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When Love Isn’t Enough: How a Mother-in-Law Ruined Our Relationship

I was with him for two years. He was an only child and adopted, and his mother was a dominant force in his life. She called him daily and knew everything about him. Even though my ex lived interstate, it was easy for us to make long-distance work because we loved each other. We would talk all the time, text, and see each other every 2-3 weeks.

Our relationship was fantastic, except for when his mother got involved. The first few months of our relationship were good, but the second it got serious, she didn’t like me anymore. The first time he invited me home to meet his parents, I was uninvited. I was never made to feel welcome, and on one occasion, she even yelled at me over the phone, calling me “selfish” and telling my ex to go home. My ex didn’t stick up for me, and I made concessions for him. I was stunned, and unfortunately, it wasn’t the last time that happened.

She would actively blame me for hardships my ex would go through, like a redundancy. Whenever he was at my place, she would call and make it an issue. I would get severe anxiety when I saw her name come up on his phone while he was there. She wanted him nowhere near me. I met her in person once, and she was sociable but did her best to separate us. She never asked me any questions and made it all about her son.

I was a supportive partner, even with the MIL situation. I put his needs ahead of my own, and it was never a lovely relationship between him and his mother. I felt sorry for him that he didn’t know what a loving relationship between child and parent was like. So, I supported him, celebrated him, and loved him extra to make up for it.

We talked about marriage and children, and he was going to move in with me. I was convinced he was the person I would be with forever until he wasn’t.

I ended up going to the hospital for a serious emergency surgery, and he came down to see me and look after me a few days later. After a week, his mother kept calling him and told him he needed to put himself first and go home. He did say he was doing the right thing looking after me, but she didn’t agree. The phone call was heated, and his father was in on it too. What they were doing wasn’t working, he wasn’t going home, so they issued the ultimatum – ‘if you don’t go home right now, we’re cutting you off.’ No contact with his parents ever again.

He lived alone, no family there, and very few friends. He always said home was with me, but he still left. He drove 7 hours home through the night in pouring rain. He was angry at his parents and didn’t speak to them for a few days.

I understood why he left, but I was hurt. Something broke in me that day.

A week later, we seemed fine. We talked and texted, and it seemed like we were on the same page. We didn’t want his parents to break us up. Then he gaslit me. He tried to make me believe he didn’t say something to protect his mother and her desires. I called him out on it and ended the call.

The next day I knew he was going to his parents’ place to stay a week. I waited for days for an apology that never came. I called multiple times, and they were ignored. When he finally got back to his place, he called me and ended it. He gave no real reason apart from parroting his mother and saying he needed to ‘prioritize himself.’ He sent mixed messages during the conversation like he still loved me and like I was a part of his future.

After spending two years in a loving relationship with my partner, a week with his mother shattered everything. It felt like our entire relationship was tossed out the window in just seven days, and I was left blindsided and ghosted. I keep wondering if he was forced to choose between us, or if he was always a coward. We tried to have a conversation to make things work, but he wanted a week of space, and I haven’t heard from him since. It’s hard to understand how I went from being his everything to being discarded like I meant nothing to him.

I know that his mother had issues with his past girlfriends, but that’s no excuse for what happened. It’s been five weeks since the breakup, and I still have two bags of his belongings and paperwork to sort out. We haven’t talked since the breakup, and I thought he would have reached out by now to handle these things. I’m heartbroken, confused, and in shock. This is unlike any relationship, breakup, or mother-in-law situation I’ve ever experienced.