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TranquilMind

Living with Boyfriend/Girlfriend in College -your thoughts-would you decline to support?

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But you can't do that either!  The kid insists he/she knows better and you are just controlling if you say anything!  

 

  Much like many of the adults here about this topic. 

It's a no-win situation, it appears.  At least at the moment.  In the long run, we know the kid will eventually understand that mom and/or dad really had their best interests at heart, but they never understand that as a teen, just as in the scenario here.  They just think you want to tell them what to do for the fun of it.

 

Teen reasoning is really an amazing thing. 

 

 

I'm sorry.   :grouphug:

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But I guess I don't see that as an especially difficult question.

 

I'm a pacifist sort. My son went through a phase during which he was really into building various kinds of boffer-style weaponry and sparring with friends. It bugged me. I didn't like even the "play" violence. He was hurt that I didn't share his enthusiasm or want to hear about his successes. I was hurt that he not only didn't share my values/beliefs but apparently didn't respect my right not to have to hear about his exploits.

 

After some discussion, we reached a compromise in which I didn't interfere with his hobby or try to talk him out of it or even say anything negative about it, and he didn't attempt to involve me in it. So, he was welcome to build stuff in the garage or in his bedroom and to spar with friends in the backyard; however, I would not buy him supplies or consult with him on design or supervise his mock combat. (Dad was happy to do all three of those things for him.)

 

He was younger at the time, of course, but those negotiations, I believe, helped us lay the groundwork for healthy disagreement over values.

 

Since I don't have a problem with my adult offspring having sex or living with a romantic partner, I'm having to think of other things he might choose to do that would really bother me. So far, the best I've come up with is if he decided to abandon vegetarianism. (Keep in mind that, for me, this is not a dietary choice based on health but on moral/spiritual beliefs.) So, let's say that he is still a college student and we, his parents, are still buying his food. If he chose to switch to a caveman diet and started putting slabs of beef on our shopping list, I would feel free to tell him I wasn't going to financially support that choice. I would continue to buy the other items on his list that did not conflict with my values, but if he wanted to buy meat, he'd have to spend his own money to do so. I would also have no problem asking him not to bring meat into my home or cook it in my kitchen, but if he chose to move into his own apartment, he would be welcome to shop for, prepare and eat whatever meals he wanted. And I would be free to decline to pay the bills for that "lifestyle."

 

We wouldn't need to have intense, conflicted conversations about this. Because we've laid the groundwork over the years, he would know perfectly well that I didn't "approve" of his decision and wouldn't expect me to contribute financially towards supporting it, but I don't think he would for one moment consider that I loved his less because of it.

I don't know what boffer-style weaponry is, but that is really minor in the scheme of things, and quite changeable.  They have interests.  You have to at least pretend a nominal interest in their achievements even if you don't like it.  I remember sitting through hockey games praying only that no one would be hurt today.  I didn't care who won!  I wanted everyone to have an undamaged head, at the end of the day. I saw a few taken away on stretchers.  I was extremely grateful that I had the tallest kid.  It was his interest, it wasn't immoral or illegal, and so we let him play (and prayed a lot).

 

Your vegetarian moral belief is much more similar , so that actually comes into line with what some parents are saying.  

 

If it is morally objectionable, the parents should not be paying for it.  You want to claim adult status and do adult things, especially things you know your parents believe are morally wrong?  Then pay for it yourself, if you know your parents find it morally objectionable. 

 

 

Edited by TranquilMind
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I would tend to discourage it, having been through some nightmare break-ups where it wouldn't have worked to be sharing a bathroom with the guy afterwards. Breaking up when you both have separate apartments or dorm rooms, even if you keep a toothbrush and extra clothes at his place, is a lot simpler than breaking up when you're both on the lease and can't afford to move out.

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The way this thread has gone.

 

Sigh...

 

So the original intent was to ask what the parents on this board would do, not decide to judge each other's life choices or get snarky about other people's relatives, s/o's, and such.

 

Here is what I would do.

 

I have a 19.5 year old. While I don't think he's mature enough to be in a committed relationship yet albeit marriage or co-habitation outside of marriage, or even engaged, I also don't think that it is right for me to micromanage his adult life, and I wouldn't be looking to do something to irreparably harm our relationship by getting on my high horse about it either. Short of doing something unlawful or dangerous, both of which would be show stoppers because we have our own well being and that of his brothers to consider, I would not pull the support that I have already agreed to even if I don't like the co-habitation arrangement.

 

I would expect that handing over the reins of his life to him or to any of my children as they become adults means that I have to allow them to make their own decisions. I'd rather keep the lines of communication open and keep the relationship on good footing so if something does go wrong we are there to be a safety net.

 

My parents tried this crud with dh and I. He had an opportunity for a job in Japan for a year, so in our case we weren't looking to move in together, but to move the timeline of the marriage up so that my moving expenses - as his legal dependent - would be paid. They had a HUGE cow, HUGE. So bad that we didn't go because dh didn't want to be the reason they cut me off. I was okay with them cutting me off. If they wanted to treat a 20 year old like a two year old, I was more than happy to walk away from the tantrum and not look back. 

 

Pick your battles. There are A LOT worse things than this. A lot worse.

 

My church preaches against such living arrangements. It preaches against all kinds of things. Doesn't mean I get to dictate that to my adult child. But if my young adult has entered college under the agreement that if GPA X is maintained, X dollars flow from us in order to assist in getting the education that will ultimately lead to said young adult becoming self sufficient, then I am not going to renege on that because I don't like a lifestyle choice that is perfectly legal nor dangerous and especially if I didn't make it known up front that this was part of the parent/adult child financial contract.

 

 I also consider it unethical to attempt to manipulate another person's moral code with the giving or the withholding of money. That's just my personal code of ethics. Obviously a number of factors comes to play in the development of that.

What if you are paying for rent/living expenses and you will be financially penalized to help extract the young adult after the break up and pay another security deposit on another place after the inevitable break up. 

 

Does this change your answer?  Another poster brought that up and I found that to be a very relevant point.

 

I see your situation as different with your husband, because you were getting married!  How is that the same thing as teens shacking up on mom and dad's dime?   I stipulated at the beginning, I think, that everyone agrees that educational expenses will be paid and that wasn't at issue in the instant question. 

 

I see this as a discussion of the "factors that come to play in the development of that."

