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How Do I Talk to My Family About Moving in with My Girlfriend?

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From Canada: Hello, I have a problem and I need some advice. I’ve moved back in with my mother and sister due to my father passing away two years ago. My long distance girlfriend and I are at the point where one of us has to move to be with the other. I’ve tried convincing her that moving here would be good. She lives in the southern states. I live in Canada. I don’t know how to start a conversation with my family about moving in with my girlfriend. While this doesn’t seem like a big deal, my girlfriend has depression issues and has threatened suicide before. My family knows this and I think they are suspicious of her. Thank you in advance.

How Do I Talk to My Family About Moving in with My Girlfriend?

Answered by on -

A.

The simple answer is that a 35-year-old man doesn’t need to talk to his family about taking the next step in a relationship. But I think what you are really asking is how to help your family accept your girlfriend when they are worried that her depression may set you up for tragedy. If that’s the case, all I can suggest is that you tell your family members that you appreciate the love that is behind their concern and reassure them that you love her enough and are strong enough to manage the not-so-good with the good. Then simply ask them to respect your decision and to give your girlfriend an honest chance.

Hopefully, your girlfriend has gotten appropriate treatment and knows how to manage her depression. Hopefully, you can help your family get to know her for all the good reasons you are in love with her so they will understand why you want to make a life with her.

Do think carefully about who should move where. If your family is really against the relationship and won’t be welcoming, it may not be fair to ask your girlfriend to come to your country — at least not yet. Remember, if she moves, she won’t have her natural supports and will have disapproving in-laws. It might be advisable for you to go to the States for a time to solidify your relationship to the point that your family gets used to the fact that she is in your life. I don’t presume to know the right answer. I’m suggesting that you and your girlfriend take the time to really talk it through.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

How Do I Talk to My Family About Moving in with My Girlfriend?

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). How Do I Talk to My Family About Moving in with My Girlfriend?. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 23, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/05/20/how-do-i-talk-to-my-family-about-moving-in-with-my-girlfriend/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.