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jennylinftw's avatar

Dealing with my parents cultural expectations when I'm an adult!

Asked by jennylinftw (116 points ) March 6th, 2014

I’m 22 and chinese whilst living at home with my parents. I have a job. My problem is that they HATE my boyfriend who isn’t asian; he’s hispanic. However, there were other things that have happened over the last 4 years that have also added onto their hate towards him. My boyfriend’s a hard worker, loves, and respects me to the fullest.

In recent events, I tried talking to my mom about him wanting to meet with them and apologize for all the stuff that has happened over the years. He wanted to man up, but my parents did NOT want to give him the time of day to even consider meeting him. My mom stated that she wasn’t “ready” and my dad stated he didn’t care to know him at all.

However, we’ve been looking at our own place to move into, but before we go through with it…my boyfriend wants to try to meet with them again and officially clear the air even if they slam the door in his face. He said as long as we just be straight up with them and tell them what the deal is; if they don’t accept still, at least we have his parents support.

My MAIN problem is both my parents can become hostile. My dad has a bad irish temper and has gotten physically aggressive/violent in the past (not in recent years). My mom may just get really emotional in this situation and a little angry. I don’t know and can’t say if they will try to physically stop me or not. I don’t even know how they’re going to react when I tell them my boyfriend wants to meet with them…

What do I do if they aren’t receptive to any of it and don’t support me and make their threats of ‘disowning’ me and how I am ‘shaming’ the family? What is your opinion on my parents who expect you to follow their cultural expectations?!

I need lots of advice here. Do I make this big move even at the cost my parents being hurt by it?

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120 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

What did your boyfriend do in the past that they hate him so much?

jennylinftw's avatar

I got into a car accident 4 years ago while he was the passenger. They didn’t know about him at the time and only knew I was out with a friend. That was the start. Also, I got my DUI talked down to just a speeding ticket, but they blamed him for that too. (I take full responsibility for both situations)

jerv's avatar

After dealing with my in-laws, I found out the hard way that some people can never be pleased, only escaped from. Unless you become your mom’s clone, she won’t be happy, so even if yyour dad is cool, you’re still screwed.

Being disowned isn’t so bad. Trust me.

jennylinftw's avatar

@jerv ; you got disowned from your parents? what was the situation? Just curious.

JLeslie's avatar

I think what is tricky is you are going to go from your parents house to your boyfriends. I realize it is really you and your boyfriend both getting a place together, but my point is you will have never established yourself as on your own so you will be dealing with your parents freaking out that you are leaving their nest and also that you are moving in with your boyfriend all at once. I only know your situation from the little you wrote here, but my guess is no matter what it isn’t going to go very well.

I still think it is worth trying to clear the air, but I do think your parents will not approve of you moving in with your boyfriend, so if you try to clear the air and also tell them you are moving in together all at once, I’m pretty sure that will go over like a lead balloon.

If it were me I would tell my parents you are very happy with your boyfriend, that you understand why your parents got a bad first impression, and that he feels family is very important and wants to clear the air. That it has been four years since that first incident with the drunk driving and both you and he take it very seriously. He is resposible to for your DUI in that he knew you had been drinking and let you drive. Your parents want to know the man you are with keeps you safe even when you are not responsible enough to do it yourself.

In the end I think you will have to deal with them being angry and upset when you move out. Moving out will be a good thing, assuming your boyfriend is a good guy, because moving out will help you become more emotionally independent from your parents and your parents will start to perceive you more as an independent adult.

I say all this assuming your boyfriend is around your age. If he is 40 I take it all back and think your parents are right.

jennylinftw's avatar

@JLeslie My boyfriend is just a year younger than me. I know that telling them two different huge bombs isn’t going to go over well, but do I still go through with it? My boyfriend is 200 percent supportive of me and I know we can both find a place together and be set.

How do I handle their expectations/anger when I do tell them? What do I do if they try to stop me?

JLeslie's avatar

Wait, you don’t have the place yet? I think you should make your whole plan with your boyfriend, get the apartment all signed and done, and then tell your parents that you are moving out. That way when they freak you already have the place to go to. In the meantime you can certainly try to mend things regarding how they feel about him in general. How is it done in your family, do people actually clear the air? Or, do they just do the silent thing and then eventually at a wedding or funeral they start talking to each other again?

If your parents aren’t big on talking things through then maybe just do something like you and your boyfriend inviting your parents out to dinner and try to have a nice evening together, rather than rehash the past.

You pointed out your boyfriend isn’t Asian. Your dad isn’t Asian either. Where do you live? America? Asia? Ireland?

jennylinftw's avatar

My boyfriend didn’t/doesn’t want to find the place until after we’ve attempted to mend the bad blood. He says he needs to go through with that first, so if they aren’t happy…that decision will be on them and at least my boyfriend and I tried to mend it. That’s why we haven’t found a place yet.

And, it can go both ways. Sometimes they talk about things and sometimes they don’t.

JLeslie's avatar

Well, I think the point should be that you all can be in the same room together. It doesn’t have to be a big clear the air scene, it could just be everyone getting to know each other. If your boyfriend wants permission from them for you to move in with them I don’t think that will happen. How do your oarents feel about people living together? Were you raised with that being acceptable?

Do you work? Go to school?

jennylinftw's avatar

Well, he’s obviously not looking FOR permission..he just wants to be respectful to them so I’m not just walking out on them or leaving them with not knowing what’s going on. And, no my parents don’t even want me moving out on my own. My mom told me that there was an expectation that I live with them so that I can take care of them.

I work, yes.

jennylinftw's avatar

@JLeslie I don’t think it can be just a them getting to know my boyfriend kind of situation. They’re probably going to get very angry or some kind of dramatic situation will ensue because that’s how my parents are.

JLeslie's avatar

Then do it after you move out. While you live there they still hope to be able to inlfuence you.

Their anger is partly fear. They are afraid you are going to make a mistake choosing to be with him.

jennylinftw's avatar

@JLeslie you don’t think it’ll make it worse telling them we’ve found a place rather than confront before? I mean I don’t know, I’m just asking,

JLeslie's avatar

I think it is worth trying again to clear the air in some way. I think if you want to tell them you are considering moving out you can, but if they know it will be with your boyfriend they will obviously freak out. I think you should have everything already set up. You should already have your plan to move out, the apartment ready to go, and be able to leave that day, although if they are reasonable you don’t have to leave that day. If they are reasonable you can make it seem like you care about their permission, even though really you are out no matter what.

It would be better if you were moving out to live with some girlfriends, any chance you would do that first?

Why are you still living at home? Is there a cultural expectation? Were you in school? Didn’t have a job?

jennylinftw's avatar

@JLeslie;

I’m still living at home because that’s what they want. My sister doesn’t live at home anymore and hasn’t lived at home since she left for college to Illinois. Now she lives permanently in Virginia. There is a cultural expectation and no I have a job and have had a job for the last 4 years.

They don’t want me to move out period. Even if it was with girlfriends. In our cultural (this is coming from my mom)...she wants me to have enough money to buy a house before I move out. That’ll take years!! And, also all my friends already live on their own/with someone already.

jennylinftw's avatar

@JLeslie ; In her mind, of course like any good parent…she wants me to be able to have enough money so I’m not struggling paycheck to paycheck. I completely understand that. And, if I were to move in with my boyfriend…we would not be paycheck to paycheck and it would also give me the chance to pursue things that I actually want to do rather than having to always confront my parents and have them not support any of those decisions.

