Nov 23 2006, 07:00 PM
tonight we got to talking, and it was revealed that not only does my mother dislike his mother, his mom dislikes mine. this is very discouraging. i had always hoped that they could at least tolerate one another. i hope that at some point, the dislike mellows out a bit, and that they can accept one another and work together. we've been together three years and are planning our wedding. a couple of problems have come up just because of the bad feelings between them. and i'm afraid there is going to be a huge blow up in the near future.
to be honest, both of our moms are difficult people. they are both self-centered. his mom has been irresponsible with money and is now struggling because of it. she is also on probation for attempted murder of her ex (not his dad or anything) and is supposed to be going to counseling, but i haven't heard that she's doing it. she makes claims like that she'll help us pay for wedding things and never comes through. my mom is just bitter and mean to everyone. tonight she was rude to my boyfriend, didn't speak to him, then got in his face about our relationship. both of our moms have drinking problems, too.
the difference i see is this: i fully admit that my mom is difficult, that i don't approve of what she says or does. he makes excuses for his mom to some extent.
i am interested as to how this is going to work between us. sometimes i think the answer is that our moms just shouldn't be in our lives as much as they are. mine is extremely nosy, and his expects him to do stuff like drive to her place (an hour away) before he goes to work to help her do household chores. right now i'm upset because i have tommorrow off, and his mom has already asked him to come to her house and help with her attic, which means that we aren't going to have any time together. it is very rare that we have the same day off. his answer is that she is his mom, and he needs to help her. my position is that his mother got herself into her predicament on her own, and her kids shouldn't always have to come to her rescue just because she made poor choices.
when does it stop being about them, and start being about us?
Nov 23 2006, 07:21 PM
aw...moms. it's funny, pink, because my mother thinks his mother doesn't like her, and everyone thinks she's right, but his mother would never admit it.
ah...the joys of a boy with mother issues. mine has plenty of his own, but that's another story.
his mom sounds like a case. i could be wrong, but it sounds like the main problem here is that you're not happy with the amount she's in both your lives. driving an hour before work to do chores doesn't sound appropriate for a grown person to do, anyhow. have you been able to sit down with him and say you don't like the extent to which his mom's demands control his time/affect your time together?
i sympathise with you - in your situation i'd just be wishing i could wave a magic wand and send his mom out of the picture. however, since he's the only one who can do that (and i've asked my husband why he doesn't do that more than once), maybe you two can come to some sort of agreement.
your last question really rings true with me. 90% of the conflict i have with my husband and 90% of the tension is about his mom. who is about to come visit. i want to flee for the hills. any advice on drugs or meditation techniques that will make me not care that she is THE MOST SELF-ABSORBED, INCONSIDERATE, and (i hate to use this word, because it's so grade-school, but it's the right word) TARDY human ever to walk the earth?
or i could just develop something horribly, horribly contagious...
eta: speaking of weddings, i keep wanting to say this in the wedding thread but i don't want to rain on anyone's parade...i can't recommend eloping enough. can't. recommend it. enough. after his mom found out she was like, "i would have liked to have some input!" and we were like, "yeah, that's why we eloped, crazypants." the only thing i would do differently is i'd do it at the beginning of a vacation so we could have a built-in honeymoon.
Nov 23 2006, 08:07 PM
that's absolutely fantastic advice grenadine. i'd go with the elope option myself, then buy something fabulous with the thousands of dollars saved. like a dress that can be worn more than once, ha ha. i'm so unromantic.
as for your mom issues, i recommend my favourite book, Loving What Is by Byron Katie. it won't fix your problem, just help you to care less about it. i mean, i can't even muster up a little bit of neg-o feelings about stuff that used to bug me every single day.
pink, sounds like a whole lotta denial and a double helping of guilt for your fella from momsville. would you consider councelling for the two of you so he can hear from an imparial party that his attitude and behavior might be a little out of whack? sometimes guys hear something from their girl and pay it no mind but the same words from another source somehow have an enormous impact. why is that do you think?
AP, i'm just gonna say that if someone did all that for me (aside from the slipping me knock out drugs part) i'd be flattened with gratitude and feeling totally loved. i gotta say though girl, you go far for your man. way farther than most people would. is that just your way or are you being a bit too selfless here? i know it's not all about you and what happened to him was traumatic and huge but... are you making sure that you get what you need too? you sound tore up about it. i hope there's some comfort for you too.
Nov 23 2006, 08:36 PM
i got married in red silk BCBG. it's definitely a dress that can be worn more than once, but sadly, i haven't had the right occasion yet (give me time; it's only been 2 years).
pepper, i have put the book on request at my local library. although i am hard pressed to imagine "loving what is" my mother-in-law, i will read it before she comes in hopes that my life will have time to change into a new, unflapped and unflappable me. maybe i'll even give her a copy so she can bury it under her assloads of negative energy (bad! bad grenadine! shhh!).
and i do recognise that my mother-in-law is not all that bad. she tries, she buys me presents because she thinks that's the nice thing to do (i would prefer if she'd just hear what i say now and then), she tries to respect my privacy (although she did STALK MY HOMEBIRTH in an attempt to be present when the bean made his appearance), she's got a job, she tries to be supportive. it's just that i can't forgive her for secretly resenting me and punishing me by pretending she's uber-cool supportive MIL while subtly ignoring every word i say, pretending she's into helping us out here by babysitting her grandson and then showing up an hour late, and generally needing everything to always be about her all the time.
whew. okay. hopefully the book will come fast. either that or i'll take my father-in-law up on his offer of TM lessons. that's how he deals with it.
