My son's girlfriend is ruining my family

Hi there,
I have a son and 2 daughters. My son has been dating this girl for 7 years on and off. From day one I didn’t like her. I have tried to accept her for all this time. There were times where I just couldn’t do it anymore and that pushed my son further and further away from us, so I let her back in the house just not to lose my son. We are a very close family. Go on vacation together, have dinner together every night when possible. On the other hand she is from the opposite. Her family pretends to be close but are very distant. My sons girlfriend has no respect for us and always has a bad attitude towards us. We have tried to talk to my son and he just doest say anything and is very quiet for a long time but he never leaves her.
The last straw was our family vacation. We asked her to come with us. She made this trip the worst vacation for us ever. She kept pulling my son away from us. Didn’t want to sit by the pool or beach with us. Never wanted to eat meals with us. My son was being pulled from us. I could see that he was upset and stuck in the middle so I didn’t say anything to him to upset him, I just did the best I could that week. My son would leave her and come sit with us when he could. But sure enough she’d be calling him to come back.
I can’t accept her anymore. I am thinking of myself, my daughters and my husband now. She has upset us enough and God knows we have tried to make it work. But she doesn’t want it to work. She just wants my son and not us in her life. I am gettiing sick over it, Ive been to the hospital with chestpains and overlly stressed over this.
What should I do, I’m loosing my son…

1 Like

What age people are you talking about here?

Although it is clear you are suffering a great deal from this situation, it might be helpful to see this from the girlfriend’s point of view.

  1. If she does not come from a family that shows affection in the way that your family does, she might be very uncomfortable with the expectation that you do everything together as a family all the time. My fiance comes from a large family and initially I was definitely “weirded out” by the amount of togetherness.

  2. She knows that you don’t really want her there. Even if you’ve been outwardly polite (and it seems like you have) she will pick up on the “you are not a part of our family and do not belong” vibe. It was very generous of you to have her along on your vacation, but that really doesn’t mean that she should expect to spend every minute of every day with you.

  3. Seven years? Wow. That’s a long time to be dating someone. Assuming that your son is an adult (college age or older) then she is probably thinking that it’s long past time for him to leave the nest - and I’m amazed that she’s stuck around so long. That alone makes it obvious she loves him. Maybe they’d be married if they felt you would accept the union?

  4. What you say to your son does not stay with him. She is likely his closest confidant and when you tell him about how terrible she is, she finds out - which only makes her feel more like an outsider and resentful of his (her perspective here) “clingy family.” Plus, it puts your son in the position of having to choose between a woman he loves and his family, which is very unfair to him. Parents don’t have the luxury of choosing their child’s romantic partners, and trying to break them up is likely to backfire. This might be why you feel like you are “losing your son.”

In the end, you are going to lose your son, if what you expect from an adult child is that his or her primary allegiance is always to his or her family of origin. Children are supposed to grow up and leave their parents. Having a child capable of a life independent of you, who has found someone of their own to have a family with is the mark of successful parenting, not an event to be mourned over. Trying to break-up his relationship and expressing your disapproval is the surest way to shut down communication and lead to a long-term rift.

You sound like a very smothering family. If you are having chest pains over this, I think you need psychological help. Your son would be best off cutting the apron strings.

You need to see a Christian counselor to help you to put your life in perspective in my opinion. What you describe doesn’t sound healthy, and I’m talking about you and your attitude.

