Why can't DM be happy?(39 Posts)
Okay, so I have been with DP for nearly a year. I knew he was 'the one' from the day I met him. He is a very thoughtful, caring, kind and selfless person. We lived a great distance apart and we decided that a LDR was not what we wanted very early on. He gave up his job, friends, flat and city life to move in with me in my house in the countryside.
DM has been wary of DP since they met. She hints that he is not good enough for me. This is mainly because he gave up his well paid city job to move in with me and I am now the breadwinner. I have no problems with this. I am a professional person with a good salary and enjoy my job. I have no doubts in my mind that he will get another job in the next month or so (job market is poor where I live).
DP and I bought my engagement ring today, together. We are not engaged, but since we had come into some money, we thought it would be a good idea to chose the ring before DP decided to propose. DM knew this was happening, I had told her 2 weeks ago and had also mentioned it last week. Her response was positive and she implored me to do what I wanted and what made me happy.
I told DM today and her response was 'I am shocked'. This really upset me. DM knew it was going to happen. Why couldn't she have been happy/excited for me? DP was angry that I was upset - it should have been a joyous moment, telling my DM that I had bought my ring. He telephoned her and tried to find out why she was 'shocked'. She accused him of harassing her, when all he wanted to know was why I was so upset and why she had been 'shocked'. He was rather 'assertive' on the phone, but only because he was upset that I was upset.
Now DM and DP are not speaking. DM was angry with me for letting DP telephone, but I did not condone this. DP has since been profusely apologetic to me, of which I appreciated. DM spoke to me like a child on the telephone - something that is not unusual. In fact, DM continues to treat me like I am 13. I am her only DC.
I have got no idea what to do. Should I confront DM? Should I be assertive and stand my ground on the basis that DM should be happy for me? I don't know It has completely ruined my (previously amazing) day .
I think you need to have an honest conversation with your DM about what exactly it is that makes her unsure about DP. It has to be an 'off the record' conversation, as it were. You don't share the contents of it with DP and you don't turn it back on her at a later date. Listen carefully because IME if family really don't like a partner, sometimes there's a good reason for it. Other times it's just that they need to get to know someone better. Once she's had her say - and assuming you are still committed to DP - that's the point for assertion. i.e. He's a permanent fixture, she needs to get to know him better, and there has to be some serious olive-branch swapping because you're not in the market for acrimony. Similar applies to DP incidentally. You cannot demand someone is happy if they are not happy, and you cannot demand people like each other if they don't like each other, but you can demand they are cordial with each other if they are going to be family.
cogito's advice is excellent i think. go see your mum, say ok this is a one off, say anything, get it all out conversation. i won't interrupt or argue, i won't hold it against you in the future or refer back to it and i won't tell DP what was said. tell me what it is you are concerned about - get it all out.
then you listen, you let her say it all.
if it's totally unfounded and has no bearings in reality you won't find yourself getting defensive and prickly and wanting to kick off. if you do find yourself defensive, wanting to run from the conversation or shut up then you need to look very carefully at the elements of her thoughts that provoke that reaction in you.
if dp really is right for you, good, decent etc then nothing is harmed by allowing her to get it all off of her chest and have a non defensive conversation with you. if you feel really avoidant about doing that then it maybe indicates that on some level there are concerns that you have but don't want to look at.
I have to say, if you usually get on well with your mum, then here not liking our partner is a huge red flag. Mum's in general love their children and want them to be happy, so it is hard to watch them making a mistake you are sure will cause them grief in the end.
A major concern for me is that your DP was rather 'assertive' on the phone to your mum - do you mean he was aggressive? That seems likely as your mother felt harrassed by him. Personally, I would be wary of a man that would be aggressive to an older lady he should respect - it is not very gentlemanly, to put it mildly.
I second Cogito's advice - have a proper chat with your mum & don't go running back to him with what she says.
