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Advice About a Family Who Disapproves of a Relationship

You Asked: Everyone Disapproves of Our Relationship

Dear Sugar,

My boyfriend is an old friend of my two brothers. Obviously they know everything about him. I fell in love with him and he fell for me, but everyone, including my mother, disapproves of our relationship. They say he is a "dog," and that he doesn't know how to respect women. I know all of his past sins, but I get a lot of respect from him. I refuse to react on what my siblings are telling me. I believe that I made a choice to be with him and if there's anything wrong with him, I should see it with my own eyes and not because of what everyone else says.

I'm a little scared though. Sometimes I wonder if I'll regret loving him and wonder if my family is right. We have been together for almost two years now, and we've had our ups and downs just like all couples do but one thing's for sure — we dearly love each other and we want to be together forever. My mom and brothers used to like him before he dated me, and now she hates the sight him. It's so sad and painful! I feel like I'm making his life miserable and he feels the same. My boyfriend would say that I'm an adult now and they need to know that I'm old enough to make my own decisions. I agree with him, but it's hard because my relationship with my family is beginning to suffer. What should I do?

—In Love and They Hate Him Harley

To see Dear Sugar's answer

Dear In Love and They Hate Him Harley,

I know this is a really hard situation to be in, but try to take a step back so you can see things from their perspective. They only want what's best for you because they love you so much. They think you deserve to be with someone who treats you well, someone who loves and cares for you as much as they do. With that said, even though your boyfriend has had issues with respecting women in the past, you've been with him long enough to know that he respects you.

If you love him and are happy with your relationship then I would keep trying to convey that to your family. Explain how much it hurts you and your boyfriend when they act so hatefully. Also let them know how serious this relationship is and how much it would mean to you if they gave him the benefit of the doubt. It stinks that he has to defend himself to win their trust, but if you know in your heart that he's the one, don't give up. I'm sure your family will come around once they realize how happy he makes you and that what was in the past has nothing to do with your future together. Good luck, Harley.