Edited by TranquilMind

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I would tend to discourage it, having been through some nightmare break-ups where it wouldn't have worked to be sharing a bathroom with the guy afterwards. Breaking up when you both have separate apartments or dorm rooms, even if you keep a toothbrush and extra clothes at his place, is a lot simpler than breaking up when you're both on the lease and can't afford to move out.

Yeah, I fall into this category too, though I didn't have any breakups in college.  I lived in my own apartment and it was glorious! 

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What if you are paying for rent/living expenses and you will be financially penalized to help extract the young adult after the break up and pay another security deposit on another place after the inevitable break up. 

...

I see your situation as different with your husband, because you were getting married!  How is that the same thing as teens shacking up on mom and dad's dime?  

 

How is the breakup "inevitable"??? My college boyfriend whom I met when I was 18 and I will celebrate 30 years together soon.

 

And how would things be different if the young people were to marry and then get a divorce (which is far more expensive)?

Edited by regentrude
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I don't know what boffer-style weaponry is, but that is really minor in the scheme of things, and quite changeable.  They have interests.  You have to at least pretend a nominal interest in their achievements even if you don't like it.  I remember sitting through hockey games praying only that no one would be hurt today.  I didn't care who won!  I wanted everyone to have an undamaged head, at the end of the day. I saw a few taken away on stretchers.  I was extremely grateful that I had the tallest kid.  It was his interest, it wasn't immoral or illegal, and so we let him play (and prayed a lot).

 

Your vegetarian moral belief is much more similar , so that actually comes into line with what some parents are saying.  

 

If it is morally objectionable, the parents should not be paying for it.  You want to claim adult status and do adult things, especially things you know your parents believe are morally wrong?  Then pay for it yourself, if you know your parents find it morally objectionable. 

 

You are right that it was minor; he was maybe 11 at the time. My point was that, because we navigated the smaller stuff over the years, we've laid the groundwork for how to handle the bigger stuff as he matures.

 

But I don't agree that I have to "pretend a nominal interest" in things I find actually upsetting. My kids had tons of interests over the years about which I knew nothing or next to it and in which I had no particular interest, myself, that I did throw myself into in order to share it with said kid. I drew the line at things that outright bothered me or conflicted with my personal beliefs. I didn't necessarily forbid those interests, but I did decline to participate when I felt doing so would compromise my own values.

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How is the breakup "inevitable"??? My college boyfriend whom I met when I was 18 and I will celebrate 30 years together soon.

 

And how would things be different if the young people were to marry and then get a divorce (which is far more expensive)?

In the OP's example, the couple has only been together 2 months. That's really not a long time to know someone. I'd be even more likely to discourage getting married after only 2 months, because while signing a lease together is an entanglement, signing a marriage license is much more of one.

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What if you are paying for rent/living expenses and you will be financially penalized to help extract the young adult after the break up and pay another security deposit on another place after the inevitable break up.

 

Does this change your answer? Another poster brought that up and I found that to be a very relevant point.

 

I see your situation as different with your husband, because you were getting married! How is that the same thing as teens shacking up on mom and dad's dime? I stipulated at the beginning, I think, that everyone agrees that educational expenses will be paid and that wasn't at issue in the instant question.

 

I see this as a discussion of the "factors that come to play in the development of that."

Given that fact that many people get married at college age, I'm not sure why you think the break-up is inevitable. Most people do live together, even if only for a short time, before getting married.

 

I do think financial concerns are valid, as well as being concerned about the potential effects of a break-up on academic performance. Of course the latter is a concern even if they are not living together. And for the financial aspect, you could likely work out with the student a contingency plan. For example, month to month leases are very common in my son's college town, as is renting only one room in an apartment or house. One of these type of situations combined with the student having some $ set aside for new security deposits, etc could potentially shield you from any financial repercussions. My neighbor's son actually saved his parents money by living with his girlfriend because they shared the expenses of one room in a house with several other friends.

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How is the breakup "inevitable"??? My college boyfriend whom I met when I was 18 and I will celebrate 30 years together soon.

 

And how would things be different if the young people were to marry and then get a divorce (which is far more expensive)?

Agreeing. Dh and I have been married 28 years. I was 18 when we started dating. Our dear friends lived together in college, then married, and are coming up on 37 years, and that was super common.

 

For those Christians that believe this is the end of the world spiritually, it should be noted that among the now 8 elders of my parents' church, 5 lived together with their eventual spouse during their college years. They all came from conservative homes in which this was treated as the absolute end of everything, the spiritual apocalypse, but that's not actually what happened. Though the official stance of the church with the young people these days is an admonition against it, they haven't also considered it something that is necessarily going to have really negative spiritual reprocussions either. The good news is because they are handling it in a low key way, they have several college young couples that are living together unmarried that do feel welcome to attend church. That has to be better than ostracizing the young couple.

 

So maybe not the ideal for many parents who believe it is really wrong, but on the other hand, also not a hill to die on I would think in terms of relationship.

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How is the breakup "inevitable"??? My college boyfriend whom I met when I was 18 and I will celebrate 30 years together soon.

 

And how would things be different if the young people were to marry and then get a divorce (which is far more expensive)?

Well, it's pretty likely.  How about that. 

I realize there are rare exceptions. 

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You are right that it was minor; he was maybe 11 at the time. My point was that, because we navigated the smaller stuff over the years, we've laid the groundwork for how to handle the bigger stuff as he matures.

 

But I don't agree that I have to "pretend a nominal interest" in things I find actually upsetting. My kids had tons of interests over the years about which I knew nothing or next to it and in which I had no particular interest, myself, that I did throw myself into in order to share it with said kid. I drew the line at things that outright bothered me or conflicted with my personal beliefs. I didn't necessarily forbid those interests, but I did decline to participate when I felt doing so would compromise my own values.

 

I completely agree with the bolded.    I don't feel parents should participate when it compromises their own values. 

I did pretend some interest when my kids were little, rambling on about whatever the big interest was today.  I actually had some interest in the hockey, but boy, it was scary. 

 

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We wouldn't need to have intense, conflicted conversations about this. Because we've laid the groundwork over the years, he would know perfectly well that I didn't "approve" of his decision and wouldn't expect me to contribute financially towards supporting it, but I don't think he would for one moment consider that I loved his less because of it.

Yes, exactly this. And I think your example of moral vegetarianism is a great analogy.

