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His Mom is Awful Person
#1
I've been seeing a guy who just moved to my area. We've known each other for about 2 months and have been seeing each other since his official move. Things are going well between us. He is 21 and I'm 35.

The reason for his move to my area is so that his mom can attend a rehabilitation clinic. After a series of events she is paralyzed from the waist down. He is her caretaker. As I learn more about their past, this whole thing seems like a Lifetime movie. Before moving here, they both were living with her "boyfriend". I skeptical of everything she tells me because at a minimum she exaggerates the truth to her benefit. But based on what he has brought up (I haven't asked because I don't feel it’s my business) is that he was emotionally abusive to both of them and physically towards her. I don't think he was hitting her but he was neglecting her care before he moved back from out of country to help.

Up until this weekend she has treated me ok. She suffers from depression so I kind of roll with her moods and chalk it up to her depression. I've not had someone in my life before that was clinically depressed it is new territory for me. This weekend she started showing her true colors more. I've realized that she is emotionally abusing her son. She will reel him in only to turn around and punch him in his face. In one breath she will tell him that I'm a keeper and tell us she has everything she needs for the night and for us to go spend time together. An hour later, sometimes sooner, she'll yell at him for something she did herself and say that they are here for her to walk not for him to date. On top of this, it’s now apparent she is very racist.

Like me, he is very laid back. Before, I could normally cheer up him easily. However, I think the honeymoon period of their fresh start after moving is over and I see him becoming more depressed. It's now starting to affect things between us. The last few days I've been stressed and lost my appetite as the thought of ending this relationship has started be become a possibility.

Normally, I would just leave a situation like this. I hate drama. However, I have fallen for him. I realize it has been a short time but I not cavalier with my feelings and believe these feelings are real. There are many signals that he feels that same but we haven't discussed it yet. Also, the issues we are having aren't directly between us, they are external. He may be enabling her behavior by not standing up for himself but he is in a bad situation that he doesn't know how to get out of. If she wasn't dependent on him as a caregiver I'm sure he would have walked away from her by now.

I guess I'm looking for advice on what to do before I talk to him. My primary concern is for his well being. My bias is that I don't want to end this relationship. We both understood that it was likely this move was temporary (a year) and that it would likely end anyways, at least the romantic part. I accepted that but I find it hard to accept what is happening now. I'm willing end the relationship now if it’s the best thing for him even though it not what I want and may not be what he wants.

What are his moral and legal obligations to his dependent mother? She can't go back to her boyfriend and his sister has already cut mom out of her life. He left college and his using the remainder of his college savings for her to go through this rehabilitation program. Are there government agencies that can help out? (We are in the US).

What are my moral obligations? I don't feel that is my place to step in but if I'm worried if I don't he'll stay trapped. He knows no one else here and I'm basically his only outlet from his mom right now.

Thanks.
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#2
Well, his sister certainly took the easy option by abandoning their mother to his care. He is really young and I believe he will be needing your help, your friendship and your calm to stay on top of things. To deny him your help now would seem callous, and that is a thing you claim you are not.

So, it may be a time now for you to step in with some resolve to sort things out. You both need to be able to count on the strength of your relationship and the caring you have for each other to stand solidly against the ugly odds of life.

His mother is unwell and has been scarred by life. Even if she is a great burden to your boyfriend and he accepts to take on that burden as part of his cross to bear, he is a nice person, it seems. He, unlike his sister, did not abandon her when she needed help. Maybe you can help him sort out some administrative things, like finding ways of implementing her rehabilitation, maybe finding a person who can help nurse her. Is she hoping to get her legs back? Is that what this rehabilitation is promising?

His mother has the tools to bully him around or at least blackmail him emotionally. He probably needs you as backup against this terrible situation. He may need you to be his oasis of love in an ocean of bad luck.

Has he managed to finish his studies? You say he's left college. It'll be a struggle for him to manage his mother and get back to his studies. He probably needs this time off.

Is it possible for his sister to step in and share with the burden?

I really don't see how you can keep the whole thing together and not meddle in what seemed to be private affairs if you wish to continue seeing and dating him. He probably feels it isn't right to make you share that burden, but you don't want to see him drowning in it, do you? Tell him so. If you feel close, and you are getting more involved, you should be allowed to step in. But make sure he knows how you feel about things. Let him see your side and have your views on the situation.
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#3
Certainly it all affects you, but it is one of those situations that needs to be handled with a ten foot pole. His mother needs to be responsible for her own care. If she is not dealing with the depression, her doctor needs to know and to help her. Of course her children should be involved, but they cannot sacrifice their own lives. This has been proven over and over and over again to be a bad move.

Talk to your friend about how he can be healthier and of more help to his mother if he takes care of himself, too. In the long run, though, he must deal with his family and you should not have to do so.

PS--friend should tell sister to get her ass in gear and lend a hand, but that is hardly your affair.
I bid NO Trump!
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#4
I might be the worst person to ask because I cut my psychopath mom out of my life like the cancer that she was and never looked back.

I can't diagnose his mother as a psychopath or anything else.....but from what you have stated here...your friend is in for a horrible time ahead because manipulative people do ALOT OF DAMAGE... and some of it is permanent....

They use love/guilt/shame/fear..anything they can use to get what they need. If she is as bad as you fear...she will turn him against you if she has any idea you see through her because you will be a threat to her as you might share what you see with her son....

The best thing you can do at the moment is to never let her know you see anything....

My mom portrayed herself to me and everyone else as a victim and my job was to "fix" her...and that was the nicest thing about her......

I have to warn you...she most likely knows how to manipulate him (and everyone else) and has probably put so many strings on him already it will be VERY DIFFICULT to save him...maybe impossible. People like her do so much damage....

I think of dealing with someone like that as dancing with the devil.....

