Counseling/Overbearing Parents / Grandma
Hello. First of all, thank you for your time in reading and responding to my inquiry.
A little background...
- I am a 33 yr old widow (husband died 4 years ago, but was deported 6 years ago) and mother of 2 (girl age 13, boy age 8). I live in my grandmother's house. At some point after my husband passed, she told me she wanted me to live there rent free. I pay the taxes and all other expenses on the house. I have not really dated anyone since my husband passed, with the exception of my current boyfriend.
- My parents are very religious in that they go to church weekly, and volunteer on a weekly basis for various programs/ministries. I am close with them, seeing them at least once a week, and usually attend the same church as well, but don't often confide in them about anything I think they will disagree with. This is because they (and often my grandmother as well) have a history of what I consider to be harsh, intrusive judgments of me, my life and my parenting. A few examples:
-- The first time they found out I had sex, I was cornered in their room and literally yelled at for about an hour
-- Grandmother showed up at my apartment unannounced to inspect (or what looked like inspecting) my living situation with my boyfriend (later husband), and was very rude & cold
-- Grandmother & parents disapproved of me letting my daughter (1-11yr old) read Harry Potter. They not only talked to me about it, but did so in front of my daughter and to my daughter when I wasn't around about the books being "evil". My dad even threatened to burn them once. They argued with me and my daughter about it anytime it came up. It got to the point that my daughter was convinced the books had demons in them and I actually had to get rid of them because she was hysterical.
I don't know whether it's because of their reactions, my personality or both, but I am a very private person when it comes to my dating life. I've never been one to casually date anyone either.
Anyway, that's the backstory (sorry so long). Now for the present issue. I started dating someone back in Oct 2014 and we have moved in together. He has a daughter around my son's age (she visits every other weekend & once every week) and is a great father. We are all getting along great, he's great with my kids as well - of course there are the normal issues that arise when joining families, living together in general, and some extra emotions you might expect from my children (refreshed grief over loss of their father), but nothing major.
I didn't tell anyone in my family about him moving in, but they've met him, seem to like him and have had him over for a few family dinners. My mom and Grandma even hugged him warmly last time they saw him for dinner.
Anyway, I definitely thought about telling them, but have absolutely no trust in them to treat me / my boyfriend like adults about it and just agree to disagree.
Well, possibly through my sister who visited for dinner recently, my mom may've found out. I texted her to see if they had any plans for Memorial Day, but instead of answering, she responded with "Are you & Jason* living together?" I didn't answer because I felt like my honest answer would result in drama / an argument. It's been a couple of days & I still haven't responded. Yesterday & last night she followed up w/ "I guess that's a yes?"...and then "?".
I know that I may seem immature for not responding and for not telling them in the first place, but I just don't know how to deal with them without a blowup like in the past. I care about their opinion of and relationship with me, but I am just so tired of the drama that happens anytime they don't agree w/my decisions. I want to respond in a way that will be honest, direct, and hopefully shut down any or at least most of the arguing and drama.
As a side note, my boyfriend made it clear (well before this text ever came up) that he loves me and wants to make a life together and marry me. I feel the same. He has for some time wanted to discuss his intentions with my parents, but doesn't think it's a good idea to do so until they have made at least some sort of peace w/the fact that we are living together. I agree completely. We had considered going to them together in the past (I am the reason we didn't though). I am not just scared about how they will treat me in this situation, but him as well.
Your advice is very much appreciated.
Your fear seems to be about what your significant others might think about your choices I know parents mean well. in addition, I know we love them. There comes a time when we must realize that the choices we make might not be ones that our parents like. We have to decide if we are going to subordinate our lives to theirs, or bravely live our lives the way we best see it. I think that is where you are. You've got to make a choice as to whether you will decide to live your own life.
You are also dealing with feelings surrounding this choice and the whole episode. Keep in mind, feelings motivate. If you need help with this, Let me know.