Friday, September 11, 2009

My parents hate my boyfriend.

Dear Mom,

My parents hate my boyfriend. Whenever he comes over my mom gives him the third degree; you know, how's the job, the grades, your life? My dad does the same thing, only he's a lot quieter and likes to glare at him. I feel as if they don't think he's good enough for me or something. What should I do?

Sincerely,

Bothered


Dear Bothered,

You might be right about your boyfriend not being good enough for you in the eyes of your parents. This fact rings especially true if you are the oldest child. And it doesn't help that you're a girl.

Parents tend to be more overprotective with their oldest child. And for some reason, being a girl only makes the matter worse. It took me having a second and third girl to mellow a bit and realize that my strict behavior with my first often shut the door to potential conversations both with her and those whom she dated.

That said, your parents want to know about your boyfriend so they will feel more secure about you dating him. If something creeps up in a conversation-he says something like, "I hate my job, it sucks," your parents may be inclined to ask even more questions on this subject because they are wondering how motivated your boyfriend is. If you become real serious, the last thing they want for their daughter is for her to be hooked up with some "loser" who can't hold a job.

This is not to say, however, that your boyfriend's job always needs to be exciting and that he always have to "like it," but your parents, whether you are their first-born or their third, are going to be concerned about someone who "appears" to lack motivation.

Another problem may arise with parents who see a huge age gap between you and your boyfriend. If this is the case with you, be assured that this would give your parents cause to worry. Say you are 20, just beginning college, and your boyfriend is 27. Seven years is a big gap, not only in levels of maturity but interests and attitude. And let's say your boyfriend is considering dropping out of college because "book work" just isn't for him.

Does this make him a loser?

Of course not. But it might be something you'll want to take a look at.

It may be that your parents don't like your boyfriend because he reminds them of someone else, maybe someone they dated whom they consider a mistake. They see similarities between the choice you are currently making, and the choice they made. They don't want you to go through what they had to go through. They are trying to protect you.

Take a look at their concerns. Talk to them. Express your feelings and don't leave your boyfriend out of the loop. He needs to be involved in understanding where your parents are coming from. They also need to understand his feelings.

You can be the catalyst for change. Invite your boyfriend to dinner. Invite him to join in some of your family activities. Talk to your parents about your concerns regarding their treatment of your boyfriend. Perhaps they like him after all-surprise! They are merely interested in learning more about him. But whatever the case, be respectful of your parents' views and in-turn, their hearts may soften.

If not, you will know you have done all you can. Though it's nice to have the support, it feels nice when your parents are positive about your choices in life, in the end, the decision of who you choose to spend your time with is yours.

Mom
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87 comments :

  1. Dear Mom,
    I am dating a guy who is 5 years older than me, i'm 16 and he will be turning 21 this month he was living with us because he needed a place to stay because he didnt have money to move forward, and thats when we fell in love, and we hid it from my family and then they caught stuff happening and kicked him out. Now he is working on being a better more successful man. But because he betrayed my family and is no good for me i'm not allowed to see him. The problem is i told them i will be with him because i love him, and in doing so im hurting my parents a lot. They don't see him the way i do. What do i do? how can i be with him without constantly killing my family

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  2. This is a toughie. On the one hand you love your boyfriend. On the other, you love your family.

    Still, a phrase in your question caught my attention. "We hid it from my family."

    Why did you hide it? Was it because of the age difference? Because he was living in your house and you wanted your boyfriend to remain in your house? Is there another reason your family would not approve of him? Does the fact that you lied to your parents have any baring on how they feel about him now? Are they concerned about his work habits?

    Answering these questions with the help of your parents will help you to better understand their worry. An adult conversation is in line here where you present your feelings and your parents share their own. Perhaps you decide to invite your boyfriend over to dinner. Maybe you take in a movie at your house with your parent's permission. Their trust has been broken, and it's going to take some time for their hearts to heal.

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  3. Hi!
    So i have a big problem that has been eating at my life (to say the least) for about 2 years now. My boyfriend and i started dating in June 2009. The first year was amazing! Everything i could ever want. Around July 2010, my boyfriend confesses that he has lied to me, about how many girls he has slept with, and the girls he has slept with. To say the least, i was heartbroken, and felt betrayed. This word got to my parents,and they automatically thought that he was lying to me in order to sleep with me. Whenever i asked him why he lied, he simply says, "you were so innocent, and i didnt think you would accept it".
    After this, my mom especially was put off from him, very rude to him, and barely spoke 10 words to him for about a year.
    Then came July 2011. My boyfriend and were coming home from dancing, and we got in a fight, which my dad heard. There was swearing, but i am pretty sure they only heard my boyfriend swearing. My dad came running down to the road, where we were walking, and threatened my boyfriend, and nearly hit him, followed by, you may never step foot on this property again. So basically, i now walk down the road to be picked up for dates, and whenever i bring him up in conversation, they refuse to respet the fact that he is my boyfriend. They will not listen to me when i try to tell them what happened that night, or at any part of our relationship. It's strictly false what i tell them, and they think the worse of him, through their eyes.
    To make matters worse, they tried telling me he was cheating on me, and that he had criminal records that he needed to tell me about. I know for a fact that he has no criminal records, as his job would not allow it, and as far as the cheating goes, i have done my research, and when i ask how they know this, they cannot give me an answer. I am unsure who to trust in this situation. My parents cannot stand to even hear his name. I want to have a normal relationship with him, where he comes to family get togethers, and etc. but its very hard, and it definitly takes its toll on us as a couple and as individuals as well.
    So my question for you is, what do you think i can do from here. Do you think there is any explanation for them to do this? Is it true that parents have gut feelings for their kids? All of their information is misconstrued, so i dont think my mom can have a very precise gut feeling about this. I am in my junior year in college, and ready to start my life, but the problem is, i cant be with the guy i want and have my parents blessing, which means everything to me. Please help in any way you can! Thank you!
    From:
    At The End Of My Rope

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  4. Have you read my previous reply to Anonymous?

    First off, there needs to be complete trust between you and your parents--without it, you don't have a relationship with them or with your boyfriend. You need to trust that what they are saying to you is correct--as they see it. Plus, they love you and want the best for you.

    Still, you are a junior in college. There comes a time when you must make the best decision for you. You need to decide if being with this man is the best thing for you. Only you can decide this. Not your parents. Not your next door neighbor. Not your best friend. YOU.

    With all the drama get understanding. Make the decision and then have the courage to follow through with it. Keep no secrets and you will feel greater peace in both relationships.

    I wish you the best!

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    Replies
    1. Hi, i have a big problem I'm 16 and i have been with my boyfriend who is 19 for almost 2 years already.. My problem is that my nom doesn't trust me to go out with him alone at all i don't understand why because whenever she needs a favor she doesn't care if i go do it with him alone.. Yesterday me and my bf got in a argument because i told him we couldn't arrive together to my grandma house because she is always thinking bad so i called him a few names which got him really mad.. when he arrived to my grandma house we started fighting and he called my mom to ask her why was it that she hated him.. she said she didn't that i was not telling him the truth.. then he got so mad that he toldher about me sneaking out of the house once ewith friends to go to the beach.. after they hanged up she called my grandma to get me on the phone and she was telling me to brake up with him that he is a peace of s* and abunch of other things.. and ofcourse i had to tell her that me sneaking out of the house was his lies.. she has always hated him and i don't knoe what to do i even had to tell him that i never loved him to leave my life for ever and he just left saying that he would give his life for me and with a tear in his eye.. i love him and everytime we fight he is the one who fixes things even though it was my fault.. what should i do??

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    2. So you have been with your boyfriend since you were 14 and he was 17. I hate to break it to you, but you were young then and you are still pretty young now. Even at 16, (the age I actually allowed my daughters to date) you think you know more than you do. Now, don't get me wrong. When you say you love him, I believe you, but trust me when I say that you're still maturing, as is he. The best advice I can give you is to trust your mom. Trust that she knows something you just might not yet. This doesn't mean you are stupid, just that you haven't experienced as much of life as she has. She has the right to hate your boyfriend, and you can do wonders in curbing the hate by listening to your mother. Why not spend some time at dinner with your mother, grandmother and boyfriend? Why not invite him to dinner? Why not initiate a game night for the three of you? In order to be trustworthy you must prove that you can be trusted.

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    3. The problem is that my mom and my grandmother don't even try to get to know him.. he is an awsome guy and he has done so much for me that I wouldn't want to let him go.. we have been through alot.. what should I do should I just leave the relationship or should I try to keep are relationship the way ot was? /:

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    4. Anonymous,

      You can't force your mom or your grandmother to get to know him. He may be awesome, but they have their agency as do you. Sounds like you need to make a decision. After looking at all of the pro's and con's, what do you want? If, as you say, there is no interest in getting to know your boyfriend, there's not an awful lot you can do except make a firm decision. Break up with him and have the support of your loved ones. Stay with him and do it without them. I wish you luck.

      Delete
    5. Thanks alot!

      Delete
  5. Dear Mom,

    What if they don't listen and it would break your boyfriend's heart to know that he is so disliked, I can't tell my friends because it would get back to him. My parents won't listen and instead say AWFUL things when they don't even know him. We've gone though the gambit of arguments, but my parents won't let me get in a word edgewise, even when they accuse him of things that aren't even close to being true. My mother has made him into a monster in her mind, and every time I go to say something, she either walks away or screams louder. She's like a child. I've tried being calm. I've tried walking away. I've tried every passive approach possible, but I'm exhausted. And it's not like I can yell back - she's always sick. If I yell or do anything, I'm the monster who made her cry or feel sicker. But how can I stay quiet?

    And you'd think my mother of all people would be nice about this! She was with my dad for 35 years before my dad's mom died and they had to date in secret because my grandmother hated my mom so much. My mom was always upset by her, but when I drew that parallel she exploded.

    I can't keep having these stupid fights EVERYDAY. I can't have it as the ONLY thing that they want to talk to me about. I'm a senior in college about to graduate with honors and a 3.8 average. I work two jobs and am about to start my masters program. I'm smart, successful and I don't drink, do drugs or have sex. I'm a GOOD PERSON! I've made a lifetime of GOOD DECISIONS! So why is it that they can't just. shut. up?!

