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controling parents
April 20, 2004
11:47 am
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dmuller82
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I met the man of my dreams and we have planned on getting married after I graduate from college in 4 mths. He proposed, I accepted, and we decide to keep iit on the downlow untill afterI graduated because my parents were very serious about me graduating first and I totally agree....well, my mom found out and is really mad.....I can't figure out why and I'm really hurt because I'm so excited about finding my love and I want her and my dad to share in my joy....what should I do? P.s. my mom is one of those types of people who, when things do not work out the way she wants them to, she gets bent out of shape.......she now wants me to return the ring because the engaement wasn't "done right"........please help!!! Thanks

April 20, 2004
11:51 am
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Zinnie
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Please don't make the mistake of returning the ring and changing your plans. Sure, hoping to make your parents happy is one thing, but if you are old enough to be graduating college, then you are certainly old enough to be making adult decisions. If you let them control this now, think of the interference they will try to inflict upon your marriage.

April 20, 2004
11:58 am
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She'll live. You be you. Many wishes for a long and happy marriage to you both.

April 20, 2004
12:04 pm
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dmuller82
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thanks Zinnie...I really agree, I have this fear of my mom.....I don't know what it really is. I'm scared of hurting her because she makes me feel bad about everyhting I do that she doesn't agree with. Ii just wish she would leave me alone...it's sad to say, but I don't think my mom and I will have a very long term relationship. I don't want to return the ring but, my parents have somehow made sure that they own and control everyhting in my life......the bought me a house, a car......they pay my insurance even my cell phone......and whenever I talk about being independant....my mom says "ok, well I'll just come up there and take everyhing away andI'll bring your little butt home from college." Basically, I'm scared of pissing them off because I don't want to know what the repercussions are going to be. Oh my.....please help me.

April 20, 2004
12:49 pm
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gingerleigh
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You say that you are getting ready to graduate college, so I assume you are pretty young, 21, 22? Just because your parents are controlling, don't discount the message. It might be worth listening to. We've all got different experiences under our belts, and different things work for different people. I know that I myself went through a lot of upheavals in my 20's, and the person I loved with my whole heart at the end of college would not have been a happy choice in marriage for me, just because I was still growing and changing.

Regardless of what you decide, the control tactics suck. I'm really sorry about that. 🙁 One thing though... you will feel a far greater sense of freedom, life and love living in a studio, taking the bus, working 2 jobs, eating ramen and doing it on your own steam than you would living in a beautiful house driving a slick car and eating out every day. I'd rather be a free-flying eagle than a fancy parrot stuck in a cage any day. 🙂 There are options, and even luckier, you have found someone who is willing to share in those options with you. If he is willing to eat ramen along with you, hey, go for it. If he isn't, perhaps your parents have a real reason to be worried.

Best wishes.

April 20, 2004
2:31 pm
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dmuller82
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the great thing about him is....he really is willing to eat Ramen and save our money because we're in it together...he's older 28 andI'm about to turn 23....he has a great job and is planning on finishing his degree after we graduate....I just wish my parent would back off abit and let me spread my wings on my own...it's a little hard to do though when all of your assets are tyed up in your parents...I know I'm young but I'm also following my heart and gut instinct. At the same time though....I'm really using my head and trying to go about this the right way.....

April 21, 2004
6:20 pm
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dmuller82
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anymore advice......I'm really feeling down on myself right now...maybe I'm looking for answers that arn't really even there....is it me...Am I the wrong one? am i really a horrible daugher? I feel like I'm really starting to develope issus....please........
🙁

April 21, 2004
6:42 pm
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gingerleigh
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Sometimes when we feel really bad about ourselves, it helps for us to articulate what we are feeling, put that internal tape recorder on paper so that we can take a break from it, then pick it up, read it, and pick out what is valid and what isn't. What internal tape is playing in your head that is telling you that you are a horrible daughter? Can you complete this sentence... "I am a horrible daughter because..."?

April 21, 2004
7:56 pm
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Dmuller,

I am 36 and my parents are still trying to control me. A lot of good it's done. I'm in an unhealthy relationship and I'd be a lot more empathetic about their worries if they were not so quick to try and manipulate and control me. Both my parents had me walking on eggshells in one manner or another my whole life. They are "generous" folk, but until very recently I have been reluctant to accept financial help from them. Since I got out of school I was anxious to establish financial independence and did. Unfortunately, and here's the part that makes them almost seem justified, I have depression/drug problems and recently (2yrs ago) spent my entire savings account on dope. After this, my father insisted I leave my drug infested neighborhood (which, incidently is still a ten minute walk away). After much resistance I moved into an apartment that he bought. I pay maintenance, but he owns it. This is not the ideal situation for me, but I have to say I needed to get away from my old place- fast. I love my parents, I understand their concerns about me, my drug history, my relationship, etc. it's just that the way they handle it is not healthy.

