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Too Enmeshed?

(67 Posts)
TPlry Tue 25-Aug-20 07:57:57

Ive been dating my middle aged bf for nearly a year now, he’s WAY too close to his widowed mom imo. Like when he wanted to vacation in Kazakhstan he mentioned his mom tagging along. He did it to his ex, too; they all went to LA together but he insisted his ex gf invited his mom to come along.

Now he’s talking about marriage and how he wants his momma to live with us ideally...she’d stay in the guest room of a big house, that or she gets to live near us to take care of kids. In his eyes she’s a saint and he’d “risk everything” for her. In an argument he told me his mom would always win if I forced him to choose.

Now he’s moved back home while his job has gone remote and looks after her despite his mom being healthy, able to move around...he says he really appreciates being back home after 22 years. She cooks for him, they spend most evenings together. Things haven’t been great between us but he says he doesn’t “know when” he’ll move out, seems like he’s content staying there indefinitely.

I’m really worried because I DONT want any in-laws buzzing around me at all, you should “leave and cleave” to your spouse. This guy seems like he’s really involved in mommy’s life. Am I crazy, is his behavior normal or am I just overreacting.

TL;DR: should i dump this guy for being too enmeshed with his mom?

OP’s posts: |
AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 25-Aug-20 08:09:24

What do you get out of this relationship now?.

No this is not normal, you are not crazy and no you are not overreacting at all!. I am not at all surprised that things have not been good between you two; his mother will always be first and foremost in his life. No other woman would ever be able to live up to her in his eyes.

He needs dumping now and I can see why his ex left him too. The words "uphill struggle" comes to mind when reading about this man. The relationship between mother and son is a dysfunctional dance of codependency and enmeshment and that is deeply unhealthy.

TwentyViginti Tue 25-Aug-20 08:12:03

Absolutely, dump!

Zaphodsotherhead Tue 25-Aug-20 08:35:52

Does he have any plans as to what he's going to do when 'Mommy, Dearest' pops her clogs? Because he sounds as though he's stuck in 'schoolboy' mode and he's going to find it VERY hard to cope without her. In fact, he's going to look for a woman to replicate the entire relationship - to care for him, clean for him and let him have his own way all the time.

You are better off out of it.

netsybetsy Wed 26-Aug-20 06:43:24

Break up with him or face a lifetime of this behaviour. He's too old to change but at least he's been 100% honest with you telling you that his mother will always be his priority.

Bananalanacake Wed 26-Aug-20 07:18:57

Does he already have kids or does he want them. I would refuse to live with him.

TPlry Wed 26-Aug-20 08:12:27

He wants kids and it scares me because he's told me he wants his mom to live with us when that happens or close to us (which is still problematic for me, I think he'll be even more enmeshed and find every excuse to include her in activities).

OP’s posts: |
TPlry Wed 26-Aug-20 08:18:33

I feel a little guilty because he's told me he's been living in the city away from his family for 22 years...he hates city dwelling and he told me he really appreciates being in the suburbs now, in his hometown, while the pandemic situation dies down. I don't want to pull him away from the things he loves (dog, mom, old friends, etc.) but at the same time I feel a grown man living with his healthy albeit elderly mom is inappropriate. He's constantly around her, tries to include her in things like vacations, etc. He even told me he took over his father's responsibilities when his dad passed away.

OP’s posts: |
Inching Wed 26-Aug-20 08:19:41

Well, what has he said when you’ve said ‘Absolutely not, going on holidays/living with your mother would be my idea of hell’?

TPlry Wed 26-Aug-20 08:23:17

I didn't say anything, I didn't think it was worth starting an argument over but we did argue when I told him I didn't want her to live with us he blocked me then later told me all his exes were ok with her living with us. He told me to be more "mature" and "open" to one of the "most important" people in his life.

OP’s posts: |
Bishybarnybee Wed 26-Aug-20 08:28:58

Not heard "Leave and Cleave" before, that sounds pretty brutal and not necessarily how all of us want to live our lives. However, if you feel that way, you are 100% in the wrong relationship and should get out now.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 26-Aug-20 08:38:49

"I didn't say anything, I didn't think it was worth starting an argument over"

Were you also afraid of his reaction here?.

"but we did argue when I told him I didn't want her to live with us he blocked me then later told me all his exes were ok with her living with us".

He lies. None of his ex's were at all ok with such an arrangement.

What are you getting out of this relationship?. Please do not continue with wasting your life like this on this person; there are men out there who do have a healthy relationship with their mother and do not have such enmeshment issues.

Do not be one of the many women here who think that the only thing stopping such a man from moving out from under his mother's thumb and life is the love of a good woman. And guilt is a useless emotion here too; why do you feel guilty?. He does not feel any guilt for how he has and is treating you here; he actively blocks you as punishment.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 26-Aug-20 08:42:01

Do read this as well:-

www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/men-that-live-with-their-mothers/

Gazelda Wed 26-Aug-20 08:45:59

I'd finish a relationship if I wasn't number 1 in my partner's heart (kids aside).
He gets more out of his relationship with his mum than he does in his relationship with you. That's not healthy or fair to you.
Dump.

AgentJohnson Wed 26-Aug-20 08:53:54

It isn’t inappropriate for him to live with his mother if he wants to.