AP, i also think you were wonderful to your boy. and i also hope you're getting what you need out of the deal.
Nov 27 2006, 09:19 AM
If any of you have read in the crush thread what HB does for AP you would know that she gets all that and more out of him. I have to say, they have an extremely balanced relationship and I know that AP wouldn't go through all that trouble for a guy who was treating her like crap, or not putting his all into it.
i am not sure its possible to be 'too selfless' for anyone if something horrible happens to them. Especially when you are in a healthy relationship.
Nov 27 2006, 10:10 AM
i see, katie. i don't read the crush thread (its title kind of puts me off, to tell the truth), so thanks for the commentary.
i was responding to AP's sense of urgency about hearing from the boy and the angst it seemed to engender, but of course i have no other context at all!
AP, hope things have calmed down and boy is feeling better.
on a more general note, now that's a question - is it possible to be "too selfless" for anyone if something horrible happens to him?
Nov 27 2006, 10:32 AM
"is it possible to be "too selfless" for anyone if something horrible happens to him?"
yes. doing more than you are capable of, doing more than is healthy for yourself or your partner. of course, there is balance and unbalance in all things.
kb, i don't think anyone is questioning the state of their relationship or whether they are good to each other or for each other. i think in times of duress it's not that hard to do as much as you can think of for someone and forget about yourself. feeling guilty about making sure you get what you need because someone else is really hurting can leave you hurting too. that's all.
Nov 27 2006, 11:02 AM
I certainly think you can be too selfless if the person is a jerk, but if the person is an all around nice human being i am not sure you can be too selfless. of course, as long as you dont sacrifice your own well being but i think that may be an extreme. i understand what you are saying though pepper.
Nov 27 2006, 11:12 AM
yeah, i've seen too many people in relationships give more than they're really comfortable giving, or able to give, and having that eventually backfire.
i'm in sort of a bad situation with that right now. mr grenadine is stressed and angry most of the time because he's gone back to school (and hates school, and feels enormous pressure to do well so he can get the grad degree he wants and become a plutocrat entrepreneur, and sucks at time management), so we have a low-grade poopypants factor from him all the time. he's just irritable. we've discussed it and agreed that we'll check in at the end of the year and if the consensus (by which he means me) is that it's not worth the emotional wear and tear, he'll quit. but i know he feels he HAS to finally finish his degree and HAS to go to grad school and will be angry and frustrated if he quits. meanwhile, he's not doing all that well (fine in two major classes but failing french, which since WE WERE GOING TO RAISE OUR KID BILINGUAL is kind of frustrating) and is frequently so irritable/crabby that i don't really want to be around him.
this is compounded by the fact that: 1)he compares his work/school life to mine and gets insecure; 2)i'm a perfectionist who always viewed school as a "job" and never stressed out about it, so i really don't understand why he has to make everything ten times harder than it should be (or, i'm sorry to say, why he's not doing well - i'm having a hard time being supportive when i know that he, himself, is what stands in his way); and 3)he is really unclear about what credentials, school-wise, he needs to do what he wants.
i mentioned the possibility that he could not have a "career" but could just work a job - maybe bartend three nights a week or something - and chill out the rest of the time, which seems more appropriate to his hypersensitive, can't-take-criticism-or-pressure, likes to noodle around on guitar, etc., personality, and he didn't outright reject it, but i know he's not sold. and it's not that i am either - it's just that i wouldn't mind if he didn't have a "successful" "career."
anyway. any related experience or reflections, peoples?
Nov 27 2006, 11:20 AM
Alot of guys are very competitive when it comes to career. I think unfortunately the old adage that a man is unhappy if he is less successful or makes less money then the woman is true. I think it can be true no matter how enlightened they (or we) may think they are.
i hardly think he would be so grumpy if you werent so successful at school (and job, i dont know what you do grenadine). the important thing is to just keep reassuring him that you are totally fine with it. cause clearly, you are, and i think once he sees that you are happy and that you rather have him be happy then pissed off all the time will make him view it in a different light. but who knows. but in the end it is his problem not yours, and i think its a good thing you dont give him too much sympathy for moping about stuff that he can take care of himself. i am sure there are jobs that he would be more suited towards besides bartending, maybe you guys could brainstorm together. it sucks you have to deal with that grenadine, grumpy men are no fun. and most of the time they are grumpy bc they are just being giant babies and they know it, which makes them even grumpier.
Nov 27 2006, 11:25 AM
QUOTE(katiebelle2882 @ Nov 27 2006, 12:37 PM)
grumpy men are no fun. and most of the time they are grumpy bc they are just being giant babies and they know it, which makes them even grumpier.
ha. so true.
i'm a college professor, which he cites continually as exacerbating the frustration. but i was a college professor when we met (i started young) and he was still a college student (he's on the ten year plan), so nothing has changed. not that he's not supportive of my career, but he hasn't been able to be as practically supportive (e.g. keeping the house clean) as either of us thought since he spends all his time running behind the gun at school.