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I don't agree with the bolded.  Haven't your kids every done anything of which you completely did not approve, but you still loved them?  And they knew it?

 

If not, must be great to be you. 

 

Yes, one can completely disagree with what another DOES and still love that person.

 

Kind of hard to grow up in a family at all without that. 

 

 

It appears to me as if you're thinking of it from the perspective of the person offering the love. The old analogy of not letting a toddler cross the road alone is an analogy of showing love through protection, or establishing boundaries ("reasons my kid is crying" is a fun meme that often illustrates this, may I present exhibit A). But we're talking about adults making personal decisions parents don't approve of. We're not talking danger. A parent *believing* there is a danger, and subsequently withholding resources previously offered and accepted in good will and trust, may feel the love, but the adult child will feel manipulated, pure and simple. It's manipulation precisely because access to the gift is now tethered to obedience. What makes it worse is that the "danger" is in the opinion of the parent and not the child, cannot be corroborated in any way, and because the child is an adult, which puts it off to a whole 'nuther category of selfish and controlling.

 

When gifts are offered, and then withheld due to behaviors that threaten the emotional comfort zone of the giver, many of us simply choose to reject the gifts altogether, as well as any intimacy offered by the giver, especially if that intimacy is simply another level of manipulation. As we mature, we learn to find alternatives places for important gifts like affection, money, and freedom. The strings just aren't worth it. I'm not talking about a "toxic" relationship here, or an abusive one, just one that's unpleasant enough to warrant distancing oneself, physically and emotionally, long-term. The way the parent feels is intellectually helpful to know, but the experiences themselves contradict these life-long messages and ultimately override any lip-service message repeated. That kind of thing messes with a kid's head growing up - hearing one message and experiencing another. It's dishonest, it's deceitful, and it doesn't inspire trust or respect. No love lost when moving on, kwim? 

 

In this situation, I would imagine the parent and the child have a life-long relationship of trying to control through offering and denying desired resources. I would argue that a person who has to control others in order to maintain their own emotional health isn't displaying love at all, but extreme neediness. Those of us who have grown up like that often learn to recognize the difference between love and meaningless assurances of love. Sadly, many children don't recognize this, and continue the cycle with their children. It is, after all, "the way things are" in their world, it's what they know. They've learned the game, they think it's universally played. This is why I think intimacy can become a form of manipulation, even if the manipulator genuinely feels loving. 

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Given that fact that many people get married at college age, I'm not sure why you think the break-up is inevitable. Most people do live together, even if only for a short time, before getting married.

 

I do think financial concerns are valid, as well as being concerned about the potential effects of a break-up on academic performance. Of course the latter is a concern even if they are not living together. And for the financial aspect, you could likely work out with the student a contingency plan. For example, month to month leases are very common in my son's college town, as is renting only one room in an apartment or house. One of these type of situations combined with the student having some $ set aside for new security deposits, etc could potentially shield you from any financial repercussions. My neighbor's son actually saved his parents money by living with his girlfriend because they shared the expenses of one room in a house with several other friends.

 

THis is the sort of thing I would want to be careful of, if the relationship wasn't at the point that people would normally be looking to live together, married or not. 

 

I knew quite a few people who had arrangements like that as students, and a big part of the appeal was that it was an easy way to find a roomate, and cheaper than usual because they shared a room.  But often it wasn't that they then had a lot of extra money hanging around in case things went south so they could get along alone or find a new place.  Often they still had to share even though there was still only one room, and even when someone could move on, finding a new roomate mid-year to take up the slack was not always easy.  I knew one couple that divided their room for half the year with blankets, but still had to live in the same apartment, which was really not nice for them or their other roommate either.

 

I don't have an issue though with students being in serious relationships or even getting married, if they aren't idiots about it.  I think those can actually be more stable than usual roommate arrangements.

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THis is the sort of thing I would want to be careful of, if the relationship wasn't at the point that people would normally be looking to live together, married or not.

 

I knew quite a few people who had arrangements like that as students, and a big part of the appeal was that it was an easy way to find a roomate, and cheaper than usual because they shared a room. But often it wasn't that they then had a lot of extra money hanging around in case things went south so they could get along alone or find a new place. Often they still had to share even though there was still only one room, and even when someone could move on, finding a new roomate mid-year to take up the slack was not always easy. I knew one couple that divided their room for half the year with blankets, but still had to live in the same apartment, which was really not nice for them or their other roommate either.

 

I don't have an issue though with students being in serious relationships or even getting married, if they aren't idiots about it. I think those can actually be more stable than usual roommate arrangements.

In this case it wasn't about the money, just a positive financial side effect. The women's parents are very wealthy and she is an only child. The man had full academic scholarships and a good part-time job for books and incidentals, so his parents were only covering room and board. And they started dating in high school and didn't move in together until four years later. But I agree that moving in together primarily to save money and not because the relationship is at that point of maturity is not a good idea.
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I don't agree with the bolded. Haven't your kids every done anything of which you completely did not approve, but you still loved them? And they knew it?

 

If not, must be great to be you.

 

Yes, one can completely disagree with what another DOES and still love that person.

 

Kind of hard to grow up in a family at all without that.

 

It's not that my kids have never done anything of which I don't approve. Yes, they have. But, for one thing, the number of things gets smaller as they move into college because I am aware that I simply do not know what they are doing all of the time, and I don't make any effort to find out. Sometimes, I become aware that my college kid is in a different location than I would have thought, for example, but I don't hunt her down to find out why she's apparently with her boyfriend and not in her dorm room. I accept that she is managing her time and activities for herself and, so long as nothing is going seriously wrong, ie., she's not calling me from jail and her car has not been impounded, I accept that she is largely in charge of how she spends her time at college.

 

Also, there's a difference between correcting my kids regarding some behaviour of which I don't approve and withdrawling approval of the child. I have had a conversation, for example, that went like this: "You cannot use your cell phone in this way. It is potentially leading you into a world of hurt because these are possible outcomes from this behaviour." But what I didn't do is say, "WE pay for this phone and this thing that you used the phone to do is UNACCEPTABLE. It's UNCHRISTIAN and IMMORAL! We are therefore taking your phone away for an indefinite amount of time until you can behave like a good Christian child." I'm just not into wielding control over my kids to try to get them to be copies of myself (only the best parts of myself, obviously ;)).

