NEED PARENT ADVICE

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-04-2003
NEED PARENT ADVICE
6
Sat, 08-09-2003 - 12:31am
Hi everyone... need lots of opinions.

I'm 18 yrs old and a pretty good person. Go to school fulltime, work, volunteer, church, etc. Well my mom read my diary a couple months ago and made me break up with my boyfriend. I loved my boyfriend and he wants to get back together with me. Now I do too. My mom doesn't like him because of his ethnicity and he doesn't go to church(she's also shallow and says that a guy whos overweight at his age has "problems") He also goes to school fulltime and works. How do I tell her that I want to date him again? I want to be able to be honest with her and go to her for advice, but I think she's going to freak out on me again. Please help. I'm so frustrated.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2003
Sat, 08-09-2003 - 3:15am
I would say that a lot of your options depend on how much you value the relationship with each person...and where you live. If you live with your mother, and if she is paying the bills while you go to school, etc, she can do a lot of things even if they aren't right or appropriate for someone your age, and you have to obey her rules. "As long as you are under my roof..." Know that one? It's true. Defying her by sneaking around, even to do things that are perfectly ok in your eyes, doesn't work either, because you are not being honest with anyone and you are setting up internal and external conflict. In fact you are taking childish measures to make her think you are even less capable of running your own life than she already believes.

If you value your relationship with your mother, it's worth communicating how frustrated you are about her interference with your boyfriend, reading your diary, and possibly putting you in the position of choosing between the two of you. I have dealt with stuff like this too. My mom is extremely nosy and when I am not nannying, I live with her, am even somewhat dependent on her. I am learning the hard way that adults should NOT live with their parents. Is it possible to move out and live with anyone BUT your boyfriend? This would be a major problem all the way around. Maybe you just need distance from your mother. If you can move along in your lives, get separate spaces, get out from under her and also somewhat out of her way, then you can let the relationship with her re-evolve slowly. It will most likely but then you have to be committed to whatever happens to your relationship with her.

Re: your mother's opinions of things. You may have trouble with the way your mom is packaging the information she gives you, but I imagine your mom's advice is given out of love and somewhat true. Relationships are HARD and seldom last forever. She wants yours to be a good one, even if she may have old-fashioned ideas about who is right for you. Chances are, NO one would really be good enough for her baby. But look at the reality of relationships and see if you and your boyfriend can handle it.

First. You have already let an outside force separate you from your boyfriend. Devoted couples look to find ways to keep that from happening. Maybe you had little choice in the matter. But maybe you lost each other the first time because staying together was too much hassle. If so, your differences are not going to change and the pressure is likely to only get worse. Is it likely to happen again?

Second. You are from different backgrounds. I can understand love without regards to race or religion, ethnicity, it happens and it is just as real IMO and healthy of love as any other relationships where the people come from the same groups. I really really do understand this. But the fact is, that you may come from such different backgrounds that a relationship with this guy will always be frowned upon. Your mom might not be the only one who disapproves of it. Will that bring you together or tear you apart? Also, you need to be able to reach compromise in a relationship about things like religion. If you don't share similar values, that will make the relationship more complicated, esp if you bring children into the picture. How will they worship? Will they be taught both? Will they know about both ethnicities? Will your families accept them? It is so very unfair, but these are the things that come up in mixed relationships. Again, can you handle it?

Third. The weight issue. Yes very superficial on the surface. Your boyfriend's weight does NOT change his value as a person, and you can always be there no matter what as a friend and supporter. Maybe what your mom is trying to say is: is this guy dealing with issues that would make a relationship with him more complicated than it should be? I have a weight problem, and although I don't consider myself worthless to the dating scene, I wouldn't blame a guy considering ME to wonder if I am right for him. Weight in particular sometimes indicates other things...like poor self-esteem, discipline issues, confidence problems, etc. Not always. But these things at work in a romance put unique additional obstacles in the situation of trying to make it work. You may find that he is hard to talk to, defensive, meek. ETC. Of course I know no one is perfectly well adjusted. But some people have so many issues going on inside and are working out so many problems of their own, frankly (myself included) that we really have no business looking for a relationship...because we have little time or energy to give it. It becomes one person consistently doing more of the work or one giving more while the other one takes more all the time. Where would you be in that situation? Would you settle for that for yourself or do you think you deserve someone who can invest as much as you can? Maybe these things aren't true but it's worth a look. See if you can paint your mother's advice with a bigger brush, using fewer details and looking at her comments in general. Then decide if she is right or wrong about those things, using your own mind and heart. A parent might say "That bakery has terrible cookies, don't go there." a seemingly left-field narrow minded comment...when what they really mean is "I love you, cut the cookies because I want you to be healthier." Does this make any sense AT ALL???

I really can't tell you what to do...but I do encourage you that whatever you decide, deal with the situation realistically, honestly, and with dignity.

----------------------End of post, beginning of signature-------------------- Struggle will be inevitable,
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2003
Sat, 08-09-2003 - 12:39pm
Well for starters, if you write things in a diary that you don't want your mother to read, then keep it in another place where she can't find it - or don't keep a diary if you can't find a secret place to keep it.

