When I read this post, I just had to comment on it, because it sounds very familiar to my situation. When my fiance and I got engaged, my father was for it and my mother was against it. Then, as soon as we picked a date, my father changed his mind. I think that having a concrete date made it more real, and maybe he was expecting us to wait more and have a longer engagement, particularly because both my fiance and I are in medical school. But anyway, the same day that I got engaged, my mother started a huge fight with me the minute I got home. It was terrible, and we both said things that shouldn’t have been said. In retrospect, we were both too emotional that day and should have waited to cool down before speaking, but hindsight’s 20/20 right? Since then, things have never quite been the same. There have been more arguments, my parents have said some horrible things to both myself and my fiance, and my mother has entered into outright competition with my Future Mother-In-Law, trying to prove that she’s the better mother. It’s been devastating and embarrassing. The one bright spot in all this is that my fiance and I have pulled together in a way that gives me a lot of hope for the future.
Recently, things have gotten a little better, in the sense that there haven’t been anymore big battles. I’ve talked to my parents, both one at a time and together. My fiance and I have spoken with them together. And finally, my parents told us their true fears instead of just throwing out hurtful words. They worry about our financial situation, because we’re still in medical school. They worry that a wedding will distract us from school. They worry about religion, because I’m Catholic and my fiance is Protestant, and about how we will raise our children and practice our faith in a way that is respectful of our differences. They worry about my future in-laws, because my fiance has a very large tight-knit family, and my parents fear that I will become closer to them than to my own family. And most of all, they want me to be sure of my choice and not be blinded by wedding planning, because I don’t believe in divorce, and this marriage will be for life. After all these conversations, I understand my parents much better than I used to, and it’s helped me to be a lot calmer when we disagree. And I’m also better able to reassure them and help calm their fears. However, my parents have always been fearful people in general. They worry so much about the future, even about things they cannot hope to change, and it’s always caused them a lot of anxiety. So I realize that there will still be bumps in the road.
As for telling your boyfriend- don’t. As someone said earlier, it may ruin any hope of a good relationship between them in the future. I know that my fiance really struggles when we spend time with my parents, mostly because he’s heard some of the things they said to me and saw how sad they made me feel. If you want them to like each other, or at least get alone, it’s best to work this out privately with your mother as much as possible. If you need to tell him something, or if he notices you’re upset, just explain that your mother has some concerns about you getting married, but that you’ll talk to her and try to figure it out.
I hope that you will see from my story that it is better to talk to your mother now and not let her worries grow. I understood from your original post that you’re not engaged yet? That’s a good thing. Trust me, you want to get this resolved before you get engaged, so that you can enjoy that time and the wedding planning as much as possible, without all the tension from your mother. Try to get to the root of her fears. Then explain why you love your boyfriend and why you think he will make a good husband for you. Even if you don’t completely change her mind, at least she will see that you are handling the situation like a responsible, reasonable adult, and that can only help you. Don’t let this ruin your relationship with her. My situation almost destroyed my respect for my parents, and I feared it would ruin my relationship with my parents. It’s the most horrible feeling in the world. You have time to work this out. Do your best, and pray for wisdom, strength and an open mind. When you’re anxious or fearful, look to the Bible for help. The Psalms especially did wonders for me. And most importantly, keep your chin up! You’re not alone, and with God’s help, you can get through this.