Feeling like a homewrecker because his mom lives with him

(186 Posts)
Knownscallion Fri 11-Jun-21 05:25:44

Long venting and I'm new- I’m so sorry! But if anyone wants to read this whole novel I really REALLY need advice on how to move forward. Me and my boyfriend are both in our 30s and both have kids from previous relationships (he has 1, I have 2) Everything was going great, its a healthy and stable relationship and we truly love each other. The kids get along great, we’ve even talked about marriage and possibly having another child in the near future which I started really looking forward to since I figured in my single years by the time I got to this point with someone I’d be too old to have any more. The issue I’m having is that when he purchased his house before we met, he asked his mother to move in with him so he could “take care of her” and have help with his son... and because of that, things have been getting more and more uncomfortable.

Firstly, Im not even sure why she needs to be taken care of so badly (which he keeps mentioning) because she isn’t elderly and has no serious mental or physical issues other than she would probably be lonely on her own and hates leaving the house. She also has admitted to having OCD about things (which is another issue with having kids around). But I understood why he wanted her there at the time. She is really close with him and also basically the primary caregiver for his son since he works so much. Its gotten to the point where his son insists she be the one to do regular parenting things like bath time, and bed time in lieu of him even when he’s there, and shes the one who disciplines and teaches. That concept is kind of sweet in a way but I really don’t know if it’s healthy for him to not have more parental responsibility with his own son. I didn’t grow up in a normal situation and have no real idea what a grandparent role typically involves.

Anyways, up until recently we were kind of toying with the idea of living together which evolved to us coming over and staying at his house most nights of the week (mine is too small for all of us and he likes to be home work nights). We’d begun to develop a bit of a routine and make plans, just seeing how merging households would work. He’d casually brought it up to his mom and said she didnt seem to mind and it was his decision when to have us over. But It started to get awkward because his mom began to complain about my kids doing typical kid things that bothered neither of us such as making too much noise, going in her grandsons room to play, taking toys out that she didn’t want out at the moment etc and she just seemed upset and picking on things in general when we were over. It felt awkward not knowing what was up with her and I didn’t like that it was more “sleepover” than stable living situation for the kids so I told him he needed to have a serious talk with her about us being there so often, as well as our future plans, to make sure she was ok before we kept doing what we were doing.

So he ended up having the conversation and came back to me basically with “she said no”. He said they had a heart to heart and that she will work on being comfortable with the idea of us living with them eventually, but isn’t ok with it right now because she has a hard time with having that many people in the house.

I didn’t even know what to think. I don’t want to overstep but it feels so bizarre to me. I just feel invasive and uncomfortable in my own relationship now. Even if she “allows” us to move in together under duress in the future, I wouldn’t ever feel totally welcome in a place that would be my home. I told him that but he just says that she will warm up to the idea “someday”.

He even told me he wants to marry me when he can get her on board with things...which honestly I understand wanting your mom to be ok with the idea of you marrying someone, but it feels like he is saying she decides if and when that happens, AND that nothing would be changing even if we get married and start a family. This worries me because I’ve explained to him in depth in the past that I love his family being involved, but that I don’t even like roommates living with me, and that in the long run for it to work Id need us to have our personal space, some privacy, and be able to learn to become a family and manage things on our own, and he said he got that then.

So now, since he works until shortly before the kids go to bed and lives half an hour away, us coming over and not spending the night isn’t a feasible option, so Ive told him that I’ll just see him on weekends. This really only means Friday nights and part of Saturday with my parenting schedule. Its been miserable going from seeing him right after work, having dinner together and talking about our days, feeling like we were becoming a family and really progressing...to just feeling like we’re back to casual “dating” and seeing him once a week and never having the kids see each other.

He said in a few years we can get a bigger house with a separate living area for her and everything will be good and not to worry. But this has put a huge shadow over the entire relationship in my mind. I don’t want to give him ultimatums, or make his mom uncomfortable or angry. I Dont want to get between the bond they have and the routine they have. I feel like a homewrecker in such an awkward way. But I don’t want to lose what we have either, and I admit I can tell I’m slowly losing that feeling of closeness we had and grieving for it. I don’t know if I want this sort of “hang out once a week” relationship for years. Im willing to give it more time, but I don’t see much hope for how anything is going to progress any time soon and I don’t know what to do or say to him or if I even should say anything or just appreciate what I have and not complain.