Join The Conversation
kaenai kaenai 9 years
It sounds like you're genuinely concerned, and that sort of concern doesn't come from nowhere. That seems to say that you have genuine feelings for him, in which case, give it time, and if he continues to treat you well, your family will come around. But be careful that you're not just seeing him to prove your family wrong. That brings up intense feelings as well, and even though they might masquerade themselves as feelings of love, they could be feelings of resentment toward your family for not trusting your judgment. I think they call that 'displacement'... But I digress. Re-evaluate if you need to, and if you know your feelings are real, then as I said, give it time. If he feels the same way, it will be obvious, and your family will come to appreciate him as much as you do.
centra centra 9 years
i can relate what u say about everyone disapproving of your relationship with your bf. my hole family can't stand mine all. he hardly around and when he is he loves to give orders. and he doesn't support me very well. christmas and new-years i was by myself. like always, while he was off doing what he wanted. he says he loves me alot but after 6 years i really don't think so. and after 6 years i have told him that he needs to either make a marry me or just get out of my life and let me move on. all the answer i get is no i will not marry u, and living with me is all i am going to get from him. alot of times i wish he would just pack up this belongs and leave cuss he isn't doing me any good. by making me un-happy. so i do understand . thanks
1QTPIE 1QTPIE 9 years
As long as he's treating you right and doing right by you then that's all that matters. Of course your brothers are going to know his flaws and know what he's about. He may have changed because people do grow up... I'm 21, I have 3 kids who I love and adore. My oldest is 3 and he is from a relationship that was just going nowhere after about 4 years because he didn't want to grow up and handle his responsibilities. He rather run around with his friends and all types of "garden tools." Tell me why now he's married to chick he got pregnant when he had me 5 months pregnant??? I will never understand. People do change though. Now my other 2 are from my hubby now. People do change it's just hard for others to see it in them when they've known the person for so long and witnessed his F*** ups... It's all your decision.
nikijo2368 nikijo2368 9 years
This choice is yours but I will say that about a year ago I came out of a very similar situation. Everyone hated him and I was the only one that could see his good, sweet, loving side. Unfortunatley, hate to say it, he was a dog and everyone was right. I have no hard feelings but it took a long time to get over realizing that I was so blinded by my love for this guy that I had compromised my friendships and allowed him to treat me the way everone said he would. I thought I was special and he wouldn't do it to me but he turned out to be the dog everyone said he was, I just couldn't see it. Just be careful. Good luck to you and hopefully for your sake everone is wrong!
melizzle melizzle 9 years
Unfortunate as it may be, your family is probably right. Your family is only looking out for you, and there must be a good reason why they have been so apprehensive about your boyfriend for two years. You have to decide whether or not your relationship is worth battling your family over. You're in a tough spot and I think it's worth taking a hard look at your relationship over the past two years.
CoMMember13630786602261 CoMMember13630786602261 9 years
These kind of relationships can work out, if the two people truely love each and truely respect eachother (note: TRUELY..not just putting a facade to placate the other person) Most usually your family is right though. People on the outside of a relationship have a way of shining light over all its flaws. Its like when you are standing at the edge of a can see everyone thats underwater. But if you are underwater with them, you can only see who is right in front of you. I personally, dont think I could ever let myself fall in love with someone that my family did not get along with...after all, isnt that part of being in love. Think of the Christmases, and Thanksgivings and birthdays, and forth of julys that you might have to miss out on with your family because of that something you are willing to give up? Because these situations almost always turn out one way: You and him vs. your family. And really, is a relationship that you are constantly having to defend, really that good of a relationship?
davisdavis davisdavis 9 years
If your boyfriend is such a rotten guy, why were your brothers friends with him? Seriously. Whatever sordid things they know about him, they were at least around to witness; so why didn't they intercede, if they're such stand up guys? Frankly, you need to sit down with your family members, one at a time, and ask them to give you the straight facts of what bothers them about your boyfriend. Then ask them how they obtained knowledge of his indiscretions, and whether they, perhaps, were involved. If they were, they need to shut it. They probably have equally crappy things in their pasts, and they don't consider themselves irredeemable, do they? Make it clear that their current behavior is neither charitable nor productive. It sounds like you're the youngest sibling, and the only female sibling, and your father isn't involved. That's a recipe for an overprotective family. BUT, sometimes concern is warranted. And if you're still living with your family, you should wait until you are old enough and financially stable enough to be on your own, before you get into any serious relationships. Especially ones that your family is concerned about. And if you're sleeping with this guy, are you sure that he's physically clean? He's been tested for STI's and so have you?
gossipqueen gossipqueen 9 years
I think the input of your family matters but it also matters how you feel... In this case it sucks...because your brothers KNOW all their nights out...they saw first hand how he treated women...and how he "played" them...they know his darkest days and his best nights...THAT is the problem! For friends is hard to accept that a person if your bf is now a different person..they won't see embedded in their mind the picture of him as a DOG. I don't think it will ever change... if things get better...they probably will be always waiting to say..I TOLD YOU SO! If all the troubles are worth it...good luck to you!
michelleannette michelleannette 9 years
it's hard to be in a relationship with someone your friends/family don't approve of. it is true that you are an adult and can make your own decisions. since you've been together for 2 years, it sounds like your family should make steps to accept him as a part of your life. i mean, you're saying you could marry this man and they still won't give him a chance! that's pretty rough. truth is, EVERYONE has a past...i'm sure your family members have done many things they aren't proud of. what ever you do, don't alienate yourself. make a point to bring him around your family how well he treats you and they should come around---afterall, they should let you decide what makes you happy. i was in a somewhat similar situation. well, my boyfriend's younger brother didn't like me simply because i was his brother's girlfriend (despite the fact that HE introduced us! i think he just thought that we would have a physical relationship for a while and nothing more--we're now in love and living together) anyway--we made a point to hang out more and his brother realized i wasn't an evil woman taking his big brother away.
freegracefrom freegracefrom 9 years
I think there's definitely reason enough to take pause here. Your brothers were friends with him. They've seen what he's like with other women, even when said women weren't around. It's not like they want to see you miserable and alone... they want to see you *HAPPY.* That's not to say that people can't change. Maybe he has. But I think it would be a good idea for all of you to sit down together and hash this all out. It might be awkward, but if everyone can be rational, not take offense, and remember that YOUR happiness is the ultimate goal for everyone... it'd be worth it to deal with it and move on. In the event that this is a "forever" relationship, it would be in everyone's best interest to get along.
