DEAR ABBY: My live-in girlfriend, "Penny," and I are in our mid-30s. We have two young daughters from previous relationships. My problem is Penny's mother, "Marge," who insists on being included in everything we do. We can't make a move without Marge demanding to know what we did, where we went, who we met, etc. She even wants to know what we ate if we go out for a meal!
Penny's mom invites herself on our shopping trips, to the movies and dinners out. If we do something without letting her know, we'll come home to multiple messages on the answering machine from Marge, using the excuse that she "worries" when she doesn't know where we are.
What I don't understand is the fact that this woman has a husband at home. Why she can't leave us alone, I'll never know. It's to the point that I am rethinking my future with her daughter, because I don't want to hang with "Mom" all the time. Please advise. -- THREE'S A CROWD IN SOUTHERN IDAHO
DEAR THREE'S A CROWD: It appears that Marge's life has become so centered on Penny that she has no other social outlets. It is interesting to me that she and Penny's father do not seem to have a social life of their own, and makes me wonder what she could be running from.
Penny and her mother could benefit from counseling together. While a close mother/daughter bond is important, you have described one in which the mother has become obsessive. Both of them need to understand that this behavior could cost Penny her relationship with you.
Please don't end the relationship yet. Your lady needs to learn how to set boundaries, and she needs your support now more than ever.