DEAR ABBY: I am a 29-year-old woman in a healthy, loving relationship with my boyfriend of 2 1/2 years. We talk about marriage and kids and are committed to each other. We know we are each other's special one. He recently bought a home, and we live together. My issue is with my mother. I feel she won't be happy with me until I'm married and have children.
She and Dad met and were married within six months, so to her, any relationship that lasts longer than that without marriage or an engagement must not be the real deal. It has been extremely frustrating over the past couple of years. She slips in judgmental comments all the time and clearly doesn't respect my relationship with the man I have chosen.
If I try to defend my life and our relationship, she says I'm too defensive and must be unhappy. If I say nothing, which has been my approach for the past six months or so, her snide comments continue. I want a good relationship with her, but I am not sure where to go from here. Marriage and kids are in our future but not for some time. We are enjoying our own timeline. Help! -- IT'S MY LIFE IN COLORADO
DEAR I.M.L.: At 29, you are well into adulthood, so perhaps it's time to draw the line. Tell your mother you know she loves you and is concerned for your welfare, but you do not plan to marry anyone on her timeline. Then say, calmly, that her comments are hurtful, and you need her to quit the needling, or she will be seeing a lot less of you. Be prepared to follow through.