How do i deal with my parent's decision?


My mum has recently discovered that i am in a relationship without her knowing it. Behind her back, she called it. She is the type of mother who cannot easily forgive when faced with situations like this.

It has been a week and she hasnt spoken a word to me. I spoke to my dad before i went back to the city where i study and reside during week days. My dad is more in control with his emotions and a good listener. Before i left, we spoke like we do when things like this happens. He told me all the right things to do and to focus on my studies etc.

Now however, going back home as it is the week end, the situation has gotten worse. As soon as i got home, i talked to them both, told them how sorry i was that i kept it from them and i would of course still do whatever it is their decision.

I understand that, as my dad said, i somehow lost or lessen their trust on me. That i would have to work hard to get it back. I was prepared to go through whatever struggles i might face in the process.

After our talk, i spoke to my (older) brother and explained how our talk went. He went upstairs and spoke to my parents. After a while he went back to me and told me my parents would stop me from going to school for a whole term (3 mos/term).

At this, i burst out crying. I could not at all understand why. I had not let my studies fail while i was as well loving someone else. However, I was ready to let go of my boyfriend, whom I’ve spoken to about the situation and is willing to wait for me and the right time, if it pleased my parents and then I was given this punishment i could see no logic to. I dont know if this is some punishment i have to endure until the time comes i have to enroll and they will be letting me study afteral, or if they are seriously considering that they will withold my education as some sort of pain i have to experience first. Its so hard to accept. I know this was a decision made by my mother.

My parents are both devout Catholic. They are both Opus Dei. We go to mass every sunday. My mother is all for following the Will of God. But now i could not see how this is going to help. I am mad, depressed, confused and extremely angry. I don’t know how to cope with this.



Say a rosary for your mother. If your mother is really a devout catholic and does the will of God. She will forgive you. Go in peace!


Wow, I get somewhat angry just reading your post. I assume we are talking university here? As a parent myself, I cannot imagine myself beating up my children by withholding their education. That simply is not a punishment. If your relationship with this other person was not inappropriate, then I see absolutely no reason why your parents should be acting like this. God bless and I’ll say a prayer for you.


Nah, almost all aid is conditional - and should be. Unconditional love and support looks good on paper, like communism looks good on paper. But how it works out in reality…
No, your parents do not OWE you an education. The world needs ditch diggers and hamburger flippers too. ( btw, I am a ditch digger. )
I can offer the OP a shoulder to cry on, but that’s about it.
The only girl I ever had any realistic prospect of marrying - she was crazy about me - her parents objected to me. That was enough, case closed. And no, I didn’t like it. I was heartbroken.But I think parents have a near- absolute right to dictate their childrens associations to any degree. If the children don’t like it, fine, that is their right. They can hit the road without a cent. You don’t know the parents, you don’t know their context, you don’t know the why’s and wherefore’s. The one assumption you can make generally is that they care more about their household than you ever will, and they know more about it than you ever will.


Really? Then what do you have to say about parents who kill and abuse their children? I guess because they have the right to do what they want with their children, there’s nothing wrong with it. I mean, they care about their household, right?

It is one thing for a parent to take an extreme measure if they find out their child has done something equally extreme. If, for instance, a student were doing illegal drugs at school and their parents found out about it, I would fully expect them to refuse to pay their portion of the tuition. You, however, are making the OP’s case sound like she has done something utterly scandalous - she is in college, and maybe this is a newsflash… but dating happens there. What you’re proposing is a scenario in which it is acceptable for parents to blackmail their young adult children into doing what they want using important institutions in their lives (ie, education).

I mean no offense to anyone who works any of the jobs you mentioned (yourself included), however, unless the OP desires working these jobs, I don’t really think it’s your business to tell her to suck it up and realize her parents “don’t owe her an education”. Any well-meaning parent wants their children to do better than they did.


Sounds to me like your parents, especially your mother, have serious control issues.


You are 18? Then you are an adult and make your own decisions! Honestly, you can be a ‘good Catholic’ and a ‘good daughter’ without bowing to parental pressure! If your boyfriend is a good man, Catholic hopefully, I REALLY don’t see how that’s got ANYTHING to do with your parents!

