Problems between my parents and my fiancé


#1

Hi everyone,
I'm new here, and thought maybe I could ask you opinion on something... I'm not sure who else to turn to...

Just to give you a bit of background... My fiancé and I have been together for nine years. We lived in Europe for two years (for jobs), moved back home to Canada for about nine months, and then moved back to Europe again, where we are now living.
I come from a stereotypical Italian family, where my parents wanted me to live at home until I was married (and then some!) so they could do everything for me and take care of me, and this was unfortunately the way it was because I was a broke university student trying to get an education and a good job. My family is very close, always in each other's business and my parents are very controlling. My fiancé, however, comes from a totally different type of family, who respects his personal space, aren't demanding of his time, and he's lived away from home since he was 17 or so.

In the time we moved back home, we had both moved into my parents' house (because we didn't have jobs or a lot of money or anywhere else to live... my fiancé's parents had gotten a divorce while we were away and he couldn't/didn't want to stay with them).
That's when everything went sour... Five adults living in a small house is bad enough, plus the fact that my fiancé and I never had any privacy to have some "together" time without my family hovering, and my fiancé never felt like it was his home so he was uncomfortable for the whole time we were there... Also, as much as they refuse to admit it, my fiancé and my mother and very much alike - stubborn, refusing to listen to reason, always wanting their way, and never wanting anyone to tell them what to do. I love them both dearly but it can be a challenge sometimes. Aside from this, though, I'm close with my mother, and my fiancé and I have a great relationship and I love him very much.

We moved back to Canada to get married... but a few months before this was going to happen, my fiancé and my mother got into a huge blow-out, and they haven't really talked since (about 7 or 8 months now). My fiancé was sick of my mother barking orders at him and treating him like a 10-year-old, and he shot off at the mouth (he has a bad temper, same as her), swore and yelled at my mother, she slapped him across the face and he was kicked out of their house. The wedding was called off because they couldn't even stand to look at each other... For months after, my parents never failed to take every opportunity whenever they spoke to me to badmouth him, wishing we would break up, and telling me how much I've turned my back on my family and betrayed them for staying with him after he disrespected them. My fiancé, insanely stubborn, didn't even try to apologize until about two months later... but because it wasn't the way my parents wanted, they didn't accept it. (My mother, when he'd come to their house to talk, had run and locked herself in her room because she was upset that I was telling her in front of my fiancé that she was too involved in my relationship, etc.) Regardless, he apologized to my dad and brother, but my mother expected him to show up the next day to apologize to her when she was ready. Fast forward a few months later, and I'd just gotten so sick of their hating each other and was so desperate to save my relationship that my fiancé and I moved back to Europe. My mother is angry that he didn't apologize to her before we left. He emailed her when we were here to say happy mother's day, and she ignored him and yelled at me that he will never be a part of our family and to tell him to not contact her again.
My parents also complain about the things my fiancé does or doesn't do, even though it's fine for me... like going out with his friends without me (which I do too! we don't have to spend every second of the day together) or not buying me flowers on Valentine's day (which I asked him not to)... They think he's turned me away from God because he's not a practicing Catholic anymore (although he was baptized)... but I go to church myself, even here in Europe. The religious issues between us are something we've talked a lot about and worked out together, but my parents don't agree and are offended by it.They're also angry that he's taken me away from them by moving back to Europe, even though it was my idea and I'm much happier here (I hate being away from our families, but it's been the best thing for us.)

So this is what I've been dealing with... The thing is, we have been engaged for a year and a half, and have been together for nine years... I'm ready to get married and start a family! I really am of the opinion that their fighting is stupid and ridiculous and I'm so sick of it. My mother wants an apology from him in person (and we're not going back to Canada for another year and a half)... I don't want to wait another two years to get married, before they MAYBE start talking again (but only after he grovels for their acceptance). I'm 30, my baby clock is ticking! I'm ready to just go elope here in Europe and start my life with my fiancé... at the same time, though, it absolutely breaks my heart that my parents won't be involved in my wedding (they've told me they won't come) and I'll never get to experience the joy and excitement about planning a big beautiful wedding with my mother that all little girls dream of. I keep praying and hoping that things will change between them, but I can't see that happening any time soon, and I really don't want to put my life on hold because they can't grow up :\

Sorry this was so long! Any thoughts? I have no idea what to do now... :(


#2

Mark 10:7-9 - “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man (or mother) put asunder.”

