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Meeting BF's parents first time but BF is nervous wreck(168 Posts)
Sorry this is long. My bf wants me to make a 'good' impression on his parents. I am 25 and he is 24. I have met his parents once briefly at church and they were charming and lovely and bf talks about how great they are. They are very close. We are going to his parent's home this weekend for lunch and at first I thought it would be nice to spend time together and get to know his parents better. We have been together 8 months. He has already met my family and my family say he is great.
Bf has turned into a nervous wreck as he has already 'dumped' four girlfriends after their first time at his home because they 'failed to make a good impression'. He says he loves me and that he is nervous because he really wants me to do everything perfectly so that his parents will 'love me' as much as he does.
He has also given me a list of do's and don'ts because he knows what will 'work' on his parents. Some of these borderline on the ridiculous and some completely patronising (i.e., I do know where to put a napkin) Here they are from his email:
offer to remove shoes when you arrive
remove your shoes even if they insist it is 'up to you'
no swear words - ever, even if we get married and we've been married for 40 years - no swearing in front of them.
never ever put a glass down on the table without a coaster - it is a cardinal sin
never take any alcohol, even if offered and waved in front of you insistently - IT IS A TEST - dad doesn't even know how to use a corkscrew - they don't drink.
make sure you eat everything on your plate
make sure you eat dessert however full you are
put the napkin on your lap
it is a round table - the bread plate is to your left.
They will watch how you eat like a hawk - pray there is no soup or spaghetti
when you are done eating leave your cutlery at 5'o clock position - dad is very particular about that
help clear the table even if told not to and do it as soon as my mum stands up
insist on washing up and do it very well - mum will check everything
wear the gloves for washing up or mum will say you don't take care of your hands and give you a long lecture about the importance of ladies keeping hands smooth
do not show me any affection and don't expect me to show you any
Don't talk about the environment - dad hates the environment
Make sure you emphatically tell them you don't have a tattoo and never will - I swore an oath to them I would never marry a girl with one.
My mother is practically psychic and can detect a lie or falseness a mile away so just be your lovely self, and just forgive my silly list.
I told him he is being ridiculous and controlling and how can I be myself with so many ridiculous 'pieces of advice' or even relax. I even threatened to get a tattoo. He is already a nervous wreck and he says that he is nervous because of his last 4 girlfriends though he says he didn't love them. I wasn't nervous before. I am sure his parents are lovely but now I don't even want to go. Its like I have to pass this 'test'. What do I do? I mean, I do eventually have to meet them.
I'd run a mile from a family like that. They sound horribly judgmental and controlling and he needs to cut the apron strings. Can you imagine what it would like being married to him?
Wanting your partner to make a good impression on your family is one thing, and quite understandable, but giving you a list of detailed rules (and breaking up with previous girlfriends) because of it is something else.
If you carry on, in a few years you will be on here complaining about a controlling MiL/FiL, and everyone will tell you, you don't have an in-law problem, you have a DH problem.
<expects to cross post with a dozen other people saying the same thing>
I would be really tempted to do everything wrong on purpose. He doesn't sound like an adult, very unappealing.
Assuming this is real.
How about you make a good impression on yourself and find a family that isn't full of freaks?
He sounds a bit strange, what happens if you don't like his family, does the approval only work one way?
Run OP Run as far away as you can!
Surely this us a wind up. Do they expect you to be some stepford GF/Wife.
Run! Otherwise you'll be posting on here in a few years about your controlling in laws from hell and your DH's refusal to stand up to them.
Assuming he has redeeming qualities and you actually want to meet his folks I think I would have to be really open and bring up (in a light-hearted way) how worried he is.
Either his 'rents are nightmare people who have judgey pants the size of the giant arses they are OR they have no idea about his insecurity and anxiety for their approval.
A few "Oh OH told me i'd get the sack if I kept my shoes on/drank wine etc" or "So lovely to meet you, OH has been so nervous about whether we will get on - I told him I thought you were lovely and I was sure we would but he's been so worried - I even got a list of dos and dont's!" might do it...in all honesty I would be very concerned about the type of man I was with if this was his attitude/behaviour. Something is very wrong here OP
Poor bastard. Do yourself a favour and finish it with him now, and suggest the folllowing books to him:
If You Had Controlling Parents by Dan Neuharth
Toxic Parents by Susan Forward
He is deeply enmeshed with these controlling people and he will never be ready to be in an adult relationship unless he opens his eyes to what they are and how they have been abusing him throughout his life.
