Parents don't like boyfriend (fiance-to-be)


#1

I’m 25 and I’ve been dating my boyfriend for two years now. Based on our discussions, we want to get married next summer, so he should propose any day now. Anyway, to make a long story short, my parents don’t like him. They think that I’m too young to get married and that people shouldn’t be married until they have lived their lives longer and have worked more: probably until their early or mid 30s.

My parents are very old-fashioned, but I also think that they are more possessive rather than “conservative.” I’m conservative myself. I mean, I’m a 25-year old virgin and my boyfriend is a 28-year old one as well. We don’t live together or anything like that. He even asked my dad permission to date me, before we started going out, which my dad granted. However, a month after that, my parents started asking me not to bring him home to visit me or wouldn’t let me go out with him. After that they said that they didn’t like him and didn’t want him around. I asked them why and they said that they “didn’t know.”

Right after that, I ended up moving out from their house to another city where my boyfriend lived, because I found another job and for those two years I barely talked with my parents, so at this point, they don’t know him. Now I do talk to my parents, but they don’t ask anything about my boyfriend or don’t want to know anything about him.

This is a stressful situation for me, because I love my parents and now knowing that I don’t necessarily have their blessing just kills me. What kills me the most is that their reasons for not liking him don’t have any substance: he is a teacher so he doesn’t earn much–that’s why they don’t like him. They even tell me that the fact that he is a “great Catholic” is not enough.

Anyway, he is not welcomed at my parents’ so he won’t ask them if he can marry me. I would probably have to go and tell them and I’m just terrified in the sense that I’m scared of how depressed I’ll be when they say that they don’t agree with the wedding.

I’ve talked to my grandma, who knows and likes my boyfriend, and she said that she tried talking to my parents to ask them to welcome my boyfriend to their home, because that was the man I had chosen and they pretty much yelled at her for telling them that. :frowning:

I wonder if any of you have had similar experiences and if there is any advice you can give me. I would greatly appreciate it. May the Lord bless you all.


#2

Your fiancé sounds like a great guy! ( ok your soon to be fiancé ).
Sorry you are going through this. You should try talking more to your parents. They seem pretty great too despite their reasons for not liking your fiancé. They will just HAVE to like him.

I certainly don’t think you are too young at ALL to get married! Teachers are very noble in my opinion.


#3

You have an obligation to honor your parents. That to me implies that you have to ask again why they do not like him specifically. If they answer to you then you have an obligation to listen to them and to consider their explanation. They are probably doing things in your interest, and probably with their own bias.

Once you asked and listened to them, and if you do not see any moral or ethical (or even gut feeling) reason that will stop you from marrying this man, you talk to a priest and the both of you invest time in the preparation for marriage.


#4

Well, I’ve already tried talking to my parents and I feel bad saying this, but my parents are not very “rational” people in the sense that you can’t just sit down and have a civilized conversation with them. Every time we have started talking, they end up yelling and insulting.


#5

Your parents sound very difficult. My suggestion is that you should look into getting some counseling to help you resolve your relationship with your parents before you move on to marriage. I think that people underestimate the way that their relationship with their parents influences who they choose for a spouse and the communication and conflict resolution styles that they will take into marriage. What I am finding, going through a divorce, is that I still have lots of issues to work out with my parents. Definitely think about counseling so that you can go into your marriage ready to give it your best.


#6

It just doesn’t make any sense to me that they don’t like him based on what you are saying. They haven’t given any reasons??? That makes no sense.

  1. You are not too young
  2. He is a teacher… great!

?? Any other reasons they have given you?


#7

Well, they think that I moved out because of him and in my parents’ book it is a no-no to move out of the house. They consider it an American “liberal” thing, because we’re Hispanic, not American, so they think that he’s a bad influence on me, which is obviously not true. I love him and he loves me, but we are both two independent people with minds of our own.

Anyway, regarding counseling. I can completely understand your concerns. I agree completely and have seen the troubles first-hand that parents can cause in a marriage. I also know that they will “command” me not to get married. But as my grandma says, for me not to get married just because they don’t want me to is selfish in itself, because it’s not like they are sitting down with me and enumerating the reasons why they think he would be a terrible husband. They just “don’t like him, period”. It is not like they are helping solve the situation or to find common ground. They are standing where they are and they’re not moving. My priest, who knows my family and my boyfriend as well, told us that he is not marrying my family but me instead, so given how unreasonable my parents have been with us, he thought that we shouldn’t stop because of them.


#8

I hope your parents will slowly but surely accept him. Is he Hispanic too? Are there cultural issues?


#9

This makes more sense now, knowing that you come from a hispanic family. I’ve talked to a lot of friends where there has been a culture clash as far as their parents’ expectations for their futures, especially in regards to marriage and careers. The end result when you make a break with tradition is that they eventually do come around, afterall you are family. What’s more you may even be opening up doors for some of your younger family members.


#10

No, he’s American :slight_smile: I mean, it’s not like they’re Anti-American or anything, because they are absolutely OK with all of my American friends getting married to their girlfriends or boyfriends and whatnot. They are all good people in their eyes, but my boyfriend is not. I mean, if we would live together or would be leading “sinful” lives, then yes, I understand why they wouldn’t like him. But none of that is true in this case.


#11

Not to contradict your Priest… however, when you marry a person you DO become part of their extended family.

Maybe you and your parents can sit down with a good Priest and work this out?


