Am i wrong for staying with my boyfriend?

summer_roseJuly 10, 2007

I am 26 and my boyfriend (Greg) is 38. We have been dating for 4 years now. I have been living on my own since I was 22. When we first met, Greg had a car but I didnt, and he used to either take me everywhere I needed to go or let me borrow his car. About 5 months after we met, I got a car, and then his broke down about 5-6 months after that. So we just ended up sharing my car until he got another one (this lasted for a few months). Since we were sharing the car, Greg decided to help me with all the expenses (he always put gas in the tank, and even offered to help pay my insurance but I told him that was not necessary. I did have to get the muffler replaced and he did pay for that). While we were sharing my car, my stepfather saw Greg driving my car one day and he was furious. He expressed how angry he was, but it eventually blew over. One weekend, Greg had to go to NY (from PA) for business and he asked me to go with him. So we decided, since I was going with him, that we would just drive my car instead of flying or taking the train. I called my mom to let her know that i would be out of town for the weekend and she asked how we were getting to NY. When I told her that we were driving my car, she was heated. She accused me of letting Greg use me for my car, and told me that I was not allowed to go to NY that weekend. Against my mother's wishes, I went anyway. I felt that she did not have the right to tell me not to go out of town. When I got back, I called my parents to let them know I was back. My mom asked me if I could come over, and asked me to bring Greg. When we arrived, my parents told the both of us that they did not want Greg to ever drive my car because they paid for it, and they did not buy the car to let some guy drive around in it (the car was a gift from them. Our neighbor wanted to get rid of it, and let us have it for only $250, and my stepdad paid an extra $200 to get the car to pass inspection). They kept saying, "why should you be the one paying for gas and insurance when he is the one driving it around everywhere?" I told them that this was not the case, and that Greg always offers to help me with expenses, but they insist that he is using me. They also said that they do not want me to get my money involved with his, and that I do not have any business letting Greg help me pay for stuff. Greg got upset because he felt that they were treating me like a child and that they were in my business too much. We exchanged a few other words, then left. According to Greg, the only reason my parents would react this way is because they dont approve of him. So Greg decided to take matters into his own hands and did the unthinkable; he got on the phone and blurted a lot of my family's personal information (financal issues, arguments between the family, etc) to a lot of people we know. Greg and my parents know a lot of the same people. Needless to say, my parents and I were furious. Greg apologized to me for doing this, but he just can't apologize to my parents. He says he wishes he could take it back, and realizes that was very childish of him, but he feels that they should also apologize to us, and that I need to stand up to them more. Greg also thinks I should make them realize that they were wrong that night. Ever since this happened, my parents are always lecturing me about Greg, and they think everything is his fault. If I ask them to borrow $10 or $20, they will say something like "you wouldn't need to borrow money if you didn't have to support your boyfriend all the time." This all happened 3 years ago, and we are stil together, Greg and my parents do not speak. A few times, Greg has spoken to them in passing, but my parents said nothing back. Besides this issue, our relationship is perfect. We get into spats sometimes, but overall, we are happy with each other. We want to get married, but this issue is getting in the way. I know Greg refuses to apologize because he is letting his pride get in the way. And I know my parents wont make an effort to mend things because they are still hurt. i just dont know what to do. If I ask either party if we could get together to work things out, they both refuse. I was going to somehow get them all together for dinner without letting them know my intentions, but I think they will just get upset and leave. What should I do about this? And am I wrong for staying with Greg after what he did to my parents?

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You are the only one that can answer that question. Dear Abby says, "ask yourself if you would be better off with or with out him". But I would not put your money with his unless you are married. You never truly know a person until things rough. You may find your money gone one day or find yourself stuck with a lease, then it will be to late to do anything about it. I don't know what is wrong with people, I see this all the time with friends and family. When you are mistreated by anyone, politely tell them it's not acceptable. If they keep it up, don't go around them, even if it's family. If you don't put a stop to it now, they will continue to treat you like a child.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 10:43PM
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Dear Summer Rose

I think you are old enough to make your own decisions in life.

You and Greg seem to be just fine, if you know in your heart that you love him and want to be with him then get married and have a good life.

I think your parents should be secure in their parenting skills, and trust that you are capable of making the right decisions in your life. If you make a wrong one, well, thats how your learn. They should not have meddled in your affairs. If they gave you the car then it is yours to do what you want with, why should there be strings attached.

I think for the sake of YOUR happiness, your Greg and your parents need to stop be immature, and refusing to talk to each other, and just get over it. Life is too short to have silly arguments that fester on , its a waste of time, and you never get that time back.

You want your parents and Greg to get on with each other, because if they don't you won't be happy, will you ?

I think you need to take control, because its you who wants this situation sorted out. Just have a gentle word with your parents and explain that the situation is upsetting you, and you love them, and you want things to be back to normal. Say the same thing to Greg. Take it from there.

I wish you all the best, you seem like a nice person, who only wants to be happy.