I am dealing with a similar situation with my son’s girlfriend. My son is 17 and since this girl came into his life, he has made some bad choices regarding use of drugs, alcohol and sex. He has always been strong in his faith and we would talk about things like drug use and premarital sex. He would state that premarital sex is a sin of the flesh, and he would never do it, but then he meets this girl who is a year older, sexually experienced and has a reputation for being a party girl. I have seen her facebook and some of the pics of her and her friends are borderline soft porn and very inappropriate. She isn’t motivated by school and isn’t involved in any sports or activities, and her family is not religious. My son is in sports, wants to go to college, and is involved in the weekly church bible study and volunteers at church. He went to catholic school K-8, our family has always attended church regularly and we have dinner together at night and pray together. I can’t understand how he can be with this girl, and abandon the values that we have tried to instill in him. Since he met her, he has used pot, drank and lost his virginity. He is no longer using pot and is open to drug testing which we are pursuing. He seems to genuinely want to stay away from drugs, but the girlfriend is not up for negotiation. The more my husband and I try to reason with him about how this girl is not good for him, the more he resists. This relationship has had a detrimental effect on my son’s academics as she has more time on her hands than he has and pressures him to spend time with her when he should be studying. We just found out he snuck out of bible study a couple of times to hook up with her. It’s breaking my heart to see what he’s doing with his life and I feel like I don’t even know him anymore. What can my husband and I do to get through to him before it’s too late? I pray every day that God will find a way to get through to him.

I want to preface my reply by saying that I don’t know the whole story, so take it with a grain of salt. That said, I really think you need to take a step back and butt out of your son’s life. Seriously, if my mom tried to pull something like this, I would be pissed off to no end. Your son is a grown-up now, not your little boy anymore, and he’s free to make his own decisions. You give me the feeling that you’re used to running the ship, but you can’t run his life anymore. Moreoever, I get the feeling that you’re trying to accept your son’s g/f for the sake of your son, not on her merit. I mean, how does that make her feel? She’s probably thinking that you dislike her but is only pretending to like her because of your son. That can’t feel very good now, can it? Finally, don’t think of it as losing your son but rather gaining a daughter.

Just my $0.02.

\I can’t accept her anymore. I am thinking of myself, my daughters and my husband now. She has upset us enough and God knows we have tried to make it work. But she doesn’t want it to work. She just wants my son and not us in her life. I am gettiing sick over it, Ive been to the hospital with chestpains and overlly stressed over this.
What should I do, I’m loosing my son…\

**As one fictional character said about mother-in-law/daughter-in-law friction, “Two women can’t even share the same kitchen. How can they share the same man?”

Any possibility that you’re projecting–that YOU are the one who can’t accept her? That YOU are the one who doesn’t want it to work? That YOU just want your son to yourself?

Have you ever seen the musical (or movie) BYE, BYE, BIRIE? The record producer, Albert Peterson, had a mother who sounds just like you. You might want to watch it and take a lesson from it.


How old is your son?

If he’s an adult, then honestly, you need to get over it or YOU will drive him away!

The girlfriend is NOT gonig anywhere until he decides he’s had enough. And their relationship m ight be just fine, except in regards to the family.

if this is a girl who could potentially marry into your family one day, then you REALLY need to cut the apron strings and give them some space. The last thing you want is to become an obligation for your son, as in “well we have to do this or mom will be upset”.

If she’s going to marry into the family, you’ve got a lifetime of needing to get along with each other. Grown up people make their own decisions about who they are in relationships with-- so if he is a grown up, you dont have to agree with his decision to date this girl, but you DO have to accept it.

I’ve been married seven years, and my brother has been married 1. My parents are divorced, andhonestly, spending time in their town is mostly a bother, BECAUSE they always put time amounts and all these qualifications on it. We are NOT free to just have a relaxed vacation with either of them becuase of the demands they put on it, by pressuring us to visit them EXACLTY EQUALLY (in number of hours, meals, etc-- they live in the same town). In that case, they are competing with each other, as opposed to a parent competing with a significant other, as in your case.

If your son is a teenager, put your foot down about when he needs to be with the family, and thats that. But even if he IS a teenager, he’s not going to end the relationship until HE wants to, and any nagging/interference from you coudl only make things worse.

I looked at your other post where you mentioned you have three children ages 26, 24 and 17. I would guess since your son has been seeing this girl for 7 years he is the 26 or 24 year old. You talked about being a close family…always going on vacations together, how you stayed home with your children etc.

