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You Asked: His Mother Is Trying to Control Him!

Dear Sugar,

My boyfriend and I have been going out for four years; since I was 20. Despite working full time, he still lives at home with his mother who is very controlling, and in turn, he lets her treat him that way. The problem is he can't say no to her. She frequently makes plans for him and guilts him into staying home. It's gotten to the point where he doesn't have any friends he sees regularly besides me.

The other night we arranged to go out for dinner. When he got home from work, his mom had made him dinner because he forgot to tell her we had a date. Rather than saving the dinner she made for another day, he called and told me he changed his mind about going out and then he got mad at me for being inflexible when I got upset.

Clearly his mother is causing a rift in our relationship. It feels like she is trying to fight me for his attention all the time. This has been going on a long time now so I guess it is my own fault for putting up with it, but I don't think he will ever change. Do you think I should wait until he moves out or see if things change on their own? — Competing Courtney

To see DearSugar's answer


Dear Competing Courtney,

First thing's first — talk to your boyfriend about how his actions affect you. He might be feeling pulled in two directions by the two women he loves most. So if he's not aware that he's hurting your feelings, he might just be trying to avoid hurting her's. Since your boyfriend has a full-time job, I think it's time he looks for a place of his own. I understand money is tight for almost everyone right now, but there are always options: roommates, a small studio, or a sublet.

Waiting for something to happen on its own isn't your best bet here, so voice your concerns and set some ground rules. If he's unwilling to make time for both of you, you'll need to decide if this rift is something you can tolerate. Good luck.


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