New to the board with a big problem...

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2003
New to the board with a big problem...
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Sun, 05-11-2003 - 1:01pm
Just wanna start off saying I'm new to this board, before I just stuck to the relationships board that has to do with sex stuff but last night a family problem thats been brewing for a while finally made me explode...here is what happened and I hope someone can help me understand it all.

Ok I have been with my current boyfriend for over 2 months now and my family loves him, parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents...they've all met him and love him. In the past I've dated some,lets just say, not-so-great guys that my parents weren't really too fond of. But this guy is totally different. Anyway getting to what happened last night, oh and I guess before I get into it I should tell you that I'm 18, almost 19 (I'm sure my age comes into the problem) but anyway I'm trying to find a way for my mom to CUT the cord and let me be able to grow up. My boyfriend was asked by his grandparents to stay the weekend at there house while they went away because they have an old dog that they didn't want to leave alone. Before they left they told me that I could stay the night there too with my boyfriend to keep him company. When I ran the idea past my mom last night she FLIPED! Telling me no NEVER will I be able to stay over at a guys house while I'm living at home and that I shouldn't even be thinking about doing anything like that until i'm at least in my mid 20s!!! Why does she think like that?! And all she kept saying when I would ask her why she didnt' want me to would be "because i said so" which i really do NOT think is a good answer...then she told me that if i did stay over there people would start to see me as a "slut that is sleeping around with everyone" That was the last straw...I blew up at her (and seeing it was the day before mothers day i'm sure wasn't the best timing) and I told her i was responsible enough to make my own decisions and that I am not stupid, I know what I am doing. But still it didn't help.

I think her main problem is she grew up in a VERY strict house where sex before marriage or even hanging out with a guy where no adults were around was a big no no. But in a fit of rage last night I told her that what I do in my life is my own business and I don't think my parents should have to know what I do all the time. I just don't agree with how she was raised (she was a teen in the 70s) and I want her to come into how I'm thinking and know that I am responible. The big thing is tho, she doesn't know that I haven't waited until I'm married to have sex. I first had sex last year with a guy she didn't like and if she knew she would freak. And ya me and my current boyfriend have sex BUT we use protection and we have talked about what we will do if something happens and I get pregnant. I just need ya'lls help in how to get my mom to understand that I'M GROWING UP!!! I've always been a good kid to my parents, good grades in school, currently in college, never been in trouble with the law, don't do drugs...I'm sure this is something everyone has to go through when they hit 18...So to finish the story of last night...by the end of the argument she said that she understood where i was coming from but that I should talk to my dad about it (he was at work during the arguement) But in the end I talked to my boyfriend about it and he said there is no use me getting my parents mad over this and fighting and he said it would be best thing just to give them a guilt trip(lol), but not stay the night. And now today, I am talking to my mom and shes trying to be all nice to me now, asking me if i want her to make me breakfest, if i want to go out shopping with her today...almost seems like shes trying to butter me up from the agrument last night.

Sorry for this being so long!! just REALLY needed to vent and I need anyones help as to how to get my mom to see me as I see myself-a responible adult.

~Thanks, Brooke

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-14-2002
Sun, 05-11-2003 - 6:00pm
What a way to start Mother's Day! I know you wanted it to be special for your mom, and feel badly about having an argument the day before. Sounds like your mom is trying, the best she knows how, to ease the friction for everyone, especially on this day.

But some of what she says makes complete sense to me. (Sorry, I was also a teen in the 70's, but I too live in this world - along with 18yo's, 43yo's, and 85yos.) The argument you present (about being responsible, parents not understanding how you think, wanting your mother to accept that you are growing up, etc.) is not new - it's the very same argument that teens have had with their parents since the dawn of time. It's the very same argument, probably, that your mother had with her parents when she was 18 - and the same one your daughter will have with you when she is 18. It's the same one I had with my aunt and uncle who raised me when I was 18, and the same one my 17yo son has with me today.

You see, it's not about whether you are any more (or less) responsible or grown up than your parents were at the same age. It's about having the benefit of many years of experience of living life, making mistakes and learning from them, and wanting to help your children avoid making the same mistakes. The world is different now than it was in the 1970s - it is much more dangerous, and all the more reason for your parents to be concerned and protective of you.

