When is the right time to let go of your young adult?

Emma - posted on 08/25/2012 ( 6 moms have responded )

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I am not a mom, but I do need the advice of some wonderful mothers. I think that any mom who dedicates the few free moments of her day to become part of the Circle of Moms and better her child's life must have to knowledge and advice that I need. I hope that my question is not unwelcome. I am a very young adult, and I have come to the point where my wants are conflicting with the relationship of a mother who is very important to me.



I am an 18 year old, college student, and my boyfriend is the same and he will be 19 in a few months. We have been a relationship together for about 2 years. My question is when will my boyfriend's mother be able to let him go and be a man. I am an only child and my boyfriend has two younger siblings. One is 13 years old and he has functional autism, the youngest is entering his first year in middle school and has a lot of growing up to do.



To me, my boyfriend is a very strong person. He dedicates most of his time to watching his little brothers, cleaning, and his education. Though he is unemployed with the way our economy is today and lives with his family still. I want him to be able to spend some of his time with me, at home football games, after parties, and the occasional date. We haven't gone on a date in months.



The conflict is his mother. She expects him to attend to his little brothers constantly, and when I go over to visit he cleans most of the time I'm there. When we attend school events they call him expecting him home by 11pm. Is this an acceptable time for a person our age? If he returns home an hour late she takes his car keys like she's punishing a child but at the same time crippling our relationship. Does he need to speak with his mom?



I know he doesn't want to hurt her and feels a responsibility to take care of his brothers. I look at him and see the body and the mind of a man but the heart of her little boy. I feel like I am taking him from her. I do not want to offend his mother and it is very hard for us to communicate because there is a language barrier. I know no matter how old he is he will still be her baby. But, he's my "baby" too now and I know she worries about his safety.



She's openly told him she doesn't want him spending too much time with me because she doesn't want him to become attached and worries that I will become pregnant. He and I have always practiced safe sex before she was aware we had reached that intimate level of our relationship. I don't know what to do. I do not want to cause my boyfriend anymore stress. When will it be the appropriate time for her to let him be involved with me and engage in a social life without having to ask for her permission?

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Dove - posted on 08/25/2012

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You sound quite mature and well thought out and I think if your boyfriend's mother gets to know you a bit better she will discover the same thing and feel more comfortable with her son having a relationship with you.



Everyone who has posted has made excellent points. I do want to point out, however, that while he IS of an adult age.... he is unemployed and living at home. While that is certainly understandable, it also means that he has to abide by whatever household rules his mother sees fit to have. I do not think I would encourage him to speak to his mother about 'letting go', but really just be patient.



When he has a job and is able to move out on his own.... THEN if his mother is still trying to 'hold on to the purse strings' so to speak.... that would be the appropriate time to encourage him to encourage her to let him go a bit.



From your posting of him he sounds like a very mature and respectful young man. The fact that he takes such great care of his brothers and helping around the house makes me think he might make excellent husband and father material some day.



I guess my best advice is to get to know his mother and to be patient. :)

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My kids are only young so I have no experience with letting go, but I think at 18 you are both adults and should be able to have an adult life. He should not be expected to take care of his little brothers (he is not their parent) and although it is very good of him to help his family so much I feel his Mum should be starting to let go and allowing him to move into his adulthood without guilt. I don't know how you should go about approaching this as it is up to him to make the decision to break free but asking him how he sees things could be a good starting point.

How does his Mum treat you? Is it possible to have relationship with her so she can see that you are not going to take him away from his family?

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Emma - posted on 08/25/2012

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Dove, thank you for responding to my post. Our financial state is definitely a large factor in my dilemma and I'm glad you've brought it up. I lost my job in June and he and I have been applying like crazy. Moving out will not be a possibility for a few years, especially with the cost of college. Being patient is a hard but smart thing to do. Again, thank you for your advice.

Emma - posted on 08/25/2012

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Michelle, thank you replying and appreciation my writing abilities. I am a business major and I believe communicating in no matter what form is very important.



His mother was born and raised in Mexico. She came her a little before he was born and gained her citizenship, same for his father. I am half Hispanic, but am a fourth generation Spanish and Western European American. Over the years, my family has lost tradition, culture, and sadly the ability to speak Spanish. Here, is where the culture and generation gap lies.



I understand that some mothers don't like to let go of their boys. The relationship between a mother and son is a beautiful thing and I hope to have my own son in the next decade or so. I will put forth a better effort to get to know her. Thank you for your response. At my age it's hard to distinguish between what is a selfish and childish want and what is sane and appropriate.

Emma - posted on 08/25/2012

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Sharon, thank you so much for replying. His mother treats me with a lot of kindness. She's bought me a few gifts and is always having me try foods I have never had before. She is a young mom, she's only in her 30's but it is hard to talk with her because I'm afraid and I don't know what subjects to talk about.



Your response have given me courage though, I know have confidence that what I want isn't something childish and unheard of. I think I'll will take a step forward and ask to spend time with his mom. Maybe she can teach me to make a new dish and as she gets to know me she'll learn that her son is safe with me and that I do love him.



Do you think that I should advise him to speak to his mother about how he feels and asking her to let go?

Michelle - posted on 08/25/2012

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First of all I want to commend you on the way you have written this. These days it's sometimes so hard to read what people have written as they abbreviate everything and talk in text talk. It was a pleasure to read and also easy to read as you have even used paragraphs.



Now trying to answer your question: I think Sharon has pretty much said what I was going to. You mentioned there was a language barrier, where is she from? I may help to know what family life is like in her home country as in some cultures all the generations live together and it's up to the younger ones to look after the older ones.



Some Mothers also don't like to let go of their boys, no one will ever be good enough for them. I would try and spend time with her so she can get to know you better.

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