Jump to content

he's 36 and his parents are still very intrusive


mentee

Recommended Posts

i've been dating a guy for a few months .. it's not official but we aren't dating others .. we are taking it slow .. my job may have me move accross the country this summer so that is one of the reasons why we've decided to remain casual .. we've gotten closer emotionally, but i guess that's expected when you're dating someone .. his parents know of me .. his sister knows more about me and has met me ... there's really not much to say about us besides the fact that we are casually seeing each other and i may be moving, so i don't think his parents really need to know any other details ..

 

my guy moved to the US by himself at 20 and supported himself through college and medical school .. his parents eventually came over as well but he spent 9 years away from them while in medical school and residency before he returned to live 1.5 hours away from them .. they come visit him often .. i thought it was kind of unusual for his parents to visit so often to bring him food and such when he is a grown man .. but my parents are somewhat similar in that if they lived near me, i'd anticipate them visiting me often as well .. i suppose it's because his and my parents are originally from other countries where parents are a little more intrusive and involved ..

 

i never thought anything was a big deal until this week when i picked up this guy from the airport .. his parents wanted to pick him up then spend the evening with him but he told his parents that i was picking him up .. they insisted that they still come over to his place when he gets home so they can make him food .. unable to say no to his parents, we had to cancel our plans for dinner .. i dropped him off and said goodbye .. apparently his parents didn't stay long because he asked them to leave because he was tired and needed to prepare for work the next day .. they got extremely upset with him and the following day his dad wrote a long email (which he never has before apparently) .. his dad was complaining about a lot of things, primarily how upset he was that my guy's mom and sister knew more about me than he did .. his parents also said they were convinced that i was living with him because they saw an extra toothbrush and towel in the bathroom .. and that the reason why he kicked them out so early was because i was probably waiting to come back to the apartment ... when he told me this, i thought it was COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS ... almost insane! they also warned him that women are fawning over him because he's good looking and a physician and that they'll use him and control him .... i was offended because i'll be an MD in 2 months and will probably make more money after training, and i've never been demanding or controlling with this guy ..

 

 

i asked my guy what he was going to do .. he said he's not a mama's boy and that his parents need to grow up and let go and let him make his own decisions ... but i know he loves his parents to death so he wouldn't want to hurt them either .. he showed me the email he wrote back to his parents explaining that i'm not living with him, that i'm not a woman who would use him because he's a physician, that i'm the kindest/most understanding/giving person he's ever met, and we don't know the future of our relationship which is why he didn't want to go into further details ... his parents responded with "all your other exes were nice at first and ended up controlling you or hurting you and look what happened there" ... i was so offended even though i know they haven't met me nor do they really know me .. but i couldn't help it ..... i'm extremely kind and loving .. i asked my guy if he felt i was controlling in any way, and he laughed and said of course not .. his last ex did hurt him deeply .. she was controlling and verbally abusive, and he ultimately had to leave her .. so i understand his parents' concern ... but i also think they're going overboard and are being completely unreasonable ...

 

 

 

 

now i'm worried what kind of issues my guy might have with parents like that!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds to me as if this may be a cultural thing - many cultures are very different than the typical North American/Northern European family where adult children are far more detached from their parents than some other cultures. It is very hard for older people to adapt their ways.

 

It seems as if your boyfriend is prepared to set some boundaries for them - but he is not prepared to set them in a way that will totally alienate his parents.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sorry that you have to feel this way. From what I'm seeing, you seem like a very nice person. I think his parents are just being overly protective of him, although he is a grown man, they still see him as "their" baby. Earlier on during the relationship with my boyfriend, his mom was a little wary of me and she thought that I was a bad influence on his son. Considering how he was hurt in the past, and made some stupid mistakes, they still baby him even though he is a grown man. She has let her guards down now, and is slowly accepting me into the family. Just give it some time and I'm sure his parents will soon accept you into their life. If not, just remember the relationship is between the both of you, and not his parents. Good luck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds to me as if this may be a cultural thing - many cultures are very different than the typical North American/Northern European family where adult children are far more detached from their parents than some other cultures. It is very hard for older people to adapt their ways.

