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Author Topic: Today's Dear Abby-unmarried couples sharing a room  (Read 37818 times)

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Bibliophile

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Re: Today's Dear Abby-unmarried couples sharing a room
« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2011, 02:29:04 PM »
The guy admits to having premarital relations himself, he knows his daughter is also engaging and they sleep in the same bed at the boyfriend's parents house...  So basically he has no problem with his daughter being "active", but wants to pretend that it doesn't happen when she's at his house?  I think he's making a big deal out of nothing.  And not really the point, but there's a very good chance the only thing going on in that room is sleep anyway.  Being in one's parent's house is sort of a mood killer.

“Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others.” ~ Groucho Marx

Person123

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Re: Today's Dear Abby-unmarried couples sharing a room
« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2011, 02:31:06 PM »
I think since the daughter and her boyfriend were coming for a planned visit, the parents should have discussed the issue prior to their arrival.

I also think most people don't keep their guest room 100% ready to go at a mere moments notice.  Even if its only a few minutes of checking the room, getting anything stored out of sight, putting out fresh towels, etc most people prepare the guest room - that the LW didn't do this, or discuss this with his wife, probably implied to her he expected they would stay in the same room.

I definitely think too, that the ages and norms of the young couple come into play - do they live together?  Are they self-supporting adults or college students who live in a dorm?

I'm curious as to why age matters, if they're legal adults why is 35 any different to 21?  

As they are visiting, the daughter must live away from the parental home and I think its unreasonable of them to have any 'rules' regarding her behaviour beyond the normal rules of politeness that apply to everybody.  If they wouldn't make an adult friend or sibling and their adult partner sleep in separate rooms, they shouldn't make their adult daughter and her partner.

It makes a difference in my mind, because oftentimes a [young, first time, usually under 21] college student is at least partially supported financially by the parents.  If the parents have a vested interest in her future - as in they are investing their money to pay for her college education - I think they have more of a say about how the child behaves, especially when in the parent's house. 

If however a person is grown, and self supporting, off on their own, I think parents have a personal interest but not a vested interest and therefore less power.

I guess it just seems a little, I don't know...head in the sand maybe, to send your daughter off to college, to support her while she lives independently, to meet her boyfriend and then to expect them to go along with a pretence that they aren't having an adult relationship.  I'm sure its hard for dads especially to realise that their daughters are adults with all that that entails, but that's for them to deal with I think.

I agree with this. I had a similar situation with my boyfriend's family when I went on vacation with them. They had a lot of extended family members there, so all of the younger people slept on mattresses in the living room. There was one mattress left, but it was a double. My boyfriend's mom did not want us to share it, so she was originally going to make my boyfriend sleep on the floor with a couple of blankets and a pillow! His 25 year old cousin and her boyfriend were sharing a mattress though, because of course his mom could not tell them what to do. FOrtunately, she changed her mind. I would have understood more if we had been in a private bedroom, but since we were sleeping in the same room with several others, her objections didn't really make much sense.

Mikayla

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Re: Today's Dear Abby-unmarried couples sharing a room
« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2011, 02:34:05 PM »
<<snip>>

I'm curious as to why age matters, if they're legal adults why is 35 any different to 21?  

As they are visiting, the daughter must live away from the parental home and I think its unreasonable of them to have any 'rules' regarding her behaviour beyond the normal rules of politeness that apply to everybody.  If they wouldn't make an adult friend or sibling and their adult partner sleep in separate rooms, they shouldn't make their adult daughter and her partner.

But I think where parents are concerned, "legal adult" doesn't matter.  When their kids are under their roof, other factors kick in that sometimes make for decisions that might appear unreasonable, but are really holdovers from the parent/child relationship.

The first time I went home with my now-DH, we were living together, but I knew they'd want us in separate rooms.  It wasn't our preference but, at least for us, it wasn't a hill to die on, either. 

MsOverThinker

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Re: Today's Dear Abby-unmarried couples sharing a room
« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2011, 02:35:49 PM »
I agree with PPs who said this should have been decided before the visit.  If I didn't already know the answer in my parent's home, I would have asked someone.  It was unfair for the parents not to inform the daughter before her visit so she had the option to make other arrangements if her sleeping with her partner was going to be uncomfortable.  What's odd to me is that the father never told anyone he was uncomfortable with them sleeping together in his house, yet everyone else seemed to assume it would be fine.  

Yvaine

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Re: Today's Dear Abby-unmarried couples sharing a room
« Reply #19 on: May 12, 2011, 02:37:04 PM »
The guy admits to having premarital relations himself, he knows his daughter is also engaging and they sleep in the same bed at the boyfriend's parents house...  So basically he has no problem with his daughter being "active", but wants to pretend that it doesn't happen when she's at his house?  I think he's making a big deal out of nothing.  And not really the point, but there's a very good chance the only thing going on in that room is sleep anyway.  Being in one's parent's house is sort of a mood killer.

