How to deal with disapproving parents

Parents disapprove of your relationship or marriage, what to do?

Your wedding day is one of the most important milestones in your life and you want to share it with all the people you love. However your parents have not been supportive with your marriage and tried to make you change your mind. If you listen to them and call off the wedding, you will risk losing your other significant – the love of your life. But if you proceed the wedding against their will disgracefully, you might damage the relationship with your parents. Below are a few advices for you to deal with this tough situation:

Try to find the reason why your parents disapprove of the relationship

Openly discuss with your parents why they disapprove of your marriage. Discussing things calmly and openly would help clarify any misunderstanding perceptions and might help with the situation. If it is because of some religious reason, discuss it with a minister/pastor to see if any solution is viable.

Listen to your parents – Most of the time, parents’ disapproval just comes from their worries for you. By listening to them and trying to put yourself in their shoes, you might understand how they feel and their worries. By knowing the cause of the problem, you could be able to alleviate your parents’ fears. Personally I know how discussing upfront with your parents can be, I was there and I know that it could be brutal, you both are somehow blinded by your own ideas, emotion and perceptions. You might say things you don’t mean to and the discussion could turn into a battle of tears and shouting.

Seek for third-party help

Persuade them to go to premarital counseling – Sometimes professional help is needed if you and your parents cannot come to terms by discussing with each other. Premarital counseling could help improve the communications and problem solving skills of you and your parents. In addition, some words from someone partial and experienced in family conflicts would give both you and your parents a clearer view of the situation.

Seek for the help from a family friend or another family member – Ask a family friend or a family member that knows and supports your relationship and marriage to talk with your parents. Your parents may be more open to discuss and reveal their feelings to another trusted person. In addition, seeing the support of other people for your marriage could help sooth their anger and make them change their minds.

Follow your heart

If you find out that your parents don’t have any reasonable reason to justify their disapproval of your marriage, just follow your heart and do what you are sure of. You are a grown adult and you should be able to have your own life. Your significant other (S.O.) would be the person you spend the rest of your life with, not your parents or his/her parents.

However, if the situation is still tense after the wedding, be sure to discuss with your wife/husband about how the relationship between your parents and your S.O. would be. You could limit the number of meetings between your S.O. and your parents. Be sure not to let the tense be a burden on your relationship. Usually parents’ disapproval fades when time passes, when they see how happy you are with your other half.

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