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I have a conflict with my mother's beliefs

Hey Girls,

I have this emotional thing going on in my head and I could use some other perspectives...

So my mother broke up with her boyfriend which she dated for 7yrs he has children from a previous marriage and grandchildren. He was a widow for a couple of years until he started dating my mother.

He constantly babysits his grandchildren since his daughter is a single mother who works and studies and has limited time off. My mother somehow has a problem with having his grandchildren at their house. This issue is mainly what caused the breakup.

 I see him as a father figure and we have spoken many times and he has asked me to help him talk to her and figure things out. I tried to talk to my mother and she is stubborn as a mule, she says that she needs to be the priority or have first place in his life and then his family.

I completely disagree, I believe children and grandchildren should come first especially if she is not related to them. Then the spouse of significant other. What made my jaw drop was that she tried to justify her response saying the "bible" says that your spouse should come first, then your parents, then the rest of the family.

Can someone pleeeeeeeeeeeease enlighten me or something...please correct me but I think I understood that my mother just said to my face that her boyfriends come first, then her parents and then maybe me??? (which made me feel like crap)....

Thanks girls! 


Re: I have a conflict with my mother's beliefs

  • luckya23luckya23 member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
    edited March 2016
    Well, I think she is correct that the bible probably does say that.  She probably thinks the daughter is taking advantage, and yes, at your mother's age having to be a constant babysitter would cramp your lifestyle!
    Curious: does she put him above you?

    ETA: I would also have a problem with someone else's kids "constantly at my house."

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  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    I'm with banana. I think the spouse/significant other should be the most important other person, followed by kids. It's called a partnership for a reason and there's something unhealthy about the amount of focus some people place onto their kids (I.e. Helicopter parents).
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  • MsMoraga said:
    Hey Girls,

    I have this emotional thing going on in my head and I could use some other perspectives...

    So my mother broke up with her boyfriend which she dated for 7yrs he has children from a previous marriage and grandchildren. He was a widow for a couple of years until he started dating my mother.

    He constantly babysits his grandchildren since his daughter is a single mother who works and studies and has limited time off. My mother somehow has a problem with having his grandchildren at their house. This issue is mainly what caused the breakup.

     I see him as a father figure and we have spoken many times and he has asked me to help him talk to her and figure things out. I tried to talk to my mother and she is stubborn as a mule, she says that she needs to be the priority or have first place in his life and then his family.

    I completely disagree, I believe children and grandchildren should come first especially if she is not related to them. Then the spouse of significant other. What made my jaw drop was that she tried to justify her response saying the "bible" says that your spouse should come first, then your parents, then the rest of the family.

    Can someone pleeeeeeeeeeeease enlighten me or something...please correct me but I think I understood that my mother just said to my face that her boyfriends come first, then her parents and then maybe me??? (which made me feel like crap)....

    Thanks girls! 


    First if all, your Mom's relationship with her ex-boyfriend is between the two of them, so decline any participation in negotiation.

    The Bible says that God comes first, then your husband, then your parents, then your children.  Boyfriend is waaay down the list.  This, of course, was more than 2000 years ago, when women were property.

    I strongly suspect that your mother is suffering from narcissistic personality disorder, where she must be the center focus of everything.  My mother was also dealing with this, and a "normal" relationship with her was simply not possible.

    Check out the book Will I Ever Be Good Enough? by Dr. Karyl  McBride and see if this fits.  You might need counseling.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    ILoveBeachMusicscrunchythiefMsMoraga
  • I'm also in the camp that my spouse comes first. 

    Yet, there are times where other people need to be prioritized as well. Like my father having hip replacement surgery, or a single mother losing her job, etc. then I agree other people temporarily may need more of my time. But in general, no my H comes first and if he had an issue with something then his feelings (and mine of course) are the most important. 
    kimmiinthemittenlc07
  • photokittyphotokitty where I want to be mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    We don't have kids yet, but my stance would be spouse first, unless in a life or death situation. If our child and I are both dangling from a cliff, save the kid - I don't think I could live with myself if he saved me. My spouse feels the same.
    :kiss: ~xoxo~ :kiss:

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  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I agree that you should stay out of this OP. It's fine to maintain a relationship with this man, but you should not be running interference between him and your mother.

    As for the children thing- I don't think there is enough information to make a judgement.

    Your mom's ex-bf sounds like a very loving man, it's great that he helps his daughter out and takes care of his grandchildren. BUT- he and your mom were together a long time and living together- they choose to make a life together (I would consider this man more than "just a boyfriend", compared to what some PPs have suggested). Thus, all situations should be agreed upon by both. Maybe your mom feels like his daughter is taking advantage of him. Maybe he doesn't let your mom know when the kids are coming over. Maybe your mom doesn't want to be a babysitter. And that's fine- some grandparents love to gush over and spend all their free time with their grandchildren and some don't, they want to maintain their own adult life- neither is wrong.

    The problem here is that your mom and her bf are not on the same page. Either they need to communicate more, or perhaps they have, and have reached an impasse where neither is willing to give up their position- in which case, they are clearly interested in two different lifestyles and this isn't going to work.

    Ultimately, spouse comes first. Yes, children need adults to care for them, but his daughter is an adult and the grandchildren are HER children, so the responsibility is on her to care for them, not grandpa or your mom.
    OurWildKingdomMsMoragashort+sassycharlotte989875
  • I don't think there's any one answer to who should come first amongst spouses, children, etc. that works for everyone all the time, though I'd say it's important for a couple to agree on the issue. Clearly your mother and her ex have not been able to do that, and your mother (understandably) got frustrated with feeling like she was always second or third in line. 

