Author Topic: Love Hate Relationship w/ Parents  (Read 8382 times)

jeromedawg

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Love Hate Relationship w/ Parents
« on: April 20, 2015, 03:59:05 PM »
Oh I'm sure this isn't a revelation to many of you... I love my parents but absolutely hate it when they 'overstep' especially because they tend to put their foot down about how right they are about unsolicited advice they just gave us.

Can any of you relate? It's super-frustrating. I mean, I appreciate what they do (of course, I can't express appreciation to them very well... I don't know what it is - embarrassment, shame, resenment...) but when it comes down to them doing stuff that just gets on our nerves, it's another story. My parents are pretty well off but are certainly anti-mustachian by most means, even though they claim to be "frugal" in lots of ways (e.g. my mom will often buy us lots of random crap that we usually don't need but that she found for "really cheap"). Her and my dad are pretty bad 'confined hoarders.' At this point, I think buying cheap crap (my dad has a recent fascination with the 99 cent store...) and especially travel is just an outlet for them. I really don't understand my mom when she says things along the lines of or implying "you guys really need to clean up in here" or "there's too much clutter" when she herself is part of the problem! But neither of my parents are ever quick to admit that they were wrong. My mom, being the teacher/administrator, always has an explanation for everything (and this explanation is always right). She often corrects my dad, who talks as much as she "explains" things - coupled together, it's like a non-stop talk radio show. Growing up I was never much of a talker, and still am that way (very introverted). When I have to sit around my parents, listening to them talk and explain things (and every little anecdote), it usually ends up frustrating me and giving me a headache.

I don't know, my wife tells me to speak to them in a more gentle tone and not to talk so accusingly towards them. But I think I just grew up talking to them this way, partly because of my second oldest brother who did the same thing growing up. It feels disrespectful but at the same time I think my parents just intentionally or unintentionally know how to push peoples' buttons. And they feed off of each other too. I don't know how to change the interaction with them and feel like it's the same thing over and over every time they visit. They'll do something to piss me (or my wife) off and then I *try* to let some things go but end up blowing up... because it's like every little thing they do adds up and just pushes me over the edge.

For instance, one of the things that really upset us this visit was them basically telling us how we are to rearrange all the furniture in our condo once the baby comes. My mom actually spent all this time measuring out and drawing out things. And another "suggestion" my dad has brought up and feels like he's been pushing is for us to meet his and my mom's financial advisor (who they've only been using for a few years at most now) and discussing all of our financial plans with her so we can make sure we're all set and good to go... this one I really wonder about, especially after practicing a more MMM type mentality. After disagreeing with them several times, it just escalated and blew up into a full on voices-raised argument. With my mom, it's always "no, you should do this" or "no, you should do it this way" if we don't agree with her on certain placement of furniture, and it never ends. With my dad, this is like the FOURTH or FIFTH time now that he's mentioned that we should talk to their financial advisor. First he gave us her phone number and let her know we might be interested. Fine, leave it at that...why follow-up with us and press the point for us to talk to her when you already did your part!?
I think when they have an idea in mind, even if it's not for them, it's always the best. I mean, I guess that's what most parents naturally do right? Look out for the "best" things? I'm sure there's going to be much more of this; especially as this is our first child, and my parents "have experience" helping raise our 4 nephews, they feel like they have the right of way here... I dunno, it feels like a total intrusion on space though. I get why they're being like this (also probably cause I'm the youngest) but they're so set in their ways it frustrates the heck outta me (and my wife).

My in-laws, on the other hand, are completely hands-off and we actually have to pursue them and find out on our own about their financial woes. They're appreciative when it comes time for us to help but they totally want for us not to be involved with them. I wonder if this would be different if they were much wealthier than they are and if they would act like my parents because they "know better." I'm just glad I have a wife who can keep me somewhat grounded.

The funny part is, after they leave and are gone, both my wife and I end up missing them... I really don't know how to explain it. How do you guys "deal" with your invasive/intrusive parents who "always know best"?
« Last Edit: April 20, 2015, 04:04:55 PM by jplee3 »

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Re: Love Hate Relationship w/ Parents
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2015, 04:07:06 PM »
I know I have read advice columns that do a better job of this than I possibly can, but I think you need a stock of non-responses such as "hmmm, that is interesting", "I'll keep that in mind", and "thanks for the concern". Then refuse to engage. Don't justify yourself or your decisions, don't open your decisions up for debate, don't look for approval from them for anything you do.

I'd also keep a mental list of other topics on hand so you can try to change the subject (weather, book you read, some television show, recent family gossip, whatever). Best of luck to you. This sounds like an utterly exhausting relationship.

jeromedawg

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Re: Love Hate Relationship w/ Parents
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2015, 04:17:04 PM »
I know I have read advice columns that do a better job of this than I possibly can, but I think you need a stock of non-responses such as "hmmm, that is interesting", "I'll keep that in mind", and "thanks for the concern". Then refuse to engage. Don't justify yourself or your decisions, don't open your decisions up for debate, don't look for approval from them for anything you do.

I'd also keep a mental list of other topics on hand so you can try to change the subject (weather, book you read, some television show, recent family gossip, whatever). Best of luck to you. This sounds like an utterly exhausting relationship.

Thanks, this is actually really great advice - kind of taking the 'passive' and less-engaging route and just simply saying things like "ok" and keeping as calm a voice as possible. I think my wife sort of does that, but man it's tiring to hear them bring things up and repeat them every time (especially if we haven't 'implemented' their solution). My wife half-jokingly thinks my dad repeats himself out of older age... I wouldn't be surprised. It's just really difficult talking to the kind of person who "does no wrong" - the sucky part is that I used to always look to my dad for some advice on financial stuff or even just general issues around the house etc. Usually, his "solutions" ends up being lackluster so I think I'm realizing more and more to not even ask him about it... I think a lot of people actually tend to dismiss what he says as trivial and unimportant. It sounds pretty sad but it's kind of the truth. Another pain-point for my wife is how he, especially, talks to her about her job and looking for part-time work once the baby is here. She hates work in general (or at least the kind of work she's doing now as an accountant) and we both agreed that it would be best for her to quit her job and to focus on the baby and just to see how that goes starting out. But my parents are over there trying to coerce her into thinking about finding part-time work after she quits - something where she can work from home and still be with the baby... good idea right? Of course it is, to them and to anyone else who isn't my wife and who it sounds like is a good idea...!

