When the Other Woman Is His Mother

Jessica Bern

Dear Dating Mom:

I am going to be meeting my boyfriend’s mom for the first time. I keep thinking she is not going to like me and when I say that to him, all he says is, “Who cares?” Should I tell him I don’t want to meet her after all?


Is it me?

Dear Is It Me:

Kudos to your boyfriend for at least being quasi, vaguely, passively aggressively up front with you. He could have been like my ex. When I was married, he swore upside down his mom would love me and, well, let’s just say when SHE filed for OUR divorce (yes, you read that one correctly), I wasn’t the least bit surprised. I believe the words, “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out” would be a good way of describing how she felt each time we parted company.

I’d ask your boyfriend if he could be a lot more specific about what he means when he says, “Who cares?” Perhaps you could start out by saying, “Well, I care!” unless of course his mother is on the brink of death and then, well, I gotta agree with the guy, really, “Who cares?”

Chances, are however, that she is alive and well and there is something about you that your boyfriend believes would not gel very well with his mom but suddenly becomes a Hollywood Talent Agent and decides the healthiest way to deal with this potential conflict is to just pretend it doesn't exist.

Now, for me, the reason my ex's mother and I didn't get along, I think, had a lot to with the fact that 1. I am humane and 2. because I believe that by the time your child has reached the age where he is renewing his driver’s license for the fifth time and is on the verge of qualifying for social security, it’s time to set him free.

But again, that is just my story. Perhaps your boyfriend was going out with a girl that his mom loved and SHE isn’t over the break-up. Maybe his mother doesn’t like anyone her son introduces her to. Maybe she’s a big drinker and is least likely to whip out her nice side once she’s past her third whiskey sour, which is to say if you don’t get to her by 9 a.m., you’re screwed.

Bottom line, you have to come out and just ask him. If he remains vague and says something like, “Just trust me” or “It’s not worth worrying about” or "Forget I ever said anything," well don’t trust him, worry, and don’t forget he said it. There is a reason he's avoiding answering you and I believe you don't want to find out why AFTER you've already said "I do."

Are you a single mom with a question about dating/sex/love? Or do you just want to try to trip Jessica up? Leave her a question in comments or you can write to her directly at bernzee@mac.com.

Read More