What you need to know:
- Some relationships have ended, whether married or not, through such interference.
- I must confess that some of the interference ended up being good for the future of the two, either through a break-up or just a need to take time and rethink the future for the two love birds.
My girlfriend’s family rejected me. Later, I came to learn it was because they felt their daughter did not deserve to be married to a humble teacher. It is a well off family, and the daughter is a clinical officer. I thought they would come around, but it has been a year now. My girlfriend also sided with my parents, and this hurt me to the core. Now I am thinking of having my relatives intervene because I can’t live without her. Is that advisable, or what can I do to win her back?
It is a general feeling in relationships that although marriage is about the choices the man and the woman make, parents seem to play a significant role in how the two conduct their affairs. Interferences by in-laws is something that has plagued those are getting married for a long time now.
Some relationships have ended, whether married or not, through such interference. I must confess that some of the interference ended up being good for the future of the two, either through a break-up or just a need to take time and rethink the future for the two love birds.
Your situation is not unique considering the psychological, socio-cultural and socio-economic changes in our world today. The issues that will need to be looked at include the following:
What is your connection like? Interrogate whether the bond between you and your girlfriend is genuine. Why did she choose to side with the parents? This is important to determine. Maybe the parents helped expose her inner beliefs and convictions that could have come out later in the marriage. Both of you must be so convinced about the love you have between yourselves to the extent that you will be willing to defend it individually and as a team. This does not seem to be the case.
What is the parental connection like? Some parents have a great deal of trouble separating from their grown children. As a result, they may refuse to let go and allow their children to achieve autonomy.
Most of their reasons are purely selfish. You must determine whether the parents’ hold on her is that she can’t make her own decisions? In certain families, the bond between parents and their children can extend to a zone with more control and manipulation.
Let me add that parents are not always solely to blame for a dysfunctional relationship. Young adults need to evaluate their ability to separate and let go of any unhealthy connections. This is key in helping the parent acknowledge the maturity of their grown children. Every young adult must prove through word and deed that they can be trusted with leading themselves.
What is an economic connection? Some parents have trouble letting go because they feel that their children will be deprived of the life they hoped they would get. Of course, this is selfish. However, only your girlfriend can fight the battles brought by her parents while you fight the ones brought by yours. For example, does your girlfriend believe in your financial plan for marriage when you finally tie the knot? If she can’t, it will not take much convincing from her parents that you will not meet her needs adequately.
Connection with reality? The issue here could be whether the parents’ interference was just but a trigger. The reality check for you would be to evaluate the whole relationship on core issues like compatibility. On the other hand, could the current impasse have anything to do with mere competition. Maybe the parents are fighting image issues. However, if your girlfriend buys into it, then there is no chance of reviving your relationship.
Do remember, if parents have some form of dysfunction in their relationship with their children, this could spiral and show itself in the way they direct their feelings to their children’s marriages. Their actions attempt to remedy what they wished they had or an image they want to perpetuate.
Finally, can you live without her? The answer is an emphatic Yes! Some people have said that failing is not the end of the road. Many failures yesterday are today basking on the achievements of their not giving up and instead of working hard towards their dream. First, accept the pain of breaking up with her. The pain of ending this relationship is real and may take time for you to internalise. Second, manage your emotions.
Try and see opportunity and not failure with the end of this relationship. Third, don’t live in the past. I can’t tell with certainty how long you will take to heal. It will depend on your determination and focus. If you get stuck crying about how nice things were or the fact that you were hurt, you will not move forward. After all, you were still dating.
While appreciating what you had together, move on to craft a new future. Finally, open up your heart to new experiences. However, healing from your past will help you avoid future manipulation. Do not be in a hurry to date again. Pray and reflect on what you want in life before taking action.
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