God bless, you’re in my prayers.


#3

Tietjen has the right of it, I believe.


#4

Well, it seems that your parents are treating you like a child and don't intend to stop. You've done your best to make everyone happy but it's not enough for them. I wonder if they actually got what they wanted, would things change? Is your fiance the problem, or are there perhaps other issues and they are using him as an excuse to punish you?
Basically, your marriage doesn't have to be closely connected to them. It would be absolutely wonderful if that could be the case, but if that's not possible - try to be realistic and do what is best for your fiance and yourself. After all, you will be a family soon and that will be the centre of your life, not mom and dad and their drama. Plus, don't forget that your family have to be willing to work on this relationship with you as well and show you some respect for a start. You can't do it on your own. It takes two to tango, right?

Be brave, discuss the options with your fiance and live your life. I'm sure that your parents will chill out after a while, especially if they see that you can't be manipulated that easily.

Good luck and God bless!


#5

[quote="flee, post:1, topic:203643"]
Hi That's when everything went sour... Five adults living in a small house is bad enough, plus the fact that my fiancé and I never had any privacy to have some "together" time without my family hovering, and my fiancé never felt like it was his home so he was uncomfortable for the whole time we were there
. . .
We moved back to Canada to get married... but a few months before this was going to happen, my fiancé and my mother got into a huge blow-out, and they haven't really talked since (about 7 or 8 months now). My fiancé was sick of my mother barking orders at him and treating him like a 10-year-old, and he shot off at the mouth (he has a bad temper, same as her), swore and yelled at my mother, she slapped him across the face and he was kicked out of their house.

[/quote]

I actually did not read much past here
you wanted "private time together" before you were married, which you would not have gotten had you been my unmarried child living in my house at the time, if I had anything to say about it. you fiance exhibited disrespect to the point of violence to the persons who had offered him hospitality and further exhibits dangerous character trait if immaturity, ingratitude, and inability to control is emotions.

I agree, use this as a time to reevaluate the entire idea of marriage until you both understand what it means to establish a Godly family through this sacrament, and until your fiance grows up.


#6

Nine years? That's a pretty long time to discern marriage? Who has the committment problem?

I don't blame your parents for not allowing 'alone time' to their unmarried daughter and her fiance. You do know this is your parents home, not yours?

You might want to be the ones to apologize here. Then, maybe learn a little more about committment and marriage.


#7

Your family are right, get rid of this guy he is no good, just because you are ready does not mean this is the right guy, everything thing you have said about him and about your ridiculously long dating period shows that. You are lucky they even let you in their house because if you were my daughter there would be no way I would have even let you set foot in the door with this guy.


#8

[quote="iamrefreshed, post:6, topic:203643"]
Nine years? That's a pretty long time to discern marriage? Who has the committment problem?

I don't blame your parents for not allowing 'alone time' to their unmarried daughter and her fiance. You do know this is your parents home, not yours?

You might want to be the ones to apologize here. Then, maybe learn a little more about committment and marriage.

[/quote]

Honestly, I see you and your fiance in the wrong here to a degree. First, if you wanted "alone time" ( I am assuming you mean that you were sleeping together, if not please correct me), you should not have moved back home to where you know your parents do not agree that this should happen before marriage. Their house, their rules.

Second, again, their house, their rules. Even if their rules are unreasonable.

Third, your finace had NO BUSINESS talking disrespectfully to your mom. That would be a huge red flag for me. Um, seriously? What made him even think that was remotely okay?

