My boyfriend of almost three months was born visually impaired and is unable to drive, so I do all the driving.
We both live at home. I’m 22, this is my first relationship.
Things were amazing, then several weeks ago we started arguing about everything.
Before that, he’d text, call, make me feel the most important person in his life.
He still says he’s in love with me and wants to stay with me!
I think his mother’s a big part of the problem, which started after he failed his college classes.
Now, only when we’re together in person and going out on a date, does he act like he did before.
I’m confused about what to do.
New At This
Try to understand what’s actually happening before you try to fix it.
His mother’s likely wanting him to give more time to his studies, take make-up courses, re-write exams later, etc. She’s worried about his future. That’s a normal parental concern.
The pressure’s undoubtedly affecting his mood, limiting his free time for frequent texts and calls, and making him argumentative due to tension.
This is the reality he has to deal with right now. He needs your support through it.
Show both him and his mother that you only want to help in any way you can… helping him study if you can, or just accepting that there’s less time for going out right now.
I’m the only child of a widowed mother who has health and financial issues.
She’s in a deep depression. She has a roommate but doesn’t go out and stopped working (though not yet old enough for retirement or pensions).
She often makes heated emotional demands – angry letters, phone calls, etc., when we refuse to send money, and instead beg her to seek counselling for her depression.
My spouse (we’re both in our 30s) has considered leaving me, due to the pressure on us both from her demands.
We’ve previously helped out and said “that’s it,” but didn't get anything in writing with signatures.
I love her very much but we work hard for our money and need her to respect that.
We want her to take the first step to seeing a counsellor.
How can we broach this subject in a loving, non-threatening way, so the fighting can stop?
You’re not clear in this email whether you have enough means or desire to help her financially at all.
Nor do you mention whether “the roommate” pays rent… or is part of the problem.
Yes, your mother needs counselling and a medical check for her depression, but what she hears from you is, No money for now. It apparently causes panic and likely paranoia, too.
However, seeing a counsellor together can help you both learn how to improve her situation and ease her fears.
A community service agency, and/or a hospital clinic dealing with mental health issues may be the places to start.
Ask which aids/services are available free, or at low cost because of her mental health condition and minimal resources - e.g. a few hours weekly of housekeeping help and Meals on Wheels.
Having attended the meeting together, you’ll also learn what’s recommended regarding her depression, and can encourage her to follow through.
Then go with her to a bank financial advisor to get her expenses vs. income clear.
A commitment regarding what help you can afford, plus her agreement to the plan, should improve your relationship and her circumstances.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman who believes her daughter-in-law stole her jewellery and is considering whether to accuse her outright (April 27):
Reader – “The woman who wrote to you explained that valuables were missing after her son, his wife, and their children stayed at her house. She is certain the wife took her items.
“But you never suggested that somebody else in this group could have taken these missing items.
“What if the husband did it or one of the children? If the children are very young, perhaps they were playing with these items and misplaced them.
“To come out and accuse one person when there is more than one possible suspect demonstrates how much the mother dislikes the daughter-in-law.”
Ellie – The writer stated her certainty that the daughter-in-law was “guilty.” In noting several options she had, I felt all would cut her off from her son’s family. Your point is well taken; a child might’ve misplaced them.
Tip of the day:
When a new partner’s behaviour suddenly changes, learn what’s happening before you try to “fix” things.