Bridging Denial (so my family can get over it)

**DoctorJ ** as one of my favorite intelligent posters, I am shocked, just *shocked * to hear that someone as level headed as you to have such busy body family. I mean, I assumed that you came from such an excellent parentage and well cultivated eugenics of free thinking card carrying members of the Liberal Party.

You are just like the rest of us…well, me. .escapees from the small minded planet of zombified family members. They are so far in the rut and soooo unable to think anymore that they just follow the rules without questioning. That is their world and so be it. I live in mine, a much happier, guilt free place.
There are several options, none of which will work and one that is sure fire. First, the crappy, but well meant, advice.

  1. You do not need your parents approval. Really. They have the rest of their lives to get over the decisions you make. ( It took me 33 years to figure that one out.)

  2. Moving a few states away from them is possibly the best thing you will do for yourself. This will force the powers that be to realize that you are beyond their control anymore and allow them to focus more on the spineless-needing direction and strong guidelines/rules people intheir lives which manipulate with guilt and coercision.
    and now the money shot::::::: drumroll::::::::

  3. Tell your Mom and Grand mother you are gay and that Tamara is just your fag hag. That 'll give them something new to fret over, like deeper, more eternal damnation of your soul. My profuse apologies to Tamara.

If any information in this post was coherent or useful, it is by pure coincidence.

Best yet, go ahead and get married on the QT at the courthouse. Don’t tell ANYONE that you did it, and continue with your moving/househunting/job changing etc. Every time you talk to your family you can snicker quietly at their lip quivering histrionics. Then after all this is over and done, and you’re settled, throw a big old housewarming party and when the family comes over draw their attention to the (ostentatiously) framed marriage license on the wall and ask them how they could possibly have not known that you were married already, since it’s such a big deal that it MUST make some outward change to a person to be legally wed and all…

So you win a few points off them and their stupidy attitudes, you avoid the hassle of the big fat wedding AND you get a laugh out of it all–win/win in my book!

Bloody fantastic idea Aleq - you can always have some sort of ‘service of blessing’ of your vows at a later date to appease the family.

DOCTOR J, I have nothing but respect for you as a great poster. And I heartily congratulate you on finishing med school and finding a great SO to share your life with – both huge achievements. But . . .

It seems like you want your family to not only accept your plans, but to be happy about them. I can certainly understand why that would be ideal, but it is realistic? It doesn’t sound like your family has cut you off in any way, they just have the “quaver in the voice” and the coolness in conversation that indicates a lack of total approval. Because they don’t totally approve.

I think you’re right that the bottom line for them is that they just have to deal with the situation, and it sounds like they are – not with unassailable grace, but dealing with it none the less.

Maybe you’re asking a little too much of them to expect them to be ecstatic about it? Because while I’m not a Southern Baptist and you obviously know your family better than anyone, I do know that “shacking up” is not a “minor little detail” to some SB’s. Right? So aren’t you really asking your family to act 100% supportive of something they do not (cannot) 100% support? Again, I totally understand this on an emotional level – we all want our parents unequivocal approval always – but is it something that’s reasonable to expect?

Sorry I can’t jump on the bandwagon of telling you your family’s totally out of line, but I’m not sure they are.

Anyhoo, again – sincere congratulations. :slight_smile:

  1. Good on ya, mate. Congrats.

  2. The future Mrs Stockton and I will be tying the knot in the same state as you and PolyCarp this fall.

  3. We’re postponing the house and new car so we can get hitched first. Are you bitching about your family or your priorities?

  4. We are currently shacking up and the whole damn family knows. Hasn’t killed a one of them yet.

  5. Weddings CAN be hugely expensive, but they don’t have to be. I know from your recent postings that you have a bazillion friends getting married this year, and THAT can be costly (gifts and stuff). You have resources and friends and compromises. If you want to do it, get the preacher (We love the St Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square) and eat a little dishrag soup for a few months and pull it off. Don’t cry poor because your new job and new house and new car are keeping you from tying the knot.

  6. It will be very interesting to reread this after my wedding and eat some crow and humble pie.

Seriously, I am in NO position to lecture you and I wouldn’t be so blunt outside of the pit, but crying poor about not being able to afford a wedding because of a new house and car and internship just hits me like a wet mackerel.

DoctorJ: Sir, you have a mackerel in your ear.
Stockton: HUH?!
DoctorJ: Sir, you have a mackerel in your ear.
Stockton: HUH?!
DoctorJ: I’m not really ready to get married and I’m worried about what my family will think, and I’m blaming a really really really busy and hectic time in my life to justify our cohabitation.
Stockton: Sorry, I can’t hear you. I have a mackerel in my ear.

As a serial, longtime cohabitor, I assure you: Your family will be there when you tie the knot. Go do your rounds.

Awww, Doctor J, hon, why don’t you and your Sweetie go on down to the courthouse and let the Justice of the Peace take care of things. It don’t cost that much, and at this point it’s the best compromise. Like folks say, you can always have a big ol’ party later. Don’t let your family run your life. You’ve got to draw the line somewhere, and you might as well do it here because if you don’t, they’re going to continue to meddle in your business. Well, I think it’s programmed into parents’ genes to meddle in their children’s affairs. Still, you are not completely helpless in this situation. One other thing to think about, a lawyer friend of mine once told me that in some states the act of a couple buying a house is akin to a common law marriage or something. When you and Tamara buy your house, you may just be getting hitched anyway. :slight_smile:

Congrats on graduating and eventually getting hitched. :smiley:

I was unclear in my OP (I was rambling). Lack of funds is not the primary reason for our failure to get married this summer. (It’s one reason we haven’t gotten married up until now, but it’s one of many and way down the list.) The main reason we put it off until December was because we have so much else going on right now (as do many of our friends), and we didn’t want to squeeze a wedding in there, too.

The JotP idea has not gone unmentioned around here, but Tamara is adamantly opposed to any such thing, and I’m not crazy about it myself. We’re excited about the wedding we’ve planned, and all of our friends and some of our family members share our enthusiasm. Tamara’s family is coming around to the wedding plans, or at least has accepted them. My family will, eventually, come around as well–I just wish they’d get on with it.

Jodi, I agree with much of what you say. My mother has, for the most part, always done what she could to mind her own business, and it is certainly her right to feel the way she does. What bugs me here is 1.) the element of denial; that is, the problem isn’t that we’re shacking up, but that we are being open about it, and 2.) the guilt trip: “You can do anything you want. Really. We’re staying completely out of it. You know we don’t approve, but there’s nothing we can do about it. Nope. Doesn’t matter what we think. You just do whatever. Just whatever you want.” Entirely true statements in and of themselves, but if you keep incessantly pointing out that you’re staying out of it, are you really staying out of it?

Thanks for all the supportive replies. I said from the outset that this was a weak, minor rant, and I mean it–this will pass, and things will be good all around. Writing about it just helped me clear it all up in my head.

I realized that this is hard for me because it is so minor. My relationship with my family has been great, particularly since I don’t live with them anymore. If it weren’t, it would be much easier to tell them to fuck off. As it is, I genuinely value their opinion and support enough that it’s hard when that support wavers.

Dr. J