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More of a WWYD, really.

(27 Posts)
JaneFonda Fri 10-Jun-11 00:21:23

One of my friends got divorced about two and a half years ago, and she lives with her DS who is 17.

My friend has had a boyfriend for about a year now, and he sometimes stays overnight. Her DS is not comfortable with this.

Me and DP are quite close with her DS, as he stayed with us for a while during the really messy parts of the divorce, so he often comes to us for advice.

He wants his girlfriend of almost two years to stay overnight as well, but his mum has said no, she wouldn't be happy with it.
I personally feel like it's unfair on her DS to impose her boyfriend on him, when his girlfriend isn't allowed to stay overnight.

I'm preparing to be told it's none of my business, but I care greatly for both my friend and her DS - should I talk to my friend about her DS's concerns? Should I give him any advice? Or should I just leave it well alone?

JaneFonda Fri 10-Jun-11 00:22:08

p.s. Am a bit in the dark about etiquette/rules surrounding teens staying overnight - thankfully mine have not yet reached this age!

DogsBestFriend Fri 10-Jun-11 00:37:28

IMHO (old fashioned mum alert) her DS is old enough to accept that mum has a new partner - he's been there for a year now, it's not as if he's a virtual stranger - without showing off unless the partner is unkind/bossy to the young man, playing the part of the dad when he shouldn't be. Is there a genuine reason for the lad's dislike of the man being there or is it usual teenaged strop/anger that his dad isn't there/embarrassment that a parent has a sex life syndrome?

DS is also old enough to accept that regardless of what his mum does it's her house and her rules go. If, for whatever reason, she doesn't want his GF to stay overnight he must accept that, she is the boss of her own house and not him, her 17 year old. There will be plenty of time for her DS to do what he wants and host who he wants when he has his own house - at the moment he lives in hers and her rules go.

If I were you by all means I would talk to him but I would emphasise that I am his mums friend and that I must respect her views and her rules and that so must he.

JaneFonda Fri 10-Jun-11 00:43:33

He doesn't necessarily dislike her boyfriend, I think they get on fairly well (he has said he's a bit annoying but he's not nasty).

I think it's more to do with the fact that he feels genuinely uncomfortable with him staying overnight; he's walked in on them a few times and he's told me how embarrassed he was.

I feel like I ought to talk to my friend about this, because me and DP are the only adults that he really confides him, and if he's feeling unhappy in his own home, I think something needs doing. I just don't know how to discuss it with my friend without seeming like I'm accusing her of anything, or like I'm trying to get overly involved, when really I'm just trying to act as a neutral mediator.

Newbabynewmum Fri 10-Jun-11 02:22:00

IMO I would think the mum could wait really. Especially as she knows how her DS feels. As a child who's parents broke up when I was fairly old (20) I would not be happy after a year. It might sound a long enough time - but when ur in that situ it flies by. I'd try and say something if I were you.

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Fri 10-Jun-11 02:34:51

Your friend is giving off the 'don't do as I do, do as I say' vibe to her ds, and that will do nothing to encourage him to go to her with more serious issues if he feels that her response will be unreasonable or judgemental.

If it were my friend I would pull her on it without revealing that her ds had confided in me.

At some opportune moment maybe you could open a debate by referring to a fictitious m/net thread where a mother who had moved her boyfriend into the family home appeared to be outraged that her 18 yr old dd had asked if her guy could stay overnight on occasion, and ask your friend what response she would have given?

If your friend can't see any hypocrisy in the above situation she may at least go away with food for thought.

I'd far rather have my dcs feel that what is legally/technically my home is also theirs, and that they are welcome to choose who they invite to stay overnight providing it doesn't disrupt or inconvenience the smooth running of the household or the other inhabitants.

chinchin123 Fri 10-Jun-11 02:37:54

The mother is an adult, in her own home. The son is a child, and dependent on his mother, and has to follow her rules.

If he is uncomfortable with the boyfriend staying, that is one issue, and he and his mother should discuss it.

Whether his mother permits his girlfriend to stay over is an entirely separate issue - equally up for sensible discussion. But not on the basis of 'if she can then I can'.

expatinscotland Fri 10-Jun-11 02:42:28

Leave it alone.

I think she's being disingenous, but it's her house/home.

expatinscotland Fri 10-Jun-11 02:43:06

Personally, I'm with izzy, though.

Icelollycraving Fri 10-Jun-11 04:14:32

Keep out of it, unless she asks for your opinion. Her home,her rules.
If you must get involved, ask her how the relationship is going etc & take it from there.

Tambern Fri 10-Jun-11 04:57:39

Izzy I'd love to see a world where raising a hypothetical thread like that, wouldn't raise hell. At the very least she'd feel that you were being disingenous and interfering and would probably (quite rightly) call you upon the fake situation.

OP, I'm afraid hard as it is to watch, and given all natural instinct to help and make things better, that it cannot be any of your business. It's a family matter, and as others have said whatever the hypocrisy, the house belongs to her, and while her son resides under her roof he is obligated to follow her rules. The case of a 17 year old son, and a women who is presumably in her forties or fifties and divorced are very different. He is old enough to understand that his parents have sex lives, and if it embarrasses him then maybe he should be more careful about barging into a room.