OP’s posts: |
SarahBellam Fri 11-Jun-21 05:39:02

You’ve got yourself a mummy’s boy. He has never really grown up. I would honestly run for the hills. The fact that she even has a say who he lives with or doesn’t live with - a man in his 30s - is absurd.

starrynight21 Fri 11-Jun-21 05:39:26

It seems that he /his son and his mother have developed this tight bond, and sorry but I doubt that this is going to change any time soon. Personally I'd run for the hills - he is very comfortable in this living situation and you are always going to feel like an intruder.

I'd guess that his mother is only about 60-ish so this will go on for another 20-30 years until your bf is a grandfather ! Don't put your life on hold waiting for things to change - they won't . All three parties are happy with the way things are, and you will never feel like part of this family.

You're still young - break away and you'll find someone who is free to make a life with you. Good luck !

Forestdweller11 Fri 11-Jun-21 05:43:54

His mum is always going to be his number one priority. It will never change unfortunately. Even if you do end up moving in it will never be your home. She will dictate everything, from the colour of the paint to the flowers in the garden. You and your children will be the cuckoos in the nest.

Is a couple of days a week enough for you long term?

How often is his son there?

How old is bf mother? Does she do everything in the house? If she goes it will likely all fall to you.

CupoTeap Fri 11-Jun-21 05:49:41

Well he's told you how it is, his mum isn't moving out, even with a bigger house. So either you wait a 'few years' to get a bigger house and then live with her as well or you break it off.

You really are not going to have the family life you want.

FiddlefigOnTheRoof Fri 11-Jun-21 05:50:07

This is not a situation that is going to work for you long term.

SpaceRaiders Fri 11-Jun-21 05:59:38

This won’t end well, you’re not his priority his mum is and always will be. Please think very carefully before moving your dc into a situation where they’re not wellcome.

Advertisement

GloriousMystery Fri 11-Jun-21 06:03:56

OP, it’s completely insane you’ve gone along with a situation where your 30something boyfriend’s live-in mother gets a veto on his love life. Do neither of you realise how utterly bizarre it is that he toddled along to ask her permission?

This isn’t going to change and frankly, you’d be crazy to even contemplate moving into a houseshare with mummy, let alone stick your children sharing their home with a hostile adult.

Where is your boyfriend’s son’s mother if his mother is essentially the main parent?

MangosteenSoda Fri 11-Jun-21 06:04:29

Did his mum pay for part of the house, so did they pool their resources to buy? Whether this is the case or not, it’s been her home for a while now and it’s understandable, and entirely predictable, that she’s uncomfortable with such a massive change.

It sounds like he wanted a live in nanny/housekeeper and didn’t want to pay for it tbh. His mum fit the bill nicely and he didn’t think about future complications. Now it’s either going to disadvantage your relationship or disadvantage his mum’s life. If his mum either moves out or moves into an annexe in a new home, he will likely expect you to take over all drudge duties. She will always want to be involved with raising his DS because it sounds like he’s mostly passed the parenting responsibilities to her. That’s all on him.

JourneyToThePlacentaOfTheEarth Fri 11-Jun-21 06:07:33

I would move on from this relationship if I were you, sorry op

Unanananana Fri 11-Jun-21 06:11:04

So many things wrong with this.
Why would you want to be with someone that will allow your children (and any future children) to be subject to that from a grandparent? Not allowed toys out? On eggshells in case they upset granny? No. Just no.
He doesn't parent his existing child, she does. The fact he works so much he barely sees his son is not a good thing. Is that what a good father looks like to you?
Does he know how to take care of a home? Housework, bills, garden, mental load? Because if mummy does it all, that duty will pass to you if she lets it when you move in together.

Bad dad? Mummys boy? Not sure how you can find that attractive tbh. The way they treat your children should be a deal breaker by itself. You sound smitten, which is lovely, but you don't need to settle. You are worth so much more.

category12 Fri 11-Jun-21 06:14:48

Really I think you will come to realise splitting up with him would be a bullet dodged.

Doesn't it alarm you at all that his mum is doing all the childcare because he works so much? Not because of her, but because of him?

How would your imagined future of having another child look like? It'd just be you and his mother at home, and he'd be working all the time.

Actually recognise what he's showing you about himself. It's not just his mum that's a problem.

StartupRepair Fri 11-Jun-21 06:18:24

He is basically married to his mum. They parent his child and she is in charge of the house. There is no place for you in his life.

ChaToilLeam Fri 11-Jun-21 06:19:33

Red flags all over the place on this one OP, I’m sorry. There’s no room for you in that relationship, now or ever.