By that I mean, if I want to tell them I want to study a certain subject or go into a certain field, they’ll give me thousands of reasons or things THEY’D rather me do. I appreciate their opinions and thoughts, but the conversation or subject always turns into bashing me down or telling me I can’t do it. They’re supportive when it’s something they know or are familiar with.

jennylinftw's avatar

@JLeslie, my parents are BOTH chinese by the way. Yes, I live in America… I live in California.

JLeslie's avatar

From what you have written I think plan it all behind your parents back and on your way out let them know you are moving out. Again, you can still try to mend things with them and your boyfriend while you and your boyfriend get everything planned, but in the end you probably just need to leave. Keep in mind I am going by what you wrote here, and also how my inlaws are. They freaked out every time one of their kids left or got married. My husband’s brother lived at home until his mid 30’s. At one point he moved back in with them, he was in his early 40’s and had broken up with his boyfriend who he had been living with. When he left again almost a year later they freaked out again. His mother didn’t talk to him for over a year. She blamed it on him leaving suddenly and that he left when his dad was getting a medical procedure done. The truth is they freak out no matter what. When their daughter at age 25 who still lived at home anounced she was engaged and getting married they freaked out. When my husband and I got married they said all sorts of negative things to my husband to try to get him to change his mind. We have been married 21 years. They set it up sort of culturally, because the culture makes it so that the adult child is still in a position of being dependent on the parents.

Plus, even when we are annoyed with our parents we still care about their happiness and don’t want them to dissapprove of what we are doing, so when you live at home this is always glaring. When you live outside of your parents home it is less of a burden, because your parents are not there seeing everything. Some families are really good about adult children living at home and treating their children like totally independent adults, but usually from what I have seen kids living at home stunts the ability of the adult child to become truly independent and for the parents to have some calm about their kid doing what they want to do as adults.

You are only 22 so it isn’t like you are “old” to be living at home. Not in my opinion anyway. But, since you have been working all this time I am surprised you lasted this long and haven’t moved out already. I think it’s good you had the opportunity to stay home and save up money, but I also think it will be good to get out.

Do you know any of the stories when your mom or dad left home? Did their parents freak out? A lot of times it is generational.

You are just going to have to move forward I think.

JLeslie's avatar

Oh, they are both Chinese. So, are they upset he is Hispanic? Aside from the drinking and driving and that you lied about who you were with. They want you to be with a Chinese man?

jennylinftw's avatar

@Jleslie, Yes to your last questions. That is what they prefer since my sister hasn’t found anyone yet. They are upset that he’s hispanic because my mom has her ‘opinions’ and ‘reserves’ about hispanics.

My parents left Taiwan to go to college here and eventually started a life in the US. But, I don’t know much about how they were raised because my grandparents on my dad’s side I didn’t know very well (other than that my dad did not have a father because he died in the war at a young age). My grandparents on my mom’s side… I didn’t get to know much either other than my grandma who was always very open and kind to everyone I knew.

And, that’s exactly how I feel on a day to day basis with what you described. I do feel like they’ve created this co dependent relationship and I’m not saying they don’t try to give me a sense of independence, but it’s not independence when they still try to get me to rely on them for things.

As for the plan, we have a plan. We have our budget laid out already and what exactly will happen once we meet with my parents. The day after we meet (which will be this Monday)..we’re going to go check out these apartments we have in our sight and hopefully sign the papers within the next week or two. We may not have a set place or papers signed yet, but we definitely have a plan once the meeting happens.

What do I say to their cultural expectations of me? How do I respond to my dad when he tells me I’ve “disgraced” his name or “shamed” the family?

jennylinftw's avatar

@JLeslie I want to be very clear that I love my parents a lot and I don’t want to hurt them at all and I’m certainly not trying to move out to hurt them. I just want my OWN place and my OWN freedom. I want to just come home from work, relax, and not have to ‘report’ to someone constantly. It isn’t all the time even and my life at home isn’t the worst. But, I just want to move out on my own because I’m not growing being here. I don’t feel much motivation to better myself while living at home.

I know 100% that would change when I move out because even just staying with my sister for 2 months at her place (though it isn’t the same idea)... I was much more independent/confident in myself. I have this need/want to just be on my own and I would be much happier in the long run. I feel honestly like I’m not getting anywhere in life living at home.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@jennylinftw Go back and read your last answer. And think about it for a while. I think you answered your question. Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same. (The Fray)

Cruiser's avatar

My take would be that your parents have not let go of your past mistakes. You were only 18 when you did some things that you should not have. You were a child then and those things you did are hugely disappointing to parents….and I am going out on a limb and assuming that since your parents are Chinese and what I know of the Chinese culture is ones children’s actions and your accident and DUI probably brought them great shame. Since your boyfriend was with you there is guilt by association and as unfair as it seems to you, they apparently associate a portion of blame for your actions on him.

I don’t know your whole story of the last 4 years since these bad things happened, but again I will assume you have done some good things, grown up a lot and now have a decent future ahead of you. Time to remind your parents of this fact and that you are an adult know and capable of making good and right choices. Point out the positive things of your boyfriend and that he too has matured since that less than stellar part of your pasts.

Let them know you are not trying to make them forget the past mistakes but you want them to embrace the future that holds good things for you and this man in your life. Then tell them this…

JLeslie's avatar

@jennylinftw It’s tricky for parents who come to the US and want their children to marry within the same race or ethnicity. Unfortunately for them America is very diverse and there is a big chance their children will meet someone from outside their race and ethnicity. @Cruiser is right that what you did is really awful for parents. If I were your parent I too would think he was a bad influence. Although, eventually after a long time if you both showed me you were responsible people now I would overcome it. Was that the shame you spoke of? That you lied and got arrested for drunk driving? Or, is the shame that you are having sex outside of marriage?

Judi's avatar

Did you ask a similar question a while ago? His sounds really familiar.

Cruiser's avatar

@Judi Her profile says she just joined yesterday and only asked this one question

JLeslie's avatar

There was a question a while back that was very similar. The OP probably is the same person. I don’t remember what the Q was about, but I remember parents not approving of a Hispanic boyfriend.

Judi's avatar

I’m wondering if it was under another profile.

Cupcake's avatar

Write them a letter. Include your budget, if you wish. Tell them the door is open for forgiveness and mutual respect and that your boyfriend does not want you moving out without “clearing the air” and working to build unity, but they refuse to meet with him. Make your plans, sign a lease and give them the letter as you are moving out.

These are the repercussions of their unwillingness to discuss the situation at hand. Stop catering to them if you want to move out and behave as an adult. You can be respectful and independent at the same time.

Cruiser's avatar

@Judi Apparently so! I see you have a little bit of Columbo in ya! ;)

gailcalled's avatar

@Judi: Great catch.I tried to find these but wasn’t as clever as you.

KNOWITALL's avatar

First, at age 22, if your parents are violent, you can call the cops immediately.

Second, only you can decide if he is worth losing your parents. Personally, I think that puts a lot of pressure on the relationship and it’s not a good idea. If it doesn’t work out, then you’ll lose him and maybe they won’t be willing to put the anger aside.

Lastly, if he wants to show respect, he can’t ‘force’ a face-to-face, and make plans to move you out of their home. Respect would be loving you enough to wait, imo, and not pushing your family even further away.

