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Caught Between My Parents and the Guy I Love

Asked by on with 1 answer:

From a teen in the U.S.: When I was younger I dated this boy for almost 2 years. He messed up and cheated one night and while i was crying to my mom she said to give him another chance because she really thought it was just a mistake so i did. We had a falling out where we both did things i’m not proud of and we ended up breaking up. We were both immature back then but now we’ve grown up and we’re different people.

I reached out to him a few months ago just wanting to fix the negativity we now had between each other. He was my best friend and I don’t say that lightly. Anyway, things progressed and we talked it out and everything and I believe he has changed. We have both had time to grow and mature. I want to try things with him again because i know how much i love him. It’s worth it to me to give it another shot.

My parents don’t agree and forbid me from ever seeing him again. However, they said i could still talk to him. I understand they are just trying to protect me. but i am 18 and i feel like they don’t have a right to tell me how to feel. I feel like there are some decisions that are my own to make. I have asked them to give him a chance or simply talk to him and they won’t. I don’t want to ruin the relationship I have with my parents but at the same time I’m in love with someone. If he hadn’t changed this would be a different story but he has.

i just don’t know how to get my parents to give him a chance. My dad told me he couldn’t stop me from seeing him and that i was going to sneak around to see him just not to get caught. I personally think my parents have a mute point. because i talk to the boy every day and we have rekindled everything. I’m depressed because of this situation and my parents are hurting me more than they’re helping me. I don’t know what to do.

Caught Between My Parents and the Guy I Love

Answered by on -

A.

I wish I had more information. You are now 18. You say you dated this guy for two years when you were younger. That means that maybe you were 14 or 15 or so, maybe even younger. What you described as “cheating” may have been his awkward effort to separate from a relationship that was too serious too early.

It’s normal for teens to try on different relationships. It’s a time of life when we figure out what kind of person we want to be with and how to be in a relationship. Kids often don’t know how to end a relationship gracefully so do something stupid or thoughtless in an unconscious effort to gain the freedom to do more exploring. It’s hurtful but it isn’t necessarily an indication of the quality of the person when he or she matures.

You are probably right that your parents are only trying to protect you. They saw how much you were hurt. They may not share the perspective I outlined above. They may also have information I just can’t deduce from a short letter.

I also don’t know how you and your parents are are talking to each other about the situation. If you are angrily insisting on your right to love who you want to love, you aren’t showing them the maturity you claim to have. Telling you not to tell him about it if you sneak may have been your father’s best attempt  to grant you some privacy while at the same time avoiding dealing with a situation that is painful for him. Anger and avoidance aren’t helpful when trying to solve a problem.

You are a young adult still living in your parents’ home. It is not at all uncommon for there to be relationship struggles between parents and their kids who are emerging as adults at this stage of life. Most families go through a period of uncertainty and tension around boundaries, privacy, and whose rules are “the” rules. Getting through it together helps the family as a whole transition out of child rearing to adult-to-adult relationships.

There is no need to “ruin” your relationship with your parents in order to have the freedom to explore whether this relationship really does have potential. The three of you do need to find new ways to deal with each other when there are important disagreements. This one won’t be the last one, I assure you.

For that reason, I urge you all to consider seeing a family counselor for a few sessions for some guidance and support. I’m not suggesting that anyone is deficient or “wrong”. I am suggesting that it is important for all of you to find new ways to manage solving problems with each other. If you could do that, you would have done so already. Now is the time to learn some new skills that will set in motion a healthier style for settling disagreements with each other.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Caught Between My Parents and the Guy I Love

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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. (2020). Caught Between My Parents and the Guy I Love. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 1, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2020/04/19/caught-between-my-parents-and-the-guy-i-love/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 17 Apr 2020 (Originally: 19 Apr 2020)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 17 Apr 2020
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.