Family is important, and it would be selfish of someone to suggest that we cut ties with our relatives so that we can fit into that someone’s life.
As sensitive as it is, matters regarding one’s family’s involvement in their life can have psychological and emotional effects to the point that they cause a strain on other existing relationships.
If your boyfriend’s family controls his every move, I sympathize with you.
It is not easy to navigate such a situation since you don’t want to break up a family, but you want to remain in his life.
Besides, they have known him the longest, and whether they are on good terms or not, they share a blood bond, hence there is no end to their relationship.
You, on the other hand, are the new addition to his relationship, but unless you are married to him, there is nothing permanent about your bond.
There is no certainty that you will be with him long-term, which is why most guys give in to family pressure and give up on their romantic relationships.
But there is some good news; you can make your relationship work despite the external pressures.
This post will give you tips on the dos and don’ts. By the end, you will have learned how you can save your relationship without tampering with your boyfriend’s relationship with his family.
(Remember that both you and his family are important to him, so it’s not a competition of ‘who takes care of him best?’ or ‘who loves him the most?’)
Before we get to that, every problem has a root cause. Learning why your boyfriend’s family is trying to control his life is the first step to finding ways to deal with the situation and ultimately save your relationship.
Why Is His Family Controlling His Life?
One’s family might control their life for a number of reasons.
Arguably, most people simply dismiss it as jealousy or overprotection.
The following are the key reasons your man’s family has taken charge of his life.
I. For His Protection
Have you ever seen how a family is overly protective of their only daughter?
I know this all too well, especially being a lastborn as well.
They literally breathe down on you, confronting anyone, even your boss, if they sense you are being taken advantage of.
Though annoying at first, you eventually embrace it, and before long, they are running your life.
In modern-day families, boys are protected as much as girls, especially if he is the last child.
His parents want what’s best for him, but his elder sisters know a little about how other ladies treat men and simply want to protect him.
II. He’s a Mamma’s Boy
A mother’s relationship with her son is hard to compete with, especially if he is the only child of a single mom.
Even though he is all grown up, she still sees him as her little vulnerable boy and takes charge of his life from a young age.
Actually, most guys are not aware that they are mamma’s boys.
It’s been the two of them against the world for so long that they got used to protecting each other a long time ago.
III. He Has Made Poor Choices in The Past
Out of love, his family could be controlling your boyfriend’s life because he has a history of being reckless.
Perhaps his parents made a trust fund for him when he was little, and the moment he gained access to it, he wasted all that money on a luxurious life of partying and girls till it was all drained.
Or maybe he once dated a girl who took advantage of him and left him brokenhearted.
What of his past choice of friends? He could have been involved with people who were taking him down the wrong path.
Whichever the case, his family only seeks to prevent that from happening again.
Now that we have uncovered why his family could be controlling his life, let us save your relationship…
What You Can Do To Make Your Relationship Work
1. Have An Open Communication
Communication is the key to success in a relationship.
Talk to your boyfriend about his family’s involvement in his life.
Instead of making him feel attacked, help him understand your concerns and feelings.
Let him see the influence his family’s involvement in his life has had on him and your relationship.
For communication to be successful, it needs to be two-way.
Take turns expressing yourselves. That way, you can both share your innermost feelings.
By listening without interruption, he will feel that you value his feelings, so it will be easy for him to respect yours.
Make it clear that you have no intentions of coming between him and his family.
2. Be Understanding and Patient
Before jumping to conclusions, understand his family’s behavior and where it’s coming from.
Whether you’ve met his family or not, learn about his background as much as possible.
In so doing, you will be able to understand his situation better and work together to make the necessary changes.
Since we are talking about his family, people who have been part of him his entire life, you may need to be patient with him as he makes the required progress.
3. Offer Him Support and Encouragement
Remember that your intentions are not to get his family out of the way so you can take over control of his life.
Once you’ve made him aware of how his family’s influence affects his life in general, your aim should be to offer him emotional support.
That way, he will openly discuss his thoughts with you and let you in on steps he intends to take to limit his family’s involvement in his life.
Since his family could have started controlling him way before you came into his life, he probably feels incapable of making decisions on his own.
To build his confidence, encourage him to express himself and take a stand for his beliefs, assuring him that you have his back in whatever he chooses.
4. Focus On Positive Aspects Of Your Relationship
With his family constantly interfering with his life and your relationship, it is easy to snap and give an ultimatum or walk away from the relationship.
To prevent that from happening, you should let the good outweigh the bad.
Focus on his positive attributes and the good that comes from your relationship.
- Is he supportive of you and your family?
- Is he kind, loving, and understanding?
- Aside from his family’s involvement, is there any other flaw in your relationship?
In time, you will learn that your boyfriend checks all the boxes. This will help you overlook the one flaw in the relationship and give him time to sort it out.
5. Set Boundaries
Since your intention is not to cut off his family completely, set clear boundaries on their involvement.
Let your boyfriend know your limits and expectations.
Expect resistance from his family at first, with the hope that they will understand your reasons eventually.
When you set boundaries, you give your relationship a chance to bloom without external influences and offer yourselves an opportunity to be independent.
6. Seek Professional Help
If your boyfriend is too reliant on or attached to his family or is in denial of his family’s control over his life, consider seeking a therapist’s help.
His family’s influence could also overwhelm you, causing tension and strain in your relationship.
Unlike your friends and family, a therapist only offers facts without bias.
Therapy provides you with tips on how to communicate your feelings without making your partner feel ignored or judged.
It can also help you work as a team to devise strategies to help you deal with your boyfriend’s familial pressure.
We value family relationships and their input on our everyday decisions.
However, pressure from family members can harm the choices we make and the relationships we build.
While we value and respect their role, we should be careful not to allow them to interfere too much.
If your boyfriend’s family controls his every move and even comments on your relationship, it is natural to want to give him an ultimatum.
The result could be his family despising you if he chooses to break ties with them for you or you losing him for good.
But by using the tips listed in this post, it is possible to help your boyfriend balance his relationship with his family and still have room for your relationship.
The most important thing is to communicate openly and exercise patience as you help him navigate the family dynamics.
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