I'm a 25-year-old male who is currently living with my mom. I've staked out the basement as my territory (bedroom, weight-lifting area, bathroom). Mom objects to me having my GF downstairs in the basement with me. We do not have sex, but sometimes cuddle, watch movies/TV and talk for hours. She occasionally falls to sleep and stays all night.
Mom would go ballistic if she knew my GF is here as often as she is. I don't want to upset Mom, so my GF comes and goes without Mom knowing she is here. It keeps the peace.
Mom says I'm being disrespectful when my GF comes and goes without seeing her or speaking to her. Mom's usually in the front room or her bedroom and we would have to go out of our way to make sure Mom saw my GF or even knew she was here.
I know Mom does not approve of my GF because she is not saved, but I'm witnessing to her and working on her attitude about faith in God (she was not raised in church like I was, so she doesn't understand being "saved," but she respects my faith and understands why I can't have sex with her. She does not pressure me for sex, and likes the fact that I do not pressure her.
Mom says it looks bad and my testimony is damaged, but I don't care what other people think and my GF understands my position.
Mom says we should get married if we can't stand being apart from each other so much. I only work part time and so does my GF. We are not in a position to get married yet. Plus I'm thinking about joining the Navy. We're not ready for marriage and all the responsibilities that come with marriage. I am 25, my GF is 19.
Is it OK for my GF to spend most of her down time with me in my room in the basement since we do not have sex?
Her mom is perfectly all right with our relationship — she loves me and hopes we end up together one day. Sometimes I spend the night at their house (either in my GF's room or on the couch). Her mom doesn't hassle us like my mom does.
Mom respects your opinion. Please help me calm her down about this.
I'll assume that you're brand-new to Boundless, because what you've described is everything we at Boundless are trying to move singles (and especially single men) away from and toward a more biblical view of life and relationships. About the only thing you and I agree on is your joining the Navy. I think you should seriously consider it, but read my answer first.
You're a 25-year-old male living at your mom's home (I'm going to assume that you're a reasonably healthy male, and have no unique physical or mental disabilities that prevent you from living on your own). I doubt you're paying rent, but even if you were, as long as you're under someone else's roof, they call the shots. At your age, if you don't like the shots they're calling, then you either conform or move. Until your name is on the lease or mortgage, you don't get to write the rules. What you've described as your "territory" is not yours, but your mom's. You don't have any "territory." Every square inch of that house belongs to your mom. Even if your mom's wishes were unreasonable (which they're not, but more about that below) it wouldn't matter. She pays the bills/rent/mortgage. It's her house. She's responsible for what goes on there.
This, of course, bothers you, and it should. You're plenty old enough to live on your own and to be establishing your own home and making decisions about how you want to live your life. It's called adulthood, and you're trying to get there, but the teenager in you is holding you back.
Allow me a moment of man-to-man clarity, since I notice you don't mention a dad or any other man who is speaking some compassionate truth to you. I know first-hand what it feels like to not have a man in your life who helps you move from boyhood to manhood, so it is with deep, empathetic love that I share with you the following.
Deep down in the recesses of your heart is a young man yearning to make his way to the surface. Currently, the adolescent is still running your show, and he is really more like a toddler, whining about his "rights" to his "territory," disrespecting his mom (the only person in his life who is really trying to be helpful), and wanting to play with fire with his girlfriend while trying not to get burned. The young man trapped in the "basement" of your heart is a warrior, a lover of God, one who respects and honors his mom, and who doesn't treat his girlfriend as his property, but rather as someone to whom God longs to reveal His irresistible love. The teenage boy is holding the 25-year-old man hostage, and it is a travesty.
It is time to grow up, my friend. Here's what you need to do, now. You need to apologize to your mom for disrespecting her authority and wise intentions on your behalf, and start abiding by her rules. She's right about everything. Then, apologize to your girlfriend and her mom for the poor witness you've been of a Christian man who is supposedly pursuing Christ, but is really only doing what makes him feel good.
Then, either find a full-time job or get a second part-time job, start making some money, and set a date for when you are going to move out of your mom's home (joining the Navy might fit nicely with this goal). Then, turn that basement into a prayer closet, get on your face before God and ask Him to reveal to you the man he made you to be. Finally, all that you mention in your life are women. Move out of the world of moms and girlfriends and go to your pastor and ask him for names of men who will model for you what Christ-pursuing masculinity really looks like. Call those men and ask for help. They will love it.
If you don't start these changes immediately, before you know it you will be a 35-year-old man living in his mother's basement, whining about his life but still doing nothing about it.
Copyright 2007 John Thomas. All rights reserved.