How to Accept Your Son's Girlfriend

The Other Woman in His Life

Will his girlfriend become a permanent family member?
Will his girlfriend become a permanent family member?

Get Along with His Choice

Good relationships begin at the start. When your son brings home a girlfriend, here are ways to develop positive rapport.

The human family is like a wolf pack. There is a social hierarchy and a code of acceptance and rejection. When a son introduces a new female into his world, the rest of the females—young and old—take notice. Who is this unfamiliar creature that has attracted our son’s attention? Fears and questions arise: Will she be good for him? Will she take him away from us?

It is natural to feel territorial, especially for a mother over her child. This is the reason why so many mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationships become estranged. There is a tug-of-war with an unhappy male in the middle of it all. Young ladies attempt to prove their worth while mothers can be highly critical of the young woman who aims to replace her in her son’s life.

But mothers would be well advised to use care in their interactions with their children’s dates in the event that these relationships become permanent, and here is what to keep in mind:

First impressions don’t always count. How many times have we misjudged someone based on superficial factors (clothing, car, education, career)? Didn’t people of his time misjudge Jesus Christ himself? Get to know your son’s girlfriend. He must be attracted to some good qualities.

Don’t judge her at all. Do you remember how difficult it was to stand in judgment of your husband’s mother and family? No one likes to be judged. Everyone has the right to be who she wants to be without anyone else’s approval, including yours.

Support your son’s choice. In the end, your opinion will not win out. It is your son’s choice and happiness that matters. He will appreciate your support and resent your disapproval.

When to Be Alarmed

Young lovers are blind to serious red flags in their relationships which is why mothers become so alarmed when they see what they perceive to be poor choices. But it’s important to refrain from being petty. Her clothing, car, finances, education, family background and hobbies are compatibility matters for your son to think about. If he is okay with them, you should be too. If he is willing to risk his career, relinquish his faith, marry “beneath” or “above” his station or even give up his wish to have children, he will have to live with the consequences. If she comes with serious emotional baggage, including mental or physical illness or addictions and he loves her enough to take her as is, you need to step aside and allow him to walk the life path he chooses. We don't see the spiritual powers at work, and this experience may be invaluable in building his character and life knowledge.

There is only real red flag to be concerned about: Violence. If his girlfriend is prone to violence, she poses a risk to your son and any future children.

When to Say Something

The time to say your peace is before they reach the altar. Offer your insights without judgment or emotion—no threats, tears or tirades—or you son will close his ears. Talk to him one-on-one. Explain your concerns but follow them with, “I will respect your choice and love you no matter what.”

As his mother, you have the right to forewarn him of upcoming problems that may stem from differences in faith and other areas of incompatibility, for example. But as long as he is aware of what could be around the corner in a bad relationship, you must back off, let him make his mistakes and let him find his joy. Not allowing him the freedom to learn from his decisions is a mistake, too. In fact, if you have been too controlling throughout his upbringing, expect that this will be a time for him to establish his own independence. If you've encouraged his free will and chosen your battles wisely, he'll more likely be receptive to your sincere in-put as an adult.

How to Get Along

Be civil. If you choose to be rude and unwelcoming, this girl will do the same. One day, you will not be welcome into her home—with your son and grandchildren in it.

Be warm and approachable. Don’t be the Queen Bee to whom everyone must kowtow. It might seem amusing that you can make this new girl nervous with a sideways look, but her fear will soon turn to disdain.

Find her good points. Everyone has positive qualities. Find hers and bring them to everyone’s attention.

Ignore her faults. Would you like it if your mother-in-law harped on your faults?

Respect life differences. You two do not have to be alike, have the same habits, priorities or opinions. Embrace diversity. Look at the wondrous variety in nature.

Be glad that this girl makes your son happy. If she makes your son happy that is the greatest gift she can give you. Nothing else really matters.

Don’t criticize. Do you like it when your mother-in-law butts into your life? If you criticize, the girl—and your son—will avoid you.

Lastly, accept what comes. Your son’s girlfriend may not last in his life anyway so why make a big deal of it? And, if she does become his wife, you will have set down a solid foundation of good rapport so you needn’t worry. Instead of losing your son, you’ve gained a daughter--and a very good friend.


Helpful Books

Being Family: The get-along guide for in-laws
Being Family: The get-along guide for in-laws

In-law relationships can be the most difficult, and they can destroy otherwise happy marriages, too. By seeing things from each other's perspective, you'll gain the understanding you need to let down your guard and open your hearts to new family members.

 
Being Family: The get-along guide for in-laws
Being Family: The get-along guide for in-laws

Kindle version of above title. Only .99 cents.

 

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Comments 38 comments

bingskee profile image

bingskee 6 years ago from Quezon City, Philippines

though i find it funny that a hub will be discussing something about this, i find the tips very useful as well. nice!


