Wedding Woes

You either stand up for yourself or stay under their thumb. Choose your choice.

Dear Prudence,

My boyfriend and I are in our late 20s and have been together for over five years. We really want to move in together, but I have some hesitation about my parents. I’m not sure how to break the news to them. They’re very religious and absolutely don’t believe in living together before marriage. My boyfriend and I aren’t religious or interested in marriage. I always knew I’d have to tell my parents about this eventually, but no relationship has ever gotten serious enough until now.

They also use money to try to keep me in line. I can’t use the argument that it will be cheaper for us to rent together because they could buy me a house of my own without breaking a sweat. I have to tell them that this is an ideological difference and one I will proceed in with or without their support. But other than religious differences (which they’re unaware of) we have a really good, close relationship. I enjoy talking to them on the phone and visiting them. However, they have always made it clear that living together before marriage is the most abhorrent thing someone could do and regularly mock and ostracize anyone in their community who does it, and I am very afraid that they’ll stop speaking to me when I do it. With good reason, they’ve said as much every couple of weeks for the last 10 years. I’m not sure how to proceed.

—I Don’t Want to Be Estranged!

Re: You either stand up for yourself or stay under their thumb. Choose your choice.

  • You really have two options: 1) tell your parents you don’t share their beliefs on this and move in with your boyfriend or 2) continue to live your life doing what your parents want, even though it’s not what you actually want to do. Given their adamant stance on this there isn’t much of a middle ground. 

    Come clean about what you want, or put off living your life because it’s hard. 
    Yup.  And while LW is gaining the courage to tell their parents they don't line up with them and they're going to go live the life they want, they need to hoard money since that is playing into this.  Plusalso, maybe LW should try some therapy to at least be validated and given tools to navigate this very difficult situation. 
    charlotte989875OliveOilsMomshort+sassySTARMOON44
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    banana468 said:
    "Mom and Dad, your faith that tells you about not living together being a sin also tells you that it's a sin to gossip about those who make choices that are in disagreement with your beliefs." 

    You need to tell your parents about how you are not aligned in the same set of faith and practices as them or know that they will constantly assume that you are aligned.

    And don't expect them to change.   Expect that you are going to have to change your behavior and actions as you see fit for the healthiest life and lifestyle for YOU. 
    I would also add that their religion probably tells them to love one another unconditionally too regardless of their beliefs.
  • You really have two options: 1) tell your parents you don’t share their beliefs on this and move in with your boyfriend or 2) continue to live your life doing what your parents want, even though it’s not what you actually want to do. Given their adamant stance on this there isn’t much of a middle ground. 

    Come clean about what you want, or put off living your life because it’s hard. 
    Pretty much all of this.  Though I do feel bad for the LW that her parents are so harsh, it might end what is an otherwise good and close relationship.

    I am curious about the line "They also use money to keep me in line."  Is the LW getting regular help with their bills from their parents?  If so, I find it more concerning that the LW learn to stand on their own two feet, first.  I generally don't side-eye someone getting voluntary help from their family in a hard time or special circumstance.  But late 20s and parents still helping to pay the bills is a bit much (if that is what is happening) and they need to practice making it on their own.
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    OliveOilsMomcharlotte989875
  • LW needs to cut the financial cord and grow up.  
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