My in-laws tried to control my dh’s life…I quickly put a stop to that, and guess what?! Almost 9 years on my mother-in-law actually RESPECTS me for that!

One advice: live your OWN life, not someone else’s…you only get one chance!


Time to get a fulltime job and move out. Your parents are very controlling and will not change. You don’t have to make a big scene about it, just quietly get your act together.

When you are ready you can resume your education by taking night classes while you work. Many people do this.


Your brother told you your parents would do this?
Have you asked your parents whether this is true?

If it is, does it have something to do with whatever your brother told them after you spoke with him?
If you don’t know, I would check it out. Possibly the whole thing is a miscommunication?

I echo Forgiveall’s advice. Pray for your parents, your mother in particular. It’s an excellent idea anyway, but more so when in conflict with them.

May the peace of Christ fill your heart. :signofcross:


I’m really sorry to hear this story and my heart goes out to you. Arguments with family are some of the toughest (I know from personal experience). I am confused about a couple things though.

If you are 18 (legally an adult), how can you’re parents stop you from getting an education? I mean, they can cut off your funding, but legally, you can tell them where they can get off if they try to control you. Obviously, you have to decide what to do and praying is an excellent things regardless.

The way I see it (and I am no expert, so please do not take my opinion as anything other than that…my personal opinion), there are several ways you can respond (outside the general directive to pray):

  1. Give in completely and do whatever it takes to appease them. Although this has a good chance of working in the short-term, the drawback is is that it shows your parents how they can control you.

  2. Try to negotiate. I see very few benefits to this if you are giving good account. If you’re parents are the domineering types, negotiating probably will not work.

  3. Stand up to them. This will be, probably, the most difficult and toughests, but I think the best one in the long term. There are major risks to this path, notably that your parents may cut you off financially, which would be very tough I think (I am 22, in college and a dependent and that parental is very helpful), but I do not see any other long-term good option.

If you are going to stand up to them, what I would do (again, my personal opinion…I am not an expert), would be to tell them that what they are doing (threatening your education and toying with your emotions) is tantamount to blackmail and is threatening your very future. This is definitely not a Christian way to behave and that, if they wish to dominate and threaten, then you want nothing more to do with them. Further, remind them that, again, if they are going to be so dominating and threatening, that that is not what you would want your future children and spouse (whenever you have your family) exposed to (this puts it on the line: most parents want grandchildren). There is a risk to this and they might cut you off, but you have to ask yourself: is their money worth their domineering and threats?

Also, you should probably go talk to your parish priest about this definitely. I do not know they would say, but something tells me they would agree that your parents actions are unacceptable. Your parents, if they are truly devout Catholics, might be willing to listen to the comments of a clergyman.

Again, let me reiterate, this is only my personal opinion. Pray, speak to your priest and think through your options and make your own decision based on your own thoughts of the matter.


If the OP were a child, I would agree with you that the parents have a say in who the child develops a relationship with. However, the OP is 18 years old and while the OP will always need to show her parents the respect due them, they (the parents) absolutely do not have a right to dictate whom their child is allowed to become friends with. A parent, who continues to treat an adult-child as a minor, certainly has control issues and needs to back off. A parent who USES a formal education to control their adult-child’s actions is, IMHO, pathetic. The OP stated that her mother was upset (at least in part) because the OP had developed the relationship without notifying her mother about it; “behind her back” was the expression that I believe was used. That alone indicates that it is all about control and not really about the actual person the OP has become friends with. In other words, “Because, you didn’t ask my permission to become friends with < fill in a name >, I’m going to punish you by jeopardizing your education.” That is simply over the top! You are however correct that I do not know all of the particulars of the situation. However, if a child grows up believing that her parents will be there for her college education, and then when the time comes for her to attend university, her parents start blackmailing her as part of the deal, I find that reprehensible. Of course, the parents should not be expected to provide a free university education to their children; however, for those parents that choose to do so, they should not place these types of “controlling methods” on their kids.


thank you all for trying to understand my situation.

Yes, I’m in university and I’m also 18. I only turned so 6 days ago.

