Q: I was raised with Christian values, and pre-marital sex is not something my mom agrees with. She wants me to live a Christian lifestyle. I understand this, but I don’t see living with my boyfriend as that big of a deal. My boyfriend and I cherish each other, and sex is not something that defines our relationship. What can I do to help her understand that? Maybe I am misunderstanding her? Help! We had a rocky relationship for most of my adolescence. We fought almost every day and could never see eye to eye. When I turned 18, I wanted to move out. I met my boyfriend that year as well. We fell in love and decided to move in together when I was 19. My mom did not like that.
The first step is to understand the roots of mother-daughter conflict. You and your mom have clashed for years — but you can find ways to live in peace! Read When You and Your Mother Can’t Be Friends: Resolving the Most Complicated Relationship of Your Life - it’ll help you see your mom with an objective perspective, which will help you understand and accept her. She may never understand or accept you — but you can’t change her.
Convincing Your Parents That It’s Okay to Move In With Your Boyfriend
A: You’ll never make your mom understand your reasons for living with your boyfriend. Her Christian values and beliefs are in direct opposition to yours, and there is no way you’ll change her mind! She believes premarital sex is physically and emotionally unhealthy, as well as morally and ethically wrong. She thinks living with your boyfriend isn’t good for you, and there is no way you’ll convince her otherwise.
You aren’t misunderstanding her; you know perfectly well why she isn’t comfortable with you living with your boyfriend. You were raised with Christian values, and you mom will never understand your rationale that sex doesn’t define your relationship. Sex isn’t the problem.
The problem is that you want your mom to accept that you live with your boyfriend – and maybe even bless it. You want your mom to accept your lifestyle – and your boyfriend – with open arms. The other problem is that she never will. She loves you and wants what is best for you, but she’ll never stop believing that you shouldn’t move in with your boyfriend until he’s your husband. She thinks this experience will hurt you, and she believes living together before marriage isn’t right. There’s nothing you can do or say that will convince her it’s okay to move in with your boyfriend.
So, what next? You agree to disagree. You can’t be the daughter she wants you to be, and she can’t be the mom you want her to be. This is NORMAL – hardly anybody gets the family they want! Everyone’s family is aggravating, frustrating, and disappointing in some way. It’s part of being human.
Here’s an article about how parents affect relationships – you’ll find the tips helpful for relating to your mom: When Your Boyfriend’s Family is Ruining Your Relationship.
Your mom needs to accept you for who you are, including the fact that you think it’s okay to move in with your boyfriend. But she won’t do this. You need to accept that your mom will never understand why you’re betraying your Christian upbringing this way. You can talk to and fight with her until the cows come home, but she’ll never be okay with the fact that you live with you boyfriend.
For more tips on coping with parents who have strong opinions about your life, read Coping With Controlling Parents? 5 Ways to Take Your Life Back.