My Parents Hate My Boyfriend (Or Partner)! What Should I Do?

If you’re saying, “My parents hate my boyfriend,” (or whoever is your significant other, whether you’re a man or a woman), you’ve got a tough row to hoe. Hate is a strong word, but if you're in a situation where, "My parents hate my boyfriend" (or partner), stress is sure to follow.

No doubt you’ll experience lots of arguments and unhappiness. You’ll be torn over where to spend your time. The joy you experience in your relationship will be muted by discord. At the end of the day, if you’re saying, “My parents hate my boyfriend” (or partner), you’ll no doubt be looking for solutions to smooth the waters.

The dislike can stem from many sources. Your family may not like your partner’s personality, an age difference, background, race, lifestyle or financial situation. If you’re young, your parents may still feel they deserve a loud, active voice in your choices. Your family cares about you and wants only the best in your life. But in their eyes, the person you love isn’t it. So what can you do?

There are no easy answers, and it does depend on how serious your relationship is and where you expect it to go. But at minimum, communication is a must. You need to hear out your family members and they need to listen to you.

Advises Jennifer Tyon, relationship advice guru at (Calgary), “You should sit your parents down without your boyfriend in the room and have a calm, mature heart to heart. They may be completely unaware of what they are doing. Tell them that they must respect your relationship and be polite . . . The hurtful comments must stop. Let them know that it hurts you when they make rude remarks . . . Tell them that you're going to date whomever you choose and that their opinion is unwanted. It's probably going to be an uphill battle but once it becomes clear to them that their opinion will not affect your actions they will hopefully focus their energy in more positive ways.“

When you're trying to resolve the issues when, "My parents hate my boyfriend," you might also remind your family that it’s your life and your right to determine the paths you take. This is often hard for parents to accept because they don’t want to see you hurt. But whose life doesn’t have ups and downs? Many people believe that we grow more from our disappointments than our successes.

Once you’ve made your feelings clear, you might try small, short, informal gatherings with your partner and family members. Get an agreement in advance that everyone will be polite and make an effort to interact positively. You are the bridge between your partner and your parents. Try to focus the conversation on neutral topics that won’t cause riffs.

Other experts say time is a healer in this difficult situation when, "My parents hate my boyfriend." Your parents might eventually be more accepting when they see, over the long-term, how happy your partner makes you. Your joy might mitigate their angst.

Finally, though it may be hard to hear, put emotions aside and examine whether your parents have any valid points. Is your partner truly the best person for you? Are any of your family’s concerns legitimate? If they are, can you and/or your partner change anything to address them? A positive response to some of your parents’ concerns might help. At minimum you’ll demonstrate that you’re listening to them and that could help broker a compromise.

If you’re in a situation where, “My parents hate my boyfriend,” (or partner), communication, time and compromise can be the optimal approaches to this tricky situation.

Visit these pages for more information:

Skills To Help Resolve Family Conflict

Techniques To Improve Family Communication

Time Management Tips Give You And Your Partner More Time Together

Addressing Separation Anxiety In Children

Angry Kid? Here's Five Tips You Need To Know

Managing Anger In Your Child: Assertiveness Vs. Aggression

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