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    Brambleberry's Avatar
    Brambleberry Posts: 10, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Jul 14, 2014, 02:53 AM
    My boyfriend is in his early 40's and is still being controlled by his mother/parents in every aspect of his life. She has control over his house, his bank account, his relationship and just about everything else. We have been together for a year but can see no way forward with our relationship as my boyfriend has admitted to being scared of his parents and is too weak to stand up to them. They hate me of course and they let themselves into his house whenever they like, send texts to chase up where he is and if he doesn't reply they will ring and "suggest" he gets over to see them pronto. They call themselves mummy and daddy rather than mum and dad, they have furnished his house how they want it and they read his personal letters. I see no way of ever being married to this guy and not being able to live together either as it will be something he will be terrified of having to face. He is nervous if we see people he knows when we are out in public in case they tell his mum we were together even though she is well aware we are a couple. Once his phone rang and he saw it was his mum and he dropped the phone afraid to answer it. As a child he was kept from mixing with others or going out to play. How can he undo so many years of mental abuse? Up until now he seemed to think it was normal to have his life controlled. Thank-you for any suggestions. Please bear in mind it is a difficult problem and telling him to "man up" won't solve anything.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,305, Reputation: 7692

    Jul 14, 2014, 03:14 AM
    So leave him, and just move on... he will not marry you anyway, since he would need their permission.

    And it is not mommy and daddy.. he is allowing this to happen.

    So leave him, and just move on... he will not marry you anyway, since he would need their permission.

    And it is not mommy and daddy.. he is allowing this to happen. He has the choice. If you can get him, he needs counseling
    Brambleberry's Avatar
    Brambleberry Posts: 10, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Jul 14, 2014, 03:30 AM
    Thank-you. Yes ok I will leave him, problem solved. Great advice, most helpful
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
    current pert

    Jul 14, 2014, 06:04 AM
    Poor guy. Leave him gently. And prepare a one-line speech for his parents when they walk in, letting them know that they have succeeded in driving you away when you actually like (or love) him. Chances are they always tell him that women are no good because they always leave!
    Brambleberry's Avatar
    Brambleberry Posts: 10, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Jul 14, 2014, 06:09 AM
    Can I just be clear that I am of course not leaving him. I was just being sarcastic to the other member as I was a bit cross that it wasn't a helpful reply. I know he can't be the only person this is happening to and there must be a solution somehow.
    Jake2008's Avatar
    Jake2008 Posts: 6,721, Reputation: 3460
    Emotional Health Expert

    Jul 14, 2014, 06:19 AM
    What has worked in this relationship, and do you think that it is salvageable?

    Has he tried to break free of these ties with his parents? Has he had psychiatric help?

    I really feel sorry for this man, regardless of his age. It doesn't sound like any 'markers' since childhood were met. And most of those markers should have shown along the way that he was becoming independent. It's like these parents have sabotaged him, right from the get-go.

    So, considering these problems have been decades old, and the parents continue to keep him dependent on them, the parents have delayed all development in his life all along the way, for him to end up in this place.

    It sounds like he has one foot in his own, independent life, and one foot stuck to his mother's apron.

    Would he consider counseling, or even couples counseling, with you there to encourage him? Has there ever been any counseling he has done on his own? Was he a child with learning difficulties, or anything that could possibly justify the parents' over the top, parenting?

    I think there is much to undo, and I don't give up on anybody- IF he is willing to change. Do you think he is? Does he have the ability to change do you think? Does he want to live a life with you and can he comfortably see his way (with help) to break those terrible ties to his parents?
    Cat1864's Avatar
    Cat1864 Posts: 8,007, Reputation: 3687
    Marriage Expert

    Jul 14, 2014, 06:40 AM
    So what do you want to hear? That you can 'fix' him? That you should take over control of his life? I don't think you believe that is realistic. I think you have a good idea of what he needs but need to hear other people confirm those thoughts. It doesn't mean that it doesn't hurt to hear it from others. It probably hurts even more.

    Fr_Chuck already gave you the best advice you are going to get. If you can, get him to try counseling.

    He needs to learn how to stand up to his parents and, while you can give him emotional support, you cannot do it for him. 40+ years of their control will take years of professional help to overcome IF he really wants to change his life.

    Now, you have to decide for yourself if you are strong enough to give him emotional and mental support while he deals with his issues. Can you remain supportive if he lashes out at you for upsetting his orderly life, putting a wedge between him and his parents and any other very common accusations that people going through emotionally trying times can hurl at those trying to help them?

    If he refuses to get help, are you prepared to stay in a relationship that has no future until his parents are no longer around? Do you want to remain in the shadows?

    I am going to say that after re-reading your question several times, I have a question about your relationship. Have you met his parents or is he the sole source of your knowledge?
    J_9's Avatar
    J_9 Posts: 40,299, Reputation: 5646

    Jul 14, 2014, 06:43 AM
    Is there any chance he may have a disorder such as Aspberger Syndrome?
    Brambleberry's Avatar
    Brambleberry Posts: 10, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Jul 14, 2014, 06:44 AM
    Thank-you Jake2008. Everything is working in our relationship but there seems to be no way to develop it further. He is trying to be a bit more assertive with them but it usually ends in him backing down. He has actually considered leaving the country to get away from them but that isn't a practical solution.

    Yes, he did have some difficulties as a child but he is a very capable man now and quite able to cope if they were not around.

    I guess talking to a counsellor seems to be the favourite option. He may not realise it is serious enough for that though, I think he just assumes they are doing their best for him.