Why do you think your mother persists in treating you like a child when it is clear you are not?. She seems both unable and unwilling to admit to herself that you are an adult who is old enough to make her own decisions in life. I would tell her lovingly, but firmly, that you are an adult now and expect to be treated as one. My guess too is that your mother does not respond at all well and never has to any what she sees as "criticism" and you have been too afraid to rock the boat before now.
I would say its not you, its her.
Ok - you have been together less than a year.
In that time he gave up his job to move in with you without trying to get a new job. You are now supporting him and he hasn't been able to get a new job yet, and you admit the job market is poor in your area.
If I was your mum I would be a little concerned I'm sorry. She's not the one in love with him and is more able to see the flaws in him/your relationship.
If you have only been together such a relatively short time would it have really killed you both to have kept on with the LDR for a while longer until he got a job.? If it was 2 years and he had been trying for a job for a year I could understand.
Why hasn't he been able to get a job is he not getting interviews or is he picky about what he applies for?
Surely he would be wanting to take any job to contribute and I do think its a little rash rushing to up a ring when he hasn't got a job yet.
Who paid for the ring ?
Does he do the housework or otherwise contribute when you are out at work.
You haven't said how old you both are or if either of you have any dc.
Surely if you have bought an engagement ring together then you have decided to get married and therefore are engaged? The idea of my partner having a ring we had chosen and me having to wait until HE decides that he can be arsed to ask me to marry him would really piss me off.
If he had a well paid city job why didn't you move to be with him or him wait until he had a local job?
Your mum is maybe concerned that you'll end up supporting this man for years, and him phoning her when he was angry to interrogate her sounds nasty. You should have had a quiet chat with her yourself.
Also when you say "we" came into some money I presume the money was only left to one of you as you aren't actually married yet so will have seperate income sources so was your mother concerned that you had used your inheritance or whatever to buy yourself an engagement ring and that as you aren't actually engaged anyway your partner could just change his mind and keep the ring?
Your mother treats you like a child. Do you mean patronising, or do you mean controlling?
How old are you?
Have you been in a serious relationship before? If yes, how did she behave with your previous partner?
I would tend to think that you mother is afraid of 'losing' her only child, if she still treats you like a/her little girl. If she is more or less normal, she will get over this soon enough.
Why are you tittle tattling between the two? You are facilitating this falling out. As for him phoning her ... massive red flag there I'm afraid.
Buying a ring but not engaged nor has he proposed?
The term is 'cocklodger' and your DM has seen right through him.
I don't like the sound of him either, OP - it isn't just your mum.
You bought the ring together (who paid?) so he could propose when he felt like it? That makes you sound desparate.
How long had you known each other before he moved in with you? I know you say you've "been with him nearly a year" but does that mean you met less than a year ago? At what stage did he move in?
You've known him less than a year, he has no job, he lives in your house and you support him. You sound sure that he'll get a job in the next month or so - but then you say that there are few jobs in your area? If he had a well-paid "city job" before, he's not going to find similar in the country, is he? If you were my daughter (or son) I'd be very worried too.
And finally - he had no right to phone your mother to challenge her at this early stage in your relationship. Please watch that he doesn't get between you or you'll end up isolated.
If your mother generally treats you like a child, you need to challenge that yourself by behaving like an adult - being quietly assertive, calm and strong. Having said that, on this occasion she may have valid concerns for your wellbeing.
IDon'tDoIroning is abrilliant post OP.
My thoughts exactly
I think your DP was totally out of order to phone your mum and have a go.
Having talked to a friend recently who bitterly regrets not saying something about her child's choice of partner (the marriage ended within a year in terrible circumstances) I'm sort of on your mum's side. She may be seeing issues with your relationship that a romantic fog is blinding you to.
Oh and buying a piece of jewellery is not a joyous moment because that's all it is if you aren't engaged.
Sorry to be so harsh, but this has touched a bit of a raw nerve for reasons which I won't go into.