*I know that some traditional families don’t usually agree with interracial relationships or female independence, or living together before marriage. It kind of sounds like you want to be all American with no respect for your mother’s heritage or mindset, which is your right, but you shouldn’t expect them to just say ‘okay, go ruin your life, we’ll be here for you’, without a little bit of protest right?

jennylinftw's avatar

@JLeslie The shame is mainly because he’s not Asian, but along with the other things as well. They also don’t like that he’s not making 6 figures right now. They don’t want me to be with a hispanic person and they’ve made that very clear. How? “You go waste your life away with the Mexican trash.” “He’s a mexican piece of trash.” So on and so forth.

@KNOWITALL. My boyfriend isn’t trying to “force” a meet, but this has been going on for 4 years! And, all this time they refuse to know him, acknowledge him, or even think he exists. Of course he’d prefer to wait. He’d more than gladly give more time, but my parents will NOT come around in this situation because I highly doubt 2–3 years from now; that they’re going to be the ones who just up out of the blue say, “OKAY GUYS. WE’RE READY TO MEET.” My parents have made several statements (mainly to my sister) about how they’ve been hoping him and I break up and that they hope he makes me unhappy and that I end it somehow.

Trust me when I tell you I have been waiting and waiting and waiting. I try not to rock the boat by never bringing him up much and when I do they’re in very subtle passing statements. This could take several several years before they even want to meet him and that is wasted time AND money.

And, also…it’s the situation that has also come up. His lease is ending in a month, so he needs to move into a new place. That was the original plan. We would wait it out, hope that my parents want to meet him eventually, and move on from there. HOWEVER, that is not happening. And, if he finds another place now, it is going to be wasted time & money. To be quite honest as well, my parents DO NOT want me to move out ever. My mom blatantly told me I should live with her forever to take care of her.

I’m 100 percent aware that they have their right to protest and say no. I get that. I just feel like I’m not growing as a person living in their home. I can say right now that I have no real motivation for anything because when I find inspiration to do something… they say NOPE CANT DO THAT and instead say DO THIS INSTEAD. The only ‘real’ time I have freedom is when I go to work!

@KNOWITALL is that the kind of life I should be okay with then for the next 5 years if I wait?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@jennylinftw I have two thoughts after your reply, but I can tell this is bothering you and you’ve thought about it.

One is that you should be happy no matter what, that is what America is about, the individual’s right to their pursuit of happiness.

Second is that it sounds like your parents are strangely prejudiced against Mexicans, and that is THEIR problem.

The income thing is a pretty typical ‘can he take care of my daughter’ thought. Do you think it’s possible to call a family meeting and explain to mom and dad all you’ve said here?

You are trying to straddle several worlds (Chinese, American, Mexican and Irish?) and make everyone happy, which is probably going to be impossible, so all you can do is your best. I can tell you that when you love a man, a parent is supposed to love who you love, if they treat you right.

A long time ago I told someone that if the man I love isn’t welcome, then neither am I, (he was Vietnamese) and I stuck to that and they backed down. You do not have to tolerate racial abuse and neither does he, from anyone.

jennylinftw's avatar

@KNOWITALL I’ve stated all of this 3–4 months ago when my boyfriend wanted to try mending it back then. Not even to find a place together, but at least so he can meet with them and apologize for all that’s gone on. My dad did not want ANY part of it. He told my mom he didn’t care to know who my boyfriend is and that at this point if I want to go “screw up my life” then he is whatever about it. Now, I don’t know how much he meant it when he said it because my dad says A LOT of things he never means.

That’s why I was stating earlier that I’ve made the attempt to have a family meeting about this. All I got from my mom was that it was “too soon” and that she wasn’t “ready”. And, she went on a lecture about how there are other people in the world for me to like and to consider dating someone at work.

@KNOWITALL His parents love me and think of me as their daughter already. They’re supportive of this and are ALSO aware of the situation with my parents. They stated that if my boyfriend and I try to make amends and they still don’t want to be a part of my life. At that point, it will be on them because I’m not moving out to hurt them. I’m not moving out with my boyfriend to escape either. I’m moving out because I have been NEEDING this independence for a long time. I’ve basically been stuck in a hole because I can’t pursue anything I really want to because my parents literally try to put a stop to it.

I know that I can’t make everyone happy, but it seems like you’re telling me I should just wait and wait and hope that they come around?

JLeslie's avatar

@jennylinftw Does he have a strong work ethic? Will he support your ambitions? Do you trust him? No red flags? No macho bullshit? Are you clinging to him to spite your parents? If all the answers are good ones to those questions then feel confident in your decision. They will not come around most likely while you live at home, so you are left with no choice, but to leave without their approval.

If he really is a good guy you will be much happier and hopefully your parents will see that. They will see a happy couple. Your parents have spoken badly about others and now it is visiting their house. Their shame is their own. Shame will rot the soul. It is a horrible thing to carry. You didn’t cause the shame, their own attitudes did.

jennylinftw's avatar

@KNOWITALL I would also like to say that my parents don’t really believe in happiness. It’s not that important to them. My dad even told me himself that “happiness is just a fantasy”.My mom told me that he was just saying that because he was “mad”, but he’s said it MORE than just a few times.

jennylinftw's avatar

@JLeslie; He has a VERY strong work ethic. He is 200 percent supportive of my ambitions. I fully trust him. No red flags. No bullshit. And, I’m not staying with him to spite my parents AT ALL. He is the ONLY person that has treated me with so much respect, loyalty, commitment, and honesty compared to all the other BS relationships I have been in. That’s why I so badly wanted to get them to meet him so they could see EXACTLY who he is. Not just based off of a few bad impressions!

@JLeslie I’m confident in my boyfriend and I’m confident in myself. It is the FEAR of whether or not they’re going to get violent/physical when we do meet with them and even just trying to move my things out of the house. Like I said before, they can become hostile and that’s how they get me to change my mind on things like career or school subjects. Not ALL the time, but more than half the time I’m just in a hostile situation because they can’t CALMLY talk about things. It is their way or the highway basically.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@jennylinftw You just have to understand that you’re 22, doll, I’m just skeptical you’ll be together forever, you know? I would never have married the guy I dated when I was 22, I had no idea who I was let alone what I needed in a partner.

I understand the happiness thing, and I agree that when you’re young, your version of happiness may not be realistic. Here’s one of my fave quotes by Emerson—
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

They want you to be obedient and submit to their authority, in essence, choose them over your boyfriend because he’s Mexican and they don’t like him and may never like him. At this point you have to decide if you want to risk losing them over your boyfriend.

Like @JLeslie says, you have to evaluate your boyfriend like a third-party observer, are you willing to bet everything on him?
Also, with the family you have, it sounds to me like his family is giving you the affection you need, so just something to think about.

JLeslie's avatar

@jennylinftw You know the situation best, you know the personalities. You might have to pack up your things in secret and move them out while your parents are at work. Sucky way to do it, and they will hold it over your head forever how awful you were to sneak out behind their back. It will be another thing you did behind their back, and they will hold it against you and your SO, but there might be no other way.

jennylinftw's avatar

@KNOWITALL I understand exactly what you’re saying, but I haven’t been more sure about anything in my life. When we’re around each other…he makes me a better person. He supports me in all my decisions I make about my job, school, or anything at all. Obviously if it’s something stupid; he’ll tell me not to go through with it. But, I completely understand that I am still young and have a long way to go.

@KNOWITALL My friend asked me last night asking if I obeyed them and kept them happy and told my boyfriend I won’t move out with him…will I be happy? Will I be in a better place? Honestly, I’ll be exactly where I am now. Just going to work every day and that’s it. I don’t go out. I can’t hang out with friends at the house because they’re so controlling. I’m not 100 percent happy with where I’m at right now.

