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TurkishVan 03-07-2013 01:11 AM

Boyfriend's mother dislikes me?
If this is in the wrong section, please, by all means, move it! I'm not a teen, otherwise I would have put it in the teen section.

I'm sure this is an age-old problem: Girl meets guy, they fall in love, guy's mother doesn't like girl. That is pretty much my issue here.

I'm currently in graduate school (starting year numero 2, whoop whoop! Only 2 more to go!). I met my boyfriend while completing my undergraduate degree at another university. We've been together for a little over 2 & 1/2 years. Over that time period, he's become very close to my Mom. She's always told me that she likes him, and looks at him as a second son. She treats him like a son, too, not like a guest. My boyfriend likes her quite a bit too, and is always easy around her. He just gets more relaxed in general; like he can talk about anything without being judged by her. It's good to see that between both of them.

I wish the same could be said for his mother and myself... (I'll just refer to my boyfriend's mother as "X".) X's mother died when she was a kid, so I always thought that that might have something to do with her coldness towards me, but I'm not so sure. X's father got remarried only a year after her death, and she treats her step-mother like her real Mom (and it's reciprocated).

Anyway, I feel like X is very cold towards me. I've gone up to my boyfriend's parents house many, many times, but her attitude never changes. I'm naturally very shy, and I was always taught to never speak (at length, anyway) unless spoken to. X never tries to engage me in any conversation at the dinner table, car, or etc. There have been times where we've been completely alone in the same room for over 2 hours, and she hasn't said a word to me. When I try to get something started, she'll answer, but won't take the bait to just talk with me.
She isn't that way with other people. My boyfriend's brother's girlfriend (whom I'll call "Y" here) gets along quite well with X. When Y speaks, X listens attentively, asks questions that shows she's interested, and actually displays emotion! (I kid you not, X hardly ever, ever smiles at me.) It just makes me feel all sorts of crappy.

Another reason that I suspect X may not like me is how she talks about Y. When complete strangers ask about my boyfriend and his brother, X will immediately start talking about my boyfriend's brother and Y, and their careers. One is a mechanic, and the other is in school to become a radiology tech. Both are good at what they do, and I like them a lot. I just wish that X would acknowledge my boyfriend and I. Only half the time does she note what my boyfriend is doing, and almost all of the time she says absolutely nothing about me. Now, I'm not a braggart by any means. I'm not praised or petted on a daily basis, and I can certainly live without it! It would just make me feel good to have someone praise my efforts, you know?
Usually the strangers that inquired about X's sons will ask me directly what I do, almost seeming to note that she left me out. When I tell them that I'm in graduate school, they seem surprised. I expect that most of them thought I was holding a crap job somewhere!

I'm just not sure why X wouldn't like me. I don't drink, smoke, curse, or get myself into any trouble. I always try to be polite and respectful, even if I cannot stand the person I'm dealing with. I give my opinion about certain subjects, but I'm always open to discussion and dialogue. I try to keep an open mind, and be diplomatic.
It just makes no sense to me. I don't think it's an issue of "stealing her little boy away", since she gets along so well with Y.
This just frustrates me on so many levels. I've tried to kill her with kindness, again and again, and it never works. The anxiety I feel when just thinking of going to see them is unsettling.

Any thoughts and/or advice?

TurkishVan 03-07-2013 01:38 AM

And hopefully this doesn't seem like a "Boo hoo/woe is me!" type of post! It's just one of those things that grates on me after a while. Since I know I'm not the only one to go through this, I thought I'd see what other people did to deal with it.

I can live without her approval, but it'd sure make life a bit easier if we had it.

gunslinger 03-07-2013 07:04 AM

It's not about you it's about her.....she wouldn't like any woman that was stealing her boy.

That's okay. Nothing stronger than a mothers love for her son. Be good to him and one day she'll probably learn to like you despite of herself.

Now, you respect her and things might happen quicker....this is an age old problem and I assure you it has nothing to do with you.

Hidalgo13 03-07-2013 08:00 AM

One my sisters had problems with her mother in law. But it was because she was a bit special, so ya she freaked out because my sister was taking her son "away from her". There is not much you can do I'm afraid. HOpefully one day she'll warm up, but all you can do is continue to be kill with kindness. If you haven't already, talk about it with your boyfriend. Not saying you should ask him to fix it, but he should be aware of what your going through, and maybe he'll be able to speak to his mother one day and figure out what are her thoughts and feelings too. For all you know, X might have hoped he'd marry/go out with some other girl she liked, but he didn't so she's gravely disappointed. There could be a number of reasons, but stay strong! :)

franknbeans 03-07-2013 08:10 AM

Both of my poor sil's had to deal with this from my mother for YEARS, as did my DH. Only my mom was blatant in her comments. It was interesting to watch. My brothers nor my dad would EVER call mom out on it, while I gave her a ration of crap. Did no good though, I have to say, and over the years it became something we all sort of laughed about. What choice did we have? In fact, we laughed at her when she said rude things. Shoot-I have been married for over 30 years, and the last time I saw mom (rest her soul now), she asked if I was still married to HIM. (she never called DH by name-ever!)

SOme folks are just like that, and has been said-it is their issue, not yours. Some, like my MIL, never learned to "play nice in the sandbox" from their own moms and some, like my mom, just think they are better than everyone else. Over the years I have found common ground with my MIL, and she is ok. It has taken years tho, and now I get along better with her than her daughters. You and BF have to make your own relationship in spite of her, but, BF should be supportive of you and know how it gets to you. When we were all together with my mom-we all had silent cues to each other to support each other when she was being her evil self.

THink of it this way-she is teaching you how NOT to be a good mom. All this will do is alienate her son. You still have to kill her with kindness tho-it is hard, I know, but it does pay off.

Muppetgirl 03-07-2013 08:33 AM

Yup, like Frank said.....kill her with kindness. It aggravates the crap out of them but gives them nothing to bitch about.

natisha 03-07-2013 08:47 AM

That is why I never date anyone with living parents.

wetrain17 03-07-2013 09:18 AM

And what has your boyfriend said about this?

NBEventer 03-07-2013 09:28 AM

I had this problem with my ex's mother. I got so fed up with her I started calling her out on her crap. I looked her straight in the face and said "look you obviously don't like me, but i'm here and I am dating your son so get over yourself"

After that any time she said anything or was snarky I would laugh at her and ask her when she plans on graduating high school.

I'm just a wee bit outspoken though :lol:

waresbear 03-07-2013 11:10 AM

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As long as you are cordial to each other, what's the problem? Some people just don't jive socially, sounds like she isn't mean to you, but she isn't warm & fuzzy either. Just continue being respectful and if there is any confrontation, walk away. I did that for 30 years until my m/i/l passed away. She wasnt my type of person & vice versa, but there was no way I was engaging in any snarkiness
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