 

It seems as if your boyfriend is prepared to set some boundaries for them - but he is not prepared to set them in a way that will totally alienate his parents.

 

Do you think that he should be prepared to set boundaries that would alienate his parents if they remain intrusive?

 

It's not something I would ever want him to do. He knows his parents are kind of wacky but it's not their fault. It's not his fault either since he doesn't get to pick who his parents are. Our parents both grew up very poor and have made a lot of sacrifices for us. I find it admirable that they care about us so much and don't blame them for going overboard. However my parents treat me like a grown woman and let me make my own decisions and have never been intrusive or too involved ever since I left for medical school. My parents have changed a lot. They're both meditation practitioners so they focus on change, but I don't expect my guy's parents to change. But I wonder what issues may arise from this. My guy already has a stressful life, and I don't like him having more things to worry about with his parents because of me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sorry that you have to feel this way. From what I'm seeing, you seem like a very nice person. I think his parents are just being overly protective of him, although he is a grown man, they still see him as "their" baby. Earlier on during the relationship with my boyfriend, his mom was a little wary of me and she thought that I was a bad influence on his son. Considering how he was hurt in the past, and made some stupid mistakes, they still baby him even though he is a grown man. She has let her guards down now, and is slowly accepting me into the family. Just give it some time and I'm sure his parents will soon accept you into their life. If not, just remember the relationship is between the both of you, and not his parents. Good luck.

 

Barbara Bush just had surgery and when asked why her kids shouldn't come to the hospital, she responded that the hospital was "no place for children" (these "children" being 60 year olds). I understand that parents will always see their children as babies, but I don't think it's healthy to treat them as such. If we do stay together, we talked about meeting his parents, and he tried to assure me that once they got to know me, they won't feel the same way. That would be nice.

 

The psychiatrist in me can't help but wonder if a man with such smothering parents would have issues with emotional engulfment. I know none of our parents are perfect, and we all have issues stemming from the way we were raised, but his parents seem extreme. His parents are also constantly calling him looking for support, and he told me his parents fight a lot and probably use him to feel better. I hope that I'm just being a worry wart and maybe this case is an isolated incident.

 

Ha, I remember when I started medical school my mom called me incessantly. I just stopped answering her calls. Then I finally told her that all the calling was disruptive to my studies and to let me call her if I needed her and to stop calling me unless there was an emergency. She took it well because she's always cared more about me than herself. My guy told his mom that his work is very stressful, and he needs time to decompress. She responded with "what's so hard/stressful about your work?" ..... it's probably impossible for him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No matter who you are with there is bound to be baggage. This man could just as easily have bad baggage from his controlling ex girlfriend as from his parents. It sounds like he is doing his best to set some healthy boundaries with his parents. They won't change but it sounds like he has learned how to deal with them effectively. Not sure if you mentioned the "psychiatrist in you" because that is what you are training to be...if so, you are going to have leave the psychiatry hat at the office and not overanalyze your partner and make assumptions. What is most important is how a person deals with the baggage doled out to them..and it looks like he is dealing just fine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not exactly sure what boundaries he's setting? He responded to one of his parents angry emails by answering their questions. He still takes their calls everyday and lets them come and go as they please and prioritizes their visits. Maybe I'm missing something because I set different boundaries with my parents by moving away, telling them they can't call me so often, letting them know I can make my own decisions, and defying many things they've suggested. I don't see him doing such a thing nor do I expect him to but I'm wondering what boundaries you're talking about that he's already set ...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, it sounds like he gives them a little bit but does put his foot down. He shooed them away early because he had things to do, he responded to their attack by politely defending you. We are not all made the same...you have your way of dealing with your parents and he has his way. It probably slides off his back more and he goes "yeah yeah" in his mind, gives them just enough to keep them happy but still does what he wants. They may not be the same as your boundaries but he has made boundaries that work for him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...