Would overbearing parents be a relationship killer for you? That’s what this thread is about. OP’s boyfriend has no financial independence, and his parents want to see her tax returns before they move in together. Aside from the hypocrisy, their request is a dark harbinger for the future. And the boyfriend has urged OP to seriously considered the idea.
annoyedthrw wanted to know how she should deal with his parents.
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
I have been with my BF for 3 years, living together for 2. My BF has always been very close to his family. They live not that far away and he has never lived anywhere but NYC where he was born and raised, therefore always had his parents close by and spends time with them regularly – therefore I didn’t see anything odd at first about how close he is to his parents and assumed it was normal.
However, since we moved in together there were red flags regarding his parents. Some examples:
1. There is a coin-operated laundromat half a block away from our apartment, but he insists on getting his clothes packed, carries it on a 30-minute one way subway ride all the way to his parents’ to have it washed. I thought this was weird but hey, his clothes, his time, his subway fare.
2. He shares a bank account with his parents. His parents pore over his financials regularly and once chewed him out over spending too much money on ordering pizza! I found this kind of odd too but as we keep our finances separate, this didn’t affect me so I let this slide.
3. On a camping trip with his family, a mosquito entered our tent and I tried multiple times to slap it in between my hands. Immediately, his mom and dad barged into our tent, yelling and demanding to know why I was “slapping my BF.” I was utterly confused and told them that I was slapping a mosquito, in fact, the mosquito was still buzzing around the tent. My BF backed me up but his parents thought that he was covering up for me and since then, they have disliked and mistrusted me with things like, when I got a promotion, they called my place of work to see if “I was telling the truth about working there and my promotion.” This I found utterly INSANE and embarrassing me at my workplace, however, my BF stood up for me again and therefore I didn’t think it was right to dump him for his parents’ insanity. Despite my BF sticking up for me and telling the truth to his parents on both these instances, they continued mistrusting me. I started not wanting to go to many of their family events after these ridiculous episodes, which my BF said he understood and never pressured me into going.
4. I make more money that my BF, so I asked him if we could move to a better neighborhood and I will pay a bigger portion of the rent to cover this, and he would be paying the same amount he currently pays. He got extremely upset that he couldn’t “pull his weight” but I told him that I don’t mind paying more so that we can live in a safer area. I chalked this to how men are shamed in the media if they are seen as not good providers blah blah and assumed he was just insecure about it. However, when he discussed this with his parents, they accused me of hiding a source of income (uh no, I have a regular old boring marketing job) and being involved with unsavory activities or that I am lying about something and hiding things. I was utterly confused! My BF doesn’t believe any of their BS, and again stood up for me.
However, sh!t soon hit the fan. His parents are now demanding to see my bank statements to prove to them that everything is on the up and up. My BF knows that I have nothing to hide, so he said that I should just do it to shut them up so that they’d stop with the drama. However, I think that this is a huge violation of my privacy. Why should I have to justify myself to them when I have done nothing wrong, and what right do they have to the details of my finances? If I give in, what else will I be expected to do to satisfy their insanity?
At the same time, it’s not my BF’s fault that he was born into that crazy family, and he has stood up for me every time, and I don’t want to break up with him over something that he didn’t do. Still, his parents are driving me up the wall and stressing me out! What should I do?
tl;dr: BF’s overbearing parents are insisting to see my bank statements because they have paranoid ideas, I am very uncomfortable about it and wondering what to do.
The boyfriend needs to get his parents in check.
This isn’t going to end until he takes care of things and makes it end. They’re his parents and managing their influence on your relationship is his responsibility. You continue firmly saying no to their insane requests while having some conversations with the BF about how HE intends to deal with this.
The boyfriend shouldn’t even consider his parents’ request.
Honestly, this would be a relationship killer for me. For him to even entertain the thought is insulting. At his age he should be able to live where he wants and spends as he pleases, the fact he feels compelled to “prove” things to his parents is an immense turnoff.
I would not be able to respect a partner like this.
It’s definitely odd that the boyfriend doesn’t have his own bank account. He’s nearly 30.
I can’t get my head around not having your own bank account at 28. I’ve had one of my own since I was 15. What even is that?