You said, "I just don't agree with how she was raised (she was a teen in the 70s) and I want her to come into how I'm thinking and know that I am responible. The big thing is tho, she doesn't know that I haven't waited until I'm married to have sex." This is not a responsible statement. I'm not trying to criticize you, but keeping secrets from your folks and doing things that you know they don't agree with - while they are SUPPORTING you - is just the opposite of responsible and mature. To prove that you are responsible and mature, you need to (1) be honest with them; and (2) stop the behavior until you are living on your own and paying your own bills.

You also said, "But in the end I talked to my boyfriend about it and he said there is no use me getting my parents mad over this and fighting and he said it would be best thing just to give them a guilt trip(lol), but not stay the night." Kudos to your boyfriend, and I can see why your family loves him so much. This is a responsible statement and shows his level of maturity, albeit still young (i.e. the guilt trip), but getting there.

It will be only a short time until you are living on your own and will have free rein to make all your own decisions about your life, no matter what your parents think about it. Unfortunately, as long as you live in your parents house and they pay for your support, you would be wise (and responsible and mature) to abide by their advice. I know this sounds trite, but one day you will understand and appreciate why they think the way they do. Really, you will.

Whatever you decide, I wish you the best of luck, Brooke. Come here anytime to vent - we welcome your input! You seem to be an intelligent young woman who has a lot to offer the world - good luck with your family AND with your boyfriend!

:)

Msfit

                  &nbs

Avatar for heatherjohnst
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-15-2003
Sun, 05-11-2003 - 7:21pm
When I was 18 my mother and I came to the same crossroad. I handled it by moving out! HAHA.Your mother has your best interests at heart, but becoming an adult is inevitable. You are old enough to decide when , how and why you have sexual relations of any kind. I know she wants what's best for you and it's fine for her to voice her opinion.(Please ,atleast hear her out when she does voice it) But , now's the time for you to figure out your own moral code. If you need a good laugh.....my mom and I faught about curfew. Sounds simple enough ;I know , but here's the catch.......I worked 12 hour midnight shift and on my days off she wanted me home and in bed at 12 am! Four days a week I worked from 7pm to 7am. How does one switch their sleeping schedule around like that?! She and I had many many many MANY problems after I became an adult. She was divorced from my father and living alone.It was just the two of us. I paid HALF THE BILLS in that house, so in my opinion I was going to do what I wanted. (Respectfully of course) She on the other hand had other ideas. I love her to pieces , I really do, but the best thing I ever did was move out. You only answere to yourself that way. Now my mom and I get along great (Most of the time!HAHA!) Maybe wait a few days, then try to have a peacful talk about their expectations of you ,and how you would like things to change. Sometimes though, moving out is a more peacful solution. I wish you the best.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2003
Sun, 05-11-2003 - 8:51pm
Thanks for your inputs ladies:) I really really appreciate them. I still don't know what I'm going to do for sure. For mothers day we both let the arguing down and we've had a good day so far. As for Heathers idea of moving out...that sounds good and bad to me lol I would want to but right now just aint the right time cuz almost all of my money is being used for school. But that approach does work, my boyfriend told me when he was 18 (hes almost 20 now) he moved out becuase of the same arguement i'm having now, then when he moved back in a few months later, him and his mom got closer and now they get along quite well.

I think I should also point out that I didn't know my mom felt this strong until after I had already slept with my ex last summer so its not like I knew she would freak out about it. And Msfit I totally understand what you are saying as well, yet with what you said about me living in their house and should abid by their rules until I move out and get a place of my own in a few years, do you feel that I shouldn't have my own way of doing things just because I am living in their house? Like i know what you are saying and all but I just feel that my parents should give me more of a chance to make my own decisions on stuff like sex. They know i'm not going to sleep around with everyone. And I have a feeling that if I sit down with them in a few days to talk things over it will only make the situation worse. Same with if I were to have told them sooner about having sex and not waiting, my mom at least, isn't exactly the most understanding person, like she could be quite stubborn so if I would have told her I slept with my ex that probably would have been the end of mine and his relationship, she woulda kept me from him (she didn't really like him to begin with)And I don't really feel like they should have to know what goes on in my life...but I'm sure all this will work out.

So anyway thanks again for the advice:)

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-16-2001
Sun, 05-11-2003 - 10:44pm
Brookie84, welcome to the board!!

I think that your mother has some valid points. I think that your mother is right about her rules while living in her house. It doesn't matter how responsible you are, etc. Like someone else said, just about everyone has had this argument with their parents about how responsible they are, etc. Maybe she made a mistake when she was younger and she doesn't want you to do the same thing. You don't know why she is saying what she is saying. What I can tell you is that she is talking from her life experience and things she and others that she knows have been through. She doesn't want to see you get hurt, etc. and she has this rule. Actually, I think it is a GOOD rule! :)

If you want to be able to sleep over your boyfriend's house, then you would need to move out. When you live on your own and pay your own bills, you don't have to answer to anyone but yourself as far as who you have over, etc.

