Ask Nicci: Clingy mom needs to back off

By Nicci Sprouce
From the March 15, 2012 edition

I’m newly married to a great guy. It’s his mother I can’t stand. She calls him all the time and stops by our house on the weekends. He thinks I’m just jealous that he’s close with her. How do I get her to understand he’s not her kid anymore? —Fed Up

If you were paying attention before you married this mama’s boy, I’m sure you already knew you were going to have a meddlesome mother-in-law. There is no reason you cannot change this dynamic and have your husband exclusively but also keep harmony with his mother.

The real work will start with fine-tuning your husband. Assert your position consistently with whatever boundaries you feel are most important to the growth of your marriage. It sounds like he may have some maturing to do.

When handling the mother-in-law, don’t drive a wedge between them. Go out of your way to include her in events. Chances are she will detect that her son is being well taken care of, and hopefully she will recognize that it is time to assume a new role in his life.

Find your way to train hubby to be your man and show mama bear she is wrong to perceive you as a threat and you will be on the right path to a happy, healthy marriage and family.

I’ve had an insane crush on a guy in a band for months — and so has my roommate. Thing is, he’s into me, not her. We’ve been secretly hooking up for a few weeks. I don’t want to sneak around with this guy all the time, but I don’t want to hurt my friend either. How do I break the news to her? —Beth

Do you really think this guy is relationship material or worth losing a friend over, Beth? Reality check: He is in a popular band and probably has plenty of women crushing on him. My instinct tells me this is more about winning. Well, it looks like you won. But did you really?

You will likely have a few meaningless relationships before getting serious with Mr. Right. What is important is that you cultivate your personal character along the way so you are mature and ready when love really does happen. Being a good friend is a great place to start.

Unless your goal is to finagle a menage a trois with your roomie, odds are this guy will love you and leave you. You’re stuck with yourself forever. This is a good time to find out who you are: someone who sneaks around or a good friend.

Take responsibility for your actions and be honest with your roommate. Give her the facts and hope for the best.

∙ Nicci Sprouse is the owner of a local dating service. Send your questions about love and relationships to infoasknicci@gmail.com. Or get in touch through her website, asknicci.com.