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Wedding Woes

Mom is up in my business.

Dear Prudence,

I’ve been with my husband for 12 years. He found work in a different state and moved away, but I stayed behind and moved in with my mother. My husband and I worked out a “don’t ask, don’t tell,” semi-open relationship for the time we’ll be apart. I’ve had a few dates and met some cool, interesting folks. The problem is my mother. She sees me going out and having late nights and thinks the worst of me (that I’m cheating, that I’m a bad wife, etc). I don’t think my mother should be privy to the most intimate parts of my relationship with my husband, but she continues to pick fights with me and ask questions she really doesn’t want the answers to. How can I manage this situation?

—Relationship Is Too Open

Re: Mom is up in my business.

  • OK - can someone familiar with open relationships tell me how they work?   The OP is going out with someone who isn't her husband and unless the relationship IS open I think many people question it.

    Or is the answer, "This isn't your relationship so knock it the eff off. " 
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
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    Hmmm. I'm torn here. Because I'm usually in the camp of "my house, my business", regardless of age. So I think Mom here is okay to be asking and if LW doesn't want to answer, she can move out. But I also wouldn't want to be telling my mom the details of my relationship either, so I get it. 
    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
    OliveOilsMomcharlotte989875OurWildKingdom
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    mod
    banana468 said:
    OK - can someone familiar with open relationships tell me how they work?   The OP is going out with someone who isn't her husband and unless the relationship IS open I think many people question it.

    Or is the answer, "This isn't your relationship so knock it the eff off. " 
    So, I don't have experience with open relationships but I doubt they all "work" the same, just like monogamous relationships don't all work the same. Sounds to me like LW and her husband have a quietly open relationship. They know each other may be dating, but aren't telling the entire world that they now have an open relationship. 

    Which I totally get because I'm sure Mom's judgement and questions here would be a lot more obnoxious if she knew. 
    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
    charlotte989875OurWildKingdom
  • banana468 said:
    OK - can someone familiar with open relationships tell me how they work?   The OP is going out with someone who isn't her husband and unless the relationship IS open I think many people question it.

    Or is the answer, "This isn't your relationship so knock it the eff off. " 
    So, I don't have experience with open relationships but I doubt they all "work" the same, just like monogamous relationships don't all work the same. Sounds to me like LW and her husband have a quietly open relationship. They know each other may be dating, but aren't telling the entire world that they now have an open relationship. 

    Which I totally get because I'm sure Mom's judgement and questions here would be a lot more obnoxious if she knew. 
    That's why this is tricky and I don't know the rules.   I know that if I saw my friend's husband out at a restaurant canoodling with another woman I'd get with her and talk to her and tell her what I saw.    But I have friends in an open marriage and then wouldn't think twice about it but I *know* that the marriage was open.   So all of this is really confusing because you've engaged in a social and more public component of the open marriage by going out and doing this in front of a relative.   So does the relative get to ask questions?  I'm honestly curious here.   

    short+sassycharlotte989875OurWildKingdom
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
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    I think because LW is living in her mom's house, the mom needs to know something.  I also don't think LW needs to tell mom the entirety of the situation.  And if Mom doesn't stop, then LW should move out.

    "Mom, this will be the one and only time I tell you this and I will answer no follow-up questions either.  H and I have discussed how each of us will act during our large physical separation.  I still love him and he still loves me.  No one is doing anything that the other spouse doesn't already approve of.  I would appreciate if you stop asking me questions about how I spend my time.  If this response is not good enough to appease you, please let me know and I will begin to look for a new place to live."

    charlotte989875eileenrobVarunaTTOurWildKingdom
  • Normally I'm in the camp of "a person's business is their business and other people should butt out".  But this is her mom who she LIVES with.  It is completely ridiculous for the LW to think her mom wouldn't say something to her and judge her, if the mom doesn't know the arrangement.

    The LW should find her own place if she wants her privacy and for her mom to stop asking questions.  But she can't have her cake and eat it too.

    It would upset and bother me also if I thought my hypothetical daughter was blatantly cheating on her H.  I might even feel obligated to tell my SIL that his wife is cheating on him.  I would be asking normal questions/making comments like, "You're cheating on your H.  Is everything okay in your marriage?  Are you unhappy?  What if your H finds out?  It could destroy your marriage."  Not that the mother should badger the LW, regardless of what she says.  But still.  It would be odd for her mom to NOT say something, at least once.

    It seems like a lot would be solved to just tell the mom the arrangement that the LW and her H have.  TBH, I'm just not understanding why she doesn't.  This is her mom, as well as her roommate.  Not some casual acquaintance.  Maybe the mom wouldn't be understanding about the relationship, but that's a different discussion and issue.

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  • Ro041Ro041
    Sixth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
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    I think the issue is that LW isn't doing anything in her mom's house.  She is going out and having late nights.  I am of the camp that what LW does when she is outside of her mom's house is none of her mom's business.  LW doesn't mention bringing flings home or flaunting her activities in mom's face.  

    MyNameIsNot
  • Ro041 said:
    I think the issue is that LW isn't doing anything in her mom's house.  She is going out and having late nights.  I am of the camp that what LW does when she is outside of her mom's house is none of her mom's business.  LW doesn't mention bringing flings home or flaunting her activities in mom's face.  
    It might not be Mom’s business but that doesn’t mean Mom isn’t going to keep asking about it when she sees LW coming and going late at night. 
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
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    As @charlotte989875 says, your mother is going to question you and pass judgment on anything you do while living in her house. So if you're not living by her standards, expect commentary about that.

    That said, you don't owe her a defense or explanation for whom you see. From now on, just tell her, "Thanks" and don't give her any other response when she butts in.
  • If you don’t like the judgment, move out. 
    charlotte989875short+sassymrsconn23
  • Ultimately, the semi-open relationship isn't really any of Mom's business. I also get that telling her mother could lead to a lot of uncomfortable questions and more arguments. However, LW needs to realize that no matter how old you are, if you're living with your parents, chances are they're at least occasionally going to question your whereabouts. If you're not comfortable telling them and don't want to fight over it, find somewhere else to live.


    image
    charlotte989875eileenrobshort+sassy
  • I am not sure what LW is doing that couldn’t be explained by just saying “I was out with a friend” or something. Like are her dates picking her up from the house or is she coming home with their clothes on? Or does mother just think that a married woman should be at home if her husband isn’t around?
    I'm wondering if that's the 'judgement', but wouldn't LW know this about her mom? 

    Also an anecdote re: DH's grandma (who is the worst for so many reasons)...when BIL deployed for a full year a few years ago, she told SIL to not go 'whoring' around on BIL while he was gone "serving our country".  SIL told her it was ridiculous and inappropriate for her to say that.  Also, from the stories I heard from BIL about deployment debauchery (not his, but his cohorts)...he's the one who needs to be warned about keeping it in his pants.  But I digress...

    LW should move out if she doesn't want her mom to ask questions about her comings and goings and/or can't be conveniently vague/draw boundaries.   
    eileenrobcharlotte989875OliveOilsMomshort+sassy
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