Dating a man for a while means you'll likely meet members of his family. In many cases, you'll love them and get along well. In others, you may encounter people who don't like you, who you don't like or who think it's their place to get involved in your relationship with your boyfriend. If his mom is overbearing, it can put a strain on your relationship. You don't have to suffer in silence, though, because creating boundaries can improve your interactions with her.
Be assertive. It can be tempting to bow to your boyfriend's mom and let her have her way to keep the peace, but relenting only serves to make the problem worse. Instead, come up with some assertive responses you can use next time she questions a decision you're making with your boyfriend or offers unwanted advice. Hitched magazine suggests, "You're entitled to your opinion," or "We're sticking with our decision," as replies.
Set boundaries. It might mean ignoring her repeated phone calls or not answering the door when she stops by unannounced. It could mean walking away or hanging up the phone if she becomes critical or rude to you. Setting these boundaries will help you assert your position and can help keep your boyfriend's mom from making your life miserable.
Ask your boyfriend to talk to his mother. Perhaps his close relationship with her clouds his view of her relationship with you. Tell your boyfriend why his mom makes you unhappy or uncomfortable and request that he talk to her about it. In some cases, his mom might not realize her behavior is overbearing. Being asked by her son to stop might be enough to get her to back off.
Accept that your boyfriend's mom gets angry or upset with you. Maybe your boyfriend passed up lunch at his mom's to see a new movie with you or skipped the family reunion because you had already made vacation plans together. Understandably, your boyfriend's mom might be upset, but accepting her feelings and knowing that you did nothing wrong can help you deal with her.
Talk to your boyfriend's mother. If nothing changes and her overbearing behavior continues, arrange a time to sit down together and discuss what's going on. You might be surprised to learn that she's having a hard time letting go of her son or feels jealous of his attention to you. Offering a bit of understanding and working on a solution together goes a long way toward getting your boyfriend's mom to back off a bit.
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Eliza Martinez has written for print and online publications. She covers a variety of topics, including parenting, nutrition, mental health, gardening, food and crafts. Martinez holds a master's degree in psychology.
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