    I get that he doesn't have the greatest future on earth. He's an EMT with a part time job and has failed out of college. He's working, but has no idea what he wants long term. He's a dreamer, I guess. He goes back and forth between nurse and engineer weekly, and doesn't think he can do either some days. He needs to pick, which isn't something that I, or anyone, can force. I've talked about it with him, but he doesn't intend to change anything until he's sure of what he wants, which he doesn't foresee in the near future at all. And yes, I do worry about that. I want a life where I can teach until I have kids and then stay home with them. I want a house and a yard and not have to worry about paying for food. And yes, he has had a lot of girl friends and he is a teenage boy who wants sex like cops want doughnuts, but he's respectful about my choices even if he does occasionally bug me.

    He's not perfect, but no one is and I know that. But he makes me smile so easily, and he accepts all the broken bits of me from when my dad's side left us and treated my grandmother so awfully. He understands how important my studies are and that I can't see him everyday.

    But seriously, when he showed up to Easter dinner with his EMT uniform on because he had forgotten his good clothes at his house and couldn't eat most of the food because he's a Jewish vegetarian who was stuck under the rules of Passover, I thought I was going to throw up the whole dinner. I actually had marks on my hands from my fingernails. There he was, nattering away happily about life, and I could practically hear my parents' insults in their heads - and did hear them afterwards and STILL do.

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  6. ((continued))

    And now, they're making me choose: them or him coming to the day when I present my thesis to the school, as well as on graduation. I'm never allowed to take him on vacation, and after Easter, never another dinner, holiday, or family event. They're making me choose through an ultimatum, and I'm reminded of that ultimatum every day. I'm home for maybe 3 hours a day besides when I'm sleeping, and I'm already exhausted from school, work and homework. The last thing I need is a screaming at from my mother or being stuck in the car with dad as he tells me what a failure my boyfriend is and how "it's okay because I'll outgrow him anyways so it doesn't really matter."

    And now my boyfriend is bugging me about how little we see each other. "Let me come over as you do your homework, I'll sit and do my stuff along side you." How can I say yes when my parents don't want him around, I can't waste time that I need to be working to drive an hour back and forth to his place, and I can't tell him "by the way, the people who are my parents that you really like and admire, yeah, they actually hate you. A lot."?

    I'm at my wits end and I can't spend another day crying or worrying or hiding out in my room or at school. My boyfriend isn't perfect, and no, I don't know if I'll have the life I want with him if he doesn't get his act together. He does do perpetually stupid things, but he's really sweet, too, and we're crazy about each other. I will hate myself if I dump him just to make my parents happy, and I can't live like this. I can't.

    Please help me. I feel like I'm screaming and no one even cares of they hear me out here. I just can't keep this up, and pretty soon, I'm going to just leave everything and live in the woods with my cat.

    Begging for help,

    She-who-is-banging-her-head-against-a-wall-to-make-the-yelling-quieter.

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  7. Dear Begging,

    Sounds as if you have a choice to make. You may need to let go of your parents for awhile and move on with your boyfriend. Or you may decide that your parents are right and let go of the man in your life.

    Either way, some hurt is going to be involved, but you are an adult, and getting hurt and making decisions is a part of being an adult.

    What do YOU want the most? To be with your parents without tension, or to remain with your boyfriend and live your life?

    The choice is yours.

    I wish you happiness.

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  8. Dear mom,

    When I was 14 I had a boyfriend, I literally was completely in love with him but we had some sexual things going on. My family is Mormon so it's a big deal. My mom and dad found out and made me break up with him. We snuck around for about a year but we just got tired of it and had to break it off we didnt talk at all until now. I am now 17 years old and me and him are just friend he and I have changed a lot but my parents won't let me hang out with him, even if it's in a group. I don't understand because he is now one of my bestfriends and I'm not aloud? I feel like theyre trying to control me way to much. I earned their trust back and work so hard to get it but now it's just not fair. The boy even said he would talk to my parents and my dad won't even allow that. All he did was touch my boobs. (pardon for being straight forward) but they are being lunatics about it. I want to see him but don't want to sneak around I wanna be able to be honest with my parents. Help?

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  9. Being Mormon is a BIG deal. If you were my daughter I would still be concerned about the sexual issue, yes, even in a group.

    I'm also concerned about you being 14 when sexual things were going on. I'm also concerned that you don't seem concerned about where you've been touched.

    I'm glad that you want to be honest with your parents, but take a look at the issue from their shoes. Their 14 year old "had some sexual things going on." Today, she is 17, and still wants to hang out with the guy.

    If you were the parent, and you felt strongly about the Mormon way of doing things, how would you feel about this situation?

    I think you should give your parents some credit for caring about you even though they know you don't like it. I think maybe you ought to listen. In a year, you'll be 18 and can choose to move out and get your own place and do what you want. Until then, you might find they have something important to say.

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  10. Dear Mom,

    I am 27 and my boyfriend is 24. We met in uni and have been dating for 2 years. But my parents are not fond of him because we are from two different classes. While his family is not in debt or anything, they live a modest, simple lifestyle. On the other hand, I have been blessed with being spoiled by all the luxury items we can afford. Big house, Nice cars, designer brand stuff and luxury food.
    Coming from two different classes is a big thing in Asia. The girl is not expected to ‘marry down’ into a poorer or lower-class family. My parents explain to me that girls should look for a spouse who has the means to enrich your experience and knowledge in the world.
    My boyfriend is intelligent and knowledgeable. He reads a lot. He has a stable job and work 7 days per week. In fact, he is earning more than me. The best thing about him is that he is reliable and dependable. He is already setting money aside for our future. He is always there for me when I need a shoulder to lean on and when I need advice. No matter how tired he is, he calls me every night to say good night.
    Even my parents admit that personality-wise, they really like my boyfriend. But they will not hand their baby to someone who is not 100% perfect. My mom makes rather remarks like “Is his dad going to buy you guys a house in the future?” or “He is an only child; his parents may have to rely on him in the future. Make sure the money is not from your pockets!” She even went further to suggest that perhaps my older sister’s ex-boyfriend (who is very rich) is perhaps a better match for me and encourages me to make contact with him. My dad comments less but he expresses his concern over our future as well. Before I have lashed out at them, lost my temper and was bitter and hostile towards my parents for a while. My boyfriend helped me look at the whole situation at a positive light, explaining to me that my parents just want the best for me and that he will try his hardest to make my parents accept him.
    I am no longer angry at my parents but I still feel pressured every time they hounded me with question about my relationship with my boyfriend. I am torn. As much as I love my boyfriend, I don't know how I can stay with him if my parents are so against it. Please help.Thanks for attention.

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  11. Thanks for writing. Yes, this is a BIG thing in Asia from what I've heard, but it sounds like you and your boyfriend are of an age to work this thing out.

    Conversation without judgment is in order here. What I mean by that is a visit with the four of you where you listen to everyone's views and show respect for their views. If this means you need an intermediary person to sit in; someone who won't take sides but keeps the conversation respectful, do it.

    During the meeting, listen, really listen to your parents concerns. Take notes if necessary. Share your heart. Let your parents know how you feel about this man.

    Afterwords, do some reflection, alone and with the man you love. Make a decision together.

    No one is "100% perfect" even a man with money and I'm glad your boyfriends is willing to do all he can to make it work. But in the long run, if your parents never accept him, you have a difficult decision to make.

    My love goes out to you.

    Kathryn

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  12. Dear mom

    Me and my boyfriend are best friends we do everything together we've been dating for 2 and a half yrs and are getting married in September the only big problem is my parents hate him for stupid reasons like they don't like his family even tho their really nice people and they treat me really good they always take me to lunch n buy me nice stuff so its not in my head and his moms family lives eight hours away so they live six months here six months there and they don't like that they want ne here all the time I know they just want me close I'm the only child but I'm 23 how do I make them except that I'm a grown up and I need my space

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    Replies
    1. Dear Soon to be Married,

      I can understand the letting go issue, since I am a parent myself and know of the struggles having a daughter living far away. Perhaps your parents don't hate his parents, they just hate the fact that you may not be close by anymore.

      As you say, you are their only child. Give them some thought for loving you and caring for you and wanting to be around you.

      In the end, as you say, you're 23. You are old enough to get married to who you want; even live where you want. But allow your parents to grieve a little, especially if you decide to move far away.

      CONGRATULATIONS!

      Delete
  13. dear mom,
    i feel like my mother doesn't like my boyfriend/fiance,we recently had a fight about him.The fight was about how its like me spending like $200 just to be able to text him and how he wont download this stupid app so I can text him for free and she finds that as him not loving me at all.I dont care if he downloads it or not,but she does, she says that since he wont download it, once we move in together he'll make me pay the bills and that he'll use me,and it feels like she is say that he doesnt love me at all and that he has no interest in me,she even pulled me and my aunt to the side to tell her about it and it felt like they were ganging up on me,and in the middle of my aunt speaking i left, i couldnt take it i broke down into tears, it hurt a lot and it doesnt help that im 15 cuz she still has control over my life,what should i do? should i tell my boyfriend what happened?

    signed,
    crying a river

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  14. Crying a River,

    Have you asked your boyfriend why he won't download the app? That seems strange to me. If the app is free like you say and you are currently spending $200 (a month?) to be able to talk with him, I don't see why he wouldn't care enough about you to get the free app.

    And I wonder something else. Is this really about the app, or is it about something else entirely? Does your boyfriend currently have a job, for example?

    And so you know...your mother and your aunt care about you; they're not trying to ruin your life. Until you're on your own, expect some control.

    The decision of whether or not to tell your boyfriend about what happened is your call, but he does need to know what you are spending on him because he won't get the free phone app. A great relationship is a two way street--if you can't talk to him now about what is going on, what makes you think you'll be able to do it when you're on your own?

    I know you feel bad about what happened, but I think you also need to realize where the control is coming from--that great love your mom and aunt have for you!

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    Replies
    1. Dear Mom,
      he says that he has free texting already and yes he has a job he's a roofer and well i dont know if its about something else my mom calls him an idiot and it seems like she doesnt approve of him and im the kind of girl that trys to keep the person very happy and i try not to give or bring up problems unless its my parents then i become very pissy around them we have a horrible relationship i can't be me around them, and at this point my life is a mess, and yes i talk to him we are still figuring out what to do
      crying a river

      Delete
    2. I'm glad your boyfriend has a job and I'm sorry you're not getting along with your parents. But I do think there's more to this situation than you may be aware of.

      I'm glad you're talking to your boyfriend. You do need to figure things out. What do you want?

      I wish you could talk to your parents about this, but as you say you "have a horrible relationship." Getting a clue as to how your parents are feeling is getting on that two-way street.