The way i see things for them, they think that this punishment should serve me well and teach me not to make decisions like that. To show me that I am still a part of their household and that i should abide by their rules. And also to learn to make sacrifices for the whole family…

I do gets this all, I really do…An i must admit that i still need their support. Just because something went wrong, i knw that even how hard this is to accept, I cannot just walk away and not try to fix this anymore…

What i just dont understand is: Whats going through their heads and How can they accept the fact that it is because of them that i my life is hanging by a thread. How can they emake this punishment equal to what i have done.

:frowning: :mad:


It’s up to you to decide if you are going to tolerate their actions. Talk to your Priest (I would highly recommend this). Also, tell them what you’re telling us.

Remember, they can cut you off financially, but remember just how strong a counter you have: you’ll cut them out of your life, that you’ll never speak to them again, you’ll never let them see your future family. To threaten your education is to threaten your future.

Is there anyway you can be more self-supportive (i.e. scholarship/financial aide, student loans, getting a job, etc.)? It would help you get out from under their thumb as it were.


An old saying that I always keep in the back of my mind:

“Be good to your children; they are the ones who will select your nursing home.”


As an old grown-up, I need more information.

1.) Was “not dating or seeing anybody” part of the agreement you made when you went to college, in order for them to pay for it?
2.) Without being blunt, you were in an impure situation with this young man, and your parents found out?
3.) Why is your brother acting as intermediary? You can talk with your father, and he is one-half of the parental couple.

I can see them terminating your education for a semester- particularly the summer semester- IF you got yourself in a compromising situation. I think it’s a bit bizarre if you were merely dating somebody and didn’t tell them about it. I don’t see where waiting 3 months will doyou any good, but again, I don’t know the whole story.

That said- You are 18. You have a choice here. If I were you, I would talk with a priest I liked and who had good advice- alone. I would not go to my parents’ priest. I would not go to my brother. I would then either tough it out, or I would find a job, get myself a female roommate, file for aid on my own citing the reasons (and don’t let anybody fool you- there are people in the 18-25 age bracket who have not been in the military and are not single parents who DO get indpendent aid), and do it on my own.


I understand

No. Dating was never part of the agreement. We didn’t have a deal about it either. I had always thought that it would be my decision. My parents are the sort who would help me get through life because it is the right thing to do. And i am their daughter after all. But my mother has a huge temper, and she knows it. She can overreact at simple misunderstandings and it can last for weeks, I admit I’m scared senseless of her.A couple of times in my life i have been (and so has my brother and my sister) scared like this when we managed to make a mistake. Only this time they’ve decided to turn to my education. My dad is a lot more reasonable.
But in situation like this when my mother’s emotions are almost out of control,he would just yield to what she wants, belieing also that it is for the best. Although, money has never been an issue.

I don’t know how you mean by impure, but my mother saw a picture of us hugging, and on a normal basis you cannot see more than as a friendly hug. She saw this because my Aunt (without even talking to me first about it) sent this picture to her email adding some false caption on the picture, purely based on her opinion. If i had said that
he was just my friend (without the caption that is) it would have seemed completly so. Meaning that i have not done what she can call scandalous or improper. But as i was on the hot seat already, i cannot lie to her. SO i told her that that man, my friend for more than 4 years, indeed is now my boyfriend.

My brother intevened in the situation, in a way because it had been a week sincemy mother and i had last spoken to each other. While i was away for a couple of day my brother told me my mum has been venting all her emotions to him, and according to him, he had heard things that he thought we should have all heard. So at the moment he is acting like a bridge for my mother, since she would only speak to him. Ever since then he has been urging me to talk to my mother and now to give her a little space.

As i am living in the Philippines at the moment, i cannot file for aid. They do not have this for young adults. However, if worse comes to worse, i will have to find a way to get a job.

Right now, im very confused if all this is even right…or wrong.


Above poster took the three questions out of my mouth -

I’d add one more - did you flat out lie to your folks?

“Honey, are you dating anyone”

“No, mom”

Perhaps the punishment is for dishonesty?


it didnt even occure to me to lie.
no…i didnt lie to them and i wont.


When you say you live in the Phillipines, that does give a different light.

Many of us answer from the standard US American POV, it seems you many have cultural differences here as well.

I agree, speak to your Priest.


it didnt even occur to me to lie.
no…i didnt lie to them and i wont.

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