Grandmother is Interfering in my Life

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I was incredibly unhappy living with my mom and step dad, so after quite a struggle I moved away from the area I’ve always lived in. I am now currently living with my grandparents. She for some reason thinks that I need to be raised, though I’ve all ready grown up. She is relentlessly controlling and doesn’t even want me to stay with friends on a Saturday. I have no privacy either, she goes through my things when I’m not around.

It’s driven me into depression again. I don’t want to do anything except sleep. She presses me about grades, school work, studying, and anything else she can and its pushed me to where i have no motivation to do the work. now an even more infuriating issue has come about.

I’ve been dating my boyfriend for about seven and a half months now and my grammaw has found out we’ve had sex. Now she won’t let me see him until she talks to his parents(he is a sophomore in college) and she says I can oh see him when I’m chaperoned. It’s stressing the relationship immensely and I don’t know if I’m being unreasonable. I truly feel that I should have control over this aspect of my life. I feel that I am old enough and responsible enough to have this relationship without being treated like A child. What do I do?

A: I’m sorry to tell you things you probably don’t want to hear. What you describe as “controlling” is, from your grandmother’s point of view, being a good parent. If you want to live with her, you need to respect her desire to see you study hard and make good grades and you need to live by the rules of your grandparents’ house.

Going “on strike” by taking to your bed and insisting on a sexual relationship that is against her values is not being the mature person you claim to be. If you were responsible about your schooling and acted more grateful that she took you in, you might be able to negotiate a more adult relationship. As it is, you are showing her that her concerns about you are justified.

At 18, you have other choices than living with your grandmother. If you don’t like her rules, go back to your mother’s house or get a job and live on your own. You are not going to change your grandmother so it’s up to you to change the situation — either by leaving or by accepting that you give up a certain amount of control when you are living with someone at her tolerance. I hope you can make an adult decision about what is best for you at this point in your life.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 5 Dec 2012

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2012). Grandmother is Interfering in my Life. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/12/05/grandmother-is-interfering-in-my-life/