Definitely red flags. What exactly did he say to your DM? Was he nasty, shouty, rude? Sorry, the whole thing smells ... he's no job - how hard is he looking? You're paying for everything - I assume the ring, too. Was the inheritance yours, or his? And he hasn't proposed in any case? Oh dear - were I your mum, I'd be dead worried too.
OP, I had a similar situation with a close friend. I met my DP and we knew from the beginning that this was a serious relationship. My friend didn't like him. She had only met him a couple of times and hadn't really spoken to him, but she took an instant dislike to him.
She then proceeded to bad mouth him to my family (who are abroad and hadn't met him yet). When I asked her about it, she flat out denied saying anything at all. I had four different people including my family and best friends telling me what she said, but she denied it.
We no longer have any contact. She was a great friend, but I know that my DP (well, fiancé now) will be in my life forever. She didn't speak to me about it - she choose to deal with it in an underhand way.
Your mother needs to suck it up, quite frankly. If he's going to be your life partner, she's going to have to learn to get along, because when it comes down to it - would you choose him, or her?
I had a similar situation with my DM and a few others. I also met my DP and thought he was the one that would be in my life for ever. My DM didn't particularly like him but I took the 'she should suck it up' approach and childishly believed that she was simply trying to spoil my lovely life. Subsequently had a few doubts about his behaviour but, by now feeling under pressure to make a go of it & prove others wrong, I kept quiet. <slaps self on forehead> Fast forward to marriage, setting up home and six years of escalating crappy behaviour culminating in him leaving me high and dry for an OW. To her credit DM (not normally very tactful) never actually said 'I told you so'.
exactly cogito - it could be either way couldn't it? therefore HAVE the conversation OP. listen, let her say it all and get it off her chest once and for all and discuss it. if she's wrong you have nothing to fear - if you feel fearful of hearing it or on the defensive then you may well have something to be concerned about and it's better to know now than, as cogito humbly demonstrates, end up entrenched in a defensive position that actually leaves you unable to address reality because you're too busy proving someone wrong.
and i would say do tell your dp not to phone your mother about her conduct again. you are not a child and nor is she and him calling her back after you two rowed was really inappropriate imo even if well intentioned.
the fact that he was 'angry that you were upset' concerns me also i have to say. how did anger help or come into it? if someone you love is upset your focus is on comforting them not being angry that your occasion has been ruined.
it's also baffling what the occasion was tbh - you bought a ring that may one day be your engagement ring.
realistically he's not working, hasn't gone out and bought a ring or proposed off of his own back, is living in your home whilst you work etc. it may all be fine and agreeable but i think you can understand why a mother may be concerned about her daughter in these circumstances.
I think I agree with babyboomer.
As your mum, I'd be worried as well, because as far as I can ascertain from what little you have disclosed, there are plenty of things to cause concern.
Sorry...I know it's not what you want to hear, but you did ask. x
As for him phoning your mother to give her what for...well, words fail me.
I'd be concerned also. He's given up his job to move in with you. You're supporting him financially. He's phoned your Mother and argued with her. And you've bought your own engagement ring.
Red flags all over the place.
Cue the OP not returning to the thread.
<claps hands over ears and sings lalalalalalalala I can't heeeeaaarr yooouuu!!>
Thank you for all your advice. We are going over to see DM this afternoon to have a civilised chat. Both DM and DP have admitted they acted out of character, so hopefully it all should be resolved. xxx
why 'we'. why don't you go alone? this is your relationship with your mother i don't see why he would be there?
honestly you've been with this man a very short time really - the idea that he needs to be a third party in a conversation with your mother is odd.
Your DP doesn't need to have a civilised chat - he needs to back out of your relationship with your mother. He is crowding you and you can't see it.
How ironic that you accuse her of treating you like a child. He's the one who's doing that.
Please, OP, take time to think about all of this, away from him.
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