Laila 6 years ago

I find it useful,I have four son one came home with a girl who will never say hi to me when he first start'ed going out with her, I always said hi some time she will just be looking at me, and my son will be there when she is doing this,this is my first son, now my #2 son will tel his girlfriend not to talk to me when he has problem with me even now he send his graduation invitation to his girl friend and a friend, when she see will also not say hi,how can I understand this ,I care for this children when their father left when they were babys is this what I get for 26years, please help me.


Lori P. profile image

Lori P. 6 years ago from Southern California USA Author

Hi Laila, there is so much to know before I can really help. First, examine your own ways. Did you criticize them a lot? Were you too harsh? If you were only good to them and they still treat you this way, I would sit them down for a talk to find out what they are thinking. Be direct: "What have I done to make you treat me this way?" Have they always treated you this way? Do you think that they might blame you for their father's leaving the family? Be sure to tell them you love them. Sometimes, mothers assume their children know they are loved but it is important to express it in words as well as actions. My advice is to show only love and kindness toward your sons and their girlfriends. They will remember all of your loving care you gave them through the years and eventually, they will change their behavior towards you.


Laura 5 years ago

get real!


pat 5 years ago

My son's girlf friend will sleep over in his room. Gets up like there is nothing wrong... They know that my husband and I don't like it at all. What d you do in this case ? Plus she nevers smiles.... That bugs me toooooo death !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1


Monica 5 years ago

My sons girlfriend is always calling him names and is always angry. She hates our whole family for no reason at all. She's been dating him for three years and he say's she'll grow out of it.


Kris 5 years ago

To pat -- Its YOUR house, you lovingly but firmly must set the rules. Tell your son it is the policy in your home that unmarried couples do not share a room or bed in your home. You have no control over what they do elsewhere, but you are responsible for what you allow in your home, so don't be bullied by his defiance of you.


lELIA 5 years ago

MY SON HAS BEEN DATING A GIRL FOR SEVERAL MONTHS.SINCE HE HAS BEEN WITH HER HE HAS CHANGED SO MANY WAYS. MY SON HAS ALWAYS A RESPECTFUL CHILD. NOW HE IS VERY ARROGANT AND DISRESPECTFUL. THIS GIRL IS TRULY A BAD INFLUENCE.SHE CONSTANTLY DRINKS, SHE HAS TWO CHILDREN THAT SHE DOES NOT CARE FOR. HE STAYS OUT MOSTLY EVERY NIGHT WITH HER.WE HAVE A BEAUTIFUL HOME,BUT HE WOULD RATHER STAY WITH HER IN A HOUSE WHERE TWELVE OTHER PEOPLE LIVE.I HAVE CONSTANTLY TRIED TO TALK TO HIM ABOUT THIS BEHAVIOR BUT HE REFUSES TO LISTEN.HE HAS LOST HIS JOB AND HAS NOT REALLY TRIED TO FIND ANOTHER.I LOVE MY SON AND I AM AFRAID THAT SOMETHING BAD WILL HAPPEN IF HE CONTINUES ON THIS PATH. AT THIS POINT I FEEL THAT I CAN ONLY PRAY THAT GOD WILL GET HIM AWAY FROM THIS HORRIBLE PERSON.I AM TRULY SADDENED AND DISAPPOINTED IN MY SON.PLEASE,GIVE ME SOME GOOD ADVICE. THANKS ELIA


Meme 5 years ago

losing a job is really hard and can get you down. Others may feel you are not looking for a job when you are looking for many and get disheartened. If you know he has always been respectful, thechange may be because he is trying to breakaway


barbara 4 years ago

My eldest son Matt has been dating this girl who has been totally appauling both my younger son Mike 17, my husband and myself. We made the mistake of letting her live in our home 5 months ago and my home has become so uncomfortable that we have asked her to move out. My son who is still in college for another at least 3 yrs. does not see any of these issues we are having with her, Love is blind I know.

She is foul mouthed and I mean drops the f-bomb like its candy even in from of us. She is disrespectful, leaves things all over the place, waste food, milk..etc, she is rude to anyone that is not one of her few personal friends and she only has a couple. Not a very friendly person at all..she actually has made the hair stand up on the back of my neck.

We spent a week at the beach for spring break just last week and had another girl with us my younger sons girlfriend, Matts girlfriend in a full 7 days never spoke to her once it was obvious she was jealous, I cannot even imagine not speaking a week to someone that I was in the same condo with. Help!

also, this girl has done some things that have been very disturbing as well, that would scare any mother. Like taking my younger sons things and hiding them in her dresser, stupid things like his hair gel and she seems extremely jealous of my younger sons close relationship with Tyler.

she also attends college and skips classes often which being under my roof and acting in such an irresponsible way around my younger son is upsetting, my boys just dont do these kinds of things. When she started dating Matt she lived with her aunt apparently did not see eye to eye with her mother and step father whom run a beautiful heifer farm and her mom is a school teacher. Her mom kicked her out of the house a fact we recently just found out as his girlfriend told us she moved out.

