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My Parents are Controlling Me

Dear Sugar--

I'm having trouble with my parents, who are very strict culturally and religiously. The problem is that they don't like my boyfriend. I have been with him for almost a year now, and he is neither from the same country or of the same religion. I love him very much, but my family does not see it. They only allow me to go out twice a week, with a 10:30 curfew, so between my friends, I sometimes see him once a week. I don't believe in their religion, so it's even more difficult when they try to force their morals on me, going as far as to say that I should ask him to PRETEND he is of their religion, because my mother does not want to be embarrassed by her family/the community (other people from our country). She thinks that I am an embarrassment to our family, and is more concerned about other people's opinions than my happiness. She has said some very awful things to me for the smallest mistakes, and she never apologizes for it. In fact, my parents nearly kicked me out for being 15 minutes late.

I have talked to them multiple times but they refuse to change in any way. This situation is the biggest concern for my boyfriend because he thinks their pressure on me to leave him will work. I am currently unemployed, so moving out is not an option. It may come down to choosing my parents or my boyfriend and I know my decision, but I don't want it to get there. How can I make things better?

--My Parents are Controlling Me Melissa

To see DEARSUGAR's Answer

Dear My Parents are Controlling Me Melissa--

Since you are living with your parents, I understand that you feel like you need to respect their views and wishes, but more importantly, you need to be true to yourself. The relationship you have with your parents doesn't sound very healthy and the issue with your boyfriend seems to be just a surface problem. The deeper issue here is that your parents don't accept you for you.

I commend you for having the courage to talk to them about your feelings, which is the first step. Do they know that you don't believe in their religion? Do they know how much your boyfriend means to you? Do they know that you are old enough to make your own decisions? Although they may not agree with the way you live your life, you're still their daughter and they should love and support you no matter what.

I know you said moving out was not an option, but guess what? You need to make it an option. Get a job so you can be more independent and make decisions that make you happy. Getting some space from your parents might do wonders for your relationship, and hopefully they'll come to realize that you are an independent woman and they can't control your life anymore. Good luck Melissa!