@JLeslie My boyfriend is VERY adamant on at least trying to confront them. His parents won’t be happy or supportive if we go behind my parents back. My parents should know exactly what is going on and should not be kept in the dark, even if they don’t like what they hear. My boyfriend stated that if he shows up and he at least tried to talk to them and they slam the door in his face. Then, at that point, we would still go through with the move because at least we tried to man up and face it like adults should.

My boyfriend WILL NOT go through with the move if we don’t at least try to meet with them. That’s why I stated we’d meet them this Sunday and set the apartment stuff on Monday.

jennylinftw's avatar

@KNOWITALL & @JLeslie… my boyfriend thinks everything is going to be fine at the end of the day because we still have great support from his parents and that our conscious would be clear because we still tried to respect them by trying to mend it. We didn’t just run away from it or hide from it.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m fine with you giving it a try, I just think setting everything up ahead of time would be easier. But, as I said, you know the personalities best, so it doesn’t really matter what we suggest here, go with what feels right for you. Sunday is only a few days away, so then it will be done. Are you going to tell them you are moving out, or just trying to meet and clear the air?

You do realize that when you tell them you are moving out, if you do on Sunday, it’s almost the same as doing it behind their back. You have planned it without their knowledge. That’s how they will see it. You won’t be able to win with them I think. You might think you can say we tried to do the right thing and talk to them, but the truth is you moved out to live with your boyfriend against their wishes basically without warning. Maybe admit that yiu know it is a shock and you didn’t see any other way since they will not even get to know him and that you feel awful it has cone to this and how much they mean to you,

jennylinftw's avatar

@JLeslie I’m mainly hoping to at least clear the air. But, we are going to tell them that in a month we will be moving in together. I don’t even know if they’ll even want to sit down with him, which is why it’s so difficult for me because they COULD slam the door in his face right then and there.

@JLeslie I can admit how awful I feel and how I’m not doing this to hurt them in any way shape or form, but you’re right on that. They probably will see it that way, but I won’t be moving out the next day. Move in day would be a month from now, so the Uhaul and such won’t show up until a month from now. And, I would let them know WHEN I sign the papers.

JLeslie's avatar

I’ll just add that my husband is Mexican and he also has a formalness about him when it comes to courting and inlaws and I think it is very nice. :) I can see you guys are trying, hopefully your parents will see it too.

jennylinftw's avatar

@JLeslie there is NO easy way of dealing with this at all. My options are I continue to go as I am right now and wait and hope they come around whilst I waste more time and money living with them. I can continue on as I am and be in this rut that I’ve been in. My other option is I cut the cord and fly out of the nest.

@JLeslie Even if I was just moving out on my own, they would forbid it because like I said they have an expectation that I live with them until they pass away.

JLeslie's avatar

Let us know how it goes. Be mentally prepared to move out sooner than in a month.

jennylinftw's avatar

@JLeslie You said your husband is Mexican. What are you, just curious? You said you dealt with kind of similar situation before? How did it turn out for you or whoever??

KNOWITALL's avatar

@jennylinftw Yes, good luck, I hope everything works out and you have no regrets later.

I have to admit that I feel bad for your mom.

jennylinftw's avatar

@KNOWITALL why do you feel bad for my mom?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@jennylinftw I have a soft spot for gentle Asian mom’s. Are you an only child?

jennylinftw's avatar

@KNOWITALL No. I have a sister who’s 10 years older than me. My mom is gentle when she wants to be. She physically abused me throughout my entire childhood and even tried suffocating me with a pillow when i was 8 years old. Now obviously she’s not like that anymore, but gentle is not how I would describe MY mom. Hahaha

KNOWITALL's avatar

@jennylinftw Wow, that’s wild, I wonder what your sisters advice to you is?

So your dad’s an Irish racist in a mixed race marriage, and your mom was abusive & tried to kill you, yeah, may as well get out and not feel guilty. :)

jennylinftw's avatar

No my dad is chinese. He has Irish temper. It is just a saying. He gets mad easily and violently.

JLeslie's avatar

@jennylinftw I’m caucasian, Jewish. My family is mostly from eastern Europe. I’m second generation American on one side and third on the other. My family was fine with him. My grandmother loved him. She loved his hair LOL, and that he took her suitcase and carried it for her the first time she met him. My mom was easy too. She is usually in the mode of my life is my life. My dad liked him.

My husband had a college degree when I met him and was working. By the time we were getting married he had changed jobs to Pepsi international, so on paper everything sounded really good. He wasn’t making tons of money or anything, his degree was in HR, and the assumption was you don’t get rich in that career field, but he was on a career path that my parents couldn’t really have much objection to. I had dated that Ecuadorian-American guy in school that I mentioned above, and he was such a train wreck my dad admits that when he met my husband for the first time he figured I had a thing for Latin American guys and this guy seemed ok. I had dated some “Americans” inbetween, one of which was really bad news.

Anyway, it wasn’t my parents who were freaked out, my husband’s parents were the ones. What happened was my husband was not going to let his parents change his mind. Inbetween our first and second house (we had been married almost three years) his parents had moved to America and we stayed with them for three months. During the three months everything got much better. His mom got to know me more.

I don’t know your whole situation in terms of education levels, socio-economics, etc. That all sounds very callous probably, but if your parents have college degrees and are professionals and your boyfriend has no degree and works in a factory, I can see your parents worrying that you two might not be a good match. It doesn’t mean you won’t be a good match, I only mean I understand the concern. Not that there is anything wrong with working in a factory. I worked in retail for years and a lot of people look down on that. I am only talking about being matched well culturally, view of the world, interests, etc.

Edit: To clarify my husband’s parents didn’t live in the country when we were dating or got engaged, my husband was living in their house here thiugh. They had bought a small villa for him to live in while going to college. They told him if he got married they would stop paying for his things. The ridicukous part was they had not sent a check to pay the mortgage or his cars in many months, they were having financial troubles. I thought it was ridiculous since I would never expect them to pay for anything. My husband was already working and in his mide twenties. It still made my husband feel like crap though.

jennylinftw's avatar

@JLeslie my boyfriend is in computer science and also does IT stuff. He is very well educated and loves to learn constantly! Like I said, if my parents just gave him a chance with an open mind…they would like him. But, I know in my world that will not likely happen.

My parents are very stuck in their ways and there’s nothing anyone can do to change it. Only I can change and control my feelings and actions.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@jennylinftw Ohhhhh, okay. Well, when you raise a child as an American, you have to expect them to act American. I moved out at age 17, converted to Catholicism against my family’s wishes, and didn’t care what anyone thought. :)

jennylinftw's avatar

@JLeslie and @KNOWITALL

my parents physically abused almost every day from elementary school to middle school. I even ended up in foster care for a week because of it. Mainly my mom was the abuser. Shed lock me in her closet with no food or water for hours at a time.

My dad abused me only a few times. but, as I stated before this was a VERY long ti me ago and there hasn’t been any in the past recent years. Obviously because I’m older…but whem situations get bad enough..I’m always afraid it will get to that point again ans THAT is why I’m so hesitant.

jennylinftw's avatar

@KNOWITALL did you move out against their wishes as well?

