Skip to content

Breaking News

Advice |
Harriette Cole: I asked why my boyfriend’s mom doesn’t like me, and the answer hurt

I now find it hard to see a future with him


DEAR HARRIETTE: I am in a new relationship, and my boyfriend’s mom doesn’t like me.

I asked my boyfriend if there was something I did for her to not like me, and he told me that she wanted him to get back with his ex. Hearing this really hurt my feelings because, from the moment she met me, she has never given me a chance.

I truly love my boyfriend, but knowing the fact that his mom doesn’t like me makes it hard for me to see a future with him. What should I do?

— Disapproving Partner’s Mom

DEAR DISAPPROVING PARTNER’S MOM: Don’t give up just yet. Do some sleuthing instead.

Why did your boyfriend and his ex break up? How long were they together? What is their story?

It makes sense that his mom would have some allegiance to his old flame if they were together for a while and the mom had a relationship with her. Find out the backstory.

Then, if it seems like you want to be with this man, have patience. The two of you need to build your relationship, and you need to have patience as his mom gets to know you.

She is likely pretty guarded, considering she already opened her heart to someone and now that person is gone.

If this relationship is meant to be, you will have to work at gaining her trust as the two of you get to know each other and figure out your future.

DEAR HARRIETTE: My wife and I have been married for four years and have a 2-year-old son.

At the beginning of our marriage, we spent a lot of quality time together; however, my wife is now fulfilling her clinical hours for medical school, and we hardly spend any time together.

I got a work-from-home position in IT, but I only see her before she is headed to work and before bed.

I know she is focused on finishing school, and I am happy for her, but I see that our marriage is starting to become affected by it. Should I bother speaking to her about my concerns?

— Busy Wife

DEAR BUSY WIFE: The early years in a marriage with a child can be taxing. Add med school duties, and you double the stress and strain. The good news is that this phase will pass. It may not feel like it now, but all of the work that it takes for your wife to become a doctor will eventually be worth it.

That said, yes, you should talk to her about the situation.

Show compassion for her grueling schedule, but also let her know that you feel lonely and disconnected and possibly overwhelmed with the toddler all by yourself.

Suggest having date night once a week. It could be something simple — eating a meal together at home, which is not always easy to accomplish. Also require regular playtime with your child. You cannot do all the parenting yourself.

Even if your wife cannot do all that you ask of her, let her know you need her. You need to communicate with her regularly, if only for a few minutes a day. And let her know you have her back as she goes through this extremely taxing time.

Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.