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Parents Freaked Out over Living Together?

Joan JerkovichMarch 25, 2014

My parents live out in Illinois and I live near NYC. I have been living with my boyfriend for the past 6 months and it has been fine, but now my mom wants to visit for a mother/daughter weekend.

My parents are already upset that I did not come back to Illinois after graduating college. I mentioned that I might want to move in with my boyfriend and they freaked out saying that I would turn into a dependent and sad woman. I decided to move in with him but told my parents that he just stays on the weekends and still lives with his parents for the weekdays. I hate confrontation with my parents, but my mother wants to visit in the next couple of months. What should I do?

If you have become a dependent and sad woman, just for living with your boyfriend, you are not alone. According to a survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, nearly half (50%) of women aged 14 to 44 years old “cohabited” outside of marriage between 2006 and 2010. Those numbers are likely higher today. Do I think that living together makes you, and half of all women in relationships, “dependent and sad”? Hell No! Read on…

At some point in time you will want to stand up for yourself as an adult who makes her own decisions in life, and be the adult who is willing to live with the consequences of those decisions. If now is the time to tell your parents you are living with your boyfriend, or not, is a question only you can answer.

One thing you may want to consider is when will there be a better time to take a stand with this decision you have made? Will the confrontation be any easier if you put off telling them about your living situation? What does your boyfriend have to say about your hiding this reality from your parents? Do you really think your parents believe the “weekends only” living-together arrangement?

As you fear confronting your parents, realize that you have no control over how they will react, but you do not have to take responsibility for their opinions, criticism or reactions. Be true to what you want and need in life. I’m sure they made decisions their parents didn’t approve of. Fear of confrontation can also occur if you assume that their reaction will be over-the-top crazy, yet, most confrontations with parents don’t turn in to their disowning you. Usually things will cool off and soften with time. Also, your parents need to understand the reality of society today. We don’t live in the Renaissance era with chastity belts, or the Victorian era with every inch of skin covered with floor length skirts, high collars and long sleeves!

For another perspective on this same issue, read my answer to a similar question, “Living with Boyfriend, Parents Don’t Know”.

Joan Jerkovich, BCC Joan Jerkovich, BCC
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