Family Not Understanding - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 12:20 AM Thread Starter
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Family Not Understanding

I'm currently in a tough school program, working, and will continue on this track for the next year. It's been rough because my program is in the sciences, and it requires a lot of discipline, study, and time.

My husband and I've experienced a few major setbacks in life, which meant we had to sacrifice a few things. One of those things many people enjoy without thinking about spending money for nice events or vacations. We've never been on a vacation to an exotic place, whereas I know a lot of my family or peers have. I'm okay with that because I know we can't afford it, I need to finish school, and we need financial stability. My husband and I agreed we need to be responsible about major expenses in the next couple years. You'd think my family would be understanding-- it's far from the truth.

This year I was able to secure an internship with a reputable Fortune 500 company-- I'm super excited about it, and I know it'll open so many doors. It'll be one of the leaps forward we need. My parents don't seem to care, along with a lot of people from my family. I think it's because of all the setbacks DH and I've experienced in the last few years, where no one thinks much of us and doesn't see us as successful. They're like "well those two aren't getting anywhere in life, so what's the big deal if the spend a few hundred bucks every now and then?" My parents think I should be able to take time off whenever during this internship, and I've already explained to them I don't get vacation or benefits. My mom said she thought it was absurd I couldn't get any time off, what kind of job doesn't allow people time off during the summer because "they should know," and how it "looks bad" to her family.

Other family members have complained about my unwillingness to spend hundreds of dollars on plane tickets and other costs to take a vacation. I've also had to explain to them those things COST MONEY, and I don't have that kind of money to spend. It's like it goes in one ear and out the other. They take HUGE personal offense toward it, as if I'm purposefully doing all of this to spite them. "Oh you don't want to see us, that's the real reason" and "what's your problem" are some of the things I've heard. I'm getting frustrated.

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 02:39 AM
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Re: Family Not Understanding

Did these family members go to college and have degrees? It sounds like they have no understanding of what school is like, especially with a degree in the STEM fields. They tend to take a lot of effort to get through.

Congrats on your internship!

You really need to stop worrying about what your family thinks. It sounds like you and your husband are doing the right things and working together. You really do need to protect yourself, your husband and your marriage from your family's negative influence.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 09:46 PM
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Re: Family Not Understanding

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Originally Posted by reesespieces View Post
I'm currently in a tough school program, working, and will continue on this track for the next year. It's been rough because my program is in the sciences, and it requires a lot of discipline, study, and time.

My husband and I've experienced a few major setbacks in life, which meant we had to sacrifice a few things. One of those things many people enjoy without thinking about spending money for nice events or vacations. We've never been on a vacation to an exotic place, whereas I know a lot of my family or peers have. I'm okay with that because I know we can't afford it, I need to finish school, and we need financial stability. My husband and I agreed we need to be responsible about major expenses in the next couple years. You'd think my family would be understanding-- it's far from the truth.

This year I was able to secure an internship with a reputable Fortune 500 company-- I'm super excited about it, and I know it'll open so many doors. It'll be one of the leaps forward we need. My parents don't seem to care, along with a lot of people from my family. I think it's because of all the setbacks DH and I've experienced in the last few years, where no one thinks much of us and doesn't see us as successful. They're like "well those two aren't getting anywhere in life, so what's the big deal if the spend a few hundred bucks every now and then?" My parents think I should be able to take time off whenever during this internship, and I've already explained to them I don't get vacation or benefits. My mom said she thought it was absurd I couldn't get any time off, what kind of job doesn't allow people time off during the summer because "they should know," and how it "looks bad" to her family.

Other family members have complained about my unwillingness to spend hundreds of dollars on plane tickets and other costs to take a vacation. I've also had to explain to them those things COST MONEY, and I don't have that kind of money to spend. It's like it goes in one ear and out the other. They take HUGE personal offense toward it, as if I'm purposefully doing all of this to spite them. "Oh you don't want to see us, that's the real reason" and "what's your problem" are some of the things I've heard. I'm getting frustrated.


Congrats on your internship and for steering your life in the direction you chose. It is an unfortunate truth that families can be extremely insensitive (I was an only child of 13 years old when my parents divorced - so believe me, I know from insensitive family members).

I'm curious as to how much of your family behaves this way. Is it the core family of siblings/parents/grandparents? Or does this extend to aunts/uncles/cousins? How old you and your husband compared to your family members that behave this way...?
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Family Not Understanding

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Originally Posted by Edo Edo View Post
Congrats on your internship and for steering your life in the direction you chose. It is an unfortunate truth that families can be extremely insensitive (I was an only child of 13 years old when my parents divorced - so believe me, I know from insensitive family members).

I'm curious as to how much of your family behaves this way. Is it the core family of siblings/parents/grandparents? Or does this extend to aunts/uncles/cousins? How old you and your husband compared to your family members that behave this way...?
Sorry to take so long to respond-- I kind of lost track of time.

