setting personal boundaries“I can’t, my mother would never let me do it!”

That’s what she told me when I asked my ex if she’d move in with me.

We met when I was 16 and she was 14.

The only problem was that she was 21 when I asked her. A grown woman. Not quite the “silly child” she used to be.

It was always a struggle with her.

I believe that she genuinely cared for me. And I genuinely cared for her as best as my emotionally numb 23-year-old self could.

But at the end of the day, I wasn’t the only person she was in a committed relationship with.

I mean, yeah, she cheated on me a few times, but I’m not talking about that.

I’m talking about her mother.

The puppet master pulling the strings in every consideration of her life.

Her mother had scripted her entire life out for her. She would major in pre-med and then go on to become a doctor… oh wait, maybe it should be an ultrasound technician (after all, the neighbor’s daughter did that and she’s doing all right smothering ooze all over pregnant women’s bellies). She would live just down the street. She would marry a tall, handsome guy with much-blonder hair than I had. And, of course, she would be at her mother’s every beck and call to help her tidy up the house or organize the two “junk rooms” in the basement whenever company was coming over.

And if she seemed to even stray from the plotted course by even the slightest margin, she would get an earful from ol’ mother dearest…


Clay is an author, blogger, and dating and relationship coach for Loving Boldly. He is also a nap enthusiast, coffee aficionado, and home brewer.

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