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How to Accept Your Son's Girlfriend

Accepting your son's girlfriend may be challenging at first, but bringing her into your family will also bring you closer to your son.

Accepting your son's girlfriend may be challenging at first, but bringing her into your family will also bring you closer to your son.

The Maternal Instinct

The human family is like a wolf pack. There is a social hierarchy with a code of acceptance or rejection. When a son introduces a new female into his world, mothers instinctually take caution, and fears and questions arise. Who is this unfamiliar creature that has attracted our son’s attention? Will she be good for him? Will she take him away from us?

It is natural for a mother to feel territorial. This is why so many mother and daughter-in-law relationships become estranged: a tug-of-war with an unhappy male in the middle of it all. Young ladies attempt to prove their worth while mothers can be highly critical of whoever seems to be trying to replace her in her son’s life.

Even if these feelings come from good intentions, mothers would be well advised to use care in their interactions with their children’s dates since it's possible for the relationship to become long-term. Here is what to keep in mind when you're mistrustful of your son's significant other.

What to Do When You Dislike Your Son's Girlfriend

  1. Reflect on why you feel the way you do. Do you truly have a reason to believe she is a threat to your son's wellbeing? Are you quick to criticize her because you feel protective? Are you comparing her to someone else?
  2. Get to know her better. Before jumping to any conclusions, take the time to learn more about her and why your son has chosen her. Look for her merit.
  3. Determine whether her flaws are actually harmful. What may seem unpleasant or difficult to you may not be a problem for your son or his future. Have patience with behaviors that may subside with time, age, and maturity—and, remember that no one is perfect.
  4. Talk to your son if you genuinely feel his wellbeing is at stake. Express your concerns respectfully, then listen to his side of the story with an open mind.
  5. Accept his decision. Even if you still dislike her, pushing your opinion may only drive your son away. Allow him to make up his own mind and handle the consequences that follow. If it's truly an unhealthy relationship, it likely won't last anyway.

How to Accept Her for Who She Is

  • Go beyond the first impression. How many times have we misjudged someone based on superficial factors? Remember that there's more to her personality than just her clothing, car, education, or career. Get to know her as an individual.
  • Let her be herself. Do you remember how difficult it was to face the judgment of your husband’s mother and family? No one likes to feel shamed. Everyone has the right to be themselves without anyone else’s approval, including yours.
  • Focus on what makes her special. Everyone has positive qualities, even if it takes a little time to find them. Look for the traits your son loves about her and bring them to everyone’s attention.
  • Ignore her faults. Remember that everyone has their flaws as well. Would you like it if your mother-in-law harped on your weaknesses? Be patient and don't expect her to be perfect.
  • Don’t criticize or impose your opinion. Do you like it when your mother-in-law butts into your life and tells you what to do? If you do this, both the girl and your son will avoid you.
  • Respect life differences. You two do not have to share the same habits, priorities, or opinions. Embrace diversity and learn from her unique perspective.
  • Let the relationship be what it will be. Your son’s girlfriend may not last in his life anyway, so why make a big deal of it now? Let him enjoy this chapter of love. If she does become his wife, think of the good that will come of it after you have built a foundation of good rapport. Instead of losing your son, you may gain a daughter and even a very good friend.
  • Support your son’s decision. In the end, your opinion will not win out. It is his life and happiness that matters. He will appreciate your support and resent your disapproval.
  • Be grateful she makes your son happy. If she makes him feel fulfilled, that is the greatest gift she can give you. Nothing else really matters.

Instead of losing your son, you may gain a daughter and even a very good friend.

How to Build a Relationship with Her

  • Be warm and approachable. Don’t be the Queen Bee to whom everyone must kowtow. It might seem amusing that you can make this new girl nervous with a sideways look, but her fear will soon turn to disdain. If you choose to be rude and standoffish, she will do the same to you.
  • Offer some reassurance. Calm her nerves with a friendly gesture, compliment, or a simple reminder that she is welcome in your family. Do what you can to make her feel at home so that she can relax and put her best self forward.
  • Reach out and make the effort. Get off to a good start by striking up friendly conversation and demonstrating your genuine desire to know her better.
  • Use humor. The easiest way to break tension is to share a laugh. Break the ice with some funny family stories and invite her to share her own memories with your son.
  • Encourage your other children to get to know her. Give her time to ease into the family by getting to know your son's siblings. Parents are intimidating!
  • Give her your contact info. This gesture shows you care about her and want to know her personally. The option of alternative communication may also put her at ease, especially if she's on the shy side. You may be delighted to receive a "thank you for dinner" text, which may turn into a pleasant conversation without the pressure of the whole family hearing.
  • Spend quality time together. Invite her to participate in family activities or offer to be more involved in her life, such as coming to watch her sports match or play. She will appreciate you showing your support of her hobbies and interests.
  • Find out what you have in common. If nothing else, what you two will always share is the love for your son.

Questions to Ask Your Son's Girlfriend

Here are some ideas to lighten the mood and make her feel welcome.

Casual Ice Breakers

  • What's something fun that you and (your son) have done lately?
  • Have you ever been to (your family vacation spot)?
  • What's your favorite food? Do you have a recipe we could all cook together?
  • When is your birthday? We'd love to add it to our calendar.
  • Where is your hometown? What is it like there?
  • What was your favorite class in school?
  • What's your dream job?
  • Do you have a favorite board game to play next time?
  • What do you love to do?

What NOT to Ask

  • Invasive or insensitive questions about the relationship, her personal life, or her background.
  • Questions about her commitment or plans for the relationship.
  • Her views on sensitive or controversial topics such as religion or politics.
  • Details about her income and finances.
  • Any questions that may come across as judgmental or accusatory.

If you feel you need to know intimate details about her, ask your son in private. Never put her on the spot, especially when other family members are present.

When to Be Alarmed

Young lovers are blind to serious red flags in their relationships which is why mothers become so alarmed when they see what they perceive to be poor choices, but it’s important to refrain from being petty. Her clothing, car, finances, education, family background, and hobbies are compatibility matters for your son to think about. If he is okay with them, you should be too.

If he is willing to risk his career, relinquish his faith, marry “beneath” or “above” his station or even give up his wish to have children, he will have to live with the consequences. If she comes with serious emotional baggage, including mental or physical illness or addictions and he loves her enough to take her as is, you need to step aside and allow him to walk the life path he chooses. We don't see the spiritual powers at work, and this experience may be invaluable in building his character and life knowledge.

There is only one real red flag to be concerned about: violence. If his girlfriend is prone to violence, she poses a risk to your son and any future children.

When to Say Something

The time to say your peace is before they reach the altar. Offer your insights without judgment or emotion—no threats, tears, or tirades—or you son will close his ears. Talk to him one-on-one. Explain your concerns but follow them with, “I will respect your choice and love you no matter what.”

As his mother, you have the right to forewarn him of upcoming problems that may stem from differences in faith and other areas of incompatibility, for example. But as long as he is aware of what could be around the corner in a bad relationship, you must back off, let him make his mistakes, and let him find his joy. Not allowing him the freedom to learn from his decisions is a mistake, too. In fact, if you have been too controlling throughout his upbringing, expect that this will be a time for him to establish his own independence. If you've encouraged his free will and chosen your battles wisely, he'll more likely be receptive to your sincere input as an adult.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


Stacey on June 01, 2019:

My son is now with an old woman, closer to my age than his. He has basically dumped his family. Not looking for serious work as she supports him with his dealing. The 1st time I met her I went to shake her hand, limp wristed thing didn't even make eye contact. I've never been invited into the house, I have to sit in the car on the side of the road. We have carted them about, they never offer petrol. It's not that she's got kids & has her tubes tied, it's not that she's as ugly as sin with what looks to be prison tatts. It's that she's so bloody rude! He had a family before he got with her. He'd call in for a meal occasionally. But that's not an option anymore. I'm not in the position that I can feed him, her, her 2 stoner teens & young daughter. And, honestly, why should I when I have to stay in the car at her place. He has no contact with his own young teen sister other that to be nasty & derogatory. What can I do?

Sharon Parsons on April 07, 2019:

I'm at a loss over what to do about my 23 year old son's older "fiance". She's 52 years old! I have fought her tooth and nail ever since I found about her 8 months ago. Last night, my son invited his father and I to their wedding!

He's going to let her ruin his life. What could they have in common other that sex? She's four years older than me. She smokes like a chimney. Whenever I see my son, I know he's been with her because his clothes smell like a forest fire.

His father and I have tried to reason with both of them. But they're in love and insist that age is just a number. Fifteen years from now, she'll be on oxygen and in a wheel chair. He'll be 38, ten years younger than I am now. And he'll be taking care of her. What kind of life is that?

Martha01 on November 13, 2018:

I have just read through some of your postings and it has brought tears to my eyes. As much as it hurts, you are all not alone in your situations.

