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Question
Posted by: Missy | 2011/08/11

Family disagrees with my decisions

I''m a 21 year old student and my boyfriend (23) and i have been dating for almost four years. We want to move in next year, but when i told me parents about it some months ago they completely freaked out and threatened to disown me among other things. Since i''ve told them i haven''t spoken to my father about it again. My mother and i have spoken about it but she insists that if we go ahead they will forever blame my boyfriend. They think he is forcing me into it, eventhough i''ve explained the circumstances to them. They now pretend that it''s not going to happen at all. My parents disagree because they see it as immoral and they don''t want me to bring shame on the family. My boyfried''s mother has also discouraged us from doing it, saying we''re not ready, but i suspect she has other reasons why she doesn''t want him to move away as she mentioned it will be ok as long as we stay close. My boyfriend and i really do believe this is the best decision for us and we have spoken extensively about it, from money to who will be doing the dishes. I just don''t know what to do anymore, i really want to move out but i don''t want to taint my already damaged relatioships with my parents. As a teen i was always getting into trouble and they found drugs in my room several times. I think they have lost all their trust in me and think that i am still as reckless as i was back then and it''s feuling the fire about moving in with my boyfriend. We are both still living with our parents and getting increasingly frustrated by our lack of freedom and only being able to see each other over weekends. We love each other so much and plan on getting married once i have finished my studies. I just want some support from my family. I want to know i am doing the right thing for myself and for us, but the way my and his parents are acting is making me think twice. Should i go ahead and risk life long resentment from my family or give in to their selfish wants for the sake of not losing them???

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Some parents are reasonably comfortable with their child moving in with an unmarried partner, many are not, and for both good and bad reasons.
It would be odd though, if the pair of you shared this decision, for them to consider it totally the responsibility and "fault" of your bf.
Clearly, from your description of the situation, if you two moved in together, you would upset and estrange both sets of parents. Would what you would gain by doing so ( apparently nobody is bothered if the two of you get together otherwise ) really be worth it ?
It sounds as if at least part of the issue is your wish to move out and not live with your parents. How would they feel if you moved out to share accomodation with a fellow female student ?
If as you say you ealier got into other kids of trouble, and got involved in drugs, then its surely understandable that they'd be concerned about your welfare and you wouldn't exactly have a long track-record of wisdom and sense. Are they reall being nothing but selfish for opposing the suggestion ?
Its understandable that you'd like the support of your family, which you could probably achieve in a number of other ways and about other issues, but this hardly sounds like its a way to achieve that. To hope to do something that, reasonably or unreasonably, so upsets them, AND to want to have their support, is hardly realistic, is it ?

And Romany raises a simple and crucial issue. If you are totally funding your education and living expenses, and can afford to do this entirely on your own, you are free to do as you wish and cary the consequences. But you can hardly expect them to continue paying for your education if you move out in a way that they so strongly disagree with.
As the old saying does, you can't have your cake and eat it, too

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Our users say:
Posted by: Helen | 2011/08/11

Missy, you are 21 years old, a legal adult. Your parents should respect that, and it''s not like you''ve only known this guy for a few months. You don''t want to damage your relationship further, but at the same time, your parents should respect and trust that you will be able to make desicions like an adult. If in a few months it doesn''t work out, then so be it. But at least you won''t always think, " gee I wish I had gone for it" . You have to do what feels right for you and if the other parties do not agree with it then that is their problem. Like I said, you are a legal adult.

Reply to Helen
Posted by: Missy | 2011/08/11

I just want to say that my parents dont pay for my studies, im studying on a bursary, they only pay me pocket money and my boyfriend is in a stable job. Also, my mum has suggested that i move in with a friend while he moves out on his own but i know i will never stay with a friend if my boyfriend lives just a few blocks away. It''s a move that seems natural and obvious to us, if we move out we will move in together.

Reply to Missy
Posted by: IX | 2011/08/11

have you selpt with your boyfriend? I think you shoudl wait until you completed your studies and get engaged at least, What des your boy friend do, working etc

Reply to IX
Posted by: Romany | 2011/08/11

If your parents are supporting you financially, studies etc, you need to listen to them until you can support yourself.
If they are not supporting you financially, I say go for it.
It is your life now.

Reply to Romany
Posted by: Megs | 2011/08/11

I say GO FOR IT! I was in the same situation- my parents didn’ t really trust me because of the stupid crap I did in my teen years (which happened to be the same time I met my boyfriend). His mother wasn’ t happy when he moved out with me, as he was the man of the house and she hasn’ t really been as friendly since we moved out. I didn’ t even TELL my father that I was living with my boyfriend, because he too thought it was immoral. My mother knew, and I made her promise not to tell. My parents didn’ t approve because of our relationship, probably because he was older too. BUUUUUUUUUT we have been living together now for 4 years, things are working out nicely and we even got engaged earlier this year. So people can make their judgments, but they don’ t really know what’ s happening in your relationship, they can speculate on how genuine it is, but only you, in your heart, know the truth. :)

Reply to Megs
Posted by: Anne | 2011/08/11

When in doubt, do nothing. It seems you are doubting. And fools rush in where angels fear to tread. And that is all I am going to say about that.

Reply to Anne
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/08/11

Some parents are reasonably comfortable with their child moving in with an unmarried partner, many are not, and for both good and bad reasons.
It would be odd though, if the pair of you shared this decision, for them to consider it totally the responsibility and "fault" of your bf.
Clearly, from your description of the situation, if you two moved in together, you would upset and estrange both sets of parents. Would what you would gain by doing so ( apparently nobody is bothered if the two of you get together otherwise ) really be worth it ?
It sounds as if at least part of the issue is your wish to move out and not live with your parents. How would they feel if you moved out to share accomodation with a fellow female student ?
If as you say you ealier got into other kids of trouble, and got involved in drugs, then its surely understandable that they'd be concerned about your welfare and you wouldn't exactly have a long track-record of wisdom and sense. Are they reall being nothing but selfish for opposing the suggestion ?
Its understandable that you'd like the support of your family, which you could probably achieve in a number of other ways and about other issues, but this hardly sounds like its a way to achieve that. To hope to do something that, reasonably or unreasonably, so upsets them, AND to want to have their support, is hardly realistic, is it ?

And Romany raises a simple and crucial issue. If you are totally funding your education and living expenses, and can afford to do this entirely on your own, you are free to do as you wish and cary the consequences. But you can hardly expect them to continue paying for your education if you move out in a way that they so strongly disagree with.
As the old saying does, you can't have your cake and eat it, too

Reply to cybershrink

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