I didn’t know where to post this, so I hope this section works.
As you have already noticed (username), I (age 21) am agnostic (undeclared). I do not plan on regularly posting on this forum, well, because I’m not Catholic. But I feel I must discuss some issues that seems to eat at my insides. Who better to talk to than those who follow a strong faith?
Ok, so here it goes…
My girlfriend (age 20) comes from a “devout” Catholic family, but she is not Catholic, on the contrary, she is closer to an atheist. We both go to college together and are currently sharing a place with other roommates. We are in an honest, open, supportive, loving relationship of 17 months. We are in no rush to marry, let alone have kids for quite some time in the future, when we are better off financially (aka not a student), but certainly have aspirations.
I pay for my own way through college (loans, loans, and more loans), however, her parents pay her way (tuition and living costs, all covered). This is where things get more complicated (IMO, it doesn’t have to be). Her parents are an older group of conservative Roman Catholics with heavy opinions (followed by her oldest sister whom has a family of her own). My girlfriend has recently tried to open up a bit to her parents because she has always felt like a failure and fears their judgment. Me and her decided to approach her parents with the idea of renting an apartment together, just me and her. At first, she tried the idea of renting an apartment for herself, alone, listing very reasonable, logical reasons to do so (cost, location to campus, etc). Her parents were worried about her “security”, and I happened to be looking for a place, so we decided to address this “security” issue of living alone and bring up the idea. As soon as this happened, her mother wrote back in an email saying that they would disown her if any cohabitation took place as well as take away her funds for a higher education (apparently security wasn’t the issue after all and the GF knew it). Mother flipped out. After a few exchanges of emails and “this-is-who-I-am” information (her mother claims that her daughter does not tell her things that are important to them, and fear of this kind of response has a lot to do with it) it was useless to try and reason with her mother. So after all was said and done, she said she would continue financing her daughter’s education only as long as no cohabitation of any kind takes place (it was a hurdle just to allow roommates of the male gender). At least the father was willing to look at the situation reasonably as he broke apart our emails and commented on them thoughtfully, which I certainly appreciated, however there was fear that I was somehow playing a manipulator role (absolutely not, I encourage my girlfriend to make her own decisions - I am by no means that kind of person).
In the last email I received from her mother, she told me it wasn’t personal and that it doesn’t matter who it is, the answer would be no. Cohabitation is an “ill of society”. You’re probably asking yourself a question right now, and I will answer it: Yes, I have acquainted myself with my girlfriend’s parents on brief occasions, chatted with them, been to their place, and at the end of the year last year, they were even introduced to my mother. They do not know much about me, that is true, and throughout our recent communications, I have offered information about me (history, belief, etc) and my intent (that I’ll be around for a while ). I have also proposed to meet with them and discuss myself and our relationship more, and on a deeper level, which I hope will occur sometime in the near future. At this point in time, however, her parents wish to speak to their daughter alone and in person soon.
To paint a better picture of my girlfriend’s issues with her parents, besides the obvious issue of her parents not being straight with her (apparently my girlfriend was never given the birds and bees talk, for one :eek: ), here is an example: My girlfriend was waiting for some information after applying for a credit card. Her mother found this information, as it was addressed to their house, and threatened her daughter not to get a credit card or no more college - as she was “cutting up the card into many pieces”. This was a blow to my GF because it just made her feel more miserable, like she could never do anything right. She feels like a possession to her parents, and that makes me very concerned. Under no circumstances should a child (an ADULT mind you) feel like a mere possession to their parents :(. It was a good thing my GF told her oldest sister about it, who then proceeded to talk some sense into their mother about it. Well, what do you know, she now has a credit card /cheer.