DEAR MARGO: I am just holding on by a thread. I have been with my fiance for 12 years now. We have been engaged for two years because I can't seem to get him to grow up. His mother has her claws in him in every way possible, and it drives me crazy the way she manipulates him. I love him a great deal, but if he doesn't grow up, and fast, I will walk away from everything we've built together. He calls his mother "baby" and "honey," and the few times we three have been together, he would start his sentence with "baby," and we both would answer. I guess I just really want to know if it's time for me to walk away because I know some things aren't going to change. I honestly believe that if I were to suggest he choose, I would definitely lose. He is not the only child. His older brother lives closer to the mother than we do, but because the other brother doesn't fall for her tripe, she has my home in turmoil. Is it time to cut the apron strings?
--- MISS V.
DEAR MISS: Twelve years is a long time to go with somebody, hon, and I fear it may be too late to cut the apron strings. Things sound as though they are at the point where you have to stick it to him: Either you'll need to see some changes, or the romance is off. If you lose, as you predict, you won't have lost much because a guy who can't detach from his mother is going to be a source of grief forever. I agree that this taffy pull of a romance needs a serious re-do or a termination.
Who in the hell calls their *MOTHER* "baby" and/or "honey"?!??!!?!?!?
I get a parent calling a child that, though I think it would still be a little weird for a parent to call their adult child "baby", except in very limited circumstances. (But, then I object strenuously to being still referred to as the "baby of the family". Ummm, yeah, I'm the youngest, but I haven't been a baby, nor I have *been* "babied" in a long time, thankyouverymuch. But I digress.) But under what circumstances would a child start calling his/her mother "baby" and "honey"? From repeating after someone else? Maybe, but then doesn't the child get corrected? Doesn't the use of that term in that circumstance scream "inappropriate relationship" to anyone other than me? I do happen to use the term "baby girl", but that's with my cat, and even though she's a grown cat, she sometimes still acts really cute and kittenish, which is when I tend to call her that. But did I mention that she's a CAT? I think I would stand dumbfounded if I *ever* heard any of my friends address their mother as "baby" or "honey". "Whisky Tango Foxtrot is the matter with you?", I would be thinking (and hopefully not saying out loud).
I'm also amazed that this woman has put up with this for so long and *still* doesn't know what to do about it. Now, I certainly know that when you're in a relationship, you might put up with things because you have blinders on and you don't really see the answer that's staring you right in the face. But, in this case, seriously? She has to ask someone whether she should stay in this relationship? The *first* time he called his mother "baby", she didn't flip out?
The mother certainly sounds like a gem herself (how many mothers would *allow* their children to call them "baby"?), but I find it interesting that the letter writer seems to be mostly blaming the mother, and not her fiance. Ummm, hello, the mother isn't just interfering, but your fiance is allowing and even ENCOURAGING it! And you don't know if you should leave him? "but if he doesn't grow up, and fast", she writes. Fast? How fast? Two years fast? TWELVE YEARS fast? What in the hell are you waiting for?