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Family is suddenly not supportive....but are they right?


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Okay, I'll try and make this concise. My boyfriend and I have been dating for 2.5 years. We are both professionals and are financially independent. We live apart but we make it work to see one another whenever we can. To be more specific, he has his own home but I still live with family (we're European, it's just how it goes, lol). I met his immediate family after 1 year of dating, fast forward another 6 months and the families met one another and, most recently, the extended families have met one another. Everything is good in that regard and everyone likes everyone else.


We get along, we share core values, we've never fought (of course we annoy one another sometimes but that's the extent of our troubles). On the other hand, we are different in some ways. He grew up very exposed (in a positive way - sports, partying, a bit of a spender, etc.) whereas I was pretty sheltered, very careful with my money, etc. I think he appreciates that I'm the "girl you can bring home" and I appreciate that he's not "boring."


Now here's the deal. We've been on a couple of short weekend trips but he (and therefore I) have been invited to a destination wedding. I was hesitant at first because it's not my comfort zone (heat, beaches, a week from work, etc.) and I don't particularly support this couple but, as I said above, it's an opportunity for me to experience something new, and it would be great for us to be alone(ish) for a whole week. Now, I sort of thought/hoped we'd get engaged, like, yesterday....but it hasn't happened. Deep down I'm frustrated (it's been two years, he speaks like he's committed, both of us are getting older, let's just get on with it), but on the other hand I would rather take this slow-and-steady than jump in.


The reason I see value in not jumping in is that my parents are divorced. My dad was a schmuck, my mom knew he was a schmuck (unemployed, unmotivated, disrespectful, lazy, ultimately literally walked out), but she married him anyways. She liked my boyfriend, but now, especially with this trip on the horizon....all hell has broken loose. She thinks he's not serious, he's stringing me along, he's never given - only taken, he's lazy, he's coasting, he just likes the idea of a girlfriend he can take to parties but has no intention of settling down. And it's specific complaints like - he didn't shovel the walk, I bet he'd never get up if a baby needed him, he only cares about his own possessions, his life is about his status, he's so insecure. Recently we talked about engagement ring shopping (which *I* joked about and then didn't pursue even thought he agreed to it), and she thinks he knew I wouldn't actually act on it, and if I brought it up he just as easily could have insisted we go to a store and since he didn't it was just a relief for him. So, yes, she's afraid I will end up divorced like her, she doesn't want that for me (understandable), but I don't think he's like my dad (oop - my bad - that's me making excuses). (My grandma? She just thinks I'm a who'll end up pregnant and disgrace the family. She's been wailing in agony over this. Not only am I more than sensible enough to be careful, but we didn't get physical over a year into the relationship; it's not about sex).


She's let it out that she wants me to back out of the wedding because if I go and make that level of commitment then it's basically impossible to back out later. And then everyone loses. Truth be told, I am now dangerously close to backing out of this trip. It's a month away. I mentioned to him this trip might not work and who knows what he's thinking now (we'll talk about it in person in a few days). Anyway, this is not about him being a bad guy. Someone who genuinely asks me "what do you need, what can I do for you, just making sure you're okay" can't be a bad guy (in my mind).


What do I say? What do I do? I don't even know what I'm asking, but please give me your opinions.....I'm almost ready to force him to take my mom to lunch (dear lord, I am not that kinda girl), but if it's what she needs maybe I should take some kind of approach like that. Ugghhhhh...

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I think you need to tell mom to mind her own business and go. If you really want to know if you'll get on with someone, one of the best tests for that is traveling together. And if you're hopeful of the relationship deepening and ending up with marriage what better way is there than to take a romantic trip together to a wedding.


By the way, that comment about if you go then you're basically trapped is totally ludicrous. So your mom was able to divorce your dad after marrying him, but just going to someone else's wedding means you can't back out at any time if you change your mind about marrying the guy or even being his girlfriend?


Here's a little secret you may not know. It does not matter one jot where you are, what you do, what level of commitment you make, if you want or need to walk you can and are free to do so at any time in your life, yes at any time.


I think you need to take a step back and look at why you're letting your mom, a woman who picked per your own words a guy who wasn't trustworthy that she divorced, to suddenly start demanding what you can and can't do in the relationship you've been in for 2.5 years. I


How do you know he's not hoping to get you alone and spend some quality romantic time with you? What if he decides to propose then? Hmm? Did you ever think that perhaps he wants you there, so he can enjoy some romance with you?


Seriously, it sounds like your mom is scared he's going to ask and you'll say yes. But I have no idea why she'd do that or why she's all up in your business to begin with. It's one thing if the guy was abusive, I'd totally get that, but from what I read he sounds okay to me. So really where is all this fear coming from?


You need to ask yourself that and be honest. I don't think your mom is the larger problem here, because most people would just say, "Too bad Mom, I need some time off anyways with the man I love. I'll drop you a postcard."