Since the days of Romeo and Juliet parents have been doing nothing but driving couples closer together by trying to control what is beyond them. Unlike romeo and Juliet, I am far from a teenager. Now I feel more like a financial investment my parents are afraid will go bad.

Dmuller, don't let this ruin your relationship with your mother though. Right now I'm having big problems because my mom is very sick and I'm in a relationship with a guy she HATES. She won't even say his name. She's just scared for me. She imagines it even worse than it is and blames him for stuff I did before I met him! So I know I'm not getting out of my coda relationship w/my boyfriend any time soon. I know mom is never going to changer her mind about him. And I want to spend time with my mom... so what do I do? I just pretend he doesn't exist. I HATE lying. But does she have a right to know who I am dating? I don't think so. I am an adult.

Here's the kicker, Dmuller- my mother has threatened to throw me out of my apartment if I see this guy. I've told her "go ahead." I don't want gifts with strings. It may even be healthier for me to go back to being completely independent of my family. It was good for my self esteem.

Dmuller, I don't advocate lying and alienating your family. Just don't let things snowball like I have. My parents only want to accept me if I live the way they want me to. I do the best I can. That's all you can do. If this guy is good for you- do what is right for yourself and take measures not to burn emotional bridges if you can. Money can do more harm than good sometimes, trust me. If you could see a couselour, maybe she could help you figure out a way to talk to your mom about things. You are young enough that it could be worthwhile.

April 21, 2004
8:02 pm
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P.s. You are NOT a horrible daughter for wanting a life of your own choosing. It doesn't sound like your relationship is destructive, is it?

Even your guy is not perfect, and your relationship is not the one your mom wanted for you- even if you are making mistakes, they are yours to make at this stage of the game. But maybe you should give your mom some time to get over the initial shock. It might just be that all of a sudden you made her feel older! Weddings also seem to stress out mother's of the bride to unbelievable levels.

Proceed with love and caution.

-ella

April 21, 2004
9:36 pm
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Juanita
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Perhaps are your parents overreacting and trying to be controling because they have not met or gotten to know this love of your life?? Have you ever mentioned to them how you feel about their "controling" you? Is there a middle ground? You described your Mom - how about Dad? Could he lend a hand in easing her disposition? You are an adult, able to make your own decisions, but you also only have one family. Only you know if there is a hope of something working. I try to be a "peace maker" in my household, trying to balance everything so all is ok. This doesn't mean giving up your dreams, but if mom wanted him to ask for your hand in front of them.... maybe his talking to them, assuring them he loves you, and wants to take care of you will go a long ways. My parents weren't thrilled when I got married either b/c we were so young. They wanted the best for me. Wanted me to ideally marry a man with a good income, able to provide for his famiy without his wife having to work. Both of us have worked all these years, have 2 kids, and will be married 15 years next month. All my cousins, their marriages have suffered divorces and finacial hardships regardless of their attending college. The most important thing is that you have found the ONE for you.

Might I suggest, as I don't know how much longer after graduation you are planning the wedding, you try to "plan for" as much as possible on your own? By this, I am suggesting for example - they bought you a house - can you budget enough out of your (and his) pay to afford a place of your own should things get bad. You want to be planned and prepared for if they should withdraw financial support, worst case scenario. Could you live on what you two make alone? It will probably be "Ramen Noodles" for a while, but freedom, love, and self-sufficiency are well worth it.

I wish you and your man well. Congratulations on your love. I hope all works out with your family too.
My apologies if I've rambled on too much... hope it made some sense.

April 21, 2004
11:46 pm
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whoops, just realized above I made myself a year older than I am. Not important... I'm still to old to feel like I have to lie to my parents about my romantic life.

but what I meant to say was this issue of yours is a very big issue for me too. I wish I was more conscious of the potential for it happening when I was your age. I am rather ashamed that my parents even affect my mood with their behavior. Even alanon has not helped them. ...and we wonder where the seeds of our codependent tendencies lie...hmmm
-ella

P.s. How much DOES the average adult let their parent's know about their relationship status?

