Problems w/ mom

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-25-2003
Problems w/ mom
6
Wed, 08-27-2003 - 5:44pm
Hi ladies. I'm not sure where to start...I've posted on here a couple of times and I always like to read other posts because of the good advice that is given. I've been dealing with this issue pretty much all my life, but it has come down to the point where I am stuck and confused. I am an Asian American and I grew up in a traditional family, being the only girl and the youngest out of 3 kids. All my life I have been sheltered and never really had the chance to do my own thing, to live my own life with my own decisions and choices. After graduating from college, I moved a couple of hours from home to work and worked for a little over a year, and then I decided to move a couple of states away to continue to work, to explore my options out there.

Currently, I am living w/ my brother and his girlfriend and his girlfriend and I don't get along. Now, it has come to the point that my brother is starting to turn cold on me (she is a great manipulator) and it is very unpleasant to live with them. My parents know about our disputes and how we don't get along. They want me to move back home because it is obvious I can't afford to live on my own down here if I move out and they think living there is very unhealthy. I do want to move back home, but there is a problem. It is a dead-end town with little opportunity to be successful. And I have a boyfriend. My parents want me home, but I don't want to leave because I love my boyfriend. He is willing to come back with me, but he is not able to live with me because it is wrong, according to my parents. He won't be able to afford a place on his own and he will basically be in a new environment, not knowing a single person besides me. I am torn. Should I stay or should I go? I've tried to look at both the pro's and con's and I'm still not sure. I don't want to hurt my mom so that is why I want to go back home, but then, I will be hurting myself too if I leave. Am I making the wrong choices here? What is the best thing to do? All my life I have revolved my life around other people's feelings and have always put myself second and I am hurting right now. I know I said some hurtful things to my mom in the last few conversations we've had, but I'm tired...tired of having to put other people before me. I try to not care, but I can't. I don't know what to do...

Any advice would be appreciated...thank you!

-LP

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-02-2003
In reply to: phanl_78
Wed, 08-27-2003 - 6:56pm
Sweetie, you need to assess the situation by figuring out what is best for you. If you feel strongly about becoming independent, then perhaps you should focus on accomplishing your goals. One option is to move back in with your family for several reasons: financial support, to make your mother happy - since she obviously wants you home anyways, and if your boyfriend is supportive and understanding, then he will understand why you are transitioning back home and obviously he loves you enough to move with you. You dont need to put up with anyone elses issues (your brothers GF). Perhaps you and your BF could help each other in trying to find a better opportunity elsewhere, whatever the case may be. If you love each other, it will certainly work out for you. Tell your parents that you respect and appreciate all they do for you, but that you need to figure out what/who you want to be and you need their support since you value them so highly. But, ONLY YOU CAN MAKE YOU HAPPY!!!! This is strictly my opinion - what you do is up to you! Good luck! Hugs!
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-14-2002
In reply to: phanl_78
Thu, 08-28-2003 - 1:11am
Is the double-standard common in your culture? Meaning, that it's wrong for your boyfriend to live with you, but do your parents accept that your brother is living with his GF? I dunno, doesn't really have any bearing on your individual situation; this just caught my attention, and I'm curious.

I am learning about Asian American traditional culture little by little, and it does seem common that the girls in the family are raised to bend to the wishes of their father and other men in the family, that girls are taught to put their desires/wants/needs second to those of others in the family, and to suppress their emotions. Speaking out against one's parents is WRONG and you just don't do it. It also seems that daughters are expected to live at home until marriage; never to co-habitate with another man - or risk being disowned for bringing dishonor to the family. So far, am I getting it right?

Please don't misunderstand - I am not being critical of Asian culture; just pointing out some aspects that clash with American culture, and those that seem to be causing problems for you.

To be honest, most of what I stated above I learned from the CL on "Healing the Wounds of Childhood" board on IVillage, hosted by Demian Dreamsinger - an Asian American woman who has struggled with exactly those issues with her own parents, especially her mother. Please consider hopping over to her board for a visit - bet she would have some wonderful advice for you, coming from one who was raised with the same traditional Asian values.

You said you were sheltered while growing up and never really had the chance to make your own decisions and face your own consequences. And now, you struggle with the decision to stay in a city you can't afford or move back home with your parents. Neither is a good opportunity for you. (IMHO part of good parenting, at least in American culture, is to raise your sons and daughters to be good decision-makers - to let them make choices, fail, and learn from their mistakes. When kids aren't given the opportunity to fail, suffer, and rise above it, they are cheated of the necessary skills to make good decisions. But that's another post for another day... Still, I think this is exactly why you are having trouble deciding what to do now, and can't even "turn off" the training to consider others' wants before your own... you "try not to care, but can't". I completely understand why.)

So what to do about it???

In your situation, I think the first thing to do is to separate your emotions from the black-and-white facts. You said you have tried to look at the pros and cons, but they are all mixed up with "not wanting to hurt my mom" and "hurting myself if I leave." So start with your career/job and potential for income - what kinds of opportunities do you have where you are now vs. moving back home? These are hard facts, not based on emotion. Next, look at living expenses and housing opportunities - facts only. Then any other areas you think are important to consider. THEN list your feelings, pros and cons, for moving home - staying with your brother - or getting a place of your own.

