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by Abigail Van Buren

Man's Closeness to Mother Puts Distance in Relationship

DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend is 31 and still goes to his mother's house and spends the night, even though we live less than 15 minutes away. He knows it upsets me, yet every time she asks him to spend the night, he goes. He left our children home alone while I worked overnight because it was her birthday.

His relationship with his mother is a large part of why we aren't married, and the fact that he continues to spend the night there is leading to huge fights. Is this normal or not? -- FED UP IN OHIO

DEAR FED UP: That your boyfriend would leave minor children alone and without supervision while he spends the night with his mother -- birthday or not -- is unusual. It would have been more logical for him to have invited his mother to your house to celebrate the occasion.

That said, you cannot control what your boyfriend does. I suspect there's a lot more wrong with your relationship than the fact that he hasn't emotionally separated from his mother. You two could benefit from couples counseling to sort out not only his relationship with his mother, but also your relationship with each other. If he won't go, go alone to get clarity on how to proceed with your future.

Read more in: Love & Dating | Family & Parenting