 

My mom tries to be encouraging and give a lot of compliments when she is pleased with me. But you know what? It rings hollow. In the same conversation, she can say something apparently nice about me and/or my kids and turn right around and speak very critically and judgementally about someone else. This is why I don't trust her compliments. She hands them out like clicker-training. i stopped trying to gain my mom's approval and I share little with her because she is not an understanding person.

Edited by Quill
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It's not that my kids have never done anything of which I don't approve. Yes, they have. But, for one thing, the number of things gets smaller as they move into college because I am aware that I simply do not know what they are doing all of the time, and I don't make any effort to find out. Sometimes, I become aware that my college kid is in a different location than I would have thought, for example, but I don't hunt her down to find out why she's apparently with her boyfriend and not in her dorm room. I accept that she is managing her time and activities for herself and, so long as nothing is going seriously wrong, ie., she's not calling me from jail and her car has not been impounded, I accept that she is largely in charge of how she spends her time at college.

 

Also, there's a difference between correcting my kids regarding some behaviour of which I don't approve and withdrawling approval of the child. I have had a conversation, for example, that went like this: "You cannot use your cell phone in this way. It is potentially leading you into a world of hurt because these are possible outcomes from this behaviour." But what I didn't do is say, "WE pay for this phone and this thing that you used the phone to do is UNACCEPTABLE. It's UNCHRISTIAN and IMMORAL! We are therefore taking your phone away for an indefinite amount of time until you can behave like a good Christian child." I'm just not into wielding control over my kids to try to get them to be copies of myself (only the best parts of myself, obviously ;)).

 

My mom tries to be encouraging and give a lot of compliments when she is pleased with me. But you know what? It rings hollow. In the same conversation, she can say something apparently nice about me and/or my kids and turn right around and speak very critically and judgementally about someone else. This is why I don't trust her compliments. She hands them out like clicker-training. i stopped trying to gain my mom's approval and I share little with her because she is not an understanding person.

All right, I see what you are saying with that last paragraph and you make a good point.  I think all of us hope we are never doing that when we disapprove of something our kid does. 

 

But I have sure learned that some things are not taken in the spirit in which they are intended.  So it is a good warning for all to be wary of how we state things to a teen.

 

In my case, it is really funny because I can say something that is IDENTICAL to what my husband just said, but one particular kid will hear it differently coming from him than from me.  If I submitted both statements to anyone in writing, they would say that essentially these two statements were identical in content but varied in phrasing.

 

It is all very interesting to me. 

Edited by TranquilMind

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All right, I see what you are saying with that last paragraph and you make a good point. I think all of us hope we are never doing that when we disapprove of something our kid does.

 

But I have sure learned that some things are not taken in the spirit in which they are intended. So it is a good warning for all to be wary of how we state things to a teen.

 

In my case, it is really funny because I can say something that is IDENTICAL to what my husband just said, but one particular kid will hear it differently coming from him than from me. If I submitted both statements to anyone in writing, they would say that essentially these two statements were identical in content but varied in phrasing.

 

It is all very interesting to me.

But, for the bolded, do you think that could be due to how they perceive your hubs vs. How they perceive you? We (humankind) filter what others say to us through the lens of our previous interactions. We don't hear an isolated sentence; we hear a sentence wearing a backpack of previous experience with the speaker.

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But, for the bolded, do you think that could be due to how they perceive your hubs vs. How they perceive you? We (humankind) filter what others say to us through the lens of our previous interactions. We don't hear an isolated sentence; we hear a sentence wearing a backpack of previous experience with the speaker.

No doubt. That would always be true, no matter who you are.  We all do this.

 

 

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I haven't read all the responses because I figure this thread has evolved into a morality debate, but I have a DD that is 21. Here is what I think.

 

I think that if two people decide to get married (or live together without getting married) then they should be mostly self supporting. I did not expect my parents or in-laws to support my DH and I. In fact, we put off getting married longer that we wanted to for that reason. I would not be willing to pay living expenses for my DD and a partner wether they were married or not. I do think that I would be willing to still pay her tuition and fees as long as they were both working and going to school, because I think finishing her degree is important and it is much easier to finish now while she is young and has less "grown-up" responsibilities. She only has three semesters left though, so I might feel different if she were younger or had longer to go.

 

She has been wanting to get out of the dorms and get an apartment for a couple of years now. I declined to pay for an off campus apartment and shared all my reasons with her. When the topic of toomates (non-romantic) came up, I would only agree to her living in an apartment where each room mate had an individual lease. Her university will not allow oposite sex roommates in the on campus apartments, so that is not an option for her.

 

Basically, I tell my kids that I am not working my *** off in a job that I don't really like so they can have it easy. If someone in this household is going to sit around unemployed, it will be me, not them. That is told with a bit of joking, but also a bit of seriousness.

 

The morality issue is not a concern of mine. At some point a parent has to let go and stop dictating to their adult children. You have to trust them to make their own decisions and live with the consequences of their actions. I have had many "hypothetical" discussions with my DD about what my reaction or level of support would be in certain situations.

Edited by City Mouse

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For those Christians that believe this is the end of the world spiritually, it should be noted that among the now 8 elders of my parents' church, 5 lived together with their eventual spouse during their college years. They all came from conservative homes in which this was treated as the absolute end of everything, the spiritual apocalypse, but that's not actually what happened. Though the official stance of the church with the young people these days is an admonition against it, they haven't also considered it something that is necessarily going to have really negative spiritual reprocussions either. The good news is because they are handling it in a low key way, they have several college young couples that are living together unmarried that do feel welcome to attend church. That has to be better than ostracizing the young couple.

 

In my current church, it would indeed be spiritual apocalypse if a young couple lived together. The environment is such that I can't imagine anyone even admitting to that. 

 

I think it's a reality though, and although not to be encouraged, it happens. DH and I lived together on weekends after we were engaged. We lived in two hours apart and the back-and-forth was killing us. I can't imagine forbidding one of ours to do that in the same situation. 

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No, I would not support a child living with a mate because it's a stupid thing to do for number reasons (none of them related to morality or religion, by the way). I am not obligated to pay for things I do not support, end of story.

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No, I would not support a child living with a mate because it's a stupid thing to do for number reasons (none of them related to morality or religion, by the way).

 

Could you elaborate on the bolded? Why is it a "stupid thing" to live with a partner?

