Romeo's Family Mean to Juliet
People always call me and my boyfriend "Romeo and Juliet" because we love each other so much, but his family doesn't want us to be together. His mom and sister have high expectations for his girlfriend, and they usually express themselves directly to me. This is really damaging the relationship, and I always have hard feelings when we are with his family members. I eventually lose all my confidence under this pressure and negative comments from his family. What should I do? -- Anne, 25
You need to talk frankly with Lover Boy. If you and he intend to create a permanent relationship, his loyalty to you has to be non-negotiable. He should be telling his family to back off and stop hassling you. Unless he agrees with their assessments? Of course, you could always avoid spending time with his family. You shouldn't have to hang out with toxic people who poke holes in your self-esteem and self-confidence. His family environment sounds toxic. Keep in mind that if he doesn't get your point of view, he may believe such negativity is "normal." Try to set him straight that it isn't and doesn't have to be.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.,
is a social psychologist and relationship expert. She is a bestselling and award-winning author whose latest book is "Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way." She has written for and been quoted in Cosmopolitan, Psychology Today, Family Circle, Women's Health & Fitness, YM, USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, Child, and many others. She also consults and teaches writing online. Read her complete bio!
NOTE: The information contained herein is provided for information purposes, and not intended as a substitute for advice or treatment that may or should be prescribed by your physician or recommended by your therapist.