As far as her calling you a name and that you would look like you are sleeping around, while that may be true, I don't think that was a very nice thing for her to say to you.

Also, as far as her knowing that you haven't waited until marriage to have sex is something that you should keep to yourself. There isn't any reason why she needs to know. If anything, I think this is one subject that people should not talk to their mothers about.

Hope this helps.

CL for 11 years
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-14-2002
Mon, 05-12-2003 - 12:55am
Let me try to explain a little more. You see, when a child is very small, the parents make most decisions for him - with only a little room for the child to make his own decisions. For example, "Yes, you will eat your dinner. Do you want milk or juice to drink?" As the child grows older, he gets more freedom and more room, but still with guidance. "You may choose your own clothes for school, but nothing sloppy or obscene," etc. The object of the game is to allow the child to make his own decisions, but within the limits of safety, health, and good judgement, while allowing him to make some mistakes (age appropriate) so he can learn from them. And so goes the process of raising children.

You are at the threshold of being an adult, you are already of legal age, but you ARE still living in your parents' home and they are still responsible for guiding you into adulthood and independent living, and therefore will continue to limit your decisions to what they feel is safe, healthy, age-appropriate, and does not interfere with their right to keep a peaceful home. Apparently, your parents do not feel that your having sex fits into these categories. (And neither do I.)

You asked, "do you feel that I shouldn't have my own way of doing things just because I am living in their house?" Well, yes and no. Of course you should have your own way of doing things as long as your way does not violate their rules. As long as they support you, then you do not have the right to go against them. Period. When there is a disagreement, the mature and responsible thing to do is to calmly talk to them. Explain why you feel the way you do, and listen to what they have to say. If you can find a common ground, then all's well. But if they will not relent, then you must calmly accept it - or find a way to be self-supporting so you will not have to live under their rules.

You also said, "I just feel that my parents should give me more of a chance to make my own decisions on stuff like sex." Wow. If ever there was a word to strike fear into the hearts of parents, that is the one. (Same stress-quotient as alcohol, drugs, crime, etc.) As you already know, the consequences of having sex could force you into adult responsibilites before you are ready for them, and your parents know that. They also know that pregnancy could destroy your chance to finish college, and therefore limit your career opportunities - it could also result in their having to help support you and the baby for a while, if you choose to keep it. Is the joy of a few hours in the sack with your boyfriend worth all that risk? (Remember, condoms and birth control pills are not 100% effective. Condoms frequently break and leak, and BC pills aren't foolproof, either.)

I also wanted to comment about heatherjohnst's post - that she paid half the bills while living with her mother. This means she was self-supporting. She may have been living under her mother's roof, but her mother was NOT supporting her. IMHO, that means she should be able to live her life any way she likes, as long as it does not interfere with her mother's right to live peacefully in her own home as well. This is a matter of simple respect, not parents making the rules because the adult child still lives in the same house. Some parents feel differently - and that should be respected. If the child cannot abide by those rules, even if they are self-supporting, then they should get their own roof to live under.

Have I made any sense yet?

Like I said before, I'm not being critical of your choices. Heck, I don't even know you -and certainly can't see the bigger picture of your life and relationship with your parents. I only know what you've told me, and my responses are borne of a desire only to help. Hope I've done that, at least a little.

Msfit

                  &nbs

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2003
Mon, 05-12-2003 - 1:04pm
I understand what you mean I see your point, I really do yet I think the problem that sticks out the most about their decision isn't weather or not I will get pregnant. (which, yes I am concerned about, we use condoms and I have an appointment tomorrow to be put on birth control)My mom said numerous times that it's "What people will think of me" Like she is so concerned about what people think of each other and I see my self as a very strong person and I don't really care TOO much what people think of me. Like I know to an extent none of us want to be seen as bad people just she keeps saying "what will the neighbours think if they see you going into his grandparents house when they aren't home" I think thats kinda mean of her to say because it has nothing to do with other people! I shouldn't have to prove myself to be a certain way to people I don't know. They think being alone with him like that is wrong, meanwhile his parents/family are ok with it. Which may have something to do also with my moms (it seems to be my dad is ok with all of this, its my mom thats uncertain, i guess because she was raised so strict and my dad wasn't) other problem that I'm a girl...