I was so tired last night after we had my cousin and his girlfriend come by. My parents were talking about them prior the visit and after the visit, and laid out all these scenarios about why they aren't married and what they should and shouldn't do about it (he should propose. she shouldn't be so attached to her parents...blahblahblah). While they were here they probably talked 99% of the time sharing random anecdotes... my cousin and his GF seemed to handle it okay but if they were around the entire week I bet they'd feel like how my wife and I feel now. I seriously feel like I'm hungover...
« Last Edit: April 20, 2015, 04:19:03 PM by jplee3 »

irishbear99

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Re: Love Hate Relationship w/ Parents
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2015, 04:18:44 PM »
I can completely relate to your frustration. Some parents have trouble relating to their adult children as adults and continue to try to "parent" them well past the age where that is needed or desired. Unfortunately, when our parents take on the authoritative parental role, the first instinct for many is to revert back to the "child" role in the relationship. When I was a younger adult, I would act out against this in very childish ways: silent treatment, lashing out, being passive aggressive. It took me a long time to realize that, by acting childish, I was leaving myself stuck in this unhealthy parent/child dynamic and actually perpetuating the problem.

Finally, I stopped acting like a child when they overstepped and started responding in an adult fashion. Namely, I started drawing and enforcing boundaries with them. When they'd start harping on something, after their first comment my response became, "Thanks for the suggestion." After the second comment, "Yes, you said that already." After the third, "I heard you; the topic is closed." And I would end conversations if they kept pushing. I no longer argue with them, and I no longer defend my choices or my life to them. I am an adult and do not need their permission or approval.

Keep in mind, this hasn't changed their behavior all that much. It has, however, changed mine. I no longer try to justify myself to my parents, I no longer enforce the unhealthy parent/child dynamic with my own actions, and I no longer get drawn into drama conversations that were so prevalent in my early adult years.

I would suggest you and your wife determine, both as individuals and as a couple, what your boundaries are with respect to your parents. And then work on enforcing those boundaries. You don't have to be harsh or mean; just be firm.

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Re: Love Hate Relationship w/ Parents
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2015, 04:28:40 PM »
My parents are pretty well off but are certainly anti-mustachian by most means, even though they claim to be "frugal" in lots of ways (e.g. my mom will often buy us lots of random crap that we usually don't need but that she found for "really cheap").

This.

"But they were 75% off!"      Is a 13th set of place mats necessary? Is 1 even necessary?!                  Sigh.

jeromedawg

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Re: Love Hate Relationship w/ Parents
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2015, 04:28:48 PM »
I can completely relate to your frustration. Some parents have trouble relating to their adult children as adults and continue to try to "parent" them well past the age where that is needed or desired. Unfortunately, when our parents take on the authoritative parental role, the first instinct for many is to revert back to the "child" role in the relationship. When I was a younger adult, I would act out against this in very childish ways: silent treatment, lashing out, being passive aggressive. It took me a long time to realize that, by acting childish, I was leaving myself stuck in this unhealthy parent/child dynamic and actually perpetuating the problem.

Finally, I stopped acting like a child when they overstepped and started responding in an adult fashion. Namely, I started drawing and enforcing boundaries with them. When they'd start harping on something, after their first comment my response became, "Thanks for the suggestion." After the second comment, "Yes, you said that already." After the third, "I heard you; the topic is closed." And I would end conversations if they kept pushing. I no longer argue with them, and I no longer defend my choices or my life to them. I am an adult and do not need their permission or approval.

Keep in mind, this hasn't changed their behavior all that much. It has, however, changed mine. I no longer try to justify myself to my parents, I no longer enforce the unhealthy parent/child dynamic with my own actions, and I no longer get drawn into drama conversations that were so prevalent in my early adult years.

I would suggest you and your wife determine, both as individuals and as a couple, what your boundaries are with respect to your parents. And then work on enforcing those boundaries. You don't have to be harsh or mean; just be firm.

Funny thing about that is I swear I've heard my parents saying things like "you're a grown man/adult, you can make your own decisions, blah blahblah" but then they come back around and over-parents and over-step in the same sentence. I'm pretty certain a lot of this stems from the fact that I am the youngest... my mom will say things like "he's my youngest..." or "he's my baby..." in front of me and others who are are either friends of mine that she just met or friends of hers who she introduced me to. LOL, so I really wouldn't be surprised... I hope that I'm not this way with my kids. But I'm sure I'll do tons of things that piss them off the same way I get pissed off by my parents (and vice versa). I think my wife and I are gonna have a decompression session tonight and that's a good idea to discuss and strategize deflecting with my parents... the hardest part is how tired and exhausted we get from all the riff raff.

jeromedawg

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Re: Love Hate Relationship w/ Parents
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2015, 04:30:17 PM »
My parents are pretty well off but are certainly anti-mustachian by most means, even though they claim to be "frugal" in lots of ways (e.g. my mom will often buy us lots of random crap that we usually don't need but that she found for "really cheap").

This.

"But they were 75% off!"      Is a 13th set of place mats necessary? Is 1 even necessary?!                  Sigh.

LOL right?! And it's probably not even a matching set... either that or she went and bought 13 sets of place mats on sale at Ikea from the "as-is" section, then used a 30% off coupon on AND got an additional 10% off via senior discount (this is seriously one of the anecdotes you would hear). Ughhhh. Fortunately (or maybe unfortunately for unnecessary purchases), I've sort of picked up the discount-stacking techniques and 'frugalism' employed by my mother. So I'll almost *always* look for coupons or additional discounts... this is a good thing too, when used for stuff we actually need hahahaha.

The best is how our guest bathroom medicine cabinet is completely stocked full of random sample-size lotions, shampoos, soaps, all courtesy of my mom stockpiling them from every hotel she's ever stayed at.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2015, 04:34:15 PM by jplee3 »

RexualChocolate

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Re: Love Hate Relationship w/ Parents
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2015, 04:37:25 PM »
Finally, I stopped acting like a child when they overstepped and started responding in an adult fashion. Namely, I started drawing and enforcing boundaries with them. When they'd start harping on something, after their first comment my response became, "Thanks for the suggestion." After the second comment, "Yes, you said that already." After the third, "I heard you; the topic is closed." And I would end conversations if they kept pushing. I no longer argue with them, and I no longer defend my choices or my life to them. I am an adult and do not need their permission or approval.

