Boyfriend's parents/future inlaws are crazy!

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2011
Boyfriend's parents/future inlaws are crazy!
15
Sun, 08-07-2011 - 8:42pm

My boyfriend and I have been together just over a year. He and I are very happy together and have discussed getting engaged in the next year or two. The only issue I've had with our relationship is his parents. We are both in our early 20's and still live at home while we are going to school. He is graduating college next year and hoping to get a job and move out. Right now his parents are very controlling and hold it over his head that they are paying for college. They will threaten to stop paying for his schooling for the most minute reasons. Right now he is working a part time job and getting good grades in school. He never stays out too late and always helps with chores around the house. Yet they are still very hard on him and control as much about his life as they can.

Also, they are very snobby and tend to look down on my family and I. Although they have never made a comment to my face, they have said many things to my boyfriend about my family and I.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2011
Tue, 08-23-2011 - 8:27pm

Thank you guys for your advice, i really appreciate it all. All I can really say is my boyfriend keeps promising me he will start to speak his mind when he's out of their

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-22-2011
Mon, 08-22-2011 - 2:09pm

There's a reason so many shows can make fun of in-laws... because it's sooooooooo real.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2008
Sat, 08-20-2011 - 5:36am

I've never posted on here before but I read your thread and had to reply. I was your boyfriend about 4 years ago. My parents were always VERY strict, very controlling and did some of the stuff your boyfriend's parents did (using tuition as a threat). They even threatened to take away my car when I got a B in a class because I was "throwing away my future"...yeah. Ultimately what made me stand up for myself was going to therapy, to be honest. My boyfriend was a big reason for that, because he kept telling me I needed to stand up for myself, and I had begun having panic attacks about my parents and I honestly didn't have anyone to objectively talk to about my parents. I learned good communication techniques and that I was worth standing up for. I suppose my biggest fear was that my parents would remove emotional and financial support from me, but I had to realize they would always love me no matter what, and if they removed financial support it was not the end of the world. They have loans for just that reason and people all over the country use them because they have to support themselves. I knew it was time to be an adult and to stick up for myself. Once my parents saw that I wasn't going to let them walk all over me, they backed off. It also helped that when I was home I spent quality time with them, although I for all intents and purposes now live with my boyfriend. When they knew that I wasn't going to just leave and never talk to them again, they chilled out. They still think they were justified in freaking out about the B, but you can't win everything. My advice to you is continue to support him, but urge him to better himself, possibly going to therapy. Would he agree to something like that? This is a pattern that is deeply ingrained and changing it is probably the most uncomfortable and terrifying thing I ever had to do, but it is so worth it. I'm a happy and confident adult who is now not afraid to stand up to my parents. It gets better, I promise. However, if he is not willing to seek help or to change, be warned that your MIL will rule your lives.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-18-2009
Thu, 08-18-2011 - 9:25am

You have received some good advice so I don't have much to add, but I do want to say... Right now you are not living your lives as two independently functioning adults. This is a transitional stage from being a teenager to being an adult, not a good time to get married. If you want to give yourself the best chance for making the best decision for yourself, wait until he's been living on his own for a year at least and no longer under his parents' thumb financially to make a decision on engagement. Things will change a lot when he is no longer living with him. If you are happy in this relationship, it makes all the sense in the world to wait to make a commitment until after you see this drastic change in your lives.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2011
Tue, 08-09-2011 - 7:32pm

wisdomtooth2020, thank you for all your advice, i'll definately take those things into consideration. I think at this point he's better prepared to just keep on keeping on until he graduates, its me that's going crazy because I'm just not used to how his family is and does things.

My boyfriend's mother never went to college and his dad only went for a few semesters, so he is the first. His mother is always quick to assume things without really knowing what she's talking about, and it goes the same for college a lot of the time. She is always checking his syllabi and telling him to start on homework or projects like a month or two ahead of time, which I know can be helpful but I also know that he is capable of doing his school work on his own and doesn't need her checking up on his work everyday.

Community Leader
Registered: 01-03-2004
Tue, 08-09-2011 - 11:48am

Meg,

I'm the CL over on Surviving Divorce. So here's my

Community Leader
Registered: 01-03-2004
Tue, 08-09-2011 - 11:13am

Hi Meg,

As long as his parents are paying for his college, they'll hold it over his head, and they will hold it over his head for his entire life. So get ready,

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-03-2007
Tue, 08-09-2011 - 8:00am
Well, as long as HE doesnt want to do things for himself , nothing can change.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2011
Mon, 08-08-2011 - 7:25pm

Thanks for sharing your experience, I was really hoping someone could give me some imput on how they have handled a similar situation, althought I know everyone's gonna be different. But yeah they really do treat him like a kid and it's ridiculous. He's proven to them that he can act responsibly but they don't ever give him the chance. My parents treat me more like you treat your daughter, they know they've given me the tools to succeed and to be a good person and they leave it up to me to make the right choices. My mom has always told me she trusts me until I mess that up, and I haven't messed it up yet!

But it just seems like no matter what he wants to do or what he does they always have a negative comment. Or they will tell him he's not allowed to do things when there is almost never a very good reason he shouldn't be allowed. Im pretty sure he's old enough to make his own decisions!

But I'm hoping once he moves out they will realize they can't have such a strong hold over him. I know for sure they will try though, and I hope he can stand up for himself when he's out on his own.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 08-08-2011 - 7:08pm

Now reading details about what you said I get a better picture.

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