My eldest son is a well educated child, good exam results, excellent uni then he started a relationship with a woman and it totally changed him. He left home and married a woman much older than him, without telling any of his family, we only found out on Social Media. He came back after a year, when I contacted him, told him we all loved him, missed him dearly and we enjoyed the next 18 months together as a family.

We helped him buy his first flat, his family all chipped in to help, he had a good job, then things changed again when he met a new girl, she has a child and is a few years older again like the last.

We went to visit him a few months ago, we emptied his flat which we are now having to rent out to cover the mortgage payments. We had a great few days together but she stayed well away, pretended she was working but our son looked unhappy so his father asked him if he was happy, his siblings have always had a solid relationship and they heard him on the phone to him, her tone was very sharp towards him.

He messaged me the following morning and told us he had given his girlfriend an ultimatum as her ex partner was always going round to see his child. His girlfriend couldn't choose between them. Our son was upset and was leaving her to return to his flat, he was waiting to be allowed back to collect his things.

He text and said he's ok don't worry. Her family were disgusted with her, they gave her money each month to subsidise her wages.

I phoned him, he said, he wasn't leaving her and she had chosen him. I suggested prosponing renting out his flat go back and see how things go. He had told me during the long conversation that she didnt do family visits, doesn't speak to her only sister as she's jealous of her, She enjoys going out for expensive meals.He has since lost his job and is doing a course at Uni, we offered to help him out financially as much as we could afford, but to her that wasn't enough, she is high maintenance and has demanded money from us to pay her rent for him. We sent him a cheque for his birthday and he has spent it on an engagement ring for her. We have enjoyed a good relationship for the past 18 months with our son, he has telephoned me everyday, visited his grandparents and us, now he's ignoring us all again. He asked us a few weeks ago to apologise to his girlfriend as she heard our telephone conversation about our concerns that she was using him against her ex partner. I messaged her and apologised twice and told her I was sorry and for the sake of my son please could we put all this misunderstanding behind us. She has refused to accept my apology even my husband has now apologised, she told my husband that she wants nothing to do with any of his family and he will never see any of his grandchildren. She asked my husband for money, my son has said if she sees we are helping him out Financial she might eventually come round.

We asked to meet him last weekend, we travelled a long way to visit him but he text and told us he was busy with her and her son.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated as I do not want this to spoil his siblings Christmas and upset his elderly Grandparents. His Grandparents are elderly and it's unfair that they are having to go through this again.

Emma1963 on September 09, 2018:

Hello, my situation is very hard and I truly feel like my son hates me at this point. He has a girlfriend and we allowed her to come stay in our home 3 nights a week. Also, she was told that when my son leaves for work in the mornings, she must leave at the same time. We did this due to her poor attitude and disrespect towards me and my fiance. In the beginning sge was living by those two rules. Then she became extremely hateful cussing my fiance and making threats to bust him in the mouth. Then there was the mornings she would stay in bed and my son trying to wake her but she wouldn't get up. In turn that left us having to beat on the door asking her to please get up and leave. We had work of our own to do. I felt like I was babysitting a 26 year old child. Things continued to worsen. I tried to talk to my son several times but he brushed me off. Then things got even worse. She cussed me and called me horrible names. I told her the last time she disrespected me she was not welcome here any longer. The things she said to me were unacceptable along with the nasty threatening text messages of how I ruined his life now and that I hoped I was happy. She made physical threats and destroyed any hope of acceptance again. He has allowed her to disrespect me in every sense of the word. Now he is staying gone and won't have anything to do with me. He chose a young girl over his own family knowing she disrespected me. She is very controlling and walks around like she is better than us or above us. All she talks about is herself. Always bragging. I would say some of the things here but I don't want to offend anyone. She lied about being pregnant last year, she has cheated on him and he still chooses her. She talks about her own mother like she is trash and she is not. She told me her daughter is a chronic liar and makes things up. Why would my son stay with a girl that threatened to beat my butt and call me horrible names? I feel at a loss because my son and I have always been close until she came along. Now I never see him or talk to him. When he does come by to grab closes he says hello mom and closea the door in my face. Then he showers and leaves. Im struggling and I can't sleep well at night. She is into voo doo and casting spells. She claims to be a witch. I almost feel as though she's brain washing him. How can a man, my son, allow someone to treat me as such and why is it acceptable to him? Am I in the wrong? I need advice very badly because I feel like Im loosing it. My heart feels broken into a million pieces.please help me understand if Im doing something wrong. Thank you!

Robin Blue on July 10, 2018:

My goodness! I have been reading all the stories that you ladies have been posting. Although it is disheartening, it also gives me a sense of support - as this subject has been one that has been very difficult to handle for the past 2 years in my house. The woman that my son has fallen for is extremely, apologetically disrespectful as well. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about the things that have transpired through those years....first off, my son never officially introduced me to this woman. I just saw that she was posting on his FB page different things that a gf normally would. Come to find out, she worked at a cookie shop in the mall with my son's ex-girlfriend (who was very nice and we loved very much) ....long story short - she began instigating throughout their break-up and laying it on really thick. I could immediately tell from the type of pictures she had on her social media accounts and the tings that she would say that she was not someone I wanted for my son. Up until then, my son and I could talk about any and everything and we would talk for hours. So I made the mistake of telling him what I thought of her and there it all began. The first relationship she tore apart was he and his 1st girlfriend. then when his guy friends tried to warn him, he "lost touch" with them. Now me and my husband because we do not approve. Whenever I would tell my son anything, he then went back and told her about it. And since I had not ever met her, she would reply to my son and my private conversations PUBLICLY on social media (repeatedly). Needless to say, it infuriated me!! Especially when my son's ex-gf came to me and told me how much she missed him and loved him. I tried talking to him about it to woo him back to her. Well, he told her and the woman blasted my sweet friend (and me) on social media so that the world could see!! Normally, I don't feel that I would be so hard on a girl but this woman has a lot of gall!! .... I have proof that this girl was a stripper and a prostitute! She sleeps with multiple men at a time and has advertised her "services" on Backpage and Erotic Monkey. When we confronted my son with the info, he first pretended that he didn't know but through conversation we realized that he knew all along. Now, my son has always been at the top of his class. he graduated from high school with honors and he earned his Bachelor's degree in Biology in 3 years (with honors). He is smart. But he was not street smart before meeting this woman. But I believe he condoned her prostitution. She met him during his LAST semester of college and moved into his small dorm (apt) room in an apt that 3 other young men shared. So when he graduated she "supported" him by prostituting I believe - because after I found out that she would be in my home whenever my husband and I were at work, I put him out. We were trying to give him support until he found his first professional job. But instead of staying near home with friends (he had burned bridges because of her)...he ran back to the big city where he graduated, brought her with him and there is when she resumed prostitution. Although he denies it, I have read all through the text conversations they have had that proves it to be true and I have seen the ads of her soliciting sex with my own eyes. It is heartbreaking. So I let him waddle in the mess he made for about 6 months - until one day I just decided that I didn't want him to suffer. So I went to the city and found him. I got him home, cleaned him up (she had dragged him down in just a few short months) - he was dirty and stinky! He had no place to live and had no car (they had even sold the car he had from college) I made him come back home and get himself together. Ok, that was a year ago. Now the scary part - he now has a lucrative career, he joined a great fraternity, he has his own place, car and pursuing his master's degree - and she is STILL there!! The scary part is - now that he is doing well and fully supporting her - it is gonna be 10 times harder to get rid of her. How can I turn a blind eye to all that I know about this woman? I know this is probably the lesson in it all. But it is gonna be a hard task to accomplish.

LisaSmith2019 on June 20, 2018:

This article is interesting and offers good advice. However, I have traveled beyond the point of no return.

My son met "Scarlet" (this is not her real name) about two and half years ago on line - Xbox. After one year of playing on line with her and several guy friends, they decided to hook up. Unfortunately, that was the beginning of his down fall. Scarlet has two children from two different baby father's that she abandoned because she wanted to be with my son. This girl would drive to our house every weekend (15 hours) to spend 1 1/2-2 days with my son. Not once did she bring her children and to be honest, she was not allowed. Her family is unstable and made crazy comments to Scarlet and about us. Keep in mind that my son and I were close. The passing of his father, my husband had impacted us both and I believed we were always going to be close. I have tried everything possible to promote my son and help me succeed professionally. He graduated debt free, gave him a car and paid for expenses that related to his career.

The first meeting was at a hotel because at the time my son was going through a series of tests for a career choice. I was in the process of selling my house and relocating us. I never forgot the first day Scarlet walked into the hotel room, she had earring coming of our her mouth, nose, and tattoos all over her back. She had died her hair red (my son love's red heads and she decided to do this). She looked nothing like the picture she had sent to his cell. In fact, I discovered later, the picture was taken several years earlier. I kept staring at her face and was turned off. To make matters worse, the car she arrived in was dirty and she made no effort to clean their hotel room up.

