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“My Parents Want Us to Sleep in Separate Rooms!”

I’m a 28- (almost 29-) year-old woman who has been living away from home since age 18. After my conservative Christian parents discovered that I was planning on living with my boyfriend (of already two years) in college, they refused to help me at all financially, and I subsequently cut off contact with them. The only thing that brought us back together was the death of my grandmother the following spring, and the tragic death of my little sister a month later. At age 22, I moved abroad, and have not lived in the US since. We are now closer, but the relationship is still not completely stable, and, when they occasionally visit, there is a lot of line drawing.

I’m now in a relationship with a man that I hope to marry, and as of this January we will have been together for two years, including an intercontinental move so that we could be together. He is British, and we both live in Europe, albeit not together for schooling reasons. My parents have met him once, and they like him very much.

I have now bought tickets for both of us to head back to the US for Christmas this year. I look forward to allowing my parents to spend more time with him and to showing him where I come from. However, in a recent phone call, my parents told me that they hoped I understood that we would be sleeping in separate rooms at their house over Christmas. Not only do I wish they’d told me this BEFORE we bought our (very expensive) tickets, it seems incredibly infantilizing to still be treated like the 18-year-old they must see me as. I understand that it is their home, but this is my life. Is it outrageous of me to expect them to respect my decisions and beliefs? Is it manipulative of me to warn them that such treatment of my choices will cause me to rethink future visits and our future relationship, not to mention their relationship with any potential children of ours? (I would not want any children of mine exposed to what I see as a damaging belief system). While I am willing to compromise some, I don’t want them to think that I am any less dedicated to my own beliefs than they are to theirs. I’m not sure where drawing the line stops being the mature, independent thing to do and starts becoming simply rebellious and/or manipulative. — Christmas Catastrophe?

There’s a pretty big sense of entitlement coming through your letter loud and clear. Your parents refused to help you financially, so you cut off contact with them? You didn’t think to ask your conservative Christian parents about the sleeping arrangements BEFORE you bought your and your boyfriend’s airline tickets home for the holidays and somehow it’s their fault for not volunteering the information sooner? You’re going to THEIR house, yet you think YOUR beliefs should be respected above theirs? How about this: When you are in their home, you play by their rules (separate rooms for unmarried couples), and, when/if they visit your home, you get to play by your rules (you and your boyfriend can bonk like bunnies in all your premarital glory).

You ask whether you’re outrageous to expect your parents to respect your decisions and beliefs, but there’s a big difference between respecting someone’s decisions and beliefs and accommodating someone’s opposing beliefs in one’s own home. I mean, if it makes your parents so uncomfortable letting their grown daughter share a bedroom with her boyfriend in their home, is it that big a deal for you and your boyfriend to sleep in separate beds for a few days? Is it really worth sacrificing a relationship with your parents and potentially keeping them from seeing their future grandchildren just to prove you’re “dedicated to your beliefs”? You said you’re wondering where you might cross the line from being mature and independent to simply being manipulative. You’re pretty close to crossing it.

It’s a tragedy that you lost your younger sister much too early in life, and I’m so sorry for your loss, but if anything positive might have come from it, I’d hope it would be your understanding and appreciation that life is short — too short to hold such massive grudges, especially against people who love and care for you. Your parents surely aren’t perfect — none of us is — but they want a relationship with you… and it sounds like you want one with them. You’re flying halfway across the world to see them for the holidays and to more deeply introduce them to your boyfriend. So you must want a relationship with them, which is great. How about instead of focusing on how your parents aren’t loving or treating you perfectly, you focus on what they’re doing well? Considering the differences in your beliefs, can you appreciate the effort your parents make to try to understand and accept you, even if they don’t always kowtow to your wants? Instead of holding a grudge for a decision they made 10 years ago when they cut you off financially, can you focus instead on the strides you’ve all made to reconnect and heal your relationship?

Life is short. All families have baggage. None of us loves anyone perfectly. And a holiday vacation is just a drop in the bucket of a lifetime of trips, and a lifetime of compromises, and a lifetime of sharing a bed with the one you love. I’d let it go and just enjoy spending time with your parents and your boyfriend as they get to know each other. When the holidays are over, you’ll return home, where you can call the shots and you don’t have to compromise your lifestyle for anyone.

