A concerned daughter has asked if she should intervene in her mother’s relationship after becoming concerned about her new partner’s behaviour.
Posting on UK-based forum Mumsnet, the woman explained that she has struggled to have one-on-one time with her mother recently because her new partner constantly visits or wants to be on video call.
She told users he seems to be ‘love-bombing’ her mum and already seems controlling, complaining that he’s not trusted to take the grandchildren to the park alone.
Revealing that her husband doesn’t think she should get involved becaue she will just seem ‘jealous’, the woman was flooded with divided advice.
A woman has sparked a debate about if it’s appropriate to intervene in a parent’s relationship (file image)
While some urged her to voice her concerns to stop her mother getting further embedded in a potentially abusive relationship, others insisted that interfering could make her mum ‘defensive’ and encourage her to ‘cling to him for longer’.
Explaining why she is worried about her mother, she wrote: ‘My mum has a new partner. They’ve been dating for a couple of months, and she’s seemed very happy, and I was genuinely pleased for her, as I know she longs for companionship.
‘However, I finally met him last week (staying with Mum for a couple of weeks as we hadn’t seen her for almost a year), and I am really concerned. He’s clearly love-bombing her, in my opinion.
‘They don’t live together, but he has come over every day, often unexpectedly, so I’ve not been able to spend any one-on-one time with my mum. She asked him to come less often so she can spend some alone time with me and her grandkids, and he said it’s not fair to push him out because we’re around.
‘I’ve noticed in general that he can be controlling (too many little instances to list) and doesn’t respect boundaries, and her best friend has seen it too. I’m cutting my stay short because I can’t bear to be around him any longer.
‘She did say, “It’s because he’s always here, isn’t it?”. I only told her that I’m happy for her, but he’s still a stranger to me, and I can’t spend every day with him, it’s a bit much. She said she was sad that I’m “taking her grandkids away”, but I’ll be staying nearby, so she can visit (every day if she wants to) whilst we’re in town.’
The woman revealed her mother’s partner is persistent about having constant contact.
Posting on Mumsnet, the woman explained concerns that her mother’s new partner is showing signs of abuse
She continued: ‘He called during her lunch break today (she was working from home). If he’s not physically present, he video calls constantly. He complained about me because I didn’t let him take my kids alone to the park yesterday.
‘I could hear my mum saying, “Well, she’s just met you, any parent would do the same”. But she kept apologising profusely and reassuring him that she trusts him and loves him. The conversation was weird, manipulative and intense. She walked past me shortly after with tears in her eyes. I asked if she was okay, and she said, “Oh yes, just my manager stressing me out” – she didn’t know I eavesdropped/overheard.’
The woman admitted she’s unsure how to handle the situation because she acknowledges that her mother is an adult capable of her own decisions, while her own husband believes she could appear jealous if she intervenes.
Agreeing with her husband, one person wrote: ‘Please don’t infantalise your mum. I also wouldn’t alienate her by turning his behaviour into a big thing – she may cling to him longer.’
Responses to the thread suggested confronting the mother could make her become defensive of the situation
Another said that she should ‘tread very carefully’, adding: ‘Is this normal for her? Has she had healthy relationships? Those kind of conversations can go very south, very quickly.
‘The conversation may be more receptively received if it came from her friend, rather than her daughter. This could really embarrass her, which could then make her defensive. ‘
However other responses to the thread reassured the woman that she should confront her mother with her concerns.
‘If you can, I would have a PI do a background check on this man. He is waving so many red flags it’s shocking. Isolating your mum, wanting to take your children alone, the constant phone calls, it’s really f***** scary. He has abuser/stalker written all over him,’ one wrote.
Many people advised the woman to do a background check on her mother’s boyfriend and to speak to her calmly about her concerns
Another said: ‘I would absolutely, 100% tell your mum exactly how you feel. Calmly, with no added drama, but tell her what you witness and why it’s so concerning. I would even send her articles about controlling partners and love bombing.
‘You sound like you have a good relationship with your mum and sometimes we need to tell the people we love some hard truths. This is one of those times before she gets anymore involved with him.’
The woman penned a follow-up post revealing her mother felt infantilised when concerns about her partner were raised
A third added: ‘I would definitely talk to her about it. Don’t make her feel like she has to choose as that will play into what he wants as he’ll use that against you. Explain your worries, tell her that you love her and you’ll be there for her if she wants to talk or wants any support. I completely understand why you want to cut short your visit, but you’ll be playing into what he wants as he wants to isolate your mum and use anything to criticise you.’
The woman penned a response revealing she decided to take the advice of the masses, saying: ‘Thanks for all the advice last weekend. I spoke to my mum. She took it well and initially said she’d end the relationship, as she had noticed he was controlling. She backtracked after a few days and said she felt I’d infantilised her (someone mentioned this upthread), and that she’ll continue seeing him for now, but with improved boundaries.
‘Our conversation made her reflect, at least, and she asked other family members and friends of hers who’d met him, if they thought he was controlling, everyone said, ‘YES!!!’ (there were lots of concerns), but hadn’t felt that they could tell her. I can only hope for the best outcome.’