Moving on, as my son got the career opportunity, Scarlet came every week and they lived on the phone 24/7 because she cheated on him twice and he could not trust her. They talked all day, worked and slept with the cell phones connected.

After her relentless begging, I decided to let her move in because I thought the only way he is going to know her is to live with her. As if the first meeting wasn't bad, within two weeks of moving in, she was begging to have his baby. I pointed out that she will get you to pay for both of her kids and any she has for you. I made conditions for her moving in: she would get a part-time job and go back to school.

I only charged her $300 a month rent and she could eat what I put in the refrigerator. Within 1 1/2 years, she has had five jobs.

She did not clean unless told (I say told because she never offered) and she did not cook (she said no one taught her) and so I tried. Her cooking did not last. A woman that does not cook for herself, will not cook for a man. Scarlet is all about junk food. When I told my son that a woman who does not cook for herself, will not cook for you, he replied "women don't cook anymore." Lesson learned!

They would argue and fight. I would always take my sons side and this caused a rift between ALL of us. My son started treating me bad - I became the bad guy! It seems that the more I took his side or stood up for myself, I was no longer useful to either one. After 2 months I could not take it any more and told her that she had to leave. I returned the last month rent she paid (that is how bad I wanted her out). My son told me a thing or two and informed me that he was going with her. I was working a temporary job and since he was the only one working a full-time permanent job, I asked him to stay with me and help with the bills. I had spent a lot of money moving from state to start and paid the first year rent all by myself -he refused. Lesson learned!

Recently, her family has started coming after her for child support and her mother is entitled to this since she is caring for her kids. The second court notice (this time with a mediator). Scarlet announced to my son that she was going to get her kids and bring them to live with them and she can't/won't pay anything. Being a mother, I spoke up and told him to be careful with this. Do not allow these children to move in because of the support factor and that her family has already made the statement that he would abuse the kids. The only thing that saved him is that the kids were in another state. We are in a day where accusations can and will destroy a person.

Luckily she moved in with a mutual friend and the younger child.

When she went to get the other child, her family would not let her take the older child. The cops that responded to her police call informed her that it was a civil matter. Since she returned home with her younger child, she has been working my son who suddenly thinks raising one child is doable and the other child is not coming. Keep in mind there is a court appearance coming up. He/her is guessing.

Scarlet and I do not speak. On occasion when I see her, I am always the one to say hello (I was raised right). She pretends that she does not see me or ignores me. She has told my son that she wants nothing to do with me and I am fine with this. However, the reality is that my relationship with my son has changed and I can't really see any improvement as long as he is with this woman.

I decided to post this comment because I am proof that doing right by your child or a person does not mean that you will be okay. The real issue is not about accepting your son's girlfriend, but rather accepting the choices that you as the parent make. I have relived the last 1-1/2 years over and over in my mind. The reality is that no matter what I did or you do, this girlfriend whoever she is, is there for a reason in your life. Learn from the experience - that is what I am trying to do.

winter on June 18, 2018:

Kimberly! WOW! I am right there with you! But this article gave me too a different perspective. My son is blinded (21) and doesn't see the red flags all of our family members have seen in his life since he has met this girl and her parents. He gave his horse back( that he loved so much) to the people he got it from because he wanted to spend his money on his girlfriend and her parents, he moved out of his apartment that he shared with his brothers that he USED to be real close with and moved in with her and her parents because he said THEY needed help financially, he bought them a 20,000 car after theirs broke down! He pays them rent, buys all their groceries, makes the car payment(oh and both his name AND her Dad's name is on the title but my son said he is the one who makes the payment). My son had 2 vehicles at the time and didn't need another one. He sold the Camaro he had(that he owed money to his older brother for and used what he got for it to put more towards the new 2016 car he purchased for his girlfriends parents). He owes his other brothers between the two of them close to 8,000! She hasn't wanted to get to know our family from the beginning. She has always made up some excuse except when Christmas came...then she wanted to go to the big family Christmas gathering. There is so much more to this, but all I can tell you is that I think he has truly been brainwashed! These people love him because he gives them everything they want. The parents only work a few hours a week because they are on state insurance and if they go over hour then they lose the insurance! The same with the girlfriend! They are OPPORTUNISTS. Now they want to get MARRIED!!!!! I guess what i am trying to tell you is don't do what i did and TELL him all the red flags you see. It will drive him away like it did with us. We are all heartbroken and only talk with him occasionally. The other family has total control over him and we do not know what to do either, but I have to thank God he is alive and we have still opportunities , as little as they may be, to talk to him nd let him know we love him. I will be praying for you!

Macerady Kaitlynn on June 02, 2018:




Kimberly Atkins from Cameron, NC on May 26, 2018:

This article gave me a different perspective and some things to consider on my son’s relationship. My son dated a young woman 4 years ago that my husband and I really disapproved of. The VERY 1st time I met her did not turn out (left nothing to ghe imagination); cussed horribly (every other word was the F bomb); and she was SO extremely disrespectful to my son (he just stood there like a deer caught in the headlights and took it). The final nail in that relationship was ahe cheated on him with his best friend! Fast forward 4 years....he is dating her again and considering moving in with her...ughhh! He has not shared this information with me yet (only Dad supposedly knows). My son wants to tell me and he has an expectation that I should welcome her with open arms (she has never been welcome in my home). His Dad advised him that “telling Mom doesn’t necessarily mean acceptance from Mom on the relationship”.I am really struggling with how to handle this! While I don’t want to lose my son, I slso don’t want to act like nothing ever happened by throwing out my beliefs and morals. When did the young men (mid 20’s) become so accepting of being cheated on, emotionally abused,mmmoyand being dominated by their

Marie Hunter on April 23, 2018:

I've been dating a guy for 2 years now and have always been respectable and kind to his family. Always communicating and bonding with his siblings and grandparents. since we are each other's best friends, we do enjoy hanging out with one another all the time, I feel that since the mom is so young she gets jealous of our relationship and our adventurous dates and etc... I tried to open up to her about certain topics, which got a little emotional due to my time of the month and she completely ignored me and started doing something else and ignored the fact that I was crying for help and comfort in a time of need. is it normal for mothers to get jealous and mistreat the girlfriend, even though I've never disrespected their rules and wants for their son? I don't know how she is feeling about me being in a serious relationship with her son, and I'm not going to confront her about the way she makes me feel, unwelcomed and sensing her jealousy.What do I do??

Lori Phillips (author) from Southern California USA on March 13, 2018:

To Gigi: You've already done something that I wouldn't have done. You kicked him out. But there is hope. However, in the future, do your very best not to direct your anger towards him or his girlfriend. Be sure that whatever you say is not your opinion but stick to facts.

If I were you, I would be humble enough to apologize to my son. Maybe write it in a letter or note. It takes a humble soul--and love--to be able to offer an apology for any wrongdoings. You don't have to admit to anything you're NOT sorry for but do apologize for letting your anger and frustration get the best of you and do tell him that you regret ever telling him to move out.

You can tell him why you're upset but repeat that you love him and regret driving him out, that it was the biggest mistake of your life because he is the love of your life. Tell him that it was just so upsetting to see your precious son headed towards problems in life that could be avoided.

You must re-establish a connection with your son and you can do it only through love and humility. Remember that he is an adult and just because you're his mother doesn't mean you can tell him what to do anymore. There is a Japanese proverb that goes, "Bend the tree while it is young." Once your son is older, you can only nurture him gently with love and support.

Be sure in your letter to tell him that there always, always, always will be an open door to your home and heart for him. And that he will find it in his heart to forgive you for any mistakes you made as a mother because you only intended to raise him well.

Love fixes relationships.

Wishing you well.

Lori Phillips (author) from Southern California USA on March 13, 2018:

To Roxanne: Yours is an extreme example of how tough it is to cope with your son't girlfriend. The ages of both your son and is girlfriend makes it really hard to get through. They're just now experiencing some measure of independence. They want to make their own decisions and live as they like. They do not see many of their choices as being "bad" for them. They're only driven by their biology and what feels good or what makes them feel "alive" which sadly, means drama. The highs, the lows. It's a hormone thing in many people.

In otherwise healthy, mature people, the thrill of life comes from love, discovery, learning or adrenaline-inducing experiences. For young kids who haven't found healthy activities that provide the thrill (sports, academia, art, music, volunteering, positive social relationships), they subconsciously seek out experiences to feel the rush through emotional turmoil, drama, drinking, and drugs.

Hopefully, your son can get some counseling because he's overstepped into territory that is out of your area of expertise. I can only suggest that your area of expertise is love, the love of being his mother. That is no small thing and in fact, can still save him. And in our case, my son wouldn't go to counseling so we had to provide a little for him through our our heartfelt communication.

