Setting Boundaries?: How much are you entitled to your adult children when they live in your home?

Lizz - posted on 06/01/2014 ( 2 moms have responded )




Hello all,

I am not a mother. I am a 27 year old woman living at home and would like advice from other moms on here whose adult children live with them.

I am the oldest of two other siblings. I recently just graduated with my Master's and have always had 2-3 jobs in order to put myself in school. In August, i plan to leave to teach abroad. There isn't a date i plan to come back, if i like it i'm going to stay. I say all of this to show that while i have always lived under my mother's roof I haven't been sitting on my behind doing nothing.

My mom's a good mom and i have nothing bad to say about her, however my mom has been prying for information about who I'm dating. My brother is more open to her than i am when it comes to relationships and sex. My sister might be also. However, that is a part of my life i want to keep to myself.

I have been friends with this guys for 2 years and we recently decided that even though i'm leaving, we will become an item. She has noticed i have been going out lately and had started to ask question. I try to be careful with information i give her because she sometimes throws it back at me in an argument. the guy I'm dating is 49 (I should note that my moms ex-boyfriend (for over 20 years) is 71 and she is 47, so i wasn't expecting age to be an issue). When she asked his age i told her and she said, "nice! older men are more mature" A week later she said wanted to meet him. I told her that since i'm leaving soon, i don't want to bring him around. she said that because i'm spending the night out and spending so much time with him she needs to know who I'm with so I'm safe and also, that he should know better because he's older than she, and that it is that it is the right thing to do.

Now 3 weeks prior, My Boyfriend suggested he meet her, but i told him no. i brought this up to her in his defense, but she continued getting irate. I asked, "what do you think is going to happen when i move? you think i'm going to parade and mention every single person i'm dealing with to you?" that got her even more upset and she ignored me for two days.

i spoke to her and asked if she wanted to meet him, she responded "its up to you" and in my head I'm like, really? Obviously it isn't if i told you no already and you start screaming. But anyway she finally accepts the invite. In what seemed like an attempt to start another argument, she brought up the part where I asked her if she expected to know everyone i dealt with when i was away, and said it was a "disrespectful" and "sick" comment to say. i apologized and kept it moving. My bf and I went a week without seeing each other because it seemed as tho she’d give me trouble if it was before the day she met him.

Yesterday, the day of the meeting:
My bf and i had plans to go out, but he was going to stop by around 8:45 to receive the "once over" before we left. However my mom left to go to her bf's house around 5 and said she'll be back by the time he comes. Around 8, i get a text saying for us to go to her bf's house when he picks me up and she'll come out to say hi, and that they would meet up another time for a conversation. This part confused me because WHYYY would is she pushing for a second time???

We go to her bf's house and she comes out wearing much attitude on her face. She was sarcastic and overbearing said things like "well, despite of the opinion you already had formulated about me . . " implying that we bad mouth her on the ride there. she asked his age even though she knew it and after giving a long 5 second stare said "ummm your older than me" –which was NOT the way she acted when I told her. She followed up with "basically, if she shows up missing i need to know the face of the person she was with last" and turned to me to conclude with "well, i'm done embarrassing you"

When i was 18 and she met my ex (we were together for 7 years) i felt the same kind of embarrassment as I did last night. Except in that situation at 18, i felt it was justified with the fact that then we were dating for 3 months and she hadn't met him yet. But I'm 27 now, I travel and take vacations ALONE for extended periods of time. I have no Debt, no children, I am mature. I know i am not open about who i'm intimate with or if i am even dating anyone, but i believe that i shouldn't be bullied into sharing things i am not ready to share. If i don't want her to know who I'm having sex with, that should be my business.

I have a few weeks left here and i would like to enjoy my bf on this new level we decided to take our relationship. And also, he is a GROWN man, not someone one my age who she may feel she can talk down to/scare away for seeing her daughter.

So my question is, am i wrong for feeling like there are areas of my life my mother needs to learn not to prod her nose in regardless of the fact that i am in her house. I feel like she's doing her best to show me (for whatever reason) that despite the fact that I am an adult, i am a child in her house and she will treat me as such because she feels she CAN.

All i keep thinking about is when i leave and how i will really begin to withhold information on my personal life and show her that NOW I control how much she has access, because I CAN.

I’m bitter right now, I know


Guest - posted on 06/01/2014




On one hand, I agree with Michelle, she is pushing a little too hard. On the other hand, I think your behavior and secrecy are pushing her to do it.

She's your mom. You do not have a child yet, so you will not yet understand the worry that comes along with being a parent. She doesn't want to know who you are with just to get on your nerves, she wants to know so that she can have a sense of security when you are away from her and to feel like you have some sort of relationship beyond casual acquaintance.

Right now, you are living in her home, so she gets a very frequent but peripheral view of the goings on in your life. Obviously she is going to ask who you are seeing--hell, I ask my girlfriends who is new in their lives when they start to act differently. It isn't because I'm out to judge their friends, it is because I love them and I want to be happy for them if they are seeing someone promising, but also because I want to have something to tell the cops if their bodies show up in a dumpster downtown. Just because you are an adult now doesn't mean you are invincible. When you refuse to give her so much as small talk, or openly forbid or go out of your way to prevent her from meeting the guy you are spending all of this time with, that sets off her alarm bells. I mean, if he's a great guy, and has nothing to hide, why would you feel like you need to hide him? So if you refuse to let her so much as meet him, then she's going to wonder what is so creepy about him. Also, I don't know if you see him inside her house, but it is our family rule that I get to meet anyone that comes into our home before they come in. It is MY house, and MY cherished things are in it, so if my son is living here and wants to bring someone home, I get to meet the person before they set foot in my home. That is just plain etiquette.

When you move out, you can have more secrecy because she will not have a bird's eye view of your comings and goings to alert her to changes in your habits. That's just a natural perk of getting out and building your own life, but as long as you live under her roof, she is going to notice when something changes, and she is going to be curious as to the cause. If you want your privacy, get your own place. That said, if you were a little more open to her about who you are with and where you are going, she wouldn't be prying so hard to find out more because she would be secure in the idea that you aren't doing anything you need to hide from her. No, it isn't logical, but it is a time tested response.

If you can't stand her scrutiny for your last few weeks here, sign a month to month on an apartment to live in until you are off on your travels.

Michelle - posted on 06/01/2014




She is taking it way too far.
When I first read the title my response was going to be that living in her house you have to follow her rules but even when I was living at home my parents were never like that.
You only have 3 weeks until you leave so just keep the peace but if it gets too much maybe stay more at your boyfriends place.


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