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Pressure from in-laws to get married and have DC

(19 Posts)
tooyoungtobeamrs Tue 20-Sep-16 10:27:27

Hi all, I'd love to get some perspective on this even though I am sure it has been debated before. NC for this, I am a regular poster but I don't want to out myself. Long post ahead!

DP and I have been dating for 5 years. We have been living together for the last 3 years. I am 27 and he is 31.

We both have rewarding but demanding careers in the creative industry. I only started working ft 2 years ago after I got a master degree, so I am still relatively junior and have yet to prove myself.

We are happy together and love our current life.

The problem is that DP's parents can't wrap their heads around the fact that we don't feel ready to get married and have kids yet. They are so pushy about this, they won't just let it go.

Every time we visit them (they are based overseas very far away from
the UK) they keep raising the topic again and again, saying that they are "worried" we will never get married and have a family, demanding we tell them at least what year we are planning to get married so they have something to look forward.

This is making me really uncomfortable. As someone whose parents went through a bad divorce, I have mixed feelings about the idea of getting married. I think when I am
older and feel ready for kids I will probably come around and accept the idea of marriage to protect myself and my DC, but at the moment I definitely not feel ready for it.

I don't think DP feels ready for marriage and children either, but I can see that he is sorry to cause such a grief to his parents.

What is your opinion on this situation?

Of course I can't accept to be bullied by my in-laws to get married and having kids when I don't feel ready for it. However this situation is causing me a lot of stress. I

s living my life on my terms too much to ask?

You're happy with your life, and 27 is no age at all. (Congrats on your masters degree!) Don't let anybody pressure you to change anything. Focus on your career for now.

As far as you can tell, how does DP feel about what his parents are doing?

raisedbyguineapigs Tue 20-Sep-16 10:55:13

That sounds really annoying and stressful. I went through the same thing with my mother from the age of about 23 until I got married at 33, and didn't even have a long term partner until I was 30! It's massively stressful.

If they live really far away and you don't see them that often, can you just not engage or be non committal? What about just giving them a random date in 5 years time, or just say 'actually, we don't want to get married, we're happy as we are'? Or say 'I'm worried about marrying X because he has such overbearing parents' grin It might be the uncertainty that's making them mad! Not that that's justified in the least!

HarleyQuinzel Tue 20-Sep-16 10:57:02

Of course not. If you do have kids one day then the 'advice' and questions only get worse so you both really need to get use to standing up for yourselves and telling them when to stop. By the sounds of it (correct me if I'm wrong) you aren't doing that. If you don't want to get married just say so. It's no big deal. I'm not saying you need to keep them informed on your every move but next time they ask just get DP to say you won't be having kids for at least another 5 years or something. Repeat if they ask again.

Bobochic Tue 20-Sep-16 11:02:30

Just give them a year - the year you turn forty.

If they live that far away is this really a day to day problem?

tribpot Tue 20-Sep-16 11:22:46

I can see that he is sorry to cause such a grief to his parents.

Why? The 'grief' is entirely in their own heads. Is their son happy, in a stable relationship and with a rewarding job? Yes? All good then, no grief required.

However, in order to set the tone for future conflicts of this nature with them (of which I predict there will be several if you ever do have kids and/or get married), this is your DP's problem to resolve with them. He needs to tell them (nicely) to back the hell off and stop hassling you both.

demanding we tell them at least what year we are planning to get married so they have something to look forward.

If they have nothing in their lives to look forward to except an event which may or may not happen and which they can't control, they need to find other ways to fulfill themselves, that's no way to live. I am assuming they live in a more traditional culture and may see all their contemporaries becoming grandparents but that's not your problem. Your DP needs to tell them firmly that at the moment you (plural) have no plans for marriage or children, the end.

tooyoungtobeamrs Tue 20-Sep-16 11:23:40

"m not saying you need to keep them informed on your every move but next time they ask just get DP to say you won't be having kids for at least another 5 years or something. Repeat if they ask again."

Harley DP told them repeatedly that perhaps we'll do it in 3/4 years and they keep saying they need a precise date because otherwise we may as well just break up in the meantime.

As we could not break up anyway AFTER a wedding hmm

tooyoungtobeamrs Tue 20-Sep-16 11:25:32

"As far as you can tell, how does DP feel about what his parents are doing?"

Preemptive I think** DP feels torn because on one hand he does not feel ready and he has no desire whatsoever to be married or start a family but he is sorry to cause such a grief to his parents.