Whatever you do, always, always be sure he can feel your love for him. And instead of providing your opinions, point out the indisputable facts. In this way, you will show him that it isn't that you do not "like" the girl. But both she and your son need help and together, the results of their relationship have gotten them cutting, threatening suicide, and landing in detention. He might insist that he "loves" her so do not challenge that.

But he might have to see that "her love" isn't so healthy--or true. A 16-year-old girl with those types of problems most likely has moved on to another guy while your son is in detention center. If she hasn't visited him, that is a clear sign--and should be to your son--about her loyalty.

But those first loves are the hardest to get over. Telling your son that there will be other girls in his future won't help. He will resent your trying to break them up so don't. Let the girl do her thing which probably will be to move on while he is detention. Three months to a 16-year-old sounds like eternity, and a broken girl like her will seek out another fixer.

Good luck. Email if you like.

Lori Phillips (author) from Southern California USA on March 13, 2018:

I apologize for not checking in to respond to these comments (deaths in family and other medical issues). Anyway, my heart goes out to each of you for what you are going through. This is a difficult and heartbreaking challenge. While I still stand behind my suggestions in the article, there are times when you have to make a choice between risking a relationship with your son or having to standby helplessly to watch him suffer. Sometimes, there is no way to save your loved one from his mistakes (and life is for learning and one tends to learn best through making mistakes). I implore you all not to cut ties with your son for any reason. Always have an open door to your home and heart.

This is where all of your loving parenting in the past will be put to a test: Will he trust you over his girlfriend? For the one whose son is only 19 years old, this will be harder because he is testing out his newfound independence and manhood. He will want to make his "own" decisions. However, I would remind him that he's not owning up to his adult responsibilities in having and providing for his woman without your help. I also would remind him that parents are the only sure relationship that would never end. Girlfriends come and go. Even wives. If there is only one person he can trust in this world, it is his mother. And father. Why? Because we only have his best interests at heart. Only his.

Tell him to reflect on his relationship to see if it has had positive effects on him as far as his health habits and educational/future opportunities. Where is this leading him? One must choose wisely, and there is an old adage to "go into marriage with both eyes open. Afterward, half shut." NOW is the time to be very, very careful in his choice.

It is not uncommon for both men and women to want to rescue someone. Everyone is worth rescuing. Everyone has value. However, if he can learn from patterns in life, he must understand that ultimately, he cannot fix her. She has to have the desire to fix herself. Like attracts like, and he is becoming like her in her sad ways. If he really wanted to help her, he would pull her UP and not let her drag him down. A wiser young man would let her go and revisit that relationship if and when she became a better version of herself. To do it for her would only weaken her and it would only be temporary. They will become co-dependent.

It's hard for him because it's his first love. Whatever you do and say, do and say it with all the love you can muster from being his parents. THAT calls to the little boy in him. The one who trusted you long ago and still will today. I wish you success in this. Feel free to email me anytime to discuss.

I can share our own experiences with our son (he has been in several tough relationships.) He ended them all to his advantage. It is hard to teach young ones that breaking up feels bad but it is better than breaking up when there is so much more at stake such as divorce and children.

Why does it feel bad? Because it isn't always breaking up with a horrible person or when there isn't any love left. It feels bad because the person has some good or redeeming qualities and there could be some good feelings and even love there. No one likes to throw away love. However, it would be a tragedy to hang on and settle for a so-so relationship only to run into the love of your life later on when you're committed to this dissatisfying one. It takes courage and strength to do the right thing by breaking up now.

Kids don't realize that hearts do mend. My son learned and is so much wiser and stronger for it. He nearly married a girl who had mental issues to the point where she pulled a knife on him, a girl who only liked to party and didn't like or respect us, and a girl with a kid who he would support financially only to be usurped by her biological father who didn't pay a dime towards her support. Both eyes open, we told him, if he wanted to avoid heartache later.

Roxanne on March 12, 2018:

Help! My son is 16 and his girlfriend is 17. Once my son hit high school, my once sweet boy began having sex, smoking pot, and drinking. I thought this was bad enough! A year ago he started dating this girl, at first I really liked her, she tried to be a mediator between my son and I and she was helpful and always got him home when I wanted him home... That didn't last long. Once she wormed her way in, she stopped respecting my wishes and started rebelling as well (probably my son's influence). Anyways, she began cutting herself when they fought which made him distraught. Then she began threatening suicide... Not long after my son followed suit and began cutting, threatening suicide, and having violent outbreaks. He ended up in the psych center twice, cops wold get called to my house while I'd be at work, he dropped out of school due to the constant drama. Now he is in the Montana Youth Challenge Academy for three more months and all he can talk about is getting her to come visit! I can't support this relationship any more and he doesn't get it! This relationship isn't worth him killing himself over!

Lisa on March 12, 2018:

This is all good advice however, what to you recommend if you see a son in turmoil due to a needy girlfriend. Giving up his own personal hobbies and desires etc. Being manipulated to the point where he cannot see friends without her & is changing his personality, kind and helpful but not allowed to help his family move house without her creating a huge amount of stress on him taking a night away. He is still dependent on us, only has a part time job, just finished school, starting uni and her influence of always needing him & her party lifestyle is rubbing off. The first two weeks of uni he is already not making lectures & wants to defer; he is already aware he is failing and needs to quit. We advised to keep one subject he is on top of, as he has always said if he took a gap year he will never go back to study! You see he is rescuing her from anxiety depression and anorexia, due to his EQ. This is his first true long term sexual relationship at 19 years, so obviously this is having an affect on him. He is occasionally using substances now and has become a smoker since dating her, she is an addicted smoker & social drug user.

He has never been pressured to study anything he does not want to - made his own choices & is supported in his hobbies & passions; which she is not really supporting as they take time from her.

She is a sad mixed up little kid who turned 18 yesterday but has been living a life of an 18 year old for two years anyway.

Our son too has had freedom to go out with curfews till 18. Now we just ask we know where he is since he lives with us still.

We have asked he try to have a few days apart from her solely for his own mental health,self time for hobbies and study. This again caused her to put new demands. We feel so sorry for him as it is obvious at times he feels so pulled from pillar to post. The demands are never for us except when his dad needed help lifting things for the house move. The request for him to be home is solely for him to have some healthy space for himself and to focus on study occasionally.

Is there anything else we can do or are we taking the wrong approach? Also her parents love him, who wouldn't he is a great person, and are now starting to manipulate him too by giving him an allowance travel card. We had given him a car when he left school to help him out, but he had an accident. His driving has changed since he smokes he drives more irrationally now, was a great calm driver till he started smoking.

I have addressed this too asking him to look after his body as it also makes me very allergic when even clothing is brought into the house with nicotine traces.

Thank you for any advice.

Gigi H on February 19, 2018:

I am going through hell and probably have lost my son for good. I think we are all to blame but I only get the blame. It is too much to even write. Today I mad him leave with no where to go and cried after her left and watched him load that tiny car. I felt two yrs ago there would be an issue with this girl and her family and it is so bad right now.

Maggie on January 24, 2018:

You said you don’t like your son’s gf because she’s childish, woooah! Look who’s talking..... Of course your son would protect his girl! Cus he loves her duhhh!! You’re his mom and that doesn’t mean you can be his gf or wife. You don’t own him alright??!!Grow up.

Lori Phillips (author) from Southern California USA on December 08, 2017:

Susan, this sounds like less of a problem about the girlfriend and more with your adult son. He is an adult and doesn't seem to be concerned about her sitting around smoking all day, not cleaning up or contributing to the bills. If he is okay with that, then that's fine but he needs to provide that roof over her head. I always told my kids that if they wanted to "play house" with a lover than they needed to own up to all the responsibilities that comes with that privilege. (Of course, it wasn't always that way with my son whose gf needed a place to stay for a while but she wasn't a problem so I let my mandate slide.)

If your son contributes to your finances and you need his support, that is a different story. I still would address my son and let him know that it is only fair that his gf cleans up after herself and perhaps they need to kick in extra money for the extra expenses she creates with groceries, utilities, etc. Just be matter-of-fact instead of angry or accusatory. He should be open to common sense.

susan on December 08, 2017:

My adult son's girlfriend never goes home she sits in his bedroom all day smoking while he's at work she's lazy and doesn't clean up after herself she pays no money towards bills

Tiredofthinkingmom on September 05, 2017:

Lou--- yes sir we are living that now good God she may be the twin of our sons gf!

Lou on September 04, 2017:

My son is mixed up with a true bitch! She is trying to keep him from his family, I really hates her! People tell that hate is a strong word but there is no other way to describe how. I feel about it! My son is my only child and he is a hard working young man and all she is doing is wasting his money and using him to look after her kids that belongs to two different men! They don't want to look after their kids so why in the hell do they expect my son to look after them. Enough is enough take the shit that you came which is nothing and leave.

