So, your boyfriend’s a great guy. Yes, really he is. But here’s the rub – he’s a ‘mommy’s boy’, and he has the possessive, not to say obnoxious, mother to prove it. Are you and your relationship doomed for life?
The good news answer to this question is a resounding NO. Of course not.
The bad news is that it will take some concerted effort and planning, as well as a good bit of persistence, and you will have to do all of the conscious work. But the ends will justify the means. Here’s our advice:
Make a friend of your ‘mom-in-law’
What? She hates you? You hate her? Back up a minute and think about where she’s coming from. Learn to understand her. Why is she really being so bitchy and unreasonable? What is driving her to push every one of your buttons she can find? In a word – fear.
She’s scared to death. Her darling son, her baby (her emotional security blanket), is trying to detach. So, does she feel threatened? Is she jealous? Of course! And how does she deal with it? Well…you get the picture.
For example, is ‘mom’ really hung up about food and cooking? Well, instead of trying to compete, heap her with praises, and ask her to cook for you too. Maybe even teach you how to make a favourite dish. Benefit? Well, you’ve probably scored a pretty good meal, without having to go through all the fuss yourself.
Bigger benefit? You’ve diffused a major issue, while she is none the wiser.
A critical piece of the puzzle is to learn how to keep your cool
Don’t rise to the bait when she comments on your cooking, your housekeeping, your taste in clothes, or your lifestyle. Don’t badmouth her to others. No matter how hard it seems, remember the old maxim ‘you’re not losing a son – you’re gaining a daughter’. Take the attitude that now you’re both concerned with the care and love of her son.
Draw on her experience
Since she has such a wealth of experience, and you are new to the game, just like with cooking, praise her and solicit her help and advice. What do you get out of it? You’ll save your poor boyfriend from feeling like a ping pong ball, batted back and forth between the two women in his life.
Is this relationship important to you? As you can see, by keeping your wits about you, you can turn it into a win-win situation for all concerned.