General Question

poofandmook's avatar

Mom and boyfriend drama?

Asked by poofandmook (17320points) September 1st, 2008

This is sort of a long, involved thing. Bear with me here:

My parents divorced when I was a year old. I never knew them together, so this is not an issue.

When I was 9 or 10, my mom remarried and had a baby, who is now my 15 year old (half) sister. About 3 years ago, my mom left my stepfather for her best friend’s husband (he left his wife/my mom’s friend). They were living together for a while, and then she couldn’t take his alcoholism and moved out. My grandmother paid her rent and most of her bills because she couldn’t afford to live alone. Now, they’ve reconciled (without even a single AA meeting, I can’t help but note) and he moved into the new house she’s been renting. My grandparents removed themselves of all financial responsibility, because my grandmother doesn’t like him. Well, no that’s not true… she loves the guy… but he promised her he wouldn’t hurt my mother and he did, so her trust is gone, yadda yadda.)

Anyway, while she was with my stepdad, he was a jerk and slept all day because he worked third shift, so my mom and I became best friends (I should also point out that my dad raised me so it wasn’t really like we ever had the typical mom/daughter thing)... but when this guy came along, she had someone else to occupy her attention and so I barely hear from her, and all the things we used to do together, I’m not even occasionally invited to. Even when we saw Tom Petty a few months ago, she offered to buy my ticket to give it to Rick. She said it was because she knew I was broke and could’ve used the money, she swears there was no other reason… I don’t believe her.

Today, I’m supposed to go to her house. She wants his kids and her kids all in the same place together for a barbecue. One of his daughters stalked my mother and tried to sabotage their relationship so he would go back to his wife (my mom’s now former best friend). I… don’t want my mom with him, I think she pays too much attention to him and not enough to my sister, and sure as hell not enough to me. She’s not a bad mother… but she didn’t get to raise me because of her drug problem, and so she was starting off fresh with my sister (she was clean by then). I love my mom and I want her to be happy, but he is obviously going to be in the picture.

I don’t like him, and I don’t like his kids because of that… especially the one who stalked my mother. She’s had to make her peace because they’re his kids and he’s forgiven his daughter, but my mom doesn’t trust her. I don’t want anything to do with the whole thing.

Sorry for dragging you all through the explanation… but… how the hell am I supposed to get through this afternoon?

I know my mom probably sounds trashy and a bad parent to you, but a life of abuse led to a life of drugs and she’s had a lot of tough breaks… she does what she can to get by

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12 Answers

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SeekerSeekiing's avatar

I can hear you are in pain. My mother was a heroin addict who lost custody of me, so I understand some of this from an ‘insider’ position.

Having said that, Poofandmook, you can’t make your mom leave his guy. You just can’t. It’s her life; her journey. She may be making totally bad choices, but you probably cannot make her see that and you can’t make her change.

Do you want to be in her life? Then be there.

Do you want to be there when she does seek advise or help? Then be a loving presence in her life right now. She’ll turn to those who are IN her life in a positive way…if and when she needs advice or help.

Try and let the anger go. It’s hurting you, not Rick. It’s poisoning you. If you need help getting rid of the angst and anger, get it. A therapist is a great neutral setting to vent.

Let it go that the one daughter stalked your mom. Your mom is obviously over it. The daughter was in her ‘own mama drama.’

But mostly, just love your mom as is. Any attempt to talk, talk, talk sense into her will make her cling more to Rick. Any criticism or anger directed at him and his kids PUTS HER IN THE POSITION to defend him—which makes her cling tighter to him. That’s not the end result you want, is it?

If you can’t love her, right now, ‘as is,’ then take a vacation from her. Not in a mean way, as in “I’m never going to talk to you while you are with HIM!” [making her defend again]. But in a “I’m going to let you and Rick get it together and I’m going to do the same.”

And be good to yourself during this time. Don’t obsess on thought about this. Ban them as they come across your brain. Go out with friends, make new friends, get involved in something you really love, take bubble baths with candles and music.


I would never, ever judge your mom, never. We each have our own journeys in this life. I don’t know hers…

kevbo's avatar

My first thoughts are we all have to pick our battles. If you feel strong enough to show up for the reasons that are important to you, then go. If you don’t have that reserve, then it’s understandable for you to skip out.

