“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#1 Jul 15, 2014
DEAR AMY: I am a college student. My mother and I have a great relationship -- I feel like I can tell her anything -- but there is one problem that has become increasingly frustrating. If I give her the name of a guy I would maybe consider dating, she insists on conducting extensive Internet searches until she has found his hometown, his high school activities, his parents' professions, his past girlfriends -- everything.

This has been happening since I was in high school, but it grew worse last year, when I showed interest in someone who we later found out was keeping some pretty significant information from me.

I have no problem with looking through Facebook and Twitter profiles myself, and I've turned down prospects with no regrets.

However, the threat of a profile check has made me somewhat unsure of myself because I'm ultimately worried that my mother won't approve.

I've also gone out with "bad matches" just because I knew she would hate them, which I admit is an immature reaction.

I've brought this up, but she has continued searching anyway; her reasoning is that since everything is on the Internet, she might as well use it to her advantage.

Honestly, she is usually spot-on in her judgments. I understand that she has good intentions and doesn't want me to waste my time with the wrong person, and I don't either.

Should I limit what I tell her (which will make me feel guilty)?-- Distressed in Dallas

DEAR DISTRESSED: This outrageous behavior doesn't seem to bother you enough. I can only assume that this is because your mother has successfully gaslighted you into thinking her behavior is acceptable. It is not. She might be a great private investigator, but her parenting skills leave a lot to be desired.

You've already admitted to going out with "bad matches" in order to punish her, and that is the most predictable consequence of her intrusion. She is pushing you into a hornet's nest, but in the end you will get stung.

The obvious answer is for you to not tell her anything relating to your intimate dating life. Call a complete moratorium. Explain this by telling her, "No more background checks, Mom. I'm going to have to figure this out on my own." This will definitely interfere with your mother-daughter closeness, but that is a consequence of her being so untrustworthy.

DEAR AMY: Is there an effective reply to my husband's comment: "It does not bother me; if it bothers you, then you clean it up, pick it up, put it away, fix it, move it, etc."?

End of discussion.

He is retired, I am still working, and I come home to an incredible mess. He is a good man, but I cannot seem to make him understand that this refusal to be helpful is tearing up a 30-year marriage. Suggestions?-- Frustrated

DEAR FRUSTRATED: I'm going to assume that you are not griping about towels left on the bathroom floor, but about major household nightmares. If so, one effective reply would be, "This does bother me. It's always bothered me. Here's my new address. End of discussion. You're a good guy, so let's date."

The at-home partner should at the minimum ensure that the working partner doesn't return home after work to a house that is markedly worse than she left it. That's the minimum.

Retired spouses who really step up domestically can often find themselves with a transformed relationship -- when the working spouse notices and appreciates the TLC.

A counselor could help you to mediate this by encouraging each of you to see this domestic situation from your spouse's perspective. Some relatively small changes on both of your parts could make a big difference.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#2 Jul 15, 2014
DEAR AMY: "Perplexed" sounded like a sanctimonious parent with two "perfect" children, complaining about a family member with a typical tantrum-throwing 3-year-old. I can't believe you didn't call him on this.-- Not Perplexed Parent

DEAR NOT PERPLEXED: I felt sorry for the tantrum-throwing little boy whose parents let him rule the household and then worried about his behavior. Calm and confident parenting would benefit this child, and I hope the parents get a clue.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#3 Jul 15, 2014
1- How bout stop telling your mom the name of the cute guy in your philosophy class?

2- Way to promote a divorce because the MAN doesn't care about a used napkin left on the table. Get over it

tiredofit

Los Angeles, CA

#4 Jul 15, 2014
L2: Edog, she says incredible mess. I take it that he creates this mess and has no intention to clean up after himself. This is not fair and I'm sure you would not be so mean as to be this way in a loving relationship.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#5 Jul 15, 2014
L1. Ah ha!. So that is how you escalate a helicopter parent to a drone parent..

Hint. If she breaches boundaries like this, just wait until you are seriously dating, having sex ( will she want to see the condom receipts or will she do a survey of local pharmacies for b/c prescriptions, MOB-zilla and (I shudder to think) grandmother..

And LW not only puts up but cooperates with it. Yikes
Pippa

Hancock, NY

#6 Jul 15, 2014
1: When a parent does this, this is the time to start keeping secrets. I found this out as a 3rd grader. I talked about a few kids in my class and because I included a boy's name or two in the group, my mom started telling everyone who came into our store that I had a boyfriend. Yikes! I knew I had to start censoring what I told her because she would make it into something it wasn't. Same thing with an older sister. She not only shared my personal letters addressed to her alone with her husband, she was the town gossip and would share any and all personal information with anyone and everyone. This lw has to stop telling her mom who she's dating or interested in. I think she really LIKES to get the information but pretends otherwise.