Keep in mind, this hasn't changed their behavior all that much. It has, however, changed mine. I no longer try to justify myself to my parents, I no longer enforce the unhealthy parent/child dynamic with my own actions, and I no longer get drawn into drama conversations that were so prevalent in my early adult years.

I would suggest you and your wife determine, both as individuals and as a couple, what your boundaries are with respect to your parents. And then work on enforcing those boundaries. You don't have to be harsh or mean; just be firm.

This is pure gold. Opened my eyes.

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Love Hate Relationship w/ Parents
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2015, 05:17:53 PM »


Finally, I stopped acting like a child when they overstepped and started responding in an adult fashion. Namely, I started drawing and enforcing boundaries with them. When they'd start harping on something, after their first comment my response became, "Thanks for the suggestion." After the second comment, "Yes, you said that already." After the third, "I heard you; the topic is closed." And I would end conversations if they kept pushing. I no longer argue with them, and I no longer defend my choices or my life to them. I am an adult and do not need their permission or approval.

Keep in mind, this hasn't changed their behavior all that much. It has, however, changed mine. I no longer try to justify myself to my parents, I no longer enforce the unhealthy parent/child dynamic with my own actions, and I no longer get drawn into drama conversations that were so prevalent in my early adult years.

I would suggest you and your wife determine, both as individuals and as a couple, what your boundaries are with respect to your parents. And then work on enforcing those boundaries. You don't have to be harsh or mean; just be firm.

This, x100. You can't change your parents, or stop them from telling you what to do. However, you can change your response. By doing so, you stop following the "script." Or to put it another way, in the tug-of-war, you drop your end of the rope. They can't have a tug-of-war if they're the only ones pulling.

irishbear's responses are perfect.

They will not suddenly smack their foreheads and say, "We've been so silly! We'll stop talking this way at once!" They may be nonplused; they may double their efforts; they may get upset at first. You need to be consistent and firm. Have some other topics to discuss; after you tell them the topic is closed, change the subject, so you can keep conversing (just not about the furniture or whatever).

There may be a few times when they absolutely Will Not Drop It.  Be prepared to say something like, "Mom, Dad, the subject is closed. If you keep bringing it up we will leave." Then do it. Make consequences for their "bad" behavior and enforce them.

They may never become exactly what you would desire, but if you refuse consistently to get drawn in, they will adjust--and you will be happier.

Good luck!

ambimammular

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Re: Love Hate Relationship w/ Parents
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2015, 05:20:03 PM »
Your dad's push to get you to his financial advisor is his way of trying to make sure you guys are alright moneywise. I know a lot of people who could use a shove in the financial department.

If you can show him that you know what you're doing "We're currently saving 30% of our take home in Vanguard index funds, and pushing to max out the 401K this year. And we're on track to have the house paid off in seven years." I think that would get him off your back. Heck, turn the tables on him, "Well, Dad, do you have enough in retirement to cover your daily expenses? What is your target amount? How risky are your investments considering your projected target date?" He might clam up real quick!

Try to keep in mind that all their asking/offering comes from a good place of wanting the best for you (even if you differ on what that may look like.) :)

irishbear99

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Re: Love Hate Relationship w/ Parents
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2015, 05:32:46 PM »
If you can show him that you know what you're doing "We're currently saving 30% of our take home in Vanguard index funds, and pushing to max out the 401K this year. And we're on track to have the house paid off in seven years." I think that would get him off your back.

I'm going to suggest being really careful with this. Sometimes more detail will get people "off your back" and sometimes it will just make it worse. For instance, in my situation, one of my parents had anxiety every time I traveled, and would demand more and more information about my flight schedules. First it was when would I land. Then it was where/how long were my layovers. Then it was when was the flight leaving. Then it was what time I planned to leave for the airport. Then it became "call me" at every juncture of the flight. Then it was huge scenes at the airport during pick up / drop off. I thought more information would ease the worry, but it only fed it. It was like that plant in Little Shop of Horrors. "Feed me, Seymore!" Finally, I had to enforce a boundary and I no longer discuss my travel plans. At all.

So I'd just go back to my advice for you to decide what your boundaries are. If not discussing finances is a boundary, then it's your right to enforce that.

Letj

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Re: Love Hate Relationship w/ Parents
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2015, 06:28:23 PM »
Oh I'm sure this isn't a revelation to many of you... I love my parents but absolutely hate it when they 'overstep' especially because they tend to put their foot down about how right they are about unsolicited advice they just gave us.

Can any of you relate? It's super-frustrating. I mean, I appreciate what they do (of course, I can't express appreciation to them very well... I don't know what it is - embarrassment, shame, resenment...) but when it comes down to them doing stuff that just gets on our nerves, it's another story. My parents are pretty well off but are certainly anti-mustachian by most means, even though they claim to be "frugal" in lots of ways (e.g. my mom will often buy us lots of random crap that we usually don't need but that she found for "really cheap"). Her and my dad are pretty bad 'confined hoarders.' At this point, I think buying cheap crap (my dad has a recent fascination with the 99 cent store...) and especially travel is just an outlet for them. I really don't understand my mom when she says things along the lines of or implying "you guys really need to clean up in here" or "there's too much clutter" when she herself is part of the problem! But neither of my parents are ever quick to admit that they were wrong. My mom, being the teacher/administrator, always has an explanation for everything (and this explanation is always right). She often corrects my dad, who talks as much as she "explains" things - coupled together, it's like a non-stop talk radio show. Growing up I was never much of a talker, and still am that way (very introverted). When I have to sit around my parents, listening to them talk and explain things (and every little anecdote), it usually ends up frustrating me and giving me a headache.

I don't know, my wife tells me to speak to them in a more gentle tone and not to talk so accusingly towards them. But I think I just grew up talking to them this way, partly because of my second oldest brother who did the same thing growing up. It feels disrespectful but at the same time I think my parents just intentionally or unintentionally know how to push peoples' buttons. And they feed off of each other too. I don't know how to change the interaction with them and feel like it's the same thing over and over every time they visit. They'll do something to piss me (or my wife) off and then I *try* to let some things go but end up blowing up... because it's like every little thing they do adds up and just pushes me over the edge.