The rest doesn't bother me. But those things do. Please think about whehter or not this is the man you want to spend the rest of your life with. If he is, then by all means go ahead. You don't need your parents' approval. You're an adult.

God bless, and keep us posted.


#9

Just to clarify a few things...

When I meant "private time", I didn't mean for sex, I just meant to watch a movie or play video games together or whatever else... It's important that we do things as a couple, I think it brings us closer, without having parents (or even friends) getting in the way and being around ALL THE TIME. I'm 30 years old... I need some space. I didn't care if they were still in the house, I just didn't want to be in the same room. After being forced to be so incredibly independent while living overseas, it was really hard to have people around me all the time. My parents would get angry if we didn't want to watch TV with them all the time (because we didn't like the shows) or go shopping or do whatever else with them as a family. We saw them constantly and did a lot of things together, but we needed time away from them too! Thing is, we had nowhere to go. It's hard living away from your parents for years, and then moving back into their house and drastically altering your life.

And we've been together nine years because we started dating just as I was entering university (where I was for five years), and then we started to save our money and got engaged a year and a half ago. So there aren't really any commitment issues here, just bad timing and trying to plan for our future. I'm okay with the length of time, that doesn't bother me. I wasn't ready to get married before - I wanted to establish myself independently first. I never had a chance to before then. And I wanted to make sure that he was the person I wanted to be with, which I now am certain that he is. Too many people rush into marriage. I don't know many people who regretted waiting so long before getting married, but I know plenty of people who wished they HAD waited longer. Many of my friends are divorced and they're my age.

We respected the "their house, their rules" idea, that's fine. That was never a problem. But my mother is the type of person who gets angry at the smallest thing... then it's not a rule... unless the rule is "my way or the highway". She gets angry when we don't have the lights on bright enough, or if we don't clear our plates the second we're done eating, or if we're not sitting in the proper place on the sofa... These, I think, are totally unreasonable things to get angry about. And when I say "get angry", I'm seriously talking about screaming at us until she gets her way. I love my parents and I really appreciated them taking us in, but we're not five years old.

Yes, my fiance has a temper, and I never said that what he did was in any way okay with me... It's appauling. He knows I don't agree with the way he acted, and it has hurt our relationship... but I also try to remind myself that when I agreed to marry him I didn't make the decision lightly... I said yes because I love him... all of him - not just the parts that are easy to love.


#10

It seems that your mom has serious control issues, and that would drive any sane person crazy. I don't think that makes your fiance a bad man, just human. He wanted to apologise and make things right, no? But she wasn't satisfied. Perhaps he can try again and show her he means it. It's up to her to accept the apology and move on, or not.

And trust me, you're not the only person who has parents that are a bit...intense. (I'm 34 and my dad still feels he has a right to tell me and my husband how to spend our money, plan our life, 'advise' me on whether I should have an abortion or not, etc. And yes, I want to kick him when he does that, I admit it).
Family life can be difficult and what I've learned is that when things are rough it is my husband that matters most. We are a team. I love my parents but I'm not their little girl anymore. I guess the best thing you can do is offer to find a compromise but stand your ground and lay down some rules yourself.


#11

After reading all this, my advice is end your relationship with him. Otherwise, what you have written is going to become the story of your life, over and over again.


#12

There are a lot of unhealthy things going on here. Age 30 is really old to be living full time with parents. If you are unable to afford your own places at age 30 then I am not sure if you are ready for marriage. Living at home puts your parents back into the role they used to play as your child caregiver. It makes them look at you like a child instead of the adult that you are. I believe that it is even more of a red flag that your fiance had to live with your parents. He is supposed to be a man and a provider. He isnt supposed to be a live-in boyfriend with marriage and a steady job a long way away.

