when life happens, it puts all of you in an uncomfortable situation.

 

From his parent's standpoint, I dare say that they aren't taking some girl they've never met very seriously. In their mind, you aren't the future daughter-in-law, but rather some chick their son is seeing, aka not that important.

 

Add to this that he is going through surgery, recovery, you have no relationship with his family, it would be you all meeting for the first time at the most inopportune and stressful moment and you know what? You need to actually bow out. Express your support to your bf as best that you can, but maybe try to swap your time off with someone at work so you can be there for him later.

 

This might be one of those learning things - if you are dating long term, if you are serious, you do need to carve out some time to meet/develop some kind of rapport with the SO's family. Otherwise, when things like this happen, you'll find yourself on the sidelines or in an adversarial, awkward situation where you are told that you aren't really welcome as the family closes ranks to deal with the issue.

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Let's look at the facts:

-His parents are taking care of him after surgery. While he may be 28, he's also not hiring an aid or a caretaker to help him after his surgery. He still depends on his parents. His mother is his primary caregiver at this point and probably the one washing his soiled laundry, the sheets and helping to medicate him (painkillers etc).

-He's staying at his parents' house for duration of his recovery. Their house, their rules whether your boyfriend and you like it or not.

 

If you are in an adult relationship, start behaving like adults and perhaps you will start to be treated like adults also. If he wanted all the independence in the world, perhaps he should have made alternate arrangements and not have depended on his mother or her house.

 

I understand this is very annoying considering you did take time off work or arranged your schedule to accommodate his surgery. If you are serious about him and his family and want to make this work for the long term, I'd slow down a little and respect the wishes of his mum, don't impose and catch up with your boyfriend later. If you do this right, you will have your entire lifetime to clean up after his grimy clothes and feed him when he's sick.

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With not meeting the parents, I know where you are coming from, but I am working 3 jobs and my days off are usually scattered all over the place so having a) a full weekend free and b) knowing about it in advance (as his mum has said she needs weeks notice beforehand) is near impossible. I have no doubts about the seriousness of the relationship.

 

Have they not visited your area to see their son in all this time either?

 

Do you know for sure that they knew about you prior to this?

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It's just some of the differences of family and life experiences poking up. Like you, I grew up very independent and it wasn't in my experience to have a mom who would even think of texting my partner saying how she didn't think he should come to the hospital. Not howy family rolled at all!

 

His is different. If you can show respect for that now, then you have a good foot forward. Then after all this, I'd make big efforts to meet his family. it's time! And I think meeting on neutral territory, during low stress, is ideal for starting to build that base. Instead of going to their home, well she broke the direct to you texting barrier, meet her as an equal and you ask her to lunch. Hasn't failed me. Then you have the opportunity to just get to know this lady a bit. She's his mom, but also another adult, and there's good qualities already for you to like, right? She's there for her son. She could be a strong ally. You already have that in common.

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You've been together for 2 years, but have never met his parents???? Sounds like the issue is more your bf, then his mother.

 

A completely different perspective about the hospital thing is that some people really really don't want company when they are sick and don't want visitors in the hospital. It might be hard to understand, but they exist. Could it be that your bf is like that, but rather than telling you the truth, he is using his mother to convey the message and run interference because he is afraid to hurt your feelings over this?

 

I'm like that. The only person that I'm ok visiting me and taking care of me at the hospital is my mother. And this is what I thought, that this was him not wanting the visit but not saying it directly.

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I had planned to go down to his parents house for 4 days, to be with him during and after the surgery, as he said he wanted me to be there, and of course I do too

 

Honestly, if you expect to spend 4 days at his parents house, mom is not out of line for needing notice to entertain you as a guest, especially if you have never met her. She would have to make the house look its best, make sure she had extra food etc Suggesting the week after surgery is a understandable. the first few days, your BF needs to sleep and rest and might be out of it. And she would be responsible for cooking for him, being the gatekeeper so people don't stop by and wake him up, going to the pharmacy, etc. If you were staying at a hotel nearby and arranged to see him at the hospital, and she insisted you come over, that's another. And honestly, if he has a surgery where he will be in the hospital several days - i can see you going there to visit, but if its an outpatient thing - maybe not. If you were to the point in your relationship where you were taking care of him afterwards, that's another thing.

