When my then-ex and I were 18, we moved out together. We’d gotten in a fight and were arrested for domestic violence.
We couldn't talk to each other for a few months because of it. We eventually started talking again, off and on. Just a few months ago I became pregnant and we both decided we weren’t ready for a child. My mother knows about all of this.
We’ve been dating again for a little over a month now. When I recently brought him home with me for a few minutes, my mother told me, "I don’t want him at our house."
We’re now both 20 and it really bothers me that my mom keeps holding onto things from the past.
I know she has my best interest in mind, but I don't know if she realizes how much her not accepting him affects my relationship with him AND her.
His family’s aware of everything in the past, and still enjoys my company and genuinely cares about me. I feel bad because I want him to feel comfortable with this relationship and I don't want to be hiding things from my mother.
How do I talk with my mom on how much this affects and hurts me?
First, talk to her about YOU. It’s your own past poor judgment that worries her. She can’t help wondering if he’s the bad influence on you, or vice versa. But she hopes by excluding him, that she’s protecting you.
So talk about what’s changing with you, as in, a new plan for living your life more positively, beyond just being back with him.
Talk about whether you should further your education so you can get ahead financially and be responsible for yourself, with or without a man.
Or, whether you should focus on getting a good job now, and saving for your own independence even if you’ve got a boyfriend.
If you can show your mom that you’ve learned lessons from your past, and are now more mature, she’ll start to have some respect for your choices.
And, if he also shows maturity –starting with an apology to your mom for the past – she’ll be able to respect you and accept him.
My husband of 25 years accumulated large debt, always borrowing money just to get by.
He constantly arbitrarily buys big-ticket items we don’t need. I learn about his purchases from friends!
I find that degrading, insulting, and embarrassing – something we’ve fought about since we married.
As the breadwinner, he does what he wants.
We spend little time together, or with other couples, because he’s always working due to our debt.
I’ve lost respect for him, for putting us in this position. He blames me for being “negative.”
Our sex life is almost non-existent. I finally realized that my disinterest is from the stress and resenting him.
We’re approaching 50 and I don’t see any light ahead.
Turning 50 is time to reflect, do research, and re-direct your future.
He created financial stress, and you withdrew from intimacy. It’s time to get counselling for yourself (or both of you if he’s willing).
Also, learn your legal rights and your financial position, in a potential separation.
Example: You’d likely need to make changes, such as finding work, to go it alone and find inner peace.
Or, through marital therapy, you might both recognize the financial and emotional damage that’s resulted, and try to work on your marriage and clear some debt.
My younger daughter’s dating the ex-husband of my older daughter’s friend. It’s causing a lot of bad feelings for her from her friend.
But my younger daughter feels it's no one’s business whom she dates. She wants to bring him to our family reunion, but I’m torn.
Mom In the Middle
Get out of the middle of this - it’s between adult daughters. Choosing a side would be wrong. This isn’t about “allowing” this man to attend, and you need to make that clear.
IF your younger daughter’s dating someone seriously, she’ll naturally bring him.
Otherwise, logic and fairness would suggest you’d have to “disallow” bringing anyone who isn’t a direct relative or spouse.
Your family’s beyond setting those rules for grownups (or you wouldn’t be asking).
Meanwhile, your older daughter’s overreacting to please her friend, plus trying to dominate the family and you. If that’s her past history, it’s time to ignore it now.
Tip of the day:
Parental “approval” has to be re-won through taking responsibility for some poor past choices.