Your friend will not take it well if you raise this topic. She will feel judged- on her relationship with this man, and her method of parenting her DS. She'll also wonder (again rightly) what business it is of yours how 'fair' you think her living arrangements are. In a years time her DS will presumably be at university or working and moving out, whichever way he'll be living his own life more fully and can make his own choices.

wrongdecade Fri 10-Jun-11 05:30:03

I think its it slightly unfair

he is 17 afterall

safran Fri 10-Jun-11 05:48:31

Has he asked you to have a word?
If you are someone he confides in he may not want you then repeating his concerns to his mother. And it would be a shame for him to loose the trust he has in you.
I'd say keep out of it but allow him to let off steam about his Mum, her boyfriend and the whole situation. If he asks for advice then help him work through how to raise the issues back at home but it has to be for them to discuss

Orbinator Fri 10-Jun-11 06:27:57

I should imagine the mother is worried about condoning sex under her roof. If he gets the girlfriend pregnant and you have convinced her to let her stay, she won't thank you for your involvement.

wrongdecade Fri 10-Jun-11 06:59:06

Orbinator he's 17 though its really his responsibility

if it does/doesn't happen

Orbinator Fri 10-Jun-11 08:43:57

Haven't heard how old the girl is though. Assume his mother knows whether he is responsible enough or not, which may be the problem here.

LisaD1 Fri 10-Jun-11 08:45:15

If he's going to get the gf pregnant he can use a bit more imagination than doing it in his own room when his mum is in the same house, so personally, that would not be my main concern. If the son is informed enough re contraception etc then pregnancy would not be my main issue at all.

My thoughts are that the mum is an adult, it's her house, her rules, she is of course free to have other adults staying overnight. The son has asked, mum has said no, that really should be the end of it. He is 17 but we do not know how old the GF is? That would make a difference. Maybe the mum thinks the GF's mum would be less than impressed and is trying to show her son comes from a family that doesn't condone teens sleeping together? She could have lots of different reasons for not allowing this to happen, none of which we know.

I have 2 DD's and I cannot imagine on what planet they would be allowed a BF to stay overnight at 17.

And this is from someone whose own parents allowed her to sleep with her BF, in their house, at 16! I left home at 16 to live with BF and finally split up at 21 having wasted 5 years. Had my parents made things more difficult to take things further maybe things would have worked out differently, who knows.

JaneFonda Fri 10-Jun-11 10:57:40

His girlfriend is also 17 (she is DP's friend's DD), and she has got the implant, so contraception isn't an issue that he feels is relevant.

He is allowed to stay at his gf's house, but she isn't allowed to stay at his.

I don't know how I'd react if I were my friend, but I can't help but feel bad for her DS because he's been through a lot, and if he doesn't even feel comfortable in his own home that's definitely an issue.

So really, the main thing is not about his gf staying over, it's about his mum's bf staying when he isn't happy with it. How do I approach it?

Hammy02 Fri 10-Jun-11 11:02:20

It is his mother's home and he should follow her rules. When I was 30 and stayed at DP's parent's house at the beginning of our relationship, we weren't allowed to sleep in the same bed. We respected that. It is their home.

diddl Fri 10-Jun-11 11:06:02

He needs to talk to his mum about why he unhappy that her boyfriend stays over.

If he has valid concerns she should address them.

But I don´t think that his mum should let his gfriend stay just because her bfriend does.

notso Fri 10-Jun-11 11:13:29

I think you need to encourage the boy to speak to his mum about how he feels, you can help him find a way to talk about it without coming across as an awkward teenager.

Yukana Fri 10-Jun-11 11:17:28

I agree with Izzy. If he is a mature lad then I think his mother is being unfair, and needs to start treating him a bit more like an adult.

In the end he is 17, I like to call 17 'limbo' in a sense. You're past the childish side of 16, but not quite an 18 year old adult. It's inbetween. He's old enough to make decisions and take responsibility for himself, and if he proves or has proven he can be trusted, then she is being unreasonable.

True it may be 'her house'. But her son has had to live in 'her house' for 17 years and probably won't be able to move out for quite a while (most struggle to move out until they are in the middle of university or have just finished). It probably feels to him, like the house is partly his, too. I don't think as someone who is about to enter adulthood he should be denied letting his girlfriend stay overnight, especially if it's just one night.

I was allowed my first sleepover with a boy at the age of fourteen. We had to sleep in seperate rooms until my mother felt she could trust us. When I earned that trust a bit later on, she let me have male friends/boyfriends round, and they were allowed to stay overnight in the same room. I'm grateful that she treated me like an adult and trusted me.

Hammy02 Fri 10-Jun-11 11:21:37

'14'? Seriously?

OhYesIWill Fri 10-Jun-11 11:29:44

What Chin says. He is a dependent and his mother an adult. It's her home and she should not be answering to her child. I'm amazed at the view put forward above that his mother should put her life on hold and wait wrt her own relationship (most likely meaning that she should dump or lose the man who she's had in her life for the past year) because her 17 year old son doesn't like it! shock

I'll be totally honest. If you were my friend and you broached these subjects with me I'd tell you to mind your own business in no uncertain terms. I'd be raging. Imvho you're a friend, and while thats a valuable thing to be it doesn't give you right to interfere in others familes, familial relationships or domestic set-ups.

Yukana Fri 10-Jun-11 11:33:59

Yes, 14. Although I had always preferred to engage in conversation with adults rather than people of my own age, and had matured a bit faster than most of my peers due to some rather... not so nice things happening in earlier in my childhood, amongst other things. I was a rather unusual child, and a registered young carer for my mother. If that enlightens things.

Around sixteen I had proven myself to be trustworthy and responsible, so my mother allowed me more freedom.

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