Dear V: When parents don’t approve

Dear V,

I’ve been with my boyfriend since sophomore year of high school. We’re juniors in college now and have lived together for a little over a year. I couldn’t be happier. In fact, a few months ago, my boyfriend asked me to marry him… I said yes! The problem is, I haven’t told my parents yet because, well, they hate him. Back in high school when we first started dating, he cheated on me and it broke my heart. My parents have never forgiven him, and they didn’t accept that I’ve chosen to stay with him, either. He’s convinced me that it was a one-time mistake and I believe him. I want to tell my parents the exciting news, but I know they won’t be pleased. What should I do?


Moving Forward

Dear Moving Forward,

First off, don’t be too hard on your parents for struggling to let bygones be bygones. Cheating is something that few people can forgive or get past in a relationship. Your boyfriend should realize that not many girls would stick around after what he did. Your parents’ anger stems from a good place: protecting their daughter.

That being said, it’s been years since that rough patch in your relationship, so it’s time for your parents to leave the past and join you in the present. If they know that you’ve forgiven him and are happy with your relationship, that should be enough for them to loosen the reins. Tell them that while you love them and respect their opinion, the decision of who you spend the rest of your life with is yours.

However, your parents do have a point.

No matter how long ago it may have been, cheating is a huge deal. People who are cheated on rarely heal in that same relationship. You may want to step back and ask yourself if you truly trust your boyfriend before you take this leap. Yes, you may be madly in love with him and that’s wonderful, but you’ll never be truly happy in a relationship where you’re left wondering if your future husband is really on that “business trip” or if he’s gone to shack up with that coworker he’s always clicked with. You shouldn’t have to spend the rest of your life wondering why he chose someone else over you in that moment, either.

Ultimately, you’re the only one who can know what you’re truly feeling deep down. Respect your parents’ opinions, but do what’s best for you and will make you happy. If you love him and trust him not to hurt you again, then take the chance and break the news to your parents in the most gentle way you can.