I also think there is something more to this story. Something tells me the things he said to your mother were a lot worse and hurtful than you say it is. To turn the whole family against him, this had to have been something really bad. I know I would find it hard to trust him if he verbally assaulted my mother like that for any reason. He is a guest in the house. He is not family yet. He should be thankful your parents even allow him in the house as an unmarried fiance. Many parents wouldnt allow a live-in fiance. It is even worse when they start demanding everyone else adjust their schedules for together time.

You also need to pick where you are going to be. Do you want to be in Europe with your fiance or do you want to be close to your family? Age 30 isnt the end of the world or babies for you. You can easily find another man and have kids. You say you arent making this decision for marriage lightly yet it seems to be a panic decision to stay with a man that treated your parents poorly and tried to rule their house. 9 years of dating is very long unless you were in a "partnership" type situation. Even with 5 years of college added in, this is a very long time. Someone had second thoughts here for a while or one side was content to have a non-committal partnership relationship that benefited them.

If you need to choose right now, I would always take family over a fiance. You can always find a new fiance. You can never get a new family.


#13

[quote="flee, post:9, topic:203643"]
Just to clarify a few things...

When I meant "private time", I didn't mean for sex, I just meant to watch a movie or play video games together or whatever else... It's important that we do things as a couple, I think it brings us closer, without having parents (or even friends) getting in the way and being around ALL THE TIME. I'm 30 years old... I need some space. I didn't care if they were still in the house, I just didn't want to be in the same room. After being forced to be so incredibly independent while living overseas, it was really hard to have people around me all the time. My parents would get angry if we didn't want to watch TV with them all the time (because we didn't like the shows) or go shopping or do whatever else with them as a family. We saw them constantly and did a lot of things together, but we needed time away from them too! Thing is, we had nowhere to go. It's hard living away from your parents for years, and then moving back into their house and drastically altering your life.

And we've been together nine years because we started dating just as I was entering university (where I was for five years), and then we started to save our money and got engaged a year and a half ago. So there aren't really any commitment issues here, just bad timing and trying to plan for our future. I'm okay with the length of time, that doesn't bother me. I wasn't ready to get married before - I wanted to establish myself independently first. I never had a chance to before then. And I wanted to make sure that he was the person I wanted to be with, which I now am certain that he is. Too many people rush into marriage. I don't know many people who regretted waiting so long before getting married, but I know plenty of people who wished they HAD waited longer. Many of my friends are divorced and they're my age.

We respected the "their house, their rules" idea, that's fine. That was never a problem. But my mother is the type of person who gets angry at the smallest thing... then it's not a rule... unless the rule is "my way or the highway". She gets angry when we don't have the lights on bright enough, or if we don't clear our plates the second we're done eating, or if we're not sitting in the proper place on the sofa... These, I think, are totally unreasonable things to get angry about. And when I say "get angry", I'm seriously talking about screaming at us until she gets her way. I love my parents and I really appreciated them taking us in, but we're not five years old.

Yes, my fiance has a temper, and I never said that what he did was in any way okay with me... It's appauling. He knows I don't agree with the way he acted, and it has hurt our relationship... but I also try to remind myself that when I agreed to marry him I didn't make the decision lightly... I said yes because I love him... all of him - not just the parts that are easy to love.

[/quote]

Thanks for clarifying. I understand your position better now. You mom does sound unreasonable. That said, it's still their house; their rules. I recommend getting out and on your own. You are 30, so you should be able to reasonably soon. Good luck!


#14

Since it sounds like you and your Father have reconciled, I would call him up and ask his advice. Let him know that you're wanting to marry your fiancee but you're concerned that doing so will further alienate your Mom. Perhaps he knows of something that you or your fiancee could do to calm the waters.

Good luck!


#15

If you have a controlling, volatile, angry mother, there is a very good chance that you are conditioned to be accepting of that type of behavior from someone you are in a relationship with. There are a lot of red flags here, both in your relationship with your parents as well as your relationship with your fiancee.

I think you need to have some independence and some counseling before you should undertake something so serious as marriage and children. You should be able to support yourself and your fiancee should be able to support himself. And trust me if he is willing to treat your mother that way, just wait until you are his wife.

