I love your advice, it is right on point and sometimes you go way too hard, but I love the names of your schools. I digress.
I have an issue that even my grandparents were arguing about, so I thought I would ask you. I have been with a man for 8 years. I love him, he loves me, we play house as you call it, but that’s ok with both of us, at least with me. People wish they had what we have. Our life is great overall.
My problem is his mother. We have 4 children. I have 2 from a previous relationship and we have 2 together. I know she has never liked me, but I have always remained cordial because of him and I really don’t care. A few months ago she started making little snide remarks to my older children when I wasn’t around. She told my son, “you’re just like your mother, rude”. And, once when he was trying to help her get my twins out of her car she told him to get the “F” away from her car because she thought he didn’t say “hi,” or at least that’s the story.
Regardless, I told my man you better get your mother because she got one more time to talk crazy to my kids and it’s gonna be a real problem. Well, I don’t think he told her because recently my son got in trouble at school and she told my 16-year old, “It’s not his fault, he just gets in trouble because there’s something wrong with the home front.” We have a really good household. Two parents work and we are very involved in our kids’ lives personally. We take the kids to school in the morning, cook dinner every night and help the kids with their homework and volunteer in school for all 4 of my kids. Did I mention that I go to school full time as well?
My son just doesn’t care. I have taken him to see psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists and he is an eleven year old with an IQ of 112. After this last thing I said I will never step foot in her house or around her again. I have a really bad temper and I am trying for him. He is hurt and upset that the two women in his life don’t get along and he can never have a family gathering. I do not stop him from attending events with his family. I encourage it, but he is not happy and it is hurting him which hurts me. Am I doing the right thing? – Refuse To Be Mistreated
Dear Ms. Refuse To Be Mistreated,
Hmmm, so let me get this straight: What stake and claim do you have in a relationship with a man that you are not married to, and you’re just his baby momma that he is living with? What stake in the relationship does he hold in being accountable to his mother whom he obviously feels obligated? What stake in the relationship does he hold in being accountable with you and you just live together, and he can walk away at any moment?
What I’m hearing is that the conflict you have with his mother is his inability or unwillingness to confront his mother. He didn’t say anything the first time you asked him to address an issues, and I’m certain that the other instances where you have complained about her insults he has not stepped in and addressed them. He is showing you who he is and what role he wants to have with the both of you. He doesn’t want to be in the middle of it, and he doesn’t want to be involved or responsible, so he has disengaged. That’s what children do when they are afraid of confrontation. They disengage, stand back, and watch from the sideline hoping the problem will resolve itself. They don’t want to get involved because they fear they will have to take responsibility for something. He is a coward. Plain and simple.
His mother feels she can say and do whatever she wants to you because he is not married to you. She is only treating you the same way he is treating you – AS A BABY MOMMA HE IS LIVING WITH! She has no respect for you. She feels she has more power over him than you. And, she feels you have can’t talk or act crazy with her because her son will choose her over you.
It’s a game she is playing, and she needs to grow the damn hell up and let him be a man and stop playing these tit for tat games with you. She is a grown woman talking to children, making snide remarks, and trying to make them feel less than. I would have been put my foot in that a** when she made the first comment to a child. She wants to act like a child and speak to a child, then you scold her a** as a child!
I get that you want your man to handle this situation, and that he is hurting so it hurts you. But, he is no going to handle this situation because he is afraid he will lose his relationship with his mother, and/or he will lose his relationship with you. As you stated, he wants the two women he loves to get along. Yet, this conflict is preventing you from having family gatherings. Now, think about the damage this is causing not only you, but the entire family. You, your kids, his kids, and your boyfriend are all missing out on valuable and engaging moments you can have with the entire family, however, the mother is in the middle trying to pit her son into making a choice between her and you.
You want peace, and reconciliation. You want to get along, and be cordial, however, the mother is not respecting you, and neither is your boyfriend. So, you feel left out. You feel hurt and angry over why this woman targets you and your children. You feel alone because your man hasn’t come to the rescue to save you, and to fix this situation. You feel helpless and powerless.
You have two options. You can be honest with your man about your feelings, and express to him how it makes you feels. What this is doing to not only your relationship with his mother, but how it affects your relationship with him. Be honest and truthful. And, let him know why you prefer for him to address the issue with his mother rather than you. Put the ownership and responsibility on him. Or, you can confront the mother and express to her your feelings in a mature and adult manner. Let her know how it affects you, your family and your boyfriend. Let her know that you look to her to be the matriarch of the family and for her to act the way she does affects the entire family, and what it does to your children. Put the ownership on her, and express to her how her actions are unwarranted and unnecessary.
If this doesn’t work, then continue to not go to her house, and don’t let your children be around her. You’re not in a relationship with her. You don’t owe her anything. She will feel the effects of her grandchildren not being around, and the damage she is doing to everyone. But, in the meantime, it’s time to stop this playing house –ish and y’all need to get married. You’re too old for all this nonsense. He won’t stand up for you because his mother probably keeps throwing it out there that he’s not married to you. And, he won’t put a ring on it because he is fearful of what will happen to his relationship with his mother. Yeah, you got another set of issues on your hand, so, you need to address that head on, and walk down the damn aisle and become husband and wife. – Terrance Dean
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