April 21, 2004
11:47 pm
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Zinnie
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HI D.,

If your guy is willing to eat the Ramen noodles with you, and you guys are a team, that will work together to survive adversity - if I were your Mother, I would be thrilled. But, I know not everyone see's it like that.

I guess it depends on what you are wanting. If you are dependent on them to have a place to live, money, a car, and your tuition paid, perhaps keep your wedding plans away from your parents. Although, I have to ask, how are you going to pay for your wedding?

Also, some good questions... have your parents met this guy? How long have you been with him? What exactly is your Mother saying was done wrong?

Z.

April 22, 2004
9:58 am
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dmuller82
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WOw....great input !! Thanks a lot....Ok here's the deal. We have been together for about a year...give or take a few weeks and days....I am a full time student working two jobs trying to get ahead soI can be independent after graduation....I do have jobs lined up for the fall. My parents have met him on more than one occasion and have taken the two of us out for a very nice "family" dinners....they even invited him home with me for Easter and then pulled the plug at the last minute saying that it was"family only" I then decided to tell them that I wasn't coming then and my mom said to have my shit packed and they would be up tomarrow to move me home. I live 5 hours away from them for school. So then I asked her what it is that I need to do and she said tell him that plans have changed and he can no longer come...I started boo-hooing like a baby....so I got off the phone with her and talked to him and he was like"No problem....we will have many holidays together and I understand that your mom wantss it to be family." "Don't worry, I'm not mad....just a little disappointed." Then he said the most awesome thing
"Don't let your mom get you down,,,it's goign to be okay...we have to keep things smooth right now with her...you are so close to graduating...we don't need to rock the boat right now."

He really is great. After we marry he is planning on finishing his degree in Business and Marketing. Currently, he works full time .

My parents want me to marry someone already finished with school with a job lined up. I understand that....but this who I want to be with.....now they know that I'm engaged and my mom doesn't think that I have my head on straight andI need to give the ring back. Last night she tells me that by Sunday evening I have two choices...either I am engaged and I am to gather my belongings and hit the road or I am not engaged and everyone is happy.....screwed up huh???

Now, this is waht I think I'm going to do...I'm going to tell her that I'm not engaged and I've thought things over ( she'll be happy) then after I graduat she can't say a thing becauseI'll be paying for everything....how does that sound...it's a really sad situation but Oh, well....this is just the way thing go. Do you think I'm completely off my rocker for dealing with things this way...this is the only way that I can see it working out.....I would just let her take everyhting but...literally I would have nothing and I wouldn't be able to finish school. I do feel trapped butI have a feeling that I can use this to my advantage if I play my card right....how doe this sound
-D

April 22, 2004
11:14 am
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Zinnie
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Hi D.,

Let me tell you... you have a keeper of a man, and it is a crying shame that your parents don't recognize that. A real shame.

I saw my own kids go through rough relationships, and let me tell you the people that they settled with, the biggest reason I love them as much as I do is because of the way they treat my children. Does that make sense? My son's wife is a doll. She is the quietest, most efficient person I have ever met - and she loves and cares for him. The personality change in him since being with her is unbelievable. He was with a master manipulator before, and always looked like the weight of the world was on his shoulders. My daughter - was seeing the devil himself. She is now exclusively dating a man she met while she was in the hospital, and he is so very kind to her.

I'm sorry your parents don't see it that way. I'm not one for deception of any kind. But, I do think I agree with your fiance.

I will also give you a piece of advice that my Dad gave me - believe it or not it makes sense - and he is the "serial marrying man" but he told me "when the my kids say "I Do" I say "I Don't" and stay out of their marriages and business."

Z.

April 22, 2004
11:28 am
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dmuller82
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Z- thanks alot...so do you think we are doing the rightthing by kind of just letting it blow over untill after graduation..I knowI'm young. I'm about to turn 23 but isn't this a time in people's lives when they get married and start forming their independent lives and relationship? I'm ready for mine...maybe a litlle overanxious? what do you think...I'm not modeling my life after norms or anyone else...I just want to do what make myself happy.....trying to be healthy without being selfish

April 22, 2004
11:55 am
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Zinnie
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Hi D.,

That is a good thing you are doing in trying to be healthy without being selfish - which sadly is more than I can say for you Mom.

I understand what you are saying about not having a "long term relationship" with her, as I'm that boat myself. Although in my case it was never of my Mom supporting me financially (or any other way truth be told), but she wants to control everything. I don't talk to her very often because I don't like being made to feel like I'm a four year old who is in trouble for wetting the bed.