JLeslie's avatar

It doesn’t matter how old you get, there will always be a dynamic of your parents not agreeing with something you do. The hope is eventually they don’t have the energy or will to try to stop you or change your mind. Once they see you living independently it will all settle down I think.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@jennylinftw Yes, and it was the best thing for me at the time, I grew up before I should have.
My mother drank too much and was bi-polar (not diagnosed then), and so was very difficult to live with, and I just wanted calm space and structure. She did get a little abusive when drunk, too.

jennylinftw's avatar

@KNOWITALL What about your dad? How did you make it as such a young age?

jerv's avatar

Sorry it took so long to get back…

My wife and I moved in with her folks to help them financially, but her mother-in-law fought us every step of the way. We couldn’t cut down on the $400/month gas bill because parrots are tropical birds so the thermostat had to be set at 85F; things like that. Things piled up,then one day my wife had enough of humoring her mother. My mother-in-law started yelling at my father-in-law for something stupid, my wife came to his defense, and we were kicked out of the house at 2AM. It took a little police involvement and a borrowed truck to get our stuff (including our 5 cats) back.

That was almost a decade ago. My wife hasn’t talked to any of her family since; barely even mentions them. I’ve had just enough contact with her aunt and one of her cousins to know that Momster has made my wife out to be the villain, but they know the truth; it’s no secret in that family that my mother-in-law is mentally ill.

For my side, my father was physically abusive towards my mother and I. When I was 4, she kicked him out of the house at gunpoint. The police thought it suspicious that our house burnt down a couple weeks later, but couldn’t prove anything. I had no contact with him until a couple of years ago when the VA hospital called to inform me he was on his deathbed. His lungs were shot (Agent Orange from his service in Vietnam) so I did all the talking. He didn’t live long enough for me to give him a second call. Shortly afterwards, I met aunts, uncles, and cousins I didn’t know existed via Facebook, but since they weren’t around for nearly 4 decades, it’s a little hard to think of them as family.

So I had a father I never really knew, and the wife and I have been disowned by her family, but we’re okay with that. We have our own lives, and have been doing just fine without our families.

jennylinftw's avatar

@jerv so if I need to call the police to help me; I need to do that?

My parents want it their way or the highway. In their mind they “own” me andthat I owe them in return for everyrjinf theyve done.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@jennylinftw They do not own you. That went out in 1865 or so with Amancipation. You are your own person.

jennylinftw's avatar

@JLeslie my parents have always told me that I owe them for my life. That because they provided for me and such, I owe them in return for what theyve done. Thats also why there’s all that “shame”.

They’ll probably burn the bridge themselves because they will have a hard time accepting the fact alone that I chose to be with someone who isn’t asian

Adagio's avatar

You are a 22 year old woman, an adult, your parents will always be your parents but you are an adult now, and have been for several years, you must live your own life, direct your own life, make your own decisions.

jerv's avatar

Well, when somebody changes the locks on you and won’t let you in while all of your stuff is there, things are a little different.

As for you owing them for your life, that card is so old and worn out that they should be ashamed for pulling it. At best, it’s a desperation move because they have no valid reason for you to respect them. If your folks cannot adapt, then they will suffer the same fate as many species the went extinct… and they may well try to drag you down with them.

Leave, don’t look back, and don’t waste time shedding tears on people who really don’t care about you. To them, you are not a person, merely a copy of their DNA. If you let them, you will be their slave and puppet until you die. Unless you are ready to resign yourself to a lifetime of being a non-person, your only hope is to walk away.

jennylinftw's avatar

@Adagio and that there in lies the problem with my parents. MOST of my decisions that I make on my own that are pretty serious (I.E. job, school, dating, etc)... they’ve always wanted it their way. Granted, like any other parents, they just want me to get into a field that will pay well and where I won’t be poor. They just say “no” to practically everything or they just don’t say anything and down the line just bash me down.

@jerv I fully understand that my parents want what any parents want for their child. To find a good job and be able to support themselves and maybe/hopefully find a good man to start a family with, etc. But, they’re SO negative about everything and have SO many negative views on life to the point that their visions/views of where I should be NOW or even later are pretty much set in their minds.

They tell me things like, “you should have this and this by now” or “you need to go into this field because it pays better”. And, if go against it or have a different opinion… it’s blasphemy and they get angry or start trying to yell to get their point across.

jerv's avatar

So long as you keep thinking that that is what they want, you’re doomed.

They want control, pure and simple…. and you’re martyring yourself to give them your puppet strings to jerk you around.

I’ve dealt with that particular type of crazy before.

Twice.

Learn from my misfortune and you might find yourself where I am now; happily married with a decent-paying career despite taking charge of your own life. So, whose happiness do you care about more; your’s, or an overbearing puppeteer?

jennylinftw's avatar

@jerv, @JLeslie, @KNOWITALL

So basically you’re saying to move out even though my parents are going to be ‘hurt’ by it and ‘suffer’? Not that I’m not agreeing with you… I’m just getting a confirmed opinion for guidance.

JLeslie's avatar

@jennylinftw My opinion is absolutely move out. However, I might differ from some jellies in that I don’t think you should completely cut off from them if there is some huge scene of screaming and yelling and crying. Your parents love you. Part of them being against this is their culture and their own fears for you. Their intentions are good. Their delivery sucks, and some of their fears are probably misplaced. Don’t hate them for it. It sounds like you have been able to see and date your boyfriend, so it isn’t like your parents have locked you in the attic. Family is important. God forbid, if something bad happened to you, they (your parents or sister) will most likely be the one to take you in, help you get back on your feet. They will worry about your pain when you go through a hard time. Hopefully, your SO will always be by your side also, but anything can happen. As you get older you likely will feel more of an obligation towards your parents! Even understand them better. If everything eventually smooths out and you are happy in your life and your parents come to accept your SO you will feel you “owe” them probably. Everything you say about your boyfriend makes me think he feels like he will always take care of his parents if they need help, and most likely he will want to do the same for your parents if the situation eventually gets better.

I really really think you are in the height of the craziness of moving out and the end of adolescence and this is almost always a harried time for people. It is very stressful on everyone.

Just that you are still worried they will be hurt and you are not looking for the apartment until after the Sunday conversation makes me think you are still holding out hope they will approve OR hoping they will be horrible so you can feel ok about leaving and blame them for being awful. You are setting them up with a test in a way to make yourself feel ok about your actions. We all know they won’t be ok with it. My SIL sets that scenerio up every time she is going to make a major move. She creates a situation where she can talk about how awful her parents, husband, borther, right before she finally moves so there is in her mind a clear and final straw.

jerv's avatar

That’s what I’d do…. again.

Your situation is different from mine in that it may actually be possible to have a relationship of some sort with them in the future, but only if there is some reason for them to think about what they have done and repent. (In both cases, my issues were certifiable mental illness; I’m assuming your parents are at least clinically sane.)

jennylinftw's avatar

@JLeslie I don’t want want to burn that bridge and I still want a relationship with them, but that isn’t on me! They’re the ones who made threats of disowning me and have stated themselves that if I stayed with him; they wouldn’t want to be a part of my life. And, of course I need to prepare for ALL outcomes (I.E. something going terribly wrong)... Life is life and shit happens. I believe in family 100 percent, yes, which is why this is such a difficult decision because I do NOT want to burn the bridges between my parents… but, what if THEY do?! What do I do after the fact I’ve moved out? Do I call them every day in hopes they’ll still want to fix/maintain a relationship with me? These are all things I run through my head.

@jerv By have a relationship of some sort in the future…are you referring to MY parents or YOUR parents?

And, to be quite honest, my parents don’t believe in psychology..so therefore they don’t believe in mental illnesses.

JLeslie's avatar

@jennylinftw I don’t believe you want to burn bridges, I think you want to feel better about your decision to leave. It’s completely understandable.

