Boyfriend too dependent on his mom

All Woman

Dear Counsellor,

I am 28 and my boyfriend is 27 and we have been in a relationship for five years. My boyfriend still lives at home and so do I. He has to help his mom with her mortgage. He gets upset when I mention moving forward and he wants me to move in with him and his mom before we get engaged. His mom still does his laundry, makes his lunch, and pays his bills with his money. He has a short temper and gets mad whenever I mention anything that has to do with the future or his mom. I don't know what to do. I am wondering if he will grow out of the temper and stop wanting mommy to take care of him.

How can I approach the situation of him and I moving out of his mother's house and moving forward?

So fortunately, or unfortunately, you happen to be in a relationship with a “mama's boy” who is forever committed to mom and will not make any compromise where mom is concerned. Women who are involved with these men must take a secondary place to mom, and must compete with her for their men's attention.

It is obvious that he wants to continue enjoying the convenience of having his clothes washed, bills paid, and meals prepared with no fuss, something that you may not be prepared to offer. Because there are some women in relationships who vow that they will never carry out such domestic functions, these men would rather stay with their mothers rather than lose those fringe benefits.

So whether it's economic convenience or fear of losing the benefits, the gentleman is suggesting that you move into his mother's house. Not only is this a subtle move on his part, but it's one that can become a permanent feature in the relationship. He will find several reasons to have you both remain there, chief of which would be financial. So you would move in before the engagement, during the engagement, and after the wedding, and if you are not careful the children will be raised there with grandma's influence or interference.

Don't get me wrong, for some couples this arrangement works well, but for others mama's meddling will cause conflict especially when a “mama's boy” is involved. Most times he will side with his mother, leaving you to fend for yourself.

The reason he gets upset and shuts you down is to stop you from preventing him to have his cake and eat it, in other words it would make life very easy for him if he can have you and his mother under one roof and enjoy the best of both worlds. Mother would take care of the domestic chores and you take care of other personal matters. What more could a man want?

Will he change his dependency behaviour? Probably not if you play into his hands. You will need to assert your position and indicate to him your discomfort with his proposal. A relationship cannot be one-sided, satisfying one partner's selfish objectives. If he cares about you and the relationship he must respect your point of view.

You both need to sit down and have a serious conversation, not an argument, about the way forward as a couple. And if he continues to be uncooperative and verbally abusive then that should give you an idea of what could happen if and when you move into his mother's house.

Wayne Powell is a relationship counsellor. Write to agapemft@gmail.com or powellw@seekingshalom.org. Check out his work on www.seekingshalom.org and his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MFTCounselor/.

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