My parents are the ones who primarily behave this way, but I also have extended family who make complaints. They seem to take it as a personal affront, as if I'm doing something against them on purpose. The problem is, my husband and I have been through a lot of tough financial situations where money has been so short, we didn't want to have to choose between rent or groceries-- and never have. We choose to not spend our money the same way my family does, and it's a personal insult to them.

I recently had a conversation with my mom where I tried really hard to explain to this to her, and then I realized she's choosing to not be an understanding person. It's frustrating, and disappointing, because although I know I can't get them to accept it, the least they should do is respect my own decisions. I can't get that, either.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 07:30 PM
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Re: Family Not Understanding

Congratulations on getting the internship!

You aren't going to change your parents. I think you should stop trying, and just let their comments roll off your back. I know how hard that is, but also keep in mind that in a few years they are going to see the evidence of your success and how your decisions paid off.

Why don't they come and spend time with YOU?
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 11:58 PM
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Re: Family Not Understanding

Congrats on the internship and choosing not to spend the $ at this time.
Good luck...
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 02:09 AM
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Re: Family Not Understanding

I know what it is like to be married and poor. My wife fell ill on our honeymoon night. She was bedridden for more than a year and lost her job as a result. I had a full class load at a local college and worked a job during the day tutoring, at night selling electronics and another job on the weekend. I was buried in a stack of medical bills that I was unable to pay. So you can say that the first two years of my marriage were not fun and we were very poor since we owed more than we were worth. We watched a 9" black and white TV and going out for fun, was out of the question. I was always working or in school. Money was always a worry, but I shielded my wife from that part and vowed to myself that I would never be poor again. I was raised in a poor family so my folks understood.

I decided to take a risk and quit college for a full time job. Plan B was to go to night school. My risk paid off and in two years I was a branch manager in another State, buying the first of what would become 9 new homes. After that, money was never a problem and my fear of being poor again moved us ever higher up the income ladder.

I never took an uncalculated risk. I always had a plan B or even plan C, if the previous plans did not work out. I would ask myself what would happen if I did this and it did not work out. That is how you should proceed. Look at the benefits of what you want to do and then imagine what would happen if it does not work out. I never jumped into a lake without knowing where the rocks were. Ignore the family. I have no trouble doing that. In fact I had it out with my parents and told them that they had to call before visiting me and get my permission. I was tired of them just dropping in unannounced. I set boundaries for both my family and that of my wife.

So first thing it to limit contact with the family. If that does not work, do what I did; took a job 2000 miles away. I have spent my life doing what it takes to get what I want. I do not let life take me on its path. I bend it to my will if possible. Once the family situation is taken car of, then look at the risk if you fail at what you want to do and then plan for it so that if it fails, you have a fallover plan. This has worked for me over 47 years and took me from lower income to the top 5% in the country, all without a college degree. I never had come into contact with the rich and famous, so I did stupid stuff when with them like dipping my fingers in the lobster butter bowl thinking it was water to clean my fingers. Yet I kept putting myself in uncomfortable situation rather than stick to my comfort zone with limited opportunities. I was running from poverty so fast that I was willing to risk embarrassment which happened from time to time, like when I was the guest speaker at a meeting of MPs in England and walked around the lunch table trying to find a seat only to be told that my seat was at the head of the table. Still I kept going and that is how you make it in life. So take that position if you feel it can help you in the future. I have done things like that which paid little for the job, but got my name out there and due to that companies wanted to hire me.

I understand poor. My football was a milk carton stuffed with newspapers growing up. I ran with a gang in the public housing I grew up in. Not many 8 year olds carry switchblade knives. Lost count of the fights I was in but have souvenir scars on my face and body. If I can reach the top coming from that and being married at 19 with a bedridden wife, your situation should be just as surmountable.

Make your choice, but do not put yourself in a position that if it does not work out you are financially ruined. Disregard family if you must. I always put my wife and our marriage above all else. My family's plan for me was to become a city worker so I could get a good pension when I retired. I wanted a lot more than that so I just nodded my head in agreement whenever they brought it up, and then moved away from them for many years. I have not see my family in 7 years and do not plan on doing so until they die. BTW, I was making more than my dad when I was 25. Glad that I did not listen to my family.

Many prefer to drown in a pool of their own morality rather than seek the safety of a different morality.

Last edited by Vinnydee; 03-15-2017 at 12:14 PM.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 04:25 AM
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Re: Family Not Understanding

Your family is unreasonable, but not unusual...

I am self employed, and my family never understands that I can't just take a vacation whenever I want. They complain that I don't visit enough, and when I do visit, I don't stay long enough. And if they come to visit me, they don't understand I still have to work while they're in town. (If I had a 9-5 job I doubt they would assume I could just not go into work, but since I'm self employed apparently I don't actually have to work to keep a roof over our heads...)

Sigh... so, I feel your pain.

I'm curious, how often do these family members who complain you won't fly somewhere come to visit YOU? Do any of these people who want you there so very bad ever offer to help pay for your travel?

