BF and I had to break up because of family
Just wanted to share my story and get some insight from people here.
My bf and I had to break up because of his family's disapproval. Unlike most other stories, the disapproval was not personal to me. We had been dating many months now, and he's honestly the most compatible partner I have ever met in my life. We align in almost every single way, and in just the first few months, we had reached the sort of levels people usually reach after a year or 2. I've had several relationships in the past, but none of my other exes even come close in terms of compatibility and the love I felt for him.
The family's disapproval stems from the fact that he had been cheated on in his past relationships, and they feel he isn't ready for a relationship, nor trust his judgment of character and anyone he meets. He's in his mid-20s mind you (I'm a little older), and very much an adult who should be able to make his own decisions about his life.
But they objected so strongly to the fact that he's in a relationship they think he isn't ready for, that they threatened to disown him. Now his family isn't the greatest, they're stubborn and judgmental and have never been a tight nor supportive family unit. They usually don't give a crap about each other's lives, but this one time, they all decided to meddle.
He doesn't live with the family btw, but very near to his bro. His bro came around when I was over one day, and he decided to tell the bro he was in a serious relationship and that's when the whole drama started and all other family members were brought in.
It honestly pissed me off because they didn't even give us a chance. Not even a chance to try to get to know me before they decided. And the irony of it all is, I have a very strong stance on cheating and unfaithfulness, and I would never even think about cheating on him.
He didn't have the mental strength to fight them, because the fear of getting disowned and not having family constantly got to him. Even if they were a crappy family, they were still his family. It did upset me and broke my heart that he didn't fight for even a chance with me, but at the same time, I understand how scary it can be when the threat of being disowned looms over the relationship.
We've since decided to stay friends and still talk every day, just without the lovey dovey stuff, but it's been difficult when feelings are so strong. This was the only strategy we could think of to even have a chance of being together in the future. And it's only a chance since we don't know if the family will ever let him live his own life or allow us to get back together. It's only been a few days but I've been bouncing between heartache and apathy. It's not easy for him either, because he does want to be with me and if not for this, we would still be very happy together.
I just hate that it's become so uncertain... will we ever be together again, and if not, will i ever meet or love another person so compatible with me. We've decided to wait it out together, as friends, and hope we can eventually be together again. But there seems to be no end in sight at the moment.
If anyone has any similar stories to share, and how you coped, or any insight into this, feel free to share.
I think you’ve made the right decision to stay as friends for the time being and if in the future a relationship starts again. You might just need to be patient. Even though you say is family don’t care about each other they might of supported him through break ups if he was really low and bad break ups.
Unless there is a lot of control in his family? Because threatening to disown him is quite a big threat to use, they might not of actually followed through, it might of been all talk. I agree since you’re now friends it might be a good idea to talk to him about his past relationship and his family?
Also he might need to recognise what information he should and shouldn’t share with his family, to save stress and drama. I’m talking about When he told his brother in a serious relationship with you and he went back and told everyone.
It's very uncommon to mendle in peoples business here, even in the family. We advise only but everything else it's their choice. So it is something strange to me, but I kinda get it.
To be truth this closeness between you it is as good, as it is bad. It's good that you stayed friends but the thing is, you are both very young and the state of that relationship is very uncertain.
Giving some distance is also something you both need to consider in order to heal.
Thanks for all the responses.
His last relationship ended about a bit more than a year ago. There was not much family intervention with his recovery from that breakup because I wasn't joking about them not being a tight nor supportive family. They usually stay out of each others' lives and let you deal with your own problems. So it's very puzzling to even him that they are choosing to step in so strongly this time, and to the point of threatening to disown him.
I thought that too, that they probably wouldn't follow through with a threat like that and that they just want to use that to control him. But the possibility that they may follow through is too much for him to handle and he doesn't have the emotional strength to handle it.
Honestly, he really just wanted to share happy news with his brother that he is in a serious and happy relationship, but the extreme reaction that followed from the family was something even he never expected.
Honestly, I too find this really strange. Usually family objection comes as advice rather than an ultimatum. But this was an extreme "you shouldn't be in a relationship and if you don't listen to us, we might disown you" kind of situation.
I do understand your point and I've thought about it myself. But neither of us wants to lose each other from our lives, and if we even wanted a chance at being together again one day, however long it takes, staying good friends was the only solution we could think of.