We had an argument about a month ago over curfew. She said because I'm a girl I need to be home earlier than if I were a guy. I have a 22 year old brother and I said "when Mike was 18 you let him stay out late" and all she had to say was "well hes a guy and its different for him" is this a lack of trust that she has for me and not my brother?! If theres stuff I can't do my brother ususally can just based on the fact he's a guy. Does that make sense to anyone? She said it is more dangerous out there for me *confused*. Most nights when I would be out late I would just either be at my boyfriends house watching movies or out with some friends and i'm always being taken care of being I am with him. (hes only home to see me on the weekends, during the week hes away at school)

Anyway there's a few more issues being brought up if anyway has any advice *hoping for more of ur insight msfit:)*

Also to add on to your points that you made at the being msfit about the stages of decisions a chid gets to make as they grow and the amount of leeway, I know what you mean there, I've taken child developement,parenting classes, now psychology, sociology and adolescent development issues in college so I understand and agree with you about the choices you give a child, I just wish my leeway could expand a little more!

~Thanks again:)

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-16-2001
Mon, 05-12-2003 - 11:34pm
Ahhh, the double standard! Your brother can stay out however long he wants, but you have to be in early. That comes from society and culture saying that "boys can take care of themselves." Girls are usually looked upon as being more vulnerable and may be taken advantage of easier, so there are more restrictions. I agree that the double standard isn't right, but that is the way it has been for years, unfortunately.

As far as "what other people think," I remember being told that when I was younger. I wasn't allowed to have ANYONE over in the summer time! Not even my best friend. I had to wait until my parents were home. Parents worry about what others think, maybe because the word will get back to them about "what people think" about "what is allegedly going on."

Again, not that any of the above is "right," but these are things that have been passed down from generation to generation.

CL for 11 years
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2003
Tue, 05-13-2003 - 10:20am
So true stretch....my mom said the exact same thing of girls being vulnerable and taken advantage of a lot easier than guys when she was arguing with me...hopefully people will be able to see that differently (including my mom)in the future becuase it kinda makes guys look bad by saying they take advantage of girls and makes girls look bad for the obvious reason of it making it sound like they can't take care of themselves.

~Brooke

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-24-2003
Tue, 05-13-2003 - 10:32am
I am sorry darling but you are wrong. I was raised by a very strict mother and she drove me nuts. Really NUTS!!! We were fighting about my going to the movies alone with my bf of 3 years and I was 19. Mind you this was just about 7yrs ago, I'm not talking about the 50's here.

So you have been dating this guy for a little over 2 months and you expect your mom to be ok with your sleeping over?!

As long as you are living in your mother's home and she is helping you with your responsibilities then you really have no argument. If you were living on your own, paying all your bills and taking care of your self I would say she has no say in this and what you do in your personal life is your business. Until then you are living under her rules and should just deal with it. What I don't understand is how you expected her to be ok with this especially if she doesn't even know your not a virgin. Did you really expect her to be ok with this?

Just try to look at this more objectively. What would you say to your daughter who had just been dating a guy for 2 months. I don't know maybe I am just old school my self but I would not be ok with this.

Just realize that your mother came from a different place and raised with different values. I know this is what she has taught you but it was different when she was young because for the most part everyone believed in those rules then. I am not saying you shouldn't have sex until your married but what I am saying is your acting as if your further ahead in the game then your really are. Your mom is right this is the behavior for a woman in her mid 20's or lets just say for a woman who is living on her OWN. You have been out of high school about 2 years if not less do you really think this is the correct behavior for a young woman who still a lot of life experience to gain. Just really think about it outside of your situation. Think of it as if someone was telling you about the situation.

Hope you and your mom are ok and able to talk about this peacefully.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-14-2002
Wed, 05-14-2003 - 1:10am
The image thing - "What will the neighbors think?" is a very hard one to get past. But keep in mind this probably did not come from HER generation in the 1970s - it most likely came from her parents and grandparents.

OK, a little history lesson here: Remember, the late 60's and early 70's were all about drugs, free sex, rock-n-roll, permissiveness, make love not war, etc..... breaking all of the social norms. Her parents, however, grew up in -what- the 40's or 50's? Completely different story, then. All about keeping up with the Joneses, who got a new color television before someone else, keeping up a good reputation, etc. "What the neighbors thought" was a VERY important thing. Going back even further, in your grandparents' age (who raised your mother and impressed their values upon her), learned that a less-than-virtuous girl was soiled goods - NOT good marriage material. Even the impression that a girl had been with a boy, whether or not she was, made her taboo and was a tragedy to the entire family. It spoiled not only her reputation, but theirs as well. Thank God times have changed!