Do NOT call them every day. Your relationship with your parents has the best chance of balancing out if you take your power as an adult and stand strong. It is much like when a girl ignores a boy the boy wants her more, that sort of thing. Not that I think it is a game, I am just talking about the realities of the psychology. Once you are settled in your new place you can invite them over, and hopefully they will come. If they don’t, you can try again when you have friends and family over for a small get together or Christmas, or whatever. You can invite your mom to go shopping, or whatever things you used to have fun doing with her. They will choose to ostracize you or not. It’s hard for me to believe they will completely cut you off, but I don’t know them well.

jennylinftw's avatar

@JLeslie Quick question: I’m going to let me parents know that he WOULD LIKE to speak to them and he said that if they say no and that they don’t want to…he will show up on Sunday anyway (Knocking on the door) and ask if he could have a moment of their time to speak to them. We’re obviously still going to go through with the move, but if he doesn’t get a chance to speak to them…do I just tell them that I’m going to move out with him WITHOUT him there? I don’t know how well either situation will go over.

Again, I feel much better if I tell them CLOSER to move in date where AFTER we’ve met and such or attempted to meet… him and I will pick out the place, sign the papers, and then I will just come home one day and tell them I’m moving out and that I’ve already signed the papers? Is there a better way in telling them if I don’t get a chance to tell them with or without my boyfriend?

JLeslie's avatar

@jennylinftw I really don’t know what is best. I think it will all suck either way and no matter how you do it they will tell you you did it wrong. My suggestion was be ready to move out the day you tell them, but I understand why you don’t want to do it that way. That means to me that you are not extremely concerned about their temper, just don’t want to deal with the yelling and screaming. I took that as a positive.

jennylinftw's avatar

@JLeslie and I mean I would feel better as in IF my boyfriend isn’t able to communicate with my parents… I would feel much better telling them closer to move in date (if I have to do it on my own).

JLeslie's avatar

You are the only one who knows what you will be comfortable with, we can’t decide that for you.

jennylinftw's avatar

@JLeslie My friend told me today that if she were in my shoes; she would not give a crap if her parents did what my parents are doing. She said it wouldn’t really affect her or at all knowing they’re hurt by moving out and stated that “if they’re not going to uplift you or be supportive or positive about your decisions…I’d get out because it’s like a sinking ship. Don’t you feel like they’re holding you down or sinking you down.”

That made me really think.

jennylinftw's avatar

@JLeslie She also stated that my parents were the ones that needed to grow up a little bit because we live in the 21st century and in America. She said if they can’t accept it, then that’s not on me.

gailcalled's avatar

@jennylinftw: You do have some very difficult and life-changing decisions to make, but I caution you to be careful about taking advice from strangers here. They mean well, but their admonitions should be taken as just that. If someone here says, “Absolutely do this or do that,” tread cautiously.

I wish you and your young man good luck.

JLeslie's avatar

@jennylinftw You are obviously having a difficult time leaving them and causing them pain. That’s a good thing. Caring about their happiness is good, it shows you are a compassionate and empathetic person, but you can’t do it at the sacrifice of your own life. Most of us go through a balancing act of doing what we want to do and making sure the people we love are happy and cared for.

Listen to @gailcalled, she is right. Only you really know the people you are dealing with and anything anyone said about what they would do is what they would do and not necessarily the right thing for you. We all have our own experiences in our own lives that we are drawing from and they may or may not actually be relevant to your specific situation.

Let us know how it goes.

jennylinftw's avatar

@JLeslie Yes, my sister always told me I’ve always been TOO caring and TOO much of a people pleaser because I’m like that at work sometimes too. I’ve asked several of my friends though too, and they’ve pretty much said the same thing. That I should do what I want because I’m an adult and have the right to make my own decisions and follow through with them.

JLeslie's avatar

My hope is your parents wind up happier too once it is all said and done. That a lot of the strife between you and them calms down. No way to predict the future. I feel like you carry the burden of making them happy and that is an unfair burden parents sometimes put on us. Of course parents find happiness and joy with their children, but when a child knows the parent is almost dependent on them for happiness it is very difficult. Knowing our parents are happy when we are not around is very freeing, it gives us permission to strike out on our own, and a lot of parents don’t understand this. Add in some cultures don’t really think that way. Each way of thinking has its disadvantages and advantages. I’m not saying one culture is better than another.

jennylinftw's avatar

@JLeslie My situation could be a lot worse. I try to tell myself that. There are a lot more worse things in the world than dealing with something like this. Aren’t there? Ha

JLeslie's avatar

Who knows, it might wind up being a relief for your parents. I have a girlfriend who has done a real number on her kids causing them to feel like they need to continue to stay at home. She doesn’t see it. It is clear as day to me. She has actually told me she wants her older son to move out, and I would bet lots of money he feels she will be devastated when he leaves.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@jennylinftw My bio-dad was never in my life, I’ve met him twice for court proceedings and he lives ten minutes from my house now, there’s a story there.

I survived by getting away from my mother as soon as I could and doing the opposite of her with my life. We are close now, after she stopped drinking and got therapy, etc…and she’s apologized for everything.

Anytime abuse is involved, whether it’s mental or physical, you have to seperate yourself and get some distance to be healthy and establish your identity and boundaries with them.

Personally, I’d rather see you move out on your own, gain some independence and confidence, and evaluate your ability to function alone.

There’s something to be said for/ gained by, living by yourself for awhile before joining your life with a life partner. Going out with the girls and no one waiting for you, spending a rainy day reading a book, seeing a lecture, or researching something you love. I relished my time alone, learned some Cherokee, wrote some poetry, just did some self-evaluation, and since age 24 I haven’t been alone for more than a week or so at a time, I just don’t want you to miss out on some of that self-discovery.

bolwerk's avatar

The OP’s parents sound toxic and should be avoided. This doesn’t sound like a toxicity brought on by drugs or social problems either, but rather cultural hangups. Tradtitional Chinese at times are pretty culturally insular; their offspring in the west often don’t follow that path.

I’d say: get the best job you can somewhere, preferably not very close to them. Keep an open line to them, but don’t depend on them and don’t try to please them. You’re 22, so you’re old enough to go your own way but should expect you’ll have other boyfriends in the future. Try not to depend on the one you have now.

JLeslie's avatar

Other boyfriends? WTH? Where did that come from?

jennylinftw's avatar

@bolwerk my boyfriend and I plan to hopefully get married within the next year or two! We are both still young and are not trying to rush into anything like that just yet. But, it is all a part of the plan!

@bolwerk my parents have always tried to provide for me and when I’ve mentioned moving out before (just on my own); I got A LOT of negative e backlash from them saying I can’t do it and they’d say I’m ungrateful for wanting to move out. Then, when I try to communicate with them calmly about how I’ll still do it.. They start saying things like,“we will pay for everything! You don’t have to move out. Is it so horrible here?” So not only do I deal with negative backlash; I also deal with them emotionally guilting me or trying to make me feel like a bad or horrible person for wanting to move out.

@JLeslie I am trying to take everyone’s advice as much as i can with my parents but there is a level of unpredictablity with how they’ll react. They’re unpredictable in that way and that’s why it is a little more difficult. If I knew 100% how they’d react, I think I’d know exactly how to handle it.

@bolwerk & @JLeslie
I don’t know if they’ll get mad on the spot and even get physical/violent or if they’re just going to yell at the top of their lungs or if their going to just sit there in sadness and blow up later. They’re emotions and rational thoughts are not the most stable.