Just be sure you fully understand that this will more than likely either be the end of the relationship between you and your Mother, or it will at the very least be strained for a long time. However, do you want her to control your life for the rest of your life?

Z.

April 22, 2004
12:26 pm
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dmuller82
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no I do not her to control me or my life...I took an on-line test a few minutes ago to seek out more information about control issue and not surprisingly all of the things I described were accurate with the descriptions they gave.....Mom mom and I have always had a strange reltionship and everyone sees it except her...or maybe she does see it she just doesn't want to admit it....I've tryed to talk to her about therapy...I proceded with caution and I got a very negative response....she drinks a lot and i confronted her about that....she still drinks...no surprise huh? Well, that is where I'm at now... I'm assuming that I will continue to walk on eggs untill I graduate...thanks and take care. -D

April 22, 2004
12:40 pm
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Zinnie
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Wondering if we have the same Mother? My mom has alcohol issues, you can read the "Dutiful Daugher" thread from last week! That is me.

Keep strong.

Z.

April 22, 2004
2:26 pm
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dmuller82
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well...I read it and it did shed some much needed light into my situation...thanks for the reference! I'm excited about the life that I have ahead o me and I will o anything possible to work oward my goal of freedom and independece......I ready and I feel as if I'm sitting on go just waiting for the green light to say its ok....ok to do what?........well i guess it will be okay to do what I want with my life.....I always try to make good healthy decision and moral ones at that so I just don't understand why in the world she has such issues with me. I am an only child and sometimes I wish that I had siblings so I would have someone to turn to when the times go hard..you know someone who understand exactly whats going on inside.....the family. There for a whileI even started to think that she was a bit jealous of me...I don't know why but maybe.....I remeber this one time during Christmas vacation my dad and I had gone shopping( this was this cHristmas) and he gave me some money to go pick out some new outfits to take with us on a trip. so I bought a few things and he told me to keep the change.(my dad andI have an awesomely healthy fun rel.) My mom actually got mad at me!!! Can you believe that...She thoughtI was only going to the mall to get out of the house for a while and help dad pick out some shoes.....yeah I know.....crazy!!!!! I don't know what her deal is....Thanks a lot for talking it makes me feel so much better to know that some one else actully understands.

April 22, 2004
5:03 pm
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oli
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Wow D!! Reading your story gave me flashbacks to my younger days and really hit home today. To me it sounds like you have a great guy - my husband has often said the same things to me in regards to my mother. The conclusion I have come to is this...I treat my mom like she is an acquaintance, i.e., someone you talk to only occasionally and take everything they say and do with a grain of salt, rather than letting her actions and words dictate how I feel about myself. It IS unfortunate to have to treat our relationship in this manner, but it works for me. I DO NOT under any circumstances ask her opinion of anything or her advice anymore, but I am nice and curteous when I speak to her. Ultimately, it is her loss, as she will not get to know me as a person (rather than a child she can ATTEMPT to control), because I am a DAMN GOOD person!! Hope this helps, and I wish you and your fiance the best!!

April 23, 2004
9:19 am
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dmuller82
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Oli- thanks a lot for sharing.....I do think that it will become and aquaintance type relationship here before long...I just have to keep things smooth while I'm still in school....does that make sence? Thanks alot for your input and have a great day to all who responded and those who didn't!!

April 23, 2004
3:49 pm
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Oli's idea about treating your mom like an acquaintance makes sense. It would be nice to think that as adults we could tell our parents anything and still get along, but it's not realistic. While expecting us to allow them to control our romantic lives is asking too much, WE are asking too much of them when we put all our faith in their approval. Sometimes it can be rough to realize you are not going to have the support and comfort you may have once had with your parents, but there are more and more areas of your life as you become older that you must exclude them from just to become a healthy individual. It doesn't mean you love them any less, of that you are a "bad daughter." My mother tried to make me feel that way, and all I was doing was living my life (though I was making some mistakes, and continue to, I don't do it to hurt her).

My sister and I hate lying to our folks, but we also recognize that we were practically bribed and set up for this by them. We also realized that they did the same thing to their parents, and still do! My Grandmother hasn't been over my parents house in decades, and you cannot believe how many complex lies have been orchestrated because she is such a princess and insists on a certain level of control. I just hope if i have kids I can stop this pattern of lies, but I still won't expect my kids to tell me everything and to make all of their choices just to please me. There's something sick about that.

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