Dear Dr. LoveI’m a 30 year old black female in love with a wonderful Jewish man. My boyfriend and I have been dating for a little more than 1 1/2 yrs and we have a problem. Well actually the problem is his parents, they have a problem with their son dating me, i know this cause they told him this.I’ve never met them they’ve made no effort to get to know me, and my boyfriend and i are heading in the direction of marriage. These are his parents and i would love to have a relationship with them, I’m not going anywhere i’m gonna be in their son’s life for a very long time.I need help, please give me some advice on how to deal with this, my best friend says my boyfriend is not standing up for our relationship with his folks that ‘s why they ignore me.Please help.Signed:I’m Ignored.
You are in a painful situation. I know you want a relationship with your soon to be in laws, but before you can focus on that we need to improve the communication between you and your boyfriend.Your friend is right when she says that the primary issue is between you and your boyfriend. You say you never met his parents and that they have never made an effort to know you. I wonder why your boyfriend has allowed this situation to continue. Why hasn’t be introduced you to them and arranged for them to get to know you?The bottom line is he appears to be condoning his parents’ treatment of you. We need to understand why he hasn’t demanded that they treat you properly. Is your boyfriend a fearful, passive or unassertive person who is unable to confront his parents? If he’s silent out of fear, he may need professional help in order to overcome whatever blocks him from standing up to his parents.Am I correct in suspecting that his parents are ignoring you because they are racists? If the answer is yes, then I wonder if you have stepped into a swarming hornets nest without even realizing it. If they are racists, then your boyfriend surely knew this before he began dating you; in which case, could he be using your relationship as a weapon to rebel against them and/or as a way of torturing them?If he’s enjoying torturing his parents, then he is going to need to own this and find a more mature way of dealing with his anger toward them. Above all, he can’t be permitted to stick it to them at your expense.Last but not least, is he not putting his foot down with his parents because he thinks that they are people he cannot influence? If this is so, let him tell you this and you both can decide how you want to handle them. Having this conversation will, at the very least, help you not take personally his throwing his hands up in despair.The point here is that even though they may be hopeless, he shouldn’ silently condone their behavior. Saying that he doesn’t approve of what they are doing and sticking up for you would be very good for him and for your relationship. The issue isn’t whether his speaking up will change his parents, it’s about taking care of himself (and you) by letting them know his disapproval of their position.Just the fact of speaking out (even if they don’t respond favorably) will be healthy for both of you. When you identify the reason for his silence, focus on helping him to take positive action.Standing by and condoning their ignoring you isn’t acceptable. He needs to see that being passive is hurtful to you and ultimately will damage your relationship.If you need me to help you both decipher what is blocking him, contact me again in my private consulting division. Good luck to you.You deserve a relationship with your soon to be in-laws.