Nov 27 2006, 11:37 AM
to tell you the truth grenadine, he probably thought he was going to catch up to you (in regards to you being a college professor when you met) and therefore wasnt bothered by it. now, i am sure he is much more insecure about the fact that you are so successful and he is just kind of treading water in his mind. it's hard to get them to understand that you honestly really dont care what they do as long as they are happy and contributing something, whether it be to housework or monetarily or both.
this really is a problem i personally feel most modern men never come to grips with. this idea that they have to be competitive in a career with their siginificant other or something crazy like this. i also think people like to make it our fault bc somehow we are emasculating them. so dumb. i hope everything works out.
Nov 27 2006, 11:41 AM
i think you're right - he did think he would "catch up" educationally. the funny thing is that most of my best friends never finished college and i actively discourage people from going unless they know what the hell they're doing.
just for clarification, he was never MY student. different colleges. different cities, actually, when we met at a friend's party. i am so not down with profs dating their students, ew.
it's true that men are encouraged to compete and compare, but there's another problem, which is that they don't tend to realise they should do housework. when he was working full-time and i was part-time (and had a newborn), there was a clean house and dinner on the table every night. he never shopped, scrubbed the tub, or anything. i just naturally did it. now i'm still doing it...even though i work full-time and still spend most days with our son and the only time our son's in daycare is when the mister needs to study!
Nov 27 2006, 11:59 AM
Grenadine, do you think he has fallen prey to the old stereotype that The Man has to be The Breadwinner and all that? Is that what's behind all of this?
Also, how truly interested is he in his major? Is it the sort of thing that interrests him so much that he would talk about it even if he weren't in school? Is he passionate about the subject? If not, what is he passionate about? And is French a requirement for his degree?
My sister-in-law is a highly successful woman working in the women's fashion industry. Her work takes her all over the globe. Her husband, on the other hand, does not have a typical career. Instead, he has turned his favorite hobby into his job; he's a sailing instructor. The money isn't great and he can only work for 7 or 8 months a year, but it makes him happy (It also keeps him fit and tan, which makes her happy!). Plus, he has time to do all of the usual household chores (cleaning, shopping, etc.). The set-up works marvelously well for them. They readily admit that their situation is unusual, but they figure that all that matters is their happiness.
Nov 27 2006, 12:10 PM
rose, i don't think it's exactly that - the "man as breadwinner" thing. for one thing, that's an attitude that's shifted a lot generationally, and i don't see it as too common in the under-thirty set. more importantly, the mr's mom was the breadwinner in his house. i see it more as a personal thing - the mr's mom was/is also verbally abusive/dismissive of his father because his father has sacrificed his career (as a lawyer) to move for hers; the mr is competitive and is used to being good at things without trying - he frequently cites his experience of being one of the brightest and most academically talented kids in his small-town high school as marking him as different, and i think he's having a hard time no longer being the best without trying.
he's interested in his major. his whole thing is that he was aimless in college, then took time off to work when we had our son. he quickly realised he wasn't enthused about working 9 to 5 as an admin and that he should go back to college and then grad school to gain entrée into the world of music biz - he wants to start a record label/distribution business. the french class is his choice; he took french before he met me (enough to get by swimmingly with my friends in paris) and is adamant about wanting to raise our family there and not in the u.s.
i think setups like your sister's are great. which is not to say i'm invested in being the professional/successful one - one of the reasons i've been able to do okay is that i'm generally oblivious to the concept of ladder-climbing and don't really care about status. i'd love to eventually quit my job and publish the book(s) i've been working on (and which i currently have NO time for) - i picked professor-ing because it seemed like a good career for a language nerd who hates the nine-to-five and likes young adults...
really, i think a lot of the mr's problem is that he's being petty/immature. and some of it is that he's created such a complex mountain of hurdles before he gets where he wants to be that it doesn't even seem possible. but it's making him impossible to live with!
Nov 27 2006, 06:43 PM
i put the byron katie book on hold at the library.
pepper, i have often thought that counseling would be a good idea. i know that he would be open to it.
grenadine, there are some slight similarities between our situations. i'm an art teacher, and have been very successful, professionally. like you, i viewed school and learning as my job. while you would like to work on your books, i would like to have time for personal artwork. you said that the mister was pretty much aimless in college. mine was pretty much aimless from high school until about a year ago. now, he is interested in being promoted at work, or finding a better job with better benefits/hours. i make about twice his pay, and after we get married, we'll use my insurance, etc. he dropped out of college after one semester, and it seems like he will work a job instead of a career, at least until he chooses to pursue an education.
i think that he doesn't like the fact that he's making less money, and he definitely does not like his job (kitchen manager), which means nights/weekends/holidays when me and the rest of the friends/family are off and having fun. but, i don't know how much of a proactive role he is ready to take to change the situation. he applied to a shipyard apprentice program, but hasn't pursued anything else. i also think that he is afraid to try new things because he has a degree of deafness with no hearing aid/insurance til we get married.
BUT, he has shown a lot of growth in the three years we've been together. when we started dating, he didn't have a car or a license (repossessed/suspended) and made $6/hr. now, he is driving with his own car, his own insurance, and makes $10/hr in management. he had to take the steps to get those things, no one handed it to him. he has also quit smoking, and meets me halfway, domestically (although its not without asking once or twice- still doesn't take it upon himself to wash the floors, but will do it without complaining when asked.) so, i think that patience is the key. he's grown a lot in the past couple of years.
has your husband grown in certain ways, too, or has he remained the same? how have his career/work/school choices impacted the way you raise your child?
