Parents Hate Your Beloved One?
When you bring home the love of your life to meet your parents, you want them to be as crazy about him or her as you are. Most of the time parents and partners do get along because of their common bond-they both love you. Sometimes, however, it doesn’t work out this way and your parents and your partner can’t stand the sight of each other. This article takes a look at the common reasons why parent/partner feuds occur and offers some ideas for making things right.
Reason For Animosity #1: Jealousy
If you’ve been very close to your parents, especially if you’re a man who has been very close to his mother or a woman who has been very close to her father, you may find that your parents are jealous of this new relationship in your life. Often the animosity will come out as comments about your own behavior such as John used to call us every weekend until he met you, or This will be the first year Jenny hasn spent Christmas with us.
Nip this situation in the bud by having a heart to heart with the offending parent. Reassure your parent that you love them as much as ever and want to spend time with them, but that of course that won’t be possible if they don’t lighten up on your partner a bit. Also plead for a little understanding from your partner while your parent(s) get used to the idea of the two of you being together.
Reason For Animosity #2: Racism, Anti-Semitism, etc.
If your partner is a member of a different race or religion than that of your parents, your parents may decide to hate your partner on principle. You may be able to temper some of these reactions by privately preparing both your parents and your partner for what lies ahead. (For instance, “My parents are both Catholics, so they may invite you to mass, but don’t feel like you have to go,” or “Mom, Dad, Rachel’s Jewish. She’ll be attending the local synagogue while she’s here visiting.”)
If your parents direct any hostile remarks to your partner during a visit, it’s up to you to run interference. Simply tell your parents that your partner is your chosen mate and if they can’t be polite to him/her you’ll have to leave. At the same time, ask your partner to avoid heated political discussions with your parents. He/she can do this by selecting a “broken record” line and sticking to it if your parents try to start something. (For instance, “I make it a point to never discuss religion in public,” or, “I think we’ll just have to agree to disagree on that.”)
Reason For Animosity #3: Your Partner Screwed Up
Maybe she accidentally let loose with a horrific obscenity in front of your mother, or he made an insulting remark about your father’s political or religious beliefs. If your partner really has messed up, he or she is the only one who can fix things with a sincere apology to the offended parent and a promise of better behavior in the future. Chances are your parents will be willing to forgive and forget because they don’t want to risk losing their relationship with you.