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Your mom & grandma are projecting their own issues onto you.


Nope, this guy's not your dad. He could be a totally different kind of deadbeat But it honestly doesn't sound like it.


I know it's hard when you live with family to separate your life & emotions from what the people around you are saying, but you're a grown woman who is fully capable of making her own decisions.


What decision would you make if mom & grandma weren't filling your head with their poison? I think the answer to that question should determine your actions. This should be something you decide from an authentic, unbiased space.

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I know, I DO understand where they're coming from and of course no one wants history to repeat. But I also know no one is perfect and I expect a relationship to be rocky to an extent. The whole idea is you commit to working through it (or you walk away sooner rather than later).


Yeah, unbiased is hard. I want to go on this trip (as I said, both for him and for myself), and a month or so ago my mom and I were even shopping for clothes for it together! Hence my frustration with her opinions now....

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Yeah, the comment about being stuck after a trip was wonky to me too. I think she just means how would it looked if you [pathetically] followed him to Mexico and spent all that money, only for it to not work out. Well , if we weren't optimistic about it, I likely wouldn't have even been invited on the trip. Honestly, I'm letting my mom have input because as crazy as she sounds, she's never steered me wrong. So the super ty part is she's got me questioning everything, I admit it. I DO know she wants what's best, and dear lord would I be ticked at myself if she turned out to be right. BUT, it would be stupid of me to throw away something I feel is right just because it MIGHT go south. Of course it might, that's life. Hence my trying to use this as one more experience to make a decision about him. Anyway, so the relationship between me and my mom is why the "see ya when I see ya" approach doesn't work. I don't disagree with you, but I don't consider it an option. I guess I'm just trying to figure out how to make her see this (i.e., he) is not a bad decision. There's nothing worse (annoying at best, hurtful at worst) than her thinking I'm an idiot when I know I'm not. Actually, your Elie Wiesel quote? That's basically what she thinks he's all about.

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Mom and Grandma are from different generations, and are projecting their own problems on to you.


I also don't think going away for a week to a wedding symbolizes some huge step in a relationship or a make-or-break moment. All three of you are assigning a lot of meaning to this event, which I don't quite understand. Instead, I would go and see it as a chance to get to know each other more and deepen your connection. If you never really get much chance to spend extended time alone together, he might have his hesitations about how well you'd get along once the two of you are on your own.


I live in Europe too, so I know that from a cultural standpoint, things are a little different when it comes to dating (depending on the country you reside in) But I don't think going away for a week together is a bad thing - it actually sounds like a great chance to get away and spend some time one-on-one before/after the wedding festivities. You might also find you have the time then to talk about your own future together.


Don't let Mom and Grandma make these choices for you. I'm sorry, but I think they are over-involved and being unfair to both you and your boyfriend. I agree with another poster here who says you might be in inadvertently over-sharing with them- there are some things that don't need to be discussed with parents and family. You need to establish boundaries that protect your relationship too. You're an adult and can and should make your own decisions without being made to feel like your life isn't good enough for them.

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I think you need to chill the hell out - go on this trip, enjoy it! It's about the journey! Go to the beach, get a tan, get bladders, have fun! Your mum seems like she wants to dictate how you should live and who you should see - it's up to you to decide that. If you love this man then own up to it and be with him. No one is perfect, maybe he's a bit lazy, but if he is and it bothers you, tell HIM not your mum.


Your mum needs to stay out of your business you seem to be a grown woman! You do your own life. Just because you live at home does not excuse your mum butting in and saying these things. If you do end up getting divorced, guess what? A lot of other people do. However, having your mum come to your wedding and treating him like he's an arsehole throughout your marriage won't help things in the least.

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Deep down I'm frustrated (it's been two years, he speaks like he's committed, both of us are getting older, let's just get on with it)
This is you being honest with yourself and us.


but on the other hand I would rather take this slow-and-steady than jump in.
This is you feigning rationality.


Honestly, while there's a lot of gospel in this thread, at the end of the day, I don't think this is an issue of your mother. I think you're just thoroughly upset you're not engaged yet and, at this point, you'll take a couple subtle quips from family as a license to run with that resentment.


Personally, I'm going on three years with my girlfriend and I'm just now drawing up the battle plan to pop the question. I've been on many week-long trips with her. Doesn't speak at all to me not loving her or me stringing her along or "trapping" her.


Just take it easy and enjoy a week on the beach. Don't build any expectations other than to relax in the sun with a drink.

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Part of maturing is learning discretion in what we share with family. I'd skip the focus on getting engaged, and I'd focus on moving into my own place or with roommates.


The only way to gain respect and privacy is to reach for independence. Otherwise, you'll continue your child role in your family, and they'll continue to meddle and treat you like a child.