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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

LadyinPurpleNotRed LadyinPurpleNotRed August 12, 2014, 8:09 am

Seriously? You’re all up in arms about them respecting your beliefs…but that’s a two way street! I don’t think couples should have to sleep in separate rooms and I didn’t grow up with that belief, but I did grow up and learn to respect others. Stop trying to find a slight in all their actions and look at yours.

Lyra Lyra August 12, 2014, 8:22 am

Whenever my boyfriends have been over to visit overnight at my parents’ place it has been expected that they sleep in a separate room. I have similar conservative views as they do, but when a boyfriend is staying at my place I’m ok sleeping in the same bed as him. Yet, I respect my parents’ wishes even though I’m in my late 20′s now and I can make my own choices. Once I’m married I will be able to sleep in the same room, until that point I respect their wishes.
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I agree that you’re making this a MUCH bigger deal than it should be. I’m guessing you don’t get the chance to go home very often, and I’m guessing you don’t see your family very often. I can almost guarantee that you would regret burning bridges with your family again over this ONE small, trivial thing. You only get one family. Even though you’re an adult, they’re still your parents and it’s still their house. Suck it up and let go of your pride.

avatar ChemE August 12, 2014, 8:28 am

You could stay in a hotel and avoid the problem altogether. Or get married before you go.

In my opinion, their house, their rules. I don’t think it’ll kill you to sleep separately. You are demanding they respect your beliefs but why aren’t you extending the same courtesy?

avatar Portia August 12, 2014, 8:51 am

That was my reaction, stay at a hotel.

avatar ktfran August 12, 2014, 9:17 am

Thirded. If the LW is that upset about it, she can get a hotel room. If you stay in someone’s house – anyone’s house – you have to respect their wishes, even if you don’t agree.

avatar MissDre August 12, 2014, 9:37 am

My first reaction too. Hotel all the way.

cmary cmary August 12, 2014, 10:53 am

What?? No way, man. Separate beds for a couple nights! Think of all the space you’ll have. The cool sheets, the ability to roll over and not crash into someone’s elbow. It’s lovely sharing a bed, but damn, I’d take the solo bed option for a couple days in a heartbeat.

avatar Sally August 12, 2014, 11:33 am

HOTEL. I say this as someone who has been there, and even though I could barely afford a hotel at the time, it was the best decision I could have made. Even putting the sleeping arrangement issue aside, it seems like you and parents have a delicate truce. If and when there is tension during your visit, being able to peace out and go back to the hotel may save your relationship with your parents, and will also spare your boyfriend from having to spend 24/7 with strangers.

avatar Lucy August 12, 2014, 1:27 pm

This. If you want to make the rules, it’s pay to play.

avatar CH August 12, 2014, 8:47 am

I also moved out at 18. My family is not conservative Christian and they did not let my boyfriend and I sleep in the same room until we were engaged… and even then, it was a big, uncomfortable stretch for them.

The year before we got engaged, we chose to stay at a hotel near my dad’s house. It eased my stress level immensely on other levels, and we got to sleep together and enjoy our vacation together without feeling like teenagers. If it’s that important to you, get a hotel and visit your family in the daytime.

I think you are fooling yourself that you’re surprised that they said you’ll not be sleeping in the same room. It was crystal clear to me before I even moved out of the house that I wouldn’t be doing that with anyone in their home until I was married.

othy othy August 12, 2014, 10:17 am

I completely agree with your last paragraph.

avatar Nigeria August 12, 2014, 8:52 am

I love your response Wendy :) I too also noticed the sense of entitlement seeping through. Also, I did want to add that as a conservative Christian, I feel that many of us are unfailry categorized as rigid, unloving, out of touch ppl. I can’t speak for anyone else, but as for me, that couldn’t be further from the truth. I hate labels and the whole ‘conservative christian’ label is now almost synonmous with out of touch, hateful hillbillies. Anywho, I second Wendy’s advice, LW your parents have already lost a daughter, focus on loving them despite their perceived imperfections. Life is so so short. With the recent suicide of Robin Williams I cant he;p but feel that this world needs less friction and soo much more love.

