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Thread: Am I wrong to be upset?

  1. #1
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    Am I wrong to be upset?

    My girlfriend and I have been in a relationship for nearly 4 years. We seem to have differing morals on some matters, one of which I feel I really need some calibration on. My mother is a recovering alcoholic who was admitted to hospital for serious health concerns after a number of falls. Due to her alcoholism and lack of eating her condition was very concerning and upsetting. It was a very difficult time for my sister and I. I am so proud of her for now being nearly 3 months sober after 40 years of progressive drinking. I spoke to my girlfriend about my sister and I taking my mum away for the weekend to Spain to celebrate and bring the family closer (I live 100 miles away so only see her once per month at the most). I explained that I had considered us bringing our partners but think it would be nice for us to go away just the 3 of us, for my motherís sake. My girlfriend is very upset, saying itís not fair for me to exclude or not invite her. She now wonít talk about it, saying she has said what she has to say on the matter. It looks like Iím going to have to make the decision on my own. She also went away with her sister and mum recently and I wasnít invited on the basis that this was a ďgirly weekendĒ (I obviously had no issues with this at all and actually encouraged her to consider going away in the first place). As my sister and mum are female and Iím male she says itís different. She also has commented that it is unusual/unsuitable that I try and phone my mum every night (I try to catch up and give her support as much as I can because she lives alone) given that Iím 28. She says I need to live my own life. I want to make my girlfriend happy but feel a definite clash. Am I wrong, is she? Is this a compromise that should be made? Given that we have had issues in our relationships (big arguments) there is what I would describe as some resentment between us, which makes things a bit snappier, and at times my actions have affected the relationship. Therefore I understand that to improve our relationship itís important for me to compromise and make her the centre of my world, and Iím trying to do that. However I donít feel that this should apply to this example, I worry that the she is not able to realise the gravity of the situation and instead sees it as me prioritising my happiness over hers.
    I would really appreciate some advice. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    She needs to butt out of your family plans/business. Why bother seeking approval on that? Stop talking to her about your mother and your mother's problems. She does have a point about you being over enmeshed with your mother. There is no right/wrong, just differing values and a lot of incompatibility. Stop debating this, it's pointless.
    Originally Posted by Beej
    I spoke to my girlfriend about my sister and I taking my mum away for the weekend to Spain to celebrate and bring the family closer Iím 28. She says I need to live my own life.

  3. #3
    Gold Member leseine7's Avatar
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    It sounds like there are a few issues at play, but let's focus on the main one: You should not need her approval to handle your family situations in a way you feel is healthiest and most fitting the circumstances.

    Even if you have wronged her in fights or in other areas of your relationship, that does not equal giving up your right to an ongoing healthy amount of independence and autonomy - something you should not need to give up at any time of your life be it while in a relationship, married, single, etc. I cannot IMAGINE telling my husband that he shouldn't take a trip alone with his mom and siblings if he felt it was necessary and especially if there were the sensitive factors involved that you are describing. We are married, which might make me feel I have the "right" to tell him I need to be included because I am legally also family, but this would be a non-negotiable for me.

    Compromise is one thing, but "making her the centre of your world" is an entirely different story, and a big red flag. She clearly feels that you should be putting her above anyone/thing else. It sounds like you two already have some compatibility issues (when you describe arguments and ongoing snappiness and resentments towards each other, that to me points to a bigger problem), but she is exhibiting some controlling behaviours that need to be addressed. How often you speak with your mother on the phone is, frankly, not her call and she shows a clear lack of support for you and your loved ones with her selfish reactions here. Maybe it is a maturity issue, or maybe she genuinely doesn't understand the gravity of this kind of situation (maybe try to share some more information about it with her if that seems to be the case), but it sounds like there is some toxicity in this relationship you need to really address soon. She also really seems to feel she has the right to call the shots by making the case that her "girly weekend" trumps your plans to spend time with your family during a time of hardship.

    You mentioned that she "won't talk about it anymore" so it's "up to you to make this decision." Does this mean that you were expecting her to make the decision to come with you, even though you intended for no partners to come along? In the end, it IS your decision whether or not you bring her or go without her. If she chooses not to try to understand and support you, and if she continues sulking and semi-stonewalling you, I would give the future of the relationship a lot of thought.

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    It is unusual (to me) that you call your mom every day but itís not unheard of. I do know some people who do that. Iím not really sure why your girlfriend cares? If thatís something that makes you happy and itís not interfering in your life in any way... well... I think your gf is being nit-picky. Are we talking hours-long phone calls or 5 minute phone calls?

    For the family trip, your gf needs to butt out. Of course you can go away with just your family. The dynamic changes when you bring partners around. I understand why your gf is hurt but she is being unreasonable.

    You also said some strange things in your post, IMO about ďmaking her the Centre of your worldĒ and ďprioritizing your happiness over hersĒ. Are these words she has said to you? You SHOULD prioritize your own happiness. You need to be happy before you can look to make others happy. And no one should be the ďcenter of your worldĒ. Thatís odd and unhealthy.

    I donít know any of your history - or if you have indeed in the past been selfish or dismissive of her needs - but based on this post alone - your gf sounds unreasonable and demanding.

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    Sounds to me like you should split up due to incompatibility in areas unrelated to this one instance.
    But that your gf is using this one instance as a test?
    Which is unfair.
    Rather than dwell on the current dilemma , perhaps you should discuss why this is now a bone of contention for your gf?

