1

I am 23 years old, am engaged, and live with both my parents. My fiancee recently lost her home due to circumstances out of her control and my parents agreed to let her stay in our home and store her stuff here temporarily and unconditionally. About three weeks into her stay, my fiancee lost her job.

Recently, my Mother has thought of and added two requirements to my partner's stay which were not part of the original agreement: My fiancee shall wake up before 9:00am and go out to distribute CVs a majority of the week, and she will have to move her stuff to a storage facility at her own cost. The requirement of my partner to move her effects to storage was voiced to me before she lost her job.

My fiancee considers these requirements a form of bullying. Are these rules a form of bullying? Or are they status quo and would most parents enforce them given these circumstances?

  • I would migrate this to Interpersonal Skills, but I'm afraid it would be closed there. – anongoodnurse Sep 20 '17 at 20:44
  • Is the canvasing similar to the rules you had or would expect for yourself living with you mom? – user26011 Sep 20 '17 at 21:39
  • 2
    How long is "recently" and "temporarily" ? Your mother might be trying to hint that she does not want to put up with this forever. – user27286 Sep 21 '17 at 0:50
  • 1
    If she feels bullied she should look for a better deal. – paparazzo Sep 21 '17 at 22:32
  • get back to earth and wake up at 7 to distribute those CV, not at 9. Feel bullied? Move out, you ain`t a toddler. – Caterpillaraoz Sep 25 '17 at 9:52
12

Your mother may think she's acting in loco parentis, so I'll answer this.

Are these rules a form of bullying? Or are they status quo and most parent's would enforce them given these circumstances?

They are certainly overbearing and ill-considered, but I'm not sure I would call it bullying. As to whether most parents would do this, you'd have to ask most parents. (I'm a parent of adult children. I wouldn't dream of doing this.)

First, let's dispense with the storage situation. It's wrong to go back on one's word without heavy apologies and an attempt to mitigate the problem (e.g. offering to pay half of the storage fees.) But the timing of this request is particularly unfortunate, what with your fiancée having lost her job. As a parent and hostess of my son's future wife, I'd certainly table this request for a (long) while.

...my fiancee lost her job. ...[M]y Mother... added [the] requirement... [that] [m]y fiancee shall wake up before 9:00am and go out to distribute CVs a majority of the week...

Something strange is going on here, and you need to talk to your mother about this, and keep your fiancée out of the middle. There are several possibilities.

The most innocent one is that your mother is trying to encourage your SO to get cracking on finding a job but has no idea how people get jobs these days. Has she never heard of the internet? Cold calling employers with your CV is not the way to get a job.

The next possibility is that your mom has not seen any evidence of your fiancée looking for a job, and is trying to "encourage" her through micromanaging her time. Unfortunately, not many people take well to micromanaging. If your SO is looking online, make it obvious: have her sit at a table in plain sight while she's looking for a job, and discuss what she's doing from time to time with you and her hostess (that's just good manners on your SO's part as a guest.)

If your SO has not been looking for a job, your mother may be concerned that she will not do so while she has the safety net of your home. That's between you and your mother to discuss.

Another possibility is that your mother is a micromanager who feels she has the right to impose her ways on anyone under her roof. She's wrong. It's disrespectful to her adult guest. That's between you and your mother to discuss.

The most uncomfortable possibility is that your mother does not approve of your SO and is showing her disapproval. That's between you and your mother to discuss.

You mention both of your parents; what does your father think? Can you enlist his help in talking with your mother?

Your best option might be to move into an apartment you and your fiancée can afford. That would solve everything financial and storage-wise right there.

As I said, I'm a mother of grown and married children, but they weren't always independent. I have housed all but one of my kids once they graduated college, and housed an aimless friend of my son's as well for about a year (it would have been longer, but he started doing drugs and hanging out with dangerous people.) All I "required" was some help with household chores, about an hour a day. I had the conditions of their staying with me set before they moved back in, and I wouldn't dream of unilaterally changing them without drastic cause.

| improve this answer | |
  • 2
    Firstly, +1 for a great answer. I don't want to be that guy, but it would be nice if your answer were a little more lending to some situations, so instead of don't know what your father is doing perhaps do you have another parent to turn to. Entirely up to you. I always enjoy your foot notes at the end! – Tas Sep 21 '17 at 0:26
  • 2
    Exactly this. I am a mom to some grown kids (one married) and I have been subject to a few upheavals of moving back in, etc. It is not okay to change the agreement, but like stated, YOU HAVE TO be the one to talk to your mother. HAVE TO. If you want to marry this woman, and have a peaceful life with her and your parents, you should do everything you can to be the person to mediate and try to encourage both to not hash it out directly. I have never in my life seen that go well. – threetimes Sep 21 '17 at 5:25

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy