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Wedding Woes

Oof, there's a lot going on here and it's not about this guy.

Dear Prudence,

My mom, who’s been mostly happily married to my dad for 30 years, admitted to me that she has a crush on a relatively new friend. Last year she started mentioning him a lot when telling me about the social circle they met in. It felt weird when I noticed her mentioning him so often, and she finally confessed that this is her biggest (only?) crush since she fell for my dad. I love her and absolutely believe that she wouldn’t cheat. I also feel that she’s as entitled to her feelings as anyone else—but I don’t want to hear about this. It’s only a giddy, teenage-type vibe, but it makes me uncomfortable. I told her that, as her daughter, I’m not an appropriate person for her to discuss this with. She now sort of tries holding back but generally doesn’t have strong resolve. Now that I’ve met the crush (honestly quite a nice guy), she seems to think that it’s OK to talk about him again. She’s had issues understanding appropriate boundaries in the past, so this isn’t surprising. I’ve been about as firm as I can be without threatening to end our phone calls. But am I overreacting? She’s very sensitive and would take it badly. It’s a harmless crush, and she doesn’t have close friends outside of that community whom she can discuss this with. I think I also feel guilty because I have and in the future might want to turn to her for relationship advice. I haven’t had a relationship since I was a teenager, so I don’t know—would a 28-year-old typically talk to her friends instead of her mom? (I don’t have many close friends myself.) Is it fair to tell her about a crush if I don’t allow her to do the same?

—Crushed

Re: Oof, there's a lot going on here and it's not about this guy.

  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    This screams a mother who treats her kid like a friend instead of a kid.  LW, your mother is not your BFF, and you don't have to hear about her crushes if it makes you uncomfortable.

    Also, while passing crushes are totally normal, this drawn out of a thing is not the norm for married people. I suspect there's more than a crush here. Still not LW's problem. 
    short+sassyOurWildKingdom
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    My mom does stuff like this to me sometimes. I remember one time when I was maybe 8? 9? And my mom and dad were having a rough time and my mom asked me if they should get a divorce. I was like um, I am neither qualified or old enough to give this advice. I’ve had to shut down my mom when she gets like that and be firm. Boundaries are your friend, LW.

    I am also curious why they don’t have many friends. It sounds like they might have a very codependent relationship. 


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  • In addition to what the other PPs have said, I also find it odd that the LW doesn't seem to see a difference between her (assuming she's single) telling her mom about a crush as opposed to her mom...who is married to the LW's dad, no less!...talking about her crush.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Yeah, also, why has LW met this random crush of her mother's?  That stuck out to me as very odd. 

    Especially if she's acknowledging her mother has had boundary issues in the past, I think she needs to shut this down quickly.  Does she have no relationship with her dad?  How could she be this involved with her mom and have no mention of how she feels around her dad or both her parents knowing this information. 

    I think it's totally normal to have crushes on ppl even being very happily married, but it's totally not normal to discuss with your grown daughter for a long period of time especially after she's expressed feelings of ickiness at hearing about it. 

    short+sassyOurWildKingdom
  • ei34ei34 member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    In a slight stray from some of this ^, my relationship with my mom has changed somewhat over the years.  It's not the "parent/child" relationship it used to be because although I'm her child, I'm not an actual child.  Topics that she never discussed with my when I was a kid that she now does include fights with her siblings, worries about the future (mostly related to her and my father's health), money talk...we love a good round of do-marry-kill...and, occasionally sex-related.

    I imagine if my mom had some sort of light crush on someone she'd mention it.  The issue is these two seem to have a bit of a co-dependent thing going on.  How many other people do LW and her mom each have that they can talk to about things?  As close as we are, I'm able to tell my mom "I dont feel comfortable hearing this" without worrying about my mom "taking it badly".  If LW is feeling uncomfortable they should be able to say that without feeling like they're burning their biggest bridge.  I don't think LW is overreacting, their feelings are valid, but this could serve as a wake up call to branch out a little bit.
    short+sassyOurWildKingdomcharlotte989875
  • I agree that relationships change over time and I probably tell my mom more about myself and my life than most of my friends, I still wouldn't want to hear about a long-standing crush she had on someone other than my father.  That would be so incredibly uncomfortable. 

    I think something like "oh, this man I met at work is so handsome and he seems really nice" is fine, but she would probably say that in front of my dad, lol.   This feels secretive which is what I don't like about it I think. I can't imagine LW's dad would be totally cool hearing all this, you know?

    short+sassyOurWildKingdomcharlotte989875downtondiva
  • I so feel for the LW, I also have an over share and over sensitive mom.  LW is going to have to go for the tough love if she ever wants to establish boundaries.  She needs to stop feeling responsible for her mom's feelings (and believe me, I know how hard that is, it took me years) and shut down any and all conversations she doesn't want to have with her mom.  If her mom gets her feefees hurt, that on mom not the LW.

    OurWildKingdom
  • Casadena said:

    I agree that relationships change over time and I probably tell my mom more about myself and my life than most of my friends, I still wouldn't want to hear about a long-standing crush she had on someone other than my father.  That would be so incredibly uncomfortable. 

    I think something like "oh, this man I met at work is so handsome and he seems really nice" is fine, but she would probably say that in front of my dad, lol.   This feels secretive which is what I don't like about it I think. I can't imagine LW's dad would be totally cool hearing all this, you know?

    This is kind of where I'm at. It's normal to be attracted to people at any age, and it's even normal to be attracted to someone other than one's spouse/partner from time to time. However, I don't think most adult "crushes"  involve this level of sharing or giddiness. I don't want to accuse LW's mom of cheating or anything like that, but I can't help thinking that if she feels the need to share this much, her feelings for this man are stronger than she is saying and/or there's something in her life that's causing her to escape into a fantasy about him. I agree with you that it's weird that LW has met him. I'd be curious as to the circumstances of that. 

    Whatever is causing this, I get why LW is uncomfortable and wants to set some boundaries about this issue. It's one thing if your parent mentions someone being attractive or whatever, but it has to be very awkward to feel like you're part of something that's being hidden from the other parent or has the potential to damage their relationship.
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    Casadena
  • Sorry, but that mom is definitely having an affair, or she plans to start very soon. A crush that is so powerful you're bubbling over with the need to discuss it is not harmless. The D needs to keep saying, "nope, not listening" and the mom needs to back way off or she will wreck her marriage. I feel sorry for both the daughter and the dad here.
    OurWildKingdom
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