I’ve just moved in with my boyfriend at his mothers house and I am finding her to be overbearing. Do you have any tips on how to manage the relationship so I can maintain my own personal space?
I would suggest you both move out and get your own place together. I’m not joking – this may not end well. Mothers love their sons more than anything in the world, which naturally causes an unusual and different relationship with the woman he chooses. I am yet to find a situation in which the co-habitation with a boyfriend’s/husband’s mum works out well. I know there will be people who say that it’s worked beautifully for them, but for each one of those, I bet you can find 10 cases where it didn’t.
It will always be tricky – because if he is frustrated with her, he can tell you, but if you are frustrated with her, he might get upset because only he can talk about his mum that way. If you say anything critical, he may think you’re being negative and unreasonable, and if she gets annoyed at you, he either has to defend you and upset her, or vice versa.
There can’t be two main women in his life, and he ultimately needs to choose. Sorry if you wanted something more supportive, but this is my best advice. Keep a bit of distance and grow your relationship in private. Good luck. x
How do I know when we can talk about being ‘exclusive’?
This is a very personal decision, but for me, if a couple is being intimate, exclusivity is required. If you are dating – like, going out to coffee and drinks, flirting, getting to know each other – then you can both see others without pressure. If you take it to the next level of intimacy, I think you deserve the respect of being the only one he’s with.
But it also depends what you want out of the relationship. If you are wanting to shag anyone you feel like, be ‘independent and strong’, and free to share your body with whoever you wish – then it’s fair to assume he wants the same. If you both jump into bed together quickly, then you’re not necessarily focusing on a long term relationship – in which case, exclusivity may not matter to some.
If you ultimately want someone to love for the long term, I would suggest going back to the old fashioned view of dating and courting, and getting to know each other well before you take the next step. You can never get that beautiful innocence back in your relationship… and if you’re not comfortable or too scared to discuss exclusivity, or if he is annoyed or scared off by the question, then I honestly feel that your relationship isn’t ready for it… or maybe he just isn’t The One.
I have been married for 15 years and would like to bring some more spice to the relationship. What would you recommend?
This is a tough one. Keeping the fires burning over time isn’t easy, whether it be five years, fifteen or fifty. I think it would be fun to try different things like tantric sex, which aren’t crazy porno moves for the youngsters – it’s more about deeper connection within yourself and each other.
I have heard that some couples have chemistry their whole lives without making a particular effort, and I’d love somebody who’s been married for 20+ years to write in and tell me how they did it!