They are making him feel like he is letting them down and that is horrible imo sad

EnriqueTheRingBearingLizard Tue 20-Sep-16 11:53:59

Simplify it. It all boils down to We are happy together and love our current life if pushed, tell them that and keep telling them that. Approach it as matter of factly as this is how it is and if anything changes we'll let you know

A delicate question. They live overseas, are they just pushy individuals, or are they from another culture which places a huge importance on the extended family and want their children to crack on with 'settling' and providing grandchildren? I only say that because if it's part of the social and cultural background they've always known, then I'd probably feel a bit more relaxed about it.

Amongst my DCs' peer group there are in laws who are really laid back, who don't question or push at all and others who are on the case all the time matchmaking, talking wedding plans and on about DGCs. It must be a lot of pressure.

Just seen your updates OP. Reassure DP that he's not letting his parents down if he's with someone who makes him happy and who he has a lovely relationship with. He needs to answer their comment about you might split up if you don't have a date, with a sensible and honest answer, that their idea is just plain silly.

SandyY2K Tue 20-Sep-16 12:02:23

It's not their decision and if they continued demanding a date I'd stop visiting. I really would. I'd tell your DP that you don't want to hear it anymore and that's why you're not visiting them any more.

You don't owe them a date either. Or you could say maybe 2025. That's a date right smile

Is he their only child?

tooyoungtobeamrs Tue 20-Sep-16 12:05:20

"They live overseas, are they just pushy individuals, or are they from another culture which places a huge importance on the extended family and want their children to crack on with 'settling' and providing grandchildren?"

Enrique They are from a major city in East Asia. Culturally Chinese, even though they lived abroad for many years.

SandyY2K Tue 20-Sep-16 12:07:13

they keep saying they need a precise date because otherwise we may as well just break up in the meantime.

If you do that's your choice.
Your life. Your decision and not their's.

Honestly if it was my parents I'd also cut back on contact and send the odd how are you text. No more visits until it stops. Are they wiling for them to loose closeness with their son over this.

I am pro marriage, but only where a couple want it.

Parents should realise that just because they have procreated - there's no guarantee their children will want to be parents too.

tribpot Tue 20-Sep-16 12:10:37

I'd hold off on getting married for as long as possible because if you think this is bad, the pressure for you to get pregnant the second you are married will be 100 times worse. They "need a precise date" do they? They can't have one. The end.

Lottapianos Tue 20-Sep-16 12:18:25

Expecting to live your life on your own terms is far from too much to ask - its a bare minimum if you ask me. I understand this situation because my parents are very similar. DP and I have been together for 11 years and have no intention of getting married or having children. My dad has told me in the past that if a couple are not married then there is 'no commitment' between them hmm and that not having children makes a person 'very selfish' hmm So if I was still in regular contact with my parents (I'm not), I would likely be getting similar grief to what you're experiencing.

Its absolutely none of their business how you and DP conduct your relationship. You are both adults, and you get to make the decisions in your lives. I fully understand your DP's guilt, because parents like this tend to spend your whole life training you to put their needs and feelings first, but he honestly has nothing to feel guilty for. Its not up to anyone to make their parents happy - you are a separate person from them and its up to them to organise things to look forward to for themselves. So I get it - completely - but please be reassured that you are not doing anything unreasonable

EnriqueTheRingBearingLizard Tue 20-Sep-16 12:35:43

TooYoung perhaps then this is why your DP is bearing a burden of feeling he's 'letting them down' They're also possibly not in touch with how your lives and career paths work?

Obviously it's a big generalization, but sometimes it's easier to cope with something overbearing if you know it's more of an accepted thing in family background rather than it being specifically pointed at you iyswim?

I have friends from both Italian and Jewish backgrounds who have been under a lot of family pressure to toe the accepted line. Some have done and some have asserted their own ideas very firmly.

Thanks for the update and clarifying.

... if it's part of the social and cultural background they've always known, then I'd probably feel a bit more relaxed about it.

Well, yes and no. Yes, you shouldn't take this personally, TooYoung - they'd be behaving this way to any womb-on-legs their son hooks up with. On the other hand, this is a deeply embedded attitude that you may not ever be able to shake on the part of his parents.

My main concern is whether your DP shares these attitudes.

DontMindMe1 Tue 20-Sep-16 15:13:04

give them a precise date of 31.08.2026 grin

so if they get a lovely surprise they can start doing your head in with how 'best' to bring up your dc grin

redexpat Tue 20-Sep-16 20:09:16

I think it's more about them and the circles they move in. Everyone asks after their DS and then ask questions as to why he's not married. It would make their lives easier if they could give a date.

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