• My girfriend indulges her teenage son and I am worried it will affect our relationship. Help!

    My girfriend indulges her teenage son and I am worried it will affect our relationship. Help!

    It sounds as though she can’t manage to say ‘No’ to him - with the result that his demands have become more and more extreme.


    Question for JulieQuestion:

    I've been in a relationship now for five and a half years. When it started it was just great sex - the sex has got better, but her son from her previous relationship is now nearly 17.

    She allows him to sleep with his 15 year-old girlfriend, he has his friends over quite often, and at times there can be as many as 20.

    He has his own credit card and I am just concerned that things are getting out of control. We are considering moving on with our relationship, ie, possible marriage, but I am concerned that things will get worse with the son as he gets older.

    Sometimes we'll be having sex and she will stop to answer the phone - when you're in Cyprus on holiday that's a bit much. Then he rings at two in the morning to ask if he can put £30 on the credit card as he is at a club, and he will ring back at three to say whether he needs a lift or not.

    Do you think I am being a mug in putting up with this? There is much more to a great relationship than just great sex isnt there? PS, she is 12 years older, I am 34.

    Julie Answers...Julie Says:

    Your girlfriend certainly sounds very indulgent with her son, to a point where as you say it’s getting out of control, and I can see how tough it must be for you to stand by and let it happen.

    You’ve been together for five and a half years (and I’m glad the sex is great!) but if my maths is correct, that means you got together when her son was about eleven or twelve? Whether the previous relationship ended because of you or before that, she probably felt both guilt and divided loyalties, being happy with a new man whilst her son was perhaps missing his dad - or at the very least, having to adjust to Mum being with someone new.

    So it could be that she tried to make up for this by saying ‘yes’ to everything and allowing him to have and do pretty much whatever he wanted - in an attempt to show him that she still loved him. The problem is that children need boundaries - and without them, they actually feel less safe, because they don’t know where they stand - or what the rules are.

    It sounds as though she can’t manage to say ‘No’ to him - with the result that his demands have become more and more extreme, and he has no sense of what’s acceptable or not. I’m sure she’s trying to be a loving mother, but by supplying his every wish, she is actually restricting his ability to develop and learn how to be independent.

    It’s quite natural for parents to give children a lot, emotionally and materially within reason, but we also have a responsibility to let them gradually stand on their own two feet - sometimes getting it wrong - but learning in the process how to be adults. And you’re right to be concerned about her letting him sleep with his 15-year old girlfriend, which as I’m sure you know still happens to be illegal, and could land not just him, but his mother in serious trouble.

    I think it’s responsible and realistic of you to take all this into account before deciding to get married, because things obviously need to change and your feelings need to be taken into account. Does your girlfriend see anything wrong with the current situation? Do you want to be a step-father to this boy? If the answer to both these questions is ‘Yes’, then I’m sure you can move forward.

    You need to explain how you feel, and discuss between you what changes can be made to restore some balance to their relationship. Parenting counselling may be helpful, but whatever the route, be sensitive and avoid blame.

    Resenting him and openly showing your feelings will wreck any dreams of a long and happy marriage with his mum. And last but not least, try to develop your own relationship with her son, so you can encourage him and help him find his feet ‘man-to-man’, as he starts to become independent.

    The Greatest Sex Tips in the WorldRefreshingly frank and funny, actress and presenter Julie Peasgood delivers practical information to transform your sex life. The Greatest Sex Tips in the World explores the world of eroticism, revealing secrets and techniques that will energise and enhance your enjoyment.


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