He says I prioritize my mom over him

Hello Meredith,

I'm having problems finding balance between my relationship and family. For example, my birthday is in a couple of weeks. I had taken off a few days to celebrate – and so did my boyfriend and my mom. I am trying to plan the days so that everyone gets some time. My boyfriend wanted to make plans for a few of the days, but since my mom hadn't yet told me if she had anything planned, we were holding off.

Well, he expressed his frustration about how he wanted to be able to plan things. I said that if he wanted, he could plan for two days and I would plan something with my mom on another day. I hoped that would help. Since he didn't object to the idea, I took it upon myself to plan a little something with my mom that landed on a day we had all requested. I told him about the plans thinking we were on the same page, and it turns out I was wrong. It overlapped with his plans. He said, "Why did I even get the day off then if we aren't going to spend it together?" Which I understand, but he didn't mention that he had a problem with all of this when we'd discussed it.

I told him he could move the plans around, but that wasn’t good enough. It escalated to where he just decided to cancel his request. Saying that I'm prioritizing my mom over him. That maybe I'll know how it feels one day. I honestly don't know what to do.

– Quality Time


I can focus into the tiny details of this one argument, if you want. I can tell you that you might have planned around the person who requested time first. If your boyfriend had his two days all mapped out, you could have scheduled Mom time around that.

But that's not the real issue here, right?

It sounds like this fight was about how you and your boyfriend communicate, in general. You had a conversation about how you'd manage your time during your days off, and you both left it thinking opposite things. How did that happen? Also, when he felt rejected and sidelined, your boyfriend made a pretty big statement about your relationship with your mother. Has this come up before?

Now that some days have passed, it might be possible to talk about what really happened here. Tell him you want to figure out where communication broke down. Ask if he sees this as a pattern. Get a better big-picture assessment so you know whether this is one misunderstanding or a problem that will follow you as the relationship continues.

– Meredith

Readers? How did this turn into a big fight? Did the boyfriend have dibs because he made plans first?