You Asked: My Mother is Driving me to Drink!

Dear Sugar--

I'm in an awkward position at 32 years old. I took my 2 year old daughter and I out of an abusive home and we are now living with my parents until the divorce is final or until I receive enough money to buy a new home. The divorce has been going on for 2 years now and my mother has been very understanding by opening her home to me.


Over the past 2 years, I have rekindled a relationship with a childhood sweetheart (been with him a year and half). Things have been rocky mainly because of my living situation. My mother insists my boyfriend is not any better than my ex husband. Despite the challenges my mother throws at us, he stands beside me and I believe my boyfriend truly loves me. Not many adult men would subject themselves to what my mother has done and said.

I leave the home and find myself constantly looking at my watch wondering if I should go home or try to enjoy what little time I do have with him. It is the same when I go see my friends or plan a play day for my daughter. If I say I'm going somewhere and happen to go additional places, she accuses me of lying. It has gotten to the point that I lie to keep the peace at the house. I feel as though my mother is trying to keep me on a choke collar. I have a hard time confronting her because she turns everything around to suit the situation for herself. She oversteps in correcting my daughter when I am home and undermines my authority. I've been to counselors that state she is over controlling and I need to take a more assertive role with her. I have attempted this and she insists that she is not going to stop because she loves me and that it is her job as a mother regardless of my age. Please help! --In a Bind Betty

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Dear In a Bind Betty--

Your situation sounds incredibly complicated, but I am happy to hear that you have removed yourself from a dangerous and unhappy relationship. Your mother sounds like an incredibly supportive woman, but perhaps a little too overprotective for your liking right now. While you are focusing all your energy on starting a new life, try to understand where she is coming from -- she wants to protect her little girl from harms way.

With that said, you're a grown woman - you're old enough to make your own decisions and you mother should respect that. You spent enough time sacrificing your happiness, so if this new man brings you joy, I say go for it. Live your life and don't have any regrets. You mom can't dictate your life, so try to make her understand where you are coming from. Tell her how appreciative you are of her love and support, but you need her to trust you so you can live outside her protective shield.

I understand you are still trying to get back on your feet, but it sounds like moving out of your mom's house is in order. Not only will it do wonders for your social life, but it will no doubt improve your relationship with your mom. Hang in there and good luck!

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