Nov 27 2006, 07:05 PM
pinkmartyr, that is interesting - i'm curious as to how you two met.
my husband has grown enormously since we met. he was really a punk kid (as in, dropping out of college for the third time and living off his parents, although that funding was supposedly a 'loan'), and in fact i thought he was immature and was never planning to date him at all (famous last words). since we got married, he worked for a year and doubled his income (he was actually making about the same as a high-level admin as i do as a prof), has developed life goals, etc. i think he's just so discouraged right now that it's not all *already* happening...and this frustration is compounded by the fact that he needs to work on his communication skills - as i mentioned, the model in his family was very negative, and IMO he's never actually successfully communicated to resolve conflict - in the past he's been the sort to walk away mad, stew, then let it blow over, but you can't do that when you've got an overflowing faucet and a sick baby (to cite a recent example), so it's tough.
i was actually the one who suggested he go back to school, mostly because i wanted him to have more opportunities and i think it takes a more aggressive personality than his to be successful in business without the 'in' of a degree, and partly because i thought it would give us a good opportunity to share child-rearing duties more evenly. and he does contribute to housecleaning when asked - he just has man-vision and doesn't see messes unless i point them out!
i knew getting into a marriage with the mister that he had a lot of growing to do, and that is okay with me. i guess what i'm wondering is: at what point do i stop being supportive and understanding and tell him his attitude is having too great a negative impact on our lives? i want to be supportive and understanding, but i don't get the feeling it's actually helping.
and pink, any new thoughts on the mom front? my MIL is still slated to come in the 7th. i can't stand it because my husband is rude to her (but she hangs on his every word), she is rude to her husband (but he hangs on her every word), and i hate the whole situation so much i end up being rude (or at least not-very-warm-and-welcoming) to everybody.
it's like the bizarre love-hate trapezoid of doom.
Nov 28 2006, 09:55 AM
I agree grenadine, I don't think being supportive to the Nth degree is good in any situation regarding anyone. However, I don't know where you draw that line either. I mean, it seems like he is having a negative impact on your family (in terms of his behavior, clearly he does positive things in other ways!), but how negative does it have to be before you just tell him to grow the f*ck up?
For me, there is always that last straw. If you are still debating it, you probably havent hit the last straw yet, and when you do you won't hesitate to tell him that his attitude isnt doing anyone, least of all himself, any good.
You women have far more patience then me. I am not even sure I could date someone who didn't go to college or at least have a direction (or was actively working in that direction) in life and a steady, mid level income. Goes to show you how much you can miss out on if you don't give people a chance. Food for thought for myself.
Nov 28 2006, 03:08 PM
QUOTE(katiebelle2882 @ Nov 28 2006, 11:12 AM)
I am not even sure I could date someone who didn't go to college or at least have a direction (or was actively working in that direction) in life and a steady, mid level income.
seriously, maybe i'm missing something, but i have never considered someone's income as a factor in dating. if anything, i've always dated poor.
Nov 28 2006, 03:55 PM
I don't really know grenadine. Part of it most likely has to do with my family who would not look kindly upon someone who didnt graduate college. Mostly bc lets face it, opportunities are not so great for those without a college education (at least here in the northeast). I mean, even 2 years out of college i am realizing that opportunities are not great for people without masters degrees! Not that I agree with it, but its unfortunately how it is. As for money, I actually don't care all that much about that (lets face it most people are not making a great income at 25-26), but a steady income is nice, not necessarily a high one. I just don't want to end up with the burden on me bc he cant keep a job. Maybe it's because I have heard too many horror stories about girls who have dated guys who kept mooching off them. But here are two stories in which that isnt the case, so maybe i am listening to the wrong people! I don't know, its something I have to challenge in myself I suppose huh?
Nov 28 2006, 06:52 PM
QUOTE(katiebelle2882 @ Nov 28 2006, 10:12 PM)
I just don't want to end up with the burden on me bc he cant keep a job.
ok, trying to quote for the first time, hope that worked.
me either, except that i'm not afraid he can't keep a job, just that he can't get a job that will support us in leading a moderately comfortable life (bills paid, kids provided for, a bit in savings), and i'll always have to pick up the slack. my boyfriend's lack of education worries me, too.
grenadine, this is how we met.
i lived in this hip, downtown area with tons of bars around. i used to go out partying, and when i came home, i would generally drink another beer while toying around the internet, BUST-ing and what not. i met him in a chat room for locals on aol. granted, this sounds like an after school special...
we started talking because we had similar interests in music and movies. he'd just gotten home from partying with his friends, too. we'd talk about our nights out. we'd e-flirt a little. this went on for about a year before we started talking on the phone. he lived about 20 minutes away from me the whole time, even hung out at the little bars in my neighborhood. we never met up before because both of us were busy or dating, plus i thought he was a big player (ha ha, wrong, he's had like, 2 or 3 girlfriends.). one night, i was two hours away visiting my best friend, and i logged on to chat with him after they'd gone to bed. i realized if i was doing that, chatting with him while out of town and stuff, it was time to meet.
