Wow, you know what I never realized about dating as a younger person? How lucky I am to have two more parental figures in my life to disappoint by simply being myself!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a special gift I have.
I don’t want to complain because I know the grass is always greener, right? I love my SO and his family is generally nice, but goddamn my relationship with them is so complicated. They treat me with a ton of kindness, but that is not the same thing as respect. I feel hella guilty even talking about this, but respect is acknowledging different values are still valid; kindness is agreeing to let me have the last cup of coffee during dessert. For context, the “in laws” for all intents and purposes, are both kind and disrespectful at the same time. They manipulate situations to get exactly what they want and usually when we say “no” to something it comes with a guilt trip and sometimes even a PHYSICAL FUCKING TRIP where they’ll just show up in our city/neighborhood DOORSTEP “because they wanted to see us even though we said we were busy and they thought this would be more convenient!”. It’s kind of unreal. So anyways, someone was just reminiscing on here about I Thee Dread, and I figured, why not kick off a post about marriage/family/in-law woes and non-woes! It’s wedding season for me, and apparently my sort of in-laws got the message!!
The new thing is that both of his parents are now on facebook. His mom has been on facebook for a while, and she was like, a cool person with it. I trusted it in her hands. Now, literally like this year, she is OBSESSED with being my SO’s mom. She is constantly posting about how handsome he is, how proud she will be “when he has children to share with her” (ACK WHAT), how much she wants him to “raid her fridge and tell her his troubles” (whenever we go there they literally only have food for the meals the cook WTF IS SHE TALKING ABOUT??). Now her husband’s on there too and he’s posting the same stuff, feeling nostalgic about father-son rock ballads and “turning into a nancy” (ugh, die toxic masculinity) and how “proud he is of his WIFE, someone he MARRIED because she is so amazing and he knew she’d make a grrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeattt MOM!!!”. I told my SO that I think they’re throwing subtle shade our way; for some reason even though we’re both the youngest of two siblings, we also are expected to be married and childed-up ASAP. Like, when my SO saw her umpteenth post about how excited she’d be to “share our children’s pictures” (she has talked to me about my uncertainty re: motherhood, btw), he was like, “um well...we’ll see? When we make that decision?” and she was like, “I can dream!!!” LOL. Wat. WHAT?!?!
Honestly, it’s all starting to fuck with my head. Not only are friends like dying to know about our wedding (I don’t want a wedding, i’m a bad planner with very little interest in one unless I get pretty rich pretty soon), my mom has always been on me about embracing a life of marriage and children even though our family is a genetic grab bag of mood disorders and jewish people literally have a pre-disposition for trauma imprinted in our DNA, and now whenever I see something that his parents post it’s half about how great marriage is or about babies. Like, how am I supposed to internalize this!?! They know I’m seeing it, they know how we both feel about this stuff (tldr; we’re not ready emotionally or financially and you know, I’d kind of like to check out this whole, “global warming apocalyptic future” possibility before I find the perfect mason jar theme for my wedding or force a kid to live a life of deprivation). All of this contributes majorly to why his parent’s and I have a strained relationship; I simply think that they see me as a vessel for their future happy experiences. I don’t have ambitions beyond keeping a stable lifestyle afloat and living in my dream city, and I think they’ll never really be satisfied with me unless I give them wedding pictures and a child. Oh and the opportunity to humble brag about everything on FB. Lord, help me. Family events were enough stress with his side bc a.) there are 1200 of them, like they’re basically italian hobbits and b.) we used to be able to laugh off these comments from EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THE 1200 RELATIVES but now people are actually asking us to justify our decisions. It’s driving me so nuts I can’t even think about whether I want a wedding or if I’m going to adopt (not going to get pregnant and kind of can’t anyways due to a fairly new medical condition and the fact that I will not be able to stay on meds I need to stay sane, literally, something that I can’t explain to them bc they think the problems will go away if they want it badly enough for me/them). GAH!
Anyone here have experience dealing with your SO’s family pressuring the fuck out of you to have their lifestyles? I mean, they’re boomers; they’re not financially well-off even though they used to be, they constantly tell us how hard their finances are on them, the job market, etc. and yet they have this dissonance about the financial realities of having weddings and children. Also, they told my SO straight up that they’d be furious if we ever get married without them...look, I get that they made my SO, BUT WTF?? Bringing someone into this world does not entitle you to their every significant experience. Both of us would obviously like to celebrate a marriage with our families, but we’d honestly prefer to just go to city hall and get the licensing done with. No wedding, no fuss. Apparently though, this is one of the ways in which I will seriously be ruining someone else’s life; you know, but living mine how I want.
So yeah, tell me your own experiences/ insights about this and more in the comments! Also feel free to talk happily about your own experiences being married/single/dating/your feelings on marriage and babies...etc. I honestly love babies, love weddings and don’t judge those who want to literally do different things from me; I just appreciate some mutual respect, you know?
Side note: My friend and I were talking about this (he;’s a guy so he has less pressure and more, “I’m waiting to be asked to do what I know my GF wants”), and I feel like this is a millenial thing in a good way. We always get blamed for being entitled, selfish, lazy, killing markets we can’t afford to participate in while we participate in the markets we value, etc. I feel like for all the posts about planned parenthood, a woman’s right to choose, how “disgusting DJT” is, how horrible ageism is in the workplace/ job market (true!) they do, those boomers, when it comes to their own families and children, they have this HUGE blindspot. They think we’re all just gonna come out of this hellish technocapitalism nightmare and be like, “yeah babies and homes omg!” when in reality, I’m afraid things will only get worse and it makes me not want to bring any more children into the world (though again, the idea of fostering those who already are in it is incredibly appealing in that respect). Anyone else having some boomer-related resentment today, or is just me? No offense to any boomers on here either, it’s just something I’ve noticed when I’m talking to coworkers, family, and family of friends.