I am up in arms as to why my son does not see these things, he has dated other girls in the past without no problems like this, they were nice girls and acted like ladies..I'm confused, my guts are telling me just give him time.

Any advice and insight on these situations of life.


boobhead 4 years ago

My eldest son Matt has been dating this girl who has been totally appauling both my younger son Mike 17, my husband and myself. We made the mistake of letting her live in our home 5 months ago and my home has become so uncomfortable that we have asked her to move out. My son who is still in college for another at least 3 yrs. does not see any of these issues we are having with her, Love is blind I know.

She is foul mouthed and I mean drops the f-bomb like its candy even in from of us. She is disrespectful, leaves things all over the place, waste food, milk..etc, she is rude to anyone that is not one of her few personal friends and she only has a couple. Not a very friendly person at all..she actually has made the hair stand up on the back of my neck.

We spent a week at the beach for spring break just last week and had another girl with us my younger sons girlfriend, Matts girlfriend in a full 7 days never spoke to her once it was obvious she was jealous, I cannot even imagine not speaking a week to someone that I was in the same condo with. Help!

also, this girl has done some things that have been very disturbing as well, that would scare any mother. Like taking my younger sons things and hiding them in her dresser, stupid things like his hair gel and she seems extremely jealous of my younger sons close relationship with Matt

she also attends college and skips classes often which being under my roof and acting in such an irresponsible way around my younger son is upsetting, my boys just don't do these kinds of things. When she started dating Matt she lived with her aunt apparently did not see eye to eye with her mother and step father whom run a beautiful heifer farm and her mom is a school teacher. Her mom kicked her out of the house a fact we recently just found out as his girlfriend told us she moved out.

I am up in arms as to why my son does not see these things, he has dated other girls in the past without no problems like this, they were nice girls and acted like ladies..I'm confused, my guts are telling me just give him time.

Any advice and insight on these situations of life.


Lori P. 4 years ago

I'm sorry that I haven't checked in for a long time. Going through serious life stuff. Anyway...

Sometimes, a young kid/man chooses only to see the good parts of a girl, totally ignoring the obvious red flags for a variety of reasons. Here are a few I can think of:

1. He wants to be her champion. Young boys with low self-esteem are attracted to girls that make them feel good about themselves. If the girl is "broken" in some way, he can be her hero or savior. He will defend her to others because he is the only one who "truly understands" that there is a sweet girl underneath the tough exterior.

2. He is experimenting with other personality types than those he has been used to dating. There can be thrills dating a "dangerous" or "renegade" girl. She might behave in ways that he wishes he could or at least in ways that seem very different from his perhaps sheltered life.

The thing is that a young man must be getting something from his relationship with this girl. And don't discount the importance and bonding of great sex. "Nice" young ladies/girls can have sexual hang-ups.

Young girls also are developing into who they want to be so a lot of this behavior is thoughtless and fleeting. In most cases.

The hard part is hoping your son will wake up before making any lifelong commitment to this girl. Love your son without forcing ultimatums. Don't force him to choose between you and the girl. Just love your son so he will never forsake you for anyone. You have had decades with him while she has had only a year or so. You have time on your side.

I once had a dream that my family was outdoors in the backyard, enjoying our sweet kitties. A monkey with a banana ran up and grabbed one of my kitties, slung him under its arm and ran away. I panicked and began to shout which only sent them both farther away. Then, something said, "Call to the kitten." I called sweetly to the kitten who wriggled out of the monkey's arms and ran back to me.

My son was with a girl we did not approve of and he even planned on marrying her. My family and I were sure to surround my son with lots of love all the time so he knew what a loving family he had and what he would be missing if he had to make a choice. Then, we told him that we loved him and if he was sure, we would back him up and love his wife, too, but before he made that choice, we begged him to listen to what we had to say.

And we presented our concerns. Not putting her down at all, but expressing that she just wasn't going to be the one to make him happy. We painted a picture of what family life with her as a wife and mother of his children would be like. Is that what he wanted? If he were going to give his own son advice if he were going to marry a woman like his fiancé, what would he say to his son?

Not all life paths are meant to be easy and if he chooses a hard path, we'll walk it with him. But if we could prevent that, if he could trust us his family who loves him unconditionally and forever, could he rethink this choice?

It's important not to judge the girl or he will rush to her defense. We expressed that it wasn't that we didn't like this girl as a person and that we understood that everyone is "broken" in some way...and some people are worth fixing...and that everyone deserves to be loved...but this woman needs to fit into his life, his lifestyle, which includes his family. Would he want his son to cut him out of his life over a girl? Divorces and break-ups happen all the time. Family is forever.

The right girl for him will love his family, too, because his family is a big part of him and who he is. The right girl will bring more love and joy to the family as the family grows.

