Here is a cautionary tale:

Growing up you and your mom were a team of two. Things did not work out all that well with your dad so your parents split when you were just a baby. Your mom was pretty young when you were born. She relied a lot on her parents, your grandparents, to help raise you. She dated a lot after your dad left and you just cocooned with your other family members who seemed not to know how to teach your mother how to parent.

Little guidance growing up

Your friends were jealous when you got older because your mom was so cool. She was more of a friend than a parent and was pretty lax with the discipline. Because you knew nothing different you thought it was normal for your mom to hang out with you and your friends. As you grew into your teenage it became common for your mom to borrow your clothes and use your makeup. She let you experiment with some adult behaviors and exposing you to drinking and smoking before you were ready.

Sometimes you longed for a mother who would set some boundaries or be able to give you some needed advice. You started to notice that your girlfriends’ parents were a little disapproving of your mother, rolling their eyes and showing some exasperation as your mom rarely drove to your sport’s team or ballet practice relying instead on other adults too much. You became a little embarrassed as you discovered her flirting with your soccer coach or the rehearsal pianist at the dance studio. Some of your friends started avoiding you when your mom tried to cozy up to their dads.

The fun and young mom of your childhood began to get a little desperate as you matured into a young adult. She has always been the pretty one. You believed her when she joked that your were her little tomboy. Or that you were too fat or awkward to have a boyfriend. You dated infrequently during high school and for some reason you could not put your finger on you did not want to introduce her to any guy who showed an interest in you.

Introducing the boyfriend

You graduated from high school and went to a local community college. Living at home was not ideal. So you began saving some money as you worked your way through with work study jobs. You started to take pride in your appearance and diverged from your mom’s fashion sense, much to her irritation. You took your studies seriously and transferred to a four year university where you met the man of your dreams. He was sweet and attentive and you finally got the courage to bring him home to your mother.

He and your mom instantly connected. At first you were relieved as you mom had always been so dismissive of your brief flings and interrupted relationships. As time went by your beau showed more interest in chatting with your mom than spending time with you. You decided you were just being silly and tried to be happy they liked each other. Yet you were miserable. Your boyfriend was robotic when he gave you a kiss or a hug. Your sex life became non existent.

Caught in the act

And then one day you came home unexpectedly from school and found your boyfriend’s car at the house you shared with your mom. When you walked in you realized with complete shame what the problem was as you surprised mom and your boyfriend making love on the living room couch.

The emotional pain was unbearable and the scene that followed was pathetic. Turning away you fled to your grandparents where you are still staying as you mom and ex continue their flagrant affair. In fact your mom has announced they will be getting married and she is pregnant with his child.

How to deal

Unbelievable? Perhaps, but this story is not unlike that of some very unfortunate women whose mothers are narcissistic and so self involved that they will pluck a similarly damaged man our of their own daughter’s arms. The answer is to walk away and get some professional counseling to prove to yourself that you are the victim of a mother who should never have been a parent. If you are lucky enough to have relatives and friends who see your mom for who she is keep them in your circle as you seek healing.

As for that boyfriend? He was no friend of yours. Your mom may have been the predator but he knew wrong was wrong. Investigate during counseling what attracted you to such a hurtful individual. Work hard on loving yourself because you are lovable.

Here is to your happily every after — without these toxic two.