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Where is the line between "controlling them" and simply not supporting what they choose to do on your own dime?  They can still do it, assuming it (whatever it is) is legal.  But they can't require you to pay for them to do it.  That's your decision, as a parent. 

So where is that line?

 

I think that is the question that I see. 

 

I'm paying for room & board.  Where they choose is up to them.  Who they choose as roomies is up to them.  I feel no need to micromanage.  If they want my thoughts, they'll ask for them.  They're adults now.  I don't want my parents controlling me either.

 

In our family, gifts are given with no strings attached.  I like it that way.  I have no plans on changing.

 

In my current church, it would indeed be spiritual apocalypse if a young couple lived together. The environment is such that I can't imagine anyone even admitting to that. 

 

I think it's a reality though, and although not to be encouraged, it happens. DH and I lived together on weekends after we were engaged. We lived in two hours apart and the back-and-forth was killing us. I can't imagine forbidding one of ours to do that in the same situation. 

 

And this is why the last time I saw stats there were far MORE abortions in Bible Belt areas than in liberal areas.  In either location, intimacy still happens.  Humans are humans.  In some circles an unplanned pregnancy is so taboo that even when folks say they are against abortion, it's better to "save face" than allow life.  I find it disgusting just how judgmental people can be.  

 

I make my own decisions and let my boys do the same.  They know they are welcome no matter what.

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I haven't read all the responses because I figure this thread has evolved into a morality debate, but I have a DD that is 21. Here is what I think.

 

I think that if two people decide to get married (or live together without getting married) then they should be mostly self supporting. I did not expect my parents or in-laws to support my DH and I. In fact, we put off getting married longer that we wanted to for that reason. I would not be willing to pay living expenses for my DD and a partner wether they were married or not. I do think that I would be willing to still pay her tuition and fees as long as they were both working and going to school, because I think finishing her degree is important and it is much easier to finish now while she is young and has less "grown-up" responsibilities. She only has three semesters left though, so I might feel different if she were younger or had longer to go.

 

She has been wanting to get out of the dorms and get an apartment for a couple of years now. I declined to pay for an off campus apartment and shared all my reasons with her. When the topic of toomates (non-romantic) came up, I would only agree to her living in an apartment where each room mate had an individual lease. Her university will not allow oposite sex roommates in the on campus apartments, so that is not an option for her.

 

Basically, I tell my kids that I am not working my *** off in a job that I don't really like so they can have it easy. If someone in this household is going to sit around unemployed, it will be me, not them. That is told with a bit of joking, but also a bit of seriousness.

 

The morality issue is not a concern of mine. At some point a parent has to let go and stop dictating to their adult children. You have to trust them to make their own decisions and live with the consequences of their actions. I have had many "hypothetical" discussions with my DD about what my reaction or level of support would be in certain situations.

 

I agree with you on both counts.  Be self-supporting before you do things like that, and parents should pay tuition and fees.

 

Heh, heh. You are right.  It should be you.  ;)

 

 

 

 

 

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And this is why the last time I saw stats there were far MORE abortions in Bible Belt areas than in liberal areas. In either location, intimacy still happens. Humans are humans. In some circles an unplanned pregnancy is so taboo that even when folks say they are against abortion, it's better to "save face" than allow life. I find it disgusting just how judgmental people can be.

And actually acknowledging the reality that intimacy happens also means people are more pepared through comprehensive sex education and the use of effective birth control.
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If our 17- or 18-year-old wanted to live with their boyfriend/girlfriend during their freshman year of college, Dh and I would strongly discourage it, probably to the point of refusing to pay rent for an off-campus apartment. I can think of so many reasons why it would be a terrible idea to begin college with a live-in partner (high school relationships are pretty likely to end or at least become rocky during the first year of college, I think it's important to have space to develop a circle of friends independent of the boyfriend/girlfriend, etc.) and at that point I think I'd trust our judgment more than our child's.

 

After they've been out on their own for a year or more, I don't think it's my place to decide where or with whom my adult children live. At that point, I'm just not the best judge of what will make them happy. Ds21 starts graduate school in a few weeks, and will be moving in with his partner. Even if he were still an undergraduate student (which most 21-year-olds around here are), I can't imagine telling him who he should or shouldn't live with. He's a grown man, and has been perfectly capable of making his own life decisions for several years. 

 

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If our 17- or 18-year-old wanted to live with their boyfriend/girlfriend during their freshman year of college, Dh and I would strongly discourage it, probably to the point of refusing to pay rent for an off-campus apartment. I can think of so many reasons why it would be a terrible idea to begin college with a live-in partner (high school relationships are pretty likely to end or at least become rocky during the first year of college, I think it's important to have space to develop a circle of friends independent of the boyfriend/girlfriend, etc.) and at that point I think I'd trust our judgment more than our child's.

 

After they've been out on their own for a year or more, I don't think it's my place to decide where or with whom my adult children live. At that point, I'm just not the best judge of what will make them happy. Ds21 starts graduate school in a few weeks, and will be moving in with his partner. Even if he were still an undergraduate student (which most 21-year-olds around here are), I can't imagine telling him who he should or shouldn't live with. He's a grown man, and has been perfectly capable of making his own life decisions for several years.

Same here, but most schools we looked at required on-campus living for all Freshmen; a few also require it for Sophomores. Most schools also have same sex roomates only for first years, so unless one's child is gay, roomies that are one's romantic mate would be uncommon by default.

 

There are a lot of situations I would not pay for, even just from a practical standpoint. One of my daughter's friends, for instance, was adamant that she "couldn't" share a room, so the parents paid significantly more money for a single arrangement. Personally, I wouldn't be willing to do this, unless perhaps the child has some sort of disorder that makes this necessary. I also wouldn't be willing to pay significantly more money for luxury accommodations when a perfectly suitable inexpensive living arrangement is available.

 

I am sure there are situations I would not finance, but so much of it would depend on how the child was going about the idea. If my kid had an "F You" attitude and was badgering me to put up money for them to live as they wished, then, no; no I'm not going to support that. I'm going to work my hardest to figure out why the "F You" attitude is happening; behaviour has a reason and serves a purpose, even if it is going about the purpose foolishly. But I also strive to let my kids move into the adult world and make their own decisions. I don't tie money or family perks and affection to "toeing the line" and keeping up a front of being XYZ that I want them to be. My daughter is my friend and, while there are still ways and moments when I step into the Parent roll, most of our interactions now are based on friendship. This arrangement may not work for everyone, and it may not wven work for all of my own kids; time will tell. But it works with this kid so far.