He began to see our points, and he broke up with this girl.


Lori P. 4 years ago

Call to the kitten! :)


help me 4 years ago

I am very close with my parents there my best friends... But they don't like my girlfriend we had some issues in the beginning but I don't blame my girlfriend there were alot of outside interference. Well my parents arent trying to open up any more there closed off to her... I don't think thats right she wants them to like her... But since my parents arent don't like her I keep her away from them but that means I too stay away ... I want everyone happy but I don't know what to do...


Lori P. profile image

Lori P. 4 years ago from Southern California USA Author

Why don't they like her? What are their reasons? If you continue to "keep away" from them, they will blame her for that so try not to stay away. Visit them alone sometimes. Re-establish your bond with them. Then, you can continue to express the positives that your girlfriend adds to your life. As time goes on, you can bring your girlfriend by too. Building bridges takes time. Don't give up.


Hmm. 4 years ago

Matthew 7:1-29


carlab 4 years ago

My problem is a little different. My son began dating this girl when he was 17. It was his first girlfriend. By the time he graduated (6 mos later), they spend almost every day together (entirely at her home since we wouldn't let them stay in the basement and "make-out" all the time. Her parents don't care what they do. Well, he turned 18 in July of that year, and then informed us that he was giving up his full-ride scholarship to the out of state college to stay closer to this girl (she is a year younger). We moved to a different town to be closer to aging parents, and he continued to drive an hour and a half every day to see her (he would go after/before his job). After Christmas last year he suddenly informed us that he found an apartment closer to her. After a week I went to meet him for lunch and found out that he was living in his car! We made him come home or we would tell her what he was doing (he didn't want her to know). He did end up getting an apartment a few weeks later (with our help), and is currently enrolled in a local college. We never see him, though, and I see on facebook that they are constantly doing things together~just nothing with his side of the family. They are having sex (he denied it, but I found evidence otherwise), so this must be the hold she has on him. Any advice for us....his siblings miss him terribly, and so do his father and I!


Lori P. profile image

Lori P. 4 years ago from Southern California USA Author

His first love. This is a tough one. He is going to hang on until she or he discover that there is more out there than each other. Are you protesting this relationship? You had the right to deny access to your basement, but other than that, are you friendly or cordial to his girlfriend? Why not invite them both to join you and your family for dinner. Do you still talk to your son and express that his family loves and misses him? Send out lots of love to him. Be open to his girlfriend. Make it a warm and inviting offering. Keep showing and reminding him that his family is still here and loves him. Concentrate on your relationship with him. Some first loves are destined to be "the one" while others eventually dissolve as each person involved matures. As his parents, you have to let him ride this one out to see which way it goes. Meanwhile, let him know you're his forever family. Good luck!


carlab 4 years ago

Thank you, Lori. We do try and invite them all the time, but there is always an excuse as to why he can't make it. We then see pics of he and his girlfriend hanging out at the park, or movies, or with her family (taken on the same day as the one we tried to get together). It is very hurtful, but I will continue to invite both of them to spend time with us. It actually felt good just to vent and get another opinion!


Lori P. profile image

Lori P. 4 years ago from Southern California USA Author

It's such a hard transition to go from boy/child/son to man, a sexual being. He may feel awkward about being around her at the same time he is with his family. His roles and self-perceptions have changed. He might see himself as your child when with you and with her, he is completely different. Is is possible to have a frank talk with him--no judgment, criticism or forcing of opinion--just to express how you'd like to get to know her? Try to treat him like the independent young man he has become. It's hard not to mother our children, even if only in tone of voice and energy. Our grown children won't want to be around us if we're always offering our unsolicited opinions or judgments! I know from experience! I feel for you because sometimes it isn't our fault at all but what is going on in their own heads. Sadly, especially sons, they do break away at some point. A son is a son until he takes a wife is an apt saying. Keep the porch light on and the door unlocked. He hasn't married her yet.


Dave 4 years ago

Hi Lori.... please help....I have a difficulty with my mother currently. She is having a problem mainly because my girlfriends family background is of a poor family. My girlfriend is a very nice person and she likes my family and my children love her a lot, even though they are not hers but my mom has shown signs and comments of having a problem with the fact that I support her at times, even financially. We have a 1 year old son together. My main support is that she liked to undertake Nursing as she said she likes to serve the community and I paid for her registration and now she has received a study loan for the whole year and now has one year left for her studies. Now my mother keeps on asking how she is studying and who is paying for her fees, even if i explain to her, she would go and talk about it with other family member/s. She has had very bad comments that show that she disapproves of our relationship in front of family members and others. I have always supported at home and even paid for my mothers studies when she was studying, I give her money monthly just for support on groceries while i understand that this is optional as she is working after she got a qualification for her studies. I even renovated her house and spent lots of money but now there is a problem when i support my girlfriend. She pretends to be having no issue to me at times but I am concerned that this will have a negative impact on our relationship with her (mother) once we get married. My girlfriend is the humblest and kindest women I have ever met and I like her for who she is and not what she has. On the other hand, my father likes my girlfriend a lot, he even called me and recently told me that my girlfriend checked him when he was admitted to hospital.

