General chatter - In-Laws - how to deal?




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Unna
10-16-2011, 03:22 AM
I dream of marrying my boyfriend - then I remember his over-intrusive parents and think "NO WAY in **** am I going to spend my life with him and his parents!"

We live in the same city as his parents - my parents live on the other side of the world.

His parents are involved in every single aspect of his life. He works hard and a lot. They buy his groceries, cook the food, wash all his clothes, iron his clothes, clean his apartment, wash his car, do his banking, do his mailing, make his doctor appointments, buy his furniture, repair, etc. He talks to them every single day on the phone, sometimes twice a day.

And then I come along 2 1/2 years ago. They are overbearing. They still do all of the above mentioned things, even though we live together.

I am fiercely independent. I have been on my own and away from my family since I was 19. I've traveled the world on my own and now live in a foreign country - through tons of hard work, I learned to speak fluent German to ensure my independence.

His parents make fun of me for not being "as clean" as they are. I also "don't iron". His mother constantly brings over super high calorie unhealthful food because she is worried I can't take care of her son. They have a key to the apartment and come over to deep-super clean it when we are gone for a day. His mother is obsessed with cleaning, really, it is sort of sad.

I rebelled this weekend - I said NO - they aren't coming over to my apartment and I'm not going with you to visit them. This makes me seem evil. I feel evil. In principle, they only want to help.

I know it sounds like a dream, like I'm being pampered. But really, there are SO many insinuations that I don't do a good enough job. I end up feeling very spiteful towards them. I have even ripped the dirty laundry out of her hands when she tried to take it home with her.

I can't say thank you anymore. I don't want their acts of kindness. I'm on the verge of moving into my own apartment to feel my independence again. The sucky thing is that my boyfriend is a wonderful person.

But, I just feel evil. I felt evil all weekend for saying I didn't want to see them this weekend. I think I would rather be alone than feel evil.

Has anyone else experienced this? His parents are SO extremely involved in every aspect of his life. I really have never been in such a situation and I don't know how to deal with it.


cheerios
10-16-2011, 04:53 AM
Is that their only son? Maybe they feel they are losing their son to you. I would talk with the parents and tell them you like your privacy and talk to your boyfriend about how you feel and maybe you two can come to a decision to take the key from the parents

indiblue
10-16-2011, 05:12 AM
Are your boyfriend and his parents American? My gut reaction would be "He is wayyyy to dependent on him," but I live in India and children here rely on their parents through the 40s... to the point where a new wife moves in with her husband and his parents and the mother continues to do all the housework. Most 30something Indians do not know how to cook, do laundry, etc, unlike in the US where many of us had to make our lunches in elementary school (at least I did :)).

In some cultures (as you know, being a fellow expat), a relationship as close as that one and dependent as that one could be acceptable.

That said, it's not what YOU are comfortable with and it's certainly not one I would be comfortable with.

If your boyfriend recognizes that his parents' involvement is not helping his relationship (or your sanity), he needs to talk to them. He needs to present to them a united front, that this is a change that you want to happen, it's a change that the two of you want to happen.

I think at some point you have to start interlocuting with them directly about issues (especially if you anticipate marrying into the family), but I think your boyfriend starting to address this with them will be much better received than you trying to "interfere" with their relationship.


Michelle2008
10-16-2011, 07:15 AM
Your boyfriend needs to gently, gradually introduce some boundries or this situation will only get worse. You need privacy, you need to manage yor own life! They need to recognise that you are an adult who is not their child and it is not normal for them to be so involved in your life and your home.

Now is the time to address this - if you stay with your boyfriend this can only get worse - if you have children they would take overbearing to a whole new level.

But I agree this is something your boyfriend needs to address - he has benefited from this arrangement for a long time and it sounds like looking after him is a huge part of their life - and you need to know if he is willing to stand up for you and his relationship with you.