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Instead, how about extending to her "is there anything i can do?" and if she says nothing,tell her "i am going to send a meal over for thursday night, can i have the address/' or otherwise make yourself helpful to her. If boyfriend is going to be back at his place in two weeks, prepare to cook him or buy his favorite comfort food, run an errand or arrage to have something done that he can't do (if he can't lift anything, etc) and have a pamper night.

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Thank you everyone for all your thoughts and help so far, and taking the time to read what I wrote.

Of course I am not upset about the fact she doesnt want me to stay over at the house, as I said that is her deicision and of course I respect that, as it will be a stressful time for all the family and not the ideal situation to be adding 'meeting the girlfriend' into the mix.

What I am struggling with, is her saying she is not happy with me visiting him for a few hours after the surgery. He has made it clear to her that he wants me there, and that it isnt really her decision, however on the day she will be the only person I have contact with, and am not sure how to approach the fact that I will be visiting, without upsetting her or causing any friction, as I assume she will be trying to stop me. He has told me to just come regardless of what she says, and that she will just have to deal with it. But I'm just scared of starting things off on the wrong foot.

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Thank you everyone for all your thoughts and help so far, and taking the time to read what I wrote.

Of course I am not upset about the fact she doesnt want me to stay over at the house, as I said that is her deicision and of course I respect that, as it will be a stressful time for all the family and not the ideal situation to be adding 'meeting the girlfriend' into the mix.

What I am struggling with, is her saying she is not happy with me visiting him for a few hours after the surgery. He has made it clear to her that he wants me there, and that it isnt really her decision, however on the day she will be the only person I have contact with, and am not sure how to approach the fact that I will be visiting, without upsetting her or causing any friction, as I assume she will be trying to stop me. He has told me to just come regardless of what she says, and that she will just have to deal with it. But I'm just scared of starting things off on the wrong foot.

Honestly, I think you're thinking too much and drumming up too much drama in your head. While, at least by the account given, she does sound a bit overprotective and overbearing (at least when called into full-mother mode), I don't think she's a Disney villain who's going to meet you at reception with a barricade of gurneys all set up.

 

Bottom line is that you showing up for a few hours after the operation isn't going to rock anyone's world, for better or for worse. She may not be comfortable with it, but I doubt her protests would go much further than nagging your boyfriend about it a bit. And for any benefit to him, if the procedure is half as serious as you imply, he's probably going to be passed out, doped up, or too exhausted to soak in much meaning, or all of the above. That's assuming they'll even be allowing visitors when you plan on visiting.

 

If both he and you really want you to make it, I'd go. Mom may not like it, but then again, maybe something like this is what it would take for her to see you're the real deal. Don't make a stink of it, and don't make it about anything more than visiting him. Get out of their hair afterward and leave mom to take care of him. But I do think it's equally worth considering whether this has to happen right after the surgery. I think it'd tilt the risk:reward ratio much more in your favor if you let him recover for a day or two, let mom see he's going to be fine, and let him be in much more of a sober state to show mom how happy he is you're there. Showing up immediately or close after does kinda intrinsically pit her against you when the extent of his presence is pretty much that of a high-functioning vegetable.

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Thank you everyone for all your thoughts and help so far, and taking the time to read what I wrote.

Of course I am not upset about the fact she doesnt want me to stay over at the house, as I said that is her deicision and of course I respect that, as it will be a stressful time for all the family and not the ideal situation to be adding 'meeting the girlfriend' into the mix.

What I am struggling with, is her saying she is not happy with me visiting him for a few hours after the surgery. He has made it clear to her that he wants me there, and that it isnt really her decision, however on the day she will be the only person I have contact with, and am not sure how to approach the fact that I will be visiting, without upsetting her or causing any friction, as I assume she will be trying to stop me. He has told me to just come regardless of what she says, and that she will just have to deal with it. But I'm just scared of starting things off on the wrong foot.

 

I wouldn't do it. Remain respectful, think long term. This isn't life or death. I'm afraid your boyfriend is not being sensitive to your conundrum and a little immature. Listen to your gut instincts. If you have to ask, it's not a good idea generally.

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