Take care.


    Bookmark   July 11, 2007 at 3:53AM
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When your parents were telling your NOT to let Greg drive your car, there were issues...#1 you were an adult, #2 it was YOUR CAR...#3 it was NONE of their business. And at that time they should have been told that. You should no longer be borrowing money from matter how just adds to their "See he doesn't even help her, she still has to come to Mommy and Daddy"

Now the other issue is the damage and childish thing Greg did. And the only way to repair that is for him to become an adult and say...Three years ago I did a really stupid thing out of anger, and I am sorry I did that. I love your daughter very much. I hope that you accept my apology.

After that it is out of your hands, it is in theirs. You have shown that you have grown up to become responsible adults, and if responsible adults want to marry...they can. You cannot control other people, only yourself.


    Bookmark   July 11, 2007 at 7:41AM
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All this chaos over a $250 car? There has to be way, way more to it. If I were your parents, I would want to know why a 38 year old man can't afford his own car and insurance? At 38, my expecations would be that he would have a steady job, be a homeowner and at the very least own his own vehicle. Something just doesn't sound right to me. There has to be more reasons why they are so suspicious of him. Does he have children? If so, does he support them?

Your parents are right about you mixing up your money with Greg's. Watch Judge Judy sometime. Day after day there are young women sueing former boyfriends who took advantage of them. Most of the time, the judge says there is nothing she can about it because the couple was not married.

I have been married for almost 10 years and have two children. I can't imagine what my life would be like if I couldn't share my family (including my husband) with my parents. Think long and hard before you take the next step.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 10:54AM
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Well I agree that a 38 year old man who can't afford his own car may not be "the catch of the day".

The bottom line is that you are a woman who is on her own and should not need the approval of her parents for her decisions.

I think Vickey gave you excellent advice.

I have the same questions as Livvysmom. Does he have a job,his own place and why are either of you driving a $250 clunker? Do you have a job? Why are you still asking mommy and daddy for money?

    Bookmark   July 18, 2007 at 4:01AM
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Thanks everyone for the insight. In answer to your questions, Greg and i only shared my car for a few months. After his car died, he shopped around a little and then bought a new car for himself. We were just sharing my car until he got a new one. And yes, he does have a steady job, a home, and 2 kids. We both have great relationships with both of his children and the mom, and he is very supportive of them. I cannot think of any reason why my parents would be suspicious of them.

And yes, I should stop asking them to borrow money, but they are constantly borrowing money from me too. You have no idea how many times my mom has asked me for my ENTIRE paycheck to get caught up on her bills, knowing that I have bills of my own. And I believe my parents are supposed to be more financially stable than me! Whenever I cannot afford to lend her the money, I always tell her that I can maybe ask to borrow some from Greg, depending on how badly she needs it. (even though he doesn't like my parents, he always helps me help them). And in situations like these, my mom has NO PROBLEM with me asking Greg for the money, because SHE needs it. But she does have a problem with me borrowing money from him for myself.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 3:35PM
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Also, when my parents bought me the $250 car, I was working, but it was a very entry level job, not paying that much. I had more than enough to pay my rent and utilities, but not enough to incorporate a car note and higher insurance at the time. I have a much better job now, and I have also gotten another car since then.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 4:10PM
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Sounds like time to separate Summer_Rose --
Not from Greg, but from your parents. You're now a grown adult with a full share of adult responsibilities. And when your parents ask you for money and it puts you behind on your own bills, that makes it really hard for you in turn not to ask them for money when you're low. A vicious circle that someone has to break.

Next time they make some comment about growing up or being more responsible or being more independent or taking money from them or not taking money from Greg -- and that shouldn't be too long -- Take that as your springboard, and tell them "You're right -- From now on, I'm going to be financially independent. Totally! No more of this borrowing back and forth. When you said I shouldn't mix up my finances with anyone else, you were right. No more borrowing and no more lending for me." Refuse to listen to any arguments, repeating only variations on the "You're right -- no more mixing" theme. Then stick to it. Next time they hit you up for a loan, tell them you can't do that and still meet your own commitments, and how much you'd hate to let them down by failing to live up to your responsibilities.

I totally agree with Vicky about Greg's apology to your parents. They were both wrong, but between the two sides, he seems to be "the bigger person" -- so lob the ball back into their court. If you want, you could tip your parents off that since Greg is the man you want to spend the rest of your life with, they may want to make an effort to mend fences.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 7:00PM
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your parents were concerned because they love you. the car was just an excuse. they wondered why their 26 year old daughter was/is interested in a 38 year old man... i'm not judging, just my thoughts on why your parents acted/reacted in such a manner. is it really ok with you to let this go on? talk to your parents, tell them you love them and greg as well. ask if they love you and trust you enough to let you grow up. they will have to agree to let you live your life which may include making some mistakes along the way. -NOT saying greg is a mistake, btw. but errors come with life and no one knows how things will work out. GL.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2007 at 8:42PM
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