I'm 20, and in a one-year relationship. He’s always kind to me and accepts me for what I am.
I feel guilty because I can't be the same for him. Although we get along well, there are many differences between us.
He’s the definition of who-to-not-date, according to my racist parents: He’s 21, not Muslim, an African-American, doesn’t have a stable job, and not attending college or university since he can't afford tuition.
My parents don't know that I'm dating him and the guilt’s eating me up.
He’s serious about our relationship, while I’m doubting it. He’s willing to convert and comply to anything needed to be together, but I don't want to mould him to my parents' ideal and my own ideal of a man.
The longer I’m with him, the more I’m in love with him, but the more I lie to my parents.
What should I do?
Lost in Romance
Stop lying to your parents, and possibly to yourself, too.
You’ve spent a year being defiant that he’s everything they’ll reject.
Look closer at your motives – if these are the background reasons for why you’re attracted to him, they’re misguided and unfair to him.
Your parents may be racists… or, they may feel more broadly that mixed-faith marriages are a harder choice.
What matters is what you really love in this man, and whether at 20 you’re prepared to commit to him long-term, as he wants.
If not, encourage him towards getting more education for his own future independence, and take a six-month break.
I’m almost 39 weeks pregnant, living with my mother, a single parent, and my older sister, age 30.
My boyfriend lives with his parents.
My mother’s done everything for my sister and me.
But she screams about everything and curses a lot. She can be very demeaning and hurtful. She’s also very controlling.
My sister, who dislikes my boyfriend for no reason, reports whatever I say, e.g. about me moving out with him and my mom gets emotional.
When he comes around, my mother yells and swears at him.
He finally said, “I don't want my son around this.” She then said, she didn’t want him at her house. She and my boyfriend haven’t talked since.
She now knows I'm leaving my family to go live with his, and sees it as betrayal.
I told my boyfriend we all need to discuss it together. But I'm afraid it'll create another screaming match.
I want my mom to understand that I love her and no one’s going to take her grandson from her. But there’s more room at my boyfriend’s house and it's better for the baby.
I don't want my mom to think that my boyfriend’s the reason for my move and hate him because of it.
The decision to move is wise on every level. If you stayed, your mother’s control and your sister’s intrusions would upset you both and create great stress on your relationship, affecting your baby, too.
Hopefully, you can convince your mom that she’s a valued grandmother by visiting her with the baby, on your own, or going on some outings together.
Try to have her invited to your in-law’s home for a visit or meal sometimes, so that she’s less likely to erupt at your boyfriend.
She needs to accept him as the father of her grandchild, and your partner in raising the baby. And you need to support your boyfriend in that role.
Can my husband have women friends who were not initially my friends too?
I feel that if he has time to meet with a friend for lunch or coffee near where I work, he should be asking me.
It’d bug me less if he were meeting a guy friend instead.
I trust him, but I feel that it could potentially become a problem.
Wondering and Worrying
You’re not alone in the niggling insecurity that’s behind your question.
Anywhere where “attached” people go – work, a gym, a workshop, or school – presents the possibility of making new opposite-sex friends.
That’s considered healthy in our society, rather than expecting to have all your needs for socialization fulfilled by one person for life.
Trusting your husband is crucial. But you also need a relationship that preserves that trust.
When possible, he should introduce you to a new friend, and sometimes invite you to join them, especially if you’re nearby.
Tip of the day:
A serious relationship needs more common goals than defying your parents.