      Good luck to you.

      Delete
  15. Dear Mom,

    My daughter is 19 and has been seeing a 25 year old since December. He has a daughter from a previous girlfriend. The former girlfriend is married and has the daughter. This is my daughter's first boyfriend. The age difference bothers us a great deal as well as his past and work ethic. Any advice for coping with this?

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  16. Dear Anonymous,

    You have every right to be concerned. I remember my first boyfriend. Nothing he did could sway me from "loving him." It just didn't matter what he'd done in the past and what he was currently doing in the present. "I loved him."

    You love your daughter and want the best for her, but in the long run she is going to have to make her own decision. The best thing you can do is to love her. If she knows of your love first, she is more than likely going to listen to your council.

    I would sit down with her and have an adult chat. Let her express all her feelings about her boyfriend, with the understanding that when she's finished, it's your turn. This is not the time for a heated argument, but a time to say it the way you feel it. If you need a mediator to keep everyone in check (someone who isn't intimately involved in the situation) get one.

    I'm not sure how my parents coped, but as a parent I have done a lot of praying for my children. I counseled and then I prayed that they would make the right choice.

    Has this guaranteed success? No. But I have felt better knowing that have done everything possible.

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  17. Jennifer StroopwafelJuly 24, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    I found they’re producing a television show about this topic, and they’re still looking for participants. Seems pretty interesting… http://goo.gl/0BLJM

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  18. Dear mom ,

    I am 15 a male and in need of advice ...
    My girlfriend and I had sex ... I regret it because her parents had found out and made her dump me changed her schools and she isn't aloud to have any contact with me ... We are secretly dating and talking to each other ... I kind of give her a hard time because she doesn't have her phone and she takes a while to reply and I see her maybe once a week for 20 min ... My girlfriend. Acts a bit immature but then again we are still teens ... What could she do ... I want her mom to think we are ATLEAST friends but if she ever brought me up to her mom my gf will get grounded and her phone gets taken away ... My gf is scared of her parents so she won't Stand up for herself or me ... What can she do ... She does love me and I do love her ... I can see a future with us ... But her parents are in the way sadly :(

    Signed confused teen

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  19. Have I talked about honesty yet? For some reason teens think they can behave like adults and yet don't want to take responsibility for their behavior.

    This sneaking around is juvenile and doesn't work. As you say, you are teens, but true love never lasts when you have to pretend--when you have to hide. As you say, she acts "a bit immature" but you said it first, not me.

    Have you ever considered allowing your girlfriend as well as yourself some time to grow up? If you love her now, you will still love her later.

    As for her parents being "in the way." There is a reason we have parents. They are there to help and instruct us in things we haven't yet experienced. In many cases, they truly know better because they have lived it. Instead of looking at her parents as being "in the way," put yourself in their shoes.You may learn something.

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  20. Hey mom,
    I'm 17 and so madly in love with my boyfriend who is 16. He's a yr and 2 months younger than I am and my parents don't like this. I wasn't really allowed to date till 18 and my boyfriend and I snuck around...and still are. However, now its just texting and talking over the phone on the rare occassion. I know that it is definitely wrong but the thing is I know that if i end things, even if its for now, I'll mess up my exams which is something I just cant do.

    I'm a straight-A student. My guys average. But ever since we got together, his grades improved A LOT. He changed my way of thinking for the better, and I his. We really do love each other a lot and only want the best for each other. He did end things when he saw what I was going through, but we made up because breaking up was something we just couldnt handle.

    My parents think that he's younger and therefore, immature for me and only wants to sleep with me. This is so not true. We've been together months and know each other 3 months before that, and he's never even cracked a dirty joke with me! His maturity actually surprises me and I just love talking to him. He's sweet, kind and caring and I know I deserver him and he deserves me. He accepts me for who I am with all my flaws and my broken past. We want to have a future together.

    But no matter what I tell my parents they just wont listen. They twist everything I say and turn it into something negative, condemn him for things he hasnt even done. I was sexually abused as a child and I understand that they are worried about me but that's no reason to talk about my guy like that. They have never even MET him, or crossed two words with him! So what gives them the right to judge him?

    My mum talked about his looks- as in he isnt even good-looking. Looks dont matter. Hes such a beautiful person. I dont care what he looks like!

    I dont know what to do, mom. I'm so insanely depressed. I've had suicidal thoughts, and my boyfriend is the only one keeping me sane right now. He;s like a breath of fresh air and the only one who helps with all the problems I'm going through( this whole scenario, plus college-planning etc). Hes supports me so much and even pushes me to work harder. He never tries to take away from my study time. And ever since I;ve been with him MY marks too have improved!

    This relationship has had nothing but a positive effect on both of us and even his own mum acknowledged that. But not mine. Help mee!

    :(( depressed and in-love

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  21. * we've been together 6 months.

    depressed and in love

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hmmmm, Again, honesty is really the best policy. I can see that you are struggling and that you need someone, but it really adds more stress to your life to have a 'hidden' boyfriend than coming out with it and releasing yourself of the burden.

    Because I'm not a therapist, I can only go by my gut feelings as a mom. If you were my daughter I'd want to know about these suicidal feelings so that I could get you some help. It sounds to me that you really need to talk to someone and perhaps it doesn't need to be your 'secret' boyfriend.

    I am worried about these suicidal thoughts. And because you'e been abused, I am even more concerned about you.

    Do yourself a favor. Talk to your parents about your feelings. Get specific about these suicidal thoughts. Don't let another moment go by.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Mom,
    My parents hate my boyfriend simply because of the reason that he can’t provide for me. If will get married in the future. Ive been with my boyfriend for four years now but in that span of time my parents never wanted him around me and also around them. They didn’t gave him a chance to reveal his true self to them. In short they are not “ok” with the relationship we have. My boyfriend and I met each other at work. We are officemates. But despite of my bf having a job my parents are not open with him they even forced me to break up with him but I cant do that I love my boyfriend and so we continued our relationship without the permission of my parents. Until one day my mom discovered the truth that I and my boyfriend was still together. At this time they made me choose if whom is the most important for me if my family or my boy friend. I tried to break up with my boyfriend twice but he refused it he said that he does not mind what parents think of him. He love me and that whats important for him he also said that he is willing to sacrifice he is willing to accept that I will not be a normal girlfriend who will always be beside him. He also added that there is no need for me to choose between him and my parents. There will be lots of time that I wont be around him I cannot be seen with him in public I cannot be always be beside him as normal lovers would do. My mom and my dad do not talk with me after they have discovered that me and my boyfriend was still together. They have told me that if I still choose my boyfriend I will lost them. After work and I go home my parents would just ignore me and wont talk to me. Please advise me of what will I do. Both of them are important to me. Please help me.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I have no idea how old you are and that knowledge would help me with my comments.

    Some things still hold true, however.

    1) If you're still living at home, you'll need to deal with your parents feelings about your boyfriend. That it something you just can't get around. Once you are on your own, that's another story.

    2) Choosing between your boyfriend and your parents is difficult, especially since you are living with your parents and, I'm guessing, not yet old enough to live on your own. But again, you must live by their rules as long as you're under their roof--no matter how much you hate it.

    3) Consider why you broke up with your boyfriend and what it would mean for you to let go for awhile, until you move out and can make your own decisions. Often we're with someone because we love to be needed and it's important to know if we are truly in love. Separation will usually do the trick.

    Have you read any of my previou responses? Though situations are different, much of what I've said before may apply to you.

    Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Dear mom,

    My parents feel my boyfriend dusnt have class. He comes from a very nice well to do family but is slightly loud in the way he talks and there are some minor differences in my family's type of social circle and his.

    I am 20 and havent told my parents that we are dating. I am sure they have an idea. The reason i dont want to tell them now is that i still have a career to make and would want to tell them at an age when they think i am in a position to make right decisions.

    However it upsets me to see tht they dont approve of him much eventhough he is a great guy and loves me more than life. They just feel he isnt sophisticated and polished.

    Will they let us be together in the future?

    Upset!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Dear Upset,

    Will they let you "be together in the future?"

    Obviously, you don't need your parents acceptance to be with him now and so later shouldn't really matter to you. But I can see that it does, so this is my advice.

    The best way I know for acceptance to take place is to be honest about what you are doing now. You think they've guessed anyway, but sit down with them today and talk about it.

    You say your boyfriend is loud. Well, I am loud and some people like that about me and some people don't. Being loud doesn't mean you're less than, and the social circle doesn't matter if you're being honest with yourself. I personally try to interract with others in various social circles and have made myself available to be a part of many lives that are different from my own.

    Being sophisticated and polished is really not that important in my humble opinion. That he loves you and hopefully treats you like a queen, is.

    Good luck to you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear mom,

      Thanks for replying. now is really not the right time to tell my parents. I try mentioning him quite a bit but it brings a frown to my moms face.

      Yes he does treat me like a queen and i fail to understand why my parents dont really approve of him but this really bothers me. I am quite an over thinker and worry that there will be problems later when it comes to marriage talk.

      Also i must tell you im indian. I dont want to tell my parents that im dating but i also want them to accept him when i finally do tell them.

      I know being loud is no issue n he is wonderful. Its just that my mom dusnt want to be open minded and see his amazing side.

      Upset :(

      Delete
  27. Dear Mom,

    I have been dating my boyfriend for 3 in a half years. I am 19, and in first year of university.
    My mother dislikes him to be honest.
    Him and I had our problems together but always worked through them. He made mistakes and so did I, sadly mine were mostly listen to my mothers advice and sadly turning into her. Which is not entirely a bad thing but she is very judgmental and thinks her own boyfriend should revolve around her. And she wont take anyone else word into consideration. I sadly turned into her during my last fight with my boyfriend. And from that fight, both me and him learned a heck of a lot. And I finally saw what I was really doing to him.

    Anyways my mother is very protective of me and often expresses her dislike of him. She wont really listen to me and brushes off my words when I speak of him. Shes not stopping me from seeing him but again makes it very clear that she dislikes him. He is a shy guy and wants her to like him, but he also understands that he isnt dating her and doesnt need to impress her in order to know he is a good human being. But I want her to like him. I want all this to end. I want him to have the relationship with her that I have with his parents. My older sister dealt with this and her solution was that she moved out very young, and kept my other in the dark about her life and boyfriends. I feel bad about that and dont really want to do it. She wants me to brush it off and ignore what she says because she isnt me, and she will never truly understand what im going through, she will have an idea but never truly know. I want to know what I should do. Cause I love my mom, but I also love him.