You aren’t compatible with this man on a fundamental issue, rather than accept it and move on, you are expecting him to be something he clearly isn’t.

The balls in your court, not his.

Zaphodsotherhead Wed 26-Aug-20 09:03:13

The exes may not have lied - they may have said they were okay with living with his mother because they wanted to 'hook their man'. If had it become an eventuality, then I can pretty much bet they wouldn't have liked the reality. They probably thought they could change his mind through the medium of home cooking and good sex.

But he loves his mum and wants to be close to her. If he wants to do that at the expense of having an adult relationship, that's up to him. It doesn't sound much as though he's going to be able to balance two women and his mother is always going to win out (until she passes on, and then his partner is going to have to deal with a 'sainted memory' which is a whole other ballgame...)

TPlry Wed 26-Aug-20 09:03:41

Completely agree. I reached out to this forum to get a sense of perspective on this situation (and what better input than a stranger's opinion, right). I'm joking, I know my intuition is right and seeing responses to impartial evidence gives me some peace of mind I am not crazy/selfish/wrong to judge in this manner. I've also turned to friends and family, seems the response has been nearly unanimous (dump)

OP’s posts: |
Woolwichgirl Wed 26-Aug-20 09:15:36

Theres absolutely nothing inappriopriate about a man deciding his elderly mom should live with him and his partner or wife..Jezz.People are quick to throw around the word innapriopriate.Look, in some cultures generations (grandparents kids grandkids wifes uncles aunts etc) all live in the same household amicably. Ofcourse someone will challenge me and say this is England and not Africa or india where that applies..What am trying to say here is you shouldnt feel competitive with his mom
Your role in his life and his moms role in his life are completely different.She will even be there to babysit when kids arrive and you and your man need date nights and a breather from kids..
Its up to you if you want to jeopardise his close tie with his mom by staying with him or leave him for yours and his own good.The only other option is you having to change your outlook and love the man just as he is.

mummmy2017 Wed 26-Aug-20 09:21:54

Your unhappy now, and she isn't living with you.
He has told you his plans and to be honest I would not want to be at the back of the que in my husband to be's affections.

WingingIt101 Wed 26-Aug-20 09:33:55

Bloody hell OP I thought my dh was a mummy’s boy so thank you for the perspective. I’m off to tell him how fantastic he is and invite his mother to lunch!

Seriously though as you’ve said this isn’t normal - I think it’s perfectly fine to be close and to want to support parents, including moving them in if needed but what’s not normal is his autocratic dictatorship idea of relationship - he gets to choose, you need to accept and or change. If you were equally happy to do it all then great but he has no respect for your opinions or needs!

Inching Wed 26-Aug-20 09:47:32

Theres absolutely nothing inappriopriate about a man deciding his elderly mom should live with him and his partner or wife

Nonsense, @Woolwichgirl. There may be absolutely nothing inappropriate about two people deciding together that a parent should live with them, but it's not a call one person can make, or impose on the other.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 26-Aug-20 09:59:58

I am yet to come across a man living with his mother that is able to have a healthy relationship with a girlfriend. This man's relationship with his mother is a destructive mix of enmeshment; theirs is not an emotionally healthy attachment at all in any sense of the word. His mother has further created this and he has stated he took over his father's responsibilities when his dad passed away.

TPlry Wed 26-Aug-20 10:04:14

Woolwichgirl

Theres absolutely nothing inappriopriate about a man deciding his elderly mom should live with him and his partner or wife..Jezz.People are quick to throw around the word innapriopriate.Look, in some cultures generations (grandparents kids grandkids wifes uncles aunts etc) all live in the same household amicably. Ofcourse someone will challenge me and say this is England and not Africa or india where that applies..What am trying to say here is you shouldnt feel competitive with his mom
Your role in his life and his moms role in his life are completely different.She will even be there to babysit when kids arrive and you and your man need date nights and a breather from kids..
Its up to you if you want to jeopardise his close tie with his mom by staying with him or leave him for yours and his own good.The only other option is you having to change your outlook and love the man just as he is.

I feel it's competitive when he states if I force him to choose I'll always lose...a bit extreme, no? Also it's not just that behavior in isolation, he wants to take her everywhere, ranging from innocuous activities like vacations to more serious stuff like a potential live-in situation.

I appreciate your input though, I agree it's best for all parties involved

OP’s posts: |
AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 26-Aug-20 10:10:55

Re your comment:-

"I feel it's competitive when he states if I force him to choose I'll always lose...a bit extreme, no? Also it's not just that behavior in isolation, he wants to take her everywhere, ranging from innocuous activities like vacations to more serious stuff like a potential live-in situation".

What about you here, what do you want to do re him?. Your feelings here are equally valid and you matter.

Would you be wanting to dump him now?. What have your family and friends thought?. In a straight fight this man would always choose his mother over you. His relationship history is littered with ex's who likely all thought that all that was stopping him from leaving his mother's bosom and home was the love of a good woman. He will not leave his mother's home for you nor untie himself from her bosom. Being with someone like this at all will merely eat away at you.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 26-Aug-20 10:14:04

TPlry

What do you get out of this relationship now?

Honestly you can do far better for yourself here by raising your own bar a lot higher. There are men out there who do not have enmeshment issues re their mother but men who do are very bad news indeed for their girlfriends. They are NOT good relationship material.

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