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