I feel like my relationship is falling apart

My boyfriend and I have been arguing every night about the same thing. He also tells me that if I go visit my mother out of state he will be gone when I get back. He and my mother do not get along. What should I do?

Sherry Katz, LCSW
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Couples and Family Therapist, LCSW

A relationship gets weaker, not stronger by threatening control of the other person.

Start by telling your boyfriend to keep his remarks about you and the interests he is in which you two disagree, limited to these areas.

Your relationship with your mother is between you and her.

Regardless of how much he doesn't like her, to not respect your mother daughter relationship is unreasonable and disrespectful toward you.

Threatening to take action against you by withdrawing himself from your relationship, is almost guaranteed to harm the good feelings between the two of you.

Does you boyfriend dislike your mother for any reason having to do with her being a danger to you?

Ask his reason since if he does this from concern for your emotional or physical safety, then this is good sentiment which is handled incorrectly, by a threat to you.

What you should do is ask your boyfriend to not threaten you and to calmly talk about the topics you bring up here.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Lauren Ostrowski, MA, LPC, NCC, DCC, CCTP
Lauren Ostrowski, MA, LPC, NCC, DCC, CCTP
I tailor my therapeutic approach to each client's strengths and goals

It's ultimately your decision whether or not you go to see your mother. I'm not sure whether talking with her on the phone or through some videoconferencing application (such as Skype) would be something you could do in the meantime until you sort out what you want to do.

Some things I wonder are:

  • What makes the two of them not get along?
  • What makes him feel threatened or on edge if you visit your mother without him? What does he think will happen?
  • What is he getting out of trying to choose for you?
  • What is he so afraid of?

If you decide to talk about these things with your boyfriend, try to do the following:

  • Consider using questions that start with the words who, what, where, when, and not why. The word why can be really difficult for some people to answer because the word itself triggers an emotional reaction.
  • Try to ask him if the two of you can discuss this in a way that you can just ask more questions about what he is experiencing. If you can listen without being defensive about what you think and feel, you may understand more about where you boyfriend is coming from.
  • Remember that understanding what he means does not mean that you have to agree with what he is saying.
  • Maybe he would be willing to listen to what you are experiencing and ask questions about that as you did for him. It would be good to do this in a way similar to what an investigative reporter would do and asking questions that cannot be answered in a yes or no format and require more information.

I'm sure this is putting you in a very tough place. If you would like to talk to someone more directly about the details, consider seeing a local mental health professional.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal, as if you want to hurt or kill yourself or someone else, or are in crisis, call 800-273-8255 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), call 911, or proceed to your local emergency room.

Submit your own question

More Answers