    From Confused.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Dear Confused,

    I'm sorry your mom doesn't approve of your boyfriend, but I also know this. You are older now, attending college, and it sounds like you will do what you feel is right no matter what your mom thinks.

    You have been with your boyfriend long enough to know you want to stay with him, so this is what I suggest. When you're with your mom, find something else to talk about. The best thing I did after I got married was to find a niche where my mom and I could talk; this was an area where we had a lot in common and the talk was positive. Instead of sharing the upsets of my marriage, I began to talk about something else. This 'something else' can be anything you have in common with your mom: crafting, scrapbooking, cooking...Whenever your talk turns to your boyfriend make it a point to shift the conversation to this 'something else.' In time your talk will shift and you'll both be happier.



    ReplyDelete
  29. Dear mom
    I really need your help. I'm absolutely torn apart right now between my parents and my boyfriend. To begin with my parents are super strict on boys. I am 18 and my mom knows my boyfriend but my dad does not. My dads mind is still in the 1700s....he would not not accept this at all.
    My only chance is my mom...to convince my dad.the problem? My mother hates him. Why? Because he is Arabic. Mind you, I am Persian. Most people confuse Persians and Arabs. But my mother thinks we are from different planets and that our cultures are so different and this could never work. I've gotten to know him and his cultures...and the only difference between his family and mine is that his is a bit more conservative. As in his.mom is covered...my mom is not. We are both Muslims ...so I'm tired of constant fights and arguments with my mom over this. She met him once and started judging him saying he's short....and he's this and that..I could do so much better. We have been ogethrr for over a year, and he is out of the country currently because his mom is sick. she thinks I'm stupid for waiting for him...
    To make matters worse, because his parents are older they want to see him get married before they die. What I mean by that is they want him to get married now. I love him so much! And I admit I'm young but to be with him I'm ready to get married. My parents would kill me if they hear this.
    I respect my patents very much and I fear them very much. I have stood up to my mom on this matter and I think it bothers her that I don't Care that she doesnt like him. My parents have done so much for me that I am not a person whos going to run away and loose her family. I am a family person but I love him! I'm in a loose loose situation. My mom thinks I will realize she is right later ..because she's seen how Arabs are....right now I wish the world does end on the 21st because I'm stuck in a dead end. I have tried breaking up with him, but he makes me so happy and he has been so undrlerstanding and he's a gentleman and he has stood up for me with his parents whej they didn't like me...he's gotten into huge fights with them over me , and I have tried convincing my mom...and it hasn't work. I have a perfect relationship with my family and with my boyfriend and seperatlu these two lives have been perfect...but put together they don't work.....Please please help!
    Sincerely
    Torn apart

    ReplyDelete
  30. Dear Torn Apart,

    When it comes to differences in culture, whether you see it right now or not, the time will come when you'll see it and will have to deal with it. I'm not saying it won't work with the two of you, what I'm saying is that there will be some challenges ahead. You are already dealing with some challenges with your mom, and this will only continue. Family and friends only want what's best for you, and what's best for you is in their mind's eye--what that means is that they see your relationship from their understanding of what a relationship should be, and it may differ from the way that you see it. This is quite normal, even if you don't have culture in the way.

    I was married at 19, and even though I felt old enough to get married, through the years I have looked back to see that I was really pretty young. My husband and I are still together, but it hasn't always been easy. When you get married young you lose out on those independent experiences that can make you stronger for a relationship. For example, I never lived on my own or vacationed with friends, or found out what it was like to pay bills and buy my own groceries. There are things I had to learn while I was married, and I never got those experiences that would have strengthened me for the relationship. With that said, I'm still glad I married who I did. I did have the support of my parents and things have turned out for me.

    I think what matters in the end is that you listen to your parents concerns, really listen. If you feel afraid of them, let them know of your fears and talk about it. We are usually afraid of people that we don't understand. It's important that you understand your parents and that they understand you.

    I've said this before. It's important to be honest in any relationship. And it's not all about getting everything you want. Sometimes compromises must be made. Sometimes you must wait.

    You're still young, whether you know that now or not. Take your time. Don't rush into anything and you'll find that everyone will be happier for it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear mom,
      I know what your saying about marriage is true and that I am young....but I will miss out on those things either way because in my culture there is no way I will be traveling with friends or live alone. For now ...if I could get my mom to like him...my problems biggest part would be solved. I really tried listening to my mom to know why she dislikes him and her only reason is he is Arab. Which I don't understand considering 90% of our cultures are similar. She doesn't point out something specific wrong with him.
      Now his side things are getting worse and his family is putting pressure on him about me and marriage and my mom....well.. she's being stubborn.
      We have seperated once because of this issue...and I ended up in the hospital. Mom, I really do love him and I don't want to let go because he hasn't wrongged me and I am truly happy ....
      Any advice on how i should pursuade her to give him a chance and to get to know him?
      Or any advice what to do with my life right now?
      I apologize for bothering you so much but I truly don't have anyone to run for advice....
      Thanks...torn apart...

      Delete
  31. Even after visiting with your mom, you may still not be able to change her mind. All you can really do is to be honest about your feelings about him and what you want in your life--don't give in to the pressure of marriage unless you honestly feel it is right--but share where you are at and what you want to have happen. Then give your mom an opportunity to really share without interruption or judgment. (If the only qualm she has about him is that he is Arab, find out her feelings about that. Let her know that you are there to listen). Then, take what she has said, and write down what you heard. Pretend you are standing in her shoes. Then return to your mom and read what you have written. See if you heard correctly. Make adjustments in what you have written as necessary. Really take a look and make a decision. You may never get your mom to like him but you can be honest about how you feel about him and allow your mom to do the same. Honesty without judgment is the key to healing the relationship with your mom.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Dear mum,

    When my boyfriend and I started dating my parents welcomed him into our home like a son and did a lot for him which he was grateful for believe me. Anyway they found out that he and I had sex (both 15 and it was protected) and now they want nothing to do with him and are pulling me away from him. I care about this boy so so much and I know how much we need each other so I hate this. I understand that they are disappointed but it was my decision and with someone I love. What can I do to make them at least except the fact I'm going to be with him?

    ReplyDelete
  33. Acceptance. Well, that is a big deal, especially when you're having sex at 15. When trust also is part of the issue, it makes the journey to acceptance that much harder for your parents.

    I understand. I am a parent mystelf and have raised three daughters. No, they didn't tell me everything and I expect them to. But, and this is a big one, some things once hidden and discovered are painful to accept.

    That doesn't mean that in time your parents may accept him again, but it may take awhile. They don't appear to like what you are doing, but they do love you and want what's best.

    Read some of the previous posts if you haven't already about talking it out; about sharing your heart and allowing your parents to do the same. It will make all the difference.

    ReplyDelete
  34. The above line should read, "they didn't tell me everything and I didn't expect them to."

    ReplyDelete
  35. I am 24 and have two children of my own, ages 5 and 6. I have always been pretty self sufficient and mature. I have been with the father of my children for 10 years, we met in high school. Our relationship has had it's ups and downs and my parents, who are seperated, know everything (my mistake). He cheated on me about three years ago and we seperated for about a year after that. I decided to accept his appology and give him another chance. Earlier this year a bomb was dropped on me and my family. I was woken up to a drug task force team breaking down our door. He was arrested for major drug offenses and gun possession. He spent 90 days in jail and was released on bail this past summer. Our apartment was below his mother's and she owned the house. He was out, living upstairs from me and the kids, and often came down to spend time with them. I was so livid with him for all that he put us through. I hated him. I also knew that he loves our kids, and me. He recognized and admitted that he had a drug problem that escalated into something huge. I agreed to work on our friendship and maintain peace for the kids who adore him. He's been my bestfriend for most of my life, and I felt like giving up on him would be like turning my back on family when they needed me most. While he was away I had started making new living arragments because I was worried about how things would be ackward living below his mother and all. My mom really stepped up and helped. Her and her fiance purchased an apartment for me and the kids. It's great, I love it here. Before I moved he got down on his knees and begged me to give him another chance...it was a long night of crying, arguing, hugging..Somehow I agreed. I havent told a soul, and it's been 2 1/2 months now. When he comes over I sneak, I dont want my mom or opinionated dad to find out. My mom has started questioning me saying "He's not living there, right?" And he's not, but he does spend the night sometimes or come by on the weekend to hang out. My dad thinks he's no good, and I get it. He's not working, but is trying to get work. I dont even know how I feel about it... I hate hiding things from my family. I even tried to end the relationship again because of it. I felt guilty and worried that I regret doing so, so I took it back. What do I do? My heart and my head are pulling me all over. I love him and I love him and my kids as a hole, a family. I also love and want the approval of my parents which I dont think I'll ever get... HELP

    ReplyDelete
  36. Wow, you've been through a lot. I hardly know what to say. Are you a praying person?

    The way I see it, loving a person is one thing, but having the other person treat you respectfully is another. You can love your boyfriend from a distance while he gets his life in order, but he will never completely be the man you deserve until he gets some help.

    I believe in forgiveness but I also believe in taking care of yourself. There comes a time when you must take a good look at what you really want for your life, and the life you want for your kids.

    Sneaking around never works in my opinion. Being open and honest is the only way to work through difficulty.

    Believe it or not there are still good men in the world without wandering eyes and men who aren't addicted to drugs.

    Again, I would take a good, hard look at what you want for yourself and your children. And if prayer is something you believe in, I would use it.

    My prayers are with you.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Dear Mom

    My on again off again partner and I have been trying to make our relationship work and last over the last 2 years.
    When we first met and starting dating things were good.
    After he had met my family a few times I thought things would only get better... I was beyond wrong I am adopted and don't really fit in with this Italian family to begin with they have larger amounts of money and they are much older then most 24 year old. So they found out that the boyfriend didn't have much family and wasn't the same class as them plus he smokes and has a kid. Right away they started telling me he was an awful person that he was using me ect.. this guy is amazing he is very honest hard working a great dad and was always there for me no matter what.

    After 4 months of us dating my so called bestfriend filled a false police report getting my boyfriend arrested so I bailed him out and cut that "bestfriend " out of my life.
    We ended up homeless after that because a close friend was letting us move to BC to stay with her so we sold everything we owned including horses ect and the day we were leaving to BC she texts me and says im no longer welcome..

    While all this is going on my family is treating me like crap cuz they don't like who im with and they are telling everyone else I know that my boyfriend is a criminal and a Lowlife.