How do I approach this issue as it is emotionally draining me. Please note that I have not informed my girlfriend of this as it will hurt her heart. She always says speaks positively about my whole family but I know exactly what is going on in the background. Note that I do not live with my parents as i am an independent person and have a professional job. My girlfriend does not live with me either as she is studying at a distant college.


Lori P. profile image

Lori P. 4 years ago from Southern California USA Author

Hello, Dave. I'm sorry to hear about your difficult situation. I hear that you are being emotionally drained by this. The important matter to focus on is that you aren't an underage child or young adult and you don't need your mother's approval for this relationship. It sounds as though you've built your relationship on very solid foundational reasons for liking your girlfriend: she has amazing traits (kindness, humility) and she loves your children like her own. Generally, women who go into nursing are very nurturing, patient and compassionate people. Plus, she is the mother of your one-year-old. It might be understandable that your mother has reservations about this girl because your previous relationship with a woman did not survive. If you were hurt, she will be slow to warm up to another woman in your love life. Plus, you have been a great financial help to your mother, and she might feel that you will be strapped if you also have to support your girlfriend, too. But this is not just a girlfriend. This is the mother of your child and the mother of her grandchild.

In a gentle manner, make it clear to your mother that you and the mother of your child will be married soon. Let her know that you gladly help support your "future wife" in her studies because you love her, you know she will be a great help to those she attends, and that she is anxious to help support the family financially as well.

Do not address the negative comments that she is making to others or she will have to defend herself and she'll get resentful towards your fiancé. Just keep singing the praises of your fiancé, perhaps even drawing some analogies between her and your mother. "One reason why I fell in love with her is because she is a lot like you in that she is very caring and kind." "Her family might have been poor but this only gives her determination to help our family's finances." "My fiancé really respects you, mom, because you are so ____ and she needs a role model for that." "She might have been born poor but that made her humble unlike the other women I've met who are materialistic and vain. This woman doesn't care about those things." "Mom, this girl makes me happy." "She really loves you and dad." "The kids really love her." "She is such a hard worker."

Sing her praises but not in a way that will make your mother feel less or feel jealous. For now, don't tell your fiancé about all this. Her hurt will only add to the mess. What she doesn't know won't hurt her, and so she can continue being the sweet, considerate future daughter-in-law and melt away your mother's disapproval with kindness in time.

But, Dave, remember one important thing: This woman is not a mere girlfriend. As the mother of your child and your future wife, she deserves your loyalty and devotion. If you have to live with your mother's disapproval, so be it.

Continue loving your mother and expressing it. If you withdraw your love, she'll only resent your fiancé for it. Say, "Mom, no other woman can take your place in my heart--ever." Because when she knows this, she'll do anything to make you happy in return even if that means accepting the new love of your life. Good luck. :)


Dave 4 years ago

Hi Lori. Thanks for the most valuable advice. It has been a hard journey for me but now you have given me the hope on this and more importantly, actions to execute to ensure this does not get worse anymore. I will definitely implement the advice herein, and it will definitely bring about positive results.

Thank you...


Lori P. profile image

Lori P. 4 years ago from Southern California USA Author

Oh, you're welcome. Thank YOU for posting. Please remember to keep everything positive and loving or your mother will accuse your new wife as the bringing of bad feelings or coming between mother and son. Do your best to show how your wife has increased the joy in your life and their lives (your parents'). In fact, shower your mother with lots of love and attention when your new wife is around so she will associate your wife with good times and loving feelings from her son. Your sweet, humble wife will not be threatened by it and your mother's insecure ego will be soothed. Good luck. :)


mary f. 4 years ago

Our son has been dating a girl for 1 year. They began dating when she was 16 and he 17. She is an only child and she also works at the same place of employment as our son. We have tried to give our son his space, included her in many family gatherings, dinners, etc. I have gone out of my way and bent over backwards but yet I cannot understand her personality. Never says hello, thank you, etc. It is always up to us to start the conversation. There have been several instances when we would see her mom and when we did, she always had a comment to make about the kids. They attended our sons high school graduation as well as his party. At the end of the night, they came into our house to watch him open his gifts. The mother would make comments about how he could finally take her out on a real date. Two days later, the mom calls to ask me to go to lunch "since the kidss are going to be together". We asked our son what this was all about and I brought up several reasons including the possibility of her being pregnant. Well, the son texts her and says can you believe my mom thought the lunch was about you being pregnant. About 11:45 that evening , there is a knock at the door and girlfirend is standing there crying histerically with her mother. They come in and the girlfriend holds up a pregnancy test. I was sick. She then throws it down and says she was not pregnant. We ask them to come in to discuss this and the mother will not even sit down. Many things are said that night including how the mother feels the kids should be able to make their own decisions and how her and her husband met in high school and are still together. It has gotten to the point that our son has given up all his friends and only does things with her and her parents. It is like his new best friend is her 43 yr old father. He does do things with us occasionally. We are truly concerned about his world revolving around these people. He has began college on a full scholarship but lives at home. He goes to college and comes home. No socialization there . We just want him to have a healthy relationship that does include friends and other people rather than so wrapped up around this family with no responsibilities and can come and go as he pleases at their house. I truly believe that this mother and father are wanting them to get married at some pont. Our perspective is that you have your whole lieves ahead of you. If you are together in 5 years when college is over great, but don't miss out on so much of your young lives. Please advise. Thank you.