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Wow.  Learned something new today. Never own rental property in New York. 

 

 

 

 

 

New York seems to have quite a few oddball rules. My husband just got hired on at a company that will hire from any state except New York. (People work in their own houses at their places of residence. The payroll place they are using won't handle New York residents). If there is someone in New York they want to use, they have to use them as contractors/self employed. Not employees.

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New York seems to have quite a few oddball rules. My husband just got hired on at a company that will hire from any state except New York. (People work in their own houses at their places of residence. The payroll place they are using won't handle New York residents). If there is someone in New York they want to use, they have to use them as contractors/self employed. Not employees.

 

Wow, that's weird.  I knew California had a lot of strange landlord laws, but I had no idea about New York. 

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If he hasn't proposed after 8 years of being together, he's not interested in making an actual commitment to the relationship. Moving in together is not going to solve the problem of an uncommitted boyfriend.

 

Not necessarily. I have a sister who had lived with her now-husband on and off again for well over a decade before they finally got married. They didn't have any children until after they were married, either.

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Same here, but most schools we looked at required on-campus living for all Freshmen; a few also require it for Sophomores. Most schools also have same sex roomates only for first years, so unless one's child is gay, roomies that are one's romantic mate would be uncommon by default.

 

There are a lot of situations I would not pay for, even just from a practical standpoint. One of my daughter's friends, for instance, was adamant that she "couldn't" share a room, so the parents paid significantly more money for a single arrangement. Personally, I wouldn't be willing to do this, unless perhaps the child has some sort of disorder that makes this necessary. I also wouldn't be willing to pay significantly more money for luxury accommodations when a perfectly suitable inexpensive living arrangement is available.

 

I am sure there are situations I would not finance, but so much of it would depend on how the child was going about the idea. If my kid had an "F You" attitude and was badgering me to put up money for them to live as they wished, then, no; no I'm not going to support that. I'm going to work my hardest to figure out why the "F You" attitude is happening; behaviour has a reason and serves a purpose, even if it is going about the purpose foolishly. But I also strive to let my kids move into the adult world and make their own decisions. I don't tie money or family perks and affection to "toeing the line" and keeping up a front of being XYZ that I want them to be. My daughter is my friend and, while there are still ways and moments when I step into the Parent roll, most of our interactions now are based on friendship. This arrangement may not work for everyone, and it may not wven work for all of my own kids; time will tell. But it works with this kid so far.

All good thoughts here. 

It's a hard balance, I think.  Sometimes you just have to be the parent, whether they like it or not.  Sometimes, you just have to step back and let them do whatever wild thing they have come up with now.

 

Wisdom is knowing when. That's hard. sometimes.  Everyone is different. What will work out ok for one, will be a tragedy for another. 

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I would not have a problem with it, so long as my child was taking the following into account:

 

1. birth control. The middle of schooling is an inconvenient time to have a baby. Though this is likely to come up well before cohabitation.

 

2. Exit/backup plan. The living arrangement must include having either myself (within the budget we'd expected for living expenses during school) or the child holding a nest egg of money for getting the child or, if necessary/preferred, the child's SO moved on short notice should the relationship go south. 

 

In other words, I would not dictate the morality of the situation, but I would make sure that my child in that situation was using some common sense and had a safe "out." I wouldn't want my kid in a situation she would rather not be in (abusive, coercive, backed into a corner, etc.) out of economic necessity because in choosing cohabitation she made her bed and now must lie in it, as it were. 

 

 

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I would not have a problem with it, so long as my child was taking the following into account:

 

1. birth control. The middle of schooling is an inconvenient time to have a baby. Though this is likely to come up well before cohabitation.

 

2. Exit/backup plan. The living arrangement must include having either myself (within the budget we'd expected for living expenses during school) or the child holding a nest egg of money for getting the child or, if necessary/preferred, the child's SO moved on short notice should the relationship go south. 

 

In other words, I would not dictate the morality of the situation, but I would make sure that my child in that situation was using some common sense and had a safe "out." I wouldn't want my kid in a situation she would rather not be in (abusive, coercive, backed into a corner, etc.) out of economic necessity because in choosing cohabitation she made her bed and now must lie in it, as it were. 

That exit/backup plan is a good idea.  I will pass that along. 

 

I am more of a "It is easier not to do something questionable at all than to have to extract yourself from it" kind of person, so that didn't really occur to me in those terms.  Thanks. 

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New York seems to have quite a few oddball rules. My husband just got hired on at a company that will hire from any state except New York. (People work in their own houses at their places of residence. The payroll place they are using won't handle New York residents). If there is someone in New York they want to use, they have to use them as contractors/self employed. Not employees.

 

I'm not sure their rental rules are all that oddball, or at least it depends what you compare them to.  In countries where a lot of people rent long term and never buy, they seem to have a lot more rights to actually treat the rental property like a home. 

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I'm not sure their rental rules are all that oddball, or at least it depends what you compare them to.  In countries where a lot of people rent long term and never buy, they seem to have a lot more rights to actually treat the rental property like a home. 

 

Well, they are odd to me, being a landlord for many years in my own state. 

 

We don't do those really long Leases here, as they do some places, and that changes everything.  The house needs to be undamaged and "rent-ready" all the time, more or less, or it really hurts the landlord.

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Not necessarily. I have a sister who had lived with her now-husband on and off again for well over a decade before they finally got married. They didn't have any children until after they were married, either.

I think this, too. Actually, at this point in my life, I'm not fully certain that marriage is expressly necessary. I've thought about that a lot in recent years. I do see where it adds some security if you are a dependant AHM of small children, so there's that. And it's easier than trying to figure out a naming construct (for children) that works and won't make people ask a bunch of questions. Probably works out better for jointly owned property. I'm not sure. But if I found myself without a mate at this point, I'm fairly certain I would never marry again, even if I did make a permanent commitment to someone else.

 

It bugged me when I was in my early twenties and people, especially older ladies, spoke to me about how I could "get him" to marry me. I found that so belittling. There was no part of me that wanted someone to marry me because I "got him" to. Also, I was young and not in any particular hurry to get married.

