I have been in a relationship with a 42 yr old single Asian Japanese mother with a 2 1/2 son for about 2 years. I am 48 yr old single dad with 2 girls 22, 19yrs and 1 boy 14yr. During the time I was dating my gf I was still married and separated from my ex. I never hid this from her. I thought her mom knew about my status, but one day when I talked about my separation things changed and her mom started acting differently. I guess my gf never mentioned to her mom that I was separated.
We live in Hawaii where sometimes we have cultural respect for our parents. My girlfriend was abandoned by her partner when she was pregnant with her son and I guess she did not have anyone else but her mother to rely on whom she lives with. Her mother was always there for her.
Till this day the son's father is not involved in their lives or sees his son. My gf even decided when she gave birth not to put the father’s name on the birth certificate. She did not want anything or any help from him.
Our relationship was great at first. I got along with her family very well. I use to help do stuff for her mom around the house like build and fix things also cooked dinner a few times. Suddenly one day her mother decides that she does not like me and thinks that I’m using her daughter. One of the reasons I believe that her mother may have thought I was using her daughter was that my daughter had just come back from mainland college and needed a use of a car to go to school locally in Hawaii. I let my daughter use my car and my girlfriend would drop me at work early in the morning at 4am. Sometimes after she dropped me off my gf would have to go to work at 6am as an RN at a hospital emergency room. I believe that her mother did not like that idea of dropping me off early and not getting enough rest to. I would ASK my girlfriend if she could drop me off and never TOLD her. She would do it willingly. Dropping me off at work would be temporary until I purchase a car for my daughter.
Also, I think her mom (widowed and retired) sees me as a threat. That one day we may get married and I’ll take away her daughter and grandson to live with me. I know her mother wants to renovate her house or purchase a new one, but without her daughters financial support she will never be able to qualify for a loan. Needing her daughter for financial reasons she will not be able to accomplish her dream leaving her dry.
I have not been able to have a normal relationship with my girlfriend since Aug 2011 and we would need to sneak to see each other. My girlfriend had lost her job as an Emergency room RN in Dec 2011 due to her hospital closing because of bankruptcy. She just recently just got 2 other jobs as an RN and trying to adjust to her new schedule and juggling spending quality time with her son at home.
I am now divorced, but things still remain the same. I am not able to visit my girlfriend at her home. I know my girlfriend needs her mother to help watch her young son when she is at work, and guess she just doesn't want to confront her mother and create conflict. We continue to see each other, but that is rare.
What should I do? I tried talking to her mother about the situation and that I was in the process of getting a divorce. But even now divorced, things are still the same. You think my gf is so dependent on her mom now to watch her son and think things will change when he goes to school and not be that dependent later?
Last year my gf got pregnant by me which was not planned. I explained to her that it was not a good time to have this child right now. I was scared, not divorced and maybe even thought I was too old having another young child to take care of in addition to her young son. I explained to her that I thought it was too much for us to handle at that time. I realize I did not give her a choice. Well long story short she had a miscarriage and that solve the problem. I regret what happened and wish we had the baby.
We had a fight last year one night when her mother told her that she did not want me in her house anymore. While driving me home my gf told me that she could not see me anymore. I asked why? My gf went off and yelled at me that she did not know what her mom's problem was! She told me that no one ever asks how she felt! Especially directed toward me for persuading her to get an abortion and did not give her a choice. She told me that she would've had the baby anyway even without me. At that time I guess she felt again that she was more indebted to her mother rather than to me. Probably remembering the feeling of being abandoned and no one feeling how she felt. Not to say that it is now payback time for me hurting her feelings (she is not like that) for asking for an abortion. Not considering her feelings then, maybe now she feels that she needs to really think about herself and her son more and is more on her guard since I made her feel abandoned not wanting a new child at that time.
Do you think she is trying to be more careful because of what I did also what she felt before having her son’s dad leave her? I guess in a way she feels a sense of indebtedness to her mother for helping her in the time of need when she had no one. Helping her through the pregnancy and raising her child till this day.