Lei on July 16, 2017:

I have a son, only child, he just turned 18 and just graduated from high school. I have been asking my son long before this day if he has girlfriend or if he likes someone so I would meet her to know more about her. He always say "no or I don't have girlfriend" whenever I ask him questions like that. It's been a year now that I noticed this one girl, I think she's 15 or 16 yrs old, always come to our house to pet my dog. She's nice before and always greet and smile to me whenever we meet. I asked my son why she's too nice to our dog and he just told me, she likes dogs too! Well actually, our dog was my son's gift from us. So, anyway... we moved to another house recently and this girl always comes to my house with her friends and sometimes they just hang out and eat at my house which is okay with me because they're my son's friends. I even cook or order pizza for them when they like to watch movies or karaoke.

My problem started when I noticed that my son was getting close to her. Most of the time when he plays basketball, the girl will always be there cheering for him. She holds his celphone, or bag pack and they always sit together. Well, as a mother, I keep holding on to the trust that we have to each other. I always tell him to be honest and don't lie to me if ever she likes someone else so I know whats going on with him.

One day my husband came home from work and mentioned that he saw my son with the girl and his friends watching movie in the living room. The girl was sitting on the couch while my son sitting on the floor in between the girl's legs. My husband ignore what he saw but he told me about it. I asked my son if there's something between him and the girl, but he said they're just friends. So I said, okay.. I trust you.

One day, he asked me through text messages to give him $20 because he's going out with his friends to eat out. I said okay, but changed his mind and said, give me $30 instead because I want to treat "the girl" with me! When he said that, then I reacted, I said why?.. u don't have a job, u shouldn't pay for ur friend's food! And he replied, that's okay Mom since u like her (the girl) anyway! (as he was joking on his text) I said, I only like her because she's nice to our dog, but I don't her for you as your girlfriend!

Then, that's when I started feeling bad... I honestly didn't like the girl for him because she was really childish and I think they're too young yet. I asked my son again, if she is his girlfriend, and said, no! But One day, my niece (she's my neighbor) was staying home. She said she heard a girl laughing and when she look over the window, she saw them, my son and the girl helping my boy doing his laundry. But the thing is, Only the two of them in the house! So When my niece told me that, I asked him if the girl came to the house.. but he denied it! I asked him 3 times and said no! He said it was his male friend who visited him but not the girl! So I was already a bit upset and comfronted him... I said u better be honest to me, and he was firm that he said no!

I was really disapppointed that he lied to me! So I told my husband about it, he comfronted my boy and he said, Yes, the girl came to my house but only help him clean his room and did the laundry. My son sent me tx message saying he was sorry that he lied to me! He only said the girl didn't come to the house because he got panicked when I asked him if the girl came and if he said yes that I'm gonna get mad.

So my question is, what should I do? I feel bad about my son lying to me of her. And honestly, I didn't like the girl for my son! And now that he is lying to me and looks like he's protecting her from me, I feel so betrayed! I am crying because I was hurt of what he did! He said sorry but it didn't change the the fact that he lied to me! Please help me what to do and how would I feel better because I don't know what to say , I feel betrayed.. I don't want to talk to my son. I don't trust him with her anymore!

Please help me what to do! All I want is for my son to finish college first before getting into a relationship. I didn't want the idea of that girl always around my son... she follows him everywhere! Please give me an advise. Thanks very much!

Kat on January 08, 2017:

How about when your son is abusive to his girlfriend treats her like crap hits her slaps her does horrible things to her and he blames her. I think then the girlfriend deserves better than your son. Chances are he's going to keep being abusive to his girlfriends until he chooses to change. I say then support the girlfriend don't put up with ugly behavior from your son towards women.

Lori Phillips (author) from Southern California USA on November 04, 2015:

Good for you, Bill. She sounds like an extremely insecure person who needs to self-protect. Your son must be a person who sees the good in all people and who tries to fix them. It's hard to talk to your adult child about his choice of mate because he will see it as yet another reason to protect her. We did not attack our son's former girlfriend but we only continually expressed our love for him. When the opportunity arose, we did mention that it might be a good idea to look into their future together to see what type of mother and wife she would make because he would have to fill in for any of her deficits there. He saw that her depression, dark attitude, and erratic behavior would not be good for children and that his life would be forever difficult. I don't know if you read about my dream but the best thing you can do is to remind your son always about your love for him and that is a love that will never end or change. It is a love he can truly count on while romantic love with the opposite sex is, well, fragile and easily broken. Believe me, he will want to hang onto that. My son now knows this and will never let love for a girlfriend break our relationship.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on November 03, 2015:

All great advice, Lori. I'm afraid we have failed miserably with my son's recent girlfriend. Well, they have been going together for four years. At first we got along but then we discovered she steals things...she lies....and we no longer trust her in our home. So things are a bit strained to say the least. But we keep working at it and we keep the lines of communication open.

Lori Phillips (author) from Southern California USA on October 07, 2014:

This is not a blog but a "hub" or article that uses one of the Hubpages templates. But you did give me a good idea about turning this subject into a blog! Not sure if I will do it, but it sounds good. Thanks for stopping by!

Johnk911 on October 07, 2014:

Nice blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere? A theme like yours with a few simple tweeks would really make my blog stand out. Please let me know where you got your design. Bless you cecgggceekac

Lori Phillips (author) from Southern California USA on September 22, 2013:

Dear Concerned, I am sorry to hear of your grave situation. Indeed, it must be very difficult for you to witness the neglect of your grandchild. I can't help but think that your son isn't capable of making sound decisions for himself let alone his son. He does not seem concerned for his son's health and well-being. You will not get far in discussing this with him or his girlfriend. Say nothing critical or they will resent you. HOWEVER, you can tell your son that if the child's school gets involved, he and his girlfriend will be reported for neglect and this can cause him to lose custody of his child. He could be returned to his mother and if that is not possible, then perhaps you can gain custody or at least guardianship of him. Before you act on any of this, I suggest you speak with a family court representative or attorney to see what your rights, as a grandparent, are. There are a lot more resources for grandparents today. It honestly sounds as if neither your son or his girlfriend are fit parents. Please seek legal counsel. This is not a matter of "getting along" with his girlfriend. Please do something for your grandson's safety and well-being.

Concerned on September 21, 2013:

My son recently obtained custody of his 3 year old son after a 2 year custody battle. During this time he started dating a woman he met online from another state who was pregnant with another man's child. Based on information shared with me she was still residing with the other man. My son started dating her while she was still pregnant. Her baby was born Dec 2012. My son has a three year toddler who is in speech therapy because of delays in his development resulting from his neglectful mother. What concerns me is that this new woman and son moved near me without her resolving her financial situation in the other state and that this new woman claims that my son would have her hide in the closet when my ex-spouse and his step mom would visit him. During that time, my son was dating this new woman and she was still pregnant and also directly after the birth of her child. They moved near me with her baby was about 3 months of age. The woman has been on unemployment since sometime in the early days of her pregnancy and has allowed the property she owns jointly with her childs father to foreclose. She is always asking my son to ask me to help them and her financially. My ex-husband and I have both assisted my son during the custody battle with financial matters. Now this woman is expecting us to resolve her issues. My son has turned all care of my grandson over to her and she is neglecting him horribly. We have tried to talk with our son about what we felt in the beginning was just typical new mom depression or her being overwhelmed. The woman has started expressing dislike for my three year old grandson. She won't bath him or put him in clean clothing and seems to be extremely harsh with him. my ex comes as frequently to visit our grandson as he can. During this time I have tried to be as kind and helpful to my son and his new girlfriend. I have not said anything critical of her until a few days ago which was after his telling me that she was now claiming all the new clothing purchased for her baby who is now 9 months old. Everything she puts my grandson is has stains on and is usually filthy. She is constantly saying she and her baby are sick, so my son brought some things to me to laundry since he was working extended hours after finding that he himself didn't have clothing and that is when I discovered all the toddler and infant clothing covered with mold and mildew. I sent hours on my patio scraping the mildew off and letting it sit in the sun to kill off what I could. I bought borax and washed all the clothing in it and even did a second wash with a vinegar rinse before taking all the clothing and hanging in the sun to dry. What occurred next is when I saw my son next I pointed out the stains and explained what I had to do. He told her and then called me later to tell me that she was highly offended and never wanted me to do their laundry again and that all of that clothing belonged to her son. The thing was I had purchased most of those outfits for my grandson who is three and was starting headstart within that month, so I knew they weren't her childs. When I bought my grandson those items I also purchased clothing in 12 month size at her request for her son. I was extremely hurt and said so to my son. Anyway, at this time she is refusing to let me see my grandson. My ex is coming down to try to talk with my son, but I fear she may do the same thing to him. I am going to tell you for the 6 months I have known her I have never said anything negative to her are about her. My father passed away the day before Mother's day . It was sudden. So the gift and dinner out with my mom and that I had planned were canceled. I have been helping my mom during this time. I didn't critize her when she relayed through my son, how mean it was of me to overlook doing something for her to celebrate her first mother's day. My mom, myself, my family, we didn't celebrate Mom's day this year. We didn't feel like celebrating. I feel I have some real concerns here. My son is an adult. My greatest concern is for my grandson. I did go to the grandparent day breakfast at his headstart program and his hair was so stiff from not being washed and his clothing was filthy. He teacher shared that the girlfriend gets really impatient with him when she drops him off or picks him up and stated she has yet to meet my son, the father. My heart just breaks. What would you suggest at this point? I can't undo what I said to my son about my concerns about the neglect and stealing of clothing.

