Q: I am 18 years old and currently trying to enroll in college for nursing. My boyfriend of 5 years finally asked me to marry him, but the problem is my whole family has a problem with it. My parents and my boyfriend dont get along at all. He droped out of school and doesnt have a really good job, so my parents think i deserve better. Education has always been really important to them. I really love him, but i dont want to hurt anybody with this decision. I really want to marry him, but I am 18 years old and currently trying to enroll in college for nursing. My boyfriend of 5 years finally asked me to marry him, but the problem is my whole family has a problem with it. My parents and my boyfriend dont get along at all. He droped out of school and doesnt have a really good job, so my parents think i deserve better. Education has always been really important to them. I really love him, but i dont want to hurt anybody with this decision. I really want to marry him, but i am scared that my family will forbid it like they said they would. Please help me. What should i do?i am scared that my family will forbid it like they said they would. Please help me. What should i do?
A.
There must be something special about your boyfriend for you to feel so strongly about him. You two have been together for a long time. But people who are planning to marry need to also be planning how they are going to be independent adults. It looks like you are beginning to do that by looking into what it takes to start a career in nursing. Good for you. With the nursing shortage what it is in this country, you will be able to make a good living almost anywhere you go. I’m very concerned that your boyfriend isn’t making a similar effort. No matter how much you want it to work, you can’t make a relationship by yourself. It takes both people giving 100% to make a marriage. Without a job or schooling, how is he going to provide his share of the money it will take for you two to be independent adults? No matter how much you love him, how will you respect a man who doesn’t do a man’s share?
Angry exchanges with your parents won’t win approval. Forbidding your marriage won’t make you do what they want you to do. Both sides are missing the point. You want to marry the man you love. Your parents want you to be okay. The best way for everyone to get what they want is for you and your boyfriend to take the mature route and show your folks that you are both doing everything you can to take care of yourselves and each other. My best suggestion is that you and your boyfriend put off the question of marriage for a year and use the time to establish yourselves as young adults who take your future seriously. If your parents see him making a sincere effort and going somewhere in life, chances are they will reconsider their position.
I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 5 Oct 2006

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2006). I’m Scared I’m Forbidden from Marrying my Boyfriend. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 1, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2006/10/05/im-scared-my-parents-will-forbid-me-to-marry-my-boyfriend/