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You can pass up so many things on a "what if this turns out badly" and all you will get is a life not lived. I mean, so what if it doesn't work out? You still got to go to an exotic location on vacation. Do you know how many people would love that. That's a lifetime opportunity right there regardless of whether some guy works out or not.


Just do it, remind yourself: beach, beautiful places, shopping, margaritas in the sand. Oh yeah, and with a guy I like too.


Seriously, what's to lose? A life lived in fear is a life not lived.

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I think you are open to your mom and grandma's projections because ultimately you want to force his hand on getting engaged.


Cuz if you were happy with taking it slow, you would tell them to mind their own business, and when it happens, they'll be the first to know.


It's a month away, and you are telling him he's not welcome? Um. And having a date to a destination wedding or any wedding doesn't mean you're suppose to be married or getting married if you go together. You could be brining a friend.

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Instead of being annoyed at not being engaged or wanting to take it slow, why not take a good look at this guy - you say he's not "boring" - is he still a partier and a spender? Is he a guy who hasn't really grown up? Before you stew any more about a commitment, maybe its time to make sure what's best - and not just "because you aren't getting any younger". Marriages fall apart due to financial issues. If you did get married - and you DID hesitate on ring shopping - will you be the saver and will he just blow all your money on "fun"?


I think mom is reacting to you doing things with your boyfriend that sound more committed and they are just concerned for you as there is a divorce in your family. If you HAVE shared things about your boyfriend that are negative to your mom, then there you go

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Agree....This isn't about your mother so don't let her inject her own history and bitterness into this. However why do you want to be engaged "like yesterday"? Do have common goals about family, timelines, etc.?

My boyfriend and I have been dating for 2.5 years.I sort of thought/hoped we'd get engaged, like, yesterday....but it hasn't happened. Deep down I'm frustrated
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Thanks for the comments everyone (feel free to keep them coming!)


I'm frustrated at the relationship not moving forward because in the last 6 months I feel like things have gotten too comfortable, I'm not sure how else to put it. Like there's no motivation to keep it moving. Personally, I think people who date "forever" is a joke. If after 5, 6, 7, 8 years you haven't settled down with a person, my perception is that you're just leaving an open door if/when you want to leave. We discussed this early on in the relationship and he agrees that that sort of a timeline is ridiculous. And yes, both of our families are pretty traditional, so none of this "we don't believe in marriage" stuff. I used to think because of his professional obligations he was just waiting for down time, but I think we all agree there's no perfect time for these things. Planning a wedding, moving in together having children - there's no convenience around that, but you have to keep moving on with your life.


The reason, however, that I also said I'm okay with waiting is because I think there's one thing worse than not moving the relationship forward...and that's forcing it to move forward and never really knowing if the other person just "caved" or if they really wanted to move it along. So call me old-school, I would rather it come from him. I'm not into the ultimatum game nor do I want a guy who's a pushover....but...I am starting to see the value in lighting a bit of a fire. I don't want him to think I'll just follow him wherever/whenever he wants, and that's Mexico included. Truthfully I have NO interest in these "beaches and drinks and relaxing" you all think are so amazing...if I never see a tropical beach, beach, I'll still die happy. I was going to attend to support him and, as I said, try and experience something new, but I'm seeing less value in that.


Also, everyone in his life (family, current and past co-workers, friends), are ALL in support of our relationship (which is great). Their encouragement and "jokes" (e.g., so buddy, when are we gonna plan your stag?) might be overwhelming to him.

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A good relationship is about good communication. That means saying what you mean and meaning what you say.


This includes being clear on your goals, values, what's important to you, etc. instead of coasting along passively wishing, hoping,resenting.


It also means either go on the trip graciously and enjoy or don't go. But don't be a martyr in either case and become just like your mother.

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Their encouragement and "jokes" (e.g., so buddy, when are we gonna plan your stag?) might be overwhelming to him.


It's only overwhelming if they don't want to marry you. There is absolutely nothing wrong about being clear with your expectations. And you need to check in with him at least once a year about, "where are we at?", even when you are married! It's not a testament, shake them down talk, it's a talk about short and long term goals - where you see or want to see yourself - what you hope to take on and learn. Be honest with him. Cuz if this guy can't take your heat (and I mean that in a just be yourself way good, bad, or crazy), then he needs to get out of your kitchen.


It can still be traditional where he's the one proposing. But talking about where you want things to go, hopes, dreams, the whole nine-yards, and putting a timeline together, very helpful and normal, and productive!

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I don't want him to think I'll just follow him wherever/whenever he wants, and that's Mexico included. Truthfully I have NO interest in these "beaches and drinks and relaxing" you all think are so amazing...if I never see a tropical beach, beach, I'll still die happy.


Do you ever do anything just because it's fun or exciting? You really need to lighten up a little. Not everything in life is so serious or has so much meaning behind it.

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