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Dear Ann Landers,
My boyfriend and I have been together for almost two years. Generally, we have a great relationship, except when it comes to his mother. She has started calling my house three or four times a night. (We do not live together.) Most of the time, she calls about nothing -- she heard a funny story about a neighbor, she saw something good on TV and so on. Whenever I visit my parents, she calls me at least twice to find out if "everything is OK." She also calls our friends to find out if my boyfriend and I are getting along. The phone calls aren't the only way she butts into our lives. She has questioned the amount of time we spend together and what my parents think about it. I tried planning a party for him, and she decided to take over the guest list, the menu and everything else. (I ended up canceling the whole thing.) She has made it clear that her son is not to move out of town, no matter how good an offer he gets, because the family must "stay together." Although I am a college graduate and earn $50,000 a year, she thinks I should go back to school and get a doctorate. Ann, I want a future with this man, but I don't want to end up with a mother-in-law who tries to run my life. Please advise. -- Mothered Out in Iowa

Dear Iowa,
You don't say one word about your boyfriend's attitude toward this mother-in-law from hell. Will he support you in your fight to be free of this woman's interference? What's the record so far? Unless you are absolutely certain that he will always be on your side, I would advise you to think seriously about what your life would be like if you married this man.

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A Note from Margo:
Hi! It's Margo here. I'd love to know what you think of the letters -- and the answers!

Also, any additional thoughts you might have. Thanks!

Reader Comment
Mothered out in Iowa should think really hard about furthering her life with this "momma's boy". This is only the start of a painful life together with an overbearing MIL. It's time to have a talk with the boyfriend then with the MIL

Andy's Comment
First, talk to your boyfriend about your concerns. His reaction will tell you all you need to know. If he agrees with you and talks to his mother about her behavior (and you had better make sure that he does) and reins her in, go ahead and build a life with him. If he doesn't understand the situation, or says "Oh, that's just the way Mom is," run for the hills, because it will only get worse if you do marry him.

Maryann's Comment
Your boyfriend needs to forcefully tell his mother to back off and you need to be there when he does it. She needs to see you are united in your determination to make your own decisions, and to maintain your privacy from her prying eyes. If he will not cooperate, recognize that your future will be the same living hell you are experiencing now and dump him.
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, whatever they needed I provided. What really hurt my son and I the most was the obituary - we were not mentioned at all. Our friends (mine and hers) were appalled. I was embarrassed and upset for not just me, but for my son-who loved her also. I never been so upset. Her x-husband put his wife and kids and their grandchildren in the obituary, who my girlfriend barely knew. They live an hour away from us. I know its silly to be mad over a little section of the newspaper, but it still hurts. Will time let this devastating loss of her and this article ever go away? I am so angry at this whole situation, its not like we can go and rewrite an obituary notice.

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"Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful."
-Ann Landers