How to Strengthen Your Relationship/Please help me


My boyfriend and I have been together for 4 years now. When we first got together his mom wasn't really in the picture. He lived with her, but it was only because she was his only parent. His father committed suicide when he was 5 years old. His mother was an alcoholic who everyone hated. My boyfriend told me that when his dad died his mother left him in the house for two weeks telling him not to go outside or answer the phone & to eat the canned green beans that they had. When his father died his mom only waited around 6 months to start dating and had someone new every chance that she got.

When my boyfriend and I got together it was a couple months later that she was diagnosed with Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis. She had to quit her job and start drawing disability. Then my boyfriend broke his leg and was bedridden for 2 months. I took care of him because she was unable to and was in the hospital, even through Christmas. The only presents that he even got were from me that year. His father had a hormone imbalance and clung to his own mother like glue. My boyfriend is also believed to have this imbalance. He hated his mom though and then when she got sick said he felt like it was his responsibility to take care of her because he is the only child and she had no friends because everyone hated her.

He asked me to move in with his mother and him to help take care of her and I did. We lived there for 3 years...She then started going crazy and wanted my boyfriend to set with her 24/7. If he got up and came into our "living area" she would come knocking on the door every 5-10 minutes wanting something. We would get into fights about it because I didn't want to date his mother. He would talk to her and she would straighten up for about 3 days then it was right back to normal. She is so jealous of me that she cannot see straight.

Now for the tough part...

We moved out about 4 months ago and got our own place. We had both had enough and wanted our own lives. Things were fine the first 2-3 weeks and then they got terrible. She wants him to call her every chance that he gets and go over there any time she wants him to. She has caused us to break up now twice since we moved out because I feel like I'm single. I feel like he doesn't want to spend time with me and that he would rather be over there with her. He has told me before that he honestly hates his mom and that she made his life a living hell before, but now he feels sorry for her. On top of everything, his cousin has moved in with his mother (who is a druggie), and is "trying" to come off of drugs so he's been going over there talking to him as well. He used to tell me I was his number one, but not any more. I work, go to nursing school, cook, wash dishes, wash laundry, sweep, mop, take down the trash, etc. and it goes unnoticed, or so I feel. This Friday, I stopped by my boyfriend's work like I always do when I get off to ask what he wanted for supper and what time he'd be home so I could have it ready. He tells me he has to stay after work but will be home no later than 8. He delivers prescriptions so of course I believed him. He was also recently in a car accident while delivering about a month ago. I had supper fixed, the laundry done, movies rented, and everything but when 8 rolled around he was nowhere to be found. Then 10 came...I called his boss to find out the route he was on only to find out that he got off at 6 and didn't deliver that day. I called over at his mother's and his uncle answered the phone saying he had left 10 minutes ago. He had lied to me, went over to his mothers, and didn't even bother to call and let me know he was okay. Oh, I forgot to mention that his mother hates me and says she doesn't want me around. She has also convinced her entire family to be this way, besides his uncle. He finally go home around 11. I asked him about it only to find out that he went to his mom's because she wasn't supposed to be home so he could get her gun and commit suicide because he didn't want to live any more.

I do everything for this boy to make sure he is taken care of. I planned on spending the rest of my life with him, but I don't know if this is possible. He constantly chooses his mother over me when I'm the one who has stood up for him and constantly been there when he needed someone. I don't know what is going on, but I need help. He won't go to therapy and I'm at my breaking point. I want him to see that I am the ONE who loves him and cares for him. I'm NOT using him and would never do that. He is my number one and I need your help. I love this man with all of my heart and don't want to lose him, but I don't know how to even talk to him without him getting mad. I tried to tell that if my mother said he wasn't welcome then I would tell her that I wasn't welcome either, but he says he can't do that to his mom.

Wow January!  What a tremendous amount of love you must have.  I cannot begin to imagine what you must be going through and I am glad you know you need support.  If he will not go to counseling with you, please go.  You need and deserve it.  Perhaps he will see you are serious and eventually join you.  Let's be clear though; he is overwhelmed and may not even be best able to care for himself, let alone his mother......or be there for you.  We cannot make him, even though clearly he needs support.  Being a caregiver can be challenging for any of us.  Mom sounds like she may benefit from having additional medical / caregiver support.  I am imagining he feels guilty and is stuck there.  Let's try and take care of you first though.  Stuart

How to Strengthen Your Relationship

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Stuart A. Kaplowitz, MFT


how to help relationship. How to address issues within relationship......I am pretty open here


20th year in the field. Managed and directed clinical programs. Now, I work out of my own office as well as supervise counselors

California Association of Marriage & Family Therapists

The California Therapist

B.A. Psychology M.S. Counseling Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist

Awards and Honors
Hero of the Heart - Covina Valley USD

Past/Present Clients
I work with individuals, couples, families and children

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