    Regardless of what you think of who should come first, this is between your mother and her ex, and you should have no further involvement. 
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  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I also agree that you need to stay out of it.   I am curious, though, where the Bible says what she claims. 
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited March 2016
    CMGragain said:
    MsMoraga said:
    Hey Girls,

    I have this emotional thing going on in my head and I could use some other perspectives...

    So my mother broke up with her boyfriend which she dated for 7yrs he has children from a previous marriage and grandchildren. He was a widow for a couple of years until he started dating my mother.

    He constantly babysits his grandchildren since his daughter is a single mother who works and studies and has limited time off. My mother somehow has a problem with having his grandchildren at their house. This issue is mainly what caused the breakup.

     I see him as a father figure and we have spoken many times and he has asked me to help him talk to her and figure things out. I tried to talk to my mother and she is stubborn as a mule, she says that she needs to be the priority or have first place in his life and then his family.

    I completely disagree, I believe children and grandchildren should come first especially if she is not related to them. Then the spouse of significant other. What made my jaw drop was that she tried to justify her response saying the "bible" says that your spouse should come first, then your parents, then the rest of the family.

    Can someone pleeeeeeeeeeeease enlighten me or something...please correct me but I think I understood that my mother just said to my face that her boyfriends come first, then her parents and then maybe me??? (which made me feel like crap)....

    Thanks girls! 


    First if all, your Mom's relationship with her ex-boyfriend is between the two of them, so decline any participation in negotiation.

    The Bible says that God comes first, then your husband, then your parents, then your children.  Boyfriend is waaay down the list.  This, of course, was more than 2000 years ago, when women were property.

    I strongly suspect that your mother is suffering from narcissistic personality disorder, where she must be the center focus of everything.  My mother was also dealing with this, and a "normal" relationship with her was simply not possible.

    Check out the book Will I Ever Be Good Enough? by Dr. Karyl  McBride and see if this fits.  You might need counseling.

    I think this is completely off base. Her mom has put up with, apparently, 7 years of constantly having children in her house. It's not a sign of a personality disorder to want some peace and quiet and alone time

    Her daughter is an adult now. It's okay for her not to be her mom's top priority. It's ok for her mom to want to feel like she comes first to her boyfriend. Again, neither of these are a sign of a personality disorder. 

    She didn't just out of the blue tell her daughter "you don't matter to me" she got defensive when attacked. 
    According to the OP's original post, her mother did not want some "alone time".    Mom wanted to come first, to the exclusion of the boyfriend's grandchildren.  This is what set off my warning signals.
    My Mom wanted me to leave my husband and children at home and to come visit her 900 miles away so we could go shopping together and go out to lunch. She made it very clear that she wasn't interested in seeing my family.   My children and my husband (who was very tolerant) were a part of my life, and no way would I leave them to come across the country to visit narcissistic Mom.  Most grandmothers adore their grandchildren, and want to show them off to friends.  Not my mother.  She just wanted to wear beautiful clothes and to go out.   Small wonder that nobody cried at her funeral.
    I don't know if OP's Mom has NPD, or not, but I do recommend that book.  It will make it clear if this is the case.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    MsMoraga
  • emmaaaemmaaa North Carolina mod
    Moderator 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary
    I think this stopped being your business when you said your mom broke up with HER boyfriend. While you may have really liked him and had a great relationship with him, he was your mom's partner and it is up for her to decide who she wants to be with. If her ex wants to work things out then he needs to talk to her about it. If she is being stubborn and doesn't want to talk, then I think you have your answer.



  • Thank you all for your advise and I will check out that book @CMGragain recommended, I appreciate everyone's kind words and different perspectives I believe people should agree to disagree. 
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    MsMoraga said:
    Thank you all for your advise and I will check out that book @CMGragain recommended, I appreciate everyone's kind words and different perspectives I believe people should agree to disagree. 

    I'm pretty sure this is what everyone is trying to tell you. You disagree with your mom's beliefs and she disagrees with her ex-BF's. You should agree to disagree in that her values are different than yours - not try to change her values or make her feel bad that she puts one relationship ahead of another.
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  • I don't see either party as being the "bad" one.  You're mom's ex wants to be there for his daughter and his grandkids, so he does a lot of babysitting.  Your mom does not want to live in a house that is filled with children a lot of the time.  Also very understandable.

    In a perfect world, they would have compromised.  The ex would have acknowledged that the amount of time the children are spending there is too much for his live-in g/f...who gets a say in visitors (including family) and how often in the house.  And she would acknowledge it is important for him to have the grandkids over.  They could come to a mutual decision on the number of days he babysits per week.

    Perhaps they tried to compromise, couldn't agree, so they broke up.  That's a valid choice also.

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  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited March 2016
    emmaaa said:
    I think this stopped being your business when you said your mom broke up with HER boyfriend. While you may have really liked him and had a great relationship with him, he was your mom's partner and it is up for her to decide who she wants to be with. If her ex wants to work things out then he needs to talk to her about it. If she is being stubborn and doesn't want to talk, then I think you have your answer.


    This.

    Regardless of whether or not your mother is right or being stubborn, it is inappropriate for you to get involved, and out of line for the BF to ask you to. Your best option is to politely refuse to engage while maintaining a friendly relationship with the boyfriend.
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