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The makings of a future monster in law?


claryswan

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My boyfriend and I have been together for a year and a half. We're both seniors in college. At the beginning of our relationship, I was thrilled that his parents seemed to be accepting of me. He frequently invited me to family dinners, and I spent the night at their house a few times (his home is closer to school than mine by about a few hours).

 

About 8 months into our relationship, I needed a temporary place to stay for summer. I formally asked his parents about it, and offered to pay half his rent. I was told that it was unnecessary and that I could stay with him. A few months pass and we are thinking about making the living situation permanent b/c it was cheaper and much more convenient for both of us. Before we got the chance to talk to them, his parents called him home to have a long conversation that basically surrounded around a few things:

 

1) I was most likely using him for a place to stay

2) I don't treat him well and or that I am a mean girl

3) They really don't think I am a good match for him

 

I was flabbergasted. I had offered to pay. I got their permission which I thought was kind of ridiculous in the first place, but did it anyways because I thought it would make things better. He attempted to talk to his parents, but not much was cleared up.

 

It's been almost a year since all that drama. I moved out but still spend most of my time at his place, so essentially it's a huge waste of money. Anyways, my relationship with his parents has not improved at all since all those accusations. They rarely ever speak to me. I get one word answers when I try to start conversations.

 

Oh the other hand, my boyfriends brother, Adam, has a girlfriend. Adam is three years older than the both of us, but his girl is our age. She goes to the same college. Her and I are the same major, and basically started dating at around the same time. His parents adore her. They hang on her every word. The difference between us? Her parents aren't divorced. She's got a really nice face. Her family clearly has money. The cherry on top of my pie is that Adam's gf treats him like * * * * , uses his money like it's paper, and is in all honesty a horrible match for him.

 

I'm getting to the point where I don't know if I can go on with the relationship. I adore my boyfriend. I've tried to tell myself that with time things will get better with his parents. But it hasn't. Every time I am at a family dinner, I wonder what the hell I am doing there. I feel like I am sitting at a table full of strangers with the exception of my bf. They look at me like I am trash, and he doesn't even see it.

 

I can live with his parents being rude to me. I can handle the false accusations, no matter how untrue and how much they hurt. But what bothers me the most is the fact that even though he can clearly see how much this hurts me, he still can't make the effort to stand up to them for me. And if he can't even do that now, what's going to change in the future? Am I just sitting around waiting for the day when they tell him he can't marry me b/c I'm mean, ugly, and from a divorced family?

 

If you've read all of that, thank you. I know that mothers not liking their son's gf's is not an uncommon problem. But some of the things that she does are just so ridiculous that I'm afraid if the situation doesn't get fixed, I'm going to explode and it ain't gonna be pretty.

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Have you talked to him about this? Maybe he does not perceive it as strongly as you do, or doesn't want to because those are his family members. If you have not talked to him yet, you should do so and then go from there. But he should definitely have your back on this, you have done nothing to deserve that kind of rude treatment.

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wow your boyfriend should be sticking up for you!! not sitting back and allowing you to cop it.

 

either talk to him, in depth. get him to fully realise how his parents are making you feel! maybe show him what you wrote up there in the original post!. if you think you can write out how you feel better do it.

 

if this doesn't change things, maybe need to work out can you keep putting up with it? if no, time to move on.... your boyfriend will then realise he lost his girlfriend due to his parents!!

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Wow...read my last thread. It should give you an idea of where this may take you.

 

Have you seriously asked yourself if you treat your boyfriend well? Is the "divorced family" scenario just in your head, or did they say something about that?

 

Is it possible that you could be more responsible for owning up to something you did?

 

If you really really soul search and come out okay.... talk to your boyfriend and tell him about how you're thinking of ending it because of all of this. Tell him you won't be treated badly ANYWHERE...nonetheless his PARENT'S house.

 

He needs to stand up to mom and dad or you will never be happy with him.

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I think the problem is they never particularly wanted you to live at their house to begin with and their resentment grew while you were there. Many parents aren't particularly thrilled with their own children living with them once they are past 18, let alone their son's girlfriend. So that might have been the start of the breech, that they felt you were presuming too much expecting to live with them and take advantage of the 'cheap' rent when they don't want you there to begin with.

 

I personally would have never suggested/expected them to let me live there at all, especially if i wasn't married to their son. That is a rather large presumption to expect them to take you on into their house just because it is financially better for you that way. An extra person in the house makes it cramped and even if you were paying half of your boyfriend's rent, that is not extra money for them since they were already getting that same money from their son. So extra trouble for them and extra crowding. Good for you financially, but nothing in that for them except more people in the house to deal with, more electricity due to extra showers and laundry etc.