Violet73
10-16-2011, 08:25 AM
I would run, not walk, away from this relationship. Sorry, but my ex-in laws weren't even as bad as this and they were TOO overbearing. I couldn't imagine living like you are.

bargoo
10-16-2011, 08:45 AM
I thought I had the MIL from **** but she seems like a saint compared to this one. Is there any possibility that yor bf could find work in another city ? Maybe a transfer with his present job ? I actually would prefer to live in another country away from rhis woman. I can't see her changing no matter what anyone says, this is her life, taking care of her son although this is no longer necessary.

vixxi
10-16-2011, 10:17 AM
I understand where you are coming from with the independence thing. I've been living on my own since I was 18, paying all my bills, etc. etc. That being said, It annoys me that my 26 yr old bf still lives at home!!! (I'll be 25 in September). Im used to doing things on my own, so when I see someone my own age not on the same "level" as me, I kind of can't believe it, because it's all *I've* known. Like someone above posted, maybe it's cultural or he's their olny son.....regardless, express to him how you feel and set boundaries. Get your darn key back from them for goodness sakes! You must be a saint because I could NOT deal with that kind of invasive behaviour. And don't feel bad or evil for putting your foot down, your happiness and well being is important too! Good luck!!

ERHR
10-16-2011, 10:36 AM
Your problem is not your boyfriend's parents - your problem is your boyfriend. He is the one who is allowing this dependency on his parents. You need to figure out if you want the same things in life and in these relationships. Your boyfriend has had plenty of time while you've been dating to ease away from his parents and he hasn't done it. I'm not going to condemn that especially given that I may come from a difficult culture, as other posters have stated. The point is that YOU can't stand it and he doesn't seem to want to change it. I would say have a final talk about the boundaries you each want and if you can't come to an agreement you need to leave. (And if he agrees but doesn't follow through, leave.) Parents come with the package and it's up to the biological child to dictate the relationship. You can't separate your boyfriend from his parents when you evaluate the relationship unless he demonstrates to you that he can change.

JOLINA
10-16-2011, 01:05 PM
Search in the internet for "mommas boy". There are a lot of articles on them.

I have known a few guys that were mommas boy and two gals that were mommas girl. Dealing with these interdependant people is very difficult, if not impossible. Those are some real social deviants.

The ones I knew did not want children. They were the perpetual child and wanted to be the center of all the attention. If you want children, they really aren't marraige material.

His mother already resents you and is nasty. :nono:
You would have to move a looong way away from them, and they are likely to move right next door to you within a short time.

Your boyfriend likes his mom doing things for him. He is very dependant on his parents and they will never accept you. He can turn on you in favor of his parents. If you had children by him, they might all call you an unfit mother eventually. These people can get downright nasty.

Maybe if he went for counseling, things might change, but it would take years.
A situation like you are in is just too difficult for a very young person to handle. All 3 of them will probably disrespect you eventually.

If I ran into a situation like that I would turn my back on the situation and walk away. But first I would give them a very large piece of my mind and tell them what sick S.O.B'S they are. But that's me. :devil:

There is a book you can read that deals with problems like yours: http://www.gettingbacktolove.com/

Maybe it is in the library...or maybe it is available on Amazon.com

:book2:

Don't waste any time on people that are just wasting your time. Your parents didn't spend years and years, time and money raising you ... just to try and deal with 3 odd people and a dead end situation.

Best of luck to you. I hope you find a more normal guy with a less dysfunctional family. Be sure to go out with your friends and ask them to help you find another guy, hopefully someone without parents living nearby.

:hug:

LIFE IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES. . . FULL OF NUTS.

RedPanda
10-16-2011, 01:48 PM
Your problem is not your boyfriend's parents - your problem is your boyfriend. He is the one who is allowing this dependency on his parents. You need to figure out if you want the same things in life and in these relationships. Your boyfriend has had plenty of time while you've been dating to ease away from his parents and he hasn't done it. I'm not going to condemn that especially given that I may come from a difficult culture, as other posters have stated. The point is that YOU can't stand it and he doesn't seem to want to change it. I would say have a final talk about the boundaries you each want and if you can't come to an agreement you need to leave. (And if he agrees but doesn't follow through, leave.) Parents come with the package and it's up to the biological child to dictate the relationship. You can't separate your boyfriend from his parents when you evaluate the relationship unless he demonstrates to you that he can change.

I agree completely with this post. You are in an extremely difficult situation, but it is up to your boyfriend - not you - to take action. The fact that you're living together and he hasn't done anything about the situation says a lot.