    This went on for months then all of a sudden he ended up back in jail because of something my family did.

    When he went to jail I found out I was pregnant. When he got out I told him and he stayed around to be a good dad but didn't wanna be with me because of what has happened.

    Now I have a great 10 month old son and me and his dad still talk and sometimes see eachother.

    Him and I want to be together and have our family but with my family treating both of us like dirt and because of what they have done in the past we don't know if we can be together. All we want is to be a family and be able to go see relatives and family events without drama.
    Im willing to cut them out of my life but my guy wouldn't want me to that.
    I love this guy so much we have a great family and are happy when we don't have all this other stress put on us it makes us fight.

    I have been waiting and trying to figure out how to make this work for over a year now.

    How do I get my family to give him another chance and forget about the past he is a lot diffent now he works full time and is ready for a family life.

    Or do I tell the so called family to go away as they don't want what's best for me and my son they want to control everything I do they take all money that comes to me and my son my car has been taken I live out in the country and I feel like im being trapped I never see friends or anything as they are not welcome I never leave the house..

    Need help.

    Relationship in balance.

    ReplyDelete

  38. Dear Relationship in Balance,

    Has your boyfriend talked with your family with you in the room? Has he explained his life and the kind of life he wants with you and your son?

    You say he has changed. He may say he has changed, and maybe he has, but your parents are still seeing him in the old light.

    It is often difficult to move forward, to forgive others, and I see your situation as an opportunity to do both.

    What do you want? If it's to stay with him, then do it, but realize what has happened may happen again. Your folks just want you to be happy. Ask them and they'll tell you if they haven't already.

    If all of the information about how he's changed is merely coming from your lips, you need to give your boyfriend the opportunity to prove his worth. Get him involved in family activities, allow him opportunities to share, and remember that no lasting changes will happen overnight.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Hi again mom

    I have tried to ask my family to give my boyfriend another chance and they refuse too. All he wants is to be apart of the family.
    He wants to sit down with everyone including myself and let them know that he wants to settle and have a family life that he is making great changes to his life and to say he wants to be there even more then he is for his son and myself.

    We do not want to have a conversation and have all the old issues brought up as we have tried that in the past and it gets really ugly fast as everyone involved is very outspoken.

    I have told the family that if they love me and want what's best for me they will at very least talk with us because I love him and he makes me beyond happy.

    I have even tried the whole if you won't do it for me do it for your grandson.
    Im so stressed im gonna loose the guy I fell in love with and still am I love with the father of my son and the man I want to be with forever if im lucky enough to have that happen.

    I have also let them know that I am considering cutting the whole family out of my life as they are standing in the way of what makes me happy.

    Any ideas I feel like im doomed here because of thongs that are out of my control.

    Relationship in balance

    ReplyDelete
  40. I hate to say it, but it looks as if you're going to have to make a decision on what you want most--the support of your parents or a family with the man you love.

    In the end, especially when there's a child involved, we need to consider what is best not only for us but the child we have brought into the world.

    What do you want most? When you know the answer to this question, do it. If you haven't read my book, "Conquering Your Goliaths: A Parable of the Five Stones," yet you may just want to pick up a copy.

    My prayers are with you.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Dear Mom,
    My boyfriend and I have been dating for about a year now. We dated 2 years ago then broke up. We broke up because my parents hated him for a huge mistake he made. One night we went out to a 21st birthday party close to my house. There was heavy drinking involved and when we got back we were both intoxicated. My parents only had one rule if he were to stay over and it was he stay in my older brother's room who just moved out but left his bed. Well my house is very confusing to navigate at night when all the lights are off. At the time I shared my room with my 9 and 6 year old sisters. They liked to sleep with night lights on. My boyfriend got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. He couldn't find his way back to my brothers room but saw the night light in my room on. He came in my room and didn't want to upset my parents by climbing in bed with me. He looked at my 6 year old sisters bed and didn't see her curled up in the corner because he was still drunk (she was also a very small child). He climbed into her bed and passed out. She woke up in the middle of the night and started screaming. My dad came into the room when he heard her and ripped my boyfriend out of her bed. I woke up to all of this. The next morning my dad had a huge talk with me and my boyfriend. We then broke up couple of days later because my parents didn't want to see him. We didn't speak or even talk to each other for a little over 6 months. I even saw another guy (who of course was my parents dream guy for me). I ended things with the new guy for my own reasons. One day I ran into my boyfriend and we went out for dinner and boom we were back at it. My parents still hate him like they did back then. They even go as far to say that he is a pedophile and will call the cops if we are back together. My boyfriend feels horrible about what happened and he wants to make it up to them but no matter what they are not budging about the situation. I don't want them to like him I just want them to accept the fact that we are dating. I do love him a lot. I don't know if he is "the One" but right now I like our relationship andhow he makes me feel. We have talked about our future together and even getting married but it wouldn't be for a while. Everytime I try to have an adult talk about it, it turns into a screaming match and me in tears. I'm not a bad person but I'm not a saint either. I have made my fair share of mistakes. I'm about to graduate college, I am a 2 sport athlete in college earning honors in both sports, I'm graduating with honors, I have a job, and pay for all my own bills. My boyfriend is also responsible. He has "grown-up" essentially since that incident. He is 24 years old and owns his own business and is thriving. He has also cut down how much he drinks and goes out to cater to his business and spend time with me. I really don't know what to do. I want my parents to see past his mistakes and understand I am 22 years old now and need to make these decisions on who I have in my life on my own.


    Drunk Off Love

    ReplyDelete
  42. You said it yourself. You are 22.

    You appear to have a good head on your shoulders so I'd suggest making a decision. You're not going to please your boyfriend and your parents, but you need to make a choice.

    Good luck to you.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Hi Mom,
    So I have a question. I have a (just barely) 17 year old daughter. Here are the facts, and I'm sure you will see where I'm going with my question.
    She has been "in love" with a boy since she was 15.
    She want allowed to date until 16.
    We did allow the boy (we will call him "C") into our home so she could hang out with him with supervision.
    They have never been allowed to be alone or ride in his car together.
    He is 2 years older than she is, and very "mature in his own mind".
    When they are together, he is very secretive with her..whispering, pulling her aside to talk, etc, and doesn't really blend in with the family.
    When she is with him she doesnt act like her usual happy, positive, utgoing self, she becomes very quiet and acts almost like she is a puppet on a string and kind of submissive toward him.
    Many many more things about him that I cannot stand, but I'll spare you too many details.
    She didn't really know I didn't like him at all. I tried to stay neutral.
    I didn't want to say she couldn't see him at all for fear that it would drive her closer to him, so she was allowed to hang out semi often, a I cringed every time, and hoped it would blow over.

    When she was 16 1/2, she realized she wanted to date someone else (PRAISE! And we loved this new boy!)
    I was very careful to keep the same rules for him so that she didn't feel like we were giving rules off of feelings.
    She had dated him for 9 months but still occasionally talked to "C"
    In late September, as I was reviewing texts on her phone, I found a conversation where he blamed three breakup on us(her parents), told get that her dad was wishy washy, that he didn't like me, that we were noisy and that he knows more about parenting than we do, and more..
    I texted him and told him that although I respect his opinions, that there us no privacy for my underage daughter and if he didn't like his conversations monitored, then I guess he doesn't need to talk to her anymore. I also explain to him that I didn't appreciate him being disrespectful about my husband and I to my daughter, and that I would never allow my daughter to be disrespectful his parents like that.
    He went away for a couple months.
    (Is this getting too long? I apologize, I just really need your advice, I'm trying to give you as many details as I can quickly)
    She had been acting a little strange lately. I started reading her texts to him again, and she is basically begging him back into her life, which he is very glad for.
    she talks about how she can't live without him, how much she loves him, he had even mentioned just waiting until she is 18 so that she can be with him.
    I didn't confront him or her. I just waited until she came to me with the information because I knew she would. we actually have an extremely open and communicative relationship. we don't keep secrets from each other at all which is why I was surprised she kept this "i still love him and want to be with him" secret for those few months.
    she endnd it up dumping the good kid, breaking his heart, and now she spend time begging me to let her hang out with "C" again. I had a long conversation last night with her about why I don't really like him and asked her what he sees in him etc...
    She really just wants me to like him, and let them be together. But I don't like him. And more than that, I don't like what he makes her be.
    He drags her down. I love my daughter, but I love her for her, not for the toxic, depressed, controlled person he makes her.
    so now I guess you can see what my question is....

    ReplyDelete
  44. .....
    Do I allow her to see him? Do I cut all ties between them? Do I say no contact and take a chance that at 18 I lost her to him?
    I secretly just want him do go find someone else and move on. I would gladly hold and heal her heart and help her find someone amazing.
    I know she can find someone better in time when relationships are more appropriate. I want her to find somebody who makes her want to be a better person. someone who lifts her up, somebody who is a giver like she is.
    She is absolutely the most fabulous, amazing, witty, Christlike, beautiful, sweet girl you would ever meet. Seriously, a real catch. And the guys know it. She gets asked out all the time.
    Ahhh. Help. This is my only daughter and I don't want to do the wrong thing and mess up our great relationship. I also dont want "C" around. I'm not interested in a friendship with him whatsoever. I also don't want him around the little kids as he isn't nice to them.
    How do I help her realize he is draining her, and a step down for her?
    Thank you so much for reading this and I am excited and open to any advice.
    Love,
    Mama bear

    ReplyDelete
  45. Hello Mama Bear,

    Boy, do I get this one and let me tell you, your choices aren't easy. Are they ever when you're a mom?

    I can see you want the best for your daughter. I have three girls myself and want the best for them, too.

    My oldest daughter dated some guys I didn't like but ended up with a good man in the end, my second daughter married someone my husband and I were both concerned about; they are now divorced. My youngest daughter married a good guy after dating just a few guys.

    The bottom line. We talked to each of these daughters before their final choice. We expressed our concerns. We did not hold them back from dating who they wanted, but we made it clear that we had some concerns when there were concerns.

    Our motto: "We trust you. We know you'll make the right decision."

    Whether you decide to tell your daughter no or yes when it comes to dating "C" be assured she will probably date him anyway without your consent. Unless she really listens to your direction and your pull is greater than "C's" you will find that she will be even more angry when you've told her no.

    My own parents kept me from dating a particular young man who came to the door to take me out. They didn't feel good about him and so told him to leave. I also had a boyfriend that they didn't approve of later on and they finally told me to stop seeing him. I listened. And I later married a good man. We've been married for almost 33 years.