Amy on August 26, 2013:

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Lori Phillips (author) from Southern California USA on January 13, 2013:

For those struggling with difficult son's girlfriend issues, please read about a very helpful dream in which a mother was given remarkable advice to follow. And her son came running home:

Chimp Stealing Kitten Dream Interpretation

Lori Phillips (author) from Southern California USA on December 24, 2012:

Don't make a big deal about their engagement. She's 17. Seriously. How long do these things last? The fact that they began to date when she was only 15 shows me that he might like playing the older, wiser man. He feels protective. He gets esteem from that. So the more you attack her, the more he'll defend her.

Instead, I would open dialogue gently. Say, "We want to like her. Tell us what you love about her." "Do you think she'll make a good mother to your children?" "Are you angry with us? Is there anything you want to tell us? Because it seems odd that you don't mind if she calls your father a motherf*##* or yells at me. How would you feel if your own son's girlfriend called you names?"

"Your life, your choice, son. We will love you always. But you'll be the one who has to live with your choice for the rest of your life. She's young and she'll go through a lot of changes just within the next few years alone. Why rush?"

Good luck.

Lori Phillips (author) from Southern California USA on December 24, 2012:

Ouch. I understand your concerns. Your son is underage as is his girlfriend who is having a clearly negative influence on him. We need to question why this girl attracts him. She offers something that he wants on a physical, emotional or psychological level. We need to reflect on his relationship with his family prior to this relationship with this girl. Sometimes, a seemingly "nice" kid will be attracted to a "bad" girl because she represents the side of him that he wishes he could express. The rebel. Maybe she is a way for him to stand up to his parents even if in a subconscious way. Why else would a decent young man tolerate a girl who mistreats or disrespects his parents whom he loves? He doesn't recognize it but he is being passive-aggressive. Do you think that you might have over-controlled your son? He might like that his girlfriend gets you riled up. Meanwhile--or otherwise--he could be attracted to her because she represents a totally different lifestyle than he has known. For kids who have led the straight and narrow lifestyle for all their lives, the rebel or laid back lifestyle suddenly can feel liberating. Sad thing is, he doesn't realize that he is hurting himself more than anyone else with this hopefully short-lived experimentation. Here is my advice: For the time being, don't fight against this girl or this relationship. No, do not encourage it either. But shrug your shoulders and say, "It's your life. Your life, your choice. I'll love you no matter what." This way, he'll learn quick that you are not controlling or directing his choices. He doesn't have to meet your approval or work against it. Whatever you do, don't meet this girl's bad behavior with more bad behavior. No bad-mouthing, no cursing, no anger. Just emotionless responses or civil remarks. This way, he can see you are not being mean or negative towards her in any way. If there is friction, it is caused by her. But it is your house so you can draw some lines: She can't sleep over. If he wants private time with her which is an adult privilege, he needs to own up to that adult responsibility of having his own place. Same for the drugs and drinking as they are underage and you could be in big trouble for allowing it in your house. Don't nag him about college or breaking up with her. Be loving towards him. Civil towards her. I told my son that I would love him forever and when he chose a bride, I'd back him up no matter what road he decided to walk but to be sure about his choice and to know if a girl truly loves him and will make him happy and be a great mother to his children. This girlfriend of your son's doesn't sound like she would make a good mother or will make him happy in the long run. It sounds as though she has problems and your son might have his own self-esteem issues so that he feels better than she is, that he doesn't deserve better or that he can help/save her. Offer him counseling...even couples counseling before they walk down the aisle. Tell him that you want him to be sure about this decision.

tamra on December 24, 2012:

my son has been with a girl for 2 years now the family can't stand her. she is very disrespectful called me a bitch to my face, has went off on me in my home, has called my husband a motherfucker to his face and has changed my son for the worse. he had a dream of going to college after high school was going to major in medical field of some type. now he drinks, does weed and cigs. no dreams now. and just got engaged to this girl against what his family thinks! he is only 19 and she is still in school a senior 17 years old. it really bothers the family cuz we thought we brought our son up with the understanding that family comes first that you never bring trash in your family and take up for your family! we seriously can't stand this girl can't even be in the same room with her without wanting to hurt her! we will never accept her we just don't know what to do.

mary f. on September 09, 2012:

Thank you very much for your guidance! I greatly appreciate your feedback.

Lori P. on September 08, 2012:

As a mother, you're concerned about your son getting involved in a committed relationship at such a young age, and that is completely understandable. However, when viewed through your son's eyes, you're disapproving of his relationship with the girl he loves. That is all he sees. Your disapproval. And that will drive them both away. She translates your disapproval of the relationship as a rejection of her. He sees your disapproval as criticism of his life choice. Her mother sees your disapproval as meddling and controlling your son's life. She reached out to you to get to know you better and was met with suspicion and accusations.

Your reasons are sound and valid from a parent's perspective, but in all honesty, you have to remember that he has a life of his own. It's no longer about what you want for him or what you think is best for him. At 18, he has the right to live as he chooses. You've set down solid foundations for him, and he is branching out and experimenting with his freedom. He may make mistakes. That is part of life and learning. But he might have found his life mate at an early age. Some lucky people do.

What you might see as great experiences for young people may not be what he enjoys or wants to experience during his youth. He might not missing out on anything at all.

Look, if you push this matter, you'll only push him deeper into her arms. If they are meant to be together, there is nothing you can do about it. If they aren't, let time run its course. You know relationships have bumps in the road. Right now, you are being the major bump. Do not be that bump! Let other life situations, including their immaturity, test their relationship.

Her parents welcome your son because she is an only child and it is like gaining a second child, a son they never had. And it sounds as though they see themselves in the children's romance. But if your son continues to hang out with their daughter, come and go as he pleases without responsibilities, believe me, her parents will change their attitude towards him sooner or later. Their expectations of their daughter's fiancé or husband will be very different from their expectations of her boyfriend. She and he will hear about it, and then the honeymoon is over.

My advice to you is to be non-confrontational about his relationship. When you can talk with him, let him know that you love him and do not mean to sound as though you disapprove of his relationship. It's just that you want him to enjoy his young years before settling down. That is all. But once you say this, don't harp on it or bring it up continually. Let him know that as his mother, you will always love him and support him in finding his happiness. If this girl is important to him than she is important to you, too. And you and your husband will always be there for him no matter what.

From then on, be kind and open-hearted towards her and her parents. You don't have to start planning the wedding or be overly indulgent and supportive of the relationship but just warm, friendly and loving. Non-judgmental. Non-critical. Sincerely warm and pleasant. Accepting. His world will no longer revolve around her family's when you open your world up to include her.

Remember, if you read my above comments, you'll understand what I mean when I say, "Call to the kitten." Then, if and when problems in their relationship arise, he'll be able to turn to you for solace and guidance.

I know you have concerns about your son getting into a serious relationship so young, but isn't your top priority your son's happiness? If he were unhappy, I can understand your wanting to change his situation. But he is happy, and you did not mention anything about the girl or her parents having a negative impact on your son's life or happiness aside from his not living the way you think he should. Your son is going to college so he is working towards a goal.

I'm sorry if I'm not giving you the answers you wanted to hear, but they are the answers that will help you save your long-term relationship with your son which is more important than being right or getting him to comply with what you think is best for him.

mary f. on September 08, 2012:

Our son has been dating a girl for 1 year. They began dating when she was 16 and he 17. She is an only child and she also works at the same place of employment as our son. We have tried to give our son his space, included her in many family gatherings, dinners, etc. I have gone out of my way and bent over backwards but yet I cannot understand her personality. Never says hello, thank you, etc. It is always up to us to start the conversation. There have been several instances when we would see her mom and when we did, she always had a comment to make about the kids. They attended our sons high school graduation as well as his party. At the end of the night, they came into our house to watch him open his gifts. The mother would make comments about how he could finally take her out on a real date. Two days later, the mom calls to ask me to go to lunch "since the kidss are going to be together". We asked our son what this was all about and I brought up several reasons including the possibility of her being pregnant. Well, the son texts her and says can you believe my mom thought the lunch was about you being pregnant. About 11:45 that evening , there is a knock at the door and girlfirend is standing there crying histerically with her mother. They come in and the girlfriend holds up a pregnancy test. I was sick. She then throws it down and says she was not pregnant. We ask them to come in to discuss this and the mother will not even sit down. Many things are said that night including how the mother feels the kids should be able to make their own decisions and how her and her husband met in high school and are still together. It has gotten to the point that our son has given up all his friends and only does things with her and her parents. It is like his new best friend is her 43 yr old father. He does do things with us occasionally. We are truly concerned about his world revolving around these people. He has began college on a full scholarship but lives at home. He goes to college and comes home. No socialization there . We just want him to have a healthy relationship that does include friends and other people rather than so wrapped up around this family with no responsibilities and can come and go as he pleases at their house. I truly believe that this mother and father are wanting them to get married at some pont. Our perspective is that you have your whole lieves ahead of you. If you are together in 5 years when college is over great, but don't miss out on so much of your young lives. Please advise. Thank you.