Lori P. 4 years ago

As a mother, you're concerned about your son getting involved in a committed relationship at such a young age, and that is completely understandable. However, when viewed through your son's eyes, you're disapproving of his relationship with the girl he loves. That is all he sees. Your disapproval. And that will drive them both away. She translates your disapproval of the relationship as a rejection of her. He sees your disapproval as criticism of his life choice. Her mother sees your disapproval as meddling and controlling your son's life. She reached out to you to get to know you better and was met with suspicion and accusations.

Your reasons are sound and valid from a parent's perspective, but in all honesty, you have to remember that he has a life of his own. It's no longer about what you want for him or what you think is best for him. At 18, he has the right to live as he chooses. You've set down solid foundations for him, and he is branching out and experimenting with his freedom. He may make mistakes. That is part of life and learning. But he might have found his life mate at an early age. Some lucky people do.

What you might see as great experiences for young people may not be what he enjoys or wants to experience during his youth. He might not missing out on anything at all.

Look, if you push this matter, you'll only push him deeper into her arms. If they are meant to be together, there is nothing you can do about it. If they aren't, let time run its course. You know relationships have bumps in the road. Right now, you are being the major bump. Do not be that bump! Let other life situations, including their immaturity, test their relationship.

Her parents welcome your son because she is an only child and it is like gaining a second child, a son they never had. And it sounds as though they see themselves in the children's romance. But if your son continues to hang out with their daughter, come and go as he pleases without responsibilities, believe me, her parents will change their attitude towards him sooner or later. Their expectations of their daughter's fiancé or husband will be very different from their expectations of her boyfriend. She and he will hear about it, and then the honeymoon is over.

My advice to you is to be non-confrontational about his relationship. When you can talk with him, let him know that you love him and do not mean to sound as though you disapprove of his relationship. It's just that you want him to enjoy his young years before settling down. That is all. But once you say this, don't harp on it or bring it up continually. Let him know that as his mother, you will always love him and support him in finding his happiness. If this girl is important to him than she is important to you, too. And you and your husband will always be there for him no matter what.

From then on, be kind and open-hearted towards her and her parents. You don't have to start planning the wedding or be overly indulgent and supportive of the relationship but just warm, friendly and loving. Non-judgmental. Non-critical. Sincerely warm and pleasant. Accepting. His world will no longer revolve around her family's when you open your world up to include her.

Remember, if you read my above comments, you'll understand what I mean when I say, "Call to the kitten." Then, if and when problems in their relationship arise, he'll be able to turn to you for solace and guidance.

I know you have concerns about your son getting into a serious relationship so young, but isn't your top priority your son's happiness? If he were unhappy, I can understand your wanting to change his situation. But he is happy, and you did not mention anything about the girl or her parents having a negative impact on your son's life or happiness aside from his not living the way you think he should. Your son is going to college so he is working towards a goal.

I'm sorry if I'm not giving you the answers you wanted to hear, but they are the answers that will help you save your long-term relationship with your son which is more important than being right or getting him to comply with what you think is best for him.


mary f. 4 years ago

Thank you very much for your guidance! I greatly appreciate your feedback.


tamra 3 years ago

my son has been with a girl for 2 years now the family can't stand her. she is very disrespectful called me a bitch to my face, has went off on me in my home, has called my husband a motherfucker to his face and has changed my son for the worse. he had a dream of going to college after high school was going to major in medical field of some type. now he drinks, does weed and cigs. no dreams now. and just got engaged to this girl against what his family thinks! he is only 19 and she is still in school a senior 17 years old. it really bothers the family cuz we thought we brought our son up with the understanding that family comes first that you never bring trash in your family and take up for your family! we seriously can't stand this girl can't even be in the same room with her without wanting to hurt her! we will never accept her we just don't know what to do.