I say this because my dad will BLOW UP and throw shit around the house over something so small as too much dog hair on the floor OR he’ll be completely calm after finding out something huge.

jennylinftw's avatar

@bolwerk at this point, I FULLY understand what point you’re trying to make and appreciate that advice! However, financially (future wise); it would be much better for me if I did move out with someone. Like @JLeslie stated..but all my friends or people I could live with already are on their own or parents are supportive of them.

@KNOWITALL trust in when I say, even though I am moving out with my boyfriend, I will still be able to have that self discovery experience because I won’t have anyone holding me back! And, by that I mean my parents.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie I completely agree with @bolwerk on that actually.

He sounds nice and everything, but she’s 22 and they’ve been together 4 years so that’s age 19–22, and unless she dated a lot in school, she’s not got enough life experience to even compare him to other men at this point.

Everybody knows the statistics on divorce in America, add in the cultural/race difference and family problems along with youth in general, we just don’t want ‘Jenny’ being another young person who married too young.

@jenny It’s a whole different dynamic living with a partner than living alone. You consider his needs, and desires, in regards to what you do, who you have over, all of it.

jennylinftw's avatar

@KNOWITALL I have had 5 boyfriends prior to my current one and I will tell you with my entire heart that he is MUCH better than anyone I’ve been with by the 50x. My ex used me and I was stupid and fell for his tricks. My ex before that was physically abusive. I know I’m sti young and yes things can definitely happen…However, my Bf and I have been through hell and back and probably again. He’s always been supportive, loving, caring, understanding to me our entire relationship. He’s been there even when I thought he should leave. But, he’s stayed by my side through everything.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@jennylinftw Do you, girl, it’s your world. I wish you the best. :)

JLeslie's avatar

Short story. When I graduated college I moved back home initially. My dad was the one who pushed me to go away to school. Partly to get me away from my boyfriend at the time and partly because he was afraid I wasn’t going to get a college degree. While I was away at school my boyfriend and I did break up. I was a mess, but eventually was doing better. I graduate, move home, and being back at home I become a complete mess again. Crying every day, it’s really bad. I decide I am going to move to Florida. My dad tells me not to. He tells me he doesn’t think I should, that he doesn’t think I can do it. My friends are encouraging me to go. Thank God my mom said, “just go, and if it doesn’t work out you can always come back.” My dad says now that he just meant I was so upset and deoressed he thought it was a bad time for me. He still to this day fails to see that staying there was what would have kept me upset. However, he never was saying I had to stay, and it did feel to me like he was saying that.

My point is, sometimes it can be a miscommunication between parents and kids, as children, even adult children, we perceive our parents as trying to control us, and often it comes across as them not trusting us to make good decisions. That isn’t always the case though. That isn’t always their intent.

That is probably part of the reason your dad is hard to predict, you don’t really understand what he worries about and what his expectations are. Add in the “Irish” and it all seems very unpredictable and volatile.

Maybe he has been expecting this is coming. I don’t see how any parents couldn’t predict it might happen. Except for the cultural thing.

@KNOWITALL She isn’t 17. As far as divorce stats, they aren’t that horrific. Something like 70% of first marriage stay together, the 50% stat is never broken down just thrown around. The OP is not planning on getting married right away anyway. The biggest worry I have for their relationship is that the relationship is what is finally getting the OP out of her parents home, that can be a negative. It isn’t uncommon to “use” people to help us move to where we want to be. Use is a bad word, because I don’t feel people purposely use each other usually, some do, But we have people in our lives at certain points that help us through this.

As far as I can tell, the OP and her boyfriend seem very committed to each other, responsible, care about trying to do the right thing, and love each other. So far so good. I see no reason not to have confidence they have a good shot at making it. It isn’t part of the Q anyway to say she will go on to have more boyfriends. Not that I mind, I go off on tangents all the time. I just thought it was out of nowhere.

bolwerk's avatar

@jennylinftw: I didn’t say not to move in with your boyfriend, but do try to make sure you can move out if it doesn’t work. Try to have your own money and be your own person. If you can, do this before you leave your parents.

As for marriage, well, that’s your call, but I happen to think if people marry they should be prepared for the contingencies like a divorce.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie I wouldn’t recommend it to my niece/family, so I’m not going to encourage Jenny, sorry.

Sometimes when you brush abuse under the rug and just move on, it comes back to bite you in the butt. If I were her guy, I’d encourage her to live alone for a year, get some therapy for the abuse and mediation with her parents. Get her healthy before making her my wife and mother of my children. God forbid she’s a parent like she describes her own.

jennylinftw's avatar

@bolwerk I am definitely in no rush for marriage at the moment, but if I do get married it won’t be until I’m much older. I myself have reserves about marriage, but with my boyfriend right now we’ve openly talked about it and will plan for it accordingly and such.

@JLeslie I REALLY wish/hope that that is the case with my parents, but from previous experience it has gone both ways. I completely understand their fears, but is it right for them to hold me back because they have fears?

JLeslie's avatar

@jennylinftw You are in control, they have no real hold over you. The hold is all on your mind. Since you are financially independent you are all set. Like I said above it makes you a good person that you care about them and don’t want to hurt them, but they really cannot control you once you leave. The one risk is if you think they actually will physically harm you. If it gets physical at all get out of there.

jennylinftw's avatar

@KNOWITALL i’ve already had counseling and therapy for the abuse! My parents do NOT believe in that therapy/psychology stuff AT ALL. They think it’s nonsense and made up. I’ve gotten therapy and counseling on my own already. And, I will also promise you I am NOTHING like my parents. That’s why I’m not SUPER close to them. I go to work, come home, maybe eat, then wind down from work with watching tv, reading, or whatever activity. @JLeslie I will casually tell them about my day and ask them how their day went and that’s it. That is the MOST interaction I really have with my parents.

@bolwerk I definitely have a back up in case hell happens. I’m 100 percent prepared for that.

jennylinftw's avatar

@JLeslie The situation can definitely get to that point and I REALLY hope to God that doesn’t happen because that is my ultimate fear. But, like I stated before… there’s a LOT of unpredictability with the situation because they’re not the most rational people I know (I.E. my dad throwing shit all over the house and yelling at the top of his lung whilst turning bright red JUST because there’s fur on the floor).

jennylinftw's avatar

@KNOWITALL, @JLeslie, @bolwerk, @jerv

I would just like to clarify that the MAIN reason and really ONLY reason I sound hesitant or scared IS because of the fact that there is physical abuse history there. And, if they’re not physically abusive; they are verbally and emotionally abusive. I’m not trying to say they’re the worst parents in the world at all. I appreciate everything they’ve done for me and tried to do for me, but like @JLeslie said it is their delivery that really sucks.

If there wasn’t any physical abuse AT ALL, I probably wouldn’t have posted on here asking for advice or guidance, but unfortunately I’m on that boat. If I have to call in a police escort, I will do that because AT THE END OF THE DAY… I will do exactly what it takes to move out. There’s just a lot of factors that I’m having to deal with!

JLeslie's avatar

@jennylinftw If the slightest physical thing happens promise you will leave. You have to have your boyfriend promise too. He can’t fight back physically in the name of defending you or himself, you guys just need to run.

