I’m 30, facing a serious problem with my parents. I want to introduce my boyfriend, 34, to them. I’m serious about him.
But I know that he disagrees strongly with all that they believe about US President Donald Trump.
It doesn’t matter to them that they’re Canadian-born, live here, and only visit America for periodic golf vacations.
They actually believe what Trump says about Covid-19 being on its way out in the US, even as leading scientists there disagree.
My boyfriend, who watches Fox News as well as CNN so he can feel he’s getting at least two sides of every story, says Trump shows all the signs of a wannabe dictator.
He’s sure that, if Trump wins the November election, Canadians will also be negatively affected through punishing trade bans.
Even before the pandemic, my parents described Trump as “refreshing,” and said he has the true values they hold dear.
I can’t believe they’re so hoodwinked by him. I share my boyfriend’s views and believe in his values about democracy, on fighting racism, promoting women, Black and other racialized people onto corporate boards, and tackling crime in impoverished communities.
I’ve always believed that my parents were good people, self-made financial successes from working-class origins, and devout Catholics. I can’t understand what positive factor they see in Trump.
How do I handle introducing my boyfriend to them, without a catastrophic reaction on either side?
Prepare your boyfriend. Tell him first what you love/like about your parents, and the positive side of how their upbringing influenced who you became as an adult.
Then, tell him that your parents are likely to have some lifelong views, based on their strong faith and years of upholding it.
It’s not his job as a prospective partner to you, to instantly try to change their minds on hot-button topics say, such as abortion, gun control, or even on President Trump (especially since you, their daughter, haven’t been able to sway them).
I’m not suggesting that he stay silent upon being introduced. They’ll likely ask him some questions about where he grew up and other background details.
Hopefully, they’ll not press him further into areas of huge differences.
At this stage, if you two wish to have a future together, he must stay respectful, despite any opposing views to theirs.
However, if they react to him harshly, quickly end this first meeting and leave without responding similarly.
You’re both entitled to choose a partner based on shared values and mutual respect, no longer needing a pat on the head for choosing “the right kind” of mate.
The right one, is the person you can see yourself living with for many years to come.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman whose boyfriend has night terrors and shocked her by using the sink as his toilet (July 27):
Reader – ‘When I first met my husband back in 1968, he too, was an avid sink-pooper. When I first learned about this, I became very angry at him!
“I was disgusted with him. But once I found out from his family doctor that he had bathroom-related trauma, I became extremely supportive of his sink-pooping.
“He later proposed to me in 1978 and he has continued this habit to this day. We even had a built-in step-stool so that he can still do it, even with his old man bones!”
Ellie - Both women, years apart, wisely sought advice/help for these very unusual situations.
My pregnant, single friend is worrying me with regard to her lack of knowledge/interest about raising a child.
Unlike other friends and family who’ve had children, this woman, who’s 32, isn’t reading about the stages of development in the womb, or the best nutrition and self-care an expectant mother should follow to try and give a newborn a healthy start.
I’m not a mother myself so I can’t keep telling her what to do. I feel that I sound negative when I’m asking her questions she can’t answer.
But I’m an aunt and a godmother to several children. What should I say or do without insulting her?
Buy her the most positive, encouraging, readable book on pregnancy and preparation for baby, that you can find.
Put a bookmark on some of the pages that are upbeat and compelling. Talk to her about it, making positive comments. Stay close after she gives birth… she’ll need your support.
Tip of the day:
Adult children who respect their parents, nevertheless have a right to their own values and beliefs.