That is why I said I am probably the worst person to ask...but I think someone should say it so you know what you might have to face....

Good luck to both of you...
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#5
It is apparent from your narrative that this young man is wholly devoted to his mother's current circumstance. He is of an age where he was just leaving the nest only to be called back. It is unlikely you can do anything to alter what is a well established pattern of behavior.

Unfortunately, that leaves you with his leftover attentions. Your best hope is to carve time, room, and opportunity to interact without outside distraction, namely the mother. (You do not say how far the relationship has progressed. I assume it is a satisfactory sexual relationship.)

The consolation for you in this is that the relationship - and its problems - will move away at the end of the year.

If you are not able to carve out a sexual space then you may have to accept being only a friend to him, with minimal interaction with the mother. If that is unmanageable the opportunity for a happy relationship appears to be nil.

You hint at racism. Is that a factor.
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#6
I don't think you have any moral obligations 2 months into this. I'm assuming you're in PA.

http://www.dpw.state.pa.us/

is a place to start. She should be getting disability payments to help with her care.
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#7
Camfer is on the right track. There must be social services in your area. You need to talk with them about the situation, what can and can't be done. It takes time to sort it all out. Ideally the BF would also be in counseling regarding how to deal with this.

Your BF needs to learn about setting boundaries. This is difficult because the mom is playing the victim card. It is a manipulation. There needs to be a balance and it needs to be clearly stated: "This are my responsibilities, mom, and these are yours." The trick, then, is maintaining those boundaries because chances are good mom will intentionally (although perhaps not consciously) fail at keeping her end of the agreement. Picking up the slack can be c0ing her behavior.

Ultimately, everyone has to decide what they are willing and not willing to do. This includes you. If you continue a relationship, this is going to be an on-going problem so long as mom is alive and may get worse as she ages. You have to decide for yourself whether or not your feelings for your BF are sufficient to see you through the inevitable difficulties.
.
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#8
princealbertofb Wrote:Well, his sister certainly took the easy option by abandoning their mother to his care.
From what I understand she is older and in her own abusive relationship (both are abusers) and there is very little contact with her brother (his choice). So there is definitely no help coming from her.

princealbertofb Wrote:So, it may be a time now for you to step in with some resolve to sort things out.
I think i will try feel this out with him but I don't want to make an incorrect assumption and over step my bounds.

princealbertofb Wrote:His mother is unwell and has been scarred by life. Even if she is a great burden to your boyfriend and he accepts to take on that burden as part of his cross to bear, he is a nice person, it seems. He, unlike his sister, did not abandon her when she needed help. Maybe you can help him sort out some administrative things, like finding ways of implementing her rehabilitation, maybe finding a person who can help nurse her. Is she hoping to get her legs back? Is that what this rehabilitation is promising?
She is unwell and I hope I haven't prematurely judged her. But I can't excuse the racism. I've had many interactions with her, even some alone, over the past two months. He is nice and thankfully doesn't exhibit any of this behavior. He does make efforts to correct her racism.

The one part he seems to have under control is the rehabilitation and most administrative things. I see that money for them will become an issue likely before she finishes this program. I would like to help him in this area by trying to find groups or agencies that can help. Yes, she is hoping to walk again. The program doesn't promise that she will. She has regained some feeling over time so I believe there is a chance for it to happen.

princealbertofb Wrote:His mother has the tools to bully him around or at least blackmail him emotionally. He probably needs you as backup against this terrible situation. He may need you to be his oasis of love in an ocean of bad luck.
Yes she does but doesn't seem to have some magical spell over him in that he is not oblivious to what is going on. I think he feels trapped but copes with by taking it. I'm for being in his corner if that is what he will accept the help.

princealbertofb Wrote:Has he managed to finish his studies? You say he's left college. It'll be a struggle for him to manage his mother and get back to his studies. He probably needs this time off.
No, he left after two years. He has plans to go back after she can take care of herself. I'm worried that she may never be able or make a true effort to do that.

princealbertofb Wrote:I really don't see how you can keep the whole thing together and not meddle in what seemed to be private affairs if you wish to continue seeing and dating him. He probably feels it isn't right to make you share that burden, but you don't want to see him drowning in it, do you? Tell him so. If you feel close, and you are getting more involved, you should be allowed to step in. But make sure he knows how you feel about things. Let him see your side and have your views on the situation.
I would accept some of this burden with him. But again I worry about boundaries that I may not be aware of. Even though I have strong feelings for him, we haven't dated too long and there still is some "fog of war" so to speak that only talking with him will clear up. I plan to talk to him soon but need some advice before hand as I feel a little out of my element approaching this situation. I'm not expecting to be a hero or that this won't be a little messy. I would like to avoid the land mines if possible

Thanks for your comments!
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#9
East Wrote:The best thing you can do at the moment is to never let her know you see anything....
This cat is probably out of the bag.

East Wrote:I have to warn you...she most likely knows how to manipulate him (and everyone else) and has probably put so many strings on him already it will be VERY DIFFICULT to save him...maybe impossible. People like her do so much damage....
She can manipulate him to a point but I really doubt she would be able to turn him against me. His sense of obligation comes from the fact that she is his mom.

East Wrote:Good luck to both of you...
Thank you!
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#10
poondue Wrote:This cat is probably out of the bag.


She can manipulate him to a point but I really doubt she would be able to turn him against me. His sense of obligation comes from the fact that she is his mom.


Thank you!

I hope you are right...you probably are. I prefaced with my being the worse person to respond because I know I can't help but project my own experience into others when in reality every experience is different.

The keyword for me is manipulation...I kinda freak a little (permanent PTSD) when I hear about a manipulative mother....

I do hope for the best outcome for both of you.... and may she not be anything like my mom
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