You are entering a new stage in life when your job is changing. As parents when our children reach adulthood or job is to let them spread their wings and become independent adults. It is absolutely wrong to try to hold them back, to expect them to behave the same as they did as young children. Your son is a man, you need to encourage to be a man, not a child. If he’s been with this woman for 7 years and he plans to remain with her then there needs to plans for marriage and beginning a family over their own - not cleaving to his parents.

Since you are becoming so distraught over your son not putting you first in his life anymore it seems too much of who you are is tied to being your children’s mother. Its time to develop other interests. Look for other couples whose children are now college age, develop a hobby with your husband, volunteer etc.

It is time to stop putting your son in a position where he feels he has to choose between his family and the woman he loves. He is at the age where it is natural for him to place romantic relationships first. That is normal. Time to let go mama.:slight_smile:

I’ve started a new thread for this here because its an entirely different situation.

*I understand the other’s sentiments…about cutting apron strings. You have received some good advice.

I will say though, that I find it rather immature and rude that this girl can’t muster up some politeness to have meals with you guys, during a vacation. What, is this a week or so that you’re all together, and she can’t do that? Pulling your son away…that is behavior of a highschooler, frankly. I find her behavior childish, and your son’s rude, for allowing it. If she doesn’t like you all for whatever her reason, your son should wake up to that fact…that this is what HIS life will be like if he marries her. A lifetime of choosing sides, and dealing with a wife who can’t just be kind for a few hours or days.

I don’t know the whole story…but just from the snippits here, it sounds like she is the one who is smothering, not you or your family…and your son would be wise to take note of that behavior, and address it before he enters into a lifetime relationship with this girl. That said, DO NOT LET THIS UPSET YOU TO THE POINT OF CHEST PAINS. Pray for your son, and this girl…and step back and maybe don’t say anything for a while. Just be kind to her, and see where it leads. But, if the isolating behavior of her doesn’t change despite YOUR BEST efforts…then, I think the behavior problem is that of his gf. If this were a bf doing this to your daughter, say…we would all say…oh, he sounds abusive, controlling, etc…but when a girl does it, it’s ok. It’s not okay.

Just my two cents. *

That tells us a lot. I would be surprised if she’s not aware this. Unfortunately, you have chosen to distance yourself from one of your son’s closest friends–his girlfriend. In doing so, you are pushing him away. Because you have not provided any examples on how she is negatively influencing him (other than your feeling that he is distant), I can only assume that your animosity towards her may be the root of this problem. It honestly sounds as though you’re jealous.

If I were you, I would try to reconcile with the girlfriend. She is probably not comfortable with your family because she senses that you don’t like her.

Concrete examples of why you don’t like her would help us all make a better assessment of the situation.

The first part of what I quoted above struck me. No matter whom your son marries (or if he gets ordained), he is going to move out, and I wonder if you are having a hard time with that.

Now, if the girlfriend just does not want to socialize with you, maybe you can drive home the point by telling her, “Look, youse two have been dating seven years, so I’m resigned to the fact youse two may end up getting married. If that is the case, we’re going to be part of each other’s lives”. Also, invite her one-on-one to do something (and encourage your son to do the same with her father, brothers, etc.). Maybe while the men are at the gym or gun or golf range, you and her can go shopping, manicure, or whatever girly stuff youse women do.

Now, if she is leading your son away from the faith and/or into immorality, that is a different story.

As someone in her twenties, who lives away from her family and is very financially independent, I’d be ticked if my parents did the same thing. Heck, even when I’m home for holidays, I do spend time with my family, but I still do my own thing. And I DON’T bring an SO home unless they are really special. So, if I did bring one home, I’d A) expect my family to welcome them as an important person in my life and B) expect that we at least have the bare minimum of time alone…

If my family came down hard with huge expectations…I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t come to visit. And yes, we are an affectionate, close family. I talk to my mom every day, even though I’m far away. But she and my dad respect that my life is mine now and give me space as needed.

