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I Have to Choose Between My Family and My Boyfriend

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From the U.S.: I am writing to you because the animosity between my family and my boyfriend has been taken to the next level and even involved the police. My dad and brother have always disliked my boyfriend because they think he is disrespectful and irresponsible. My mom loves him because she sees the sweetheart side of him and knows how happy he makes me.

Recently, my boyfriend and I got in a fight, and he came over my house so that we could work it out. He was being annoying and kept asking me for things, which frustrated my brother who felt like he was disrespecting me. The situation then escalated to the point where my boyfriend insulted my brother and things became so physical that my dad and eventually the police were involved.

My parents now expect me to end things with him, but we have been together for 3 years and I love him, but I also love my family and want him to respect them. My parents claim that he is verbally abusive to me and that I need to end the relationship. But he really does treat me well for the most part (of course we have the occasional fight) and he makes me happier than I have ever been. I don’t know what to do because I am afraid of losing him, but I also don’t want to disappoint my family.

I Have to Choose Between My Family and My Boyfriend

Answered by on -

A.

This situation isn’t simple. Yes, your parents aren’t being supportive. But your boyfriend has a part in it. It was certainly inappropriate and immature to be arguing with you in front of your family. The fact that it got physical with your brother worries me. Adults can disagree without getting physical. I can understand why your family is concerned.

You say you love this man. But you’ve been with him since your were only 17. It’s important to consider whether you are in love or in “habit”. Because you are used to each other doesn’t necessarily mean that you are meant to be together for life. He may make you happier than you’ve ever been but at your age you haven’t been an adult long enough to know how happy you could be.

Based on what you shared, I encourage you to take a big step back and to think about if he is a man you would choose now. Give yourself time to develop other relationships so you are choosing from a pool larger than one. Your parents are more likely to be supportive if they see that, after a reasonable break, you and he have grown and still want to be together.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

I Have to Choose Between My Family and My Boyfriend

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). I Have to Choose Between My Family and My Boyfriend. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 16, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2015/05/23/i-have-to-choose-between-my-family-and-my-boyfriend/
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.