How do I handle if my family does not accept my relationship?

Some background, some drama

Boy loves girl. Girl loves boy. No surprise that the families are at war. Classic real life duplicating reel life! Of course everyone wants approval. When you’re in a relationship, it may be important to you that your family gets along with your partner. And that makes total sense! What if your parents or other family members disapprove of your partner? This can be really tough. It might make you feel terrible or torn between your family and your partner.

Do’s and Don’ts

Ask your family why they have an issue with your partner. Do they feel that your partner is too controlling? Do they not like the way your partner talks to you? Do they think that your partner doesn’t respect you? They may see some unhealthy behaviour in your partner that you don’t see. Ask your friends what they think about your partner. Do they have the same concerns as your family? If so, take some time to consider about the relationship.

The “How Do I" series tries to list down a few Do’s and don’ts to guide you, help you and handle a situation where the family does not accept your partner.

Do’s

  • Understand your parents’ role, viewpoints and reasons for not approving the relationship.
  • Communicate, discuss and try to build healthy relationships between the warring parties and gain approval.
  • Respect your parents. Analyse the reasons of their disapproval. Make sure that even if they don't approve of your relationship, you are still respecting them.
  • Weigh the pros and cons. Do you think that it is worth all of the drama with your parents? Do you think that your parents not approving of your relationship is a sign?
  • Involve friends or people that your parents trust and respect. Explain how the relationship is important to you.
  • Give it time. Let them warm up to your partner.
  • Be supportive to your partner in the face of all criticism. It would be hard for him/her as well.
  • Suggest spending more time together so that they can know your partner better.

Dont’s

  • Don’t pitch your parents against your partner. Not only is it belittling but also disrespectful.
  • However close you may be to your parents or partner, don’t give in to mere prejudice. Logical reasoning and communication is of utmost importance.
  • Don’t threaten or blackmail. This never leads to any success.
  • Don’t be rude, insulting or unkind. Both sides deserve respect.
  • Don’t take any crap from anyone. Ultimately your own life and peace of mind are of paramount importance.

Last words

If the relationship is causing too much strife with your family, you might consider taking a step back and building a friendship with your partner while you work things out with your family members, if that’s possible. Ultimately, what’s important is that you do what’s healthiest for you and your life. While the conversation might be difficult, it’s important to approach your family members as calmly and respectfully as possible. Trust your instincts, your parents and also balance it with the love of your partner.

Sources and citations