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Parents overtly disapprove of fiance


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Old 18th March 2019, 4:52 PM   #1
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Question Parents overtly disapprove of fiance

This has been a long standing issue and I'm getting extremely tired of this, so looking for some perspective on how bad this really is.

I got engaged 9 months ago (dating more than 2 years) but even shortly after we were dating in a serious way, my parents starting showing signs that they didn't like/approve of my boyfriend who is now my fiance.

He has some quirks but is overall a normal guy who works, has an active lifestyle, loves me, doesn't do drugs/alcohol, but more importantly treats me well. And of course, I love him and enjoy being with him.

On the other hand they criticize him to no end. They are annoyed by totally ridiculous things like "he talks too much", "he's a slob", "he didn't go to college", "he is a terrible driver", "he texts you all day long, can't he leave you alone for a minute?", "he's rude".

In the beginning he was more shy and awkward which my parents may have perceived as rudeness, but now he's nothing but kind to them, and he is constantly getting them gifts or offering to help, asks how they are doing, or cook meals etc.

I have even gone to counseling by myself over this, though the counselor just assured me that eventually my parents would accept him and US. I'm still waiting for that to happen.

We have been living together for almost a year and recently bought a house together and have been pretty content. My parents live an hour away (yes, I'm an only child) and I was visiting them often, but now that we have a bigger house they've started to come stay with us a few times for a night or two. They made a big fuss before we bought the house and warned me that I shouldn't do it, but now that they see how great it is, they have nothing to say about it.

I thought things were *finally* starting to get a little better at this point. My parents would make some effort (although strained) to make conversation with him, and we've even had breakfasts together at home.


Then everything was ruined. On Monday morning my fiance got up early for work and in a hurry, he backed into my parents car in the driveway. It was a fender bender, but my parents were absolutely livid. He apologized profusely and offered to make everything right in any way possible. He gave my mom a small gift and his insurance paid for everything.

Both cars are fixed now, but my parents will not get over it. They avoid him completely or if they see him, they don't talk or give curt responses. It's honestly really mean. They think of him as an imbecile who can't drive. I will note they didn't use the word "imbecile" but my dad did ask "what kind of person wrecks a car in a driveway that is parked far away from you?". It's true, their car was on the OTHER side, but somehow his car was parked at an angle and he backed out across instead of straight back.

I agree that he is not the sharpest when it comes to common sense. I even get exasperated and we get into arguments over things like this. But ultimately I recognize that he's not perfect, and I accept the flaws that he does have. He can be naturally clumsy. I have flaws too. My parents are totally blind to his good side. It doesn't make any sense to me.

Naturally I'm not feeling confident about getting married because of their harsh disapproval and this makes me sad. I love my parents and I want them to be happy, but I feel like I've created this nightmare by being with this man. But I don't want to destroy something that doesn't even have a good reason for destroying!

I've tried everything. I've tried talking to my parents countless times, begging them, getting angry and exploding, asking my fiance to try different strategies. Nothing works.

Last edited by bubbledot; 18th March 2019 at 5:01 PM..
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Old 18th March 2019, 5:07 PM   #2
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Itís your life, not theirs. Do you love this man and want to have a family with him?

Tell them that and then tell them they had better speak up if they have a definitive reason you shouldnít or they need to shut up.
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Old 18th March 2019, 5:11 PM   #3
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Walk away.

I had to do this with my own parents. I am an only child too. When they didn't like or approve of certain decisions I made, I told them it was my life & they had to accept it. They didn't. I cut most contact with them for about a year. I still sent birthday & holiday cards but I stopped calling & visiting. If something happened within the family aunts & cousins relayed it to me. Eventually out of fear of losing me all together my parents relented & accepted my adult decisions.
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Old 18th March 2019, 5:40 PM   #4
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Apparently they are right about him being a terrible driver. Makes me wonder if they are also right about the other things.

What do your friends say about him?
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Old 18th March 2019, 5:44 PM   #5
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What gets me is that their behavior is totally illogical. To which my fiance says, of course they're not logical, because they're feeling the pain of their emotions, and emotions are not logical ever. I agree with that, but they refuse to try to be more positive. They want to be "right" because they are the parents. To admit that they're wrong would be humiliating, though I'm just making guesses.

If I were alone and single, as I was for years before, or dating horrible men, they wouldn't have anything to freak out over, but I would totally miserable. When I was single I told them a million times how miserable I was and how much I wanted to be with someone. I feel like they never empathized with me and were just content that I was doing my own thing. Now that I'm splitting my decision making with someone else, it makes their blood boil.

As for the type of man they want me to be with, I already know he isn't it. I've dated men who were more likable in their eyes, but I always got tired of those men and hated how shallow they were.

This is why I won't allow them to change my mind on this.
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Old 18th March 2019, 5:51 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by basil67 View Post
Apparently they are right about him being a terrible driver. Makes me wonder if they are also right about the other things.

What do your friends say about him?
I don't have too many close friends now that I've moved so I can't add much there. Before we moved to a new city, I introduced him to some of my friends. They seemed to get along with him, and I never heard anything negative.

He met my closest aunt and she treated him just fine. I also introduced him to my boss and new coworkers, but it was a brief interaction.

I wish I had more feedback from friends on this. But after 2+ years, surely some red flag would have already come up.

It doesn't help that neither of us are very social. We have trouble meeting friends that are close to our age, not single, and have similar interests. Moving to a new place has made it hard to meet other people, but that's a different topic.