You are going to have to work at it. I have never forbidden my kids to go out with anybody they want. Neither did my parents. One thing I know is that if my parents had forbidden me to go out with a certain boy - it would have made me all the more keen to go out with him!

I think you will have to bide your time and make it up with your mother. And one thing I do agree with - being overweight at that age IS a problem. It leads to all kinds of health difficulties later in life.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-02-2003
Sat, 08-09-2003 - 5:57pm
Personally I think if ur living under ur mom's roof like I am (I'm 18 too) then it will be a major strain on u and ur mom's relationship if u go back together w/ your bf. I think it is a bad thing that ur mom is being SO controlling when u r legally an adult. I hope someday if I have a kid I will just be able to let them go controlwise to a point, like if I dont like who're they dating when they are 15 thats one thing but come on, 18 is a lot different in my opinion and ppl need to make their own choices, this is 2003. I guess I should just consider myself lucky that my mom wouldnt prowl thru my things or try to tell me who to date or not to date. Your mom sounds judgmental big time!!! :-( That is too bad! Her comments on your bf's race, weight, and religious beliefs or lack of them, is just tacky in my opinion. I am sure she wants the best for her daughter, but please...he works and goes to school, in my book thats pretty darn important! I think MOST important tho, is that he is good enough for YOU not that he is "good enough" for Mom. She cant live ur life for u. If I were in ur shoes I would tell her "look, I love him and I wish u could accept him, he is a good person, etc" and then if she doesnt like it, too bad. What would she do? Kick u out? Maybe as soon as u finish w/ school u can move out. I hope it doesnt totally ruin ur relationship w/ ur mom & I hope eventually shell come around and be a little more accepting, but in my opinion its your life and u cant always cave in to her or u will be caving in to what she wants when u are 30, 40, and older. I have seen it happen! Good luck w/ this!!! Hugs, Rhiannon
Avatar for leslie2353
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Sun, 08-10-2003 - 12:14am
Does your mom has some image issues and does she have problems with boys w/ another race?

Does your boyfriend someone you would SOMEDAY want to marry? How about you? Are you overweight also?

I've been where you are now, writing diaries, hiding them, fantasizing, etc. . . . . .

What my parents think doesn't matter, because I go WHAT I THINK anyways. Yes, I've done things behind their backs, but my job (while I'm at home) was to compromise with them. I didn't want to make them UPSET so they will have a reason to 'kick me out' before I was able to care for myself. Meaning: a job, and tons of money to do whatever I wish and spend whatever I need w/out going into bankcruptcy. I would NEVER GO OUT with a boy whom is not a good candidate for marriage. If I was looking for just friendship, then that's OK, he can be ugly and evilish. But, if I wanted someone I can be proud of next to me, then IMAGE comes first (Brad Pitt stand aside, here I come!) that's the reason why we have boyfriends because that will eventually END UP IN MARRIAGE, right?

Your mom is only thinking about YOUR FUTURE, if someday, you'll end up marrying with someone overweight. It means, he's not going to live as long as you, specially on men, they die faster than women. As he geta older, that's 10yrs. less for him reaching the age of 50. If he's overweight, that also mean your kids will become obese. There must be a good reason why you two broke up before. Why don't you set him aside as JUST FRIENDS and go out with someone who is NOT overweight or someone that will make YOU AND YOUR MOM HAPPIER. Think about it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-02-2003
Sun, 08-10-2003 - 10:04am
I don't mean to start something but I think a lot of ur comments about ppl being overweight are ridiculous. Yes I know that the extra lbs can cause health problems, and sometimes obesity is genetic etc. But we don't know what she's talking about, I mean her bf could be like 20 or 30 lb overweight, not 100! I just think you're a little bit going to extremes w/ that issue. My grandma is thin and so are 2 of my aunts, so was my grandpa, but my mom is overweight somewhat and my other aunt is very overweight. I am thin for my height, of course I am 18, but come on, my mom being overweight does not guarantee that I will become obese, that's kind of a long shot IMHO. From ur post (no offense) it sounds like to marry someone they have to be perfect and skinny to be worthy of love and I'm sorry I just dont agree. I would rather be w/ a fat guy I love who is the greatest husband and dies at 55 than a skinny Brad Pitt type who lives to be 120 and treats me bad and I dont love. Rhiannon
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-04-2003
Sun, 08-10-2003 - 3:53pm
Thanks for the thoughts... keep em coming! I agree with Rhiannon! Those comments are shallow. My boyfriend isn't obese, he's like 30lbs overweight. I also have nothing against people who are obese, if someone wants to date someone who is obese then more power to her! I am very athletic and super active, my boyfriend is also super active. Honey, I think you need to get your priorities right. IMAGE? Are you still in highschool? Are you worried about what the 'popular kids' are going to say to you if your boyfriend isn't perfect? In the real world what's important is how someone treats you. Everyone gets ugly when they get old, even Brad Pitt, but if you choose a man who is kind, caring, sweet, giving, generous, honest, and funny then you can't go wrong because your love is built on something more than IMAGE. Sorry for going off, but I think its shallow to worry about someone being chubby. Love isn't selfish - choosing a guy because he makes you look good is.