the next day (valentines day), we met up at the 7-11, bought a bunch of beer, and rented movies. we had a great time that night. he stayed over. his room mate julie later told me that they all seriously worried he was dead cause he didn't come home that night, and it was the only time he'd ever stayed out. we dated very casually for about three or four months. when i met his friends, we became more of an "item."
he was very reluctant to say that i was his girlfriend and that we had a relationship, even though we did. it wasn't like i was a secret- i knew all his friends, they thought i was his girlfriend. neither of us ever thought, though, that we'd seriously end up together. after the first night we hung out, i thought, this guy is never going to call me again. but it was like we couldn't keep away from eachother. if we weren't together, we were on the phone til six in the morning.
two years after we'd been dating, he proposed (i admit to having a conversation beforehand: ie, its time to decide where our relationship is heading, i want to marry and have a family, what do you want out of life? and then he asked if i'd like to look at rings.) about 4 months after he proposed, we moved in together. we got engaged last new years, and our wedding is in april.
Nov 28 2006, 08:10 PM
pink, that's kind of sweet. and i have to be enough of a romantic to say that if you can't keep away from each other, things will work out. it does seem like it might be better for your peace of mind to get him on a better career track first...at least going to school, or some such. not because that's a condition, but just because taking a positive step would probably make everything better...my own accelerated courtship didn't allow for such considerations, and i wish it had.
i guess i just never thought about money at all, really. before i met the mister i was living in a studio apt. writing poetry all the time and had tons of discretionary income because my expenses were low. it never occurred to me to think about "relationship finance." colour me impractical!
Nov 28 2006, 10:28 PM
i'm not so all about money either. with the guy or myself actually, i really live simply. but i do like a certain level of motivation and stick-to-it-ivness. a guy who has absolutely nothing going on, no job, no education, no craft... i don't know about that guy. what's he been doing all of his life? watching sports and drinking beer? actually, i dated that guy.
my mister has a trade and he's good at it. he can be really, really lazy at times but still pull it together financially so i don't complain even though it's a bit nerve wracking every now and then. it's important to me that i don't have to float him, i have enough to do. now, if he was mister house husband and i was the one working that would be different. equal but different.
Nov 29 2006, 09:17 AM
Katie, I suspect that part of what you're really looking for is someone with a level of intellegence that you can respect & you've been taught that a higher education is necessary to gain that level of intellegence. Does that sound right? Perhaps the people in your life have convinced you that if a person has not gotten a college degree, then that individual must have no drive or intellectual curiosity & could never have a successful career. But that simply isn't always the case and there are a lot of professional people out there who do not have college degrees (Some of my friends are amongst them). Maybe you just don't come across them because of the nature of your work(?).
I can't blame you for developing that point of view, though. It's very common. Just the other night I heard about a man who was looking for a new job in his field. He had 20 years of experience doing his job & had obtained every license necessary, but he was having trouble getting a new position because he didn't have a college degree. He was told that the degree could be in anything - even if it had no connection to the work he was doing - just so long as he had some sort of degree. Absolutely ridiculous. And such a shame that his years of self-education went totally ignored.
But that's another subject.
I think that having a similar philospohy about money is extremely important in a relationship. It's no surprise that money is a major factor in the break-ups of many relationships. And it isn't just about having enough money, but about how to spend the money they have. My Ex and I had very different ideas on this subject and it drove me insane! His money management skills were awful. He rarely remembered to set aside money to cover his half of the bills. Instead, he would spend his money on unnecessary things - movies and comic books and toys - and when it came time to pay the bills, I always had to make up the difference. I felt that he was taking advantage of me & I got sick of being the financially-responsible one. If I had been making more than him I might not have minded so much, but his income was actually slightly more than mine. Infuriating!
Nov 29 2006, 09:51 AM
rose, similar philosophies about money are definitely important - it is the #1 point of tension in relationships, supposedly. my own problem is that i was on my own for over a decade, financially, before meeting the mister, while he was never on his own financially, so he has little practical philosophy...
in your place, i'd've advised your friend to make up a degree. that kind of thing is such crap - and it's really all about class and social pedigree.
Nov 29 2006, 09:58 AM
I think you are totally right rose. You know, i DO see alot of people without an education who make it in this world. most of them happen to be in my parents generation. I know personally, I dont think I would have ever gotten a job if it wasnt for having a degree (a degree that is completely unrelated to what I do FYI), mostly bc i am searching and searching for non profit jobs and unless i am going to be a secretary, i need a masters or 5-7 years experience or something along those lines. When you see that, its hard to think that an education isnt important i suppose ya know?
perhaps its also a problem with the guys i know. as i said to AP, my ex fully admits that if his mother hadnt made him go to college (he is from upstate ny where going to college is not necessarily the norm or expected) and if one of his ex GF's hadnt made him go on a term abroad, then he would probably be a mechanic with a wife and kids in the same town he grew up in. Now, there is NOTHING wrong with that, however, he would also still be a close minded republican asshole who would have no motivation or inclination to see the world outside his little bubble. I have met his friends from high school and yes they are successful without college degrees, god knows the work hard-but there is something that isnt there that college provided.
clearly, this completely depends on the person. as you said, not everyone or every guy is like that at all-but that is my experience (among others) and is probably why i hold that view. so maybe, its not the intelligence, bc god knows college does not confer intelligence, but more worldview and exposure to new things that not many people have the motivation to go out and do on there own. i know i need to look at things differently though.
ok back on topic:
"me either, except that i'm not afraid he can't keep a job, just that he can't get a job that will support us in leading a moderately comfortable life (bills paid, kids provided for, a bit in savings), and i'll always have to pick up the slack."
thats kinda what i meant too pink. and i think that if you cant keep away from eachother, that says alot no matter what the financial situation.
isnt money the #1 reason people fight and divorce? yeah, thats something i would like to avoid. its also the most uncomfortable subject to fight about.