For instance, one of the things that really upset us this visit was them basically telling us how we are to rearrange all the furniture in our condo once the baby comes. My mom actually spent all this time measuring out and drawing out things. And another "suggestion" my dad has brought up and feels like he's been pushing is for us to meet his and my mom's financial advisor (who they've only been using for a few years at most now) and discussing all of our financial plans with her so we can make sure we're all set and good to go... this one I really wonder about, especially after practicing a more MMM type mentality. After disagreeing with them several times, it just escalated and blew up into a full on voices-raised argument. With my mom, it's always "no, you should do this" or "no, you should do it this way" if we don't agree with her on certain placement of furniture, and it never ends. With my dad, this is like the FOURTH or FIFTH time now that he's mentioned that we should talk to their financial advisor. First he gave us her phone number and let her know we might be interested. Fine, leave it at that...why follow-up with us and press the point for us to talk to her when you already did your part!?
I think when they have an idea in mind, even if it's not for them, it's always the best. I mean, I guess that's what most parents naturally do right? Look out for the "best" things? I'm sure there's going to be much more of this; especially as this is our first child, and my parents "have experience" helping raise our 4 nephews, they feel like they have the right of way here... I dunno, it feels like a total intrusion on space though. I get why they're being like this (also probably cause I'm the youngest) but they're so set in their ways it frustrates the heck outta me (and my wife).

My in-laws, on the other hand, are completely hands-off and we actually have to pursue them and find out on our own about their financial woes. They're appreciative when it comes time for us to help but they totally want for us not to be involved with them. I wonder if this would be different if they were much wealthier than they are and if they would act like my parents because they "know better." I'm just glad I have a wife who can keep me somewhat grounded.

The funny part is, after they leave and are gone, both my wife and I end up missing them... I really don't know how to explain it. How do you guys "deal" with your invasive/intrusive parents who "always know best"?
Honestly, you just described the overwhelming majority of parents, especially those from outside North American culture. Our children are teenagers and they seem to have similar issues with us. When you are very young, it's easy to see your parents as annoying and intrusive but at my age and from my vantage point, I can see the benefits of the advice they tried to give. If they are not crazy and over the top unbearable, I would say overlook the behavior.  Maintaining good relationship with your parents will contribute to your joy. You will love them and understand them better once you become a parent yourself.

Letj

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Re: Love Hate Relationship w/ Parents
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2015, 06:36:59 PM »
I can completely relate to your frustration. Some parents have trouble relating to their adult children as adults and continue to try to "parent" them well past the age where that is needed or desired. Unfortunately, when our parents take on the authoritative parental role, the first instinct for many is to revert back to the "child" role in the relationship. When I was a younger adult, I would act out against this in very childish ways: silent treatment, lashing out, being passive aggressive. It took me a long time to realize that, by acting childish, I was leaving myself stuck in this unhealthy parent/child dynamic and actually perpetuating the problem.

Finally, I stopped acting like a child when they overstepped and started responding in an adult fashion. Namely, I started drawing and enforcing boundaries with them. When they'd start harping on something, after their first comment my response became, "Thanks for the suggestion." After the second comment, "Yes, you said that already." After the third, "I heard you; the topic is closed." And I would end conversations if they kept pushing. I no longer argue with them, and I no longer defend my choices or my life to them. I am an adult and do not need their permission or approval.

Keep in mind, this hasn't changed their behavior all that much. It has, however, changed mine. I no longer try to justify myself to my parents, I no longer enforce the unhealthy parent/child dynamic with my own actions, and I no longer get drawn into drama conversations that were so prevalent in my early adult years.

I would suggest you and your wife determine, both as individuals and as a couple, what your boundaries are with respect to your parents. And then work on enforcing those boundaries. You don't have to be harsh or mean; just be firm.

Excellent post! I think it's an age thing. The same thing happened as I got older. I could have written this post word for word.

jeromedawg

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Re: Love Hate Relationship w/ Parents
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2015, 07:18:12 PM »
Thanks all! Perhaps once we actually have the baby, things will potentially change (e.g. I will realize that it's not worth my time and energy arguing with them as I need that energy for the kids, and that I should just take any unsolicited advice into "consideration" without a reaction so as to avoid the conflict all-together). In fact, I think my oldest bro has been applying the tactic described earlier as a means to avoid frustration...
« Last Edit: April 20, 2015, 07:25:47 PM by jplee3 »

okonumiyaki

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Re: Love Hate Relationship w/ Parents
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2015, 07:36:21 PM »
Hmm.  Just a warning, as this is their first grandchild expect major boundary issues over how to bring it up.  Just things like sneaky treats.

I was lucky in that my elder siblings had children before I did, so parents "knew the grandparent drill", plus we live in a different country to both sets of parents, but for them (my elder siblings) there had to be some pretty serious "this is my baby, and this is how it is going to be" sit down discussions

greenmimama

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Re: Love Hate Relationship w/ Parents
« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2015, 07:40:49 PM »
Sorry to say, but it will probably get a lot worse once the baby comes, they will give exponentially more advice, because you are new parents and you are their baby, so you can't possibly know what you are doing.

You might just need to establish boundaries.

We did this with my inlaws as soon as we got married, not even realizing how smart we were, we saw how his older brother was really entrenched in his parents, needed them for everything, hung out with them, over used them for babysitting type of stuff. We didn't want that, so we made it pretty clear right away that we weren't at their beck and call. We let the answering machine get the phone when they would call, because they are famous for calling about every stupid little thing (like something interesting on cable, which we don't have) but they don't call us when someone is dieing, it's terrible.

But since we did it early, they don't call us for everything anymore, we have a better relationship with them than if we would have just given in, and we enjoy them, we always liked them, just didn't want to talk for hours everyday on the phone ( I don't do that with anyone, ever)

I hope you can come up with something that satisfies both of you. Best of luck!

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Re: Love Hate Relationship w/ Parents
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2015, 07:41:40 PM »
My Dad's umpteenth suggestion that I am cheap.. "If I was your Wife I'd demand a new Lexus with what you earn"

Yeah Dad, great advice for sure!

jeromedawg

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Re: Love Hate Relationship w/ Parents
« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2015, 07:53:56 PM »
Hmm.  Just a warning, as this is their first grandchild expect major boundary issues over how to bring it up.  Just things like sneaky treats.