2: Counseling, definitely. I don't know whether this woman is overly obsessive about cleanliness and order or whether her husband truly is a lazy slob. If the latter is the case, he needs to step up and clean up after himself. He might very well be one of those guys whose mom did everything for him and he never did any housework when he was working full time. After all, housework is "women's work" to some men of my generation.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#7 Jul 15, 2014
L1: Time for a big chat with mom telling her it's the end of her sleuthing for you. If she does not stop then stop telling her anything -- and I mean anything until she changes her ways.

L2: It would be best to just talk about this but it sounds like the LW tried. Counselling probably would be best. In the meantime, anything of his he leaves laying around, put on his side of the bed or get a big box and dump all his stuff that's laying around in it. That won't be much fun when he needs it again.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#8 Jul 15, 2014
LW1: It just baffles me that you feel some sort of duty to divulge ever detail about your life to your mother and actually feel guilt at the thought of censoring yourself. mama's got you trained well.

LW2: What Pippa said. Without examples, I can't determine if husband is a lazy slob or if wife is a nagging PITA who thinks that now that hubby is retired, she can assign tasks to him.

Since: Dec 09

Smalltown, Colorado

#9 Jul 15, 2014
LW2 - She should move out. When he is floating in the sea of his own filth, maybe he will start cleaning up after himself. She can't change his behavior until she changes her own by taking action.

Since: Mar 09

Hollywood, FL

#10 Jul 15, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
LW1: It just baffles me that you feel some sort of duty to divulge ever detail about your life to your mother and actually feel guilt at the thought of censoring yourself. mama's got you trained well.
WORD. This is so foreign to me, this LW might as well be from another planet.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#11 Jul 15, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
LW1: It just baffles me that you feel some sort of duty to divulge ever detail about your life to your mother and actually feel guilt at the thought of censoring yourself. mama's got you trained well.
Ugh. Maybe. My kid tells me EVERYTHING and I do not want him to. He's always has done this. I'm sure there's a couple of things he doesn't tell me, but for the most part he blurts out things. Many times I stop him in midsentence and tell him it's not something I need to know. At times he just continues. People tell me I'm lucky. I'm not lucky! Some things I really rather not know. I tell him that he needs to censor himself. Believe me, I think there's an independence, of sorts, to a person that doesn't tell their parents every single facet of their life.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#12 Jul 15, 2014
j_m_w wrote:
<quoted text>
WORD. This is so foreign to me, this LW might as well be from another planet.
It's foreign to me as well. I told my parents only what I absolutely had to tell them. Go figure.
boundary painter

San Antonio, TX

#13 Jul 15, 2014
LW1 and her mother need to stop giving the Lone Star State a bad name.(Especially the bad match dating part--her mother may, in ignorance, decide the wrong guy is "the one" for her daughter.)

LW2 may as well say, "huh?" and ignore him back. He seems content to sit there and not cover what she wants. Other possibilities include:
(a) Hiring a student to do some of the clean up and yard work.
(b) Getting her own dinner from the grocery shop
(c) Playing video games or working puzzles when she gets home--or
watching what she wants to see on the computer.
(d) Doing her own laundry only.
(e) Then sweetly asking him to join her in a "fun game" of clean up competition, turning it into fun instead of a boring chore.
or
(f) other
Kuuipo

Marina, CA

#14 Jul 15, 2014
LW1: I'm with Pippa, Toj, and Tonka. Don't tell Mom that you're dating anyone. "I've decided to focus on my studies for now." End of problem.

LW2: Amy's answer is too extreme. But LW has been married to this man for 30 years and complains now only because he is retired? Or does he just make more of a mess because he is home all day? Anyway, the simpler answer is to hire a housekeeper. But that will only help once per week. I also like Toj's solution of putting everything in a big box.

LW3: We all called the perfect parent out on this. S/he might be singing a different song when the kids are teens.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#15 Jul 15, 2014
Shari23 wrote:
LW2 - She should move out. When he is floating in the sea of his own filth, maybe he will start cleaning up after himself. She can't change his behavior until she changes her own by taking action.
He is retired and therefore probably mid 60's.

He won't float in a sea of his own filth. He will be shark bait for every single woman and widow over the age of 50 who will be more than happy to make up for the (tsk tsk) horrible housekeeping of his ex.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#16 Jul 15, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
LW1: It just baffles me that you feel some sort of duty to divulge ever detail about your life to your mother and actually feel guilt at the thought of censoring yourself. mama's got you trained well.
.
But what will the thwarted Mama Bear do? If she follows her daughter on FB she will see stuff and run background checks on everyone with a penis and probably a bunch of other people who have alienated her darling daughter from her.
Julie

Chicago, IL

#17 Jul 15, 2014
LW1: Wow. Your Smother *really* has the apron-strings tied tight around your neck.

"If I give her the name of a guy I would maybe consider dating..."

What're you, 12?**GTFU** and stop telling your insanely controlling MOMMY every little detail about your personal life (esp. about things that haven't even happened). Yeesh. U R Beyond Pathetic. And MOMMY made you that way.

I never say this, but Lamy nailed it.

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