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I think this, too. Actually, at this point in my life, I'm not fully certain that marriage is expressly necessary. I've thought about that a lot in recent years. I do see where it adds some security if you are a dependant AHM of small children, so there's that. And it's easier than trying to figure out a naming construct (for children) that works and won't make people ask a bunch of questions. Probably works out better for jointly owned property. I'm not sure. But if I found myself without a mate at this point, I'm fairly certain I would never marry again, even if I did make a permanent commitment to someone else.

 

It bugged me when I was in my early twenties and people, especially older ladies, spoke to me about how I could "get him" to marry me. I found that so belittling. There was no part of me that wanted someone to marry me because I "got him" to. Also, I was young and not in any particular hurry to get married.

 

I don't see myself every remarrying either, because my husband is awesome and no one could follow that act, no matter how much time passed.  My mom said she would never remarry because once you have grown old with someone, you always see HIM as the young man you met, but you see other men as old guys.  Funny, and probably true.  You didn't grow old with the rest of them.  They just look like old men.   

 

I've been married long enough that I'm kind of seeing it now.  My husband just keeps looking better.  You know how men are.  They skip a meal and drop 5 pounds.  So annoying.  I have to skip a month to drop five pounds!   Anyway, he's a runner now, and all thin and muscular.  I still see that young cutie under all that silver hair. 

 

No one ever talked to me about "getting" someone to marry me.  Ever.  I agree with you.  I would only want someone who would find it a great honor to marry me, not one who would feel forced into it.  

 

  Sometimes I wonder about how I rarely experience all the stuff that people say is so common here.  I mean, I had old parents. so they shared the values of their time.  They assumed I was extraordinarily competent and would make good decisions, so I did, most of the time. 

Edited by TranquilMind

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I don't see myself every remarrying either, because my husband is awesome and no one could follow that act, no matter how much time passed. My mom said she would never remarry because once you have grown old with someone, you always see HIM as the young man you met, but you see other men as old guys. Funny, and probably true. You didn't grow old with the rest of them. They just look like old men.

 

I've been married long enough that I'm kind of seeing it now. My husband just keeps looking better. You know how men are. They skip a meal and drop 5 pounds. So annoying. I have to skip a month to drop five pounds! Anyway, he's a runner now, and all thin and muscular. I still see that young cutie under all that silver hair.

 

No one ever talked to me about "getting" someone to marry me. Ever. I agree with you. I would only want someone who would find it a great honor to marry me, not one who would feel forced into it.

 

Sometimes I wonder about how I rarely experience all the stuff that people say is so common here. I mean, I had old parents. so they shared the values of their time. They assumed I was extraordinarily competent and would make good decisions, so I did, most of the time.

Well, the bolded is not the reasoning for me. It's more that I can't think of a good reason to be legally married later in life. As I said, it's handy for raising kids and it's good for clearing up ownership of property, but I'm betting I could be plenty happy living in a small house with too many cats, in which my companion comes to visit me and then goes away.

 

Sorry for the tangent; it doesn't have much to do with the OP.

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I think this, too. Actually, at this point in my life, I'm not fully certain that marriage is expressly necessary. I've thought about that a lot in recent years. I do see where it adds some security if you are a dependant AHM of small children, so there's that. And it's easier than trying to figure out a naming construct (for children) that works and won't make people ask a bunch of questions. Probably works out better for jointly owned property. I'm not sure. But if I found myself without a mate at this point, I'm fairly certain I would never marry again, even if I did make a permanent commitment to someone else.

 

It bugged me when I was in my early twenties and people, especially older ladies, spoke to me about how I could "get him" to marry me. I found that so belittling. There was no part of me that wanted someone to marry me because I "got him" to. Also, I was young and not in any particular hurry to get married.

 

There really hasn't always been this gap between the legal aspect of marriage and the personal/cultural one.   If we look at the big picture, it's generally had two aspects: in some way the people involved agree to live as married, and the larger society accepts and treats them as married.  Often there is some sort of social custom, religious or not, that makes these two aspects explicit for everyone, but they aren't necessarily all that formal, though they may be highly ritualized sometimes.

 

I think for us, the legal requirements have taken up more and more focus because we live in such a beaurocratic society - so much depends on a large record-keeping infrastructure, rather than just the recognition of your local community.  For various reasons that became somewhat distinct from the personal social aspect, so you can now live together in a totally commited way, recognized as such by everyone, and not feel the need for the paperwork which is really pretty cold and abstract, and isn't the essence of the thing by almost anyone's reckoning.  And sometimes it can actually be a problem, rather than protective, for both parties.

 

The difficulty I suppose is that because of the legal aspects, it frequently does come to matter, and not having those things covered can lead to trouble.  And as far as religious weddings go, many groups will refuse to perform them without the legal aspects, not only because of their own requirements to remain legal ministers of marriage, but because they don't want their members to end up in a bad situation because they aren't covered legally. 

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Opening up a can of worms (that I won't be able to return to much due to travel ;)  ) it should possibly be mentioned that the Bible doesn't really come out and say that pre-marital sex is wrong.  There are plenty of verses talking about how acting like dogs in heat isn't the way we are to behave (one night stands, parties, etc), and there are certainly verses that condemn adultery (relations with a married person), but only one section in Corinthians where Paul is talking about human feelings and suggesting marriage for those who don't care to be celibate and that's mainly to avoid going to the point of oodles of lust with various folks (as the Corinthians were known to do).  

 

I kinda think taking it to the extreme we have done is a bit more like the legalism of the Pharisees.  It certainly isn't a major Biblical theme or it'd be spelled out a bit better like taking care of women and orphans or being kind to one another is.

 

Adultery is spelled out.  Fornication is spelled out.  The rest we have to extrapolate.

 

The Bible has its priorities of what should be important (look at various lists about how many verses are devoted to topics - like money, adultery, and not abusing power, etc) rather than what legalists deem to be important.  I suspect God put His priorities in the more spelled out parts.

 

We all can come to our own conclusions.  I let my adult boys come to theirs.  They don't have to agree with mine.

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Well, this is timely.  Just had a huge discussion about that recently here.

 

Anyway, college-aged daughter of mom in local mom group is now insisting on living with boyfriend, saying it is none of her parents' business, because only her grades are their business. She is a rising sophomore. 

