My girlfriend slapped my mother – what should I do?


To begin with, my mom and I are really close. We lost our dad at a really young age and my mother singlehandedly raised my two sisters and me. She is our hero and has always been. We don’t joke with her.

Like all mothers, she can be a little extra, especially by being overly protective of me.

Now I love my girlfriend but she can be a lot too. She has actually stuck out for me a number of times, even when it sometimes meant inconveniencing herself. She has met my mom two or three times but usually always briefly. Like a stop-by or something like that – they have never stayed long together.

My girlfriend often complains about how she finds my being an “only son” uncool. She said “only sons” always, in her own words, “latches onto their mothers like babies.” She usually said this with a little dose of humour so I never really take it seriously.

This lockdown period, my mom cooked for Easter and decided to deliver the food herself. She also planned on staying a few days. My girlfriend was around for Easter as well.

I’ve heard and read a lot about girlfriends clashing with the mothers of their partners but I didn’t imagine I could ever be in that situation. I didn’t want to be.

Here is what happened – from what I gathered – because I was actually away the morning of the incident. I work in medical supplies and though my company has not remained fully operational during the lockdown, we were not completely closed either. I have a pass (we were given one at work) so I get to go to work two or three times a week. Three times, on weeks that there was a lot to do.

So that morning after I’d driven out to work, my girlfriend sat in the sitting room, watching her favourite show: Money Heist. My mom woke up later and was dismayed that my girlfriend left all the mess in the kitchen and was watching TV, too early and with the volume turned up too loud.

My mother asked her to go and take care of the mess in the kitchen. The dirty dishes and pots were from last night post-Easter dinner. She told my mom she would do it but then didn’t stand up. My mom went away and later came back to meet her still glued to the TV.

My mother went into the kitchen and started cleaning things up. My mother said she was pissed because she was obviously aware she was doing the dishes herself and still remained unbothered in the sitting room. This angered my mother, perhaps so much that she bottled up some grudge.

Near noon, my mother has fixed breakfast and she came to call my girlfriend that she had prepared something. My mother said she thanked her and said she would eat later. My mother went into her room and when she came back out, after about an hour or two, she saw a dirty cereal plate on the sitting-room table. I had no dedicated dining space.

This obviously brought all the anger of the early morning flooding back and my mother lashed out. First, she didn’t touch the breakfast my mother prepared and opted for cereal instead, only to leave the dirty plate in the sitting room.

My mother said when my girlfriend saw how angry she was, she picked the cereal plate and entered the kitchen. But she never washed it. My mother scolded her further and she told my mother she was barking like a dog.

Shocked and confused, my mother held her and demanded she repeated her statement. The next thing was the slap. My mother said she instantly got a headache and that was her not being any dramatic.

Now my mother is demanding I tell my girlfriend to leave in protest of what she did. My girlfriend said she has apologized to my mother more than once but that my mother is just being very dramatic.

“It’s not like I really slapped her,” my girlfriend said. “It wasn’t even on the face. It was her upper arm I hit and she held me first!”

Now my mother has called my elder sister to report the matter and the whole thing has escalated to a full-blown family issue. Even Aunty Bebee now knows too.

I’m just so confused. I have no idea of a calm and stress-free way to handle this situation. I mean I am not even married yet and this is happening. I would really wish the person I’m dating gets along well with my family and not the other way round.

What would anyone in my shoes do? Do you think my girlfriend should be blamed, or my mom?