Family or Boyfriend?

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    Hi everyone,

    I’ve been dating a guy for the past 9 months. It was pretty rocky at the beginning – he can be insecure and jealous at time’s. More recently things have been going a lot better. He loves me and I do love him. I enjoy the time we spend together and we do have similar wants in life. One thing is that he was using a heavy drug on the regular and I’m not fond of that. After talking to him, he’s agreed to stop. However, my parents found out (btw I’m 28 and live alone) and they are livid. I said we broke up and they were happy and that he wouldn’t be accepted in our family. we got back together after a month apart. They’ve had my two younger sisters block me on all messaging and social media so I can’t communicate with them. There have been red flags in the relationship that concern my family and some days I don’t know if I’d want to spend my life with this person.

    I don’t know what to do. Stay with him and stand up for it since their biggest concern is the drugs and that’s not an issue anymore. Or should I leave because my family is everything to me.


    Dear Ashley:

    “he was using a heavy drug on the regular.. After talking to him, he’s agreed to stop”- what drug has he been using regularly and for how long?

    “He’s agreed to stop.. their biggest concern is the drugs and that’s not an issue anymore”- you mentioned drugs, plural. He agreed to stop one drug or more. Did he manage to stop using all drugs (alone, or with help?), and if so, was it easy or difficult for him, or is he still in the process of stopping?



    Dear Ashley,

    Before you make a decision to end your relationship, I believe that it would be beneficial for you to examine your family dynamic with your parents.

    I understand their concern for your well being, but serving you an ultimatum of “either it’s us or him”? That’s troubling. You’re 28 and not living with them therefore I’ll assume that they are not supporting you financially, which means that you’re a grown adult who can make your own decision about any of your relationships. Yes, your parents will have their own opinions about your partners, but that does not mean that they have a vote in who you date. Who you decide to date is entirely your choice, irregardless of the disapprove of anyone. So you need to sit down and discuss the situation with your parents. Let them air their concern but make it apparent that you yourself will be the one to choose who your partner is.

    Can you do that? Or is the usual family dynamic one in which your parents disapprove of something then would set down an ultimatum that you feel you cannot not make a choice? Because again, that’s a troubling dynamic for anyone. One of the messages that that send to you might be that they don’t trust you to make your own decisions regarding a significant relationship so they need to step in and “help you” make the correct choice. But that undermines your ability to decide for yourself what your life looks like. It’ll also make you question your ability to make the “correct decision” so you’ll depend on their opinion first, placing your desires second to theirs. That sort of relationship will breed anger and resentment. So deeply examine your relationships and work out the foundation and structure between you and your parents.

    And remember, you can always walk away from any relationship for any reasons because it’s about you deciding for yourself what is best for you.

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