Writing this as someone who has been there done that. I think you need some space to develop perspective.


#16

[quote="Contra_Mundum, post:10, topic:203643"]
(I'm 34 and my dad still feels he has a right to tell me and my husband how to spend our money, plan our life, 'advise' me on whether I should have an abortion or not, etc.

[/quote]

:eek::eek::eek::eek:


#17

Your parents aren't marrying him, you are. If you are happy and feel you have found the person you are meant to be with, be with him and don't think twice about it. Time for you to start your family and stop trying to play the part given you to blend into your parents definition of family.


#18

[quote="iamrefreshed, post:16, topic:203643"]
:eek::eek::eek::eek:

[/quote]

I know. Shocking. But that's my dad...:blush:


#19

[quote="iamrefreshed, post:6, topic:203643"]
Nine years? That's a pretty long time to discern marriage? Who has the committment problem?

I don't blame your parents for not allowing 'alone time' to their unmarried daughter and her fiance. You do know this is your parents home, not yours?

You might want to be the ones to apologize here. Then, maybe learn a little more about committment and marriage.

[/quote]

I agree with iamrefreshed. I would not have let you live in my house as man and wife without actually being man and wife.

Perhaps you should listen to your parents when they say that he is not the right person. I've seen my daughter ignore our advice and end up in one bad situation after another.

Now as a parent, if my adult child is not living in accordance with church teaching, it is my obligation to tell them. Once I do, they still have free will to do what they want and I accept their decision without nagging and without judging. I will however always pray for them and love them.


#20

Hm. PM me for my personal relevant story.

Perhaps I missed it...how long did you both live, unemployed, with your parents? This is not a new sociological phenomenon, but if you place yourself in a dependent relationship with your folks, then they will revert to treating you like a child.

I am responding from my bby so perhaps I also missed whether or not both you and your fiance are practicing Catholics.

If you had no job and nowhere to go, how did you afford to move away again?

People from controlling, abusive homes look for people to please, just as they tried to please their parents.

You need time away from all of them, especially your fiance, to become your own person.

Your friends your age being divorced is irrelevant. You were only 21 when you started dating. I hazard a guess that without living with your parents, you aren't living chastely, which has many ramifications...not the least of which is your immortal soul. If you settled at 21 into an adult relationship, then perhaps you were/are living as if you are married (with or without physical intimacy). For all intents and purposes that's acting married without the benefit of marriage and at least cause for scandal.

In light of your inexperience before you decided to half-heartedly settle down, there is a chance that your emotional growth is stunted because of this disordered situation.

If you feel that you know how to 'handle' him regarding his stubbornness and his temper, then your comfort zone relies on coping with his behavior. This is not healthy. Don't romanticize it and think that 'no one understands your love...' and martyr yourself; you have set your cap for this guy and invested so much that it would seem to be your biggest failure to walk away now. That's not love, dear heart, that's pride. It's as if you're fighting for what you want, not what is good for you.

I am concerned that you haven't had a chance to really be independent. You went from your parents, to university, to being in a very mature relationship. This may sound harsh, but your independence was from your family, but you were not truly independent because you were with your fiance.

You and he know how to push each other's buttons. Now, you've had to choose between your family and your fiance -- who is not your spouse. You have made your decision but you don't have to live that way. If you had a correct perspective, you would never have had to make a choice, but this isn't the end of the road. Take time to make Christ and His sacraments the center of your life above all else. It is not an easy road but if your fiance is not actively working to be Christ-like (think of how the Church is His bride) then he is not worthy of you.

I hate to make this overly simplistic, but perhaps you have myopic view because this is the only relationship you know in which you are so heavily invested with emotion, dreams for your future, and now hopes for children. You sound as if you're settling and being without you're fiance is not an option; it would be selfish of you to have a family when you can't balance your biological family with the one you're hoping to create.


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