- 2 years ago
I get that all family dynamics are different, but me and my boyfriend’s upbringings could not be more opposite, and I’m worried it could start to affect us. We have started talking marriage (!!) so it is an important factor.
My family is loud, emotional, and slightly overbearing, and our gatherings are usually super animated. I’ve been told by several people they feel immediately welcome and accepted whenever they come over, albeit slightly overwhelmed at times.
His family, while kind, is extremely hands-off, almost to the point of seeming like not caring, and their dinners consist of eating mostly in silence (something so foreign and painfully awkward for me). I’ve given attempting to engage them the good old college try, but feeling like I’m the only one showing any interest in getting to know each other or trying to carry even a basic conversation has gotten a little mentally exhausting. For example, I’m not even sure they know what I do for a living, unless my boyfriend has told them, but they’ve certainly never asked me. I’m beginning to realize this is just how they are, but it’s gotten to the point where it’s pretty cringy being around them for extended periods of time, which is fairly often, which brings me to my next point.
My boyfriend is currently living with them (in a granny flat separate from the house so we at least get a little privacy if I come over), not because he needs to, but because he is helping financially support them. They’re around retirement age but never planned for it and oftetimes don’t have enough for even basic provisions. Since he suspected they wouldn’t accept overt financial help from him, he asked if he could move into the granny flat and pay “rent”, which also includes buying their groceries, paying a good chunk of their bills, and handling any maintenance work around their house and property.
I think what he’s doing is super noble, but the pressure on him is immense, especially since on top of working, he’s also in nursing school. The other day he admitted to me that worrying about his parents is the thing that stresses him out the most and keeps him up at night. It bothers me that his family is seemingly “ok” with putting him in this position. I recently made him one of his fav meals while he was studying for finals, and rather than eat it himself (he had a tiny bit), he gave it to them. I didn’t say anything but thought come on, man! His mom even wrote me a note after thanking me for my generosity in making them that meal…ugh.
So while outwardly always polite, these various things have resulted in me feeling somewhat resentful towards them. I hate that I do since they’re good people, but I’ve noticed it creeping in more and more to where I realize my attitude sucks, and I’m worried it will start to become noticeable. What can I do about this situation, if anything?