Author Topic: How much longer do I have to bean-dip?  (Read 3086 times)

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nuit93

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How much longer do I have to bean-dip?
« on: February 04, 2013, 01:18:18 PM »
Bit of backstory: I've been living with my LIB for seven years this spring.  Since it's sort of relevant, we're not monogamous and our connections to our other partners are just as strong as to each other.  There's been occasional hints from the family that we should get ourselves hitched (always directed at me and never the BF, but that's a whole 'nother rant), but these were typically a one-off and easily brushed off.

Until the past year and a half.  During that time:

-I turned 30 (I'm the oldest).
-My next youngest sister got engaged, then married.
-My baby sister's boyfriend began saving for an engagement ring (she later dumped him).
-My mother's boyfriend of nine years proposed to her and they'll be getting married this spring.  This will be her third marriage.

Aaaand then there's me. 

In a lot of respects, LIB and I operate as happily childfree married couple.  We're recognized as a social unit by our families, we live together, share bills/meals/responsibilities to the household and to each other, etc.  There's no common-law marriage in our state so the only legal documents we ever signed together were leases.  There are times when we get reminded that we don't get the same privileges as married couples.  Most notably, last year he had to get emergency gallbladder surgery.  Since we weren't married, I couldn't get FMLA time off to help take care of him.  Fortunately, his other GF was a godsend in being able to help out since she worked 2nd shift at the time so between the two of us he was cared for just fine.

I've had various conversations with my mother explaining why we haven't filed as common-law (it hasn't existed in our state for over 20 years) or why I couldn't get FMLA.  She doesn't live with her fiancee and never 'shacked up' with anyone long-term with no plans for marriage, so I accepted for a long time that she just didn't know about the ins and outs of it.  She'd keep pushing for it ("Even just a city hall marriage, nothing fancy!") and I'd bean-dip and she'd forget the issue for the time being.  I couldn't get through to her that yes, even though most people do get married or begin considering it after 3-5 years if not sooner, LIB and I do not believe in doing things just because it's what most people do.

She was especially heavy-handed about it at my sister's wedding, but I pretty much expected that.  The line I got from most relatives including her was "Now, I know you probably won't do anything as fancy as this (a $20k, 150+ person, BWW extravaganza that Sis and BIL paid for themselves), but you'll get married eventually, right?".  Yeah...I stayed away from the open bar for a reason.  I can get a bit mouthy when I'm buzzed.

Then again in November at Thanksgiving--our state had just passed a marriage equality bill (something LIB and I were very strong supporters of).  Prior to dinner, mom, married-sis and I were in the kitchen preparing drinks when mom says "So, now that we have equal marriage in our state, maybe now you two will...?".  She was cut off from a look from married-sis that pretty much said "do NOT go there".

I've avoided talking to her about what's happening in my life for the most part since, well, a lot of it she would likely not understand or would be upset by.  I keep it to the relevant stuff.  However, last week LIB had to go back to the hospital for another surgery, so of course I talked to her about that.  Two sentences in she asks "so, are you taking FMLA to care for him?".  *sigh*  I know I've discussed this with her.  She knows why I can't do that.  It just feels like yet another P/A way of saying we should get married.

Now that she's getting married this spring, I can only anticipate the 'helpful hints' escalating.  If I didn't like her husband-to-be so much I'd be telling her to drop it or I wouldn't attend the wedding.  Is there anything else I can really do?

On a more humorous (to us) note, LIB and I have been discussing marriage--just not to each other.  THAT is a conversation that will most certainly not happen with Mom until after she's married, since we agreed it would be bad to stress her out in the middle of planning.

Deetee

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Re: How much longer do I have to bean-dip?
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2013, 01:45:09 PM »
I don't think you should bean dip your mother. Bean dip is for avoiding a one off conversation with people who you see rarely or are not close to.

People who are closer do not particularly deserve a proper answer, but can be told to back off in polite but firm language. It would not matter if you were in a traditional relationship. The questionis still out of line.

WillyNilly

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Re: How much longer do I have to bean-dip?
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2013, 01:56:16 PM »
Here's the thing.  You have chosen a very off-norm lifestyle. And that's your choice and all.  But to pretend its not something people, especially those that are close to you and love you and are involved in your life, aren't going to be confused and concerned by is just downright insulting to them as intelligent humans.

I think you need to either be really open and honest, and patient, with your family about your choices, or you need to understand they don't get it.  Because honestly, while they can respect your choice, they likely have zero understanding of it.  It sounds so anti-what most people want its probably totally foreign to them.  They probably truly are concerned for you and your partner.

To bean-dip, which the opposite of open and honest because it is the act of totally avoiding the conversation, is to truly shut your family out.  Its likely hurtful and confusing, as well as concerning to them.

TurtleDove

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Re: How much longer do I have to bean-dip?
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2013, 01:59:32 PM »
POD to WillyNilly.

nuit93

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Re: How much longer do I have to bean-dip?
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2013, 02:00:03 PM »
Here's the thing.  You have chosen a very off-norm lifestyle. And that's your choice and all.  But to pretend its not something people, especially those that are close to you and love you and are involved in your life, aren't going to be confused and concerned by is just downright insulting to them as intelligent humans.

I think you need to either be really open and honest, and patient, with your family about your choices, or you need to understand they don't get it.  Because honestly, while they can respect your choice, they likely have zero understanding of it.  It sounds so anti-what most people want its probably totally foreign to them.  They probably truly are concerned for you and your partner.

To bean-dip, which the opposite of open and honest because it is the act of totally avoiding the conversation, is to truly shut your family out.  Its likely hurtful and confusing, as well as concerning to them.

She doesn't know about the non-monogamy part.  As far as she can tell we're a monogamous couple living together w/o benefit of marriage, which is really fairly common nowadays.  We have other relatives who have done this also so it's not completely unfamiliar to her.

TurtleDove

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Re: How much longer do I have to bean-dip?
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2013, 02:04:27 PM »
She doesn't know about the non-monogamy part.  As far as she can tell we're a monogamous couple living together w/o benefit of marriage, which is really fairly common nowadays.  We have other relatives who have done this also so it's not completely unfamiliar to her.

But this is not the case.  I would imagine if you were honest with your mother about your choices, she might actually grasp why you are not getting married to your LIB, though she probably would have some questions and concerns about your choices.  I generally believe that if I have to hide choices I have made from people I am close to in my life, either I need to change the choices or stay away from the people I am hiding them from. Is there a reason you are not honest with your mother about your choices?  I am not saying you have to be; I am saying you can't be close to someone and also hide such a big part of yourself without consequences.