Romeo & juliet, do your parents approve of the relationship?

Medically reviewed by Lori Lawrenz, PsyD — Written by Karen Sosnoski, PhD — Updated on September 22, 2021

Parental disapproval of partners adds zing khổng lồ romantic comedies, but off-screen it’s often far from funny. Here’s what’s likely going on and ways to lớn cope.

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When I first met Stu, I was not quite sold. He seemed unattractive. He lacked intelligence và imagination. He was missing the spark you look for in a man.” Father of the bride’s wedding speech — “The Hangover Part 2.”

Parental dislike of a significant other or spouse can be blunt, subtle, or passive-aggressive. Và it can wreak havoc in relationships — if given the chance.

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One study suggests that parental disapproval does strain partnerships.

Before you react, it can be helpful lớn pause và take stock of your situation. Once you know exactly what’s going on, you can be better prepared to choose your response.

It’s important to lưu ý different parental objections would likely điện thoại tư vấn for nuanced means to lớn engage and respond. For example, personality or political differences of opinion are areas time và openness on both sides might overcome, but issues due lớn intolerance or prejudice may require a more in-depth sit-down with your parent.

If your parent suspects abuse, you or you & them together might want khổng lồ get an outside perspective from a clinical expert.

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They only invite you — not your partner — to lớn family events

Exclusion doesn’t have to lớn be direct. Refusing to accommodate is one size of exclusion. In this vein, your parents leaving when your partner arrives or dropping by when they know they’ll be gone may be indicators of avoidance.

They don’t want to lớn hear why your partner is so great

They’d rather talk about the handsome, smart guy your sister’s marrying. Or they remind you of how well your ex is doing since he moved to lớn Florida. Good qualities you mention can be redirected lớn other topics.

If you say your partner works hard, your parent might sigh and talk about how lonely it must get for you with a partner always working. Sometimes their praise of you is backhanded criticism of your spouse. As in, “it’s lucky your kids have one parent who puts them first.”

They criticize your partner directly

Unproductive or incompassionate critiques can run the gamut from your partner not fitting in with the larger group, to socializing too much, to lớn just not being right for you.

The negativity bias also breeds more negativity and makes it hard for a parent to find something likeable about their adult child’s partner.

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Prejudice & parental disapproval

Sometimes the criticisms will involve veiled or direct homophobia or racism. These actions are embedded in intolerance and black và white thinking and are far more serious.

A năm ngoái study of parental disapproval of gay and lesbian relationships shows the strain prejudice can cause. Some respondents sought solace and romantic relationship strengthening by separating themselves from their parents.

Losing a relationship with you is likely not your parent’s goal. If racism or homophobia is involved, you may want to consider sitting down and “talking about prejudice with your parents.”

Hidden reasons for disapproval

Your parents may have their own issues and fears about relationships which show themselves in passive-aggressive behavior about yours.

They say they’re worried about you — sometimes for genuine reasons, other times not

Your parents may say your significant other is controlling, untrustworthy, or not good for ‘us.’

They might just be feeling left out. Or this could be a sign of your parents being enmeshed with your day-to-day life.

There’s also a chance that they see red flags you don’t. If there’s a chance they’re on lớn something, you can reflect & do some introspection khổng lồ see if you’re in a controlling relationship và don’t know it.

What to bởi when parents disapprove of a relationship?

Whether it’s your parents who are off base or you need to bởi some relationship tweaking khổng lồ set boundaries or expectations between you & your partner, here are some pointers lớn you can consider to lớn help maintain the peace in the interim.