You could try talking with your parents, showing them what you've listed, and let them know you are really struggling with this decision (leave the BF out of this part of it, considering your parents' position.) Would they understand the facts, be objective and help you, or are they adamant that you move back home regardless of what is the most sensible thing to do?

It is admirable that your BF is willing to follow you, even to a dead-end town with little opportunity, but that would probably not be a good move for him. Ultimately, you cannot base your decision on what he wants, or what your mother wants; but you must base it on what YOU want, and how you can make that happen.

Look at the cons on both sides of your list - can you find ways to compensate for each one? For example, if moving into your own place in your current city is too expensive, how can you make it affordable? Find a tiny studio apartment, or a roommate? Get a second job or cut other expenses? If you move back home, is there a way to broaden your opportunities in your chosen field of work?

While struggling with a tough decision at work, a co-worker and mentor once told me,"You have to make the best decision you can - look at all of the angles, consider the outcome of each one and the risks involved, and just DO it. Even if you find you've made the wrong decision, at least you can live with yourself and show good reason for making the choice you did. No company worth it's salt will fire you for that."

I'd wager this advice would apply to you, too. It may not help you MAKE the right decision, but it WILL help you to live with the decision you make.

Best of luck to you, and please come back and let us know what you decide.

Msfit





                  &nbs

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-25-2003
In reply to: phanl_78
Thu, 08-28-2003 - 2:36pm
Thank you Pastyone and MSfit. I appreciate both your advice :) It is a total double standard in the Asian culture. I have two older brothers and both were living with their girlfriends, both were able to do things I wasn't able to do. All my life I have been taught to obey and respect. I love my parents to death and I am grateful for everything that they have done for me, but I have been thinking and there comes a time that I must do things for myself and start saying no. It is true that females are taught to supress their emotions and be the ones who look after the family. It's hard growing up in an American culture, but raised in an Asian culture. I am very Americanized and I like to live the "American" way, but also, I have the "Asian" values and culture in me too...if that makes any sense.

I still am not sure what I plan to do...move home or stay where I am right now. But my heart tells me that I should move home...maybe move home with my parents temporarily and then once I get a job, I can move to a different city, but still be close to them. I briefly went through the pro's and con's in my head and it turns out that the place that I am living at right now, I can't afford it even if I get a room mate. My goal was to save money when I moved away and start a career. I know I can find a temporary job to save up some money when I move back home, but I would also like to pursue my career, perhaps when I move to a different city. I know moving back will cause less stress on me than what I am going through right now...emotionally, mentally, and financially. I will have my friends around me, my parents, my dogs (who I love like my babies), and my security. I am afraid I won't find a job and I won't be able to be with my boyfriend.

I'm still confused and I'm trying to put my emotions aside and look at things from that perspective. I guess I am being stubborn too. I want to show everyone that I can be independent and that I am successful...I know I am successful from the things I have accomplished, but I feel like I've let myself down and let my parents down. I know that's not the case, but then again, it's my emotions talking.

Thank you both for helping me :) I really do appreciate it! I will let you know what I decide to do. In the meantime, what do I do about my boyfriend?

Avatar for leslie2353
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
In reply to: phanl_78
Fri, 08-29-2003 - 12:03am
With you about wanting your independence. But, you have to give in for many reasons and move back home:

1.) You're unable to support yourself

2.) You don't want to hurt your mom

3.) If you have a job, save your money, and think of priorities. Rent or entertainment. You have to make a choice. You can do it, but cut back on other expenses so you can make ends meet.

You can also break up with your current boyfriend, and find someone to love who CAN help SUPPORT you and make more money THAN YOU then marry him. Is your brother's girlfriend ASIAN ALSO?

Your brother is living with a girlfriend, does he have a good job? Unless they have plans to be married, I don't believe any guy supporting someone as 'bitchy' as his girlfriend is to you, because being disrespect to you means she doesn't respect HIM. It's not that you and him are in a relationship. You're family, and she is being a DIVA. I don't agree about that! Unless it's the other way around. . . .Prove to your parents that you can be on your own, start saving those money for rent.

I have parents like yours, too, luckily I met my man right after graduation from high school, and he was making lots of money and got married and moved out two years later. I would not have done it if I didn't mature fast to prove them I can.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-14-2002
In reply to: phanl_78
Fri, 08-29-2003 - 12:24am
what you do about your boyfriend all depends on how close the two of you are, and whether or not you think you would have a future with him. It's unfortunate that long distance relationships rarely work out - and like I said, commendable that he would consider moving to your hometown in spite of not being able to afford a place of his own. If the two of you are considering marriage, maybe it would be best to take steps towards that event a little earlier (gosh - I almost never advise someone to do this!) considering the expensive living situation for each of you, and your family's attitude about cohabitating.

But, if you are in the early stages of this relationship, then don't bet your future and opportunities on staying with him. Talk this situation over with him and see if two heads can come up with a better solution than you could alone.

Only you can decide how important this is to you...

Best of luck and let us know how it turns out.

Msfit

                  &nbs

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2003
In reply to: phanl_78
Fri, 08-29-2003 - 12:16pm
If you do have to move back home, then talk it over with your boyfriend. Tell him why you want to move back and for how long you want to stay there. Is it possible for your boyfriend to move to the largest city near your parents house, and you can look for a job in that town? Then eventually the two of you can be in the same town. Good Luck.

-Danielle