It may have seemed to my gf that I was taking my sweet time getting a divorce while I was with her at that time for about a year. My gf explained to me that she felt I was someone she couldn't have even if she wanted to be with me because I was still married! This was true. It was that I did not want to get a divorce. At that time I thought by not getting a divorce it would help protect my parents trust (both deceased). Thinking if the trust was not distributed to me it would be safe from my ex-wife from touching it. I solely pay expenses, education and medical for my 3 kids and did not receive any financial help from my ex.
Before my gf use to always bring up the conversation of getting married, but no longer brings it up anymore. The tables are turned now. I'm the one that wants to get married now and start living our lives together. I try not to mention the subject of marriage to my gf too much anymore, because I know it can get monotonousness and feel like I'm always pressuring her. I feel when talked about too much the subject can get dry. The last time we talked about marriage was in early March, discussing that it's not a good time now because all of what’s happening and maybe we could talk about getting married in about 4-5 months or even a year.
My gf told me that the difference between us was that she knew what direction she was going in life that she wants to be with me and marry me one day. Whereas I was unsure what direction I was taking being separated and not divorced. Should I believe what she tells me that she wants to eventually live her life with me? It's hard to believe now with all that's going on.
She explains that her son is the most important person to her. She will do whatever is best for him (he loves his grandmother very much) and she cannot separate their closeness by causing conflict of getting married anytime soon. I think the purpose of waiting later is it may be easier when he starts preschool and slowly being weaned off with his grandmother. By starting part-time preschool in Aug and possibly attending full-time next Jan. What do you think?
I guess it is a good sign that my gf remains with me now even with her mother's conflict with me since 8/2011 till now. Now with her new jobs and juggling schedule now she is again more DEPENDENT on her mother taking care of her son since they all live together. A lot of times I feel lonely, 2nd best and not loved as much. I try to understand that my gf is going through a lot stress, trying to spend time with her son when she comes home after work. Giving her mother a break on her days off and deal trying to spend time with me without her finding out that she is still seeing me and not upsetting her.
My gf tells me at time her mother takes it out on her son when she finds out that they went out with me or saw me. Telling him to shut up when he talks about me or tells him why don't you live with uncle Randy. That's why she tries not to make conflict with her mother about me because her mother sometimes takes it out on her 2 1/2 yr old son.
One day we were talking about her son visiting the father's parents, which he does at least once a month. My gf does not want his biological father present when he visits their house. Not wanting him to be confused who he is. She mentioned as far she is concerned that I'm his father now and her son probably already feels the same way too. I don't get to see him that often though, but I’m probably the only father figure around him.
We're planning to take a trip to Disneyland in Oct together with her friends and their kids for about a week. This will be her son's first trip on a plane. I was planning on asking her to marry me then. But sometimes I feel that maybe our relationship will not last that long.
Do you think she is acting as a mommy's girl or that she still feels indebted to her mother? I know staying with me can stress her out because an important family member dislikes me. She tells me that once a person makes up their mind what can you do to change it? I tell her that things can be worked out if we were married and that her mother would need to eventually accept me. I would love her mother as best I could and that try not feel any resentment. I respect how her mother feels. I guess I go through similar scenarios with my daughter’s boyfriends.
We don't communicate that much now, her reason that she said to me that she has no time for me now, not even a couple of minutes to return my text or calls. But sometimes she tells me out of the blue every now and then, texting me that she loves and misses me.
Could it be true that my gf just does have time for me now and is stressed out?
What is the reasonable thing to do now?
Should I wait to see what happens?
Do you think my gf feels indebted to her mother too much?
Is it my turn to be patient now since she was waiting about a year for me to get divorced?
Let me know anything you can suggest that might help me!
Fyi, I have never talked negative to my girlfriend about her mother. I always made her feel that I respected her mother’s feelings.
Hello Dr Levang
Thank you for the detailed background. I am sorry that your gf's mother is being so unkind and unwelcoming. Yet, as you have said, you can understand some of her hesitation and her protective nature to her daughter and grandson. After all your gf has been through with the father of her child, your not being divorced and the miscarriage, mother has good cause to be cautious and want the best for her daughter. As you noted, this is no different then how you would approach men interested in your daughter.
As to your gf, absolutely...she is indebted to her mother for being their when no one else was, for giving her shelter, day care, and so much more.
