Hello. My concern is basically that my mother who has been divorced for 10 years (maybe longer) says that she hates my boyfriend for these reasons:
1. He reminds her of my father. 2. “There is just something about him I don’t like and I don’t trust him,” she said. 3. She doesn’t like his eyes. 4. Because he is Mexican. 5. He is a contract worker. Your father was a contract worker too and he always lost his job. He doesn’t have a real job. (she says)
My boyfriend is very well educated and is a computer engineer. Yes, contract. But he makes a lot of money and has been taking care of me. My mother is Japanese and she lives in Japan. She met my boyfriend when she came to visit America. I didn’t tell her about him much but I wanted her to meet him so I arranged a dinner at my house. I even kept it casual by inviting my mom’s best friend and her kids (who are adults) too. Before she even met him, she drew conclusions about him and said ugly things like “I don’t like Mexican families.” This is really odd. Because my mom is not usually this judgmental when it comes to race. But I guess she’s an inner racist? Anyway, during the dinner she barely spoke to him. And our dinner was at most 2 hours long. The sad thing is that he knows she doesn’t like him, although I’ve been telling him that she does not and it will be fine.
Now, a year later we are still together and my mom still hates him. Recently he said that for my Christmas present he wants to pay for my plane ticket to go to Japan for New Years (a very important family holiday). He knows how much my family and I miss each other and he wants to do this for me. He is expecting that my family will be kind and welcome him to the family and let us stay at my family’s home. I believe that the rest of my family will really like him. But, I am scared to tell my mom that we are going to Japan. And I am also scared to tell my boyfriend IF my mom refuses to let him stay with us and join in the family festivities.
The story of mothers and fathers not liking the choice their child has made for his or her lover is as long as recorded history. From Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to many current-day movies, the story of prejudice and racial bias in imbedded in the evolution of relationship.
Since you list your age as 24, I’d say it is time for you to be direct with your mother, Let her know that her protests are not going to change how you feel — and that they have more to do with her past than your future. I’d be very clear with her that if she can’t welcome you both, that you aren’t interested in a trip marred by her poor attitude. If your mom can’t accept your decisions, let her know you will wait until she can.
The process of individuation is difficult, but you cannot live your life trying to please your mother. If you do you are likely to hold a resentment that will affect your relationship with her anyway.
I’d also talk to other family members about your concerns to get their input. Right now you and your boyfriend are the target, but they may have an interest in helping you because it may be helping them downstream.
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 Divorced Mother Hates My Boyfriend. Psych Central.
Retrieved on May 25, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2016/07/23/my-divorced-mother-hates-my-boyfriend/
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.