Poser's avatar

Regarding your last statement: it sounds like you’ve had a pretty tough life too. Does that mean you can make all the bad decisions you like and have your loved ones make excuses for you? No amount of abuse or tough times should excuse putting your loved ones through hell.

You have to watch out for yourself. If you can’t stand to be around this man’s family, you’ve should tell your mother that. Offer to have lunch with her once a week, or offer to have her over to your house whenever she wants to come, but specify that she must leave him and his daughters at home. You don’t owe anything to your mother, and you certainly don’t owe any loyalty to her husband or his daughters. You say she wants a barbecue with her kids and his kids, but they aren’t your siblings. You didn’t grow up with them, and the fact that two families were ripped apart by their selfish behavior can’t be made up for with a barbecue.

poofandmook's avatar

@Poser: That’s the thing… she didn’t really put anybody through hell at least only as far as Rick is concerned. My grandmother, yeah I think a little bit… but that’s something that my grandmother takes up with my mom. As far as me and my sister go… it didn’t take long for my sister to be happy about living away from my stepdad… she sees him every weekend and when she doesn’t want to, she doesn’t have to. And my mom not paying as much attention to her as she used to? She loves it! She’s 15… she’s a damned good 15 year old too. Band, activities, no drugs, no drinking, top 3% of her class her whole life, never a slip. She’s well-adjusted, smart as hell, lots of friends… I don’t know how she did it, but she did.

So I’m not trying to make excuses for my mom. Believe me, I don’t think (aside from my grandmother, who, I should also point out, is like one of my best friends) anyone is as mad at her as I am about this whole thing. My only thing is, I’m not painting a good picture and I sort of feel bad about that.

Poser's avatar

I was talking about what she put you through. You mentioned losing her to drug abuse for a good part of your childhood. While you may have forgiven her (kudos), and are now “over it” and a functioning, productive member of society, that shouldn’t excuse her behavior. All I’m saying is that just because she’s your mother, doesn’t mean that you have to put up with all of her bad behavior. Mothers are just as capable of making bad decisions as anyone else is. Again, you don’t have to go to this barbecue. It sounds like she’s trying to force people together who don’t want to have anything to do with each other. It sounds like she’s asking you and her stepdaughters to ignore the fact that she and her husband broke up two families.

Forgive me if it sounds like I’m being harsh on your mother. But based on the information you’ve given, it sounds to me like she’s being unreasonable, and it seems you feel you must go along with it because she’s your mother. I’m just saying that you don’t have to go along with it. I’d sit her down and explain exactly how you feel, and tell her that you can’t go to functions where her husband or his daughters are going to be, but that you truly want to be closer to her.

benseven's avatar

@Jack, I don’t know if you were trying to be funny or endearing, but that sounds pretty insensitive to me.

Poof, I think the best thing you could do would be to try and make time with your Mom, tell her you want to spend time with just her, and maybe when you guys have hung out more often you can begin to talk to her about how you feel. Communicating with her more is always going to be a good thing, even if it’s hard.

trumi's avatar

This sounds like a really tough situation. I don’t know if there is much I can say that would help, except that I send my lurve and support!

To answer honestly, my solution to the BBQ would be gin and tonic. That is probably really bad advice, but that’s the only way I’d be able to handle it.

Good luck! I hope it goes okay.

poofandmook's avatar

I went… it was better than expected. I was on the brink of having words with him once or twice… he’s a nice guy but we don’t see eye to eye on things. Example: He was saying maybe I don’t have respect for my mom the way I should because I swear in front of her. a) my mom swears like a trucker… probably where I got it from. b) his 16 year old daughter was there with her thong hanging out, two days after getting multiple tickets for underage drinking and open container in a vehicle… and you’re criticizing my language? Dude, you wish that was the only problem you have with your kids.

But by the end of the night, after his trashy kids left, we were outside talking and he offered to do my brakes for me so I don’t have to pay out the nose. He’s trying, so I guess I can try too.

Thanks for the support guys… I needed it :)

SeekerSeekiing's avatar

I’m glad it went better than expected. Sounds like a lot of ‘judgments’ getting thrown about, though.

poofandmook's avatar

That’s alright… you weren’t there. You don’t know the back-stories.

Poser's avatar

Glad you made it through. But I still stand by my original advice. You don’t have to subject yourself to the drama.

I wish you good luck with it all.

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