My boyfriend sent an angry message to my mom


Hi Meredith,

My boyfriend and I have been dating for almost two years. I currently live with him at his mom's house because my mom and I do not get along. It’s also relevant to mention that I live an hour from my parents. I work and go to college full-time. Since I started dating my boyfriend, my mom frequently complains that I don't see them as often and blames him. Recently, a very intense situation (which I will call "The Thing”) came to light in my family. It involves paternity. Since this information has revealed itself, tensions in my family have been high. My boyfriend has never liked my mom, but always liked my dad. My mom did a lot of not-so-great things while I was growing up and lied a lot.

Since The Thing happened, my mom and I have stopped talking to one another as frequently, and the conversations we do have are usually cut short by someone bringing up The Thing. Every few weeks I will get an unexpected long text from her making me feel bad about The Thing. I almost always end up crying. Today I woke up to one of the messages. My boyfriend was at work and I messaged him about it upset. Without telling me, he sent my mom a very long message telling her everything he's ever wanted to say to her for the last year and a half. While it wasn't as bad as I thought it could be, it understandably upset both my parents. They all say that he had no business getting involved, but he was just defending me. My mom is upset with me because she thinks I've said nasty things about her to him. While that's true, none of them were lies. My mom is now telling me that my baby sister (the light of my life) is not allowed to come to his house, but I don't want to go there to visit her because it will end in a bigger fight.

I feel like everyone in my family is against me right now over a situation that's out of my hands. While I agree with what my boyfriend said to my mom, I've already told him that I wish he hadn't sent his message. I see no point in fighting with him about it because it's already been done and he's upset that he's caused me more stress. I know that even if my boyfriend was willing to apologize, my mom wouldn't accept it. I don't know what to do. I love my boyfriend and he's been my biggest supporter, but I also love my parents and I'm not ready to cut them out of my life.

– crossfires

If you want to see your sister, follow the rules and do it at your parents' house. Honor their boundaries because ... what else can you do?

As for your boyfriend, yes, maybe he overstepped and made this situation more difficult, but your relationship with your mom was already a mess. Your boyfriend did what he thought was right and now he's sorry. Lesson learned. Preserve this relationship (it sounds great) and try not to spend too much time dwelling on your family problems with him. The conflict is important, of course, but you should be able to laugh with your boyfriend and talk about other things. Don't let the relationship become a victim of The Thing.

It doesn't sound like your boyfriend has asked you to cut your parents out of your life. It also doesn't sound like your parents have banned you from participating in family activities. Your best bet is to stay involved with the family but to be clear about your needs. If they bring up The Thing and you'd rather not talk about it, let them know. If your mother complains about your boyfriend and his message, let her know that he regrets getting involved, that you've spoken to him about and it, and you're hoping she can forgive.

Also make sure you're getting the help you need as you process The Thing. Your boyfriend can be a source of support, but he's not your therapist. But maybe you need one. Check out what's available on campus. Make time in your busy schedule to talk about all of this conflict with a professional. Spend some time learning how to manage your relationship with your mom.

– Meredith

Readers? How can the LW preserve her romantic relationship during this family conflict?