I was lucky in that my elder siblings had children before I did, so parents "knew the grandparent drill", plus we live in a different country to both sets of parents, but for them (my elder siblings) there had to be some pretty serious "this is my baby, and this is how it is going to be" sit down discussions


This will be their fifth grandchild, so there definitely isn't as much pressure as being the first to have kids. But since I'm the youngest, I think they still may have their abundance of unsolicited advice.

thedayisbrave

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Re: Love Hate Relationship w/ Parents
« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2015, 08:28:17 PM »
Ahhh, gawd does this sound familiar.  I know exactly what you mean when you talk about the way you talk to them is disrespectful, but they just know how to push your buttons.  Of course they do, because they installed them! (I don't take credit for saying this, another MMM forum poster said it to me :)

What I've found to have helped me the most was complete detachment.  It is so, enormously difficult to do but really the key to a happier/healthier relationship, IMO.  I've learned this through my relationship with someone who is not my parent but who is like my parent (I know, sounds disastrous but it's been really great).  You have to actively work your "not caring" muscle.  Seems selfish, and in a way it totally is, but at some point enough is enough.   

YoungInvestor

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Re: Love Hate Relationship w/ Parents
« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2015, 09:19:00 PM »
I had a good chat with my mother when I moved to my new apartment last summer.

I agreed to have her take a look at the place before moving in (I had about a month's overlap in terms) buying the furniture that was missing (went from a studio to a 1-bedroom) and next thing I knew, she went on the apartment building's website to get the room measurements and had drawn up a complete setup for the apartment. The fact that it was really close to what I'd been planning was only further irritating!

I had to tell her to mind her own business. Was awkward at the moment, but really worth it.

My father, on the other hand, is great at boundaries.

okits

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Re: Love Hate Relationship w/ Parents
« Reply #20 on: April 20, 2015, 09:32:28 PM »
A lot of really good advice for you to balance out for your particular situation.

One more perspective: in some cultures you are a "real" grown up only once you marry and have children. Well, that time has come for you. Once the baby is born start off as you mean to, going forward. Set your boundaries and stick to your guns. You can absolutely say, "thanks for your opinion.  This is how we want it so this is how it's going to be." Caving to pressure just invites more interference.

Becoming a parent, I understand more, having experienced some of the love and worry of having my own child. But I also see more clearly the places where you can give in to your baser instincts instead of striving for more difficult (but constructive) behaviour. Like teaching your kids well then stepping back and trusting in their abilities. Letting them grow up (yes, even the baby!) Not micro-managing minutia in someone else's life. Endeavouring to be a complete person so your life isn't just all about your kids.

Hope you come to a better place with your parents, good luck!

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Re: Love Hate Relationship w/ Parents
« Reply #21 on: April 20, 2015, 09:38:59 PM »
The advice you are getting to change your response to non-engagement is right on, and with a baby coming this is a great time to start practicing...because if you think they are "over-advising" now, wait till they have a grandchild to worry about. The ninja-level version is to change your perspective to appreciate how Annoying Trait is an intrinsic part of Beloved Person...ie, they wouldn't be the person you loved if Annoying Trait were missing, and maybe it even has some value. I once read a column where the writer talked about a family friend who drove her crazy by constantly telling everyone how they could do things better, down to placing the ice cream correctly in the freezer. Then she had an epiphany that although his delivery was terrible, he was actually really good at noticing and relentlessly optimizing details (sound familiar?), that he was frequently right, and that it must be terribly frustrating to be ignored because he didn't know how and when to share his advice. After that, she was never frustrated by him whether or not she took his advice. This is not to suggest suddenly following all your parents' suggestions, just that if you can change your perspective on them there will be less of a knee-jerk reaction that you will then feel guilty about.

The advice columnist Carolyn Hax gets questions about similar situations very frequently and I always like the responses she suggests. You might look up her column (she writes for the Washington Post but is syndicated) if you need more specific ideas about phrasing your response.

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Re: Love Hate Relationship w/ Parents
« Reply #22 on: April 21, 2015, 06:28:32 AM »
One thing I've tried with annoying people is to say to my self  when they start whatever is annoying" There's Mum(Dad/whoever) being Mum again. No-one does Mum quite like Mum. Yup she's really good at it. etc". A sort of semihumorous observation of the behaviour. Can take the sting out of it and make it a bit more tolerable.

I agree with all the good advice you've been given, just a couple of extra things for you to think about:

- when you describe the interaction I get the picture of them talking more and more and you getting quieter and quieter…..this gives them more  and more space to fill up with their concerns. Have you thought about any topics that you could bring up and take up some of the space? Or subjects to distract them with so that at least they are not focusing on you…they might keep at their talking/sermonizing, but if they are onto another subject at least they are not at you. Try out a few different topics, tactics and responses, keep your cool, just keep practicing. Think of some "parachutes".. responses that are agreeable/humorous/but don't buy into the dynamic.

- you mention "being the baby" several times - have you thought about ways you might be consciously or unconsciously reinforcing this perception? and what you can do in an adult way to change this? I don't mean that to sound offensive I'm not implying you are not a mature adult, but are you still playing out a script that was given to you as a child ("the baby in the family")…how might you change this? Once you change, you may influence the dynamic.



begood

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Re: Love Hate Relationship w/ Parents
« Reply #23 on: April 21, 2015, 06:51:55 AM »
My mother was *exactly* like this, and we had that push-pull relationship. It got better when I moved 650 miles away - we always did better on the phone than in person, sad as that is to say. I felt like she never trusted my judgment, like she was convinced every decision I made would lead to catastrophe. She saw it as trying to protect me from bad things by advising me based on her wisdom and experience. I saw it as lack of trust in my ability to function as an adult. It sounds like you are a strong, confident person with a wonderful spouse, so you are in a better position to set those boundaries and stick with them firmly and consistently. Now is a great time to start practicing so that when the baby comes, you'll be in the habit already.

Grandparents can be a help or a hindrance, but it's true that aside from you and your wife, most likely nobody will love that baby more than his or her grandparents.

jeromedawg

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Re: Love Hate Relationship w/ Parents
« Reply #24 on: April 21, 2015, 11:29:10 AM »
My mother was *exactly* like this, and we had that push-pull relationship. It got better when I moved 650 miles away - we always did better on the phone than in person, sad as that is to say. I felt like she never trusted my judgment, like she was convinced every decision I made would lead to catastrophe. She saw it as trying to protect me from bad things by advising me based on her wisdom and experience. I saw it as lack of trust in my ability to function as an adult. It sounds like you are a strong, confident person with a wonderful spouse, so you are in a better position to set those boundaries and stick with them firmly and consistently. Now is a great time to start practicing so that when the baby comes, you'll be in the habit already.

Grandparents can be a help or a hindrance, but it's true that aside from you and your wife, most likely nobody will love that baby more than his or her grandparents.

Funny thing is, I moved about the same # of miles away as you did but this was over 10 years ago for college! I decided to stay where I am too, and for good reason. I think I'd go CRAZY if I had to live within 50-60 miles of them. Granted, my older brothers are both up in the same area and my second oldest has "mama's boy syndrome" where he's lived within 10-15 minutes of my parents his whole life except for 2 years where he moved away to work in another state. Part of the treatment I receive could be further aggravated by the nature of my second oldest brother's relationship with them, where this is quite a lot of dependency and expectations that they'll help with their kids.

My oldest brother lives a little further away but seems to employ the tactics many of you here have advocated for - cutting conversations short and not escalating things. Though, he has always been relatively patient (definitely more than me or my second oldest bro).

My parents' visits seemed to trail off over the course of the 5 years my wife and I have been married. My wife seems to think they view her as uptight and rigid and that it's rubbing off on me. I'm not sure this is the case but I wouldn't be surprised - they'll never put things bluntly when it comes to in-laws and they do try to be 'understanding' but I'm also sure they talk about us behind our backs (just like how they do about other people). They are total gossips who employ their "wisdom" to the point that they'll share with us and others about what so-and-so should have done instead in a certain situation that they found interesting enough to bring up. I'm scared to think what they tell other people about us! But the more and more I think about it, it's just better not to care what they think or tell other people (I mean, there is a limit, like if they start saying stuff and other people come up to us and start asking us things... they have been known to do things along this line especially with my second oldest brother). Anyway, my mom is *very* much obsessed her whole life with keeping family ties, even her own brothers and sisters. She was the oldest of 5 and so naturally is inclined to organize family events and get-togethers. Whenever there's a wedding or event out in her home state (Texas) she's the first to jump on planning ahead 6+ months out. I think all her younger brothers and sisters, if you were to ask them, would honestly tell you "she's overbearing... but that's how she always was growing up"
So I guess I shouldn't be surprised that she and my dad view me in the same/similar light - the little one who doesn't know any better.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2015, 11:31:20 AM by jplee3 »

jeromedawg

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Re: Love Hate Relationship w/ Parents
« Reply #25 on: April 21, 2015, 11:43:10 AM »
One thing I've tried with annoying people is to say to my self  when they start whatever is annoying" There's Mum(Dad/whoever) being Mum again. No-one does Mum quite like Mum. Yup she's really good at it. etc". A sort of semihumorous observation of the behaviour. Can take the sting out of it and make it a bit more tolerable.

I agree with all the good advice you've been given, just a couple of extra things for you to think about:

- when you describe the interaction I get the picture of them talking more and more and you getting quieter and quieter…..this gives them more  and more space to fill up with their concerns. Have you thought about any topics that you could bring up and take up some of the space? Or subjects to distract them with so that at least they are not focusing on you…they might keep at their talking/sermonizing, but if they are onto another subject at least they are not at you. Try out a few different topics, tactics and responses, keep your cool, just keep practicing. Think of some "parachutes".. responses that are agreeable/humorous/but don't buy into the dynamic.

- you mention "being the baby" several times - have you thought about ways you might be consciously or unconsciously reinforcing this perception? and what you can do in an adult way to change this? I don't mean that to sound offensive I'm not implying you are not a mature adult, but are you still playing out a script that was given to you as a child ("the baby in the family")…how might you change this? Once you change, you may influence the dynamic.

It's funny because my mom will cut my dad off when he starts blabbering about stuff. Especially to my wife. Like on Sunday he started talking to her about something that  could potentially have been controversial, so it's possible my mom spotted it and interjected with a totally off-topic subject and carried on. My dad just stopped talking and it was kind of awkward....hahaha! I was sort of glad she interjected, actually, but that didn't make it any less awkward.

It is true that I might be reinforcing the "baby" perception. Like others have mentioned above, if you cave into the prodding and respond in that manner, it doesn't help. And I think that's what has been happening - it's perpetual. I want them not to see me as a "dependent" but I have to do my part to not perpetuate it - this is the same issue I had my my second oldest brother who is super-immature and does stupid things to try to annoy me. It used to bother me a lot especially growing up but after moving away it got better. Now, if he tries to annoy me (unbelievable but he does), I try to take the "high road" with him and just ignore him (sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't but it's not as bad as before. And of course, as I said, the distance [and probably being married] helps a lot).
Anyway, part of this "dependency" too probably comes from the fact that we co-own our condo and they do "help" financially with other things. I guess it's a blessing and a curse... and that's where the love/hate comes, because I love the fact that they want to help and are helping, but hate it because they probably are thinking in the back of their minds "well we're helping you so you better listen to us" - I'll give them more benefit of the doubt on this one, but I think it's very difficult for most people *not* to have an agenda and expect some sort of "reciprocation" after having helped another. Even if it's your own kids... I think one thing I've learned too is to be very careful when they offer to buy stuff for us or on our behalf. Going in on the condo together was a huge decision and back when I was single and in my younger years, I didn't think much of it and was like "oh ok cool no problem" - fortunately it's fully paid off but my parents still own a majority of it. They are talking about signing it over to be fully under our names but the underlying notion will always be that it's technically their property. Unless I buy them out of it or whatever, which would be kind of hard to do at this point. They're writing it off as an inheritance though.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2015, 11:53:28 AM by jplee3 »

4alpacas

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Re: Love Hate Relationship w/ Parents
« Reply #26 on: April 21, 2015, 11:57:43 AM »
One thing I've tried with annoying people is to say to my self  when they start whatever is annoying" There's Mum(Dad/whoever) being Mum again. No-one does Mum quite like Mum. Yup she's really good at it. etc". A sort of semihumorous observation of the behaviour. Can take the sting out of it and make it a bit more tolerable.

