My Parents Don’t Like My Boyfriend

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

I’m 20 years old and I’ve been with my boyfriend for 5 years. We love each other very much and I’m very happy with him. He completes me. The problem is that my parents are against this relationship because he is not in college, he is a football player. They think that if I stay with him I won’t have a good life because after his football career he won’t be able to find a well-paid job without college education.

This situation has lead to that I can’t say that I’m going out with him, so I have to lie to my parents with who or where I’m going. They constantly are saying that he’s not for me, that I deserve better and I understand them because all parents want the best for their kids, but it hurts me to hear them saying bad stuff about him. All I want is to have their support and let me decide who is right and who is wrong for me.

Every time I start a conversation with them they end up yelling at me. I want to know how can I change this situation, how can I talk to them without being yelled at, and what should I say so they accept my relationship. I really want this relationship to last.

A: Sometimes out of love parents think they are helping when they are doing the worst thing possible. Your parents only want the best for you, but they are going about it in the wrong way. You are a 20-year-old woman and they are treating you as if you’re half that age.

It is time for you to talk with your parents about their conversations about your boyfriend. Explain to them that what they are doing isn’t making you like your boyfriend less, but actually making you feel more distant from them. Explain that just because they think he isn’t right for you doesn’t change how you feel about him, it only makes you wish they understood your needs better. Finally help them understand that you know the same things about him they do, and that you are willing to make the choice knowing who he is–and who he is not.

I do not think this is easy. I think the process of growing up in general is difficult. Part of what has to happen when you individuate is to let the people who love you know you appreciate their help and their advice and you will consider it, but that in the end they have raised a strong independent woman and you will be making your own decision.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 31 Aug 2012

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2012). My Parents Don’t Like My Boyfriend. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 27, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/08/31/my-parents-don%e2%80%99t-like-my-boyfriend/