iVillage Member
Registered: 10-09-2003
Tue, 11-11-2003 - 10:12am
So, I have known my boyfriend for 5 years and we have been together for 7 months. We are so in love...we just know that this is it and we want to be together forever. Sp why put a time limit on it if we know? Anyhow...We have talked about getting engaged and he is throwing hints that he is going to propose before Christmas but he doesnt know I know its this soon. Anyhow..from what he has told me, his dad seems supportive and happy for him, but his mom is furious! She tells him it is way too soon and that he is no where near being ready to be married and that he has co-dependancy issues just because we see each other 4 days a week for a few hours ..not even all day long. Hello!!! Isnt that normal for two people in love??? When you are married you see each other everyday!! I see nothing wrong with that!!! Anyhow, she is just not happy for him at all. Then they got in an argumnet and she told him that she isnt going to his wedding and is not going to pay a dime of it. Now, if she was just mad and venting who know, but that hurt him a lot. Plus on top of this, my mom and dad died when I was 20 and I have no sisters, so basically his family is the only support system that we have. He has tried talking to her calmy, explaining that just because we are going to be engaged doesnt mean we are going to run off and get married right away, but that is more like a commitment for each other forever and we will plan the wedding when we are financially ready. She doesnt understand this and still wont support him. She tells him she likes me and she is usually pretty nice to me, so I dont see what the problem is. He is 22 and I am 24. He is the youngest out of 2 boys and his older brother is gay. I just need some advice cuz this is really hurting both of us. Its supposed to be the happiest thing for him and its becoming sad and upsetting. please offer some advice!!!
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-09-2003
Tue, 11-11-2003 - 12:30pm

I suggest that you and your future mother in law have a cup of tea and sit down for a long while. Talk to eachother about the problems and issues you have and remember to listen!! Try to understand her fears and try to make her understand where you are coming from.

Its tricky i know but i think instead of concentrating on your relationship with your boyfriend right now, concentrate on your relationship with his mother. Make a sencere effort to become friends with her.

This is vital because she is his mother, and she will always be apart of his life. And if you guys are going to built a life together you have to learn to have a good communitative relationship with her and vise versa.

She also has to take steps in initiating a relationship with you as well it is not all on you!

In the end remember that you guys are adults and she cannot dictate your actions.

Final advise: RELAX! This is one of the happiest moments in your life dont let anyone ruin it.

Hope i helped.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-14-2002
Tue, 11-11-2003 - 8:13pm
Not wanting to rain on your parade, so please don't take my words personally. This should be a happy time in your life and it's very unfortunate that your future MIL is making things so tough! I am closer to her generation than yours, so will try to offer some perspective - but just as I see it from your post. Maybe I can help you understand where your BF's mother is coming from:

22 is a very young age for a man to marry. Now I don't know your BF, so remember I'm only speaking in general terms. When your FMIL says he's not ready to be married, she probably deeply believes this - and also understand that she's known your BF for 17 years longer than you have. Heck, I married when I was 19 and truly believed I was READY at that time - but the reality is that it takes years of adult experience to know when one is REALLY ready for marriage, and I was not. Didn't know that until I was about 23 or 24 - too late.

Love and all the passion that goes with it is nice, but that alone does not make a marriage successful. The deepest, most sincere love is no guarantee that you and BF will be together forever. Perhaps your FMIL sees qualities in him that are not developed or mature enough yet to handle the responsibilities, pressures, stress, etc. that comes with marriage, even though both of you believe otherwise. At your BF's age, I'd have to say this is probably close to the truth. From my viewpoint, I don't think his mother is trying to spoil your happiness or his - I think she's just afraid that things won't work out and her dear son will be heartbroken. She wants to protect him from that, as any mother would - and as you will someday for your own children.

On another note, you mentioned that his family is your only support system. I truly hope deep in my heart that they are as sincere in their affection for you as they are for their son - but strongly encourage you to find your major support system elsewhere (in any siblings you may have, aunts/uncles, lifetime friends, etc.) Try to imagine the worst that could happen (not that it will, just hear me out...). Suppose you and BF divorce someday (more than 50% of all marriages do) and you find yourselves on opposite sides of an issue (pick one). Whose side do you think his parents will take, hmmm? And where will your support system be when you will need it most?

MY ex and I married when he was 25 and me 19, and we were soooo in love. Thought we'd be together forever. Well, fast-forward about 10 years and our marriage was in serious trouble. Until this time, his parents were my ONLY support system, and I loved them dearly as I had loved my own mother when she was alive. But when push came to shove, me sitting there in tears and my life falling apart, they told me, "But what are we supposed to do? He's our SON, after all." Ouch. I'll never forget the pain of betrayal that day - worse than the argument I'd been having with my then-DH.

I pray this doesn't happen to you.

And lastly, this is not the last time his parents (one or both) will disagree with choices that you and your BF make, and how each of you deal with it will probably set the stage for how future conflicts are resolved with his parents. It's also a good indicator of what kind of family closeness to expect in the future; make this into a major disagreement and you'll most likely have stress for many years to come in dealing with his parents. You don't want that.

So my advice to you is to find some kind of compromise that will make both of you happy, and appease his mother as well. If the idea of engagement so upsets her, then why not just announce it as a "promise?" You can be secretly engaged to each other, but just delay the public announcement until his mother adjusts a little better. You've said that you don't plan to marry until you are financially ready anyway, so what difference would it make to delay the engagement as well? In time, as her son proves his readiness for marriage and mature commitment to you, his mother will most likely soften. This also gives you a better position with her, and more time to build a solid relationship with everyone involved.

Whatever happens, my heartfelt best wishes to both of you!