Lori Phillips (author) from Southern California USA on August 20, 2012:

Oh, you're welcome. Thank YOU for posting. Please remember to keep everything positive and loving or your mother will accuse your new wife as the bringing of bad feelings or coming between mother and son. Do your best to show how your wife has increased the joy in your life and their lives (your parents'). In fact, shower your mother with lots of love and attention when your new wife is around so she will associate your wife with good times and loving feelings from her son. Your sweet, humble wife will not be threatened by it and your mother's insecure ego will be soothed. Good luck. :)

Dave on August 20, 2012:

Hi Lori. Thanks for the most valuable advice. It has been a hard journey for me but now you have given me the hope on this and more importantly, actions to execute to ensure this does not get worse anymore. I will definitely implement the advice herein, and it will definitely bring about positive results.

Thank you...

Lori Phillips (author) from Southern California USA on August 19, 2012:

Hello, Dave. I'm sorry to hear about your difficult situation. I hear that you are being emotionally drained by this. The important matter to focus on is that you aren't an underage child or young adult and you don't need your mother's approval for this relationship. It sounds as though you've built your relationship on very solid foundational reasons for liking your girlfriend: she has amazing traits (kindness, humility) and she loves your children like her own. Generally, women who go into nursing are very nurturing, patient and compassionate people. Plus, she is the mother of your one-year-old. It might be understandable that your mother has reservations about this girl because your previous relationship with a woman did not survive. If you were hurt, she will be slow to warm up to another woman in your love life. Plus, you have been a great financial help to your mother, and she might feel that you will be strapped if you also have to support your girlfriend, too. But this is not just a girlfriend. This is the mother of your child and the mother of her grandchild.

In a gentle manner, make it clear to your mother that you and the mother of your child will be married soon. Let her know that you gladly help support your "future wife" in her studies because you love her, you know she will be a great help to those she attends, and that she is anxious to help support the family financially as well.

Do not address the negative comments that she is making to others or she will have to defend herself and she'll get resentful towards your fiancé. Just keep singing the praises of your fiancé, perhaps even drawing some analogies between her and your mother. "One reason why I fell in love with her is because she is a lot like you in that she is very caring and kind." "Her family might have been poor but this only gives her determination to help our family's finances." "My fiancé really respects you, mom, because you are so ____ and she needs a role model for that." "She might have been born poor but that made her humble unlike the other women I've met who are materialistic and vain. This woman doesn't care about those things." "Mom, this girl makes me happy." "She really loves you and dad." "The kids really love her." "She is such a hard worker."

Sing her praises but not in a way that will make your mother feel less or feel jealous. For now, don't tell your fiancé about all this. Her hurt will only add to the mess. What she doesn't know won't hurt her, and so she can continue being the sweet, considerate future daughter-in-law and melt away your mother's disapproval with kindness in time.

But, Dave, remember one important thing: This woman is not a mere girlfriend. As the mother of your child and your future wife, she deserves your loyalty and devotion. If you have to live with your mother's disapproval, so be it.

Continue loving your mother and expressing it. If you withdraw your love, she'll only resent your fiancé for it. Say, "Mom, no other woman can take your place in my heart--ever." Because when she knows this, she'll do anything to make you happy in return even if that means accepting the new love of your life. Good luck. :)

Dave on August 19, 2012:

Hi Lori.... please help....I have a difficulty with my mother currently. She is having a problem mainly because my girlfriends family background is of a poor family. My girlfriend is a very nice person and she likes my family and my children love her a lot, even though they are not hers but my mom has shown signs and comments of having a problem with the fact that I support her at times, even financially. We have a 1 year old son together. My main support is that she liked to undertake Nursing as she said she likes to serve the community and I paid for her registration and now she has received a study loan for the whole year and now has one year left for her studies. Now my mother keeps on asking how she is studying and who is paying for her fees, even if i explain to her, she would go and talk about it with other family member/s. She has had very bad comments that show that she disapproves of our relationship in front of family members and others. I have always supported at home and even paid for my mothers studies when she was studying, I give her money monthly just for support on groceries while i understand that this is optional as she is working after she got a qualification for her studies. I even renovated her house and spent lots of money but now there is a problem when i support my girlfriend. She pretends to be having no issue to me at times but I am concerned that this will have a negative impact on our relationship with her (mother) once we get married. My girlfriend is the humblest and kindest women I have ever met and I like her for who she is and not what she has. On the other hand, my father likes my girlfriend a lot, he even called me and recently told me that my girlfriend checked him when he was admitted to hospital.

How do I approach this issue as it is emotionally draining me. Please note that I have not informed my girlfriend of this as it will hurt her heart. She always says speaks positively about my whole family but I know exactly what is going on in the background. Note that I do not live with my parents as i am an independent person and have a professional job. My girlfriend does not live with me either as she is studying at a distant college.

Lori Phillips (author) from Southern California USA on July 18, 2012:

It's such a hard transition to go from boy/child/son to man, a sexual being. He may feel awkward about being around her at the same time he is with his family. His roles and self-perceptions have changed. He might see himself as your child when with you and with her, he is completely different. Is is possible to have a frank talk with him--no judgment, criticism or forcing of opinion--just to express how you'd like to get to know her? Try to treat him like the independent young man he has become. It's hard not to mother our children, even if only in tone of voice and energy. Our grown children won't want to be around us if we're always offering our unsolicited opinions or judgments! I know from experience! I feel for you because sometimes it isn't our fault at all but what is going on in their own heads. Sadly, especially sons, they do break away at some point. A son is a son until he takes a wife is an apt saying. Keep the porch light on and the door unlocked. He hasn't married her yet.

carlab on July 18, 2012:

Thank you, Lori. We do try and invite them all the time, but there is always an excuse as to why he can't make it. We then see pics of he and his girlfriend hanging out at the park, or movies, or with her family (taken on the same day as the one we tried to get together). It is very hurtful, but I will continue to invite both of them to spend time with us. It actually felt good just to vent and get another opinion!

Lori Phillips (author) from Southern California USA on July 18, 2012:

His first love. This is a tough one. He is going to hang on until she or he discover that there is more out there than each other. Are you protesting this relationship? You had the right to deny access to your basement, but other than that, are you friendly or cordial to his girlfriend? Why not invite them both to join you and your family for dinner. Do you still talk to your son and express that his family loves and misses him? Send out lots of love to him. Be open to his girlfriend. Make it a warm and inviting offering. Keep showing and reminding him that his family is still here and loves him. Concentrate on your relationship with him. Some first loves are destined to be "the one" while others eventually dissolve as each person involved matures. As his parents, you have to let him ride this one out to see which way it goes. Meanwhile, let him know you're his forever family. Good luck!

carlab on July 17, 2012:

My problem is a little different. My son began dating this girl when he was 17. It was his first girlfriend. By the time he graduated (6 mos later), they spend almost every day together (entirely at her home since we wouldn't let them stay in the basement and "make-out" all the time. Her parents don't care what they do. Well, he turned 18 in July of that year, and then informed us that he was giving up his full-ride scholarship to the out of state college to stay closer to this girl (she is a year younger). We moved to a different town to be closer to aging parents, and he continued to drive an hour and a half every day to see her (he would go after/before his job). After Christmas last year he suddenly informed us that he found an apartment closer to her. After a week I went to meet him for lunch and found out that he was living in his car! We made him come home or we would tell her what he was doing (he didn't want her to know). He did end up getting an apartment a few weeks later (with our help), and is currently enrolled in a local college. We never see him, though, and I see on facebook that they are constantly doing things together~just nothing with his side of the family. They are having sex (he denied it, but I found evidence otherwise), so this must be the hold she has on him. Any advice for us....his siblings miss him terribly, and so do his father and I!

Hmm. on July 05, 2012:

Matthew 7:1-29

Lori Phillips (author) from Southern California USA on June 05, 2012:

Why don't they like her? What are their reasons? If you continue to "keep away" from them, they will blame her for that so try not to stay away. Visit them alone sometimes. Re-establish your bond with them. Then, you can continue to express the positives that your girlfriend adds to your life. As time goes on, you can bring your girlfriend by too. Building bridges takes time. Don't give up.

help me on June 05, 2012:

I am very close with my parents there my best friends... But they don't like my girlfriend we had some issues in the beginning but I don't blame my girlfriend there were alot of outside interference. Well my parents arent trying to open up any more there closed off to her... I don't think thats right she wants them to like her... But since my parents arent don't like her I keep her away from them but that means I too stay away ... I want everyone happy but I don't know what to do...