thatswhat-she Meg August 12, 2014, 8:56 am

It would be one thing if you expected your parents to spend your whole visit berating you for the parts of your life that they disagree with- then I would agree that they are disrespecting your beliefs. But simply not facilitating something they disagree with- under their roof- isn’t disrespect. If someone visited friends who were Jews and kept kosher, would you expect them to allow the guest to cook bacon in their kitchen? Or would you think the guest was rude to even suggest it?
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I think you are letting your past experiences with your parents- where they were more actively trying to influence your choices- color your interpretation of this situation. At least based on what you’ve shared, they’re just trying to set a boundary about what they’re ok with happening in their home. If you don’t want to play by those rules, a hotel might be a better choice. Or as a compromise- maybe take an overnight trip somewhere nearby, to give you some space and to show your boyfriend a bit more of the area where you grew up.

avatar FossilChick August 12, 2014, 8:57 am

Get a hotel!

Seriously, hotel. My family background is similar to the one described, and I have a bit more sympathy for the LW because in some cases, the enforcement of such rules can also be manipulative tactic on the part of the family. I’d recommend getting a hotel room anyway, even if the 2-bed thing wasn’t such a dealbreaker, because if you haven’t seen your family in a long time and you’re bringing home your boyfriend for the first time, everyone being together 24/7 under one roof is not ideal. If you’re so concerned about your parents disrespecting your choices, then take your choices to another location that you can retreat to at night.

avatar jhoran85 August 12, 2014, 9:06 am

While I can understand that sleeping in separate bedrooms might feel like they are not respecting your “beliefs”, this is your parents home, not yours, and therefore you should respect their beliefs and reasonable requests while staying with them. You sounded like a petulant child when you cut off contact with your parents, and you still do. How is this request offensive to your beliefs?

My parents would never have agreed to me living with a boyfriend in college, and I completely understand why. They were financially supporting me and wanted me to be in a stable environment without distraction or potential drama. Until recently, they also were not comfortable with unmarried (or not engaged) couples sleeping in the same room. My cousin, who often stayed with my family during the summer when we were younger, took exception to this and the first time he brought his now wife to meet our family (they live in a different state), he knew that my parents would not allow them to sleep in the same room and he had a hissy fit and ended up staying with another family member.

I’m not sure if it is a coping tactic, but how can you be so removed, and from what I gather, almost cruel to your parents after losing your sister? How can you even think of threatening to not bring around future children? Unless they have done something absolutely horrible to you, and it doesn’t sound like that is the case at all, you ARE planning to manipulate them. Furthermore, shielding your future children from a “damaging belief system” is really about the stupidest and close minded thing you’ve said in your letter. Your children won’t be living with them and if you remain in Europe, how many times will they see their grandparents, maybe once a year?

Get over yourself. Sleep in a different room for few days and think seriously about how you are damaging your relationship with your family. If you do end up marrying this guy, whats a few days, or even a few weeks, in separate beds if you plan to be together for the rest of your life?

avatar Married by Elvis August 12, 2014, 9:09 am

My parents were the same way – no unmarried couples in the same room. Even if it puts someone on a couch.

Now that I’m married they expect us to share a bed and we don’t want to. We both sleep better in separate beds, if not rooms.

avatar Portia August 12, 2014, 9:11 am

I think you’re throwing “respecting my beliefs” and “respecting my relationship” into the same pot when they’re really two very different things. They’re not cutting you of financially again, they’re not blackmailing you into pretending you follow their religion, they’re telling you what they’re comfortable with in their own home. I’m sorry that you had to go through what you did, including the loss of your sister, but they’re not doing this to control your life and I think you’re blowing this specific instance out of proportion. I agree that you should make your boyfriend as comfortable as possible, so if that means getting a room at a nearby hotel, then thank them for their offer but tell them you’ve made arrangements elsewhere. Only once have I heard of an invitation being rescinded for not stating at someone’s house and that was a very extreme response.

avatar captainswife August 12, 2014, 9:24 am

Portia, I think you’re going a little far here:
“they’re not blackmailing you into pretending you follow their religion”

The parents are by no means required to support their grown daughter at all. If she annoys them because she wears yellow clothing and they don’t like yellow, it’s completely within their rights not to support her.