 

Your thoughts, other College parents?  Personally, until you are self-supporting, your living arrangements are indeed your parents' business, in my view.  You don't get to do what you want and hold out your hand, if your parent disapproves. 

 

Some moms agreed, some disagreed vehemently.  Thoughts ranged from "As long as she makes grades, it is no one's business" to "Heck no - we don't pay for you to get l**d" and everywhere in between.   No dorm rooms available in that case, as all of those have been claimed for upcoming year, just for discussion purposes. 

 

What do you think?    Would you pay for your kid to live with a boyfriend or girlfriend in college?  Would you decline?  Why?

 

 

We wouldn't help pay for any decision we were against morally and ethically, so a vehement no, we wouldn't help in any way at all.

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I do not care if my children live with someone of the opposite gender. I did it myself when I was younger. BUT, I also paid all my own bills. If my children are adult enough to be married or to be "as if" married, then my children are adult enough to pay their own bills. IF my child ever said "none of your business, just give me the money" my child would not get a penny from me. Sounds like an entitled brat.

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Opening up a can of worms (that I won't be able to return to much due to travel ;) ) it should possibly be mentioned that the Bible doesn't really come out and say that pre-marital sex is wrong. There are plenty of verses talking about how acting like dogs in heat isn't the way we are to behave (one night stands, parties, etc), and there are certainly verses that condemn adultery (relations with a married person), but only one section in Corinthians where Paul is talking about human feelings and suggesting marriage for those who don't care to be celibate and that's mainly to avoid going to the point of oodles of lust with various folks (as the Corinthians were known to do).

 

I kinda think taking it to the extreme we have done is a bit more like the legalism of the Pharisees. It certainly isn't a major Biblical theme or it'd be spelled out a bit better like taking care of women and orphans or being kind to one another is.

 

Adultery is spelled out. Fornication is spelled out. The rest we have to extrapolate.

 

The Bible has its priorities of what should be important (look at various lists about how many verses are devoted to topics - like money, adultery, and not abusing power, etc) rather than what legalists deem to be important. I suspect God put His priorities in the more spelled out parts.

 

We all can come to our own conclusions. I let my adult boys come to theirs. They don't have to agree with mine.

I'm wondering what kind of distinction you are making between premarital sex and fornication?

 

for·ni·ca·tion

ËŒfôrnəˈkÄSH(É™)n/

 

sexual intercourse between people not married to each other.

"laws forbidding adultery and fornication"

synonyms: extramarital sex, extramarital relations, adultery, infidelity, unfaithfulness, cuckoldry;

 

How exactly is that different from premarital sex? If formication is prohibited, so is premarital sex, by definition.

 

Can you elaborate?

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I only read the first couple of pages of this thread, so I'm sorry if I am beating a dead horse here.  My objections in this case would be that they are young and that the relationship is so new.  I think it is an unwise decision that I would be very hesitant to support financially.  If my child were capable of self-funding the living expenses, then the point would be moot (if they were capable, then I would think they be more likely to be more mature ... more likely, but not absolutely.)  Most people I know who cohabitated with their romantic partner at young ages had way more drama and more housing insecurity than people who cohabitated later.  I would not want that level of distraction from studies.  Having to find a place to stay while dealing with finals or big projects would be very stressful.  I suppose I would have fewer objections if it were a longer term relationship and I knew the other party well. 

 

I know that many would argue that there can be plenty of drama with roommates that are not romantic partners.  And I agree.  I have tried to help my kids through these relationships. 

 

This issue hits kind of hard here because we have an adult who is not financially independent, but wants to make all their own decisions without our input, but expects us to fund them.  The hostility we face when we resist unwise decisions is disrupting the entire house (all are living at home right now)  Due to the mental illness aspect, we are between a rock and a hard place.  This kid needs us but the delusions of their mental illness tell them otherwise. 

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I'd have no prob with a child living with a s/o in college. 

 

I did it. My parents paid for university tuition but I paid for my housing costs.  

 

btw, it worked well for us. We lived together in college & after;  25th anniversary is coming up next month :)

 

I'll hang out with you in "outside the norm" land.  I met my dh when I was 21.  We've been together 32 years, so now you all know how old I am.

 

If I've agreed to pay for basic housing for my college student, then that's the agreement. I will pay for their share of the housing arrangement whether it is with significant other or regular roommates.  My willingness to pay depends on our funding, grades, and whether or not, the living situation seems stable and healthy.

 

Regardless of my wishes, it is probable that at some point my child will have sex with someone in housing that I am paying for.

 

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As many others have said, I would continue to cover educational costs (books, tuition, and fees) but not living expenses. I'm not sure, however, that I could articulate why, so that gut reaction could be changed. This thread has gotten me thinking about this. The pragmaticism would certainly be an issue in case they broke up. I think I struggle with labeling college students who are not self-supporting as "adults." I understand that legally they are, but (barring disabilities) to me, "adulting" means being self-supporting. Living together in the context of a romantic/sexual relationship is an adult decision. The college-age years with mom and dad footing the bill (as we are) are really a limbo land to me.

 

Dh and I lived together for only about six weeks before we were married. We had not had plans to do that. We were engaged in September and had a May wedding planned. In December, both of my parents were killed, so we drastically scaled down the wedding and moved up the date to February. I moved in with to-be dh in January. I would have never done that had my parents been living as my mother would have never approved. It would have hurt her greatly. She was of the era that "nice girls" didn't do that. Of course, our living separately was just for the sake of outward appearances. We were both out of college and self-supporting, so I could have said it was none of their business (it wasn't), but that would have been incredibly disrespectful to my parents. In fact, I had some relatives who expressed disapproval when I did it, but I did not care. I was in far too fragile of a place to give a rat's @ss at that point.

 

I am early 50s, and I only know of one friend other than myself who "lived in sin" before getting married. We are both from the same Southern, Bible-belt state, but she did her cohabitation in California.

 

Ds currently knows of three unmarried couples in his age range (19 - 21) who are living together. One of the guys is on a full-ride, so his housing is covered - even though it's off-campus. Our big state u can pretty much only house freshmen. So, his parents aren't paying for his housing. They had been dating about a year when they moved in together. I don't know who covers living costs for the other two couples. They are all hard-working people with jobs outside of school, so they may be self-funding. These other two couples have each been dating three+ years (started dating in high school). We're still in the same Southern, Bible-belt state, but I do think views have shifted over the last 30 years.

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