If the boyfriend were really standing up for her, he’d refuse his parents’ demands.
Telling you should comply with an unreasonable request is NOT standing up for you. Standing up for you = telling his parents that their demand is unreasonable, that you are absolutely not going to comply with it, and that to ever even mention it again is unacceptable. Going forward, standing up for you would be to stop his parents before they can even get the next crazy demand out and telling them to back up the crazy.
Tell him that you love him, but that you WILL NOT have that kind of abusive craziness as part of your life. He needs to chose between crazy parents and you, period.
It’s time for OP to get tough.
Yes, you do. Let them guilt trip. Let them cry and beg and plead. Until they start treating him like the grown a** man he is, they don’t need to be a part of his life.
I had a similar relationship with my Dad in my early twenties, although not as bad. I had to kick him out of my apartment when I was 22 because he was going through all of my cabinets and dresser drawers, telling me I didn’t hang stuff properly, I should store my pots and pans here, etc. I told him until he could respect my space that I paid for with money that I made, he was not welcome in my apartment. I still called him every other day, to say hi, ask how he was, and tell him I loved him, but anytime the conversation would devolve into some petty BS, I cut him off. “Okay Dad, I have to go. I love you, have a good night.” Click.
Just because they’re his parents doesn’t give them the right to control his life until he’s 90.
Boyfriend needs to learn boundaries.
His parents are totally out of line and irrational and your bf, for all his kindness and obvious love for you, doesn’t know how to maintain boundaries. People like his parents need iron clad boundaries. You can’t just say “she didn’t slap me” you have to pack up your tent and leave to make your point clear. Words aren’t enough, only actions send a strong enough message to get through to people like that.
Your bf needs to tell his parents that the next time they make an irrational demand for personal information, that he will say “no” once and then leave if they ask again. Leave, hang up the phone, whatever. And you have to follow through consistently until they stop pushing.
The parents have no right to ask for financials in the first place, either.
They have no right in f*cking hell to look at your bank statements. That is crossing so many boundaries I can’t even begin to explain how mad that would make me. Tell them in no uncertain terms that you will not be doing that, that they are completely out of line and if your boyfriend won’t stand up for you here that’s a bad sign. Do you really want to deal with this stuff the rest of your life? Imagine with marriage, or having these people be the grandparents of your kids. Holy sh*t.
This is good advice.
OP, print this thread. Then put it in an envelope, label it “Bank Statements” and give it to his parents.
Seek counseling and reconsider the future of the relationship.
You really should think twice about marrying him or having a child with him. His parents have their talons in tight. Theirs isn’t the kind of relationship that will change if BF isn’t willing to set and stick by boundaries… And from what you describe, BF is perfectly happy with the way things are.
My advice: Couples counseling. Lots of it.
Answers in poetry.
I wrote you a Haiku.
No no no no no
Oh f*ck no hell no f*ck that
No no no no no.
If you give a mouse a cookie…
BF knows that I have nothing to hide, so he said that I should just do it to shut them up so that they’d stop with the drama.
That won’t shut them up. It won’t make them stop. The only way to remove the drama is for your BF to put his foot down firm. He needs to separate his funds from them. He needs to stop being on the apron strings.
F*ck his parents. I can’t believe they actually called your work place to find out about your promotion. I would’ve went OFF on them! Seriously, f*ck his parents!
Boyfriend needs to act like an adult.
He should be able to handle his own bank account, laundry, and housing decisions.
Just jumping in to reinforce this. At almost 30, he shouldn’t be taking his laundry home to mommy. Even if he’s just using their washing machine/drier but doing his own laundry, this is just something people shouldn’t be doing after college.
It’s especially ridiculous because he’s traveling a significant distance to do it rather than just going to the laundromat near his home.
Tell your boyfriend to stand up for you, or leave.
My BF knows that I have nothing to hide, so he said that I should just do it to shut them up so that they’d stop with the drama.
He is NOT standing up for you. He is letting them walk all over you. He needs to shut this down or it will continue to happen for the rest of your relationship.
Your are dating someone who is almost 30, not a 17 year old. How you put up with this is beyond me.