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Religious Parents and Moving in With Boyfriend

Group Therapy: Religious Parents and Moving in With Boyfriend

This question comes from Group Therapy in our TrèsSugar Community. Feel free to add your advice in the comments!

I'm 27 years old, have no financial ties to my parents, and have been living away from home since I was 18. I have gone to college, grad school and have traveled around the world. My boyfriend and I met 3 years ago, and we have been in a long distance relationship for the past 2 years. We lived together (without my parents knowing) for 8 months before I moved away to pursue studies, which confirmed being in a long distance relationship was worth it — although it was early in the relationship, and definitely the 'honeymoon stage'. I am now returning for one month to the city where my boyfriend lives and my parents live. I have chosen to move in with him for a month, before I move away for another program, and he will move in with me in 5 months, indefinitely. We hope to get married in a year or two, but are more concerned about being financially stable with careers, and ensuring it is what we both want.

When I told my mother I was moving in with him, and not them, she was so angry with me and said some pretty hurtful things (i.e. I hope you never marry him). It's been a constant struggle, since she has never approved of him, with never any reason given (and trust me, he is a stand up guy — smart, funny, sweet and kind, comes from a good family). I think because I am the baby of the family and have always been so close to her, she feels like I am dissing her or no longer care for her. What makes it especially tough is that she is strict Catholic and was raised in a Muslim household, and me choosing to live with my boyfriend before I get married is a giant slap in her face, with respect to her beliefs, especially in the same town.

To see the rest of the dilemma,

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My father is also Catholic, but is much more ok with it. I firmly believe in living with someone before getting married, but don't know how to reconcile my beliefs with my mother's. I still value their advice and opinions, and I so badly want to have a good relationship with them, but by me choosing to live with my boyfriend, I am going to ruin my relationship with my mother. The amount of hurtful things that have been said to my boyfriend by her, makes it even more difficult to discuss the situation with my boyfriend, since I know how hurt he has been by the things she's said, and how unwelcomed he has been into my family. Moving in with my parents instead for that month is not what I want, since I miss my boyfriend so much — 2 years of a long distance relationship is not easy, and all I want is to spend time with him and become reconnected again.

Any advice on how to deal with this situation?

Have a dilemma of your own? Post it, anonymously, to Group Therapy for advice, and check out what else is happening in the TrèsSugar Community.

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nylorac nylorac 5 years
I say, move in with him! You're definitely old enough, and if this is the guy you see yourself with for the long run, then they should get used to it already! This is not about the 1 month that you'll be together under the same roof. Maybe your mother just simply does not like him; their personalities clash or she doesn't think that he's good enough for you. If this is the case, she may never completely open up to him, but that doesn't mean it should prevent you from doing what you want. It seems like you should use this opportunity to make your parents bite the bullet and get them to realize that hey, this guy is here to stay. And hopefully with enough time, they will really come to respect the idea of you two being together. My parents insisted that they were completely fine with my boyfriend moving in with me, and I know that I have a lot to be thankful for. However, when introducing him to their friend on a phone call, they mentioned that he is my "roommate." I guess he'd just be my roommate until we get married ;)
bengalspice bengalspice 5 years
My overly Muslim parents were the same way. They made me move home instead of moving in with my then-boyfriend ... Which then forced said boyfriend to just marry me.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 5 years
You received some very good advice so far. Personally, I think your Mom doesn't seem to respect you as a grown-up. She mistrusts your judgment when it comes to you making your decisions. If I were you, I would stick to my decision (as I'm an adult now, and have a mind of my own. I don't need to adopt my Mom's borrowed opinion). I would move forward with my plans to move in with my boyfriend. If my Mom continues to be difficult, it would naturally estrange us. It would speak to her difficult adjustment in not accepting me as an autonomous adult. Good luck.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 5 years
Just do it. Move in with him. As you said, you're an adult with a fair amount of life experience under your belt, and her beliefs are already starting to damage your relationship with her. Allowing her to dictate this situation further isn't going to improve that relationship, but may only serve to placate her (for a while anyway) while making things tense with your boyfriend and causing resentment on your part. You're certainly old enough to be in charge of yourself, so do what makes you happy.
skigurl skigurl 5 years
just do it! do what you want and go with your heart! just make sure you do see your parents and spend time with them (sometimes with your boyfriend present, sometimes not) to make sure they know you love them and care deeply to have a good relationship with them i live with my boyfriend close to my parents so, in order to keep my mom close and loved, i make sure i go for walks with her in the evening, invite her over often, keep her involved with things she likes - e.g. "hey ma, come over and see the new curtains in the living room!", ask her opinion on stuff, and go over there regularly for dinner it makes her realize you won't abandon her/your family for your man! it might not help with respect to the religion issue, but you're an adult...you can do what you want and sometimes your parents just have to deal with that (i'm sure my religious grandparents are shocked and appalled that i'm living in sin too but no one ever said anything because i just did it and let them realize that i don't share their beliefs, so they have to move on and get with the times!)
JoeTyndall JoeTyndall 5 years
OP, I did not talk to my father for four years and I did not talk to my brother for nine years. When we all finally got back together again, things went a lot better. You have to draw the line somewhere, and let them know that you will not tolerate them crossing that line. Tell them exactly where that line is, and that you are out of their lives for as long as they keep crossing that line. The big change wil be if and when you have children. Your mother is going to want to see that grandchild! At that time, you can really lay down some strong rules about what you are not going to put up with. Your mother will follow those rules if she wants to see her grandchild. You may have to learn to be a lot more assertive. If you need ideas on how to do that, feel free to ask.
kurniakasih kurniakasih 5 years
You've made your decision. Bite the bullet. Your mom and my mom sound familiar and yes, they completely were against me moving in with my now husband (he was my fiancee back then). My mom would say plenty hurtful things, and even after today (after we've been married for more than 5 years, nad our son will be 5 soon), my mom can still say negative things about my husband (criticizes him and nitpicks every single things he does) although she has acknowledged his good qualities and dedication as a father and husband as well. I think that time will cool her down. I mean, keep in touch with your parents (via your dad if your mom doesn't want to even say 'hi'). E-mail them consistently if they're familiar with that technology. It'll take time, and you'll be facing more negative energy coming from her (due to her anger and not understanding what you want), but in due time, she's going to kind of get over it, especially if you're getting married to the guy. The first few months (or year) will be tough, so be prepared, it's going to kind of depend on your mom when she's going to let go of her grudge (until today, I doubt my mom ever lets go completely of her grudge :)). Sorry you're going through this but trust me, it'll get better. :) Good luck.
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