Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

DEAR ABBY: I'm starting to worry about my boyfriend's relationship with his mother. He's deploying at the end of the month. We have been friends for a long time and dating for a year. He's 31 and lives with his parents. We had just gotten a place together prior to finding out about his deployment.

The problem is, his mother comes over constantly, and she waits on him hand and foot. She tags along to his sporting events and cheers him on as if he's a 6-year-old. If he's hungry, she rushes to fix his food and brings him lunch while he's working. She makes all of his doctors' appointments for him and is on his bank account. She also texts me to find out where he is if he has been out of touch for a few hours.

She has taken a lot of time off work to spend with him. I hardly see him alone anymore because he's constantly with her. At the beginning of his deployment, he will be in Texas for a month. During that time he will get a week off. He told his mom the dates of his time off prior to telling me, and she booked a flight for the entire time! This means I will have no alone time with him or time to say a private goodbye.

I love him very much, but this whole mom thing has got me second-guessing everything. Abby, is this normal? -- COMING IN SECOND

DEAR COMING IN SECOND: No, it's not normal. It appears that when your boyfriend was born, the umbilical cord, instead of being severed, remained securely in place.

I hope you realize that if you should marry him at some point, you will be getting a husband who never learned independence, and you will be expected to take up exactly where his mother left off. Your problem is not that you are "coming in second," honey, it's that he appears to be already married -- to Mom!


DEAR ABBY: I have lived with my girlfriend for three years now. She works; I'm retired. She's 52; I'm 62. We get along well.

My problem is, she insists on having her 10-year-old grandson stay over every other weekend and holidays. It is a 70-mile round trip to pick him up. This means that half our weekends are consumed with baby-sitting him.

He's a good kid; I just feel that 26 weekends out of the year is extreme. Her ex -- the grandfather -- gets the boy for a more reasonable amount of the time -- maybe six times a year. Your thoughts? -- MIFFED IN THE MIDWEST

DEAR MIFFED: I am going to assume that you have already discussed this with your girlfriend and she knows you are unhappy with the arrangement.

She may want to see as much of her grandson as she can because she knows that in another few years he won't be as available to her as he has been. (How many teenage boys really want to spend weekends and holidays with their grandmother instead of with their friends?)

While I don't blame you for wanting more child-free weekends and holidays, if she isn't willing to compromise, perhaps it's time to rethink your living arrangement so you can plan adult activities on your own.

More like Dear Abby