Matt and his parents... : LUSENET : Journal Sisters : One Thread

Opinions please. It's about Matt.

We've been having this conversation yesterday/today. Allow me to tell you about it. See...he hasn't told his parents he's dating anyone. He doesn't want to get a whole lot of questions about me and says his mother is rabid about grandchildren and he doesn't want to deal with all that. I honestly never thought about whether or not he told his family, until he started mentioning it. He told his brother and sister (who both live away) almost immediately, and he's told a cousin and someone else. But it's been 2 1/2 months now, and I think it was almost amusing him to see how long he could keep it from them. And the more he mentioned it, the more it bothered me.

Michael did the SAME THING. In fact, it was worse. Michael and I started going out in June. In September we went to Canada for Patti's bday and he took me to a family party. At one point his sister said, "OH! You're his GIRLFRIEND!" Well, yeah, Briar, guess your brother didn't mention that!!

Ken was afraid to tell his mother we were getting married. He put it off for MONTHS.

Why do I get all the guys who have some weird thing about telling their parents they're dating??

So last night Matt said something about it, and I tried to tell him that it made me feel very strange to hear about his not telling his parents. He didn't understand, so finally I told him I didn't want to hear about it anymore. Then when I signed offline, I started thinking about it and I realized that yeah, I was a little upset about it. So I signed back on and emailed him, asking him to imagine being me, having this series of men who can't talk to their parents about me. I said I understood that he has nothing to do with the others, but he had to understand that me, having person after person who did this, was starting to get a borderline complex about it and that it was a little upsetting.

I was expecting this to be a little inflammatory...Michael would have freaked out, we definitely would have had an argument or at least some major tension. Instead Matt apologized, said he was sorry he'd upset me and that wasn't his intention, that he hadn't had to deal with his mother on this level before, really, and he wasn't all that prepared for it. He also said (and he'd said this before) that he tends to think things to death, and doesn't always realize that maybe it might be better to just DO something.

Whoa. A guy who can acknowledge his faults without having them pointed out to him...and ask for help fixing them.

So even though Matt is a little reserved, I don't think he WANTS to be. And I'm willing to give anyone a chance who's actually willing to do unprompted self-analysis.

As long as he tells his parents. Soon. I mean--the boy is SLEEPING OVER. Where do they think he goes??

Sigh. Okay. Thoughts?

-- Anonymous, October 06, 1999


Yea, he told them! That says to me that he really didn't mean for it to hurt you. And I just love that you were able to talk to him about this and he LISTENED to you, UNDERSTOOD your feelings and ACTED on it. Love, Love, love that. It's a rare thing indeed. My Dave is pretty good at it, and it's part of the reason I love him so.

I do know somewhat what he was feeling though. I didn't tell my mother about Dave for quite a while afterwards, mostly because I didn' t want to answer her questions. I did not tell her before we moved in together, only after the deed was done.

She was bothering me so much about Pat, asking if we were getting back togther, asking me what happened, and basically giving me grief about the whole situation. She stopped short of telling me "I told you so" but it was mighty close.

So when I started dating Dave I was very cautios with information, and I still am.

-- Anonymous, October 06, 1999

I think all men do this to some extent, probably because they are slower to recognize committment than women are. If it makes you feel any better, I've gone through it, too, with both Jeffrey and Seth. Jeffrey waited nearly 6 months to tell his parents. And Seth wouldn't even mention me to his parents until we were exclusive. He just didn't want to deal with explaining our situation.

Although I have to say that Seth was different than Jeffrey on this. The minute we decided we were exclusive, he told his mom and dad and I met them shortly after. Whereas, with Jeffrey, I had to get mad first before he even thought about telling them. He finally had to when he had to explain why he was going to North Jersey for an entire weekend for my graduation party.

Isn't that always the way? When will men learn that most things don't become issues until they start reminding us of them! ;)

That's a good sign. Then I think you can really take it at face value when he says that he's just not wanting to deal with his mother on this subject right now. If he hadn't told any of his family, then this would be a serious problem.

That's natural. I mean, there's only so long that you can go not minding being "kept a secret," because for all intents and purposes, that's really what he's doing. I think for women, having their boyfriend tell his parents about them is a sign that he's into the relationship, that he's really interested in seeing where things are going, because if he tells his parents and you break up, you know he's going to have to hear about it. Meanwhile, if he hasn't told his parents and the relationship doesn't last, he doesn't have to hear, "Whatever happened to so-and- so? She was such a nice girl." Which is, I think, the main reason why men drag their feet about informing their parents. Although, I don't get this feeling from Matt -- he did tell his siblings (which is a start) and since he is a little inexperienced in the dating arena, it would figure that he'd be a little hesitant since I bet his mom has probably been after him for a while to "find a nice girl." Still, time is moving on and it's getting to be about time for him to say something, esp. now that he is sleeping over. No way! What did you say? See, that is definitely not good. He was wrong.

(And completely off the subject -- Briar is a very pretty name! I never thought of it as a name before!)

Was he [...Ken...] very close with his mom? What did he say when you brought it up with him?

Don't worry, Mel. I find them, too. Jeffrey used to listen to my radio show when he was home on break from school and he would call me while I was on the air, just to chat, and whenever his mom would come in the room, he'd hang up really quickly and turn off the radio! This went on even after we graduated!

Good for you! I really admire the way that you speak your mind and stand up for yourself!

Score some big points for Matt! I really tend to believe this is the case. Even though the actual situation might feel a similar to Michael and Ken, the circumstances are different. And, Matt is able to be rational about this and realize that maybe he isn't handling it in the best way.

I definitely think that he's on the right track. I can understand why he might be hesitant and I think that as long as it seemed like it wasn't bothering you, it was easier for him to just put it out of his mind and avoid dealing with it. But now that you (very nicely) told him about how this is making you feel, he's realizing that he needs to act pretty soon. I say give him the benefit of the doubt for a couple weeks at least, but if he hasn't told them by the end of October, then it's time for a real heart-to-heart. But I seriously doubt if it's ever going to get to that point. Matt has a good head on his shoulders and he seems very considerate and aware of your feelings.

-- Anonymous, October 06, 1999

Okay, guess what? Matt told his parents. Last night. He said he sat down with his mother after work and told her and it wasn't nearly as bad as he had thought it would be; he had worked it up in his mind that she would ask all kinds of questions but she didn't so he ended up volunteering more information than he had intended to in the end. He said now that it was so easy he feels a little foolish, and apparently my picture is now hanging on their fridge (??). Okay...

I told him I hoped he knew I wasn't pushing, and he said he knew I wasn't, and that everyone wants to meet me.

-- Anonymous, October 06, 1999

Melissa: I was just about to e-mail you to pass on my congrats to Matt for passing the bar when I read your entry... faux pas avoided.

I'm proud of you. I think you're being extremely mature about the whole thing. His behavior with Liz and Seth was abominable, and that stuff about "a proper end" is beyond tacky. You were smart to recognize early that this is not the guy for you.

And one big WOO-HOO on your new job (I think it needs its very own thread). That sounds SOO exciting, hobnobbing with all the glam theater-types. What a downright empowering week you've been having!!

-- Anonymous, October 16, 1999

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