- 4 years ago
My boyfriend and I recently bought our first house together… first house for both of us. Awesome, right? We somehow convinced someone to take our money in this crazy market. We love the house and the neighbourhood and were pleasantly thrilled that our offer was accepted after a string of dead ends.
My parents (as well as my sisters) are the only people in my life who have not congratulated us. Hell, people have come out of the wordwork, people I haven’t spoken to in YEARS, to say how happy they were for me… and I can’t even get my parents to say one nice word. The sad thing is they have been like this my whole life…incapable of being happy for me, and instead approaching any decision I make with a defeatist attitude. When we called my mom and told her our offer was accepted her reaction was, “Oh, that’s too bad.”
My parents work in real-estate law and granted they are knowledgeable, but mostly way too vocal and insensitive to other people’s needs and concerns. It’s their way or the highway. When my boyfriend and I went to advise my parents we were putting the offer on the house, they had a complete meltdown I was stunned. My mom’s behaviour has always been erratic, but I had never seen her like this. She screamed at both of us and then made crazy accusations about how I think she’s stupid and hate her. I never said anything of the sort. My parents voiced a lot of concern about the location of the house – we couldn’t afford a house in a preferred location (where my parents live), as the average price is over a million. As my mom said, “We’re just not ‘East End’ people. I don’t think we’ve even driven there.” A few days after the explosion I got my parents to calm down and got them to agree that four walls of wood, brick and concrete were not worth ruining a relationship over.
My dad’s skin is still crawling. It has been since I started seeing my boyfriend. My dad can’t put his racism aside to accept the fact that I’ve found a good guy. It’s not that he wants to admit that he has anything against my boyfriend or that would intend him harm, but like he says, “It would be better if we could paint him white.” It has been hurting me for years, and my boyfriend knows my dad doesn’t approve of him, but he’s decided to stick by my side anyways.
It has been a few weeks since our offer was accepted and I have never seen my boyfriend cry like he did tonight. He is first generation from a family of migrants and his parents recently fell on hard times. He has to support his parents, and we took that into consideration when looking for a house so as not to overexpend ourselves.
The topic of the down payment has been an ongoing issue, so we went to speak with my parents about the matter. My parents have very clearly articulated that they would be “deeply upset” with me if we had to pay mortgage insurance, and otherwise would be willing to gift me money on the condition that we had a legal document drawn up to illustrate my larger investment in the house than my boyfriend’s investment. Still, their expectation was that my boyfriend contribute more money to the down payment than what he is comfortable paying. According to my parents, my boyfriend should refuse to assist his “financially inept” parents and otherwise we were mistaken to buy a house if we couldn’t afford the full initial cost. To them, telling my boyfriend he has to put more money into the down payment than what he is comfortable with considering his family situation is an appropriate thing to demand because, after all, they “just want the best thing” for me and him.
My boyfriend cried the whole car ride home. He’s already overworked, he’s concerned about his parents, and now he doesn’t feel like he’s good enough for my parents. It hurts me so much to see my parents treat him the same way they treated me growing up, making him feel so inadequate. I support his decision to care for his parents. I don’t want to have to pay additional fees, however we have to play the cards we were dealt. We have stable jobs, we bought a house at a price that was reasonable so we could afford payments and still save. We’re moving to be closer together and also for my mental health. I work in emergency services and spend most of my off time alone. My boyfriend and I see each other once a week if we’re lucky.
I’m not necessarily looking for answers. It’s a no-win situation, and always has been.
I guess I’m asking anyone who has been in a similar situation how you made decisions without the nagging voices in your head (“But what will the parents think/say?”).
I know I can’t choose my family. I still want them in my life, regardless of how ignorant they may be. But is it worth continuing to encourage a relationship between my boyfriend and my parents? And how do I have a relationship with my family without letting what they say and do come between me and my boyfriend?