    Thanks again, I think you are right in what you have said. He does talk of our future sometimes but like I say, I can't see how we can get to the next step.
    Brambleberry's Avatar
    Brambleberry Posts: 10, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Jul 14, 2014, 06:57 AM
    J9, no, he does not have aspbergers. Cat1864, thank-you for your reply. I guess what I wanted to hear was if anyone had been through anything similar, could they offer any advice.

    I will be willing to support him of course, if he decides to do anything about it. Needs to be his choice though. I have had a talk with him regarding the worry of causing a rift between his parents. He knows I don't want a big falling out, just a way for them to see what they are doing and for them to be a bit more reasonable. We realise that will not happen however.

    Yes, I have met them several times. They act the same when I am there. I have seen the texts and he has let me hear her on the phone to him when she is in full throttle.
    smoothy's Avatar
    smoothy Posts: 25,495, Reputation: 2853
    Uber Member

    Jul 14, 2014, 08:31 AM
    I honestly thougth Fr_Chuck hit the nail right on the head. I've seen enough examples of both men and women like that in my life and for long enough to know its an exercise in futility.

    First he doesn't have any imparements or conditions that would be infuencing his choices as you have responded.

    He's still like this at 40, that means he's not going to change... I think you are wasting your time thinking you are going to completely change his character.

    I also don't think you have any chance at changing them either.

    But.. its your life... you can waste it however you see fit. I see nothing but stress, upset and drama for years to come because you have three people that are set in their ways... and there is one of you... I can't see any possible way you will change all three of them, so that's going to result in a lot of problems for you... unless you come around to his way of thinking and let them have their own way while you peacefully submit.

    Yes I'm going to be a little sarcastic too. But do you teach pigs to dance and to fly on your spare time? If you can pull that one off, then you have a chance at what you are trying to accomplish here too.

    The only time I've seen people make a huge shift in a result of a near death experience....usually their own.
    Brambleberry's Avatar
    Brambleberry Posts: 10, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Jul 14, 2014, 08:38 AM
    Ok, thank-you
    Craftymoods21's Avatar
    Craftymoods21 Posts: 15, Reputation: 4
    New Member

    Jul 19, 2014, 08:25 AM
    Why is it not realisitic to move away? I'll tell you from a very small bit of experience in the start of my relationship with my husband that we were oppressed very much so in our parent's home in extremely different ways from each other and we knew we loved each other and wanted to make our relationship work and one day be able to marry. We moved out on our own. I'm not going to say it was the happiest time ever, it was opposite all around us but we were emotionally happy together and we tried to show both parts of our families the good that our relationship was creating and when they showed or said disapproval we explained that we understood where they were coming from but this is a decision we made together and we love each other and five years later, we are a big family and love that my husband and I have found each other. This will most likely not be your outcome as to the fact his parents are extremely controlling, but who knows maybe after 10 years of you guys being on your own (and live far enough where they can't afford to just drop by) they might soften and ease up. None of us are going to live forever in this world. I hope this helps a little; it is all going to come down on what you TWO decide is going to work and building your strength and courage after that decision is made to endure what may come out of it. For me, it is a marvelous blessing in our lives.
    Brambleberry's Avatar
    Brambleberry Posts: 10, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Jul 20, 2014, 11:12 PM
    Craftymoods, thank-you so much for your reply. Sharing your experience has helped us a lot and maybe there is a possibility of moving after all. I am happy to hear you are enjoying your time with your husband and family after all the initial stress. Thanks again.
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 54,298, Reputation: 10854

    Jul 21, 2014, 06:26 AM
    Until he becomes willing to commit to you, and make adjustments to a new, and different life, you are spinning your wheels and should be careful of YOUR commitment to him for now. Its already taken years for him to even think of the possibilities, and no doubt will take years for him to do more than think and talk, let alone actually do something about it.

    He already has both worlds at his beck and call, so really he doesn't have to make a real plan of action to change anything, does he? The real question is how long will you wait with just talk, and NO ACTION? That's a question only YOU can answer.

    Seems you are content to just support whatever he comes up with, and you are right, it's HIS choice to make. When will he make his choice though, in 3 more years? 10?
    DoulaLC's Avatar
    DoulaLC Posts: 10,488, Reputation: 1952
    Uber Member

    Jul 21, 2014, 01:24 PM
    Does he work? If so, do his parents show up there?

    If you are determined to stay in the relationship, encourage him to go to counseling as he has never had the opportunity to move passed several stages of development towards independence. The counseling will be able to equip him with the means of dealing with his parents. You likely do not have the experience or knowledge to do so, but can remain a big support as he goes through the process. Be very careful that in your desire to help him you don't take over the role of caretaker from his parents....that would just be shifting the control over important parts of his life that he needs to learn how to handle independently of others.

    Encourage him to start with small steps of breaking away... perhaps open a new bank account in just his name. Role play with him to help him practice his response when his parents question or contact him. It could be a simple, "Can't talk now mother, I'm busy, I'll have to ring you back", when his mother calls and then he hangs up, without giving her time to respond. Then he doesn't answer when she rings back... he can put the phone away in a drawer or something. He can set his phone message to state that he is busy and return calls later. He can set an automatic reply for their text messages. He can put away his personal letters in a different location.

    There are steps he can start with that are small, but will start to get the message to his parents.

    Since you've already said you can't see marrying him as things are now, you'll have to decide how much more time and energy you are willing to invest. I can understand that you care for him and want to help him, but keep in mind that you can't fix it for him.....he has to do that on his own if he really wants it enough. There very well may come a time when you will have to make a choice....continue to stay as things are, or move on if you don't feel there is a future for the type of relationship you would like to have.

    I'd set a deadline, even if you keep it to yourself, of how much longer you will give it, and whether or not you see any honest effort on his part.

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