His moralistic mom thinks they're living in sin
Carolyn Hax is away. The following first appeared on Sept. 24, 2004.
I have a great boyfriend whom I've been with for several years, and we just bought a house together. The problem: His mother thinks we're living in sin because we're not married. She tells her son this about once every three months. I have a major problem with people intruding on my personal life when they're not invited.
I can't say anything to his mom because she hasn't addressed me directly yet -- although her last email came perilously close to calling me a woman of loose morals -- but everything the boyfriend has tried so far hasn't worked. Of course, if we ever do marry and have kids, it will be, "Why don't you go to church?"
We have an extremely honest relationship, so he knows how I feel. He's willing to fight his mother over it, because he agrees with my concept of privacy. I'm at a total loss here -- how do we get the woman to butt out?
-- It's Still Salvageable, Right?
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"We" won't get "the woman" to butt out, because "you" have little or nothing to do with it. Until she does address you directly, the mother is butting into her son's life, not yours.
It may seem like a fine distinction, but someone who decries "intruding on my personal life when they're not invited" has to be careful how she defines such an invitation.
Your boyfriend can, and should, tell his mom he loves and/or respects her but has made his own choice, and will no longer discuss it. Nicely but firmly. (Or is it firmly but nicely?)
It is his rightful place to ask the woman to butt out, but don't expect him to get the woman to butt out. He has tried before, right? And failed? That's because she can think what she wants, and she can say what she wants to her son. She can also be pushy, judgmental and obnoxious. All her prerogative.