At times, people are worried about you and, sometimes, this can be for a genuine reason.
In certain instances, this cannot be.
We are now living in times where Africa, as part of the global village with so many changes in social interactions, has seen the diverse view of some parents and families when it comes to relationships and dating.
However, tough as it may be, if your parents or other family members disapprove of your partner and may live you torn between choosing your family and your partner, it is important to make a proper decision.
Sometimes, the situation can be so dreadful that you end up arguing with them as you try to convince them that your values are healthier, and that you have addressed all the insecurity that may be hanging.
All this may, yet, be in vain.
However, the pretty common first reactions you may encounter are normal.
But it can be helpful to think through the situation if we expect to have a healthy relationship with our partners.
To begin with, one may need to ask them why they disapprove of your partner and, in all fairness, an honest answer based on facts and not prejudice should be appropriate.
Building a home with a partner whose family has not approved of you can be straining and if their family is controlling, it means you may have to live with them stressing you.
It is true that some marital disputes and gender-based violence among some couples emanate from families not approving of their partners.
It is no wonder, some experience the daughter-son-in law, mother-father in-law, and brother-sister in-law disputes in which partners are disliked or are just not approved of.
In instances involving racial, tribal and religious cases, we have seen how some parents have disowned their children for choosing a partner who is not a part of their faith, race or not from the same ethnic extraction.
Despite parents being over-protective, they may notice other important traits that you may not take note of or they may see the red flags which you may not see as you drown in love or sometimes they may just be petty or selfish.
For instance, your parents may observe how controlling your partner may be or may have some overwhelming information about them that may not be healthy for your relationship in future.
Sometimes, parents may force you to break the relationship because your partner may not have a job and may exhibit signs of being irresponsible.
Parents may also disapprove of partners who have a child and they would rather you get a partner without a child.
But not everyone who has a child before marriage should be judged.
Besides, who said someone with a child should only date or marry a partner who has a child?
Whatever their preference of a partner they may want you to settle down with, if you already have a relatively healthy relationship with your family members, there is no harm in finding out what their specific objections concerning your relationship are.
Think of a mother who has always reminded her daughter about how her other siblings or cousins have managed to marry men with well-paying jobs or defined professions and are living a good lifestyle.
Imagine being openly reminded about your former partner who was a smart young woman or man whom they claim is better than your current partner.
The situation may be worse with your parents who may disapprove of your partner if you pick on someone from a poor family; one who is teasingly called “Lazaro”, a demeaning corruption of the name of the biblical character Lazarus.
Alternatively, your parents and family may disapprove of your partner out of prejudice and this may be depressing.
Think of a mother who will remind her daughter about how her other siblings or have managed to marry men with well-paying jobs and already established.
Similarly, they would openly remind you about your former partner who was a smart young and caring woman or man and caring.
If you are that rural girl who came from a vulnerable home, they may also remind you about your former lover who spent a fortune on your education.
These and many negative and positive reasons can be spelt out by relations but it is during this time that one may have to respectfully let them know that while you appreciate their feelings, you do not agree with them.
Similarly, many a time, when people are in a relationship, they want to react defensively and ignore what family members say, only to regret later.
But is the disapproval genuine or is it out of prejudice.
If so, how do we handle the situation for you to win their heart?
It is important for us to reflect and do some introspection to see if what our families are suggesting or insinuating about our relationship is true instead of shutting them out or even marrying without their consent.
If the conversation on their disapproval might be difficult, it is still important to approach your family members as calmly and respectfully as possible.
In many African societies, discussing matters of relationships with our parents is still challenging but the approach of using maternal and paternal relations is still applicable.
Relationship experts have observed that all healthy relationships are built on trust, respect and communication, and that must include your relationship with your family and that of your partner.
We have some relationships heated with too much strife with their families concerning the choice of a partner that has led to some partners taking a step back.
Fear, indecision and anxiety for some partners that have been disapproved can lead into being in a relationship which can either build or destroy you hence, the need to reflect on it.
As marriage experts also observe, what is important is for you to do what is healthy for yourself as no one else is responsible for happiness.
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