I've been seeing my boyfriend for a few months now; long enough that I've developed a relationship with his mother, but lately I'm starting to wish I could avoid her altogether. For a while she was calling me on a daily basis to "chat." Eventually I started ignoring her phone calls, which felt rude, but I didn't know what else to do. Topics of conversation ranged from her day-to-day business to problems she has with her son. She tried to talk to me about his money situation, his job and his previous relationship habits. For the most part I would simply respond with "Mmm" and "Right" but I felt uncomfortable with every "chat."
After I began neglecting her calls, they died down and I would talk with her whenever we saw each other, but the other night she called me to talk about some pretty personal stuff: her relationship with her ex husband, her opinion on my parents' relationship, and of course, her opinion on my relationship with her son. Although I did not contribute to the conversation, I felt extremely guilty after hanging up with her. If I found out that my mother was calling my boyfriend to discuss such personal matters I would feel incredibly betrayed. Although I haven't heard from her since, I'm still not sure how I should proceed. How do I deal with this without offending her and possibly straining my relationship with my boyfriend? And more importantly, do I tell him about this conversation? — Caught in the Middle Milly
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Dear Caught in the Middle Milly,
I don't blame you for feeling uncomfortable with these "chats" — they seem incredibly inappropriate. Before taking any next steps, I would tell your boyfriend what's going on; you don't want him to think that the two women in his life are ganging up on him and hopefully he'll have some words of wisdom for you.
In the meantime, I'd tell her the truth the next time she contacts you, gently of course, as she needs to know that confiding in you on such personal matters is putting you in a weird position. Let her know that while you enjoy catching up with her and developing your own relationship with her, you think it'd be best if she turned to her friends to discuss her personal life.
If your attempts don't change anything, your boyfriend is going to have to step in. Dealing with your significant other's parents — especially mothers — can be arduous, but since she isn't going anywhere, finding a middle ground will be best for all involved. Good luck to you.