I’m having a hard time trying to decide on what to do about my boyfriend, well hopeful fiancé. We’ve been together for about two and a half years now, and I’m ready to make him mine. I mean we already live together and have a dog, but I’m ready to take that next step. I’m pretty sure he’s ready too. The only problem is my family isn’t supportive of us getting married.
It’s not that my family doesn’t support gay marriage, they just don’t like my boyfriend. In fact they can’t stand him. My mom and sister especially think he doesn’t pay for anything, and will hurt me again. He cheated on me a year ago once, but after time and a little counseling, we got back together. I’ve forgiven him, but my family is still salty about it.
Anyway, I’m grown and can do what I want, but I want my family to be okay with this engagement and eventual marriage. I just don’t know how to make this work. Any ideas?
-RJ Sims 92
Dear RJ Sims 92,
Thanks for writing to me. Allow me to first congratulate you on your wanting to get married. Marriage is a big step for most couples, and the fact you feel prepared to take that step is a wonderful thing. A grown and adult thing. So again, congrats.
Now as far as your family’s approval is concerned, that’s a tough place to be in. No one wants to be stuck between their family and their man. And while I don’t aim to make you feel bad, the issues that exist between your boyfriend and your family is in part on you.
More than likely, your family members aren’t fans of your man because of the things you’ve shared. How would they know what your boyfriend is or isn’t paying for without you feeding them that information? They probably wouldn’t know he cheated on you if you didn’t disclose that news. And while you weren’t necessarily wrong for sharing your relationship problems with folks you consider confidants and your support system, you’ve painted the picture of a person they know was a source of your hurt and frustration. Although you may have forgiven your boyfriend for his mistakes and transgressions, your family doesn’t appear to be there yet, and are trying to “protect” you.
If you find it to be an absolute must for your family and boyfriend to get along prior to you popping the big question, then I suggest you bring the two sides together to hang out more frequently. Provide more opportunities for your family to get to see why you want this man to be your husband. Since you two are already living together, maybe start with inviting your family to your home for dinner or brunch. Should your boyfriend be an amazing cook, have him prepare the meal in hopes your family will appreciate his effort.
Suggestions going forward
- If you find that your family and man spending more time together doesn’t make things better, then you need to have a heart-to-heart with your family. Explain to them the mental toll it takes on you to have people you love at odds with one another.
- There are some folk out there that will read this and suggest your boyfriend try apologizing to your family for hurting you. They would encourage your boyfriend to make it clear he’s sorry and vow never to purposefully hurt you again. While I don’t hate the suggestion, I don’t tend to believe your boyfriend necessarily owes them an apology for business that just occurred between you and him. But if your boyfriend feels apologetic, he should go ahead and say sorry. It can’t hurt.
As always nothing but love,
Oh, and make sure you check out my new scripted show, Majoring in Me the Podcast.