 

I would try to see it from their perspective, that perhaps they think you were trying to worm your way into their family life and take advantage of them them by living in their house for cheap when you weren't even married to their son. If that bad impression forms, it can be hard to overcome.

 

I would also drop the jealousy act over the brother's girlfriend... you don't really know why they prefer her, you're just assuming things there. Perhaps they prefer her because she didn't make any demands on them to live with them, and they see her as more independent and self sufficient and not trying to take advantage of them.

 

I'd just let it ride for a while and try to be friendly and maybe they will calm down when you continue to treat them politely and not make any new demands on them.

 

But if they don't lighten up in the next 6 months, the rift may be permanent. And your boyfriend can't make them like you, and if he is living under their roof, you certainly can't expect him to try to coerce them into anything or demand they treat you differently, since he is currently living under their largesse.

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Okay...well first thing's first--you *won't* be able to live with his parents being rude to you and falsely accusing you. And you won't be able to continue your relationship if your boyfriend won't stand up for you. Don't kid yourself....if your relationship with this guy is to continue, there have to be a few changes made.

 

First, you need to talk to the boyfriend more and tell him exactly how you feel and why you feel that way. He doesn't have to agree with you (he probably won't....family loyalties run deep in these kinds of situations), but he does need to understand why you feel the way you feel and commit to you that he's going to do something about it. The dangerous thing about this is that you need to make clear to him that you're not trying to get him to take sides--that's not the point. You're trying to get him to bring both sides together. Your boyfriend is the only person who really has the full potential to correct this situation--his parents are not going to change their mind about you on their own, and you're not going to be able to do anything to make them change their mind either. He has to be the one to show them why they're wrong about you, but also show you why they feel the way they feel.

 

Second, forget about his brother and his girlfriend. I understand why you feel jealous, but it will get you NOWHERE. Don't even mention it to your boyfriend and if you have already, stop using it as an argument against his parents. How his parents treat his brother and his brother's girlfriend truly has NOTHING to do with you. It sounds like his parents are going to themselves their own grave when it comes to the brother and his girlfriend--let them. You commenting on it will look like jealousy (which it is!) and will only further contribute to their negative perception of you.

 

Third, you have to set goals for your relationship with your boyfriend and his parents. First goal is that, even though you feel like crap, you don't get to talk negatively about his parents. This is one of those things that it's okay if HE says something bad about them, but you can't do the same because they're not your parents--they're his. So when problems arise, keep it about you--"when your mom said____________, it made me feel like______________." Second goal is getting your boyfriend to acknowledge that they treat you differently and having him commit to you that he will step in when they get out of line. You're going to have a better chance of obtaining the second goal if you do well with the first. Third goal is repairing the relationship with his parents. If you love him enough to see a future with him, then you have to love his parents enough to want to get along with them--even if they blow you off. If you keep making efforts and they keep blowing you off, that's the point where both you AND your boyfriend should sit down with them and get everything out in the open.

 

If you're not willing to stop talking negatively about his family, then get out of the relationship because you will get nowhere fast. If you stop talking negatively about them, but are still unable to get him to acknowledge that you're treated poorly, then you still should probably get out. If he's got your back, but his parents still refuse to come around, he *will* have to choose at that point whether he sticks by your side or caves in to his folks.

 

In any case, you're off to a rocky start....even if you repair things now, this is the kind of petty BS that will come up again and again years down the road and will require relationship fixing time and time again. I don't mean to sound like a downer, but you really need to be honest with yourself as to whether this guy is worth it or not.

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Thank you so much for all the input so far...but some things to clear up...

 

I moved into HIS apartment at SCHOOL with him for a few months. I only stayed at his parents for a night or two during weekends we have off at school.

 

I have talked to him about this, and he agrees that his parents treat me differently, but doesn't really know what he can do to make it better.

 

I have never spoken badly of them (at least directly to him), and that's the reason why I'm on here. I wanted an unbiased opinion of my situation without any loyalties crowding what you have to say. And wow, some of the things everybody has been saying hits dead on. And others have really made me think.

 

As for his brother's gf, yeah, I admit that I am jealous of her. Jealous that I'm being accused of her actions, but you're right. That needs to be dropped. Because in the end, she doesn't matter.

 

Something else that is particularly frustrating is that his parents are Asian. In Asian families, there is NEVER a time when a son's gf or wife gets to speak her mind. I want so much to just sit down, and have a conversation with them and either apologize for anything that I have done to wrong them, or just to know what that is. But it's not possible. I have to make guesses about how they feel through their silent actions. This is not easy with a bf who doesn't talk to his parents ever about anything serious.

 

How do you repair a relationship with people who don't like you, or even speak to you ?