I agree with all the good advice you've been given, just a couple of extra things for you to think about:

- when you describe the interaction I get the picture of them talking more and more and you getting quieter and quieter…..this gives them more  and more space to fill up with their concerns. Have you thought about any topics that you could bring up and take up some of the space? Or subjects to distract them with so that at least they are not focusing on you…they might keep at their talking/sermonizing, but if they are onto another subject at least they are not at you. Try out a few different topics, tactics and responses, keep your cool, just keep practicing. Think of some "parachutes".. responses that are agreeable/humorous/but don't buy into the dynamic.

- you mention "being the baby" several times - have you thought about ways you might be consciously or unconsciously reinforcing this perception? and what you can do in an adult way to change this? I don't mean that to sound offensive I'm not implying you are not a mature adult, but are you still playing out a script that was given to you as a child ("the baby in the family")…how might you change this? Once you change, you may influence the dynamic.

It's funny because my mom will cut my dad off when he starts blabbering about stuff. Especially to my wife. Like on Sunday he started talking to her about something that  could potentially have been controversial, so it's possible my mom spotted it and interjected with a totally off-topic subject and carried on. My dad just stopped talking and it was kind of awkward....hahaha! I was sort of glad she interjected, actually, but that didn't make it any less awkward.

It is true that I might be reinforcing the "baby" perception. Like others have mentioned above, if you cave into the prodding and respond in that manner, it doesn't help. And I think that's what has been happening - it's perpetual. I want them not to see me as a "dependent" but I have to do my part to not perpetuate it - this is the same issue I had my my second oldest brother who is super-immature and does stupid things to try to annoy me. It used to bother me a lot especially growing up but after moving away it got better. Now, if he tries to annoy me (unbelievable but he does), I try to take the "high road" with him and just ignore him (sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't but it's not as bad as before. And of course, as I said, the distance [and probably being married] helps a lot).
Anyway, part of this "dependency" too probably comes from the fact that we co-own our condo and they do "help" financially with other things. I guess it's a blessing and a curse... and that's where the love/hate comes, because I love the fact that they want to help and are helping, but hate it because they probably are thinking in the back of their minds "well we're helping you so you better listen to us" - I'll give them more benefit of the doubt on this one, but I think it's very difficult for most people *not* to have an agenda and expect some sort of "reciprocation" after having helped another. Even if it's your own kids... I think one thing I've learned too is to be very careful when they offer to buy stuff for us or on our behalf. Going in on the condo together was a huge decision and back when I was single and in my younger years, I didn't think much of it and was like "oh ok cool no problem" - fortunately it's fully paid off but my parents still own a majority of it. They are talking about signing it over to be fully under our names but the underlying notion will always be that it's technically their property. Unless I buy them out of it or whatever, which would be kind of hard to do at this point. They're writing it off as an inheritance though.
Before this post, I would have given completely different advice.  However, you're accepting financial help from your parents.  There are strings that are associated with the help.  Unfortunately your parents feel they deserve some say in your life because they partially fund your lifestyle.

If I were in your shoes, I would figure a way to disentangle myself from my parents' financials.  Until you're a truly independent adult, why would you expect they would treat you like one?

jeromedawg

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Re: Love Hate Relationship w/ Parents
« Reply #27 on: April 21, 2015, 12:04:51 PM »
One thing I've tried with annoying people is to say to my self  when they start whatever is annoying" There's Mum(Dad/whoever) being Mum again. No-one does Mum quite like Mum. Yup she's really good at it. etc". A sort of semihumorous observation of the behaviour. Can take the sting out of it and make it a bit more tolerable.

I agree with all the good advice you've been given, just a couple of extra things for you to think about:

- when you describe the interaction I get the picture of them talking more and more and you getting quieter and quieter…..this gives them more  and more space to fill up with their concerns. Have you thought about any topics that you could bring up and take up some of the space? Or subjects to distract them with so that at least they are not focusing on you…they might keep at their talking/sermonizing, but if they are onto another subject at least they are not at you. Try out a few different topics, tactics and responses, keep your cool, just keep practicing. Think of some "parachutes".. responses that are agreeable/humorous/but don't buy into the dynamic.

- you mention "being the baby" several times - have you thought about ways you might be consciously or unconsciously reinforcing this perception? and what you can do in an adult way to change this? I don't mean that to sound offensive I'm not implying you are not a mature adult, but are you still playing out a script that was given to you as a child ("the baby in the family")…how might you change this? Once you change, you may influence the dynamic.

It's funny because my mom will cut my dad off when he starts blabbering about stuff. Especially to my wife. Like on Sunday he started talking to her about something that  could potentially have been controversial, so it's possible my mom spotted it and interjected with a totally off-topic subject and carried on. My dad just stopped talking and it was kind of awkward....hahaha! I was sort of glad she interjected, actually, but that didn't make it any less awkward.

It is true that I might be reinforcing the "baby" perception. Like others have mentioned above, if you cave into the prodding and respond in that manner, it doesn't help. And I think that's what has been happening - it's perpetual. I want them not to see me as a "dependent" but I have to do my part to not perpetuate it - this is the same issue I had my my second oldest brother who is super-immature and does stupid things to try to annoy me. It used to bother me a lot especially growing up but after moving away it got better. Now, if he tries to annoy me (unbelievable but he does), I try to take the "high road" with him and just ignore him (sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't but it's not as bad as before. And of course, as I said, the distance [and probably being married] helps a lot).
Anyway, part of this "dependency" too probably comes from the fact that we co-own our condo and they do "help" financially with other things. I guess it's a blessing and a curse... and that's where the love/hate comes, because I love the fact that they want to help and are helping, but hate it because they probably are thinking in the back of their minds "well we're helping you so you better listen to us" - I'll give them more benefit of the doubt on this one, but I think it's very difficult for most people *not* to have an agenda and expect some sort of "reciprocation" after having helped another. Even if it's your own kids... I think one thing I've learned too is to be very careful when they offer to buy stuff for us or on our behalf. Going in on the condo together was a huge decision and back when I was single and in my younger years, I didn't think much of it and was like "oh ok cool no problem" - fortunately it's fully paid off but my parents still own a majority of it. They are talking about signing it over to be fully under our names but the underlying notion will always be that it's technically their property. Unless I buy them out of it or whatever, which would be kind of hard to do at this point. They're writing it off as an inheritance though.
Before this post, I would have given completely different advice.  However, you're accepting financial help from your parents.  There are strings that are associated with the help.  Unfortunately your parents feel they deserve some say in your life because they partially fund your lifestyle.

