I've lost objectivity. It seems clear that my mother's 'boyfriend' is a giant loser, but she wants him to be accepted by us and included in family events. What do we do?
I’m going to try to make this as brief as possible. My problem is that my mother wants her ‘sort-of-boyfriend’ to be accepted into our family. This is a bad relationship, but I’ll elaborate on that below. I just refused to allow him to come over to my home for our family Thanksgiving dinner and she cried over it. I’ve never met him, but from the things my mother has told me about him, I do not like this person. My husband, my sister and her husband feel the same way.
They’ve been involved for two years. They were in a (sexual) relationship briefly, had a tumultuous on-again off-again middle period during which he was seeing another woman, and have been just friends for the past few months (although she sometimes hints that there might be more to it than that. I think she
sees it as more, while he just lets her think what she wants so the gravy train keeps on chugging). You could say that they’re in a kind of asexual, semi-cohabitating marriage, as she stays there 3-4 nights a week, contributes financially and does the bulk (if not all) of the housework. There has been a lot of drama surrounding this relationship (tearful conversations, details a daughter doesn’t need to hear about her mother’s sex life, and once we had to pick her up from his house after they had a fight). After a while I reached my limit in listening to her talk about it, and even posted this
question about how to deal with that. My mom does not respect boundaries well. To her credit, though, she did tone it down. However, while she denies it, she is constantly trying to evoke sympathy from me for him about his poor relationship with his family, the fact that he hasn’t gotten to fulfill his dream of having children, that he can’t keep or find a job, that he has no money and might lose his house... When I say things in response like “Sorry, but I don’t care”, she tells me that I’m cruel and that I should be ashamed of myself.
Here are some bullet points on why do not like him, nor do we like my mom’s behaviour connected with him:
At the beginning, he explained he was into S&M roles and wanted her to be his slave (as his ex-wife had been) and do all of his cooking and housework, etc. I am fine with alternative lifestyles, truly, but my mom was not cool with this. She felt like she had to go along with it at least with regards to the non-sexual stuff to keep him interested. While she holds her own more now, she still does most of the cleaning and cooking, laundry, gardening and mending of clothes.
He has not been able to keep a job in the last two years. He’s been fired from three jobs. He has extreme difficulty getting hired (and the economy really isn’t that bad here). We suspect that he’s lying about the reasons he’s being fired (never his fault). For example, he claims he was fired from his past position as an accountant because he uncovered some shady practices and that the employer said they were going to come after him if he reported their activities.
He may be an alcoholic and he definitely has a gambling problem. He fulfills these needs over paying his mortgage and utility bills. He is on the verge of losing his house. He owns some expensive things he could sell to make payments, but he won’t do this. He also won’t take on a lower-paying job in a different field temporarily, just to make ends meet.
My mom gives him money. She is on a very limited income. I worry that someday my husband and I might have to bail her out – say, if she moves in with him and then he meets another woman and she decides to leave.
He was seeing another woman while asking my mom to have sex with him at the same time. (I’m pissed at my mom for even telling me this). He was lying to the other woman about how much time he spent with my mom.
His own family doesn’t spend time with him and won’t help him financially. His mother recently fell and broke her hip and some ribs and he didn’t go to see her in the hospital. My mom says this is because his family is mean; I think it's more likely that they’ve had it with him.
He’s often suggested to my mom that if my husband and I have something we don’t need, we should give it to him. If he wants my mom (who doesn’t drive) to come over, he’ll often ask why my husband can’t drive her over there instead of coming to get her himself. It’s more than a half hour drive.
Apparently, he wants to be closer to us (my sister and I and our husbands and children) because he wishes he had a big close family. My mom says that he is a huge part of her life and wants us to accept him. I feel like I might be huge jerk, but I don’t want anything to do with him. The idea of having to interact with him nicely is making me feel really squicked out. My husband doesn’t want him anywhere near our one-year-old daughter. I'm afraid my husband will tell him off and cause a huge scene. The thing is, what if they got married? What if they do move in together? We would have to try to have a relationship with him - wouldn’t we? I just can’t figure this out: who is being unreasonable – me or my mother?