generically-speakingParticipantNovember 1, 2011 at 3:51 amPost count: 1
A few months ago, an interesting situation left me having to live with my partner's parents. While the situation was less than ideal, a tough financial place dictated the need for me to be here with them. The most important thing here is, HE is not living with me as I live with them. Instead, he stayed at the home that we had together before.
I tried to rise to the occasion, but quickly felt threatened when they started compromising my privacy, regularly going into my room, commenting on things that were clearly not of their concern and talking about me behind my back to my partner. They are very overbearing, have a difficult time allowing space, and don't understand barriers and boundaries. Their desire to “make me feel welcome” quickly became a pushy attempt to paying for everything for me and not allowing me to be the independent, strong-willed woman I strive to be. I'm also a bit of a loner, I tend to be happiest when I'll allowed to keep to myself.
This has caused a tremendous rift in my relationship. I am so frustrated and upset about living with them, that I now try everything I can to avoid them. I get up early in the morning and come home late at night when they're not around. They don't appreciate this as they want more interaction with me, but all I want is to be left alone. They cannot understand my need to feel safe and secure in my room alone.
This is pushing me and my partner apart. He wants me to make changes and allow them the opportunity to have the daughter they never had…all I want is to do my own thing without being pushed. Neither of them can understand how upset I am about them, despite telling both how I feel. Now my partner is telling me that if I do not start trying to be part of this family, he will leave me for someone who will. He's upset because I don't love his parents the same way as he does. I'm completely beside myself, because I truly love this man and I want to spend my life with him. He knows this. I don't want him to leave me, but I'm just not comfortable around his parents.
It was my understanding that at this place in the game, that your OWN family (you and your partner) becomes just as important as your parents. I thought that at this point, we would both be able to have distance from our families and create our adult life. I don't want to be someone's daughter. I already have parents. I resent their need to parent me as an adult.
I don't know how to approach this. I want to leave his parents' home, but I simply cannot afford an alternative at this point. I appreciate their generosity, but I don't appreciate how much this is destroying my relationship.
How would you approach this?
MartinKeymasterNovember 1, 2011 at 6:09 amPost count: 250
First up, thanks for posting and allowing some comment – that's a pretty brave step and you're obviously therefore at the end of your tether too.
In our view of the world (Pam, my wife and I), the family unit levels of importance go something like this:
- Us first
- Our kids
- Our parents and other family members
Why us first? Well, we're soulmates and in this life together. In the end, nothing else matters.
So I'm going to presume your partner has these same feelings as do you. And it's important that you also verbally confirm this too – he might really be thinking different or has never thought about these importance levels before, which might get him thinking.
Have that chat first and have it away from his parents home so you can both think and talk calmly and rationally. This conversation will be a good icebreaker and introduction too. So from here on, I'm going to presume your partner now definitely understand the family unit levels and their importance.
OK, you've got to live there for the moment. That's life. What needs to happen is to set some ground rules as well as a little bit of compromise, from all parties.
You're still chatting to your partner. He needs to understand you're both madly in love with each other and to make the current situation work, for everyone. Life has to be a win-win situation and we need to work out how to get there.
As a starting point, set some ground rules for everybody.
- Everyone respects each other's space
- Everyone understands individuals have differing emotions and the time they need to themselves
- As an example, I'm an extroverted person and Pam is an internal energy person, like you. I know she needs more time inside her head than I do. That's just her which has to be cool
- You need to give up some of your time for your in-laws, just as they need to understand you need time alone
- They obviously want you as part of the family and fail to realise how best to welcome you in
- Remember to keep calm – I know I said this already and it's important. Be sane and rational
- Verbalise to all that there is likely to be some more bumpy spots until everyone better understands each others needs as well as private space. That's OK, life is a learning
And also plan with your partner on your own next steps in making a life away from his parents who will always be welcome in your life.
I hope I've made some sense to where you should begin. Please do comment back with any other questions or points you'd like to clarify or chat about too.
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