I would give him one last chance to change the situation, and if that doesn't work, I would leave. I know this sounds harsh, but if you marry this guy or have children with him without setting and enforcing clear boundaries, your life will be a living H.E.L.L.

:hug:

zenor77
10-16-2011, 02:29 PM
Are you in Germany? You said you speak fluent German. Is your boyfriend German? I imagine some of this is cultural. I have a friend who dated an Austrian man for several years. Although not as bad as your story, I do remember similar stories.

Most native Germans I know have a different (higher) standard of clean. Especially if they were on the Eastern side of the wall. I believe there were laws about cleanliness standards. I may be remembering this wrong.

I hope this isn't coming across as stereotypical. I'm just telling you what my experience has been/what I've been told.

I think you need to decide whether it's worth staying with your boyfriend. I doubt much will change. Especially if it's cultural and not just the family dynamic.

CrystalZ10
10-17-2011, 11:27 AM
I would run, not walk, away from this relationship. Sorry, but my ex-in laws weren't even as bad as this and they were TOO overbearing. I couldn't imagine living like you are.
Not to mention that if your boyfriend likes his parents being this way and taking care of him, than you shouldn't be trying to pry them apart from each other or both parties will resent you.

nina125
10-17-2011, 11:58 AM
It seems like your boyfriend's family have weird co-dependency issues. Google it and read up on it.

I agree with Violet to run from this relationship and not look back. It seems like your bf enjoys this arrangement and even if you do try to wean him off his parents, he will just look to replace them with you.

berryblondeboys
10-17-2011, 06:35 PM
This is something most Americans can't and don't understand because a lot (most) of this is cultural.

My husband's mom lives with us (in the USA). She moved from Ciroatia to be near her only son and child. And, yes, I'm not clean enough, not anything enough for her son - period.

My guess would be if the two of you want to work this relationship out, you need to move to another city to get some distance because the situation will not change.

FWIW, I get it as I live it. When I would ask her not to do our laundry, she stopped doing MINE, but would still do my husbands. I would get freaked/grossed out that she would come in and make my husband and my bed after we left for work in the morning - there was just no boundaries.

With time, she's learned some boundaries and I've learned to be more assertive, but I complain here and on FB a lot just to survive. For me I knew that being with DH included his mother in the package and "HE" is fiercely independent, but it doesn't bug him if she does things for him/us. I do... part of it has to do with the "women do these things for their men" and men just don't pick up on those insinuations that us 'inferior' women feel.

Problem is, you will probably face similar situations with other German men too. maybe not as bad, but it's a common cultural theme.

PreciousMissy
10-17-2011, 06:44 PM
Is your BF capable of doing these things for himself? Have you asked him why he still allows his parents to do this? Have you spoken to him and said specifically that you do not care for (insert item here), and the reason is (insert reason)? Talking about it while his mother is there and it is occurring is not going to solve anything.

I wish you the best of luck!

EZMONEY
10-17-2011, 07:23 PM
I say before you make any rash decisions try...

notice I said try...

to have an ADULT group meeting between all of you...making known to in-laws what it is to be about beforehand...

share your concerns in positive and loving ways...

then go from there.

Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn't...

you just might get lucky.

pockets
10-17-2011, 08:19 PM
It seems like you need to have a sit down with your boyfriend. He doesn't have to decide between you and his mother, but there needs to be more boundaries. Can you imagine how she would be if you do get married and have children? You have to ask yourself: Is this a deal breaker? Can you live with her or without him?

I have very strong German roots, so I know this is very cultural. His mother sounds a lot like my maternal grandmother. My parents were very lucky to live 800+ miles away from my grandparents. Even then my grandmother was the biggest rift in my parents marriage.

astrophe
10-17-2011, 10:17 PM
I dream of marrying my boyfriend - then I remember his over-intrusive parents and think "NO WAY in **** am I going to spend my life with him and his parents!"

Sounds like it is a deal breaker for you then. Is it?

A.

zenor77
10-18-2011, 01:05 AM
I have very strong German roots, so I know this is very cultural. His mother sounds a lot like my maternal grandmother. My parents were very lucky to live 800+ miles away from my grandparents. Even then my grandmother was the biggest rift in my parents marriage.

How funny. I could have written this, but didn't think about it when I originally posted.