I don’t know what to do

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I’m 14 and I’ve been going out with my boyfriend for a about a year know. It’s been good..but my sister found out we’re together.Well she pretty much just put the pieces together..we were talking on the phone at like 4 in the morning..shes met him before..but i introduced him as a friend..she was ok with us hanging out at first..then when she saw that i talked to him alot..she started getting weird about it.Well she took my phone and she is now ignoring me. I know shes mad because she kept asking me if we were together but i kept saying no.I know shes mad and so is my brother in law..and I don’t know what to say when they start asking me questions..and what to do about my boyfriend..i really don’t want to break up with him..he respects me, he cares about me, and I only talk to him about all my problems, he gives me advice.What should I do?

A: I’m sure there is more to this story. Your sister must be much older than you are and I’m guessing that she is in some way responsible for you since she has the authority to take away your phone. If that’s the case, maybe this will help:

It’s not unusual for kids to have their first romantic interest in their early teens. This one sounds healthy and good except for one important thing. You lied to your sister. You may have thought it was a good idea at the time. You may have had your reasons. But the lie makes your sister worried that something isn’t right. When that happens, an older person usually starts getting more protective and strict. Then the younger person often lies some more to try to keep the relationship. It can keep going back and forth like that until the two are very, very hurt and angry and far apart.

The best thing you can do is apologize for the lying and tell your sister and brother-in-law all the good things about your guy. Ask them to give him a chance. Ask your boyfriend to agree to get together with them so they can see for themselves what a nice guy he is. Yes, it will be awkward. But it’s better to go through an awkward meeting than to keep this tension going among everyone. Good luck.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 14 Aug 2009

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2009). I don’t know what to do. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 19, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/08/14/i-dont-know-what-to-do/