#12

Hi Augustinian…in your last thread about your bf, you indicated that he didn’t seem like he wanted to get married…and that you guys broke up? Did you get back together? If so, I’m glad to see that he seems to be realizing that you are special, and that you feel he will ask you to marry him soon.:slight_smile:


#13

Ahhhh makes more sense. I have seen this situation countless times with other cultures too ( I don’t even know any Hispanics up here in Canada! How deprived am I ?!?! )

Do you think eventually they will come around??


#14

Do you think they’re against this because he’s American? When my cousin married a Mexican most of my family was upset because she married a Mexican. They all have friends who are Mexican but they want families to stay the same ethnically (they wished she had married someone else who was Polish like her siblings did). Your parents may be of the same mindset…they have no problems being friends with others of a different ethnicity, but when it comes to their own family they don’t want anyone to bring in an ethnic outsider. And if this is their thinking, they’ll never admit it in fear of being called bigots or racists.


#15

He is a good Catholic, you are both virgins, and other than income, your parents won’t say why they don’t like him? Pardon me for being blunt, but I guess your parents won’t have to spend much on colonoscomies, considering how far up their rear ends their heads are…

Your parents are violating CCC# 2230 regarding the duties of parents to their children:

usccb.org/catechism/text/pt3sect2chpt2.htm#art4

Your parents are not supposed to exert undue pressure, but give “judicious advice”. Simply saying “I don’t like him” does not qualify as “judicious advice”.

There are numerous threads and posts here regarding difficulties of single life and finding a good Catholic spouse after 30. Would your parents want you in that situation?

You’ve got a chance many of us would give our right arm for - take advantage of it if you analyze it is beneficial for you!


#16

I thought you broke up with him. Maybe your parents don’t like him because they have watched him jerk you around on a chain for two years and they have their own ideas about him and they just aren’t telling you. (It’s tough to be a parent. If you say stuff, you might throw two unsuitable people closer into each other’s arms. If you keep your own counsel and don’t say anything, then you are accused of not being reasonable and not giving any good reason for your opinion.)

You said last month your parents wouldn’t pay for the wedding. Your boyfriend was going to go talk to them. Now you say he won’t talk to them. He was going to propose, then he needed more time. It sounds to me that both your boyfriend and your parents treat you the same… your feelings don’t seem to count with either group. Both your parents and your boyfriend do what they want and don’t give you reasons why they feel as they do.

I see a pattern here you might want to examine yourself. Or you will end up marrying a situation that replicates an unsatisfactory one with your parents. It may feel familiar, but it won’t feel comfortable after a while.

What do YOU want? If you want respect from your family and from your boyfriend, then you have to demand it. And if no is their answer, make your relationship decisions based on that. If you can’t do that, then maybe your parents are right. You are too “young” to get married. There is a difference between walking down the aisle and being led to the altar. The choice you make must be freely made without any coercion. (For or against.) Do you have siblings? What is their status? What are their relationships like? What do they think of Boyfriend?

But maybe your parents are justified in not liking your boyfriend because of his past pattern of making you unhappy and stringing you along while he dithers and dallies. Or maybe he didn’t show them the proper respect. I think you need to dig deeper for their real reasons here.


#17

I jumped the gun and I hurt him a lot by breaking up with him and not giving him a chance to explain himself. We had a really good talk about marriage, our relationship, and our plans and why he hadn’t proposed yet and it seemed sensible and reasonable. We have had two great years of a beautiful relationship and I bottled every worry I had up instead of communicating it to him, so we just needed to be on the same page.

Anyway, as I said, my parents and I did not talk AT ALL for two years, so there was no way my parents could gauge how my boyfriend treated me, which in itself it’s a mistake, because if it would be my daughter I would want to know very well how this guy treats her. They have today the same image of him that they had after a month of only talking to him a few times so even if my boyfriend would have made me suffer a lot, which is not the case, they wouldn’t have known about it.


#18

Well, again, I see a pattern here of inefficient communication that you may have learned in your home growing up. Keep it all bottled. Don’t talk about things if you are upset. Until it blows up and all the damage is done.

If you do go ahead with marriage, be sure to get good premarital counseling about communication techniques. Your parents’ example of shutting down, your ability to go two years without communicating with your own parents and the ups and downs you have with your boyfriend need to be ironed out before you walk down the aisle. It will make for a happier you down the road.

From a parents’ perspective, if my daughter a. got a new boyfriend and b. soon after stopped all communication with me, I would deduce that c. boyfriend is to blame for changing my daughter and turning her against me and causing a close relationship to be ruined.

So I would resent him too and not want to see him. I think they may have a different version of this story as they see it. You really need to get at the heart of their concerns. Or you will spend your life caught in the middle of a game of tug of war. Good luck.


#19

I agree! At least try working all of this out. If there is even a chance that you could improve the relationship with your parents before the wedding, it is worth a shot!

From your parents’ perspective, the responsibility for you moving out and not talking to them for two years may fall directly on your boyfriend’s sholders. That could create a whole lot of hurt. I think you’re going to need to talk with them, no matter how difficult it is, and communicate to them that you made those decisions freely. Plus, tell them exactly how much their approval of your relationship means to you. Let them know that you care what they think and that you want them to get to know your boyfriend and like him.


#20

I personally believe grandma knows more than she’s saying, but doesn’t think it’s her place to tell you. She’s already been yelled at once. I’m sure she got an earful from your parents.

Then again, if they didn’t show her the proper respect then there may be a pattern here.


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