My man or his parents??

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
My man or his parents??
6
Wed, 03-26-2003 - 7:11pm
I'm not married, just in a serious, commited relationship. I haven't met his parents yet - because I'm terrified! Typically, in the past "meeting the parents" was never a big deal for me. I'm confident with who I am, and a good 'people person'. His family is different! I know that his mother has NEVER approved of anyone he's dated. He's like the JFK Jr. of his family - everything is expected of him.

Now I'll begin on my reasons for fear: #1 is religion. I found out that I was Jewish (by bloodline) just a few years ago. I have done some research on the religion. I was raised Christian, but my family never attended church. I intend on focusing more on Judaism and being more religion minded once I have the time in my life for it (right now I work full time and take 9 units per semester in college). Well, my DBF is Jewish. His mother is from Israel and is a Hebrew teacher. He's had a history of dating "blonde christian girls" - which by looking at me - I appear to be! I don't know if his mother will be accepting of my bloodline, and faith in Judaism - or if she will just see that I wasn't raised Jewish and dismiss my hopes for living my life. I also wonder if the age difference might bother them (not that I see it as any issue) it's a 6 year difference, I'm 21 and he's 27...but he has a sister who is 22, and terribly immature. They may just decide based on her what my maturity level is at.

I just know that his family is Judgmental enough of him - he's always making comments showing an "inferiority complex" when it comes to matters of his parent's acceptance, despite the fact that he is terribly successful and always makes very wonderful decisions.

My question to you all is - how do I deal with parents who may not be accepting of me? It's new territory that I'm not used to. I know that the best advice is to just "be myself", and that "they'll see what a good person I am". But from the way he talks about it - I don't know if that is true, no matter how "wonderful" I may be. Help?!?!

Avatar for poohwhitt
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 03-27-2003 - 10:13am
If you and he are thinking about a future together, I'd say you'd better meet his parents. Unless, he plans on cutting them out of his life.

My DH sounds like your BF, he's never been good enough and yet he's the family hero. He has to do everything. It sometimes drives me crazy. His mother and I got along at first, but that changed after the wedding. We just try to keep the MIL visits to a few times a year. That's been working for us.

What I'm trying to say is that if the both of you love each other, then why are you worried what his family will think? This relationship is about the two of you, not the rest of them. Yes, they will be a pain in the hind-quarters if you don't get along, but this is your relationship.

Although, you may be worrying for nothing. You may get along beautifully. I'd say just relax and try to be yourself. If you don't get along, fine. If you do get along, great.

I hope I helped,

Big Hugs

Ann

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 03-27-2003 - 12:59pm
Hi--

I think you need to meet Mom and try not to worry too much about how she will react. After all, it might go very well. Also, you are still young, obviously you are a hard worker and trying to make something of yourself. She shouldn't object to any of that, right? It can be very difficult, I know, to meet a mom of a favored son. Do you think you might be able to ask "Mom" about Judaism and learning Hebrew (if you want to learn, of course)? Maybe she'd enjoy discussing things with you. Also, I don't remember if you said or not, but maybe some of her objections to earlier girlfriends has been that they were (absolutely) NOT Jewish. This isn't so uncommon for Jewish moms, unfortunately. They worry about intermarriage quite a bit. At least your family was once Jewish, right?

Sim


P.S.

You didn't say if it's your mother or father where the Jewish bloodline is or what sect of Judaism your family used to follow (and I'm not asking); if this sort of thing matters to DBF's mom, and your "bloodline" comes from dad, not mom, then DBF's mom will probably not consider you Jewish, as you were not raised within the faith. It works like this: if Mom is Jewish, you are Jewish. If Dad is, it depends on what branch of Judaism everyone involved follows. If Dad's Jewish and his family's Reform, and you were not raised "Jewishly," I'm sorry, but there are almost no Jews out there who will consider you automatically Jewish. :-( Reform will consider you Jewish if it's paternal *and* you were raised in an exclusively Jewish home; but none of the other groups will recognize your Jewishness, even having been raised in a Jewish home. None of the other groups recognize patrilineality. It's kind of a strange-sounding rule in modern times, isn't it? I don't think it sounds like "Mom" will recognize your Jewishness unless *your* mom was Jewish by blood; if she was, then DBF's mom can say very little about it, really--you ARE Jewish.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 03-27-2003 - 5:08pm
Thank you so much for your reply. I was aware of all the lineage information, I found out a few years ago, and have studied Judaism and it's different followings extensively since then. It was my mother's mother. She was adopted from Jewish birthparents. My sister was doing research, becuase we never knew anything about my grandmother's birthparents. It was amazing to find out about our Jewish roots.

I'll just take a deep breath and compose myself. I'm over the horror now - his parents were going to come to the new condo this Saturday (and so I was trying to schedule appointments out of town), but now they've cancelled...so I'm safe for a little while.

He hasn't met my parent's either yet. He was going to go to my family reunion with my last week, but he works for a major LA TV Station and does the news, so he couldn't get off work. He has met my sister and her family though, and they are the closest (emotionally) family I have! We'll see how things go...

-Melissa

by the way - my sister and her family LOVE him!! haha

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Thu, 03-27-2003 - 5:23pm
Hi m_lucy!!! welcome!!

Have you discussed this with your DBF?? What does he think about his parents possibly not accepting you? Is he willing to defend you?

If he is willing to stand up to them and let them know that he wants to be with you and they can say whatever they want, then you have a better chance.

If he isn't willing to stand up fo rthe two of you or you and thinks it is OK for his parents to think and say what they want, you have a long road ahead of you.

Hopefully, he is one of those boyfriends who will stand up to his parents and let them know that it is his life and that they can think what they want, but that he will do as he pleases.

As far as the religion goes, as long as the two of you have it worked out, it shouldn't matter what they think.


Let us know how things go.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 3:51pm
Thanks for the welcome!

I have discussed my worries with him. He agrees that his parents are impossible to please. I know that one of the few major breakdowns of his last relationship was his parents' non-approval of the girlfriend. I told him that worried me, and asked what he would do if they didn't "approve" of me.

He replied with telling me that he's 'grow-up' and learned a lot, and that what makes him happy is what is important, not what his parents who live 3 hours away from him have to say.

He further went on to say his father has already made positive comments about the things my DBF has said about me - he's a psychotherapist, and I'm working on my BS in psychology. I'm then going on to Law School with that - and I know his father loves ambition. But his mother is the "heavy hand" of approval in the family (as most mothers are, right?), and I'm just not sure. My DBF contends that since I'm such a great person, thay'll have to be able to see that. He can tell how nervous and upset about this I am, and is trying to bring me back down out of the tree!! LOL

Thanks for all of your wonderful words of advice - I will let you all know how it goes!!

-Melissa

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 5:00pm
Sounds like things are on track and DBF is on your side in all of this.

Let us know how things go!