Should You Break Up With Someone Because of Their Parents?
Breaking up with someone you still love is one of the most painful things to go through in life. Many have asked "Why would you break up with someone if you still love them?" I was one of them, when I was younger.
But since I have gotten older, and had enough relationship experience to make any girl go crazy, I have learned a few lessons. I know now that loving someone does not mean you are compatible. It may sound sad, but love is not the only thing needed to sustain a relationship. Sometimes issues get in the way such as trust issues, jobs, college, friends, and...family.
That may be no surprise to some, and a total shocker for others. But sometimes in a relationship, you find yourself thinking of ending things because of their family. In this situation, I found that there are some key questions to ask yourself.
Do Their Parents Like You?
Mostly, I thought this question only pertained to high schoolers because of the parents' ability to prevent you from dating certain people. I feel I have been pretty lucky because my father never, ever told me who I could and could not date. He has always been pleasant to anyone I dated, no matter how they looked or what he actually thought of them. He has always let me make my own choices...and therefore my own mistakes.
So when I began a relationship with a man whose mother refused to admit he was 22 and not 12, I was completely beside myself with confusion and frustration. I know now that I was not the only to experience this. It is actually quite common, especially when you date an only child. I'm willing to bet that a large majority of those who will read this have experienced this, or are experiencing it now.
When you have a parent or both that refuse to admit their son or daughter has grown up, it becomes about ten times more important that they like you than in normal dating circumstances. Sure, at some point in any serious relationship, it becomes pretty important that their parents at least ACCEPT you, and life is much easier when they like you. But when an overbearing parent doesn't like you, the relationship can be doomed.
Would you break up with someone because of their parents?
More Importantly, Do You Like Their Parents?
It sounds very harsh to say that this is more important, but let's be brutally honest. How easy is a relationship when you can't stand each other's parents? It doesn't really matter what your reasons for hating them are. Any husband or wife that loathes their in-laws will tell you that holidays are miserable, your blood level spikes whenever they call, and you become a genuis at finding reasons NOT to visit them.
So if you know you can't stand them in the dating phase, why would you devote your life to that sort of stress and misery? The answer for many is love. You will do it because you are in love with your partner. You will take one for the team and become a martyr for that love. The problem is, how long do you think it will take before fights and resent ment arise because of your strained relationship with his or her parents? If they love their parents, they will begin to resent you for not feeling the same, or for trying to pull them apart. And you will begin to resent them because you will constantly find that you come second to their parents in any disagreement.
Think about things like this, and whether you'd rather end the relationship on good terms now.....or horrible ones in several years.
Tips for Meeting the Parents
Is There Hope?
If you've made it this far, thank you. I'm aware that a lot of what is written here makes me seem like a jaded, bitter crone with no hope at all. But the truth is, some situations do have hope for improvement. But improvement requires a compromise on everyone's part. You, your significant other, and his parents need to be able to find middle ground for thins to get any better. The one thing you all have in common is: you love him/her. That is a place to start, but it is not the only needed agreement.
It is difficult to get everyone to come to agreeable terms when one or more parties refuses to see everyone's perspective. You need to understand that you are dating someone's baby, and they only want to protect their child from getting hurt, and to see them prosper. Their ways of showing that might be crazy, but the intent is a good one. They need to see that you love their child for who they are, and want to share in their joy and happiness while you are together. And your significant other needs to be able to see that they can not take sides in order to keep peace.
Consider for a moment that a situation like this is probably hardest on the one you're dating. They have two or three people they love, but no one can get along and they don't know whose side to choose.
Who Do You REALLY Have a Problem With?
I can tell you that the relationship with I spoke of ended. I finally decided I could not take a mother that actually gave her son money just so he would take her side of a disagreement. Or that's what my reason was at the time, anyway. But as time went on, I realized that what I actually couldn't handle was dating a man who could be so easily bribed and manipulated.
Many times, you spend weeks, months, or even years raging about how much you can't stand a person's family, and never even realize that's not the whole truth. Many times, your biggest problem is the behavior your significant other has that allows his or her family to continue acting that way. This is a very hard reality to face, but one that is all too often true.
In the end, the choice is yours. You need to decide what will make you happy and keep your sanity.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.