If I were in your shoes, I would figure a way to disentangle myself from my parents' financials.  Until you're a truly independent adult, why would you expect they would treat you like one?

Yeah, this is what I feared after coming to that realization and talking with my wife about it even before we decided to have kids. How do we separate ourselves fully... I also recently had this discussion with an old coworker too about why it's never a good idea to co-own stuff with them. I guess I perpetuated the issue my whole life and now that we're expecting our own kid, the reality of things is starting settle in. I think perhaps my dad realizes some of this and maybe him transferring the deed over is kind of his/their way of *trying* to say "you guys just go do what you want" - but I still think it comes with the consequences of me originally deciding to co-own with them to begin with. I could have said no back then, but it would have been hard. They were really insistent even back then with wanting to get me into a place, now that I think about it... they had a vacation cabin that they wanted to reinvest, so what better way to do it than with their youngest who lives far away? That and they'd have a place for all to stay at haha. Lots of catch 22s here. But yea, the condo is definitely a huge factor which I think over-arches a lot of the issues at hand. Even if you were to argue that it isn't that way, you could easily argue that it's just a bi-product of the relationship. But in hindsight, it would have been better just to keep renting and maybe eventually just get a place completely on my own. Hindsight is 20/20 right?

I think we (my wife and I) have a lot of work cut out for us to curb expectations while trying to tread relatively lightly.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2015, 12:06:53 PM by jplee3 »

MooseOutFront

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Re: Love Hate Relationship w/ Parents
« Reply #28 on: April 21, 2015, 12:45:18 PM »
The financial support revelation is a game changer.  In light of that, I think the current dynamic you have with your parents is reasonable.  They've paid good money to exert influence in your life.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2015, 02:40:30 PM by MooseOutFront »

jeromedawg

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Re: Love Hate Relationship w/ Parents
« Reply #29 on: April 21, 2015, 12:55:39 PM »
The financial support revelation is a game changer.  In light of that, I think the current dynamic you have with your parents is reasonable.  They've paid good money to excerpt influence in your life.

That makes sense. I think both my brothers and I have been offered and accepted financial help from them in some way shape or form. My oldest, I think, was probably more 'dependent' on them when they helped them get the house they're in now. But now he's definitely pretty independent of them (except I think my parents probably 'gifted' 529s to the grandkids), and I notice things aren't as tense among them. I'm sure a lot of it has to do with maturity as well. With my second oldest, that's probably the most tense out of all of our relationships. Granted, they live right behind them now (and chose to do so for the purpose of receiving help since both he and my SIL work full time). He's lived at home pretty much all his life and even lived in my parents' rental unit 2 doors down rent-free for several years while working full-time. So I think they also wanted to do something for me, and I accepted - their "help" was to reinvest their other property so I could live in it and "co-own" with them... I am "paying" them back a very low amount every month but it's like a 25/75% ownership split for the most part but will probably fork over a significant amount of $$ within the next year before they transfer the deed. So I think they've kind of left their 'financial marks' all over the place with all of us. Not making any excuses, as if I had known better back then, I probably would have refused as much as possible... but at this point things are what they are with all that stuff. Moving forward, I need to think long and hard about how to get ourselves in a position where we can detach more (financially) so as to not give way for other expectations. I think we may just have to live with all this for a while... but I still like the idea of refusing to escalate conversations to the point where they're fully blown up arguments.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2015, 12:59:02 PM by jplee3 »

JKLescher

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Re: Love Hate Relationship w/ Parents
« Reply #30 on: April 21, 2015, 02:03:46 PM »
My parents went through a phase like this for a few years after two older relatives died in short order. Suddenly their mortality was on the horizon and they felt pressure to pass along as much of their wisdom as possible, you know, just in case. It took many many forms, including furniture arrangement plans (maybe that's just a mom thing).

That's different than your situation. For you, this has been standard operating procedure for quite some time. However, letting my parents know that I heard them and appreciated their concern seemed to be key in how much advice, solicited and otherwise, I received. When they thought I was listening only a small percent of the time, they'd crank it to 11 and let the advice rock like an avalanche. When they realized I heard every word; they dialed it back over time.

My tactic for this was to actively tell them when I took their advice. "Hey mom, you're right the room really does open up more with the couch against the other wall." And sometimes to give them credit for things I was going to do myself anyway. That may seem less than honest, but they raised me. There's a good chance they deserve the credit for some of my ideas.

It even worked if I then went back and did my own thing after a while. "Sorry mom, I just kept stubbing my toes with the couch in the new place. It had to go back." Because I had tried it their way and later decided something else, I never heard about most issues again.

Some people have a very hard time hearing "No." What they hear instead is, "I don't really understand." Because if you understood, obviously you'd agree with them. So they keep on going until you say "Yes." which indicates "Yes, I finally hear and understand."

My method was to never do it right away. My immediate responses during conversation were always to the effect that I would take it under advisement. When they were busy talking, they wanted to talk. I let them. Later, I would initiate contact and go out of my way to tell them about whatever advice I had adopted. This created give and take that was a lot more constructive.

Another technique that worked well was to pro-actively ask for advice even when I didn't think I needed it. Turns out, sometimes I did and sometimes I really didn't. Yes, this opened up the floodgates at first. Making it a phone call instead of a face-to-face conversation can make this more manageable. You can always say that you need to get off the phone for ______ reason, but thanks for the advice and it was so nice to talk with them.

Parents sometimes need to be trained to treat children like adults by those children acting as adults. Learn to keep your temper even under frustration. It'll come in handy with your little one. It's really hard getting older. Reassure them that you love them and value their advice even when you do things your own way. Underneath all the henpecking and pressure is really a bunch of well meaning, if poorly communicated, love.

irishbear99

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Re: Love Hate Relationship w/ Parents
« Reply #31 on: April 21, 2015, 02:11:12 PM »
The financial support revelation is a game changer.

+1

Actually, +infinity

You can certainly still work on implementing boundaries, but as long as they are subsidizing your life they will try to exert control over it. You and your wife have to decide if the benefits of their financial largesse outweigh the costs of their interference. In my own personal experience, my autonomy has been more than worth the sacrifice of living my life within my own means. But only you guys can make that decision for your life.

Good luck with that!