We’re living with my mother

Chat at 1 p.m.

I've been with my boyfriend for five years now. We were long-distance and he finally moved in with me ... and my mom. We're only 22 so we're broke college kids.

Anyhow, my mom and my boyfriend consistently fight. He believes that she belittles him and his opinions. He also inserts himself in a our conversations, thinking he's defending me against my mother. It doesn't help.

My mother takes it as an attack and starts to cut into him and talk about how he has no credibility because he hasn't lived life. It becomes overwhelming, being in a cramped apartment with the two of them always bickering. I feel lost in the middle especially because whenever he is not around, she will tell me he isn't the one. "He'll leave you as soon as you find something better." It's to the point where I don't like being left alone with her.

At this point I don't know what to do because I see both sides and I'm so lost. The disrespect goes both ways, and I also believe that because she has no boyfriend or close friends to occupy her time, she focuses on my relationship. I think my fights with my boyfriend are pretty normal.

I love them both, but at this point I just want to leave and not be around either of them. I don't want to be single; I just want them to stop. What should I do?

- Cramped

I think you should probably limit yourself to one roommate at this point. If you can't afford to live with your boyfriend on your own, help him find somewhere else to stay. Really, it's what’s best for all of you. This romantic relationship will suffer if your mother continues to be a spectator.

Going from long-distance to living in the same house can be challenging for any couple, even without a mother watching from the same room. You and your boyfriend haven't had time and space to adjust. I know money is the main issue here, but there are sublets, friend's couches (maybe?), and other opportunities if you look. Or you can go back to long-distance. I'm sorry, but it sounds like it worked better that way.

At the very least, there has to be some plan that gives you a light at the end of the tunnel. How long did you intend to stay in this situation? What was the plan for becoming independent?

I don't know how you'd take space from both of these people right now. I mean, they live with you. But for now, as you figure out next steps and who should live where, I do recommend you spend more time out of the house, even with your boyfriend, as a couple. Long walks are nice. Day trips are good. Leave your mother be in her own home. Give her the space to find other things to think about.

- Meredith

Readers? Go back to the distance?