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    I can kind of see your girlfriend's point if she's been a support to you while you were dealing with your mother's illness and condition. Like, she would deserve the reward of a nice getaway after she's been there for you. Has she been there for you?And yes a girls weekend is different because then you're excluded because of gender not because you're not important or special enough to be included. Certainly if there are private family matters to be discussed and your girlfriend is not your wife, then ok.

    So for me it turns somewhat on the sacrifices your girlfriend has made so you could be there for your mom.

    I try to talk to my mom every day. I like her -she's really cool!! and also for safety - she is 84 and lives alone the last 2 years plus. My sister and I make sure we talk with her once a day between the two of us. My husband used to talk to his parents almost every day -and we've each lived hundreds of miles from our parents for much of the last 9 years. His parents passed away. I did object when he insisted on talking with them when I should have been the priority -and when it wasn't an emergency -meaning if I'd been alone with our then infant for 12-14 hours straight and he took a call as he walked in from work and was supposed to take over with the baby so I could use the restroom by myself or- gasp -shower. But it was an individual basis. I call my mother at times that work for our family although my husband loves that I talk with my mother, loves to tell me anecdotes to pass on to her when we talk, etc. And we are in our 50s. Age has nothing to do with it. I've always been close with my mother.

    I am sharing because that might help and on the other hand it really depends. Good luck!

  8. #7
    Member DimaDemerzel's Avatar
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    You do not need to make her the center of your world. You need to talk about why you feel that it's important that it's just the three of you, and she needs to respect that. It's not her place to decide whether she gets to come with or not. Ask her to understand the factors at play and that it matters to you to be supporting your mom, and be firm in telling her that she doesn't get to intervene (if you've decided that, which I think you should have). Most of the incompatibilities between two people can reach a neutral consensus to let you move on with your lives (together) if talked about properly. It doesn't need to be argued about - if you worry she doesn't understand the gravity of the situation, tell her that. Talk about it until you are understood. Same for the phone calls: it doesn't sound like she understands why you do it, not to mention it shouldn't be a problem for her if you do. Maybe just make sure it's not a super long phone call every day or that it's sometimes once every two days instead. Otherwise, I don't think you should be the one compromising when it comes to this topic. Good luck! ♥

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    I would like to clarify due to questions in one of the replies.
    I spent a lot of time with my mum in hospital away from my girlfriend. I felt I had to be there as she kept putting herself in harms way by getting up and falling, and also encouraging her to eat and helping her clean. My girlfriend (who was aware of the above), as a result of this, didnít see me for just shy of a week. I also visited a few consecutive weekends in the month that followed. So she has certainly made sacrifices in terms of the amount of time we have not had together. However in the past 2 months things have returned to normal. I would say I spend around 30 minutes talking to my mum a day, and would do this when we are lounging around the house rather than when we have made plans together. This isnít every day. In terms of support she offers, itís difficult to gauge. She will occasionally ask after her. We had some big fights shortly after she came out of hospital, about unrelated (what I would describe as) minor things. Either she was struggling with me being away or I was feeling under pressure - probably a combination. A couple of weeks ago we had a major argument because, when faced with the first time she would come down to see my mum with me, she was shocked that I wouldnít commit to returning home in the afternoon on the Sunday. She told me it was unreasonable to go for 2 nights in the first place so not returning home until possibly 8 in the evening was not fair and weird. I wasnít enforcing a late departure time, we just hadnít made plans yet for the weekend. Like I did in the other example, I tried to explain my reasoning, such as supporting my mum, seeing other family and that itís 4 hours of travelling, but we could not reach an agreement. I hope this helps clarify.

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    Is she close with her own family?

  11. #10
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    Originally Posted by Beej
    I would like to clarify due to questions in one of the replies.
    I spent a lot of time with my mum in hospital away from my girlfriend. I felt I had to be there as she kept putting herself in harms way by getting up and falling, and also encouraging her to eat and helping her clean. My girlfriend (who was aware of the above), as a result of this, didnít see me for just shy of a week. I also visited a few consecutive weekends in the month that followed. So she has certainly made sacrifices in terms of the amount of time we have not had together. However in the past 2 months things have returned to normal. I would say I spend around 30 minutes talking to my mum a day, and would do this when we are lounging around the house rather than when we have made plans together. This isnít every day. In terms of support she offers, itís difficult to gauge. She will occasionally ask after her. We had some big fights shortly after she came out of hospital, about unrelated (what I would describe as) minor things. Either she was struggling with me being away or I was feeling under pressure - probably a combination. A couple of weeks ago we had a major argument because, when faced with the first time she would come down to see my mum with me, she was shocked that I wouldnít commit to returning home in the afternoon on the Sunday. She told me it was unreasonable to go for 2 nights in the first place so not returning home until possibly 8 in the evening was not fair and weird. I wasnít enforcing a late departure time, we just hadnít made plans yet for the weekend. Like I did in the other example, I tried to explain my reasoning, such as supporting my mum, seeing other family and that itís 4 hours of travelling, but we could not reach an agreement. I hope this helps clarify.
    So to you two months of normalcy is a long time. To her it might not be. Do you have children together or pets who need special attention? What responsibilities did she have to take on while you were away? I also think she doesn't feel particularly close to your mother and my next question would be what are your future plans? Does she want to marry you -do you want to marry her or make a long term commitment? If not then she might not be as invested in your family.

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