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Living With Girlfriend's Mother

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Living With Girlfriend's Mother

Postby Beornet » Sun Apr 30, 2017 2:28 pm

Wow am I in a bind, and obviously I don't know what to do which is why I'm reaching out for some guideance.  Here's what's going on:

3 years ago I started dating a girl.  We kept our separate apartments at first, but after a year of spending every night at my place, we decided that her place was really just an expensive closet of sorts, and that she should move in with me.  Which we did.  Everything was going peachy-keen, we both worked hard, and had lots of good times and together(you know, the kind of stuff that happens in the first 2 years of dating).

Then suddenly her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, and needed consistant at-home care.  Not having a husband to take care of her(divorced long ago) or anyone else for that matter, my girlfriend proposed 2 options:  1) either we all move in together, or 2) she and her mother would get a place on their own.  Either way, my girlfriend had to be with her mom, to take care of her.  (The situation was grim: her mother came VERY close to death, and frankly no one - not even the doctors - thought she was going to make it.)  My girlfriend spent many sleepless nights in the hospital, and the stress created tension in our relationship.  Prior to this event, we NEVER argued(okay, maybe once or twice, over almost 2 years, which is pretty amazing.) This made me start thinking that perhaps she was "the one".

So, back to the fork in the road:  the decicion seemed obvious.  I didn't want to lose the girl, I still wanted to live with her, so I agreed to "man up" and help coordinate this transition while her mother was on her death bed in the hospital.  We quickly found a house to rent that would accomodate the 3 of us, and then my girlfriend's sister came in town(she lives in Denmark, we live in L.A.) and she and I packed her mother's house up.  I gave notice where I had been living for 5 years, and next thing you know, the moving trucks showed up and suddenly we're in a new place.  This was in May '07.  We signed a 6 month lease, going month to month thereafter, as we didn't know what was going to happen with her mother, and we wanted to remain as flexible as possible.

So, she get's released from the hospital in a barely alive state of being, and is transported to the new house where her bedroom was set up like an infirmary.  She had I.V.s, oxygen machines, a hospital bed and a nurse that would come once a week.  This woman was so week, that she couldn't even scoot herself up in the bed when she wanted.  She would call out, in agony, for help in the middle of the night.  She couldn't do anything by herself, she was too week.  It got to the point where I had to hold her up in the air with both arms(she only weights 80 lbs.) while my girlfriend would change her diaper.

It was like having a baby, I supposed, only VERY differnt. We took care of her like this for about 2 months, which was difficult to say the least.  But saving her life was far more important than anything else, so we did it.

Through the miracle of science, this woman should be the poster child of chemotherapy.  She is now back to 95%.  She takes the dog for long 45 minute walks, she cooks, she does her dishes, she does her laundry, she's reorganized her stuff in the garage, and she goes to the grocery store with my girlfriend every Sunday.  She no longer gets chemotherapy, and all of the medical equipment is long gone.

One of the sacrifices we made when chosing to do this was our own privacy.  Our bedroom is right next to hers, need I say more, we share a wall.  So our privacy has gone out the window, as has our intimacy.  And now that her mother is better, there's even less privacy as she now has full reign of the house.

The other sacrifice was lifestyle, or as I call it 'dometic-ability'.  Her mother and I are polar opposites: I'm organized and clean, her mother is messy and slovenly.  When she cooks food drops on the floor and she leaves it there.  Not to mention the counter-tops.  Every day I am filled with anger and resentment for having to live like this, and altough I've tried(somedays more successfully than others) to bite my tounge, I can't help complain about it.  Doing so - according to my girlfriend - undermines the heroic efforts I made, and diminishes their significance.  We now fight a lot as a result.

I look around to find that suddenly I'm livng with my girlfriend and her MOTHER, and it's intolerable.

We talked about making a change once she was better, but frankly it's financially not really an option right now.  If I were to leave and get my own place, they couldn't afford the rent at the house which would force them to find something else.  It would be a big mess.

I love this girl, but I hate living with her mother.

Now, here's the punch line:  her father is getting older too.  Whereas he's not sick right now, should he become sick one day, my girlfriend has 'warned' me that she might have to take care of him as well.  Evidently this is a cultural thing, as she is Chinese(I am not).

I don't know how to handle living with her mother for much longer, nor do I see a realistic alternative as we are financially strapped at the time.

And I certainly can't fathom the idea of living with her father someday, too.  He's a bigger slob than she is.

Frankly, I want to get on with our lives, and not be burdened with having to provide at home care for her parents.

Some say money isn't everything: but it sure gives one options in life.  Options I feel I don't have at this time.

Right now I've grown to resent both my girlfriend and her mother, and I'm very angry.

The plan is to have a giant Christmas party here, as the other daughter will be visiting with her entire husband's family(that makes 6 total).  That should be a party, with 9 people and a dog living in a 3 bedroom house.  It's only for 3-4 days, so it should be tolerable, but what do I do NOW?

Any guidance to the situation would be helpful, as I'm miserable and growing to resent my girlfriend whom I love.


This is the reason I tell people who are not willing to commit to marriage to not live together. You are living in a situation that is like a pseudo-marriage, yet you were not ready and willing to make the kind of commitment for marriage. So why don't you marry her already? You have a lot of information so now what will you do with it? You G/F is not going to abandon her mother or father. So you have to decide if you are willing to commit to her despite that. If you are then marry her. If you are not then you need to have a serious conversation with her and move out now. Delaying only causes more resentment to build up as you have seen.



[an error occurred while processing this directive]---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------


Thanks for the response. What I didn't mention in my original question was the fact that I was married already once before(for 2 years to a psychopath who I only knew for 5 months prior to tying the noose -- I mean, knot.) The experience left a bad taste in my mouth, and - more importantly - made me more cautious.  (Once bitten twice shy, right?) So, before jumping back into marriage, I INSIST on taking my time to really get to know someone next time.

That said, I can't see how being married to her can change or would have changed the situation.  In fact the situation would be identical, only we'd have a piece of paper tucked away somewhere in a wedding album validating our promise to one another.

I already feel that level of commitment with this girl, and you're right when saying we're living in a pseudo-marriage.  Speaking from experience, there's really no difference except that piece of paper that I mentioned, and - more importantly - the consequences of a potential breakup/divorce.  I never want to go through that again, so I'm sure you can understand my hesitancy.

That, coupled with this situation of living with her mother(and possibly her father one day), has pushed me even further away from popping the question.  NOW is definitely NOT the time to get on my knees!

In fact, if we were married I might feel even more trapped; at least right now I've got options.

So I don't think that marriage is the answer.  Not now, not a year ago, and not a year from now.

I certainly don't want my GF to "abandon" her mother/father, and I respect her immensely for her strong values.  On the other hand I don't want to necessarily live with either of them either.  Having her mother around constantly, and sharing a house with her when she lives so completely differently than I do, is what's difficult.

And no social acknowledgement of our commitment to one another - as recognized by the state and/or church - could change that.

So thank you for taking the time to answer, but I don't feel that you've given me good advice.

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Living With Girlfriend's Mother

Postby Coinleain » Sun Apr 30, 2017 11:22 pm


Thank you for more info it was helpful in letting me think more about this. There are two options I would suggest. You go to counseling together to talk about this hard issue with a third party. You also have a lot of information. I can't make the decision for you, but it would seem like you have enough information at hand to know what you need to do. Boyfriends come and go mothers do not. If that is what she is thinking then I suggest you move on if you are hating your situation. Talking openly and honestly about it would be a great start to getting this figured out because how you paint the picture now is that you are trapped.


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