I agree with you--it seems that Dad just thinks it's disrespectful for his daughter to not pretend. And it doesn't sound like he's ever actually communicated that to her, so he's judging her unfairly. The BF's parents don't seem to think it's disrespectful. There is not a consensus on this issue in this culture at this time. So he needs to tell her if he has a rule.

Big nod to the bolded!  >:D

Virg

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Re: Today's Dear Abby-unmarried couples sharing a room
« Reply #20 on: May 12, 2011, 02:38:55 PM »
I don't find the LW's daughter to be disrespectful because it seems that her mother doesn't have an issue with it (mom reacted to the initial request by looking askance at dad).  Because the two occupants of the house don't have a consensus, it's not rude of the LW's daughter not to know "the rules".  I agree with others that the time to address this issue was before the visit, and I also don't see either occupant's view as more important than the other's.  They need to decide between themselves and then communicate it clearly to their daughter.

I'm also not fond of his attitude.  his last sentence, "Is expecting some sense of propriety being a curmudgeonly father?" says that he considers his wife to be without propriety in this matter, and because of that he comes off sounding self-righteous.

WillyNilly wrote:

"With money comes power and if the parents are supporting the daughter (even if she lives away from home, its not unheard of for parents to financially subsidize a just starting out young adult) they get to call some shots..."

I don't see this as relevant because they could "call the shots" for any guests in their own house.  If they invited a similarly aged friend and an unmarried companion to their house, they would be within their rights to ask them to sleep apart.

Virg

Larrabee

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Re: Today's Dear Abby-unmarried couples sharing a room
« Reply #21 on: May 12, 2011, 02:40:12 PM »
^ I agree.  And my dad never had me sleep in a separate room from a boyfriend - even as a senior in HS my boyfriend at the time and I stayed in the same room.  But I think there are certainly arguments to be made that the parent has the right to do it.

With money comes power and if the parents are supporting the daughter (even if she lives away from home, its not unheard of for parents to financially subsidize a just starting out young adult) they get to call some shots... in fact I think its a good thing when parents do exercise control when wielding financial incentives, because it encourages financial independence.  I know way too many people over 25, over 30, heck over 35 who happily still live with their parents, in their same room, getting financially subsidized because the parents don't make it the least bit unpleasant and so the adult children see no reason to move out and spend all that money on a place of their own... but that's its own topic.



My parents never did anything to make my life unpleasant while I lived with them, the opposite in fact, I still didn't want to stay there forever, I wanted my own adult life.  That seems a very strange way of looking at it, that children only fly the nest if they're pushed!  (I moved out a few times, but for the final time at 26).

Larrabee

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Re: Today's Dear Abby-unmarried couples sharing a room
« Reply #22 on: May 12, 2011, 02:44:36 PM »
<<snip>>

I'm curious as to why age matters, if they're legal adults why is 35 any different to 21?  

As they are visiting, the daughter must live away from the parental home and I think its unreasonable of them to have any 'rules' regarding her behaviour beyond the normal rules of politeness that apply to everybody.  If they wouldn't make an adult friend or sibling and their adult partner sleep in separate rooms, they shouldn't make their adult daughter and her partner.

But I think where parents are concerned, "legal adult" doesn't matter.  When their kids are under their roof, other factors kick in that sometimes make for decisions that might appear unreasonable, but are really holdovers from the parent/child relationship.

The first time I went home with my now-DH, we were living together, but I knew they'd want us in separate rooms.  It wasn't our preference but, at least for us, it wasn't a hill to die on, either. 

To the bolded, maybe it should.  I actually think its really important for parents and children to gradually adapt their relationships to reflect the fact that both parties are becoming/are now adults and behave accordingly.  Its often bemoaned, here and elsewhere, that young adults seem to act like children for longer and longer these days, well if their parents are still relating to them as if they were children you can see how that arises.

Ceiling Fan

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Re: Today's Dear Abby-unmarried couples sharing a room
« Reply #23 on: May 12, 2011, 02:49:46 PM »
I think since the daughter and her boyfriend were coming for a planned visit, the parents should have discussed the issue prior to their arrival.

I also think most people don't keep their guest room 100% ready to go at a mere moments notice.  Even if its only a few minutes of checking the room, getting anything stored out of sight, putting out fresh towels, etc most people prepare the guest room - that the LW didn't do this, or discuss this with his wife, probably implied to her he expected they would stay in the same room.

I definitely think too, that the ages and norms of the young couple come into play - do they live together?  Are they self-supporting adults or college students who live in a dorm?

