Dear Ms. Vicki,
I have become pretty desperate for advice in dealing with my parents. My boyfriend is a Marine Corps officer and we are soon to be engaged. I know that he has spoken to friends about what kind of ring I would like and made appointments at several stores to go look.
He will be going to California soon, and the plan has always been that I will be going with him. I have already applied to a couple of Master Degree programs out there. Recently though, my parents have been giving me a lot of grief about quitting my job, taking out loans for school and going with him.
My parents do not seem to be accepting the decisions that I make. They still constantly pressure me about when he will propose. They also threaten that they will cut ties with me if I choose to go to California with him. They find it pathetic that I want to "give up my education and career" to go with him, which I find to be inconsiderate and hurtful.
I care for my Marine very much and want to support him through everything, as I know he wants to do for me. Some may disagree, but right now that is more of a priority to me than a career I do not enjoy.
Although I don't want to hurt my parents, I need to find a way to communicate to them that they can help guide me and understand and support my decisions or they need to just stay out of everything. We have tried to talk about this before, but it almost always results in arguing and yelling. Can you help me?
You are correct in saying that you are an adult now. However, being an adult doesn’t stop your parents from being fearful and expressing their concerns about their child’s decisions.
It sounds like you have made a final decision to move to California with your boyfriend. Just understand you are moving with him as his girlfriend and not his wife. Things could work out for you both. You could marry and live happily ever after, as I hope you will.
On the other hand, you can move to California with him and he could have a change of heart and decide he doesn’t want to marry you and that he doesn’t want to be with you anymore.
I’ve witnessed both situations several times. Whatever happens, I think you will be able to deal with it. I can understand your parents' concerns. They want you to have every situation to your advantage. From their viewpoint, traveling with him as his girlfriend is not to your advantage.
In this case, you can only tell your parents that you love and respect them but you have made your decision. They may not support you, but it won’t change your love for them. Let them know you will keep the lines of communication with them as you embark on this journey with your boyfriend. Continue with your education and take care of yourself.
|Family and Spouse|
Ms. Vicki is a native of Dallas, has been the Dear Abby for the military community since her column began in 2005. A licensed therapist and licensed clinical social worker, Ms. Vicki holds a Master of Science in social work and a Master of Arts in clinical psychology.
Ms. Vicki appears regularly on Military.com and in the Fort Campbell Courier. Her column has also appeared in the Washington (D.C.) Times and in the Heidelberg (Germany) Post Herald. She has been featured on CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC.