Relationship Debate: ‘My Boyfriend’s Mom Is Always in Our Business’

March 30, 2011  |  

Dear China,

My boyfriend’s mom is always in our business. She’s very critical of me and controlling of him and he jumps whenever she says. How should I approach this because it is starting to affect our relationship?

Home-Cooked Me

Dear Home-Cooked Me,
As you know, the “lover’s mom” problem is a very common one, and it’s a toughie because the man here is stuck in between the two women he loves.

Still, your man should know that love for his girlfriend is different from love for his mom–and you need to articulate your grievances to him. You may even have to say to his mom, as respectfully as possible, “I would appreciate it if you didn’t criticize my weight, or my hair, or my cooking, or whatever, because it makes me feel uncomfortable.” You want to address the problem as it happens, if it happens, as opposed to allowing it to eat away at you and your relationship with your man.

Once you have addressed it, then you need to let it go and tend to your business as a girlfriend. Don’t start fostering all sorts of attitudes and opinions about your boyfriend’s mother, that start to consume your thoughts and your life, because you’ll then become a prisoner of your relationship–and unnecessarily so. This advice goes for any relationship in your life: school, work, play or otherwise. Be direct in discussing the problem in a highly respectful manner, eliminating it, then letting it go.

As for your boyfriend, he’s always going to “jump whenever his mama says he should.” So, instead of trying to change his dynamic with his mom, just change your approach with her as mentioned above, and avoid situations in which she can critique you. Don’t linger around, just waiting for a critique, and don’t overexpose yourself to her. She is after all, your boyfriend’s mother: not your mother-in-law.

Au revoir, cherie,
~ Madame C.

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