Choco1337 Choco1337 9 years
Personally, I take my family's opinion pretty seriously. I have had 2 relationships where they said "RUN!" The first time I didn't listen, dated him for 2 years, and after I the relationship ended I realized exactly how bad it was for me. The second time... I listened. It made me pause before entering a serious relationship with that guy and take a step back. The input from my family that time saved me from the giant horrible ordeal that particular relationship would have been. Both of these guys were friends of my brother. However, I don't know your family or the dynamics within. I'd suggest just pausing and examining your relationship objectively if you can.
nicachica nicachica 9 years
are you not listening to your family because you don't want other people telling you what to do? take a second look. if your family seriously disapproves after TWO YEARS of this guy, then yes, there is something that they know that you don't. Get to the bottom of this and figure it out for yourself...
leanneluvsu leanneluvsu 9 years
Look, maybe I am single for this, but I'm also not going nuts over a man like Britney Spears. I still have my sanity and pride. Pride won't allow me to disobey my parents and shame myself with someone that even my brothers won't like? And thats their boy? Okaaay. You would be a fool to date him. You're brothers know more about him that you know. Take their advice and leave him alone. Stop acting so desperate; there are other men you can date.
sweetasacid sweetasacid 9 years
I say do what you feel in your heart, but dont put aside the comment of people who obviously care for you. its true they might know his past and how he was then, and you might have flipped him, but old habits die hard. SO just keep what they say in your mind and always remember that he is only human and so are they. Really pay attention to what they say and keep a look out, because boys will come and go , but your family is there for the long haul. two years is a long time, but if your family hasn't come to trust him yet...keep on your gaurd.
Asia84 Asia84 9 years
if you're gonna stay with him, then get use to the fact that your relationship with your family is gonna suffer. suck it up. 2 years have passed and you still haven't learned how to deal with this?!?!? you must see some red flags, or you wouldn't be asking about this. i mean, your mom is even saying he's a dog. you might wanna look into that. . . i suppose everyone is different. I just don't have time to re-train any dogs. it's bad enough you have to upgrade their wardrobe . . .
fadedblue fadedblue 9 years
Your boyfriend is right -- you're an adult and you should be able to make your own choices about your life, including who you want to be with. You just have to deal with the fallout, if there is any. Now, I think your family is being pretty biased based on what they knew of him before. People can and do change. But at the very core the just want what's best for you. So be firm about your relationship and be clear to them that this is your life and your decision. As much as they want to help, their negativity doesn't help anybody in the end. Maybe leave him at home at the next family function or be insistent that the topic of conversation with the fam not always default to criticizing your boyfriend. Good luck.
remedios remedios 9 years
Normally I'd say don't worry about what others think, but the fact that these people seem to have known him well and liked him a lot but don't think he's good boyfriend material should raise a red flag. Of course he's right that you're an adult who can make your own decisions, but that doesn't mean you have to ignore what others say. Make sure you're not being blind because you're attracted to him. If you're sure you're not, then don't worry about it. But everyone's apprehension should make you apprehensive too.
its your life and you have to make your own mistakes and its ur choice whether you want to be with him or not, iim kiind of qoinq through the same thinq so ur not alone
Marci Marci 9 years fiance was a major player a.k.a what a lot of people would call a dog when he was single, but he's a fantastic partner now. So I say go with your gut. If it's right between you, they'll come around.
frieddumpling frieddumpling 9 years
Listen to your family. History repeats itself. Your family is only looking out for you and don't want you to get burnt (which is an eventuality the way I see it). But it seems like you're set on being with this guy from the sounds of it, so you just have to learn the lesson on your own. And there's no point in continuing the relationship if you can't handle the strained relationship with your family and the pressure from them, as much as you may *think* you can. If you're having doubts now, it's only going to get harder and the less chance that your relationship will survive in the long run. Nothing is certain but the outlook for me isn't looking too optimistic. In the end, your family will ALWAYS be there for you through the good and the bad(your guy...I'm not so sure about)!
sarah_bellum sarah_bellum 9 years
Have they acted this way with other guys you've dated? If they have, then you can probably chalk most of this up to being overprotective. But I'm going to agree with the ladies that said families can often spot bad relationships, and the fact that they haven't relaxed their stance in two years makes me think they might be onto something, although I do hope I'm wrong. It might take a long time to get them to accept your relationship, and maybe they never will, but no matter what happens, don't become isolated from your family over a guy. He should want you to maintain your ties with them, too.
Poster-of-a-Girl Poster-of-a-Girl 9 years
The fact that they all liked him until they started dating kind of makes me wonder if they know something you don't? Ultimately it's up to you, and very few people listen to the people around them when it comes to love - you gotta make your own mistakes and see for yourself. But please make sure that he is actually treating you well and you are not just convincing yourself that he is out of rebellion against your family
ces016 ces016 9 years
I'm sorry about your situation. But I am just wondering why your family is not in favor with your rel. to him? You said that your your boyfriend is an old friend of your two brothers. i think that is the reason why they dont like him because they know him well that they know all his flaws. Just like whta grace said your family members can have good instincts when it comes to things like this especially your mom. She will never let you tell you something that might put you into danger. But in the end it is still your decision. . If you love him then go.. Anyway who is not taking risks when it comes to love.. Goodluck.
graceunderfire graceunderfire 9 years
I'm sorry, but I think family members can have good instincts when it comes to things like this. They know you and love you, and want what is best for you. Are they seeing red flags that you are choosing not to acknowledge? It never hurts to play devil's advocate, especially since committing to this guy is a big decision.
clareberrys clareberrys 9 years
PLEASE DO NOT LISTEN TO YOUR FAMILY!!!! My boyfriend and I have been together for 2 years and counting now and things did not start off on the greatest foot. My best friend and roommate at the time hated him SO much as did most all of my friends. They barely knew him and the reason they didn't like him was because he is sarcastic and they didn't understand his sense of humor. They never gave him a chance and were CONSTANTLY telling me that he was not right for me and that we should break up. I was always upset about it and I thought the same thing too that maybe he really wasn't right for me. Now I am still with my boyfriend, whom I love very much, and I am not friends with most of those friends anymore. The ones that I am still friends with came around, got to know my boyfriend and now truly like him as a person. I say to stick it out, if you are happy with him then that is all that matters. Try not to let their words and opinions get to you, because it can be mentally breaking. As long as he continues to treat you like you deserve, then your family will most likely come around. I wish you the best!
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