Romeo's Family Mean to Juliet
Q: 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
Dr. Susan: 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.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.