Likewise, if they don’t want her smoking pot and she chooses to do so, they are completely within their rights not to support her. That is not any kind of blackmail. It is setting conditions, sure. But who says she has a right to support without conditions? If you have a paycheck, no one will deny that there are conditions on receiving that…

When they cut off support, they weren’t asking her to pretend to follow a religion. They were saying that if she is old enough to make adult choices like living with someone, she is old enough to support herself. At least, that’s how I read it.

avatar MissDre August 12, 2014, 9:40 am

I didn’t get the impression that Portia was trying to say they were required to support her??

avatar Portia August 12, 2014, 10:00 am

“They’re not cutting you off financially again” – that’s why I said that as one in a list of things they were not doing. Unfortunately, there are many things other than financial support parents (or other family members) can hold over your head to get you to act the way that they want you to. I’ve seen this happen with my friends and it can be heartbreaking – like a mother starving herself because her daughter was going to marry someone who didn’t share their ethnic/religious background. I admit it’s extreme, which is why I said this LW wasn’t facing the same kind of situation.

avatar Portia August 12, 2014, 10:30 am

Oh hey, wanna hear the crazy story of an invitation being rescinded because someone wasn’t going to stay at their house? This comes via my friend, whose sister was getting married (or already technically married and having a ceremony/celebration). Anyway, her inlaws were hosting it in their hometown kinda far away and her parents were invited to stay with these inlaws. Her parents have some serious health problems and have to have a very restricted diet and the last time they stayed with these inlaws, they weren’t able to/didn’t accommodate it. So, this time around they thanked them for the invitation but said they were going to find a hotel nearby. The bride threw a fit and disinvited her parents from her own wedding over it. That’s right, disinvited from their own daughter’s wedding because they didn’t/couldn’t stay with the inlaws. Oh, and after that my friend wasn’t invited to her sister’s wedding because of all of this.

Red_Lady Red_Lady August 12, 2014, 11:13 am

Yikes, that’s awful! This whole thread is making me appreciate my family so much more.

avatar pinkaffinity August 12, 2014, 9:14 am

Their house, their rules. It’s that simple.

avatar j2 August 12, 2014, 9:24 am

Exactly! This letter is practically a facepalm.

avatar Jen August 12, 2014, 9:19 am

I’m sorry if I sound like a total jerk, but this letter just made me laugh. The LW is seriously considering not letting her parents see their grandkids because they have a ‘damaging belief system’? No, you aren’t. You are just angry, throwing attantrum, and flinging out any threat that you think will get you what you want.

You think you are mature now? Wait until you have kids and you will realize how ridiculous this is. You can’t keep your kids from learning about different belief systems. I’m about as over protective of my kids as it gets and even I realize this. Family is important to children. It’s much more important than proving a point. If you don’t like their beliefs, teach your children that in the privacy of your own home, and move on. You don’t have to be identical to others to have a relationship with them. No one has the exact same beliefs anyway.

Lyra Lyra August 12, 2014, 12:56 pm

Agreed! This is so ridiculous and she is most definitely blowing it out of proportion. Not allowing her parents to have a relationship with her kids because of this is absolutely insane. If her parents are anything like my parents (and I think they are), they would be heartbroken if they weren’t able to have a relationship with their grandkids. And as someone who didn’t know either grandma (one died before I was born and the other had a stroke when I was 2) I’m really bummed that I never had the chance to have a relationship with them.

Addie Pray Addie Pray August 12, 2014, 9:27 am

(Doing that thing where I comment and *then* read Wendy’s and others’ comments – so see if I’m right, ha): Please, is it so much of a big deal to respect your parents wishes for one holiday at home? Considering all that your relationship has been through, I would think it’s the least you can do to keep the peace. If it is such a big deal, get a hotel. But honestly, you sound more childish if you can’t just suck it up for one trip home out of respect for your parents. You spend so much of your letter justifying why it’s OK for you to sleep in the same room with your boyfriend – your age, that you’ve been abroad and on your own for so long, that you want to marry him, etc. that you sound really childish; you don’t seem secure in your choices at all if you’re trying to justify them to us. It sounds more like you’re looking for a “zomg, your parents are nuts, and I so agree it’s crazy you can’t stay in the same room.” Really, be the mature woman you see yourself as and respect your parents’ wishes to sleep in separate rooms while you’re visiting them at their home.

