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Ultimatum about me living with boyfriend at university

(117 Posts)
inneedofamum Wed 03-Feb-16 10:42:34

Long story short, my parents have told me that if I choose to live with my boyfriend, they will disown me. They state that I am under their control until I am 25 and until then, they decide what is right and wrong for me.

Background: I am 21 next month and studying at University. My boyfriend is 23 years old and in full time employment as a commercial contractor in decorating, whilst completing a course at college also. We have been together about a year and a half and are happily together.

Currently we are looking at flats and have chosen one that we would be interested in. I work part-time also and have done the math and I can afford to live there with money spare to save for the future. I see this as a serious relationship, and I have compromised in getting a student flat as opposed to a normal flat with a landlord.

My parents only want what is best for me, and they outright disagree with this decision that I have made. They deem him a distraction, and 'not of the same intellect' as me, therefore the relationship will not work. NB: They have only met him once, at the beginning of the relationship. Since being with my boyfriend my marks have improved by at least 25%.

I do not want to upset my parents, but in the same respect if I waited another year and did what they wanted me to do and get a single occupancy flat then I feel we would still be having this conversation a year from now. I don't want them to disown me (something which they have told me they would do).

I do not want to leave my boyfriend as I am very happy and see a future in this relationship.


RudeElf Wed 03-Feb-16 10:46:15

Well i am and was a stubborn fuck as a teen/young person so i'd do as i pleased at 21 years of age. But my parents never threatened to disown me. Depends how much you want/need them in your life. Perhaps they are bluffing. Are you willing to call their bluff? Living with a boyfriend of 18 months at 21 is perfectly fine.

Fourormore Wed 03-Feb-16 10:47:44

Are you reliant on them, for money perhaps?

You're 20 years old, an adult, perfectly capable of making your own decisions. Much easier said that done but I wouldn't want manipulative and controlling people like that in my life.

Gruach Wed 03-Feb-16 10:47:45

Why do they say you are under their control until you are 25?

That is certainly not correct if you are in the UK. Even if they are providing financial support.

It is perfectly possible for parents to want the best for their children without issuing threats or trying to control an adult who has every legal right to order their life as they choose.

goodnightdarthvader1 Wed 03-Feb-16 10:49:36

My parents only want what is best for me

No, they don't. They see you as an extension of themselves, an accessory to control.

They have no legal right to control you until you're 25. You should absolutely move in with your boyfriend. If they choose to cut you off over this, it will be heartbreaking, but if you give in, they'll be trying to control you for the rest of your life.

They deem him a distraction, and 'not of the same intellect' as me, therefore the relationship will not work.

That's rude and offensive, and not their call to make. Are there any other issues at play - race or religion?

CultureSucksDownWords Wed 03-Feb-16 10:50:15

Wow, your parents are completely wrong that you are under their control till you're 25! At 21 I'd been living away from home for 4 years and my parents wouldn't have dreamt of telling me what to do, as I was an independent adult.

I think you'll have to have a discussion with them about the fact that you're an adult and capable of making their own choices. Don't let them emotionally blackmail you. If they threaten to "disown" you, then they are choosing to miss out on you and your future life. That's not your responsibility.

inneedofamum Wed 03-Feb-16 10:59:54

To answer questions:

My boyfriend is white, as am I, as are my parents.
Religion is not a factor, none of us practice a religion.
I am able to afford the accommodation I want with money left to spare. I am not financially dependant on them.

I don't want to let them be lonely when they are older as I wouldn't be there to care for them, but I feel as if I have to do this for myself in order to make me happier and be more independent. They say I am young and it's too young to be settling down. I just want to be happy. They have provided me with so much, holidays every year, a home to live in, a private education, and I am being told that I am 'throwing a bombshell' at them by saying I want to move in with my boyfriend. I don't know what would be best to do.

LaurieFairyCake Wed 03-Feb-16 11:00:39

Are they paying for anything?

If they are then I can see why that might make them think they can contribute to the decision.

If you can afford to do it without them then do so. And while it's great your marks are good you mustn't let that slip, it's hard living with someone ( they're distracting wink) so try to work hard at your uni stuff.

inneedofamum Wed 03-Feb-16 11:01:53

they won't be as I can pay for everything and be financially responsible.

CultureSucksDownWords Wed 03-Feb-16 11:07:59

If you've been with your bf for 18 months you're hardly rushing things. They don't know him at all, and it's disappointing they don't trust your judgement. The comments about his intellect show that they're intellectual snobs, and after that comment I'd have a hard time listening to them anymore!

I imagine they'll probably have a tantrum and threaten all sorts when you go ahead with your plan. Don't let that derail you, be polite but firm with them, and emphasize that you'll always be open to them in the future as long as they respect your decisions.

FuckYouChrisAndThatHorse Wed 03-Feb-16 11:11:39

If they are not paying towards anything then they have no say in how you spend your money.

Do what you want to do. It's your life and as much as they may want to influence your decisions, they have no right.

The comment about having control over you until you're 25 would have put my hackles up.

My only word of warning (and it's only because I know what I was like about digging my heels in), if circumstances change, if you have any wary feelings about moving in with BF, then for the love of God, please don't move in with him anyway, because you don't want your parents to think you've done it for them!

You're probably far more sensible than that.

Basically, there's no shame in changing your mind, as long as it is your mind that has changed.