Nov 29 2006, 03:57 PM
good points, everybody.
money is uncomfortable to fight about. the other thing that i find uncomfortable to fight about is family. it is a major production around here when we discuss where to spend which holiday. our mothers are huge issues in themselves. my mom has a mean, stubborn streak, and his mom is unreliable/self-absorbed. and they don't like eachother.
how are you guys handling family/the holidays?
Nov 29 2006, 04:55 PM
we live in the same city as my parents and not his; also, we both hate where they live and aren't super-fond of them, so it's not that hard. however, there are of course pressures to see them (before he met me he'd never NOT been with them on xmas or thanksgiving) and to be fair. what we decided early on was that we spend christmas without either set of parents, just us. we tend to spend thanksgiving with my mom, but that's somewhat geographic - if they lived here, i suspect we'd alternate or do it all together.
i am very happy with the decision to spend christmas on our own.
Nov 30 2006, 08:12 AM
gren, xmas alone is a terrific idea. waking up with my bf on xmas morning the thing i most look forward to on the holiday. my family's going to put me in the looneybin well before he does...
Nov 30 2006, 08:27 AM
I imagine people probably fight about kids as much as money, don't they? I thought I read somewhere that happiness decreases across the board (at least temporarily) when you add children to your family.
Hee, katiebelle, speaking personally as a thrice college drop-out: sometimes the smart people just don't belong in classroom settings. *ahem* cough cough
We went to Mr.Luci's family's Thanksgiving 'do, and my parents are coming here for "christmas." gah. I am so uncomfortable calling our winter gathering something so supposedly religious, since we're all such secular atheists. But I'm excited to have my parents come to our house; they haven't seen our new apartment yet and I love getting cozy and baking and having a pine tree in the house. And Mr.Luci fits into my family so much better than I do into his. He hasn't quite told his mom yet and I'm somewhat worried about that conversation, although I am staying the hell out of it.
Nov 30 2006, 12:04 PM
well, kids are a stress, so i'm sure their arrival causes more strife - so does moving, changing jobs, employment unhappiness, economic woes, religious conflict, etc. etc.
i'm a big proponent of xmas alone since well before being in a couple. but luci, if you have a tree...don't you have to call it christmas? unless you're calling it a hannukah bush.
one other thing we decided was that we would go somewhere else for xmas (which makes it easier to avoid family). i'm not sure we're going to stick to that one, tho. it's fun, but not the most important part of the issue.
i haven't gotten "loving what is" from the library yet, but i've already started "loving what is" about my in-laws: they're not my family! and i don't have to like them! in the last couple days it finally dawned on me that it is really fine for me to dislike my in-laws, and i suspect i can be less hateful to them now.
Nov 30 2006, 12:23 PM
Naw, I figure if I actually decorated the tree with angels and crosses and went to church and sang about Jesus, then I would call it Christmas...but the significance of the actual day doesn't exist for me, so I don't call it anything. Co-opting a religion that isn't mine feels stupid, so I don't apply Jewish or Pagan significance to it either. Nor do we focus on one day. I suppose "Weeklong gathering with loved ones to temporarily lift everyone's seasonal depression and have an excuse to splurge on fabric I wouldn't buy for myself to make purdy things for others" is just way too wordy and really hard to write songs about
No universal appeal.
Nov 30 2006, 12:32 PM
At work, we call them "holiday trees". I kind of like that.
Nov 30 2006, 12:33 PM
well, i think you're actually in the majority - there's a huge number of people for whom christmas = tree+hanging with family+presents+eating lots and has nothing to do with "christ"
the smartest people i know didn't go to college. and the second-smartest people (myself included) hated every second of it. so socially constructed and fake. ugh.
ok, total thread derail. back to committed time now: a poll. if you could change one thing about your partner/relationship, what would it be?
Nov 30 2006, 12:53 PM
hmmm...1 thing, eh? Hmmmm....right now i totally adore him, so its a bit of a challenge. But, i'd say his temper. He has a short fuse. Poof! Anger, then its over. Then again, there are benefits to that, too...he's the last one to hold any grudges. But, I'll say temper.
Nov 30 2006, 01:04 PM
probably his messiness.... dishes in the sink for days, dirty clothes everywhere, mail piled on the kitchen table that has to be moved to eat breakfast. yes, maybe i need to change my anal-ness...
Nov 30 2006, 02:59 PM
my husband just came in and said, "the only time you can change a man is when he's in diapers."
i think i might change his sense of humour.