But change is slow, and you're trying to rush it. Maybe by the time you have a daughter who wants to sleep with her boyfriend of only 2 months, it won't matter anymore. But in many parts of society today, it still persists. Heck, in some parts of the world (you are college educated and KNOW this, but posted for the benefit of those who need to be reminded) girls must keep their faces and entire bodies covered in public, and husband and wife don't even MEET until their wedding. It's all about keeping a girl virginal and pure until the wedding night. It's been this way for thousands of years. The difference of 40 years (1963 to today) is not going to change that thought pattern. Maybe in 100 years, when all the people from our generation and their children have died off, maybe. But at your kitchen table, with you and your mother, no. It's not going to change.

So, back to the matter in question. Your mother worries about what the neighbors will think. This bothers her, whether or not she can explain WHY, it just DOES. You aren't going to talk this out of her. Even if she relents and allows you to sleep with your boyfriend, she will be torn inside and emotionally hurt. You may be happy, but your mother will be hurting. Part of the process of maturity is realizing the consequences of your actions on other people. So maybe you don't care what the neighbors think, but do you care what your mother thinks? How will this affect her relationship with your boyfriend - better or worse?

You also asked about the double-standard, and yes, there is definitely one at play here. But you have to understand, not all double-standards are wrong. Think of this: What risks are there to an 18yo man whose car breaks down on the side of the highway, at midnight, and he's all alone? He may be robbed or beaten, but little risk he will be raped or kidnapped. What about an 18yo woman in the same situation? Did you ever hear of a young man being sold as a sex slave?

You say you are always with either your boyfriend, who takes care of you, or with friends. Probably your mother does not worry greatly about your physical safety in these situations, but there is no guarantee that you will always have a protector with you. Suppose you and your boyfriend have a fight (you've only been together 2 months - hardly a long-term, committed relationship yet) and he tells you to take a hike? Leaves you at the club by yourself, or kicks you out of his car? I know, you think this would never happen, but be realistic: it COULD. YOU believe your boyfriend wouldn't do this, but your mother doesn't trust him yet.

You see, it's not a matter of your mother trusting your brother to stay out late at 18yo, but doesn't trust you; it's about her trusting strangers. At 18, your brother is more able to protect himself in a dangerous situation, but you are much more vulnerable simply because you are female. Most of the sickos out there are looking for you, not him. IMHO, the double-standard in this situation is very appropriate and wise.

And lastly, you said you and your BF always use condoms and you had an appointment for birth control. I said it before, and I'll say it again - you must have missed it the first time: Condoms are not effective - they OFTEN leak and break. And birth control pills have only been proven 99% effective. 1 out of 100 times, a woman will become pregnant while on birth control. Now that doesn't mean she can have sex 99 times and doesn't have to worry about getting PG until the 100th time, of course. That 1 time could happen the first time they have sex, or the 12th, or the 67th. Another way to look at it: it means 1 out of 100 women who are on birth control will become pregnant. Could be you, could be any one of the other 99 women. You just never know. The ONLY fool-proof way to keep from getting pregnant is to NOT have sex. Even with BOTH condoms and BC pills, you are taking a gamble every single time you have sex. Think about it.

And I have to ask you, why is it so terribly important to you to sleep with your boyfriend? I know sex is wonderful (done that more than a few times myself ;) ), but is it truly worth all the fuss you're making over it with your mother? My goodness, if the boyfriend is a keeper and really loves you, he will wait and love you no matter what. If he dumps you because you chose not to have sex, then he's dog doo-doo and you're better off without him. Do you really want a boyfriend who only wants you for the sex? Do you think your boyfriend wants a girlfriend who only wants him for the sex? I know, this is not the case with the two of you, but if so, then why is the sex so important to you? Isn't it also important to keep a good relationship with your mother, and help your boyfriend develop a good relationship with her as well? Really, can't the sex part wait a little while?

OK, I'll get down off my soapbox for tonight. Thanks for asking for more of my input - I really enjoy sticking my nose into other people's business - all the better when it's invited. ;)

Please keep us posted on whatever happens - and please e-mail me if you want to. I'd love that. Star1art@kc.rr.com

Msfit

(otherwise known as Leta)

                  &nbs

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