Dear Dr. Love.I don’t usually do this, but I’m falling down in desperation and my friends can no longer help me. I am 21 and in college. I have been seeing a boy (long distance) for about a year and a half. I love him very much and he feels the same way about me. We often talk about marriage and children but there is one MAJOR problem.My parents dislike him immensely. He has been unfriendly in the past to them, and yet they have tried to include him in the family. They’ve invited him on ski trips with us, to family events, etc- and he turns down the invitations because he is uncomfortable around them. I don’t know what to do anymore.My parents have hit their limit and basically say they want nothing to do with him anymore, and if I choose to be with him it has to be separate from the family. My family HATES me for choosing to be with him. I am literally tearing them apart. He agreed to come for Thanksgiving, but my parents view that as like a cursory gesture where he doesn’t actually have an interest in fitting into the family.I dont feel comfortable walking away from this relationship because I’ve done it before and it never worked out. I feel too strongly about him to give up. how can i help him to make a bigger effort, and help my parents to be more open to him fitting in ‘gradually’ rather than all at once with a ski trip. I don’t know what to do.This has caused me to be suicidal over the past six months and I am grasping at straws. Please offer advice to help me. Thank you so much. Any words of wisdom are appreciated.
My red flags went up when I heard you say that you’ve been suicidal. You need to be evaluated for medication and this is a top priority. If you don’t know it already, let me tell you that your feeling suicidal is a symptom of buried rage.I’m sure that you’re furious at your parents and your boyfriend for putting you in such a terrible position. You shouldn’t have to choose between your family and your boyfriend and I am utterly furious with your parents for making him feel unwelcome and I’m angry at your boyfriend for having been unfriendly to your parents.You need to put your foot down with your parents and your boyfriend and tell them all that they need to behave properly with each other. That means that your boyfriend is cordial and your parents are welcoming. Tell everyone that you refuse to be put in the middle any longer.If your parents don’t know it, tell them that you’ve been suicidal over the rift between them and tell them and your boyfriend that your sanity depends on everyone getting along and being harmonious. I would suggest that everyone start over and live in the now instead of the past.What happened in the past was unfortunate. Your boyfriend was unfriendly to your parents and he hurt their feelings. It would be very mature of him to take responsibility for his actions and tell your parents that he’s sorry to have hurt them. As for your parents, they need to stop holding a grudge and give your boyfriend a chance to start fresh.If you guys can’t manage this on your own, then it’s time to see a family therapist.