If it were me, I would prepare myself for the screaming and let him scream until he is tired. But, that“s me, that is not advice. My sister would never do that, she would leave, which with my father would make him even more angry. Her silence and willingness to disengage is like abuse for him. Maybe just agree with your dad if he flips out. How awful and disrespectful you are and since you are such a horrible child you won’t disgrace their doorstep anymore. Not advice again, just thinking out loud how to stop him in his tracks. My dad fights because he wants the interaction. He is needy and lonely and as long as we are fighting I am still there “talking” to him. It is a way that he keeps me engaged if I let him. Will they be screaming in Chinese? Will your boyfriend even understand what is being said?

jennylinftw's avatar

@JLeslie My boyfriend said he won’t get in the way at all. I told him if things did get to that point, I will immediately call the police and ask for a safe escort. If you’re regarding the meeting, I don’t think that will be as bad until AFTER he leaves. I probably won’t hear the end of it until I’ve actually packed all my stuff and move out. I can also say that they’ll MORE than likely try to get my sister involved so I’ll probably hear from her at some point.

My sister has always sided with my parents. OCCASIONALLY, she’ll side with me, but she’ll try to come to a compromise with my parents, but inevitably that ‘compromise’ will mean/lead to me not moving out and that is what I don’t want. My sister has AND probably will pull a card saying, “Mom can’t sleep at all at night and she’s been crying every single night. You should just stay home.” Basically, her advice would be that BECAUSE my parents are “hurt” and “suffering” by it…I shouldn’t move out.

@JLeslie I think some Chinese will be used in front of him, but I might just tell them to not speak Chinese in front of him or just reply back in English anyway. If I’m going to be with my man for the rest of my life; he has to know the truth too.

I think I’m just going to have to prepare for all outcomes and act accordingly. My main focus is A) Not to get rattled and not to yell or try to make a point B) make it clear that I’m making this decision NO MATTER WHAT & apologize relentlessly if they are hurt by it & tell them I’d still want them as a part of my life (I.E. so they can visit and such).

I really need to just focus on staying calm, not getting emotional, and being resilient in this. If they get angry or start getting hostile, I will have to tell them that this move IS NOT to hurt them, but to grow. If they can’t accept that, then that’s on them.

JLeslie's avatar

@jennylinftw I have been in your sister’s spot. Try not to be angry with her. You can tell her you won’t speak to her about it and you are sorry your parents have put her in the middle. This means you cannot use her to try to defend you either. You can’t ask her to talk to your parents for you. Let her be able to say, “Jenny won’t talk to me about it.” That’s my opinion anyway.

jennylinftw's avatar

@JLeslie This time around I’m not going to let that happen. If she asks me about it, I’m just going to tell her that I need to do this for myself and there’s nothing going to stop me.

jennylinftw's avatar

@JLeslie
She shouldn’t be in the middle of it!

Adagio's avatar

@jennylinftw ”…that there in lies the problem with my parents. MOST of my decisions that I make on my own that are pretty serious (I.E. job, school, dating, etc)... they’ve always wanted it their way. Granted, like any other parents, they just want me to get into a field that will pay well and where I won’t be poor. They just say “no” to practically everything or they just don’t say anything and down the line just bash me down.”

May I be as bold as to say, there in lies the problem… Hold your own, you are the only one who can bring about the changes in your life you are seeking. I wish you nothing but success, in all life’s endeavours.

jerv's avatar

Verbal/emotional abuse is impossible if they can’t contact you. My wife and I now live ~2500 miles away, and while they have my phone number and our address, it’s trivially easy to screen calls and mail, and they have no direct way to contact my wife. (My mother-in-law’s issues are strictly with my “ungrateful, disobedient” wife. She knows she has no power over me, so she doesn’t even try.)

Physical abuse is even harder when they don’t know where you are and/or have any respect for restraining orders. But in your case, I think that simply moving out will suffice; I don’t think they’ll hunt you down the way a PTSD-stricken Vietnam vet who is off their meds would. You really shouldn’t

In both cases though, leaving is the hardest part. There will be plenty of fear over “what if…?”, but those fears are largely unfounded except in those cases where you are dealing with those that are literally criminally insane. How many times have the police been over to your house looking for guns and drugs, or hauling your folks away for something they did outside the home? If the answer is zero, then you have less to worry about than my mother and I did. We came out okay, and we were in a lot worse situation than you are, so you’ll be fine.

jennylinftw's avatar

Thanks everyone for all your responses!

jennylinftw's avatar

@jerv, @JLeslie, @KNOWITALL, @Adagio

Tables have turned. My dad is being somewhat supportive Nd is willing to meet with my boyfriend. He had went onto say that this is a real life situation and he obviously can’t stop us from being together; but, wants us to be prepared for all shit that can happen in life like rainy days. He even very briefly mentioned an “engagment” party if it came down to it which came as a huge shock to me.

I made it very clear to my mom that this meeting is to clear the air and it doesn’t seem like she really understands or cares. (My mother is the most stubborn person I have in my life and also the biggest grudge holder.) So, before she leaves for this meeting soon… She keeps saying ,“what is he going to ask me?” I’ve told her multiple times “It is to straighten things out. Clear the air.” And, in her stubborn mind, she thinks this meeting is for him to ask if I can move out with him.

I haven’t told my mom exactly when I plan to move out, but I have told her I am 100% considering it and if I choose that; it will be MY decision to live with. My sister is aware of the time length and says she supports me, but thinks I shouldn’t because I shouldn’t hurt our parents.

My dad was surprisingly the most calm, though I’m still prepared because it could be the calm before the storm.

I understand where their concerns are and I appreciated everything my dad has said to me about life and its woes, but my mom just compares me to other people and repeats back to me all my past failures.

What’s everyone’s advice on what I should do pending the meeting does NOT go well? I know @JLeslie said to still stand my ground and move out.

Also, if nothing happens and it is still the same, just with more knowledge of who is as a person.

JLeslie's avatar

That sounds really good everything considered. What comes to my mind is do you want to move in with your boyfriend or not? Most people make a change either moving towards something they want or away from a painful situation. Don’t move in with your boyfriend if you aren’t ready. Although, I still hold I think it is good for 20 somethings to move out of their parents home. You still can have the option of moving in with girlfriends if you aren’t ready to live with your boyfriend.

Seems like the meeting doesn’t need in depth. Maybe your boyfriend can just apologize for the bad start and say family is important to him and he hopes in the future everyone can get to know each other better, including his family and your family etc. I would avoid discussing details and hopefully just have a good tone with the whole thing. I don’t understand why your mom thinks he is going to ask her something?

jennylinftw's avatar

@JLeslie
Oh yes!! I do absolutely want to find a place with him 200%. I’m not doing it to get away from a painful situation, although it is part of it, I REALLY want and need this.

Well when I initially tried talking to my mom about him wanting to try to make amends again… The subject of moving out came up first so in her mind she thinks/thought that that’s what the meeting would be about. But, the meeting is NOT about permission or asking or moving out. It was about finally trying to come to an OK place. It is about clearing everything and like you said @JLeslie to be able to have a clear conscience and know we at least tried to amend it all.

jennylinftw's avatar

@JLeslie
Mind you this meeting is going on as we speak… The three of them are at a restaurant and they have been there for nearly 3 hours now.

JLeslie's avatar

Wait. What? You aren’t there with them?

jennylinftw's avatar

@JLeslie GREAT NEWS!! They’ve accepted him and like who he is. In fact, I think they like him more than they like me. Really… But, they finally got to see who he really is and him going at it alone was good.

My dad said I have his support and as long he takes good care of me and provides for me… He’d walk me down the aisle!!!! Just a little change, put in a lot lot lot of hard work, and we are going to get there. :)

Thank you everyone.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@jennylinftw Wow, shocker! I didn’t realize he was going without you either, that takes some courage, good for him. So all is well, congratulations.

jennylinftw's avatar

@KNOWITALL I know. It was a last minute decision because my parents wanted to meet him alone and thought it would be better.

He really impressed them and I’m SO happy.

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