- 2 years ago
- Wedding: July 2016
Hi Bees! I’m a bundle of nerves right now and I need your help and advice. So sorry for the long post, you can skim over the first part if you’d like…I’m just trying to give you some history/context.
I grew up in a conservative family with a mother who ruled the roost with an iron fist. Among other things, I was never allowed to go to the movies, date boys, stay up late, drink coffee, etc. I accepted these things as a kid and did well in elementary and high school, graduating at the top of my class. Then I went to college in Washington state (I had lived in the same house in California all my life until then), and finally got a taste of freedom (and a steeeeeep learning curve when it came to self-independence). Mind you, I still played by the rules. I never partied, was “driven,” didn’t change my major, worked up to 30 hours a week to help pay for tuition, and graduated summa cum laude four years later. During college, after a few pathetic attempts at dating (I was clueless) I met and fell in love with a great guy who I’m still with now. I also fell in love with the town where my college was and wanted to stay there. But this was not an option for my parents, and they sent up the moving van to bring me home two days after graduation. I left my friends and boyfriend in despair.
After a summer of being apart, my sweet boyfriend took the plunge and moved down to California with only a couple hundred dollars in his pocket. He struggled at first but eventually secured a small but nice apartment and a great full-time job as a graphic designer for a university. I also had a good job with pretty sweet benefits and good pay (for a fresh college grad). However, home life was a different story. My parents insisted that I live at home so I could save my money, and I went from being an independent young woman to being treated as if I was twelve again. I’m still not allowed to go to the movies or drink coffee or stay up late or go anywhere without asking permission, and I’m also not allowed to go over to my boyfriend’s apartment or spend any alone time with him (By the way, I’m 23 and he is almost 25). I’ve never been a rule breaker, but juggling all of these rules has definitely had a negative effect on my relationships.
My boyfriend and I have now been dating for over three years and want to get married. As you can imagine, my parents (read: mom) aren’t on board with that either. Besides the belief that no man will ever be enough, they are putting down rules and qualifications right and left that are almost impossible to achieve. We don’t have good enough jobs. I’m too young. I’m desperate. We shouldn’t get married until we can afford to buy a house right off the bat.
My boyfriend has already asked my parents permission to marry me once, almost a year ago, and was told “no, wait.” Wait? Until when? Until THEY are ready to say yes? For my BF and I, as time goes on I feel like our relationship gets more and more strained. Not having any privacy or alone time since we were in college makes it hard for us to have the quality intimate conversations and moments we used to. I think we both are getting fed up with the current situation. Recently, he’s been hinting at his plans to “buy the ring” and go to my parents one last time. I am almost certain they will be upset/disappointed and give him the same answer as before. My fear is that if that happens, I might be faced with an ultimatum: my BF or my parents. In my family, relatives who have “run off” or moved away have been “black sheepified” and their reputation smeared. Of course, that would be pretty devastating for me. As the clock ticks closer, my anxiety about the situation grows.
Please Bees, any insight?