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Parents - controlling my relationship

Community Member

Hello Everyone,

I am 19f. I have recently begun a relationship with someone who is slightly older (>4 years old) than me. I currently study full-time and work part-time, due to this I live at home with my parents.

My parents, have 'told' me that they don't like this person that I am seeing because of their lifestyle choices.

However, these lifestyle choice don't effect my in any way, and my partner has since made a change towards those choice.

Despite this, my parents have told me that I am not allowed to see my partner and I am not allowed to talk to my partner. I have reached out to my parents many times to sit and talk with my partner but my partners have threaten violence towards my partner if they ever see them

I want to be with my partner, as they make me unbelievably happy and being with them makes me forget about the stresses of life.

However, I am unsure of what to do in this situation. I am worried if I move out my parents will no longer speak to me and I'll be stranded on a low income job, trying to work my way through a university degree. Please help!

8 Replies 8

Community Member

Hi Pippa,

I am actually in the same situation as you. However, it came down to my mum telling me to choose between her and my relationship. I told her I wouldn't choose so she kicked me out and no longer speaks to me. I have spoken to a lot of family members about the situation. No one can tell you how to live your life. Unfortunately you and I have been put in a really terrible situation where we are made to choose between family and love. What has helped me is knowing I'm not alone, I didn't realise how many people experienced the same thing until I was reading through the stories. The thing that I tell myself is that love is hard to come by and you shouldn't let it go that easy. If you do, you risk that person moving on while you're left brokenhearted. However, your family are your family and they need to decide whether this is really something worth loosing their child over. I hope they come around for you, as I hope my mum comes around for me. Wishing you the best of luck

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Pippa_thebold~

I guess there are several choices

1. See your friend in secret and tell lies about it, probably an alternative doomed to failure even if you can get around the moral hurdles involved

2 Give up on your friend, stay at home and try to continue as before -I suspect this would leave you with a very poor self-image, alter your potential future relationships and produce many regrets plus encourage you to be further under your parents' control.

3. Wait

4. View the relationship as a true partnership, where your partner helps takes responsibility to look after you as you would for them. An unconvincing promise or none at all would indicate you would be sacrificing yourself for a short term fling with someone that does not really care that much. Concrete plans might be an encouragement, particularly if your friend makes demonstrable commitments to them.

5. Somehow convince your parents that the time has come for them to start to let you make your own mistakes -the best solution, but maybe unobtainable. Do you have allies in your family for this view?

Can you think of any more?

Apart from all the above I'm worried about two things, firstly your very controlling parents have resorted to threats of violence, which is not on. It shows an attitude I'd find in anyone as unacceptable in the circumstances, no matter what your friends conduct.

Secondly your freinds 'lifestyle choices' which you have not explained. This can be many things, from an ice habit to simply being a different religion. Also his age: if >4 means he is 24 OK, 54 not so good, perhaps a more problem prone situation.

Do you have anyone you respect you can talk to about this who has met your freind and can give you their views?

Look, I have laid things out pretty bluntly, and I apologize, however you are facing a major decision that affects your life, and it would be unfair to you not to try to set things out.

OK, having read the above would you like to come back and say more?



Dear Croix,

Thank you for your reply! Even though things were laid out bluntly, they have helped me consider those options

I have tried to see my partner in secret however, my father closely monitors my acitivty

I don't want to give up on this relationship

I have been waiting for a long period of time and it has become straining mentally.

My parents won't listen to me about making my own mistakes and learning from my experiences

My partner has offered to look after things financially around the small amount of wages I make in my part time job but I fear that will become straining on my partner

My partners 'lifestyle choice', was that he previously took recreational drugs at festivals

He is only 3 years older than me, but my parents call that an issue

I have spoken to many people who know both my partner and myself well and they are confused as to where the issues comes from with my parents.

Unfortunately, my parents will not change their minds, and believe that they have every right to control my life choices. I am scared to start a conversation for fear of being yelled at and being insulted. I am unsure of how to create these conversations

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Pippa_thebold~

Thank you for putting up wiht my rather direct manner.

It would seem to me there has to be a balance between practicality and what you want in life.

To answer your observation about not knowing how to start a conversation why not write a letter? Not a confrontational one, but making it clear what you plan to do.

I'm not sure how well you understand the hardships in working and study (I was a uni educator for many years and had great admiration for the small number that managed that), not am I sure of the dynamics of a relationship where you are financially beholden to another.

If you do decide to go with you friend (and I'm deliberately not advising either way) please ensure you have a fall-back position, a relative or friend to stay with perhaps if your relationship does not last. This might sound gloomy or pessimistic but can give you a sense of independence, an equal partnership, as well as being practical.

Incidentally taking unknown pills at a festival is not the wisest of choices as the few testing stations allowed have proved.

I myself was disinherited from my family when I chose an 'unsuitable' match. It worked well for 25 years until she died. The big difference was we both had jobs and careers and were equals. I was a year or so older than you. It is surprising how much it hurts to have family relationships severed.


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Pippa_the bold,

You could try appealing to your parents better nature? Ask them to tell the story of how they met and if they received any resistance from anyone such as their parents? If not, how would they have felt if they had and what would they do?
Your parents need to appreciate that you are an adult now and need to make your own mistakes. We’ve all had boyfriends/girlfriends who in hindsight weren’t great for us but it’s part of the process of figuring out what we want in a person, very few hit the jackpot the first go. Perhaps if you frame it like that, they will be heartened by the fact that this may not last forever :)? If you don’t mind me asking, what is it about your partner that they have such an issue with?

Hi Juliet_84

my parents don’t like that my partner had previously recreational drugs.

my parents don’t see that other perspective and I have tried to appeal to another side and they just won’t listen

Dear Croix,

I have friends that are willing to allow me to stay with them.

My partner works full time and I also work myself.

I have a great ability to be able to balance both studying and working.

He did know what he was taking as he was quite ‘smart’ around knowing what he was taking

I thank you for your advice and it gives me alot to consider x

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Pippa_thebold~

It's not an easy set of choices, please let us know how you get on