Now that I'm divorce, I don't understand why things have not changed with my gf mother. She seems to hate me for some reason?
That the two of you must meet in secret is very unfortunate and truly a huge challenge. That her son is caught in the middle and taking heat from grandma is unfair and must stop. I hope your gf realizes how unhealthy that is for him.
It probably is due to "old history" which she may not know how to handle. The truth is that you are a threat to her way of life and her relationship with her daughter and grandson. The thing to do would be to "neutralize" that threat.
How would I neutralize the threat?
You were once welcome...you helped around the house, you even cooked. If she could see this helpful side of you again...she may begin to accept you again.
By neutralize - I mean that she must begin to see you not as a threat but as an asset.
I have been trying hard to offer my services, but her mother does not want any of my help.
Then you must try to "sweeten" her up. Bring her flowers. Bring over a meal. Ask your gf the best ways to get to mother's heart.
Have you attempted to apologize? Even if you have...do it again. Tell her how very sorry you are for hurting her and how you want to re-introduce yourself and make things right.
I will try, but I feel that she has made up her mind.
Probably one of the biggest issues in her mind is what will happen to her if you and gf marry. What she sees and thinks is that gf will leave her. That would be a horrible thought wouldn't it? She is an old woman...who will take care of her...how will she get a new home? These are huge and scary issues for an older woman who is used to having her daughter and grandson with her and who relies financially on her daughter.
So...put yourself in her shoes for a minute and think what might be going through her head. Then talk to your gf about how to address these possible concerns.
Even an old woman can be sweet talked!
She needs to see the benefits of her daughter being with you. Right now she does not see that...all she sees is her own fear about life changing and how lonely she will be.
I have talked to her mother about it and told her that I would never take her grandson away from her. Also, I would take care of her the best I could without abandoning her.
And..absolutely...her life will change! Grandson will go off to school. Daughter will not be single her entire life. But mother is betting that her daughter will take care of her the rest of her life.
Yes..and keep telling her that. That she have no intention of disrupting her life in a negative way and abandoning her.
Sorry...I mistyped...That you have no intention of disrupting her life in a negative way and abandoning her. Also, that you are completely loyal to her daughter and her son.
Because you were married before, she may feel that you will treat her daughter the same.
Well my gf mentions that it is not a good time now to get married anytime soon. I guess that it is a good sign that she remains to stay with me even through life changing events. She does sometimes include me when she talks about events in the future. I'm just not sure if she is dedicated to me as she tells me.
I think Mama is scared.
Yes...I understand what you are saying. I does sound like gf is sending mixed signals. Her life does seem quite stressful right now with starting new work. And absolutely! The fact that she is still with you says something important about how she feels about you.
Would you consider going to see mama without gf present?
She tells me that she knows what direction she wants and it is to be with me. Sometime I wonder if women just say things to men that they want to hear.
What I am wondering about is you stopping over with flowers some evening or a bottle of nice wine and having a chat with her about life.
Well...men do the same don't they? Tell women what they think they want to hear.
I would, but I think it would make things worse. She didn't sound too excited to hear from me when I called her to apologize and explain my situation. She mentioned that it was unfair for her daughter since I was still married, but now that I'm divorced, things still have not changed.
The point would be to tell gf that you want an open and honest relationship and that you know how hard she worked to be patient and understanding and that you are committed to doing the same.
Then to let it drop.
I will. Anything else you might suggest I do?
A solid relationship is built on trust. It is obvious that she trusted you in the past. I would stick with that belief unless she demonstrates otherwise.
Mama is interested in what is best for her daughter and grandson. If you can show her that your intentions are honorable and sweet talk her with some gifts, I think you will be able to find a way in to her heart. Obviously, she would appreciate support and help as she ages...this is something you can offer her.
I will do my best to win over her mother and do anything what it takes. If I can't do that, I just hope that my gf will eventually marry me and we can deal with her mother later. Hoping that her mother will just learn to accept me.
Yes...attempt to win mother over...in the end, gf will have to make her own life choices and she seems smart enough to know this.
I wish you the best!
Thank you! me too!
If you should ever want to chat again, please put my name at the beginning of your question and it will be directed to me!
Okay I will, thanks
You are very welcome!