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My family hates the guy I am dating

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  anita 1 month, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #334377

    RedMap
    Participant

    I am in my mid twenties and I met my boyfriend now of only two months who is in his later twenties. We both live in small apartments without careers at the moment. We both have careers in the works but we are at the very bottom of enormous mountains to climb. We are both hoping to get into competitive schools of completely different fields and the odds against us. I only leave it vague in hopes of shielding any chance he might see this thread.

    He feels alienated at times by what I see as a gift of being so unique. He has had a dark past which I know little about but pain is reflected (to me at least) in his tatoos, the medications he takes, he ability to help those engulfed in complete chaos as a job and his eyes most of all. He is brilliant. He is an ambitious reader and incredibly kind all the while goofy. We have admitted we feel love for one another.

    My issue is this. I have been in relationships in the past that did not end well. My family members had tried to get through to me both times and I did not listen. They are stronger than ever against my dating him. This is a bad sign. I feel conflicted because I wish they could see what I see and it is hard to be motivated to break up with someone when you feel you are not making the call.

    Any advice on this may change my future in an enormous way. Thank you thank you thank you if you took the time to read.

     

    #334554

    anita
    Participant

    Dear RedMap:

    “He has had a dark past which I know little about”- I suggest that you ask him about his past. If he learned from his dark past and will be using what he learned to make a better future for himself, then he will be able to tell you about his past, to share about it with you with relative comfort and confidence. (If he refuses to share with you, if he is very uncomfortable, that means that maybe he didn’t learn from his past and is likely to repeat it, or it means that he distrusts you, which means that this beginning relationship is lacking a fundamental value- trust).

    “we are at the very bottom of enormous mountains to climb… the odds against us”- this means that the two of you need to work like an excellent team of two, so to climb those mountains and fight those odds. It means that the two of you need to work well together, to make each other stronger, to bring up the best in each other. Without a strong and effective team work on an ongoing basis, the two of you as a couple will.. stay at the very bottom of those enormous mountains, which is something neither one of you wants.

    If you want to share more details about the relationship and this man (details that are not specific, such as names, dates, ages, and so forth), and/ or about your previous two relationships, and/ or about your relationships with the family members (parents?) who advised you against this beginning relationship, please do and I will be glad to reply to you further.

    anita

     

     

    #336022

    RedMap
    Participant

    Anita,

    Your reply on working together as a strong effective team is incredibly insightful.

    At this point I have decided to ask him to continue the relationship for the next three months only until we both start school as advice from my therapist. Strange thing it is that this thread happens to be the only place I feel comfortable expressing how truly indecisive I am on this.

    In comparison with my past relationships he is wise beyond both of them. I could go on about the good things. Most importantly, I have a strong intuition that he has the patience and knowledge to guide me through some of the qualities I am hoping to improve about myself and maybe I can do the same for him.

    Here is the negative. I believe he has rushed into his previous relationships leaving him feeling like he will be alone and that relationships are based on “irrational passions, lies and seduction”. He told me that he is worried honesty, openness and thoughtfulness will never work.

    I wish I could make this work between us but the negative factors make me hesitate.

     

    Any light you can shed is again incredibly appreciated.

     

    P

     

    #336030

    Valora
    Participant

    I agree with asking him about his past, BUT keep in mind that some people don’t feel comfortable talking about certain traumas with anyone, so if he doesn’t want to share certain things, it may be nothing to do with you, how comfortable he feels with your, or how much he trusts you… it may just be that he cannot talk about it. This is why art, music, dance, and drama therapies are gaining in popularity because they are allowing people to express and release past traumas that they cannot express verbally through other means.

    Can you say what exactly it is that your parents are worried about when it comes to him or why they don’t like him? What reasons have they given you?  Do they have any expectations for you to date a certain type of person that you know of?

    For one thing, though, he’s going to have to change that believe he has on relationships being based on “irrational passions, lies, and seduction” or he’s setting himself up for failure already. SOME relationships might be, but definitely not all. That’s something you two can talk about though and if you decide to stay with him long-term, your actions together as a couple can prove to him otherwise.

    #336032

    anita
    Participant

    Dear RedMap:

    Thank you  for your appreciation.

    You wrote that he feels that “relationships are based on ‘irrational passions, lies and seduction'”, and that he told you “that he is worried honesty, openness and thoughtfulness will never work”-

    – you pointed to this as the negative regarding being in a relationship with him.

    He is worried that honesty in a relationship will never work. This means that for him, honesty is a negative quality that will lead to relationship failure. He believes the same about openness and thoughtfulness.

    So, in his mind, honesty, openness and thoughtfulness are negative qualities, and dishonesty, being secretive and thoughtless, or selfish are positive qualities.

    Am I understanding correctly?

    anita

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by  anita.
    #337264

    RedMap
    Participant

    Valora,

    You insight is beautiful. Not all traumas must be dealt with verbally. Just to read your first paragraph opened my mind and heart! So thank you.

    You hit a second good point- there IS an expectation from my family to date a certain type. I will make my best attempt to answer your question. I grew up with traditional values and parents who were not in unison on much but they were on that. They want all of the right things in terms of someone who loves me and treat me well. It is difficult for me to understand exactly why they do not like him and their reasons are vague as well “he’s just not like you”. If I put myself in their shoes I think they are afraid of the possibility of me being drug down by a relationship and they want me in one that (on the surface at least) gives them more assurance of being raised up.

    As a last note and in total vulnerability I feel like a teenager writing about this and I am twenty five. This last thought almost makes me want to throw my papers up and move on from the whole thing. I’m too old for this.

    I just want to take another moment to thank you sincerely. I wish I could express how much your words move me and help me.

    P

    #337268

    RedMap
    Participant

    Anita,

    Thank you for your thought towards my response. You are simply amazing.

    Okay, YES you are correct in your understanding. He seems to be almost to the point of giving up on qualities that are obviously good ones to have in a relationship. This is a negative. This “on the edge of things” mentality worries me.

    He has never shown me any sign of dishonesty, secretive or thoughtless. In fact he has shined in his honesty, openness and selflessness.

    Do you think there is something BEHIND his statement that “relationships are based on ‘irrational passions, lies and seduction’” and “that he is worried honesty, openness and thoughtfulness will never work”. I am not sure what to think about this…

    Thank you, Anita.

    P

    #337270

    anita
    Participant

    Dear RedMap:

    You are welcome and thank you for your kind words.

    When I first read that he told you that relationships are based on “irrational passions, lies and seduction”, and that he is worried that “honesty, openness and thoughtfulness will never work”, I thought: oh, oh, this means perhaps that he is dishonest, closed, thoughtless, irrational and a liar in the context of an adult romantic relationship.

    But in your most recent post you wrote: “He has never shown me any sign of dishonesty, secretive or thoughtfulness. In fact he has shined in his honesty, openness and selflessness”.

    I am now re-thinking that his first statements are insightful and true to reality. When we are children, living with your parents, we witness their relationship with each  other, and it often does include dishonesty, secrecy, thoughtlessness, lies and irrational passions. We may witness these things in our parents’ relationships with their relatives and friends, hearing them gossip about them behind their backs, or complaining about the others gossiping about them, etc.

    When we are children, living with our parents, we often experience them lying to us! Being dishonest and secret and thoughtless with us. And we experience their irrational passions when they are angry at us, screaming and yelling and whatnot, or when they brag about our achievements, irrationally exaggerating those, etc.

    -So yes, he is correct. He doesn’t want to be that way himself. This is very promising, this part about him. I just wish he has what it takes to carry his insight through and improve his mind and life in other ways.

    anita

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