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.
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.
Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.
APA Reference Tomasulo, D. (2018). My Parents Don’t Like My Boyfriend. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 11, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/08/31/my-parents-don%e2%80%99t-like-my-boyfriend/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 31 Aug 2012) Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.