Family Unhappy with New Boyfriend

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I have a bad history- married and divorced twice with 2 kids, have made tons of impulsive bad decisions that have set me back in life(no jail time or addictions mind you)most have been financially and emotionally draining decisions- have been on meds for 5 years and single working on me and my children— i have made tons of mistakes, but over the last 6 months have met a great stable man(great job, great dad, wonderfully supportive to us) and he has bought a home for us with the intention of marrying and us being a family- with all this said my family is starting to cut me out of their lives- my dad is constantly checking in on me like im a small child- my mother is insistant on having my boys visit more and also is saying negative things to them about me and the impending move negative things and my sisters arent speaking to me much and im very afraid of loosing my family- what do i do— i don’t want to lose my family but feel after 5 years and a lot of searching that my boys and i deserve this happiness and chance to have a real family- am i wrong to want to be happy? Should i cut the relationship off to appease my parents and family?

A: No, you shouldn’t cut off the relationship. At 32, you have the right to make your own decisions. But I do think you need to walk in your family’s shoes a little. Love is driving their behavior. They’ve watched you make the same mistakes time and again. They are protective of you. They are protective of your kids. They don’t know your new guy the way you do. How do they know he isn’t the same type of “mistake” in another disguise? Six months isn’t very long to know each other before making the decision to make a life together. From their point of view, it may look like you are again acting on impulse.

I wish your family members were able to be kinder in expressing their concern but being angry at them for being concerned will only keep this going. Instead, think about how to help your family and your boyfriend get to know each other. This isn’t going to be accomplished with one awkward meeting. It will mean arranging for various people in your family to spend time with the two of you and your kids. Keep it light. Find ways to have fun, not confrontations. When they see that he’s a good man and that he’s good to you, chances are they will accept him.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 1 Dec 2011

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2011). Family Unhappy with New Boyfriend. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/12/01/family-unhappy-with-new-boyfriend/

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