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Difficult Parents

Travel Forums General Talk Difficult Parents

1. Posted by redcadence (Budding Member 28 posts) 7y

Hi!

I am going to be leaving the UK for New Zealand in just under 5 weeks. I am seriously looking forward it. But I have a problem with my parents, in particular, my Mum. over the last few months she has continuously been making comments about the trip, never outwardly saying that she doesn't want us to go, just making me feel extremely guily. Her favourite one lately is "I haven't slept for days..." and then me being the stupid ones says "How come?", and I get "Beacuse I'm worried about a certain someone". She has now taken to cornering my partner, who is also coming with, and telling him that she has been crying for days.

Anyways, does anyone have any advise on how to handle difficult parents? I want to call her bluff and say that I wont go then, but I am afraid of the consequences!

Thanks

R

2. Posted by loubylou (Travel Guru 664 posts) 7y

We went through a similar thing to you before we left the UK. My parents were ok with the idea of us travelling and accepted it was our choice, but my boyfriend's mum was a different matter. Similar things like you are saying about her being worried etc.

We ended up just sticking to our guns and kept on explaining why we had to do it. My mum also talked to her and told her she was being a little bit selfish not wanting us to live our life the way we had chosen. She got a really good talking to from my mum (eventhough they don't know each other that well!) and keeps getting one everytime they talk!. Can your partner's mum talk to her to try and put her at ease a little bit?

To be honest with you it doesn't get any better while you are away...his mum still makes comments when we phone. She never directly asks when we are going back, she always phrases it 'so and so was asking if you were coming back and says how hard it must be for me to have you away for sooooo long' then she gives a big theatrical sigh and says 'never mind I will see you next year'! Because we didn't live near her when we were in the UK, my boyfriend simply says to her we hardly ever saw you anyway, so what difference is it whether we are away or in the UK?! That tends to have the effect of changing the subject

The only thing you can do is make it clear you have made your mind up, remind her that she has brought you up to be adventurous, independent and to live your life without regrets (this is what we did) and say you are going whether she likes it or not...it seems harsh but we had to do this. My boyfriend's mum still hasn't accepted that this is our choice even after two years away.

The guilt from parents is the worst...I really feel for you but you have have to live your life for you and do what makes you happy.

If you are going to be living in NZ for a while, why don't you invite your parents to visit around half way...even if they don't accept it will make them feel a little more 'loved' and like they aren't losing you altogether!? Oh and set them up with skype, promise to call lots and e-mail!

[ Edit: Edited on Oct 9, 2008, at 10:28 AM by loubylou ]

3. Posted by redcadence (Budding Member 28 posts) 7y

Thanks for the reply!

Both sets of parents are coming over in February as we are getting married then, so they wont have too long to wait until we see them again. I can't really ask my partners Mum to say anything as they have never actually met!! Crazy, especially since we have been together 7 years and are getting married really soon!!

It is just a real strain. I am starting to resent going around there as every time I do, I come away feeling awful. And that is such a terrible thing to say about my parents. My Dad seems quite excited about it, and is looking forward to their own trip in February. In the beginning he was the difficult one, saying that he couldn't believe that we were giving up our "good" jobs etc., but he has come around. It is becoming too much to cope with.

I think that they thought that we would never actually go through with it. We have been planning it for a long time, and have delayed our departure more than once. But now it's all booked and only a month away.

4. Posted by loubylou (Travel Guru 664 posts) 7y

Yes, the thought that you wouldn't go through with it was probably there with your mum. The same as my boyfriend's mum, we had to put our trip off a few times too as my redundancy date was moved. She had to rapidly accept it though when it did happen! Our parents have only met a couple of times and we have been together for 13 years but my mum still gives a talking to when necessary!

I would tell her that you are resenting going there because of her attitude, that you don't want it to be like this just before you are going away. I'd say to her that it's only 4 months until she sees you again and it will be such a happy occasion when you do see her again, you don't want bad memories from just before you were leaving to spoil you spending time together.

Maybe your dad can talk to her then and help her feel more relaxed about the whole thing. Good luck, I know the feeling too well! The thing that gets me though about my boyfriends mum is that we have invited her and his dad to come and see us and they refuse...my parents jumped at the chance to come and see us, but his mum seems to complain about us being away but hasn't done anything to see us either!

Hope you sort it out!

5. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4809 posts) 7y

Also see the advice in these old threads:

6. Posted by sunset1999 (Full Member 108 posts) 7y

Ha!

It took me three years to reassure my parents and I am a single female quitting a very good job that allows me to live in places like Hawaii for work.

But in the end you just have to go and follow your dreams. I'm in London now and my parents keep urging me to go home and I've only been here for two weeks.

Don't let the guilt get to you, you have to suck it up and let it out or completely ignore it. I have told my parents in one conversation while I was working in Australia they have have raised me to be independent. I know how to cook, clean, look after myself, eat healthy, exercise, save money and yet treat myself.

Anyway you'll get there.

Good luck!