Dear Dr. Turndorf, I hope you can give me some help. My boyfriend’s family doesn’t approve of my dating their son. I was told yesterday that the family hates me. I don’t know what I can do to change things.Should I still go to family gatherings? Or should I not care at all. What can I do to fix this problem?
First of all, I would want to know who told you that his family hates you? Your boyfriend?If your boyfriend was the messenger of such ill tidings, I have to wonder if he is using his family to voice his own negative feelings toward you. Assuming he’s the one who told you that they hate you, you need to sit down and have a talk with him.Ask him how he wants you feel when he gives you this news. Ask him what you should think about the fact that he’s the one telling you this? What does he want to accomplish by telling you this? What does this news say about he feels about you and your relationship? Finally, ask him what this news says about himself and his relationship with his family?Sit back now and let him talk. Let’s see what he has to say. Is he secretly hoping that you’ll break up with him? Is he hoping you’ll prove your love by fighting for him? We can’t begin to guess what’s in his head, which is why you have to talk with him.Based on what he says, you’ll know how to proceed. If he wants you to fight for him, then you’ll want to know why he isn’t surer of your love. What is it that you’re doing or not doing to help him feel more secure with you?If he’s not happy with you and letting his parents express his anger, then have him tell you what isn’t working for him. In the end, if he wants a relationship with you, he is going to need to instruct his parents to treat you with love and respect. Dealing with his parents is his job, not yours.If the issue is one of his not being able to stand up to his parents, then he will need to work on his problem and learn to set limits with them. If he’s indirect in his communication of negative feelings and using his parents as his mouthpiece, then he will need to work on resolving this pattern.The goal is for him to deal directly with you and set proper limits in his relationship with you and with his parents.Let me know what happens.