Lori P. profile image

Lori P. 3 years ago from Southern California USA Author

Ouch. I understand your concerns. Your son is underage as is his girlfriend who is having a clearly negative influence on him. We need to question why this girl attracts him. She offers something that he wants on a physical, emotional or psychological level. We need to reflect on his relationship with his family prior to this relationship with this girl. Sometimes, a seemingly "nice" kid will be attracted to a "bad" girl because she represents the side of him that he wishes he could express. The rebel. Maybe she is a way for him to stand up to his parents even if in a subconscious way. Why else would a decent young man tolerate a girl who mistreats or disrespects his parents whom he loves? He doesn't recognize it but he is being passive-aggressive. Do you think that you might have over-controlled your son? He might like that his girlfriend gets you riled up. Meanwhile--or otherwise--he could be attracted to her because she represents a totally different lifestyle than he has known. For kids who have led the straight and narrow lifestyle for all their lives, the rebel or laid back lifestyle suddenly can feel liberating. Sad thing is, he doesn't realize that he is hurting himself more than anyone else with this hopefully short-lived experimentation. Here is my advice: For the time being, don't fight against this girl or this relationship. No, do not encourage it either. But shrug your shoulders and say, "It's your life. Your life, your choice. I'll love you no matter what." This way, he'll learn quick that you are not controlling or directing his choices. He doesn't have to meet your approval or work against it. Whatever you do, don't meet this girl's bad behavior with more bad behavior. No bad-mouthing, no cursing, no anger. Just emotionless responses or civil remarks. This way, he can see you are not being mean or negative towards her in any way. If there is friction, it is caused by her. But it is your house so you can draw some lines: She can't sleep over. If he wants private time with her which is an adult privilege, he needs to own up to that adult responsibility of having his own place. Same for the drugs and drinking as they are underage and you could be in big trouble for allowing it in your house. Don't nag him about college or breaking up with her. Be loving towards him. Civil towards her. I told my son that I would love him forever and when he chose a bride, I'd back him up no matter what road he decided to walk but to be sure about his choice and to know if a girl truly loves him and will make him happy and be a great mother to his children. This girlfriend of your son's doesn't sound like she would make a good mother or will make him happy in the long run. It sounds as though she has problems and your son might have his own self-esteem issues so that he feels better than she is, that he doesn't deserve better or that he can help/save her. Offer him counseling...even couples counseling before they walk down the aisle. Tell him that you want him to be sure about this decision.


Lori P. profile image

Lori P. 3 years ago from Southern California USA Author

Don't make a big deal about their engagement. She's 17. Seriously. How long do these things last? The fact that they began to date when she was only 15 shows me that he might like playing the older, wiser man. He feels protective. He gets esteem from that. So the more you attack her, the more he'll defend her.

Instead, I would open dialogue gently. Say, "We want to like her. Tell us what you love about her." "Do you think she'll make a good mother to your children?" "Are you angry with us? Is there anything you want to tell us? Because it seems odd that you don't mind if she calls your father a motherf*##* or yells at me. How would you feel if your own son's girlfriend called you names?"

"Your life, your choice, son. We will love you always. But you'll be the one who has to live with your choice for the rest of your life. She's young and she'll go through a lot of changes just within the next few years alone. Why rush?"

Good luck.


Lori P. profile image

Lori P. 3 years ago from Southern California USA Author

For those struggling with difficult son's girlfriend issues, please read about a very helpful dream in which a mother was given remarkable advice to follow. And her son came running home:

Chimp Stealing Kitten Dream Interpretation

http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art30033.asp


Amy 3 years ago

Do you dislike the person your child is dating? Would you like to prove once and for all that parents know best? VPEtalent is seeking concerned and dynamic parents who think their teen or 20something is dating the wrong person for a new docu-reality show for MTV's international channels. Contact amy.frank@vpetalent.com with your story to apply.