I would be saying to my parents, "Look, I know that this is coming from a place of love, but I am an adult. Whatever decision I make about where I live and with whom, is down to me. It is my money to spend. I love you both, and I really hope this was just something said without real thought. You have to let me make my own decisions, and yes, sometimes, my own mistakes. Don't respond now. Have a think about what I've said, and then hopefully we can move forwards with some mutual respect."

I really hope it was a thoughtless, stupid comment on their part.

WipsGlitter Wed 03-Feb-16 11:12:06

But aside from the flat costs do you get any money from them? Fees, allowance?

TheGreenNinja Wed 03-Feb-16 11:12:29

My mum said this to me when I moved in with my then-boyfriend at the same age. Not because she was in charge of me, but she disagreed with 'living in sin' (Catholic) hmm.
I did it anyway, she didn't speak to me for a couple of months. Eventually she did give in, but it caused irreparable damage to our relationship. Even now, 20 years later, when she has woken up to the damage this kind of thing causes and has realised I'm a grown adult who can decide things myself, it's something I will never forgive her for, and we have a polite relationship but are not close in any way.

hesterton Wed 03-Feb-16 11:14:26

You say they won't be, but are they CURRENTLY contributing anything to you?

Could you write them a kind but firm letter saying you love them and would be broken hearted to lose them but as a matter of principle, you need to make your own decisions as a full adult. Tell them you have really thought through their concerns and appreciate their love and care, but feel you want to take this risk and, if it doesn't work out, learn from your own mistakes.

inneedofamum Wed 03-Feb-16 11:20:16

They are currently paying towards my flat now. I would be able to afford it on my own but they choose to contribute. I have a part time job which gives me allowance for food, pays for bills and everything else

mrschatty Wed 03-Feb-16 11:22:17

I understand you don't want to upset them/make them lonely in future but they have set these rules and will need to deal with all potential outcomes. I was ENGAGED at 20. Married at 23. My parents didn't get a say in any of this i was doing what I wanted with my life and making my own choices. I was also at university at that time.
You are am adult. It is your life. Do what you want to make you happy. Your parents should wish for your happiness instead they are making life difficult for you

SugarPlumTree Wed 03-Feb-16 11:24:59

Agree with everyone else. Can I ask you why you chose your username? I'm wondering if on some level that might be relevant ?

LizzieMacQueen Wed 03-Feb-16 11:26:56

It's your life and all that but you are still young... i think that's what they'll think. Are your peers in such serious relationships?

ImperialBlether Wed 03-Feb-16 11:28:45

I wonder how old they were when they met. Did they marry straight from home? Is there a disparity in their education?

inneedofamum Wed 03-Feb-16 11:32:17

My peers are yes.
They met about 30 years ago. But my dad married young and then divorced young, then met my mum.

Ratbagcatbag Wed 03-Feb-16 11:34:24

At 21 I had a mortgage with my boyfriend who was 19 years older than me. My mum had no say in the matter.
Go for it, don't let them control you, otherwise you will e doing it forever.

RainOhJoyus Wed 03-Feb-16 11:35:15

I'd say moving in with a stable relationship is better for your grades then living in a student flat share.
Also if rents cheaper/more choice then live in a normal rented flat than students.
Maybe tell them that you will be supporting yourself financially so they don't have the warped thinking that they are paying for your boyfriend.

Also wondering why they have only met him once in 18months?

goodnightdarthvader1 Wed 03-Feb-16 11:36:34

I don't want to let them be lonely when they are older as I wouldn't be there to care for them

You are taking responsibility for their decision to disown you. That's their choice. If they're alone because of their stubbornness, that's their own fault - although I sincerely doubt that the "disowning" would last that long. I think they're bluffing because they're running out of effective methods to control you. This is a last stand.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Wed 03-Feb-16 11:37:45

They are currently paying towards my flat now. I would be able to afford it on my own but they choose to contribute. I have a part time job which gives me allowance for food, pays for bills and everything else

So if you moved in with your boyfriend and their financial support were removed you would have to work longer hours outside of uni to support yourself and potentially your grades could suffer?

I'm hearing class snobbery pure and simple on your parents side. You are at University with a capital U and he is in trade doing a part-time course at a college. As far as your parents are concerned you are proposing to tie yourself down to someone from a different socio-economic background who may limit your potential.

Gruach Wed 03-Feb-16 11:38:32

OP you say there are no (for want of a better word) "cultural" factors that are influencing their behaviour - but this is not entirely normal behaviour. Lots of parents kick up a bit of a fuss when their adult children start making decisions they haven't planned for - but it's utterly ridiculous for them to claim you're under their control till you're 25. That's nonsense.

And you're not "settling down". You're 20. Don't know if you've had previous relationships but it's very, very likely - and healthy and normal - for this to be just the start of a lifetime of more or less successful relationships. Most people don't end up at 80 with the person they were in love with at 20. Your parents should be watchfully supporting you to find your feet in the grown up world. That means trying things out, maybe making mistakes or doing things you later regret, or simply changing your mind as you go through the next several decades. Nothing is set in stone.

Prioritise your academic work, protect your finances, enjoy your relationship (and be ready to let it go if it cramps your other ambitions). Don't allow your parents to bully you (or lie to you about your freedom of action) but let them know you still want their blessing. (They ought to be old enough to realise they'll still be your parents through however many other relationships you have.)

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