Can I Mend the Relationship with My Girlfriend’s Parents?
From an 18 year old in Italy: My girlfriend and I are in a serious relationship for a long time now (both of us are in high school). We live very far from each other so we can’t see each other often. My girlfriend is younger than me so we can’t meet whenever we want, only when her parents approve that.
When I visited at their home (for the first time) and stayed there for a few days, her father called me before I came and talked to me about us (me and my girlfriend). He asked me to give me his word that we won’t have sex.
Long story short, we had sex and he found out about it. On the phone I gave him my word that I’ll do my best to avoid such thing but I suppose that he thought that I give my word that I won’t do it.
After he found out he was extreamly mad (he found out after I was gone) and said to my girlfriend things such as: “He betrayed me and he will betray you”. He also suggested her to end it with me because “I’ll betray her as well”. I really want her parents to like me because my relationship with her is very serious and hopefully, will last very very long.
I don’t know how to fix this and I’ve tried. I sent both of her parents a message in order to show them that I want to talk to them about what happened but they didn’t reply. I feel hopless because I can’t have bad relations with her parents.
I usually don’t type in these places but I need more opinions and tools to fix this mess.
Do you think they’ll forgive me in the end?
Do you think they’ll like me again?
Do you think they’ll think I am worthy for their daughter?
I don’t think this is relevant but I am very successful when it comes to studies and I am also very responsible and very mature. I tried to stop us from doing it but she was stubborn and after lots of “are you sure we should do this?”, we did it. I can’t bare that I am a disappointment to her parents because it’s not who I am. People are usually impressed by me so it also hurts.
Please help me with your opinion and take this seriously.
A: You are not as mature as you think you are. You are trying to avoid taking full responsibility by suggesting you only said you’d “do your best” to avoid sex, not that you gave your word. You then put blame on your girlfriend for being “stubborn”. Really? The father had every reason to believe that you were making a promise. He extended himself by allowing a visit and you did betray his trust. As the older person, it was your job to withstand your girlfriend’s insistence.
Your girlfriend is younger than you are. Her parents are only doing a parent’s job by being protective of her. Although her dad may be mistaken that betraying him means you would betray her, he does have grounds for wondering when a promise from you is meaningful.
I think it will take a long time for her parents to want to support your relationship again. Trust is one of those things that is hard to win and easy to lose. You and your girlfriend can try to repair the relationship with them but it will require that you both take full responsibility for breaking their trust. You will also probably have to accept that the only visits will be highly supervised.
You’ve had a hard lesson in what it means to be trustworthy. I hope you can learn from it.
I wish you well.
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2017). Can I Mend the Relationship with My Girlfriend’s Parents?. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 25, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2017/09/17/can-i-mend-the-relationship-with-my-girlfriends-parents/