Imagine how harshly they have punished him, that at the age of 24 he is "terrified" at the thought of someone he loves making a minor mishap in front of them? What he went through as a little boy doesn't bear thinking about, because that kind of fear as an adult is incredibly rare.
If in doubt, have a read through some of the "my in-laws are controlling my husband" threads on here - there are hundreds, sadly. If you stay with this man and he doesn't seek help, you are signing up for a lifetime of misery and punishment, and to have your potential children abused by their grandparents.
how can I be myself with so many ridiculous 'pieces of advice' or even relax
You can't. You can't be yourself with them, ever. At least, not according to your boyfriend. If you continue with the relationship, he is expecting you to sign up to this value system for ever. It appears to be his value system too.
Have a very careful think about it all.
Is this not a plot to a crappy soap opera/movie? It sounds unreal!
If this was RL I would tell my boyfriend to take a running jump because no matter how lovely he may be how could you be apart of a family like that? And what happens if the two of you get married? They sound beyond controlling and why would you bother setting yourself for a fall, you will never be that perfect, no is, not even them!
this has to be wind up. Surely.
If not then his parents are the very least of your problems.
I'd be so tempted to do the opposite of everything on the list. But I'm contrary like that.
Can you imagine a few years down the line if you marry him and have kids how awful these people would become!?
oops sorry, not allowed to swear...
Gosh, I wasn't expecting such a strong response!
Bf is quite highly strung as a person and perfectionist in nature, but he has a heart of gold. He becomes a nervous wreck even if we are 5 minutes late for something. He really is a sweetheart he just has anxiety issues.
Yes, I think he needs to cut the apron strings. I have spoken to his parents on the phone a couple of times and they genuinely seemed nice. and said they couldn't wait to have me over for lunch. When he talks to them on the phone, it all sounds normal to me and affectionate.
He always says how wonderful his parents are and even his best friend said his parents were the nicest people he knew and then joked you would never think they were related since bf is so uptight and his parents are the opposite. So I am assuming it is all in in bf's overactive imagination.
My mum said that bf was just trying to be helpful in his usual very awkward way and to take it all with a pinch of salt. But my mum thinks the sun shines out of him at the moment.
I hope his family are not like the freak family from hell!!!! But I will go for lunch, and I will ignore all of his ridiculous requests and will just be my usual respectful self.
His dad hates the environment? Does he not breathe and eat like the rest of us humans? What a totally fucking ridiculous situation.
OK, if it is just his anxiety and perfectionism, and his parents might actually be lovely, normal people (although his list makes them sound quite the opposite), then go to lunch, behave normally - or even break a few 'rules' accidentally-on-purpose - and see what happens.
If it turns out that his parents are on the phone to him criticising you straight afterwards, and he
is informed realises that he doesn't actually love you after all, it will probably have been a lucky escape.
Or if it was all his nerves and imagination, then you might be OK - but I would have serious doubts about anyone who would email me a list like that in the first place.
So the family aren't a bunch of freaks, just your boyfriend. Righty o.
Prepare to be dumped.
OMG, please please PLEASE come back and update after your lunch!!
His dad hates the environment. Does he live in the world ?
I was going to say run a mile from this family, imagine being married into that!!
However, I've changed my opinion, given your update. The family seem fine. Run a fucking mile from this guy OP, really, if you want a normal future.
It makes it no better though OP if it is just your bf being anxious and awkward. That is a ridiculous list, very OTT and very inappropriate.
Whether its him or his parents that are setting these high standards, they need to be addressed otherwise all of his relationships will end. You need to stand up for yourself here.
Are you serious?! Is he living in the 21st century? Tell him where to get off. And I blame him for that list not his parents. He is a grown man and shouldn't be telling you what to do.
Good grief women.
Run, run far and run fast.
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