The problem is about my mother. After having lived by myself for 7 years during college life, from this April I returned to live with my parents again. Four months before this, mother knew that I have a boyfriend who was like just a male friend and a lover. He is a foreign student. Once we happened to fall into a love relationship but tried to keep good friendship as he has a woman whom he wants to marry. I love him and can’t give up on him.

My mother insists to separate from him because he is impossible and unfair, although he left his girlfriend even after letting her meet his parents (due to our periodical deep relationship), he is now free. Mother physically stops me from trying to see him. She also asks to choose her or him. I understand mother’s anxiety but can’t talk with her about this issue without getting into panic. She also forces me to write a covenant that I never get involved with a foreigner for the rest of my life. Honestly speaking, I don’t know if I really want to see him. Do you think anybody, even my mother, has any right to stop whoever a daughter loves? I responded sometimes to mother it is my own concern and not hers.

My mother has been a full time house wife for over 20 years and has neither any friends nor hobbies.

I may not be necessarily right but couldn’t follow mother’s demand. What should I do?


REPLY FROM COUNSELOR KIYOMI KAWANO It seems that there are many mothers who want to control her daughters. As you mention, that kind of control could possibly become stronger when and if mother has no own life and consequently depends on her daughter. Have you experienced any demand as such ? How have you responded under the circumstance so far? Try to think of and use your responses if they were effective.

It is very unusual to compel for you to choose your mother or a boyfriend. You may not able to live with mother forever and may create your own family some day even if you will not get married with this man. It seems to be difficult for her to comprehend this fact and she couldn’t accept it no matter how much you explain. Under such a circumstance you should resist mother’s demands instead of obeying them. I assume your possible obedience in the past resulted in the current situation. As long as you don’t try to overcome mother’s current control (belated the rebellious phase?), mother’s control will continue. Living by yourself again could be another choice. You might say that you can’t do this, so ask me what you should do. The change sometimes requires radical behavior because it could be impossible to understand each other reasonably.


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