Throughout life we will meet those individuals to date that friends, parents, and others may not approve of for whatever reason. Sometimes these concerns are legitimate when it comes to a person’s welfare, safety, or dignity. And sometimes it may stem from actually losing that individual to another through a relationship. Change is the toxic word for many people coping with friends, family, and others that relationships with them do and should change. However, there are some that may feel as though they are entitled to consume the space in the life of the person despite relationships and or marriage.
Disliking someone is usually the justification for many friends, relatives, and family members to stay involved with the mechanics of their loved one’s relationship. How many times have you seen mothers and fathers attempt to break-up their daughters and sons from potentially viable relationships. The hardest part for many parents is actually letting go. This form of letting go is nothing more than a change that parents are not willing to accept based on many of the following attributes:
- Their own individual bad experiences in the past.
- Judging their children by the failed relationships in the past.
- The fear of being abandoned and forgotten.
- The loss of control over someone they have had for decades.
- Ruining or damaging the family’s reputation by associating with the other party.
- Fear of their child being harmed or used by someone for their body or financial means.
Fear of physical abuse or exploitation.
These are only seven of the plethora of concerns parents may have when it comes to their children dating or marrying someone. If you noticed, all of the concerns are negative and this can be fed in a way that would bastardize the reality in which they face, especially if others with supporting negative opinions put in their two-cents.
Now, of course these concerns are valid and the son or daughter must understand that there is both an element of best interest and an element of personal interest in the outcome. This means that the potential partners may have to prove themselves as worthy and Yes, in some cases a chance to do so may not become granted. One element that is common for parents is to classify their children as too good for a certain person even though they have met the social standards and criteria. In this case a sense of personal vanity on the parent’s part trumps the love that the son or daughter may have for their potential partner. This is one of the elements used in arranged marriages where the parents knows best and the relationship is nothing more than a peace-offering to merge families together for a greater good beyond the scope of the two people. To put it mildly this is a pluralistic and selfish approach to implement an agenda that uses the couple as pawns in a larger game.
It should be said that the majority of parents allow their cons and daughters to make their decisions when they are of age to do so; however this parental supervision may bleed well into adulthood if not checked properly. The challenge for most people in relationships where the potential partner is disliked is much like being an attorney representing an innocent party until proven guilty. There will be hear-say, assumptions, prejudice, and any other thing that can be used to color opinions. Most often is there is no fault with the person they may then broaden the scope of contempt to ethnic group, geography, family, history, or any other technicality that promotes doubt.
The son or daughter is now faced with a crisis in many instances to be the mediator between family and friends and potential partner. This is where many people have difficulty because they do not want to displease those closest to them and do not want to lose a potentially viable relationship that could make them happy. In all decisions there are three choices 1) Change things for the better. 2) Change things for the worst, and 3) Do nothing and allow time to pass. The third choice is the most common course of action because it requires little effort and allows the son or daughter to empower themselves as the mediator. In this case, the keep both relationships, but such a decision is only a band-aid and is very short-term. A common thing to happen is the potential partner may pressure the son or daughter to fix the issue with the parents or they will move on. An ultimatum to put it lightly.
Once the potential of losing the relationship is exposed to the son or daughter, he or she may think that the partner is turning against them, but instead they are request that they take the lead in the process of reconciliation to avoid conflict. Sometimes the potential partner may attempt to address the parents autonomously, but this rarely works because the individual has already been devalued in the minds of the parents. The frustration comes from the potential partner in the sense that he or she is wasting valuable time in a situation that is not directly related to him or her.
What many people fail to realize is the way the son or daughter handles such a situation may be very telling about the way they will deal with adversity in the relationship or marriage. While mentioning the “M” word, some would like to assume that problems will be solved. The only change is that you will be married, but the crater in the relationship remains with the parents and the protection of oe day down the aisle will not give the son or daughter the respect desired.
The larger problem is simple, the parents, family, friends etc. do not have confidence in your own judgment even though many of the things you use in your assessments of mates were taught by some of the very same people so it is more of an indictment on their life-lessons for you. Also, a common thing that some parents may do is marginalize you and your opinion through the eyes of you as a little girl or little boy even though you are grown. In this sense it comes down to parents that don’t want to let go. You should remember that your maturing means that they are aging and getting closer to the grave during to the cycle of life.
Others may try to live vicariously through your relationship to correct some of the mistakes in their lives. Yet, some parents may legitimately see some short-comings from the partner; however instead of criticizing them since the parents know how important this person is to you, they may be helpful in assisting him or her to recognize and address those issues in a constructive manner. A good rule of thumb is to briefly look at the relationship objectively and if the rationale does not add up to the accusations then more than likely an agenda is present.
The one thing that may a flawed strategy is to think that your partner is going to fight the fight on your behalf and that the integrity of the team will survive. So many people have failed using this approach. In fact more than likely the partner will leave because he or she did not sign-up for family counseling. Again, another intro into something that would benefit all parties, but as expected this may be controversial and getting family into such an endeavor may prove daunting. The usual reason for rejecting counseling is largely due tot he fact that the parents see the partner as a the problem and they did not need counseling before he or she came along.
Rumors are another weapon used to solidify their position whether it is truth or a lie, it does not matter. The credibility of the sources are not placed into question and therefore the number of people can be exaggerated in agreement with their opinion. A forth-coming article will address in more detail dealing with family, and friends.