I’m been with my boyfriend for about 14 months now and recently he asked me to move in with him. The only thing is he lives with his Mum. I suggested we get our own place together, but he said he can’t possibly leave his elderly Mum on her own as she won’t cope. His Mother is only 61 and has a full bill of health. I think the truth is that he wouldn’t cope without her! She does all his cooking and washing and he’s a real Mummy’s boy. Recently, she’s been hinting that he should go on a holiday or go out with his friends more. She has an active social life and I think she would love a little peace and quiet.
I get on really well with his Mother, but it would feel weird moving in with her, and she admitted that it was time he left the nest. I am 29 and my boyfriend is 33. Will he grow out of being dependant on his mother?
Shalia, 29, Littlehampton
Your boyfriend isn’t going to learn to stand on his own feet whilst you are both enabling him to depend on his Mother. It’s about time he grew up and took some responsibility for his own life and washed his own clothes! At the moment, he has his cake and he is eating it! He has a doting Mother to run around after him and a girlfriend waiting in the sidelines.
You need to make your partner aware how you feel, and that you aren’t comfortable with his unhealthy dependency on his Mother. Perhaps you could suggest to her that she stops making his dinner and doing his washing for a start. It sounds as if you have a powerful ally in his Mother, but be cautious not to make your partner feel ganged up on. Discuss a sensitive approach with her – two minds are better than one. It’s possible that your partner isn’t even aware that he has outstayed his welcome. Try a gentle approach, but be firm. What’s he going to do when she is no longer able-bodied? Does he plan on calling into the retirement home in twenty years time, still expecting dear old ma to wash his smalls? It’s time he learned to fend for himself, sooner rather than later and it all begins with you. Take charge and practise some tough love.