Boyfriend’s drunk mother con­fronts reader at party

Honolulu Star-Advertiser - - TODAY - CAROLYN HAX Carolyn Hax is a colum­nist with the Wash­ing­ton Post. Write to her in care of Wash­ing­ton Post, Style Plus, 1150 15th St. NW, Wash­ing­ton, D.C., 20071, or email her at tellme@wash­post.com.

Dear Carolyn: Re­cently I was at a party hosted by my boyfriend’s mother. I’ve been dat­ing my boyfriend for about six months but we have been friends for a decade. His mother drunk­enly con­fronted me at the party, say­ing she is dis­sat­is­fied with the speed at which our re­la­tion­ship is pro­gress­ing — too fast — and she doesn’t like the im­pact it can have on her grand­child (my boyfriend’s child).

While I sym­pa­thize with what she is say­ing, we are by no means go­ing too fast. We are in a long-dis­tance re­la­tion­ship and only see each other once a week, if we’re lucky. We are in­ten­tion­ally tak­ing our time be­cause we want his child to be com­fort­able with us.

While I spend time with his child and we’ve formed a bond, we make it very clear the child has a mother and I’m daddy’s friend.

I did ad­vise his mother po­litely that, con­sid­er­ing we live hours from each other and I only see her grand­child maybe once a month, it’s not really shov­ing the re­la­tion­ship down the child’s throat, and as we’ve been dat­ing for six months and don’t plan on liv­ing to­gether any­time in the near fu­ture, it’s not mov­ing too fast. I also told my boyfriend what she said and he was up­set she cor­nered me and had this con­ver­sa­tion with me and not with him. If this were to hap­pen again in the fu­ture, what should I say? — Jump­ing To Con­clu­sions

Dear Jump­ing: “[She] drunk­enly con­fronted me”: Please take this as four­word li­cense to ig­nore this and all fu­ture beer pres­sure. Se­ri­ously. If she has some­thing to say, she can say it sober to you or her son. Ide­ally the lat­ter. If you’re an in vino ver­i­tas sub­scriber, al­low me to suggest a slight edit. What I think peo­ple free in them­selves with al­co­hol isn’t so much the truth as a will­ing­ness to seek feed­back and feel­ings they deny them­selves.

His mother might just need to feel like she’s in con­trol. If and when this hap­pens again, smile and say, “Of course you’re wor­ried, it’s your grand­child, I’d be wor­ried too.” Zig when she’s look­ing zag — and for the love of pot­stir­ring grand­mas, stop ex­plain­ing your­self. Just get away from the con­ver­sa­tion at your first even marginally po­lite op­por­tu­nity.

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