Or else it implies the he just assumed she would do it, because the housework is her problem?  >:D

Judah

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Re: Today's Dear Abby-unmarried couples sharing a room
« Reply #24 on: May 12, 2011, 02:51:23 PM »
<<snip>>

I'm curious as to why age matters, if they're legal adults why is 35 any different to 21?  

As they are visiting, the daughter must live away from the parental home and I think its unreasonable of them to have any 'rules' regarding her behaviour beyond the normal rules of politeness that apply to everybody.  If they wouldn't make an adult friend or sibling and their adult partner sleep in separate rooms, they shouldn't make their adult daughter and her partner.

But I think where parents are concerned, "legal adult" doesn't matter.  When their kids are under their roof, other factors kick in that sometimes make for decisions that might appear unreasonable, but are really holdovers from the parent/child relationship.

The first time I went home with my now-DH, we were living together, but I knew they'd want us in separate rooms.  It wasn't our preference but, at least for us, it wasn't a hill to die on, either. 

To the bolded, maybe it should.  I actually think its really important for parents and children to gradually adapt their relationships to reflect the fact that both parties are becoming/are now adults and behave accordingly.  Its often bemoaned, here and elsewhere, that young adults seem to act like children for longer and longer these days, well if their parents are still relating to them as if they were children you can see how that arises.

But for many people, myself included, the ages of the couple are irrelevant.  No unmarried couples sleep together in my house.  It's not about viewing them as children, it's about setting a moral tone in my home and setting an example for my children.  
Ask for what you want. Let's be clear on this one:
Subtle hints don't work.
Strong hints don't work.
Really obvious hints don't work.
Just say it!

-The Car Talk Guys

Larrabee

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Re: Today's Dear Abby-unmarried couples sharing a room
« Reply #25 on: May 12, 2011, 02:54:01 PM »
<<snip>>

I'm curious as to why age matters, if they're legal adults why is 35 any different to 21?  

As they are visiting, the daughter must live away from the parental home and I think its unreasonable of them to have any 'rules' regarding her behaviour beyond the normal rules of politeness that apply to everybody.  If they wouldn't make an adult friend or sibling and their adult partner sleep in separate rooms, they shouldn't make their adult daughter and her partner.

But I think where parents are concerned, "legal adult" doesn't matter.  When their kids are under their roof, other factors kick in that sometimes make for decisions that might appear unreasonable, but are really holdovers from the parent/child relationship.

The first time I went home with my now-DH, we were living together, but I knew they'd want us in separate rooms.  It wasn't our preference but, at least for us, it wasn't a hill to die on, either. 

To the bolded, maybe it should.  I actually think its really important for parents and children to gradually adapt their relationships to reflect the fact that both parties are becoming/are now adults and behave accordingly.  Its often bemoaned, here and elsewhere, that young adults seem to act like children for longer and longer these days, well if their parents are still relating to them as if they were children you can see how that arises.

But for many people, myself included, the ages of the couple are irrelevant.  No unmarried couples sleep together in my house.  It's not about viewing them as children, it's about setting a moral tone in my home and setting an example for my children.  

What about unmarried couples who live together, or even have children?  What about g*ay couples if you live somewhere where they can't get married?  That rule seems a little rigid and a little unkind in its implications about unmarried people who *do* sleep together.

Judah

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Re: Today's Dear Abby-unmarried couples sharing a room
« Reply #26 on: May 12, 2011, 02:58:41 PM »
<<snip>>

I'm curious as to why age matters, if they're legal adults why is 35 any different to 21?  

As they are visiting, the daughter must live away from the parental home and I think its unreasonable of them to have any 'rules' regarding her behaviour beyond the normal rules of politeness that apply to everybody.  If they wouldn't make an adult friend or sibling and their adult partner sleep in separate rooms, they shouldn't make their adult daughter and her partner.

But I think where parents are concerned, "legal adult" doesn't matter.  When their kids are under their roof, other factors kick in that sometimes make for decisions that might appear unreasonable, but are really holdovers from the parent/child relationship.

The first time I went home with my now-DH, we were living together, but I knew they'd want us in separate rooms.  It wasn't our preference but, at least for us, it wasn't a hill to die on, either. 

To the bolded, maybe it should.  I actually think its really important for parents and children to gradually adapt their relationships to reflect the fact that both parties are becoming/are now adults and behave accordingly.  Its often bemoaned, here and elsewhere, that young adults seem to act like children for longer and longer these days, well if their parents are still relating to them as if they were children you can see how that arises.

But for many people, myself included, the ages of the couple are irrelevant.  No unmarried couples sleep together in my house.  It's not about viewing them as children, it's about setting a moral tone in my home and setting an example for my children.  

What about unmarried couples who live together, or even have children?  What about g*ay couples if you live somewhere where they can't get married?  That rule seems a little rigid and a little unkind in its implications about unmarried people who *do* sleep together.