Join The Conversation
gossipqueen gossipqueen 10 years
I agree with the two posts sounds like high school to me. My sis was having "problems" with my mother over boys...I told her it wasn't worth it...your parents will always be there and a high school boy will eventually dissapear. As teenagers we are very stupid...i know i was...but know i do realized that...and don't tell her this, mom was almost always right. Now, if you're over 18, get a job, save some money, and get out!
designergirl designergirl 10 years
Sounds like you're in high school. I agree, it isn't worth cutting ties with your parents or fighting with them constantly. You're relationship probably won't last. You can't do anything about it; you can make your own decisions when you're in college. I hate to be tough and sound unsympathetic, but its true. I remember high school and I had similar problems, just focus on the future.
lickety-split lickety-split 10 years
forget it. this relationship is never going to work. you still live at home with no means of support and come home at 10:30 no more than 2 nights a week. that puts you at about 16 in my estimate, too young to decide you want to throw away the lessons of your parents and run off with a boy you have only known a year. get an education and then get a job and then find a partner. the problem isn't your parents, it's your lack of respect for the rules of the house. who are you to sit around unemployed and complain about not being treated like an adult? seriously, you need to take a look at yourself. you aren't star crossed lovers in a teen romance novel this is real life. make some plans that you positively affect your future and stop feeling sorry for yourself.
rosa-tea rosa-tea 10 years
its always sad when parents don't accept a partner that makes their daughter happy and treats her well. i dont think people appreciate how hard that is to find.
bluejeanie bluejeanie 10 years
if you're over 18, go get a job and save up money to move out. time to be a big girl. if you're still a minor, i'm sure you can still find some work.
ScarletPimpernel ScarletPimpernel 10 years
Maybe her parents won't let her work. But if she is allowed to work, she should definitely get a job as soon as possible. I hate when people say, "You're under eighteen so even if you're being treated poorly, just deal with it." I believe if someone is righteously unhappy about his or living situation, then that person (whether an adult or minor)should be able to change it. And even if she is a minor - a child.. well, hasn't anyone read the UN's Declaration of the Rights of the Child? "The child shall be protected from practices which may foster racial, religious and any other form of discrimination. He shall be brought up in a spirit of understanding, tolerance, friendship among peoples, peace and universal brotherhood, and in full consciousness that his energy and talents should be devoted to the service of his fellow men. "
hills hills 10 years
i absoloutally agree with all of what dearsuga said. I have had a hard relashionship with my parents, when they choose not to listen to me and can be incredibly stuborn, i know its really frustrating but at that point u have to realise that parents are not always right and can be just as childish as the next person, so u have to step up and be the bigger person, if that means getting a job and renting somonewhere to live or keeping out of their way and just being civil then so be it. i wounder what religion your parents have? most religions are about peace, so just because ur bf is of a different faith or none dosnt make him a bad person, im sure ur parents no that deep down but has pressure from ur community. only you know how far u can push ur parents and how u can try and deal with them best, but remember life cant always go on like this with every guy u go out with in the future, so go with what U belive in. if you are under 18 ur just going to have to bite your tonuge at this point, and have time to make your own descions and not rush into things. big good luck!
KrisSugar KrisSugar 10 years
well, if you are under 18 you might just have to put up with this a little while. If you are, it wouldn't hurt to get a job and start saving up. that way when the time is right you can leave. move out, go to college, start a career, whatever you want to do! good luck to you! you sound like you have a good head on your shoulders!
nessabum nessabum 10 years
i sort of am having the same problems. and maybe i'm more rebellious in that i don't even care anymore about what my mother says. and i agree, start working, start saving up. and my mother doesn't really like my boyfriend either, but he passed all my tests and we both love each other dearly. good luck dear. you have a lot of supporting people here on Sugar, so reach out when you need to. :)
cgmaetc cgmaetc 10 years
I say it depends upon how old the girl is. If she's under 18, her parents have every right to "control" her. It sounds like they are just trying to give her a good foundation and instill some morals into the young lady. What's wrong with a 10:30 curfew? Anything you can do after 10:30 you can do before then, and anything else she probably doesn't need to be doing. Now, if she's over 18, she needs to head out into the world and make her own path.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 10 years
I don't know what religion and culture you or your parents are, but certain things (like marrying within the race/religion) are often way more important in other cultures than in the US culture (whatever that is). I think your parents were raised with vastly different values than you. I'm not saying it's right that they disapprove of your boyfriend; I'm just saying, imagine trying to negotiate everything you grew up believing and hearing with a totally new culture that doesn't value the same things. It's not so easy for people to just suddenly realize that "love" is more important that culture, community, religion etc. And I agree with Dear. Get a job. If you are over 18 and want to make your own adult decisions then it's time to be an adult and become employed.
summer-roberts summer-roberts 10 years
I agree with Dear and Kris too. I wish you luck in finding a job and being able to move out soon. It must be hard to have such unaccepting parents. You must be true to yourself. This guy sounds like a great guy if he has stayed with you nearly a year only seeing you 1-2 times a week.
KrisSugar KrisSugar 10 years
That sounds like good advice from Dear. What I've learned in the past is that although my parents disapprove of things I do, they never stop loving me. THings that I was afraid to tell them got the reaction I expected, like anger. and sometimes, surprisingly, they were very calm and supportive. I hope they can reconcile their faith with the fact that you are old enough to make decisions that you feel are best for you. Clearly they did a good job raising you to be a thoughtful, considerate, loving person. Maybe a little praise for the things they've done for you would help, but also telling them that you have to make your own choices. if your choices lead to a mistake, it's yours not theirs. Sometimes parents miss the forest for the trees. mine still do that often. they can't see the overall terrific child they have raised for the handful of things they disapprove of. good luck to you!
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