Addie Pray Addie Pray August 12, 2014, 9:35 am

ok, so we all agree – i guess this one wasn’t rocket science, ha.

Addie Pray Addie Pray August 12, 2014, 9:47 am

Also, let the record show that Wendy asked is it “hat “big a deal” and I said “big deal” *and* Wendy referred to her sacrificing a “relationship” with her parents and I said “considering all that your relationship as been through” – which means basically I got it RIGHT. Boom boom.

Amanda Amanda August 12, 2014, 9:36 am

LW, I was giving you the benefit of the doubt until I read this: “I understand that it is their home, but this is my life.” Ummmmmm, no. That’s something a 16 year old says in the middle of a histrionic meltdown, not something a “mature” 28 (almost 29) year old says. The mature thing in this situation is to suck it up, buttercup. Or get a hotel room. Either of those is a better option than what you’re threatening now.

JK JK August 12, 2014, 12:43 pm

A mature 28 year old also doesn´t add the (almost 29) ;)

Addie Pray Addie Pray August 12, 2014, 5:08 pm

it’s like my nephew who was really mad when I said he was 4 because “NUH UH HE IS 4 AND 1/2 ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DUHHHH!”

JK JK August 12, 2014, 5:11 pm

exactly! Or like M who is planning all the stuff shes going to do when she´s 7 haha

Addie Pray Addie Pray August 12, 2014, 5:14 pm

but not like me who celebrates her half birthday even at age 35.5 …

avatar Miss MJ August 12, 2014, 9:37 am

I’d get a hotel. I do understand the “their house, their rules” philosophy, but honestly? The LW is almost 30, financially independent, not asking them for anything except a grown up/parent relationship that understands that they don’t agree on everything, and is an actual, you know adult. Would her parents expect people their own age who were not married to not share a bedroom or is this just about making sure they have a say in what their daughter does in her bedroom? In any event, it’s none of their business who their adult daughter sleeps with, and I get the irritation, but the LW cannot force her parents to allow them to sleep in the same room and it’s not worth the fight, anyway, so get a hotel. End of story. And don’t even bring it up. And don’t threaten to not let them see your future children. This situation is annoying, not worth going nuclear over.

P.S. Why is the LW “entitled” because when her parents found out she was moving in with her boyfriend, they threatened to cut her off financially if she did, and she made the decision to live her life on her terms and support herself while doing it, but didn’t want people who would manipulate her into doing what they want by using money and security to do it in her life? Isn’t that what we tell all these LWs who want to move in with SOs but their parents won’t pay for college, etc. if they do, to actually do – live by your parents’ rules if you take their money or support your self and live by your own? I don’t see why the LW was wrong. Sure, she didn’t have to cut them off, but if they were being a negative presence in her life, then I don’t think that makes her entitled by doing so. If you’re a parent who tries to use money to manipulate and control your grown child, the risk is that it doesn’t work and backfires on you. This time it did. Big time, apparently.

muchachaenlaventana muchachaenlaventana August 12, 2014, 10:03 am

I know a lot of parents who would not let their children of that age (almost 30) sleep in the same bedroom with someone who was not a husband/wife or at the minimum fiance (but even then, not always). It typically has nothing to do with what their children are doing in the bedroom–nor about control-these same parents are aware that their children sleep over or maybe even live with their s.o.’s it is more about the comfort level of the parents, in their own home. Which is totally within their rights and I don’t see anything wrong with that or really that she should even be annoyed over it. I mean if she knows her parents, she should have known that would be a stipulation. My best friend has been with her boyfriend 8 years and is engaged and when they go on family vacations they have to sleep in separate bedrooms–she just knows this and doesn’t question it-yeah it is really kind of stupid at this point since she lives with her parents and spends almost every night sleeping at her boyfriend’s house, but it just makes them uncomfortable to allow that on their terms. IMO it is almost strange the LW assumed she *would* be able to sleep in the same room, knowing the background she came from.