Last edited by bubbledot; 18th March 2019 at 5:55 PM..
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Old 18th March 2019, 6:10 PM   #7
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Parents overtly disapprove of fiance
Which one of your parents is marrying him?

I ask because it's really only the opinion of his intended that counts. And while it would certainly be nice to have their blessing, they're not the ones planning a life with him.

Follow your instincts. If they say he's the "one", I'd invite your parents to the ceremony and make sure they know you'd love to have them there. But with them or without them, you're following your heart.

Quick driving story - right after I put my wife-to-be on my insurance in anticipation of our wedding, her sister unexpectedly went into labor. My wife was so stressed and rushed getting to the hospital, she missed the turn in and hit a car parallel parked on the street. Which hit the car in front of it... Which hit the car in front of it... Which hit the car in front of it... You get the picture.

According to your Dad, this "imbecile" was the wrong choice for me. 35 years, four kids and two grandkids later, I'd have to disagree. Stand up for yourself and what you believe in...

Mr. Lucky
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Last edited by Mr. Lucky; 18th March 2019 at 6:13 PM..
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Old 18th March 2019, 6:18 PM   #8
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Which one of your parents is marrying him?

I ask because it's really only the opinion of his intended that counts. And while it would certainly be nice to have their blessing, they're not the ones planning a life with him.

Follow your instincts. If they say he's the "one", I'd invite your parents to the ceremony and make sure they know you'd love to have them there. But with them or without them, you're following your heart.

Quick driving story - right after I put my wife-to-be on my insurance in anticipation of our wedding, her sister unexpectedly went into labor. My wife was so stressed and rushed getting to the hospital, she missed the turn in and hit a car parallel parked on the street. Which hit the car in front of it... Which hit the car in front of it... Which hit the car in front of it... You get the picture.

According to your Dad, this "imbecile" was the wrong choice for me. 35 years, four kids and two grandkids later, I'd have to disagree. Stand up for yourself and what you believe in...

Mr. Lucky
Thank you for this. This is what I need to hear.
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Old 18th March 2019, 6:29 PM   #9
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Id be far more concerned that your parents wouldnt get over something so unimportant like a fender bender. No one was hurt, insurance took care of everything, he was apologetic...so why is this still an issue? Its why they are called accidents. How sad for them that they are so judgmental, and apparently so perfect. Sad for you because your own parents cant be happy for you. Sounds like you chose a good guy who treats you well.

If they can't accept him, maybe you should separate yourself from them before they really hurt him and ruin your relationship with him. Stop with the overnight visits from them. Its very disrespectful to your fiance. I can't even imagine the tension in that house when they are their. In HIS house.
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Old 18th March 2019, 6:50 PM   #10
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my theory is that you are in fact all grown up, and these disapproving bouts are just parents who cannot handle your independence, so they have these disapproving bouts at him
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Old 18th March 2019, 8:51 PM   #11
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Do what you want - it is your life! Parents may comment, but ultimately it is not their choice. I could care less what my parents think - my mom is in prison and my dad is dead. To hell with the both of them. As for my in-laws...they don't like me very much but they have to deal with me. That's their problem, not mine. See how life goes?
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Old 18th March 2019, 11:17 PM   #12
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So they are staying in the house that you and your fiance bought together, your fiance had to go to work (to, you know, PAY for the house that they are staying in for free!) and hit their car by accident. He (his insurance) paid for all the repair costs. And they are still giving him the cold shoulder?


Seriously, **** them. If they want to behave like a 4 yo throwing a tantrum, they are welcome to do so, but not in your house. Your fiance sounds like a good man, he doesn't deserve to come back home from work everyday to house guests who act like they own the very house he's working for.
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Old 18th March 2019, 11:20 PM   #13
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Iíve never understood people who get hyper over a dinged up vehicle. Itís a car, for Christís sake, and fixable.

I have an only child and I wouldnít dream of telling him what to do with his life. If he screws up, I give him my opinion but thatís the end of it. I donít keep harping on it. If I didnít like someone he was dating, Iíd keep my mouth shut about it, unless that person was blatantly flawed. Even then, I would drop it after I said what I wanted to say. Your parents have no right to continually make you feel bad about your fiancť. No matter how they feel about him, they should keep quiet about it.
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Old 19th March 2019, 1:43 PM   #14
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I was hoping for a fix to this issue but it sounds like there isn't one. I've done everything humanely possible to try, and he has also.

The only solution is for me to stop caring. For months I've been living in fear dreading "what if they are right about him?", "what if he isn't the one for me?". It has to stop.

It would make sense if he was a drug addict or abusive, but so far he isn't any of those things, so their hysteria is totally unfounded. This is what makes me so furious.

They can't stand the fact that I spend so much time with him because we LIVE together.

I had cold feet for a long time about getting married, mainly because of my anxiety. If I take a leap of faith and we tie the knot, they'll have to accept it. I'm sure they will cry and scream (same when we got engaged).

They can't disown me over this, since that's the very thing they are afraid of in the first place, is losing me.

I'm not sure how they got such extreme insecurities. I'm shocked because I have never seen them act so irrationally and so mean for literally no good reason.
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Old 19th March 2019, 2:10 PM   #15
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This sounds like a good conclusion. I agree with you that from everything you've told us, your fiance is a good man and a worthy person to pledge your life to. Sure he made a blunder early in the morning on the way to work, but who hasn't? Not everyone is a morning lark, that doesn't make them a bad partner.


All the best to both of you.

Last edited by LoveShack.org Moderator; 19th March 2019 at 9:21 PM.. Reason: quote removed
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