I think if you do start a relationship again in the future it will become obvious If it’s control or if they’re concern was genuine.
I can see how this is so hard for you both. You say you had been dating many months before, and it sounds like you were very happy. Some people wouldn’t let threats get to them, even from family members, and they would of just carried on with the relationship. But maybe it’s because he’s been hurt in the past it’s made him wobble and he needs to trust himself that what he had with you was good. If thats made any sense? Equally healthy parents would want to get to know you first before saying anything or making any judgement.
If they’re genuine they’d be happy for him, knowing that he’s waited a little longer before starting a relationship with you again and hopefully they’d like to get to know you both as a couple.
If they threaten not to speak to him again or they’re not happy for him, it’s all negative, then it’s clear that there are control issues and somethings not quite right. Thats when you’re bf might have to look at his relationships within his family/certain family members. Using threats ( empty Ones or not) to control him isn’t nice and its emotional. But they might have used threats before and know that it works.
Yeah, I completely understand that he wanted to tell his brother because he was happy with you and the relationship he had with you. It’s what you want do when you’re happy with someone :-). He probably hoped that his brother would be happy for him, that’s how it should be. If he was a healthy, caring brother he would be happy for you both, not then go tell the rest of the family and make it into a big thing. If it was me, I would learn from that and be careful what info I share.
Thanks for that, Lily,
I feel like the responses I get here are a lot more understanding and non-judgmental and I really appreciate that. I posted this story on another forum and people there were veeeery judgmental, without even knowing the full story or details.
Anyway, it's definitely the first time I've ever had to deal with such an odd reaction from a partner's family. Even he is still trying to understand it himself.
At the end of the day though, I don't think he's mentally or emotionally strong enough to go against them, even though he's aware they're trying to control him. He can't get over the fear that he would lose them, regardless of how controlling and unsupportive they are. I'm starting to think that maybe just friends is better for us at the moment, until he can somehow strengthen his resolve. And if that day never comes, at least we can maintain this deep friendship that we have, because above all else, romance aside, we do have a very deep connection as friends.
Yeah, this is a nice forum, Ive been coming on here for a few years now updating my thread and answering threads. You can always keep updating this thread if you want and someone will answer :-).
Yep going against parents/family is hard and I think the time does have to be right. It might just be him learning to speak to them differently and changing himself. If they are controlling/toxic then he’d need support maybe from a counsellor. But for now both of you as friend is good.
I hope it's not too late to share my thoughts. Like it or not, when you are in a relationship with someone, it does include their family. There are remedies to this, but they are usually extreme. So lets look at your options.
I think you are very smart in taking more and deliberate time in this relationship to determine the intensity of your BF's family's intention. I don't know if you meant what you said previously, but you mentioned, "...however how long it takes." That may mean more time then you want to give this. By the way, what does disowning even mean?
Another serious consideration would be the love your boy friend has for you. Staying in this relationship may mean you will be sharing this love with those you may not want to share it with. Do you want a relationship, perhaps even marriage, with this person when he may not make you his most important person(s) in his life? This does not make it an "either or thing" but does establish priorities.
Counseling is always an option, but you strike me as someone that may have these skills. I don't think breakups have an established time to "get over it", but I think over a year is reasonable and respectful of him and his family for you to engage in some meaningful conversation about feelings, intent, and needs from all.
Let us know how that goes, or be prepared for "...however long it takes."
I'm really sorry for what you're going through. The fact that he didn't/couldn't (or even had to) fight for you says it all...if he were adult and if he did make his own decisions, his family wouldn't have trespassed their boundaries this way (I can't help but think he opens the door for this kind of meddling). I feel that he still hasn't established limits with his family: the problem definitely has nothing to do with you. The fact that they have threatened to disown him (which I think is purely manipulative, a stunt if you will) was a strategic move on their part, as they knew it would discourage him. if they truly cared, they would have shared their concerns with him, suggested he went to therapy, tried to give you guys a chance, or simply advised him to take it slow. This is just excessive.
I've recently discovered that my BF's mom hated me from the get-go without giving me a chance. I found out he was a mama's boy. Unfortunately you can't change a man or force him to grow up.
I think you deserve a truly independent and functioning adult who has a balanced family dynamics. You have just started dating: it shouldn't be this hard!
All the best of luck to you