    As to the right answer for you, I don't know. It could be that you tell her no; you have an open communication with her so this may be the best answer. You may instead allow her to date him, hoping and praying that she will make the best decision in the end.

    Are you a praying woman? If so, I would suggest getting on your knees and speaking with God. And then staying on your knees and listening. What thoughts come to your mind? Not confusing ones, but ones that come to you clear and peaceful. Write down what comes to you. God isn't full of confusion and he will help you if you ask.

    My own prayers are with you.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Dear mom,
    I am concerned about my brother. My brother and I are extremely close. We are only a year and 8 months apart in age and have always hung out with the same crowd of kids. Lately he has started dating one of my "friends". The girl (let's call her H) and I met in 8th grade and I'm now a senior in highschool. Around sophomore year I stopped hanging out with her because she got involved in drugs, skipped school, and eventually got put on probation and was forced to attend an alternative to highschool. At this school u are treated like an inmate at a prison. The school is not a boarding school so students have outside lives. Anyway my brother had dated H before and recently got back in contact with her and has started dating her. At this point she has dropped out of highschool and earned her GED. She still does drugs, drinks (she's 17), and has had sex with 13 boys and has NEVER used a condom due to her infertility. My brother is always asking for my opinion but I don't want to say I don't want them to be together because I'm afraid that will push him away from me into her arms but I also Dont want him to think I'm OK with this.my bother is a straight A student with a 32 on his ACT. i just want him to stay in a good place mentally and on the right path for the great future im sure he can obtain. what should I say to him?
    - twisted sister

    ReplyDelete
  47. This is my advice:

    When you speak to your brother make it about why YOU are worried. What makes YOU worried about the girl. What makes YOU worried about him. Make sure you share your love (multiple times) during the conversation.

    You might take your brother out to lunch. But find a place where the two of you can talk privately. And make sure that you make it about your feelings, not about how stupid he or she is, etc. The tone of your voice and your love for him will make all of the difference.

    In the end your brother will still have to make his own decision. You wouldn't want him to choose to stay away from this friend if he was just doing it for you, you want him to make the choice of letting her go because he SEES that it is the best choice for him.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Dear mom,

    My boyfriend and I have been dating for a year and half now. I'm 19 and 6 months older than he is. I'm moving in 2 weeks to do an internship and my parents keep putting down my boyfriend. They tell me over and over that he is using me when we don't do anything. He works on an oil rig and is a month on 2 weeks off. This time he took off early because i was supposed to move but my horse broke my shin. So he is home 3 weeks instead of 2. When I asked my parents if we could hang out today ( which we always set aside a full day to go out to eat and hang out with his family) my parents said that we were only going to get into trouble. They have taught me not to go to his house when no one else is over there and I understand why. We don't. So I'm not understanding where they are coming from and why they don't like him so much. They used to love him! It really bothers me that they talk like they do. They told me just today that I am a mouse and that he doesn't let me decide what we do. He always asks me what I want to do. They keep telling me he is selfish, he is a cheater, and he is using me. How is he using me when we've never done anything? I know he isn't cheating on me and I have no reason to believe he would. He's a Christian like I am, we go to church together when he is home, we spend time with my family as well as his. I just don't understand why they are acting this way towards him.

    Confused

    ReplyDelete
  49. Perhaps your parents are worried.

    You are moving in 2 weeks.
    He is 6 months younger than you are.

    Consider the lack of control your parents will have after you've moved. They may even still love your boyfriend but are afraid of what might happen after you've moved.

    Sounds like it's time for some trust. Trust in you and trust in him. If you're old enough to move out to do an internship, then you're obviously old enough to make wise decisions. Your parents appear to have taught you well.

    Let them know that you love them and that you will remember all of the good things they have taught you. But it's time for you to make your own life. And it's time for them to let you go.

    As you say, your boyfriend is younger than you are. This is of concern to parents because boys take longer to grow up than girls and because your boyfriend is actually 6 months younger than you, not one or two years older, this creates grief in parents who are looking at the numbers. Consider their concerns; step in their shoes. You might just discover something.

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Dear Mom,

    I'm a 19 year old girl and I finished college but then my mom doesn't want me to have a boyfriend but hen she didn't know that i have.. what can i do?

    ReplyDelete
  51. First question, do you live with your mom? If you do, then she needs to know. If you don't, well, that's a different story.

    I need more details...

    ReplyDelete
  52. Dear Mom,
    I'm 14 and I'm in a long distance relationship with a 19 year old. I knew him from a young age and we got back in contact again almost 2 years ago. We've now been dating for almost a year and I'm very happy in the relationship. There's nothing sexual going on between us and he treats me with respect. I also suffer with mental health issues which he is aware of and helps me overcome. My mother, however, severely disapproves of this relationship. She shouts at me a lot, telling me to break up with him. She also messaged him recently threatening that if he didn't break up with me, she would get the authorities involved. She told him not to mention her name in the break up so that it would make me hate him and not her. He makes me really happy and she knows this yet he's still the enemy in her eyes. What can I do to make her see that he's a good guy and treats me well?

    ReplyDelete
  53. I'm glad that your boyfriend treats you well and that he helps you with your mental health issues, but I can't help seeing some red flags. These may be the same flags that your mother is seeing.

    1. You're 14
    2. You're in a long distance relationship
    3. You suffer from mental health issues
    4. A 19 year old is interested in a 14 year old

    As a mother myself, I understand these issues; all of them. When I was 14, I wasn't even allowed to date. When my girls (I have 3) were 14, they weren't allowed to date either.

    Long distance relationships rarely work. That doesn't mean that yours won't, but consider that you're dealing with a young man who is far away from you. All you can remember is the good stuff. There is not room for the stuff that isn't so good because, and it is true, "absence makes the heart grow fonder."

    I am sorry you are struggling with mental issues. This one is especially tough. You really need people around you that are physically there, who can be there for a hug, or their very presence.

    I'm also sorry, but I really don't see how a 19 year old can be interested in someone 5 years their junior, and someone they got interested in when she was only 12! That means he was only 17, and he got interested in a 12 year old!

    I'm also sorry that I can't be more positive for you. Perhaps the long distance relationship will keep you safe, but I wonder about your relationship long term.

    Your mother will probably never see that he is a good guy and that he treats you well--at least not until you've grown a bit older.

    I wish you well.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Dear Mom,
    I am 17 years old and have been dating my boyfriend for almost a year now. My mom hates him and won't tell me why. I've tried to sit her down and talk about it but it usually leads to an argument. About 3 months ago my mom start putting me on birth control because my gyn recommended it. I am sexual active with my boyfriend however my mom has known about other boys I have previous been with, but she was never angry about it. All the previous guys I have dated were not in school, did drugs and drun alcohol and lived on the streets. However, she still liked all of them more than my current boyfriend. He's also my age, comes from a very loving family, makes a B average in school, and is working on getting a job. I spend a lot of time with him and his family which I think makes my mom upset, I also think she is jealous. I've tried to have him come over but he won't because my mom treats him so bad. She won't speak to him when he says hello, glares at him, she basically pretends he's not there when he is. I've been with him for almost a year and it's very exhausting dealing with all the stress my mother gives me and puts in our relationship. My boyfriend and I are also looking at colleges together and trying to plan ahead so we can have an successful future, hopefully with each other. I know I am 17 but I think I am very mature for my age and it bothers my mom. When I was younger my mom had drug issues so basically I raised me and my sister myself. We spent a couple of years in foster care and now that we're out I think my mother has tried to become even more controlling of my life. I recently got a job and I haven't started working yet because my manger has to get a call back from HR to see when I can start. However, my mom has been harassing the managers for more information. I told her they said they'll call me back when I can start but everything has been so hectic there. When I wanted to work last year she wouldn't let me and now if I don't have a job this year if I don't get a job I'm going to be without a lot.I've been talking with many people and my family about all the issues and everyone tells me to just sit down and talk with her, write her a letter saying how I feel, but she won't listen. I don't know what else to do, I love my mom but she's really burning a hole in mine and her relationship. It has even gotten to the point where she speaks down on me/ about me around family and her husband and even sends nasty text saying how stupid and shaming I am. Please help!

    ReplyDelete
  55. I would suggest a mediator; someone who can sit in with you on your conversation and deflect rude comments, etc. This person needs to be someone not involved in your situation, so not another family member but more of an acquaintance. A letter is good if it's written in love, but it's often difficult to get to the love when you feel as if you have to protect your interests, and she, hers.

    If you decide to do the mediation, let me know what happens.

    Good luck to you!

    ReplyDelete
  56. Dear Mom,

    My family hates my boyfriend. We started dating in high school, and dated long distance for most of our freshman year of college. I think there are three main reasons why they dislike him.

    1. In high school I was really shy and geeky. My family is not very open to talk about dating and boys. So instead of telling them I had a boyfriend, I lied about it and snuck out a lot. I got caught, and they blamed him, even though he had no idea. I was valedictorian of my class and didn't drink or party but they blamed him for not trusting me.

    2. My older sister's fiance is great. He will be the perfect big brother and he's perfect for her. My parents love him, and so do I, but I would never want to date him. Even if I wasn't with my boyfriend now, her fiance just isn't my type and never will be.

    3. Lastly, they hate him because we broke up for about a month while we were apart at school (my family doesn't know we're back together now either). I was devastated by the breakup, an didn't talk to him for a month. But getting back together was my decision, and I know I did the right thing. But lying to my family is killing me.

    So, that's the story. We've been together for almost 2 years, and even though we are really different, I love him. He challenges me and we have so much to learn from each other. He can be a little weird with other people, but he's kind and loving with me. And that's what matters.

    So....I really need advice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When you say you "are really different," what do you mean? Are we just talking about what foods you like to eat, or something more serious like different religions?

      You are older now and I think old enough to make your own decisions. But I also think there is more to this story than you might be telling me. Religion plays a big part in how parents feel about the person their son or daughter is dating. Also work ethic, and bad habits. How do they think he treats you?

      I would stop lying to your family and tell them you're dating him again, and then get real about their concerns.

      We can love someone but that doesn't mean we should be with them.

      Delete
    2. Religion/race has nothing to do with it. He has had a few jobs, but we're only sophomores in college. He's a music major and I'm majoring in landscape architecture. We both go to really good schools, and he's really driven and actually achieving a lot with his music (writing for film scores, organizing festivals).