Nobody is ever caught unaware about the rule, we're very open about it to guests who it applies to.  It's not about judging other people's lives, it's about having the kind of home that I want.  It's no different than forbidding alcohol or meat.
Ask for what you want. Let's be clear on this one:
Subtle hints don't work.
Strong hints don't work.
Really obvious hints don't work.
Just say it!

-The Car Talk Guys

Larrabee

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Re: Today's Dear Abby-unmarried couples sharing a room
« Reply #27 on: May 12, 2011, 03:03:22 PM »
<<snip>>

I'm curious as to why age matters, if they're legal adults why is 35 any different to 21?  

As they are visiting, the daughter must live away from the parental home and I think its unreasonable of them to have any 'rules' regarding her behaviour beyond the normal rules of politeness that apply to everybody.  If they wouldn't make an adult friend or sibling and their adult partner sleep in separate rooms, they shouldn't make their adult daughter and her partner.

But I think where parents are concerned, "legal adult" doesn't matter.  When their kids are under their roof, other factors kick in that sometimes make for decisions that might appear unreasonable, but are really holdovers from the parent/child relationship.

The first time I went home with my now-DH, we were living together, but I knew they'd want us in separate rooms.  It wasn't our preference but, at least for us, it wasn't a hill to die on, either. 

To the bolded, maybe it should.  I actually think its really important for parents and children to gradually adapt their relationships to reflect the fact that both parties are becoming/are now adults and behave accordingly.  Its often bemoaned, here and elsewhere, that young adults seem to act like children for longer and longer these days, well if their parents are still relating to them as if they were children you can see how that arises.

But for many people, myself included, the ages of the couple are irrelevant.  No unmarried couples sleep together in my house.  It's not about viewing them as children, it's about setting a moral tone in my home and setting an example for my children.  

What about unmarried couples who live together, or even have children?  What about g*ay couples if you live somewhere where they can't get married?  That rule seems a little rigid and a little unkind in its implications about unmarried people who *do* sleep together.

Nobody is ever caught unaware about the rule, we're very open about it to guests who it applies to.  It's not about judging other people's lives, it's about having the kind of home that I want.  It's no different than forbidding alcohol or meat.

Well, it is your house I suppose, and as long as you don't mind if people feel offended and reduce/cut contact with you then I suppose its fair enough.

It seems a little contradictory though to be close enough friends with a couple that you'd invite them to stay with you yet so disapproving of the way they live their life.  It is about judging other people's lives, you judge unmarried couples who sleep together as not up to your moral standards, you just happen to be ok with making that judgement!

Ceiling Fan

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Re: Today's Dear Abby-unmarried couples sharing a room
« Reply #28 on: May 12, 2011, 03:09:03 PM »
(trimming the tree)

But for many people, myself included, the ages of the couple are irrelevant.  No unmarried couples sleep together in my house.  It's not about viewing them as children, it's about setting a moral tone in my home and setting an example for my children.  

What about unmarried couples who live together, or even have children?  What about g*ay couples if you live somewhere where they can't get married?  That rule seems a little rigid and a little unkind in its implications about unmarried people who *do* sleep together.

Nobody is ever caught unaware about the rule, we're very open about it to guests who it applies to.  It's not about judging other people's lives, it's about having the kind of home that I want.  It's no different than forbidding alcohol or meat.

Well, it is your house I suppose, and as long as you don't mind if people feel offended and reduce/cut contact with you then I suppose its fair enough.

It seems a little contradictory though to be close enough friends with a couple that you'd invite them to stay with you yet so disapproving of the way they live their life.  It is about judging other people's lives, you judge unmarried couples who sleep together as not up to your moral standards, you just happen to be ok with making that judgement!

I agree. I also happen to think that guest arrangements should follow the social unit rule: If you have to invite both parties of a social unit, you don't then get to treat them differently than any other couple.

Judah

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Re: Today's Dear Abby-unmarried couples sharing a room
« Reply #29 on: May 12, 2011, 03:11:37 PM »
Well, it is your house I suppose, and as long as you don't mind if people feel offended and reduce/cut contact with you then I suppose its fair enough.

It seems a little contradictory though to be close enough friends with a couple that you'd invite them to stay with you yet so disapproving of the way they live their life.  It is about judging other people's lives, you judge unmarried couples who sleep together as not up to your moral standards, you just happen to be ok with making that judgement!

We've never had anyone decline to visit or change plans, maybe because my friends know that I'm not judging them and understand that it's about living my life by my own codes.  I'm sure you must have friends that do things you don't agree with, do you love them any less?  Are you constantly judging them?  I'm not saying my morals are better than theirs, just different.
Ask for what you want. Let's be clear on this one:
Subtle hints don't work.
Strong hints don't work.
Really obvious hints don't work.
Just say it!

-The Car Talk Guys


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