Sacrificing Everything for Studies

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I am a 17 year muslim girl. an i am having a really tough time with my family. my dad an mom. hate the guy i am dating. just because his a non muslim. his a catholic. but he loves me. an i love him sooo much. i never want to give up on him. ever.. we have our plans as to how we will one day work stuff out.. and he will ask my dad for my hand in marriage. my parents took my phone an i am not allowed on facebook. and my dad has found out details about my boyfriend. and luckily nothing bad. but still he wants me to break up. and my mom can’t stand him. i have no way of contacting him. i use the landline number to call him. and whenever i get caught they make an extremely huge issue over it.. and it hurts me so bad. because i don’t have the guts to break up with someone who loves me so much. He always understands my position and tells me not to worry and helps me out.. and talks to me very nicely and treats me very well. he’s so caring. i can’t imagine life without him.

i told my dad. that i can’t help it that i am in love with him. and he was like. you have to scarifice stuff you love if you want to study and be somebody in life. just because i am starting a higher national diploma in psychology this Monday. he wants me to put away everything else. i have put away so many other stuff. i am not allowed to go for parties. i am not on facebook. i don’t go to school. not many friends. i don’t have my phone. WHAT MORE??? isn’t it enough of sacrifices? i can’t do this anymore. it’s really killing me. help me. tell me what to do. please.

A: I’m sure your parents mean well. They want you to have the advantages of an education and they want you to stay true to a faith that is central to their lives. They see your involvement with a Catholic boy as a threat to your religion. They worry that spending time with him will be a major distraction from getting the marks you need to do well in life. Neither of those concerns make them bad parents. Instead, the central issue is whether you are old enough and wise enough to make your own decisions about such things.

Complaining isn’t going to change their minds. But there are things that might:

First, take your studies seriously and do well. That will show them that you are responsible about your work and will earn their respect.

Second, you might talk to your parents about how important it is for you to have good social skills if you are to be successful in a career. You can only develop those skills by having friends and learning how to manage distractions and conflicts that may come up. These days, Facebook and a phone are important tools of communication among friends. You need to learn how to manage your time and to use them effectively. You can only learn those things with some practice. Perhaps they would be willing to start with an hour a day of computer time and access to a phone for part of your weekend. Be willing to take things gradually to prove to them that you can handle things responsibly.

Finally, it’s important not to sneak around. If they find out you are seeing your boyfriend in secret, they will interpret it as a betrayal of their trust. Instead, ask if you can bring your boyfriend to your home so they can get to know him for himself instead of whatever ideas they have created in their minds. Your boyfriend’s task is to be polite and respectful during the visits.

Take these things one at a time. The goal is to prove to your parents that you are thoughtful and responsible so they can be more confident that you will be okay if they let go a bit.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 25 Jun 2013

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2013). Sacrificing Everything for Studies. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/06/25/sacrificing-everything-for-studies/

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