      I don't know how they think he treats me, because they never really got to know him. I felt uncomfortable bringing him to my house, because of they way they treated him. They rarely saw us together before, and now they don't at all.

      Delete
  57. Thanks for responding. The only way for your parents to see the real man you are dating is to bring him home. Prepare them in advance, but bring him home. See how it goes.

    I never recommend lying. It doesn't help relationships, and it won't help the relationship with your parents to keep him a secret.

    After doing your best, the choice is still yours. If your parents remain stubborn about their feelings, you need to make a decision. Are you going to ease their concerns by letting him go, or will you continue to see him?

    It may be that he never comes with you when you're at your parent's house. It may be that you don't discuss him around their presence. But the end decision is yours. I wish you well.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Dear Mom,
    Right off the bat I'm going to say that the biggest problem my parents had with my boyfriend was the age gap. He's 22 and I'm 18. I've always been mature for my age, none of my previous boyfriends except one ever really connected with me on a more mature level and the one that did broke up with me 9 months ago. The man I'm with now I've been dating for 8 months...I've known him for two years now but neither of us had really been interested in each other because we both were in relationships and didn't think about the possibility of "us" at the time. Long story short, its been 8 months and my parents want nothing to do with him. They admit that he's not all that bad but they hated the fact that someone his age would be interested in me...they told me it meant that he must be a pervert and just wants to get in my pants or that he must be immature. He is neither of those things. I'll admit that both he and I like to act immature and joke around a lot but we can be serious if we have to, we're just happy, playful people. After all this time, we still haven't had sex though the want is there on both our ends. Neither of us are virgins but we both regret that fact. We've both become rather religious through the past few years by ourselves which is why we met in the first place. My mother, who is a wannabe Wiccan, dislikes that he takes me to church on Sundays, which is really the only time I see him anymore since my family wants me to stay away from him. Another reason they tell me they don't like him is because he doesn't have a full time job. No, he doesn't, he's currently working part time as a temp for a factory while he's not at college. He only goes to college part time because for financial reasons though he'd gladly go full time if he were able. He works on his off hours at a cafe during the school year so my parents can't say he's lazy or unmotivated, he's doing the best he can with what he's been given. My parents have this fantastical image in their head that he should be going full time to college while holding a full time job and keeping up with a relationship and his own family who he has to help take care of. Its not possible but nothing I say will dissuade them from their stubborn beliefs. It hurts so much that he tries his best to be the man they want me to marry but nothing he does is good enough. I'm very dependant on them and I think that might be a lot of their problem...I graduated a few months ago but I have no drivers license, no job, and no college planned out. My mothers been going through a divorce so I have to watch my little brothers since we live at my grandmothers and she works from home. No one has tried to help me drive except my boyfriend but with as little as I see him, he can only do so much. Getting a job without my licence is near impossible and I have no money for college and no way to go about getting loans and such on my own. I can see why they'd be worried about me being with an independent man but they never use that as an excuse...and honestly, he's done more for me than they have lately. I guess I just want to know what I could do to ease things between my parents (being my mother and grandma) and him. The tension in the room whenever I want to go out with him or even just bring him up in conversation just kills me.
    -Losing Hope

    ReplyDelete
  59. Dear losing,

    A couple of things strike me about your letter. First, that there is a religious clash, and second, that you count on your boyfriend to help you because you don't drive. I'm also concerned that you don't have a job, aren't seeing college as an option, and that your mother is getting a divorce. These are all heavy issues and may play into the feelings of your mother and grandmother.

    You are never going to dissuade those you love about the feelings they have; all you can do is be honest about your relationship and make good choices for yourself. There will continue to be tension so long as the feelings remain the same, and the only way they will change (for any of you) is if you keep the communication open.

    They may never like him, even after doing all you can to share how you feel about him. In the end, the reality is that you'll have to make a decision for yourself. What do you really want? This is your future we're speaking about. Weigh the pros and cons and make a decision.

    Mom

    ReplyDelete
  60. Hi mom,
    I see that you haven't responded to any comments lately but I'm hoping that you can help me with a situation that I am in.

    I'll start from the beginning. I have lived with my grandparents since I was 10 months old. My mom gave me up and had had nothing to do with my life. My dad was a drunk and died when I was 16. I have my bachelor's and my masters degree and I'm only 23.

    My boyfriend and I met over a year ago and just recently started dating. When I told my gram about him, it was the moat honest I have ever been with her about a guy. I told her that he was 37, was married and divorced, and was going through chemo for hemocromatosis. Immediately my gram hated him because of the age difference but it seemed as if the more I saw him, the more she was accepting of him. Johnny met my grandmother for the first time at my masters ceremony where they seemed to have hit it off. I was so thrilled that regardless of the age difference my gram seemed to really like this guy

    Then I dropped the biggest bombshell on her. When I first told her about my boyfriend, she asked I'd he had any kids. I said if he does I haven't met them yet..which wasn't the truth. So when I told her about a month later, after mg boyfriend and I got into a fight about me keeping his daughter from my grandmother sue nearly had a heart attack.

    She ripped me a new on saying and I quote "another strike against johnny". She said "hrs sick...been married and divorced....he's older than you and now he has a kid. How much more is it going to take for you to get a clue".

    I was crushed. What's worse I was honest with johnny about everything she had said. He assured me that he wasn't going anywhere which tom a huge weight off my shoulders.

    Another fight later my gram was being open and honest about things and she said to me "it's not that indont like johnny. Its just that ili don't approve of him".

    She keeps telling me that she has given her opinion and that it's my decision andbif johnny and I were to get married that she would smile ans bite her tongue.

    I dont know what to do. On the one hand I know that this disapproval stems from when my mom and dad were married and they were 17 years apart. But on the other hand she contradicts herself because she always tells me that as long as a guy treats me right and makes me happy then she's happy. I refuse tk give up my happiness to make her happy nut it seems as if I don't I'm going to be put through hell because of it.

    Your advice is greatly appreciated

    Marrissa

    ReplyDelete
  61. Marrissa,

    Actually, your grandmother seems pretty supporting despite her concerns. I think the decision needs to be yours. She might have to "smile and bite her tongue" if you choose to marry him, but I think she'll support you, even if she doesn't one hundred percent like the situation.

    Be happy that she at least is open to hearing you out. That she's honest with you about her feelings, and wants you to make a good choice.

    Whether or not she is completely with you isn't her problem, it's yours. Do you love this man? Can you be a mother to a daughter who isn't yours? Consider the man's age when he's much older...

    The bottom line is that you need to make the decision, no matter what your grandmother or anyone else thinks. Take their concerns to heart and then make your choice.

    I wish you happiness.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Dear mom,
    I am 26 and my bf is 43. I dont mind abt the age diff at all. Hes bn divorced for the past 14yrs n he has 5 kids frm tht marriage. That too is not a problem to me. I have met his kids n thy like me. Thy actually have been telling him to get married. We ve dated for one year now.

    However, my biggest problem are my parents. They dont approve of him at all because of all his baggage. They think that he will marry me and i will end up like his first wife. I have tried to tell him it was the wife who left him but they dont want to hear abt him.

    They even said that if i want to go get married i can but they will never welcome him to our home and they will never accept anything from him.

    I feel so hurt and feel so much hatred for them.

    What annoyed me more is they said that am getting marrie to a family of fools!!!! I never believed that. I dont know what made them say that because they dont know this guys family.

    They also said that i should not get married to him because people will talk about their daughter. To them, my happiness doesnt count but they are worried of what other people will say.

    I dont know what to do because i Love this man n he Loves me so so much. But my parents words have made me so angry to a point that i dont want to talk to them. His parents dont believe why they should say such stuff l

    ReplyDelete
  63. Dear Trapped in the Middle,

    You do feel trapped, don't you? When a person feels trapped it's because they are trying to please both sides.

    First, Make a decision. Whose side are you on? You are 26 and obviously love this man. The fact that he has children and that he is twice your age doesn't seem to bother you.

    Sounds to me like the choice is yours. If you decide to marry him, do it knowing that a new life awaits you, and it may just not include your parents. If you decide to let him go, and stick with the feelings of your family, consider what you'd be missing.

    In the end it really is about what you want for your life. I wish you happiness.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear mom,
      I'm really stuck on what to do at the moment. me and my mum have been like best friends my whole life. Im 23 and my partners 24 and we live together. me and him had a row the other day. basically he got home from work, started snacking, then i was cooking for him, was close to being done and had no room in the kitchen and he was trying to make scrambled eggs where i was cooking. i told him no, took the pan and went to put it away and he started ranting at me and in the end threw the egg he was holding at the wall and it covered me. i was very angry and upset at him, as we argue frequently anyway and i saw no reason for this behaviour, but i forgave him. he also has aspergers and he was diagnosed with ADHD as a child and i think he still has an aspect of that, but i want to learn ways to cope with that. he also rides a motorbike and the other day went far to fast with me on it (he always goes fast, but this was like 120mph) anyway i was abit upset talking to my mum over an unpaid bill i needed to sort from my old house, and i blurted out the stuff with the egg and the riding to fast, she said dont worry, i need to get it off my chest from time to time and she wont treat him any different. that was two days ago. i spoke to her on the phone this morning and she was saying she needs to take photos of some bad decorating thats been done in her building, so i said me and him will pop up later with his camera and get some pictures. and she said she doesn't think she wants him round her. i reminded her that she promised she wouldnt treat him any different and she started telling me how is she supposed to react and he has ''no regard for her daughters life riding like that and treating her like that''. the phone call got more intense and i told her dont be making me choose between her and him and she said ''im not getting ill for some kid again'' (this was because she did the same thing to my brother because she didnt approve of his girlfriend, i didnt like his girlfriend because she was controlling, refused to work and had hit him, but id rather have him talking to me than not at all so i know hes ok. my mum and brother didnt speak for about 4 years and he cut me out too because of how my mum was). i dont know what to do or say, i feel bad telling my boyfriend my mum hates you because i blabbed about you, i wish i hadnt said anything but it just came out. i dont want to loose contact with her, but i feel that its my life and if im happy to stay with him as we do have alot of good times together and we have been together a year now, then thats up to me? also my mum was with an abusive partner when i was younger that she kept going back to and put me and my brother through hell with that. she thinks im doing the same now but im aware of the signs, dont take any crap and am happy to leave if he ever lashed out at me. i had to accept her boyfriend back time and time again, she needs to do that for me. please some advice, thankyou

      Delete
    2. You said it yourself: "It's my life and if I'm happy to stay with him as we do have a lot of good times together and we have been together a year now, then that's up to me."