avatar lets_be_honest August 12, 2014, 10:20 am

I agree that its more about their level of comfort in their own home as opposed to what’s going on in the bedroom. When I visit my aunt, we sleep in separate rooms because I know she’s conservative. She’s never asked or anything. Its just an easy thing to do out of respect.
Actually, I’m more comfortable knowing they are likely comfortable.
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In my own home, I could kinda care less about people sharing rooms, but my boyfriend is uncomfortable with, for example, my sister and her new boyfriend sharing a room because we have a young daughter. He thinks its a bad example.

muchachaenlaventana muchachaenlaventana August 12, 2014, 10:36 am

Yeah exactly–the first time my boyfriend met my parents he absolutely refused to sleep in the same room as me, even though they didn’t really say he couldn’t–but I know it made them so much more comfortable that level of respect was already there. Since then, it hasn’t been an issue-they don’t care at all if we sleep in the same room, but I know that first time everyone felt just a lot better about the situation and not even having to ask for us to not sleep in the same room. IDK I think it is silly a lot of the time, but if they feel more comfortable with it, then I do too.

Lyra Lyra August 12, 2014, 1:01 pm

Exactly this. My mom is a little bit more lax than my dad (who at times still sees me as his “little girl”), but I respect them and I respect their wishes. Heck even when I was visiting my older brother in his new house he wouldn’t let me sleep in the same room as my boyfriend. I didn’t throw a fit; instead I respected his wishes.

Diablo Diablo August 12, 2014, 10:13 am

Had to react to one thing you said – the LW is almost 30. She herself specifies, and this was odd to me, that she is almost 29. What is that? Almost 18 and almost 21 might be real categories: legal for sex, drinking, etc. 28 versus 29 is nothing, unless the LW is somewhat desperately trying to convince us of her maturity (and failing). Look, LW, i respect the people suggesting hotel room, but what is the big deal? I slept in separate beds from my now wife wen I first visited her folks. And we did live together the rest of the time. Their house, their beliefs. It’s not like we were gonna have sex while we were there. Ew! And when we first visited my parents, who are a bit younger, my Dad took me aside and said “Uhh… you ARE sleeping with this girl, right?” In neither case was it a comment on my beliefs, though I’m sure my old man was relieved I was finally getting laid. Just go stay with them and cut the crap. Sheesh.

Lyra Lyra August 12, 2014, 1:13 pm

The entitlement comes from the fact that she’s throwing a tantrum over something so minor. Instead of handling it by respecting her parent’s wishes or having an adult conversation about it, she blows up and says she may not even bring her future children to see their grandparents. She is overreacting to the extreme about this one thing.

avatar jlyfsh August 12, 2014, 9:37 am

It sounds like this is about way more than them not letting you stay in the same room as your boyfriend. Perhaps growing up they did force their religion on you and it left you running from them when you felt like they were trying to control you as an ‘adult’. Maybe this instance has you feeling the same way. But, you’re 28, you apparently have a life that is very different from theirs and are happy with that. You don’t have to embrace their religion to respect the rules of their home. If it bothers you that much, let them know you’re staying at a hotel.

avatar Marcie August 12, 2014, 9:43 am

You know your parents are conservative. Why do their expectations of your sleeping arrangements surprise you? My parents used to let my then-boyfriend sleep over in the basement. It didn’t offend me at all. To me, I was respecting my parents’ comfort level. At his apartment, I would sleep with him in his bed. I’m sure they knew it was happening but it wasn’t thrown in their face. Just give your parents a break and either do what they ask in their home or get a hotel.

Dear Wendy Dear Wendy August 12, 2014, 9:50 am

Ok, everyone, I think we’ve made the point that the LW isn’t acting as mature as she could. No more “you’re childish” comments, please. Additional points or anecdotes or words of advice still welcome!

avatar BecBoo84 August 12, 2014, 10:01 am

LW, I’m going to sympathize with you. While I do support the “their house/their rules” mentality generally speaking, I do understand your frustration. Given that it appears you’re both in school, I’m sure the expense of the tickets might make adding on the expense of a hotel unfeasible. Also, since it was implied that while you and your boyfriend both live in Europe, you live in separate countries, and likely don’t see each other all that frequently, I completely understand why you want to share a bedroom with him during the limited vacation time you have together.

