Wedding Woes

Today's 4 women

Dear Prudence,
I’ve been dating a woman who lives at home with her parents. That alone wouldn’t be a big problem, except that her parents are very religious and often try to control her behavior as a condition of living at home—including forbidding her from having sex. She’s planning to move out eventually, but it’s not clear when. She’s in her late 20s, and I’m in my early 30s. I like this girl, and we connect well, but I bristle at having to deal with someone else’s controlling parents and feel like we’re sneaking around like teenagers. Her willingness to put up with their behavior is kind of a turn-off. But I feel she has so much potential to thrive on her own, and I’d like to help her so if I can. Should I give up on this relationship or hold out hope that she’ll put her parents in their place and get a place of her own?

—Home Not Alone

Re: Today's 4 women

  • If she's not actively looking for her own place and unwilling to stand up to her parents, and she doesn't appear to be changing anytime soon, move on and find someone who is ready to act like an adult. 
  • If he's committing to her, he may be committing to a future with a family he already knows he can't deal with. 

    "But I feel she has so much potential to thrive on her own, and I’d like to help her so if I can."

    I take issue with that, because a) it doesn't sound like she wants help, given she hasn't moved forward with her plans to move out, and b ) who is he to take it upon himself to change her?  I mean, change is good, recognizing your potential is good, but I don't feel like this is a "help her help herself"... from the tone of the letter it sounds a lot like "help her help me."

    "And when they use our atoms to make new lives, they won’t just be able to take one, they’ll have to take two, one of you and one of me..."
    --Philip Pullman

  • VarunaTT said:
    So, he wants her to move out from her controlling parents and move in so he can parent have sex with her?

    Yeah, this reeks of bullshit.
    I agree with you, but also this^^^
  • I'm just wondering... does he know for sure that it's the parents that want her to abstain from sex, and not her own belief?

    I mean, don't get me wrong, I know there's a lot of controlling parents out there.  But is it possible SHE doesn't want to?  Or maybe she's just blaming the parents?  Either way, this situation is just weird.  And yeah, I think his wanting to "fix her" is almost as bad as the controlling parents.

  • I took it that they are sleeping together just sneaking around to do it, like you would if you were a teenager trying to get away with something (i.e. curfew or whatever)
  • I don't get why he can't let a deal-breaker be a deal-breaker?  She doesn't mind living with her 'controlling' parents and he doesn't like the whole aspect of having to sneak around.  So why not just say, "I like you, but this isn't working for me.  Call me if you move out."?  

    Also if he sees her as a 'long-term' option, then her parents are still going to be around.  So they're going to have to deal with them in some form or another.  

    It's all hinky and he just needs move on instead of trying to 'free' her.  
  • The whole thing smacks of sexism on LW's part.
  • My sister's last BF was a little like the woman in OP. He did have his own place, but his parents still controlled much of his free time. They were both ~28 or so at the time.

    It's great that he had a good relationship with his family, but he tended to take it a little far. E.g. he would drive for hours to go to things for extended family members and would take my sister along for the weekend. (I'm talking driving 4 hours to attend his cousin's middle school play, not something like a sibling's wedding.) At the last minute, his parents would insist that he also take his grandparents, and they would end up dictating the events of the weekend. (e.g. instead of visiting an amusement park as planned, they would end up walking around a government building, or just sitting around at his Aunt's house.)

    My sister would bitch about it, but for some reason ended up dating him for almost 2 years before she decided that there wasn't long term potential. I don't get why she stuck around so long if his controlling family was a dealbreaker. (I said as much to her shortly before she broke up with him - "It's been 2 years and this isn't changing. You're not just marrying him, you're marrying his family. You don't have common goals, interests, education, etc. If you don't see long term potential, why are you dating him?")
  • I was Team LW until he addressed her potential. 
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