      It is up to you. I know you will make the right choice.

      Delete
  64. Dear mom

    I don't know what to do with my situation. I'm 24, living in my own house with my 4 year old daughter and now currently dating a 28 year old guy iv had few past flings with. Back then it was never anything serious. It was what it was. It's been like this for about 4 years and we've both been in relationships when we weren't together but we always end up back together. He's quite the player and a natural charmer. A lot of people know this. I know this and we know practically everything about each other. This time round it feels very different and he's said he would actually like a proper relationship with me which I'm more than happy about. We've been on dates and it's lovely. However iv kept all this as a secret from my parents. They hate him. All my family do. They say he is a waste of space and I'm to stay well clear of him. He's not to go near my daughter or ever step foot in my house. (Quite controlling) They have said that if that happens then they no longer want anything to do with me. They still want to see their granddaughter but don't want to know me all because of him. This isn't the first time they have reacted like this against one of my boyfriends but this reaction was the strongest by far. Iv asked out friends, who know of him and his past, and they've all said they thought we would end up together because we are good together. If our friends can see that then why can't my parents? I know they worry for my daughter but I would never put her in any danger. I just don't know what to do. I want the best of both worlds. To have my boyfriend and still have my family. But I can see them giving me an ultimatum. Them or him. And I really don't want to have to make that decision. Talking to them seems pointless as they've made up their minds about him so what's the next step??
    Some advise please :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes, we can't have the "best of both worlds" as you put it but must make the best decision for us. I have said this over and over again in this post; once you are over 18, and your parents have no real say in your decisions anymore, it really is up to you to decide what you want. If talking to them won't work because "they've made up their minds" then what you have left is your decision. Consider your child in this situation. What is best for her? Is it to have a father or grandparents? They say they'll still see their granddaughter if you choose him, but be prepared for endless stress as you try to balance your man and those who raised you. If you were my daughter, I would love you either way. If I did not approve of the boyfriend you would know it, but I would never want you out of my life because I did not agree with your choice. I wish you luck.

      Delete
  65. Dear mom,

    I have a boyfriend. We've been together for almost five years, and I'm hoping it'll be for longer. We're very happy together. Yes, we do fight, we have arguments, but we are always able to patch things up.

    However, my mother didn't know about this, until very recently (last night, as a matter of fact). It just came to a point where my mother asked whether I had a boyfriend, and I couldn't lie anymore, so I had to admit to it. She got really angry at me (and I understand why. It's my fault after all). She's told me not to expect her to be nice to him or his family, that he'd be no good, since he allowed for such a relationship, that I'm being stupid, that I was the one causing all the animosity between her and my bf and between her and me. I know all of this is true, and I regret it. I've been kicking myself in the head for even letting things go this far.

    I was planning to introduce her to him some time, and I was just mustering enough courage to do so. I know I shouldn't give any excuses for this behavior, but I was scared to introduce her to him because he's not finished with schooling yet (he's almost 25 and I'm 24), and I was very much afraid that she'd alienate him or mock him (I suppose this WILL happen now, because of what I did), but I really do want to introduce him. Sneaking around is not a very nice way of dealing with things (and I know I've been unfair to everybody). How should I introduce him to my mother? Or is that no longer a good idea? I would be very happy to read your opinion on this as a mother.

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  66. You're never too late to make things right. So, you hid behind a lie for five years, now start again. Begin today. Show your mom that you're willing to make things right. She might show some initial hesitation, but if I were your mom, I would be glad that you were taking the initiative. Secret lives rarely work and being more open with your mom may actually curb any future arguments.

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  67. Dear Mom,
    I'm 19 and I met a wonderful man at work, "H" (he is 20) who I have been dating nearly 6 months. We hit it off on the very first day we met and were talking nonstop for over 8 hours. I have an incredible amount of chemistry with him. We can carry on a conversation about pretty much anything, we make each other laugh, he's VERY sweet and kind to me, he respects me, treats me like a princess, he is attractive, and we share many interests, opinions, ideas, and thoughts. I can count the things we disagree on on one hand and they're all silly things like yay or nay about iced coffee; when one of these things comes up it turns into playful conflict which only brings us closer. Maybe it sounds odd to say all this after only 6 months, but all the times we've spent together have been full days and we text for hours when we can't see each other. He lives about 36 miles away and neither of us can drive, plus he has a fulltime job and is working toward paying for college and I'm an on-call temp at that same job and going to college part time. Thus usually we see each other either at work or on Saturdays, when we go on dates, but our best times are together. I love him and he loves me. I'm so, so happy with him.
    But here comes the problem. My parents hate his guts. Keep in mind they've never met him. All they know about him is how he looks and that I like him. They've always been VERY VERY paranoid, specifically about people. They barely trust anyone and base all their concerns on fears from their own past experiences. They've had a LOT of bad experiences including rape and physical fights, with Hispanics and my boyfriend is part Hispanic. However he is NOTHING like the Hispanics they met. I know Hispanics have a bit of a reputation for being bad news, but he's the opposite of the Hispanics that cause that reputation. They have decided, without even knowing him, that because he is part Hispanic and they don't know him, he is evil.

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  68. (cont.) They have yelled at me, tried to intimidate me, accused him of being scum, a drug dealer, a drug user, a rapist, an abuser, and wimp because he hasn't gone on a 3 hour bus commute to see me, a womanizer, and basically an all-around crook. There is no talking to them about this. Everything I say gets twisted into something they can use against him or me.. If I said he likes the color blue, they would say meth is blue and thus he likes meth. That's not even a joke. They have tried as hard as they can to make me hate him, to tell me he doesn't deserve me and I'm letting myself be "had" by a "spic" and he's dirt that will never amount to anything, that he doesn't really care about me and I'm naive to think he does. They even tried to convince me I only like him because his mom gives me rides sometimes! They've threatened to hurt him and call authorities on him, they've told me I better move out with my attitude, they've continually told me I better not have sex with him and basically male parts are the devil and all men want is to F me. I have been very cooperative. I never snuck around, obeyed their wishes that I hang out outside of his house, told them whenever we went out, called when I got there, called in the middle, called when we were leaving. I thought this would earn me trust. Until recently they seemed to be fine with us, they only asked the occasional question like "he's not all over you in public is he " etc. I was fine with that, I was mature and understanding and answered truthfully. I was so glad they were respecting my decision and letting me be happy with the man I love. But now I think they're realizing things are getting more serious, and its coming out that they were hoping I'd grow out of him and it wouldn't last. It didn't help that on the same night they Rampaged about him our very rude Hispanic neighbors had been playing obnoxious music very loud all day long and it was driving them nuts.
    They have never even met him. He is ok with meeting them but they say they're not ready to. So how can they keep saying he's a crook because they don't know him, while saying they're not ready to meet him? There has been a lot of yelling and I feel like this is just the beginning. They wont let up. They've created a monster in their minds, and at this point even if they meet him they wont back down, they'll just twist their new knowledge to fit the imaginary monster.
    They say they dont want me hurt, but the only ones hurting me are them. They accuse me of hating them and if I try to defend my partner they say "look what he's doing to us he's making our daughter betray us". They are a biracial couple! They dare to complain about racism against them while using racism and their bad luck with Hispanics as the only basis for their made up reasons to hate my man. I don't want to choose to hate either them or my boyfriend! I love him and despite their shortcomings I love them too.

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  69. (cont. Sorry this is so long!)) They haven't done everything right but they're still my parents and I wish they wouldn't be so volatile toward the person i chose. They have no respect for my choice and think they should dictate who is right for me! I know its my choice but making a choice that doesn't agree with my parents hurts. I want all the people i love to get along. I'm afraid to even have them meet because of the threats that have been made. I can't reason with them. At this point i would like to move out. I dont want to live in fear just because they want to. I love my boyfriend and I can see us together for a long time. But my parents just wont believe me or see my side or admit that any love other than theirs might be valid. I can't stand how they are treating me and I don't see an end to it. They will try to wear me down until I hate him like they do. They will try to drill their opinions into my mind until I believe them. Though I could never hate him, Naturally my mind is beginning to associate him with rebelling against my parents and their unjustified upset. He makes me so happy and I wish my parents could see that. I want to be happy with him, and I want them to meet him and like him but they've already dehumanized him and they never go back from that, I've seen it happen before. Once they dehumanize, they never rehumanize. They hate admitting they're wrong, they're very difficult people to work with and I fear they will never accept my relationship and this could end with me moving away and becoming estranged from them to preserve my relationship. I really don't know what to do. He's made my dreams come true. I don't want to leave him. But I want to keep the peace with my parents too. Please help me.

    -in a corner

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  70. Dear In a Corner,

    The first thing that strikes me about your letter is that although you appear upset about your parents decisions, you still love them and "want all the people (you) love to get along."

    That being said I was struck by your mention that your parents were "VERY VERY paranoid," and that they "base(d) all their concerns on fears from their own past experiences."

    How can a person not base their fears and concerns on past experiences or something they have learned about through their lives? You call them paranoid? Perhaps they are "careful" because of their fears and past experiences.

    This is a gift. A gift.

    If we don't look to the past to see how to change the future, we'll keep doing the same things we have always done; in a nutshell, we'll get what we've always gotten.

    I know you want to stay with your boyfriend, but sometimes you can't have it both ways. I wouldn't continue to hide him; (see my previous answer on this blog) but neither would I expect that you can make everyone happy all of the time.

    It's just not being realistic.

    I'll say it again. You must make your choice. If you are over 18, then you must choose between the boyfriend or your parents. If, after you've introduced him, and if your parents still take issue against him, you must make the final decision, but keep in mind that they have had experiences that you haven't. And this is something that should never be taken lightly.

    I wish you luck.

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  71. Hi, thanks for replying so fast. The biggest worry I have is that they're too far gone in their assumptions that after meeting him they'll use their new knowledge to make more reasons to hate him. He dresses casual? Only crooks do that. He dresses fancy? He's faking it. Somewhere in the middle? He's lazy. Etc. And they only hate him because of his race. I fear they wont go back from that. How can I have them meet him without conflict?

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  72. You really can't force any issue. Sorry. What you can do is explain your intentions in having them meet, perhaps have an intermediary person there to ward off conflict (someone who isn't emotional connected to the situation), and then be as calm as you can yourself during the meeting. Your positive attitude will say volumes. If they still get angry, that is, after all, their choice. I wish you the best.

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