Mother Is Forcing Boyfriend on Us

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I am 31 and my parents divorced about a year ago. Their relationship had its problems and I do not blame her for leaving….even though she left for another man. At some point during the divorce, the other man ended up talking with my dad and threatened to kill him. Now, my mother wants to bring this guy around me and my child and I just can’t get over it. She constantly tells me that I don’t love her and if I did, I would accept him, especially since I accept my dad’s new girlfriend. The difference being that my dad’s girlfriend never threatened anyone that I care about. Am I wrong for feeling the way that I do about this guy? He is also currently married and going through a divorce…I just don’t feel like he’s the type of guy that I want around my family.

A: No. You’re not wrong. Your mother is way out of line. She is the one having the relationship, not you. You are not required to love people she loves, only to be polite. It sounds like she is looking for affirmation for her involvement with a married man who is potentially violent. For you to go along with that is to deny your own good instincts and to support her in something that could be dangerous. The answer to your mother’s comments that you don’t love her is to tell her that you love her enough not to endorse her relationship with someone you think is likely to hurt her emotionally and maybe physically; that you will give it a year to see whether he’s in fact good for her and then you’ll make up your mind about him. Until then, you will gladly get together with her but you’re not interested in getting your child involved with someone you’re not sure is going to be a permanent and welcome member of the family.

You are an adult and entitled to make your own decisions about who you want to let into your home and your heart. I agree with your caution.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 1 Nov 2011

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2011). Mother Is Forcing Boyfriend on Us. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/11/01/mother-is-forcing-boyfriend-on-us/