CheshireCats Fri 11-Jun-21 06:20:01

Wow! You need to end this relationship. It is never going to work - as other pp have said, completely bizarre that he needs to have her permission to have a relationship/get married.There are some seriously blurred boundaries there.
End it and thank your lucky stars you were not any more embroiled in it!

ASpoonfulofDust Fri 11-Jun-21 06:21:17

As Diana said, There are three people in this relationship.

I hate to think how awkward it is at breakfast.

Mycatismadeofstringcheese Fri 11-Jun-21 06:22:13

What an unhealthy emotional set up for all involved.

The fact that he was so willing to outsource his parenting responsibilities does not give me high hopes. Even if his mother did move out, he’d probably expect you to fit into that role and outsource all the responsibilities and daily work to you. He should be saying, “Daddy is doing bedtime tonight” and eventually the child gets used to it.

The fact that neither he or his mother are able to move on and let gone means that your relationship is a complete non-starter.

Feeling like a third wheel is as good as it gets. Do not combine finances or get yourself trapped by giving up your home.

MustbeGracie Fri 11-Jun-21 06:27:22

You've indicated in your original post that you 'don't even like to live with roommates'. I'm guessing she may feel the same way.

Classicbrunette Fri 11-Jun-21 06:30:06

Sounds like his mum is very stuck in her ways. She doesn’t want to leave the house and doesn’t particularly want you there, she can’t cope with change well. She certainly would find it hard to have another new baby in the house too.

If you asked him to choose between you and his mum, which do you think he’d go for ? Is he like his mum and is worried about change too ?

And if his mum is financially involved with the house that makes it awkward, anyway she doesn’t like leaving the house, so how are you going to get her out for good ?

OhSayWhat Fri 11-Jun-21 06:32:43

StartupRepair

He is basically married to his mum. They parent his child and she is in charge of the house. There is no place for you in his life.

This.

You are the other woman. Move on.

GloriousMystery Fri 11-Jun-21 06:33:20

category12

Really I think you will come to realise splitting up with him would be a bullet dodged.

Doesn't it alarm you at all that his mum is doing all the childcare because he works so much? Not because of her, but because of him?

How would your imagined future of having another child look like? It'd just be you and his mother at home, and he'd be working all the time.

Actually recognise what he's showing you about himself. It's not just his mum that's a problem.

Exactly. His mother is a symptom, not the underlying cause.

kneesbentarmsstretchedrararaaa Fri 11-Jun-21 06:34:27

Unanananana

So many things wrong with this.
Why would you want to be with someone that will allow your children (and any future children) to be subject to that from a grandparent? Not allowed toys out? On eggshells in case they upset granny? No. Just no.
He doesn't parent his existing child, she does. The fact he works so much he barely sees his son is not a good thing. Is that what a good father looks like to you?
Does he know how to take care of a home? Housework, bills, garden, mental load? Because if mummy does it all, that duty will pass to you if she lets it when you move in together.

Bad dad? Mummys boy? Not sure how you can find that attractive tbh. The way they treat your children should be a deal breaker by itself. You sound smitten, which is lovely, but you don't need to settle. You are worth so much more.


Completely agree with all this. They sound completely co dependent. I do not think this is a good dynamic to inflict upon your own children.

ChairOnToast Fri 11-Jun-21 06:36:33

OP, I think you know that she’s not going to suddenly warm to the idea one day. She’s told him that you can’t move in with him and he’s doing as he’s told. It seems like a very bizarre relationship. What she really should have done was offer to move out.

I’m sorry OP but if I were you I would take a very big step back and tell your partner that he needs to make a decision.

junebirthdaygirl Fri 11-Jun-21 06:37:00

He took the easy option getting his dm to move in saving himself a lot of work and responsibility. This won't work. He is not even mentioning his dm moving out, getting her own place and it sounds like it would be quite traumatic for his ds anyway as he has allowed it to go on so long. He obviously doesn't think of anyone except himself and even bringing you and your dc into a house where his mum is is giving no thought to her or you. He is burying his head in the sand making you promises that are not possible to fulfil. You either accept he is a part time lover or get rid of him and find a more responsible guy.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 11-Jun-21 06:37:21

What did you learn about relationships when you were growing up?. I ask as you write you did grow up in a normal situation and have no idea what a grandparent role typically involves.

His mother and he are enmeshed and their relationship is emotionally unhealthy. You will always be a third wheel in this and you will never be accepted not acknowledged. Think about what you do have here re him, it’s nothing of any substance nor longevity.
Splitting up with him will indeed be a bullet dodged in the long run. Do not get bogged down in your sunken costs.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in