Concerned 3 years ago

My son recently obtained custody of his 3 year old son after a 2 year custody battle. During this time he started dating a woman he met online from another state who was pregnant with another man's child. Based on information shared with me she was still residing with the other man. My son started dating her while she was still pregnant. Her baby was born Dec 2012. My son has a three year toddler who is in speech therapy because of delays in his development resulting from his neglectful mother. What concerns me is that this new woman and son moved near me without her resolving her financial situation in the other state and that this new woman claims that my son would have her hide in the closet when my ex-spouse and his step mom would visit him. During that time, my son was dating this new woman and she was still pregnant and also directly after the birth of her child. They moved near me with her baby was about 3 months of age. The woman has been on unemployment since sometime in the early days of her pregnancy and has allowed the property she owns jointly with her childs father to foreclose. She is always asking my son to ask me to help them and her financially. My ex-husband and I have both assisted my son during the custody battle with financial matters. Now this woman is expecting us to resolve her issues. My son has turned all care of my grandson over to her and she is neglecting him horribly. We have tried to talk with our son about what we felt in the beginning was just typical new mom depression or her being overwhelmed. The woman has started expressing dislike for my three year old grandson. She won't bath him or put him in clean clothing and seems to be extremely harsh with him. my ex comes as frequently to visit our grandson as he can. During this time I have tried to be as kind and helpful to my son and his new girlfriend. I have not said anything critical of her until a few days ago which was after his telling me that she was now claiming all the new clothing purchased for her baby who is now 9 months old. Everything she puts my grandson is has stains on and is usually filthy. She is constantly saying she and her baby are sick, so my son brought some things to me to laundry since he was working extended hours after finding that he himself didn't have clothing and that is when I discovered all the toddler and infant clothing covered with mold and mildew. I sent hours on my patio scraping the mildew off and letting it sit in the sun to kill off what I could. I bought borax and washed all the clothing in it and even did a second wash with a vinegar rinse before taking all the clothing and hanging in the sun to dry. What occurred next is when I saw my son next I pointed out the stains and explained what I had to do. He told her and then called me later to tell me that she was highly offended and never wanted me to do their laundry again and that all of that clothing belonged to her son. The thing was I had purchased most of those outfits for my grandson who is three and was starting headstart within that month, so I knew they weren't her childs. When I bought my grandson those items I also purchased clothing in 12 month size at her request for her son. I was extremely hurt and said so to my son. Anyway, at this time she is refusing to let me see my grandson. My ex is coming down to try to talk with my son, but I fear she may do the same thing to him. I am going to tell you for the 6 months I have known her I have never said anything negative to her are about her. My father passed away the day before Mother's day . It was sudden. So the gift and dinner out with my mom and that I had planned were canceled. I have been helping my mom during this time. I didn't critize her when she relayed through my son, how mean it was of me to overlook doing something for her to celebrate her first mother's day. My mom, myself, my family, we didn't celebrate Mom's day this year. We didn't feel like celebrating. I feel I have some real concerns here. My son is an adult. My greatest concern is for my grandson. I did go to the grandparent day breakfast at his headstart program and his hair was so stiff from not being washed and his clothing was filthy. He teacher shared that the girlfriend gets really impatient with him when she drops him off or picks him up and stated she has yet to meet my son, the father. My heart just breaks. What would you suggest at this point? I can't undo what I said to my son about my concerns about the neglect and stealing of clothing.


Lori P. profile image

Lori P. 3 years ago from Southern California USA Author

Dear Concerned, I am sorry to hear of your grave situation. Indeed, it must be very difficult for you to witness the neglect of your grandchild. I can't help but think that your son isn't capable of making sound decisions for himself let alone his son. He does not seem concerned for his son's health and well-being. You will not get far in discussing this with him or his girlfriend. Say nothing critical or they will resent you. HOWEVER, you can tell your son that if the child's school gets involved, he and his girlfriend will be reported for neglect and this can cause him to lose custody of his child. He could be returned to his mother and if that is not possible, then perhaps you can gain custody or at least guardianship of him. Before you act on any of this, I suggest you speak with a family court representative or attorney to see what your rights, as a grandparent, are. There are a lot more resources for grandparents today. It honestly sounds as if neither your son or his girlfriend are fit parents. Please seek legal counsel. This is not a matter of "getting along" with his girlfriend. Please do something for your grandson's safety and well-being.


Johnk911 24 months ago

Nice blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere? A theme like yours with a few simple tweeks would really make my blog stand out. Please let me know where you got your design. Bless you cecgggceekac


Lori P. profile image

Lori P. 24 months ago from Southern California USA Author

This is not a blog but a "hub" or article that uses one of the Hubpages templates. But you did give me a good idea about turning this subject into a blog! Not sure if I will do it, but it sounds good. Thanks for stopping by!


billybuc profile image

billybuc 11 months ago from Olympia, WA

All great advice, Lori. I'm afraid we have failed miserably with my son's recent girlfriend. Well, they have been going together for four years. At first we got along but then we discovered she steals things...she lies....and we no longer trust her in our home. So things are a bit strained to say the least. But we keep working at it and we keep the lines of communication open.


Lori P. profile image

Lori P. 10 months ago from Southern California USA Author

Good for you, Bill. She sounds like an extremely insecure person who needs to self-protect. Your son must be a person who sees the good in all people and who tries to fix them. It's hard to talk to your adult child about his choice of mate because he will see it as yet another reason to protect her. We did not attack our son's former girlfriend but we only continually expressed our love for him. When the opportunity arose, we did mention that it might be a good idea to look into their future together to see what type of mother and wife she would make because he would have to fill in for any of her deficits there. He saw that her depression, dark attitude, and erratic behavior would not be good for children and that his life would be forever difficult. I don't know if you read about my dream but the best thing you can do is to remind your son always about your love for him and that is a love that will never end or change. It is a love he can truly count on while romantic love with the opposite sex is, well, fragile and easily broken. Believe me, he will want to hang onto that. My son now knows this and will never let love for a girlfriend break our relationship.

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