Nov 30 2006, 05:11 PM
that's funny gren, about the book. that's not exactly what it's about but i like it anyhow.
i call it The Holidays. that works for everyone doesn't it? Season's Greetings and all that...
gah. my mister pissed my mom right off last time she was here visiting. lucky for him (and me) she's the forgiving type because he acted like a spoilt little brat.
my sister, however, does not like him at all. they only met one time, before we were even together but he and i have had a hard time and she Isn't all that forgiving. it's gonna make it fun when she comes for the baby's birth. he better be on his very best behavior 'cause she will have zero trouble telling him right off if he's not. should be fun
Nov 30 2006, 05:11 PM
my dad, who is easiest and most pleasant, lives four hours away.
i've never met his dad, he lives across the country.
our moms, however, both difficult, live in our area. that means they both expect to see us on the holidays. we've talked about taking turns, but then my BF feels bad because its just his mom and his older sister by themselves- they have no cousins/aunts/uncles like my mom does in the area. so, the holidays are full of scheduling, and his family never makes up their mind til the last minute. i would love to spend most of the day just the two of us. our families, though, wouldn't have it, and he wouldn't feel right about not seeing his mom. i've been talking about having the xmas day meal at my house. we will have to ban alcohol, because i do not want his mom drinking. or my mom. but my mom will refuse to go, of course, as long as his mom is there!
grenadine, i don't like my guy's mom, either, and i guess i'd been hoping i'd learn to like her or something. i just have a hard time respecting her.
if i could change one thing about him.... i would make him more motivated and proactive. he wants a new job, wants an education, wants to get himself straight, financially.... but his constant comment, when i ask, is "i was planning on it."
Nov 30 2006, 05:42 PM
pink, if i were the type to tell other busties what to do, which i'm not, i would say HIGHTAIL IT TO YOUR DAD'S for XMAS! either that or hightail it four hours in any direction that will get you out of seeing people's moms.
pepper, at least you know she loves you...right?
i'm going to read the book soon. in the meantime i just like practising with the title
oh, and more seriously...my hubby is the same way, pink. "i was planning on it." unfortunately for him i'm the kind of person who says "i just cleaned the kitchen, put the baby to bed, cured cancer, and wrote a novel while you were planning on it, so what the fuck does that mean?"
i, too, am hard to live with.
Dec 8 2006, 03:55 PM
"unfortunately for him i'm the kind of person who says "i just cleaned the kitchen, put the baby to bed, cured cancer, and wrote a novel while you were planning on it, so what the fuck does that mean?"
i, too, am hard to live with."
ahhh, I can relate to this. and mr. frog has said, once in a frustrated while, that I expect him to do as much as I do and as every bit as quickly, which he feels is unreasonable. I go back and forth on this. on the one hand, he's probably right. on the other hand, if he took care of dishes and laundry as quickly as I do, we'd have a lot less clutter to live with. (my ocd tendancies sometimes manifest themselves in little ms. housekeeper ways.) and he prefers to... plan on things, most of the time, instead.
and as far as the one thing I'd change about him if I could: willingness to relocate and/or willingness to decide upon a direction in life. I am planning to relocate next fall, for financial/career/family reasons. and while he doesn't plan to stay where we are forever, he also doesn't know where he'd rather be. or when he would be ready to leave. or, hell, what he might like to do with his life.
and it's really, really, really (really really) eating away at me. I love being with him; I've loved being with him for the past three years. we're a great team. we complement each other. we have talked about how this is a really (really really) great thing we have going. but then what happens next fall? I pack up and leave by myself? the end? or the beginning of an indefinite long-distance relationship? wha? huh? he can't say. I can't stop crying. it's been funtimes here in the frog household, especially as I assemble my out-of-state job applications in the living room... bah.
has anyone else had geographic issues to contend with in their commitment?
Dec 8 2006, 05:31 PM
I'm with gren in wanting a more proactive husband....we have intiative problems here...which is really showing its bare ass right now as turbomann is in a transition period and out of work. He does take care of the things I ask him to, when a list is left, but its been 3 weeks, and he has yet to send out his first resume. Get the fuck on with it already!!!!
frog...we dealt with the long-distance thing twice - once for a year - the very first year of our relationship when turbomann was in the army on active duty....and then again 5 years later when I had graduated college and went to live in a retreat community volunteering for a year. Both times we existed to each other only in letters - the kind with stamps, and it was a challenging, but really sweet time. I'd do the LDR thing again, because I know he's the right guy for me, but I wouldn't do it indefinitely...maybe a year, tops, just to see if the move settled in and felt good for me.
Dec 10 2006, 02:04 PM
frog, i'm sorry you're in pain about this. FWIW, i really, really believe that if it's real he'll come with you, sooner or later. and if not - maybe this is a pain you need to go where you want to go?
turbojenn, i don't know what to do about the less-motivated men. something in me right now is saying let them decide on their own, which they WILL do when they see how much ass their women are kicking.
my mother-in-law did not come. hallelujah. she wants to come in january. hmm. on an unrelated note, i'm feeling pretty smug about the live, potted noble fir xmas tree we got, which we'll plant after the holidays. no more THROWING TREES IN THE GARBAGE at my house.
Dec 11 2006, 07:49 AM
My mister goes between being very proactive and, well, not. He launched himself into a good career a few years ago so I've seen him in action, but currently he's on leave and debating what to do next. Because I know through experience he will eventually settle on his next move, I'm not too bothered, as long as the rent gets paid.
It does irritate me that he's always
at home these days and not always doing a hell of a lot... but then, since he went on leave he has more time for us being together, and has lately been cooking up a storm, so I forgive him.
