After dating for two months, I introduced my boyfriend to my parents and they loved him.
He then wanted to introduce me to his parents though he thought they’d disapprove. My parents and I are atheists despite coming from a Muslim background. He's also an atheist but his parents are devoutly Muslim.
He didn’t want to keep lying to them. But I knew that they’d pressure him to break up with me. I decided to pretend to be Muslim. He said he was fine with that.
We’re both university students. He pays his own tuition and transportation through working and government assistance. Since he lives with his parents, they have a lot of power over him.
My mother coached me on how to dress and act. Her advice was to do as she did with her own parents. Pretending to be Muslim for as long as she needed, then cutting off all ties with them.
My plan’s worked so far, but his mother is becoming more needy.
My boyfriend’s curfew becomes increasingly earlier. When I visited his house unplanned, wearing a tank top, she criticized me.
When I planned a day-trip with him taking me to my hometown for my two-year-old cousin’s birthday, she wouldn’t allow him to leave because this event was “unimportant.”
Did she think they’d be serving alcohol during a two-year-old’s celebration? It seems she’s just trying to restrict my lifestyle more and more.
I’m unsure I can hold out until my boyfriend moves out (up to five years). Or, that he’ll be willing to “cut off all ties” as my mother suggests.
Is sucking it up my only option here?
Your mother’s encouragement of lying and cutting ties with family is wrong-headed.
That was her choice, in her time, in those particular circumstances.
Your boyfriend needs to be his own man. He didn’t like lying to his parents. You talked him into your deceit. His mother recognizes that all is not as you present it.
When she finally learns the truth, you’ll appear to her as the worst possible choice for her son.
Contemplating five years more of you two being dishonest, while disrespecting her religious beliefs, is a set-up for devastating battles between parents and son, and likely a breakup between you two.
If you’re still seeing each other while he lives at home, honour his parents’ rules.
If they become too restrictive, it’s up to him to decide his response as their son.
I’m 56, female, single, have a good professional gig. My parents are now in assisted-living 100 miles away. I have power of attorney (POA) for them.
Visits are difficult and draining. I look after their finances and their house. My siblings live further away but do what they can.
I’ve battled depression all my life. Now, it seems there’s no end.
I see my doctor, a prescribing psychiatrist, a therapist and sometimes a minister.
Adjusting to meds is a challenge – from causing anxiety symptoms, to suicidal thoughts.
I have a sympathetic work manager and a flexible schedule.
Yet I have trouble leaving the house for work and can’t concentrate once there.
Should I keep working, take long-term sick leave, or early retirement?
Is There A Solution?
Stay with your medical/therapy team, get the meds adjusted, and seek a support group regarding depression issues of aging/parental loss. Your therapist should help you with the latter.
Long-term sick leave might be the most practical choice, but check with your employer.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding responding to someone’s tragic loss:
“A coworker of mine died suddenly, at 38. I’d only met his wife a few times.
“I wanted to express condolences with more than an email or card, because she’s been left alone with two children, ages seven and five.
“I’d never dealt with such a young death. When I called her, my voice was shaking. I said I’d like to help any way I can – I’d take her kids to play with mine, make meals, whatever.
“She said she’d been overwhelmed by visitors, flowers, emails, and some desserts to serve, but mine was the most practical offer, very appreciated.
“I took her children home to play with mine on several days during that first month. Now their friendships are solid.
“Also, I brought several whole meals that could be kept refrigerated for a couple of days and some that could be frozen, which eased her chores. We’ve stayed connected.”
Tip of the day:
Dishonesty and disrespect don’t solve family problems; they make them worse.