I’ve been dating my college boyfriend for two years now; I love the guy, and for the most part he’s been good to me (there were some hiccups because I was struggling with some real life/health shit, and he’s never had a serious girlfriend before so there’s that). I want things to get more serious but his freakin’ mom is in the way.
To put it simply, my boyfriend’s family thinks I’m a fucking pussy because I wasn’t raised to be an outdoorsy animal like he was. His mom is all about “girl power” by hitting the gym like two times a day and also loves to control my boyfriend because he’s her prized possession. I’ve always conducted myself like a “lady,” and so when I came to visit his family, I chose the “better hold your tongue lest you say something out of line” method over “I’ll be friendly to the point of annoyance,” and his family seems to prefer the latter.
The comparisons his mom makes between his ex and me also drive me up the wall because she’s literally me but a lot more hippie, progressive and outspoken. Yet his mom forgets his ex was actually an insecure bitch who toyed with his emotions. But because I don’t opt to hike over read, I’m suddenly the worst girlfriend in the world for him.
It just sucks because he’s such a mama’s boy and it’s hard for him to think of a future when his mom says shit like “I think you’re settling” or “she doesn’t prioritize your hobbies.” Instead of telling him to man up and defend me, I royally screwed up by dumping him for a brief period of time, which was basically proof to his mom that I’m a terrible girlfriend. Finally, I realized how immature that was of me and we worked it out. But now he’s even more reluctant to stand up for me because of how I betrayed him.
Even though this whole message has been one long rant – I do love this guy; he’s my best friend, is the only person who’s literally brought me to tears of joy, and has generally improved my life since we started dating. He’s also like the only guy my family’s been obsessed with, so that was a good sign.
I don’t know what to do about his mom. I want to be in good graces with her but at the same time I don’t want to compromise for anybody.
not his mama’s girl
Dear Mama’s Girl,
There’s a reason every betch’s OG bestie is her mom, and it’s because moms are right 60% of the time, every time. JK, I mean literally 100% of the time, sorry mom, I promise I’ll call you later. Like at first when you said your boyfriend’s mom thinks you’re a pussy because you’re not an outdoors freak I thought, “Oh, this girl’s dating Ron Swanson, I have sympathy.” But then as your letter went on it just seems like your guy’s mom doesn’t like you not because you’re not outdoorsy, but because you sound really inflexible and totally unwilling to compromise—which, btw, is like the second most important aspect of a relationship aside from trust. Not once did you say “It’s frustrating because I do try to go on hikes and shit with him but she just won’t see how hard I’m trying” or whatever. All I got from you was whining about his mom hating you but not saying you’ve made any effort to get her to warm up to you, and adamantly refusing to go even the shortest distance outside your comfort zone. So I mean, I can’t blame her. Not to mention, you call his ex “an insecure bitch who toyed with his emotions” but from where I’m standing this is the pot calling the kettle a shitty girlfriend.
I will say that your bf should be standing up for you when his mom brings up how great his ex is. It’s not okay for him to let his mom shit-talk you. If he refuses to do anything, you might want to reevaluate this relationship—but that’s another piece of advice for another Dear Betch letter.
All the rest is on you, though. I mean, your last line pretty much sums it up: you want to be in her good graces but don’t want to compromise at all. Grow up. Shit doesn’t work that way. You can either take steps to get to know his mom and show her you don’t suck, or you can do nothing and let her hate you, but you can’t do nothing and expect her to magically start liking you.
Enjoy the holidays,
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