Flyingfrog, I dunno what advice to offer: it may well be that as he sees you preparing to move, he'll pull himself together... or join you in 6 months, a year, etc. I agree with turbo that being apart can be bittersweet: we've done it when one of us was travelling. I also think though that he needs to articulate what he wants; you can't do all the work here.
We're in a sort of similar situation, f-frog. We've talked about living abroad for a year or so in future, and/or eventually relocating altogether. My academic work will allow me to do research abroad (if I choose to and get funding) so the possibility is becoming real, but the more I enthuse the more he seems to shrink back. Which I understand, given his current situation work-wise.... but sometimes I feel as though I might just take off on my own for 3 or 6 months as required. He has a child living a few hours away though (the mother's got custody: a long story) and doesn't want to be too far from her, which I completely understand. Yet I sometimes feel, 'okay, but does this mean I
can't go anywhere either??'
Where he does drive me nuts is over the place we're living in now. He's been there for 7 years, 5 before I arrived, and from the day I moved in I wanted out again: it's a mess and his stuff overwhelms the place. Also, he is messy, beyond messy really, and the place is tricky to clean. I am trying to convince him to move somewhere nicer, frankly, where I feel comfortable inviting family and friends to stay, and he's not budging. And yet again, his current work sitch means we shouldn't move right now.
However, we are engaged: and not to be all The Rules about this, but I don't want to marry until I'm happier about where we live. The wedding's only one day: then there is the rest of our lives together, and I don't want them spent in that house!
Dec 11 2006, 09:10 AM
my ex is of the non-proactive type, steadily working a crappy job he hated but never moving an inch to get himself out of it or do anything else with his life to make him happier. it was this state of limbo and his general negativity that made me leave. but, he was quite the housekeeper.
my current bf is of the beyond messy type, his house is a tornado disaster site. we've been talking about moving in together next summer, but i'm not going near that house, and besides, i'm not in love with the area he lives either, far away from my family and all. he seems willing to compromise, about the moving at least. and he is quite busy with work, at a job he loves.
bottom line.... i choose messy over apathy any day!
Dec 12 2006, 11:44 AM
nice, nickclick..and i agree....
i'll start at the beginning....
we've always had communication problems....we've done the therapy before and after marriage...and we still have issues. i don't think he's doing enough and he's incommunicado when he feels picked on. when my plate gets too full, i start clearing it....no matter whats on it....i currently work part time, go to night school and have him, plus 2 cats to take care of.
the 2nd cat was a new addition and its not working out. so my solution is to find her another home so i can have peace of mind back. He wants to keep her and work it out. my stress level is to the point of my skin is breaking out, i'm losing weight faster than i had planned, and i'm tired as a dog. so i want to find her another home asap....which he won't let me. so in my defiant way, i tell him to find homes for both cats then cuz i can't deal with it. you'd have thought i'd said 'well, you can leave then and take the damn cats with you!' by his expresssion on his face. mind you, i'm the crazy animal lady and these are his first two live pets he's ever had. now he's acting like a 6 year old who's 'mom' is taking away his favorite toy. real mature.
its just that i can't cope with the stress of job, class, cats, him, and keeping a house clean on my own. its way too much. so i've been avoiding the cleaning, the cats, him and focusing on the two things i must do.
half of this is a vent-rant and half is a plea for suggestions.
Dec 12 2006, 11:59 AM
well, if he's acting like a kiddy by not taking care of his pets, than that forces you into the mama role. why isn't he takign care of the cats? or why can't he do something else to help lighten your load? i think it's right that you aren't cleaning the house, etc. he needs to do some work dude!
Dec 12 2006, 12:30 PM
I know exactly how you feel, believe me. Men seem to require instruction...mine doesn't really notice things around the house that need to be done, unless you point it out. Can you leave him a list of things he needs to do to help you balance the household load? You need to just be up front with him that you *can't* do it all without losing your mind, and you really would appreciate his help with chores, and especially the kitties, if they are adding to the stress in your life. I hate to be general, but it seems like a lot of the men in our generation are clueless in the realm of house cleaning, cooking, household management...that's what the girls are for, right?
I think we need more bustie-like moms to raise some ass-kicking feminist house-cleaning and cooking whiz men in this world!
Turbomann is coming along in his chore responsibility, but its slow, and really we're surging ahead in leaps and bounds right now because he's unemployed, and I'm taking the stance that he's home all day - its his job to clean, launder, walk the dog and all the other things I normally do. But he does require a list, and a deadline as to when you need said chore done.
Dec 12 2006, 01:17 PM
i hate nagging.....absolutely frickin hate it.......more than i hate doing dishes...which is pretty bad.
he does clean the kitty litter for me since that does need to be done every other day....but that's about it. he does his own laundry...so thats one less thing to worry about...but he leaves messes everywhere. and you'd think that he'd be home when i was so we could talk and reconnect and rebuild ourselves as a unit for the next day but no...that's another issue.
turbo, i can't give him a list cuz he won't do it. and he doesn't take instructions from me very well. alas, another communication issue. (when i re-read this, it makes me wonder if we speak the same language or what.)
i'm just frustrated and stressed.
Dec 12 2006, 01:34 PM
ms.gb, grrrrrrrrrrrr away...
i hear you with the nagging. whenever i do it i sound exactly like my mother and that scares the crap outta me, both that i might be anything like my mother and that my boyfriend is like my child.