Anonymous: I need help! My boyfriend came over to meet my parents and it did not go well. The entire situation was awkward and rocky at best, but it took a horrible turn when they began discussing politics. Basically, my boyfriend called my parents racist and they told my boyfriend to go back to his own country. At this point, I’m not sure what to do.
My mom is extremely controlling and crazy and she has been telling me, no, more like demanding me, to move on. When I’m around she always makes snide comments about my boyfriend and our relationship. She never comes out and says she hates him, but she does! I live with my parents and lately, it has been very hard to live in such a toxic and negative environment. I want to move out, but I just don’t have the money to. I don’t know how to ease this situation, and it has begun to affect my mental health.
First thing, I am so sorry to hear that you are experiencing this situation between your parents and your boyfriend, truly. And I am saddened for you in the fact that your parents are not open and accepting of others who have differing viewpoints and backgrounds than their own. I am also saddened by the fact that your parents seem to be less than loving and accepting of you and your choices.
And honestly, your mom was probably always going to hate your boyfriend, no matter his views on politics or his country of origin. You said your mom is controlling and crazy, and from what you have said her actions do not construe a loving and doting mother. I have come to that conclusion because her priorities are all wrong. She cares more about your boyfriend’s politics than whether or not he enhances your happiness or treats you with the respect you deserve.
And you having brought your boyfriend around showed your mom that this relationship is serious, and she sees it and this guy as very threatening. She possibly sees your relationship as her losing you, or more than likely her losing control of you. Correct me If I am wrong, but this guy most likely treats you with the respect you deserve, and are worthy of, and it is a level of respect that your parents never gave or currently give to you.
And your boyfriend probably lifts you up, instead of tears you down, and actually listens to you and your wants and needs, instead of demanding you lead a life that isn’t truly yours. Your mom probably believes that your boyfriend might help you see and recognize your worth, which would mean a loss of control for her, because you would recognize that the way your parents treat you isn’t right, healthy or normal. And your mother is truly terrified of that. So, she is doing everything in her power to get you to give up this relationship and to stifle your growth internally, mentally and emotionally.
And honestly, there is nothing you can do to remedy this situation other than moving out. But you said that is not an option, so we are going to try and make lemonade out of lemons. The first thing to do is to accept that your parents are set in their ways and that they will never change.
But also, that everyone has their own truth and that your parents’ truth happens to mean disliking others for being different than how they are or how they think. Now, the next thing to do is to acknowledge your boyfriend’s feelings and for you to let him know that the opinions of your parents are not your own and that those opinions, and your parents, have nothing to do with your relationship with him.
Now, the last thing to do is try to keep your parents and your boyfriend away from each other. I know that we all want the people we love to love each other, but sometimes that just isn’t the case. And this is a situation where it is best that both parties do not communicate with each other.
Try to erect boundaries with your parents, even though it might not work, you still have to try, and ignore your mom whenever she makes comments or behaves in an immature manner. Remember, life is always about how we respond instead of react in the face of adversity, so choose to walk away from your mom whenever she tries to get under your skin.
And in regard to your mental health, have you thought about reaching out to a psychologist, just to have someone to speak with and share your thoughts with? But also, journaling could be a really great way for you to process your experiences from this situation and allow you to work through your feelings. Because you live with them and are financially dependent upon your parents, there is not much that can be done exteriorly.
But, as I have said, you can work on responding and you could create a safe, peaceful space within yourself whenever your mom mentions the situation to you. And also, if the problem persists and you just cannot take it with your parents, try and come up with a game plan for financial independence. Just know and recognize that your mental and emotional health is most important.
Oh, and one last thing, always remember that the way a person treats you has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. And the same goes for how your parents treated your boyfriend.
Acknowledge and recognize that there is a bigger battle at play, and it isn’t between your parents and your boyfriend, it’s the battle that your parents both have internally. Self-hatred always projects itself unto others, remember that. Now, I hope you find peace within this situation, and I wish you peace, love, and happiness!