I don't know what to say about your mom, except, I'm sorry. People don't just get time off because "it's summer" unless they're a school teacher or have a job with vacation days that they get to take then. That's so ridiculous I'm kind of speechless on your behalf.

Just be proud of what you have accomplished, the interneship is fantastic. And as you said, you haven't wasted your money and you always had money for rent and food because of it. There are a lot of people making a lot of money who are one month's salary away from destitution.

One thing that worked a little bit for me was to stop being apologetic. I finally got so sick of the nagging and griping when I was already spending more money and time than I felt comfortable with, I just became kind of cold on the subject. One time after giving up 4 days of work to visit my dad & step mom, the entire time I was there she complained I wasn't staying longer (2 of the days were mostly travel to get there and home). When I was leaving she made another snide comment about them visiting people more often and I just smiled and said "It must be nice to live a life of leisure." and she backed off after that.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 05:25 AM
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Cool Re: Family Not Understanding

Quote:
Originally Posted by reesespieces View Post
I'm currently in a tough school program, working, and will continue on this track for the next year. It's been rough because my program is in the sciences, and it requires a lot of discipline, study, and time.

My husband and I've experienced a few major setbacks in life, which meant we had to sacrifice a few things. One of those things many people enjoy without thinking about spending money for nice events or vacations. We've never been on a vacation to an exotic place, whereas I know a lot of my family or peers have. I'm okay with that because I know we can't afford it, I need to finish school, and we need financial stability. My husband and I agreed we need to be responsible about major expenses in the next couple years. You'd think my family would be understanding-- it's far from the truth.

This year I was able to secure an internship with a reputable Fortune 500 company-- I'm super excited about it, and I know it'll open so many doors. It'll be one of the leaps forward we need. My parents don't seem to care, along with a lot of people from my family. I think it's because of all the setbacks DH and I've experienced in the last few years, where no one thinks much of us and doesn't see us as successful. They're like "well those two aren't getting anywhere in life, so what's the big deal if the spend a few hundred bucks every now and then?" My parents think I should be able to take time off whenever during this internship, and I've already explained to them I don't get vacation or benefits. My mom said she thought it was absurd I couldn't get any time off, what kind of job doesn't allow people time off during the summer because "they should know," and how it "looks bad" to her family.

Other family members have complained about my unwillingness to spend hundreds of dollars on plane tickets and other costs to take a vacation. I've also had to explain to them those things COST MONEY, and I don't have that kind of money to spend. It's like it goes in one ear and out the other. They take HUGE personal offense toward it, as if I'm purposefully doing all of this to spite them. "Oh you don't want to see us, that's the real reason" and "what's your problem" are some of the things I've heard. I'm getting frustrated.
Once your family see "the proof of the pudding in this internship, greatly provided that it is successful, then they'll come around!

Otherwise, you'll just hear them continually taunting you with "I told you so!"

Right now, they're only acclimated to your failure in finding business success!

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Family Not Understanding

The sad thing is the relatives who complain don't want to make the trip over. In their opinion, I should be the one who makes the trip to see them (plane ride) because I was the one who moved away. In spite of the fact it was my parents who made that decision a long, long time ago, but oh well.

Heck, even relatives who live 30-45 minutes away complain. My husband and I noticed no one seems to want to come by our area and visit, but we're expected to visit them. I have a relative who lives almost an hour away and always asks me to go over, but it's a long drive, I get tired, and he knows that I'm busy and nearly overwhelmed. He won't even consider meeting halfway somewhere to hang out because he'd rather hang out at his house. I've gotten to the point where I'm "whatever" about it all. It would be nice if people could keep their complaints to themselves.

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 10:08 AM
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Re: Family Not Understanding

Quote:
Originally Posted by reesespieces View Post
Sorry to take so long to respond-- I kind of lost track of time.

My parents are the ones who primarily behave this way, but I also have extended family who make complaints. They seem to take it as a personal affront, as if I'm doing something against them on purpose. The problem is, my husband and I have been through a lot of tough financial situations where money has been so short, we didn't want to have to choose between rent or groceries-- and never have. We choose to not spend our money the same way my family does, and it's a personal insult to them.

I recently had a conversation with my mom where I tried really hard to explain to this to her, and then I realized she's choosing to not be an understanding person. It's frustrating, and disappointing, because although I know I can't get them to accept it, the least they should do is respect my own decisions. I can't get that, either.


It's a hard situation to have to deal with, especially when family doesn't want to even try to be empathetic. For a long time, a few friends and I used each other as kind of a surrogate family, for very similar reasons. Sometimes good friends can turn into the family you get to choose, especially if you live far away from any blood relatives.

In the mean time, you don't have to give into your blood family's demands completely. Are you in a position where you could try skyping with your family? It's not being in the same room, but the face to face communication it offers could be enough for them for at least for the time being and will show that you still want to be engaged with them as much as you are able...
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