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The cultural element makes this whole situation make more sense, but I think it also makes it more difficult. If it is true that, even if they like you you will never be able to speak your mind, you're in for a very hard time unless you are willing to resign yourself to this way of life.

 

Your boyfriend needs to step up--if he truly acknowledges the situation as you say he does, then it's as I've said before--he is really the only person in a position to convince his parents to open up the lines of communication.

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Perhaps this is as simple as they want their son to marry within their own culture. Many cultures (including Asian cultures) want that.

 

And if he is from a country with arranged marriages, don't be surprised if in a few years he dumps you to marry someone selected by his parents. That is a very common occurrence, where they will date who they want, but when it is time to marry, they marry who their parents find for them/approve of since they believe marriages should be arranged by parents and based on things other than just love.

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Perhaps this is as simple as they want their son to marry within their own culture. Many cultures (including Asian cultures) want that.

 

And if he is from a country with arranged marriages, don't be surprised if in a few years he dumps you to marry someone selected by his parents. That is a very common occurrence, where they will date who they want, but when it is time to marry, they marry who their parents find for them/approve of since they believe marriages should be arranged by parents and based on things other than just love.

 

I think you've got a bit of an unnecessary fear mongering overgeneralization going on there. I know plenty of people who have parents that immigrated from countries that have arranged marriages and the majority of those folks that are married chose their partners as opposed to being arranged.

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I know a lot of Asians and Indians from arranged marriage cultures, and if a child came home with a potential spouse who was from a different culture and race, they would veto the marriage.

 

If the person looks for someone within the guidelines of their own race and culture they may choose someone themselves in an arranged marriage scenario, but usually with arranged marriages, the whole family has input into the decision (including veto power), not just the person getting married.

 

Marriage is more of a family contract in those cultures, not just individual 'love' matches, though they do happen, not that common.

 

I've known plenty who will date Americans for years, even live with them, then go home to India for a month to see their family and come back with an Indian bride/groom, totally suprising the American girlfriend/boyfriend they'd had for years but had no intention of marrying.

 

When it comes time to settle down, they don't go against their culture or family wishes (or most don't) in an arranged marriage culture.

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I'd say such occurences are greatly dependent on how submissive one is to their parents(and the rest of the family)...That's not to say that I don't know of people who ended up marrying with other families with the hope of maintaining financial security, but those people reside in those countries with arranged marriages.

 

Regardless, this is anecdotal evidence vs. anecdotal evidence, although it sounds as though you're talking more about people who've immigrated over, then go back and get married as opposed to being born and raised in a country where arranged marriage is not the norm.

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1) OP hasn't given any indication that she too is not "Asian".

 

2) OP has not given a single indication that her ethnicity may be the reason his parents do not like her (she's given a multitude of reasons, but ethnicity isn't one of them).

 

3) you may know "a lot" of people who are Indian and Asian from arranged marriage cultures. The fact is - the world really has moved on. When arranged marriages are in play it's because the "child" wants this. I've been to countless weddings where one of the couple is Asian and the other is not - the families are fine and predominantly care just that the kid is happy.

 

I'm not saying there's no chance that race is a factor - but seeing as they had no problems with this girl initially, or even with her initially moving in with their son - I think it's a gross generalisation based of cultural prejudices.

 

There's no reason here to assume that race is a factor and plenty to assume it is not.

 

Having said that - OP - the question for you and your boyfriend is a) is his parents opinion going to prevent him from sharing his life, long-term with you? Marriage etc? b) assuming his parents dont change - how big a part in your lives will he see them playing in the future?

 

The answer to those question should help you determine whether you leave him or stay.

 

You know - you CAN talk to them. They may be uncomfortable with having open discussions with their son's girlfriend but really - what harm is it going to do if the alternative is you breaking up with him?

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Indigo, the OP herself says that race is a factor! She specifically points out that she is 'frustrated' because his parents are Asian and behave differently than she is accustomed to and she feels her voice will not be heard.

 

I think that she needs to have a serious talk with her boyfriend and ask him whether he would ever consider marrying her, or marrying someone who is not Asian, or marrying against his parents wishes. If he won't address that with her and tell her that he intends to make his decisioin regardless of what his parents want, then she might be in for a big surprise later and wasting her time hoping to marry him.

 

frankly, if he won't support her now, i doubt he'll go against his parents wishes later when it comes to marrying her.

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Indigo, the OP herself says that race is a factor! She specifically points out that she is 'frustrated' because his parents are Asian and behave differently than she is accustomed to and she feels her voice will not be heard.

 

 

She said race is a factor in their inability to deal/communicate with her in the style she'd prefer. She didnt say race was a factor in their dislike of her.

 

She listed the lack of a "pretty face", money, and parents who are still together, but thats about it.

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