- 8 years ago
I have quite a situation on my hands…. This is going to be a long one.I am an only child, 23 years old. My mother and I were best friends until I was about 17, and its been on and off since then. I’ve always had long term boyfriends, few of which she has cared for. I am now planning to marry Zack, age 29, after 3 years together and a year engagement.
Now, my mother doesn’t like Zack. She says he has no motivation, isn’t going to make anything of himself and comes from a “bad family.” My mother is old fashioned: man should make all the money, had to ask for permission to get married, man should provide for his wife and make major decisions, etc. She is also going through chemotherapy for breast cancer, which is supposed to make her go into menopause. Her marriage to my father, who is 18 years her senior, is an unhappy one. She cries and feels ignored by him, and has for the last 12 years or so. My father seems to live in his own little world of being retired, sometimes not leaving the house for days, only watching TV and sleeping all day long.
General information on myself. I am 23, live at home with my parents. I work full time as an office manager, and I have been working full time since I turned 17. I also attend college usually full time, which I pay for every penny on my own. I have my Associate degree, and I am in school now to get a second associate degree. I also pay every penny of my car, and car insurance and always have. I do not ask for money, ever — my parents give me a house to live in, and a cell phone.
My mother tends to regulated everything in my life. (I am 23, mind you) I have a 1AM curfew, regardless. I must be home by 1AM, my fiancée must be gone by 1AM. I have never once stayed out to party, go to any event, etc. past 1AM. This includes no nights spent with my boyfriend, friends, or otherwise unless it was a planned event more than 2 hours from home. This is just an example of her controlling ways. She has become irate more than once, because I do my clothes on the cold setting on the washer, and she does her clothes on warm. I say “Why don’t you check the settings before you use it?” She says “It is my house, I shouldn’t have to check the settings!” Petty, huh? (who washes dark clothes on warm, anyway??) She also gets annoyed that I am “not home”. I work 35 hours a week and I am taking 5 classes, and she gets mad that I am not home? When I am home, each and every night, usually by 11PM.
Now, my fiancée. Zack is 29, and still in college. He went in the Navy at age 20 to get money for college. He returned from the navy at age 25, and began community college, where he got an Associate’s degree. Now, at age 29 he has about a year left to go for his Bachelors. He lives with his parents, to cut down on expenses. It is not easy to afford an $800/month one bedroom apartment when you’re trying to go to school full time, so his parents told him to stay as long as he needed. He also works and on campus job, 10-20 hours a week for some extra cash. He has had different jobs since I met him, mostly low wage retail positions, but always has had a job.
My mother and Zack are very different people from very different families and do not see eye to eye. My mother has told him multiple times that Zack cannot tell her she is wrong in her own house (? If your facts are wrong, they’re wrong.) and tells me constantly that he is not the man for me, since he can’t take care of himself. In my mom’s eyes, having a job and a house is much more important of a man than how educated he is. I, on the other hand, will wait for a house and what not, I care that my husband be educated and on his way to being successful. (We are both the first generation to go to college from our families.) I refuse to let him accept a low level job just to take care of me.
For the last 3 years, my mother has blown up at me randomly, usually involving my boyfriend. She will hold in her feelings of dislike for months, and then one day just start screaming at me over something tiny (like the washer settings!) About a week ago, this happened while Zack was at my house. She started screaming at me over making my fiancée coffee, at her house. The conversation turned into a fight about Zack, and my choice to be with him. I told her I am terribly uncomfortable in her house, having to side with either Zack or my mom. She told me she has been uncomfortable for years because of the males I have brought in to her house. I told her I would be out of her house as soon as I could afford it. She proceeded to tell me she will not come see me after I leave, would not be attending my wedding and wanted nothing to do with my children, as long as Zack were involved. This is far from the first time she has told me this, but is the first time Zack has ever witnessed it. It rips your heart from your chest to hear your mother say she will not be at your wedding, and wants nothing to do with your unborn children, and mean it. She is stubborn enough that I almost believe it…
To me, it seems a bit blown out of proportion to have this much hatred for someone simply because they are a few years behind in life compared to other people: she believes at 29 he should have a house and school should not be a top priority. You’d think he had a horrible criminal record or something equally as bad.
Of Zack, let me say that he stands firmly behind me. There are not many men who would deal with someone putting them down the way my mother does, and still look her in the eye: but he does. We’ve been together for 3 years, and I have waited until I am totally confident. It would have been easy to get married to get away from parents (like I believe mom did) but I haven’t because I don’t want a marriage based on that.
I’m to the point that I don’t even cry anymore. I have found an apartment, and am petrified to tell her about it. Zack gets enough money from his G.I. bill to afford rent for the next year, until he is done with school. Our plan is to move me in for a month or so, then get married in a small ceremony, and him move in. We have been delaying getting married, only until we live together. Now that the opportunity has come, I am terrified. I know my mother will react horribly, and I am afraid. I have to stay here until the papers are signed and I can move out all of my things. Do I delay telling her, just to have her angry at me the day I pack my things? I hate having to hide things from her.Then there is the matter of us getting married. She is going to be totally unsupportive (she has been the whole time). She wants nothing to do with the planning, and insists she will not be there. If she is not there, my father will also not be there. (note: My fiancée’s family loves me, and will all be attending.) I am petrified and do not know what to do. I know if I am old enough to get married, I am old enough to confront my mother. The problem is, she still treats me as though I am 12. They are the only family I have and I am afraid to lose them, as crappy of a family as they may be.
Any tips for the wedding, breaking the news, or surviving the next month would be greatly appreciated!! I feel like I am all alone here… its breaking my heart during what is supposed to be the happiest part of my life..