Lori P. on April 17, 2012:

Call to the kitten! :)

Lori P. on April 17, 2012:

I'm sorry that I haven't checked in for a long time. Going through serious life stuff. Anyway...

Sometimes, a young kid/man chooses only to see the good parts of a girl, totally ignoring the obvious red flags for a variety of reasons. Here are a few I can think of:

1. He wants to be her champion. Young boys with low self-esteem are attracted to girls that make them feel good about themselves. If the girl is "broken" in some way, he can be her hero or savior. He will defend her to others because he is the only one who "truly understands" that there is a sweet girl underneath the tough exterior.

2. He is experimenting with other personality types than those he has been used to dating. There can be thrills dating a "dangerous" or "renegade" girl. She might behave in ways that he wishes he could or at least in ways that seem very different from his perhaps sheltered life.

The thing is that a young man must be getting something from his relationship with this girl. And don't discount the importance and bonding of great sex. "Nice" young ladies/girls can have sexual hang-ups.

Young girls also are developing into who they want to be so a lot of this behavior is thoughtless and fleeting. In most cases.

The hard part is hoping your son will wake up before making any lifelong commitment to this girl. Love your son without forcing ultimatums. Don't force him to choose between you and the girl. Just love your son so he will never forsake you for anyone. You have had decades with him while she has had only a year or so. You have time on your side.

I once had a dream that my family was outdoors in the backyard, enjoying our sweet kitties. A monkey with a banana ran up and grabbed one of my kitties, slung him under its arm and ran away. I panicked and began to shout which only sent them both farther away. Then, something said, "Call to the kitten." I called sweetly to the kitten who wriggled out of the monkey's arms and ran back to me.

My son was with a girl we did not approve of and he even planned on marrying her. My family and I were sure to surround my son with lots of love all the time so he knew what a loving family he had and what he would be missing if he had to make a choice. Then, we told him that we loved him and if he was sure, we would back him up and love his wife, too, but before he made that choice, we begged him to listen to what we had to say.

And we presented our concerns. Not putting her down at all, but expressing that she just wasn't going to be the one to make him happy. We painted a picture of what family life with her as a wife and mother of his children would be like. Is that what he wanted? If he were going to give his own son advice if he were going to marry a woman like his fiancé, what would he say to his son?

Not all life paths are meant to be easy and if he chooses a hard path, we'll walk it with him. But if we could prevent that, if he could trust us his family who loves him unconditionally and forever, could he rethink this choice?

It's important not to judge the girl or he will rush to her defense. We expressed that it wasn't that we didn't like this girl as a person and that we understood that everyone is "broken" in some way...and some people are worth fixing...and that everyone deserves to be loved...but this woman needs to fit into his life, his lifestyle, which includes his family. Would he want his son to cut him out of his life over a girl? Divorces and break-ups happen all the time. Family is forever.

The right girl for him will love his family, too, because his family is a big part of him and who he is. The right girl will bring more love and joy to the family as the family grows.

He began to see our points, and he broke up with this girl.

boobhead on April 17, 2012:

My eldest son Matt has been dating this girl who has been totally appauling both my younger son Mike 17, my husband and myself. We made the mistake of letting her live in our home 5 months ago and my home has become so uncomfortable that we have asked her to move out. My son who is still in college for another at least 3 yrs. does not see any of these issues we are having with her, Love is blind I know.

She is foul mouthed and I mean drops the f-bomb like its candy even in from of us. She is disrespectful, leaves things all over the place, waste food, milk..etc, she is rude to anyone that is not one of her few personal friends and she only has a couple. Not a very friendly person at all..she actually has made the hair stand up on the back of my neck.

We spent a week at the beach for spring break just last week and had another girl with us my younger sons girlfriend, Matts girlfriend in a full 7 days never spoke to her once it was obvious she was jealous, I cannot even imagine not speaking a week to someone that I was in the same condo with. Help!

also, this girl has done some things that have been very disturbing as well, that would scare any mother. Like taking my younger sons things and hiding them in her dresser, stupid things like his hair gel and she seems extremely jealous of my younger sons close relationship with Matt

she also attends college and skips classes often which being under my roof and acting in such an irresponsible way around my younger son is upsetting, my boys just don't do these kinds of things. When she started dating Matt she lived with her aunt apparently did not see eye to eye with her mother and step father whom run a beautiful heifer farm and her mom is a school teacher. Her mom kicked her out of the house a fact we recently just found out as his girlfriend told us she moved out.

I am up in arms as to why my son does not see these things, he has dated other girls in the past without no problems like this, they were nice girls and acted like ladies..I'm confused, my guts are telling me just give him time.

Any advice and insight on these situations of life.

barbara on April 17, 2012:

My eldest son Matt has been dating this girl who has been totally appauling both my younger son Mike 17, my husband and myself. We made the mistake of letting her live in our home 5 months ago and my home has become so uncomfortable that we have asked her to move out. My son who is still in college for another at least 3 yrs. does not see any of these issues we are having with her, Love is blind I know.

She is foul mouthed and I mean drops the f-bomb like its candy even in from of us. She is disrespectful, leaves things all over the place, waste food, milk..etc, she is rude to anyone that is not one of her few personal friends and she only has a couple. Not a very friendly person at all..she actually has made the hair stand up on the back of my neck.

We spent a week at the beach for spring break just last week and had another girl with us my younger sons girlfriend, Matts girlfriend in a full 7 days never spoke to her once it was obvious she was jealous, I cannot even imagine not speaking a week to someone that I was in the same condo with. Help!

also, this girl has done some things that have been very disturbing as well, that would scare any mother. Like taking my younger sons things and hiding them in her dresser, stupid things like his hair gel and she seems extremely jealous of my younger sons close relationship with Tyler.

she also attends college and skips classes often which being under my roof and acting in such an irresponsible way around my younger son is upsetting, my boys just don't do these kinds of things. When she started dating Matt she lived with her aunt apparently did not see eye to eye with her mother and step father whom run a beautiful heifer farm and her mom is a school teacher. Her mom kicked her out of the house a fact we recently just found out as his girlfriend told us she moved out.

I am up in arms as to why my son does not see these things, he has dated other girls in the past without no problems like this, they were nice girls and acted like ladies..I'm confused, my guts are telling me just give him time.

Any advice and insight on these situations of life.

Meme on January 14, 2011:

losing a job is really hard and can get you down. Others may feel you are not looking for a job when you are looking for many and get disheartened. If you know he has always been respectful, thechange may be because he is trying to breakaway

lELIA on December 20, 2010:


Kris on November 24, 2010:

To pat -- Its YOUR house, you lovingly but firmly must set the rules. Tell your son it is the policy in your home that unmarried couples do not share a room or bed in your home. You have no control over what they do elsewhere, but you are responsible for what you allow in your home, so don't be bullied by his defiance of you.

Monica on November 03, 2010:

My sons girlfriend is always calling him names and is always angry. She hates our whole family for no reason at all. She's been dating him for three years and he say's she'll grow out of it.

pat on November 02, 2010:

My son's girlf friend will sleep over in his room. Gets up like there is nothing wrong... They know that my husband and I don't like it at all. What d you do in this case ? Plus she nevers smiles.... That bugs me toooooo death !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Laura on October 07, 2010:

get real!

Lori Phillips (author) from Southern California USA on July 27, 2010:

Hi Laila, there is so much to know before I can really help. First, examine your own ways. Did you criticize them a lot? Were you too harsh? If you were only good to them and they still treat you this way, I would sit them down for a talk to find out what they are thinking. Be direct: "What have I done to make you treat me this way?" Have they always treated you this way? Do you think that they might blame you for their father's leaving the family? Be sure to tell them you love them. Sometimes, mothers assume their children know they are loved but it is important to express it in words as well as actions. My advice is to show only love and kindness toward your sons and their girlfriends. They will remember all of your loving care you gave them through the years and eventually, they will change their behavior towards you.

Laila on July 21, 2010:

I find it useful,I have four son one came home with a girl who will never say hi to me when he first start'ed going out with her, I always said hi some time she will just be looking at me, and my son will be there when she is doing this,this is my first son, now my #2 son will tel his girlfriend not to talk to me when he has problem with me even now he send his graduation invitation to his girl friend and a friend, when she see will also not say hi,how can I understand this ,I care for this children when their father left when they were babys is this what I get for 26years, please help me.

bingskee from Quezon City, Philippines on July 10, 2010:

though i find it funny that a hub will be discussing something about this, i find the tips very useful as well. nice!