*I do see where you say OP, that you didn’t like her from day one…and maybe it’s her fault or maybe it’s not…but if her own parents are distant, could be how she was raised. But, I still think she could have mustered up enough politeness during the vacation, and not pulled your son away…I still find that to be immature behavior. But, Norseman’s idea about taking her out somewhere for the day…maybe for lunch or something and getting to know her, could do you both good?

I don’t know all the details, only what you present here…but, I think moms kind of have 6th senses about people…I dunno…and her first impression might have stuck with you. I would try making your best effort…if she still acts the way she does…then, your son will have a difficult life with this girl, should he choose to marry her. I hope my kids bring home people my husband and I like…:smiley: That could be a problem, I would imagine…I am sorry you’re going through this right now. Hang in there mama…and pray for your son and his gf…and try to make another effort.

But, I don’t think you’re reading things wrong necessarily either…*

It could very well be that the son traded in one smothering woman for another. Also, some men get off on setting up the womenfolk in the family against one another, then letting the fireworks begin. The son is probably a passive aggressive and enjoying all this on one level or another. He has no idea was healthy balance in relationships is because he was raised by the smothering OP.

Just my :twocents:

I too am curious about the ages of these young people. Seven years is a long time to be dating unless, perhaps they met in high school. Is your son the oldest?

It IS natural for young people to want to pull away from their families to be with their partners. And I can’t imagine a couple wanting to be with their families for an entire vacation. But if what you say is true, there is a disconnect between the amount of family time your son desires and that which his girlfriend desires.

It is very likely, Momma, that YOU are wanting to spend more time with your son than is healthy for a mother and a grown son. In that case your son’s girlfriend may be a tool that your son is using (perhaps unconsciously) to pull away from the family so he can be a man. If and when your son does marry, remember that his first allegiance must be to her, not to you. Perhaps your culture has a skewed view of the obligations an adult son has to his parents? There are some that do.

But it is also possible that the girlfriend has her own problems with family. You say they are not close. I don’t know if that’s actually true or if it’s just that they don’t like spending as much physical time together as your family does. It’s OK not be be close but it’s not a good thing if the family dynamic is damaged to begin with.

I do know there are people who have out of the ordinary needs to escape family so I sympathize if your son’s girlfriend is one of these. My brother (the baby) married a woman who does NOT want to be with my extended family. My brother was in his mid thirties when he married and was used to spending a lot of time with my parents. This did not sit well with his wife who lived in an entirely different continent than did her parents. We all agreed that my brother probably needed to spend more time away from us but his wife is an extreme case.

"Wherefore a man shall

father and mother,
and shall
cleave to his wife:
and they shall be two in one flesh."
Genesis 2;24

You appear to have radically lost perspective as a mother of children . . . children are NOT possessions . . . to be kept close to the parent all the days of their lives . . . as parents in the Lord we are there to . . .

"Train up a child in the way he should go:
and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
Proverbs 22:6

Even as a mother bird instinctively lovingly cares for her young through the natural stages of the growth and development as they mature . . . she knows that the true goal of their natural life for those little ones is to . . . *in the appropriate natural due season *. . . GROW :slight_smile: UP . . . become strong and fly away from the nest :takeoff: seeking the adult life God has purposed for them . . . competently and maturely . . . and living their own lives . . . away from the nest . . . “hearth and home” of child:tada:hood . . . we as parents need to be very sensitive to the growth and development stages of our youngsters and encourage them every step of the way to mature . . . and in due season . . . like the proverbial mother bird . . . we need to **encourage and allow **our adult children to flourish in the adult lives they choose . . . pray:gopray2:ing for them to our Wonderful Lord as their Heavenly Shepherd . . . to care for, guide and teach them as adults . . . and endeavor in every way, shape and form NOT to get in the Lord’s way of helping them grow as adults up and suitably apart from us . . . as competent responsible adults . . . who have left the **“nest” **of their childhood “hearth and home” of dependence upon parents . . . to discover and live the lives God has purposed for them as adults . . .