Dear Wendy Dear Wendy August 12, 2014, 10:11 am

These are good points.

Addie Pray Addie Pray August 12, 2014, 10:22 am

These are good points (ok, now I’m just copying Wendy), but I think everyone can sympathize. I mean, no one is saying the LW shouldn’t WANT to be able to stay in the same room, but, rather, that she should be able to suck it up for this one vacation. But ok the hotel is likely not feasible for money reasons – and actually, if I went to visit my mom and stayed at a hotel she’d probably be sad so maybe staying at a hotel wouldn’t keep the peace anyway. My recommendation then is to sneak around. (And I appreciate the irony of me calling the LW childish and then recommending that she sneak around, but really it seems like the best solution.)

avatar Portia August 12, 2014, 11:45 am

Oh, I’ve done the sneaking around thing… And many years later, it’s a funny story. LW, think of the funny stories you’ll have down the line! Lol.

muchachaenlaventana muchachaenlaventana August 12, 2014, 10:56 am

Yeah I didn’t really think about the aspect of them already being long-distance and then having to spend the holidays not sleeping together in the same room/bed which totally would suck… idk about a hotel being unfeasible though–I am sure they could find somewhere cheap and maybe put it on a CC to pay off later–it honestly seems like it would solve all the problems and then the LW would be seeing her parents on her terms, which I think would go a long way towards reestablishing good feelings between them because the control thing she is worried about would be more or less mitigated this way. If no hotel, then I see nothing for it but to just deal with the stipulations they have set, although I can definitely see how this is frustrating for her.

muchachaenlaventana muchachaenlaventana August 12, 2014, 10:05 am

I am pretty sure you should just get a hotel room. I am sorry your parents have tried to force their religion on you in the past–but one way to avoid even having to broach that topic or deal with the annoyance this has caused you is by getting a hotel room for the majority of your trip. Maybe on Christmas Eve you can crash there, so you wake up Christmas morning and are already at home for whatever family traditions you may have, but I would strongly suggest a hotel room for the remainder of the trip. The distance and boundary that creates (parents this is my life and my fiance and I are sleeping together in a hotel so butt out) will really help ease tension in the relationship you have with your parents. Also as an aside I am very sorry about the loss of your sister, I cannot even imagine the pain that must have caused.

muchachaenlaventana muchachaenlaventana August 12, 2014, 10:11 am

*crash there as in your parents house*

avatar lets_be_honest August 12, 2014, 10:23 am

Yea, I totally think the past here is making her react oddly to the present. Try to separate the two things LW. I’m sure this is giving you some sort of parental control ptsd, but its not a big thing. Once you realize that, you should be fine. Plus it sucks feeling all up in arms and pissed.

avatar something random August 12, 2014, 11:00 am

I also completely agree about the past affecting the present. This feels like a poke right at an old injury. When she left for college and she left with the expectations that her parents would gift her financial support only to have that offer rescinded I imagine she felt very scared and resentful. It was probably a pretty unnerving time. I’m not saying her parents owed her support but I could see how there would be a lot of unresolved feelings of anger and abandonment. Hopefully, identifying that this poke is just a little poke and the feelings coming with it are from the past will allow her to breath and come back to the present.

Moneypenny Moneypenny August 12, 2014, 1:04 pm

“Parental control PTSD” is totally something I have experienced. (And still experience.) Good point.

avatar ktfran August 12, 2014, 10:46 am

Agreed about the past affecting things now.
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LW, I know you’re an adult now. You’re independent. You’ve grown. You’re leading an amazing life. Living in Europe. How exciting! But I also know it’s oh so very easy to revert back to old dynamics when you visit your family. I think you’re afraid of this happening and your parents mentioning the sleeping arrangements confirmed it in your mind. The thing is, I think you’re building up things too much in your head and now you’re freaking out. The sleeping arrangements really are probably just that. Sleeping arrangements and what your parents are comfortable with. I know my conservative, Catholic parents weren’t comfortable for the longest time with their adult children sleeping in the same room as their boyfriend. There are plenty of examples on here of people saying the same thing. I think you should calm down, think about this rationally, and have a good time.