From the original post it seems like you have not only allowed a powerful “spirit of competition” environment to invade your family . . . with you trying to retain the mother child relationship with your son in a child role rather than honoring and encouraging him as an adult to enjoy and fully take on adult responsibilities successfully . . . but you appear to have . . . and are . . . promoting a very disordered** “competition”** for your son’s affection between this girl and yourself . . . plus . . . as an adult . . . it appears as if you are seriously playing the childish disordered game of “favorites” between your son and his girl friend . . . perhaps your to-be daughter-in-law. While we as parents naturally have great affection for our own children . . . God loves each and every soul with deep tender love for their own sakes . . . and every day of our lives we should be endeavoring to love God first and then follow the second most important commandment according to Jesus and “love thy neighbor as thyself” . . .

For there is no respect of persons with God.
Romans 2:11

**But if you have respect to persons,
you commit sin,
being reproved by the law
as transgressors. **
James 2:9
[RIGHT]. . . all for Jesus+[/RIGHT]

As parents our “affec:heart:tion” for our children needs to be tempered with wholesome discipline of ourselves as well as our children . . . and ordered toward the end that the child as it reaches adulthood can be allowed the freedom to search out the life God has for them . . . and the PARENT needs to GROW :slight_smile: UP along with the child and love the child with a disciplined “open” hand and heart . . . and allow them the freedom to live their own lives with chosen loved ones of their own . . . they are responsible before God for their choices as adults . . . and SO ARE WE as parents of adults . . . we should always try to maintain wholesome holy Christian standards and lift them up as models for our children to see as the way to live . . . but we must NOT dominantly . . . **“cling” ** . . . to the parent child relationship and hinder our children from becoming healthy responsible adults . . .

*In dedication to the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart . . . may God bless and clearly guide . . . *

[RIGHT]. . . all for Jesus+
. . . Blessed Virgin Mary+
. . . Holy Mother of God+
. . . please help this mother to grow and mature+

I just wanted to say that I think I agree more with whatevergirl is saying. The impression I got from the OP is that this young lady doesn’t behave respectfully towards her family. It is one thing to want to enjoy solitude, but quite another to be rude to others about it. I understand people come from different backgrounds and have different personalities (like introvert vs. extrovert for example). But having a certain type of personality never gives someone the right to be rude.

Most definitely this young man is an adult and he should be able to make his own decisions regarding who he dates. If this young woman really isn’t good for him, I hope he moves on before making a committment. But that of course is for him to figure out.

I pray that you, OP, and this young lady can reconcile your differences. She should be trying to be polite as well though if she really cares about your son.

*And I don’t really see the OP as being someone who doesn’t want to let her son go…she just has concerns with THIS girl, because her behavior, it sounds like from ‘‘day one,’’ and onward has been rude and immature. I also see that the OP didn’t try to make waves when this was happening during the vacation, but she could see that her son was upset about it. Her son is a grown man now, and needs to make his own decisions–but I don’t see the OP as being unable to let her kids grow up. Rather, she is concerned that her son might marry someone who wants to isolate him from his family, just from these snapshots that she has been seeing.

There are people on my husband’s side that I don’t care for, but you bite the bullet when you spend time with them…you smile, make conversation…out of love for your spouse, you do this. My husband dislikes my sister, but he makes the most of things when we visit her. It’s not always about what our ‘‘needs’’ are…sometimes, it’s about putting up with people we might not care for, to show love for our spouses. The gf doesn’t need to spend every waking moment with the OP and the family…but when she does need to be around them, she should try her best to be polite and not make her bf’s family feel like outcasts. That has nothing to do with the OP not being able to let go…it has everything to do with watching her son become something he isn’t to please a girl. That has to be tough to watch.

Now, OP…without knowing all the details…and knowing you, I can only go on face value of what you post here…and we’re assuming all things considered, you have been kind to the girl. *