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Mark Manley
Mark Manley, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 402
Experience:  Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Over 15 years exp. Married 30 years and happy.
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I am 29 years old. I have had the same boyfriend for 7+ years.

Customer Question

I am 29 years old. I have had the same boyfriend for 7+ years. We are happy. We have a 4 your old son. I have a 9 year old daughter from a previous relationship. Alittle over a year ago my mom and dad and boyfriend got into an argument. Now none of them will get around each other. I have asked repeatedly that we sit down and talk to move forward. My folks will not. My boyfriend is willing. Now they want to do Christmas with the kid and rest of the family. They planned it without even telling us. My daughter told me. When I ask them about it they say we are welcome. Yet they have not spoken to the boyfriend in over a year. They only have bad things to say about him. And he refuses to allow aydin over there until we all talk. Until they except him for who he is.

Background info:
The argument was over how they feel my boyfriend is not good enough for me, to sum things up. And his problem with them is they do not respect him. He feels they always put him down.
Last Christmas me and my daughter went to my folks and my son and boyfriend stayed home. My family lost it and were crushed.
When I asked to patch things up and do Aydin's birthday party they refused to come and did there own celebration behind our back. They use to babysit. Now our son is in daycare but they get our daughter after school.

I don't know what to do to fix it. To get back to being a family and feeling like I have to choose sides. Any suggestions?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Mark Manley replied 3 years ago.
Hello,
Thanks for your question.

This is very painful for you because you are in the middle of people you love who don't have good feelings for one another and to top it off your children are entangled in the mess.

No wonder you want them to work out their differences.

Unless your boyfriend has been, or is, abusive (emotionally, physically) to you or the kids, or he is a deadbeat and doesn't contribute his share to the financial wellbeing of the family, your parents are being foolish.

You might want to think about telling or writing your parents something like.

"The position you have taken in this dispute has been so uncomfortable for me, you have put me in the middle of a feud that you started with my BF. I know you love me and are only trying to look after my best interest, you have said what you felt you need to say, now it is time to accept my choice of a boy friend, because he is my choice. You want him to apologize for the way he responded to your confronting him regarding the things you don't like about him. If you would show him more love and respect and acceptance he may eventually feel less defensive and apologize for his reaction. I am happy with him and don't have plans to leave the relationship. You got to say what you wanted to say to him, now accept my choice and show the maturity you would like him to show by treating him the way you want to be treated. At some point he may acknowledge his faults in the situation. You took the initiative to confront him on his faults, I want you to take the initiative to heal the relationship. If you would have kept your concerns to yourself in the first place or at the very least brought them to me and urged me to choose some one else to be my partner this mess would have been avoided. BotXXXXX XXXXXne is you want him to grow up and be a better partner for me, so please set the example, and by doing so start to take some of the pressure off me. I won't be in the middle of this feud much longer and if forced, I will likely choose his side over yours. In short please be the responsible adults you want him to see him become. I love you, please take the initiative to begin to thaw things out and help get out from under this pressure.
Lovingly,
Your daughter. "

What do you think so far? Let me Know.

Sincerely,
Mark Manley
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The one issue is they say he started it. He says they started it. I say it doesn't matter who did we just need to move forward.

And he is not abbusive. He works. Pays bills. Plays with the kids and me. But they don't see that side of him. They see him come into their house and sit like a bump on a log like he didn't want to be there. He says he felt like they always put him down when he spoke. So he'd sit there and be quiet. See how I'm in the middle. If they would just talk to each other I wouldn't have to be middle man! agh!
Expert:  Mark Manley replied 3 years ago.
Thanks for the clarification.

I will work on this more later today.

Sorry for the delay
Mark
Expert:  Mark Manley replied 3 years ago.
Ok thanks for the clarification. Maybe an approach more like the following will fit better.

Give each of them a copy of the same letter addressed to all three of them which says something along these lines.

I love each of you and I share my children with each of you. I need you guys to find a way through your difficulties because the tension in your relationship with one another is very difficult for me to bear. I find myself and my children in the middle of a feud that I can't solve and I cant escape. I don't know how you might solve your problems one with another (maybe you should all go see a relationship counselor), but I do know that I don't want to be in the middle anymore. If you don't mend fences then I have one of three choices.
1) Side with my boy friend and father of my child.

2) Side with my parents.

3) Disassociate with all of you.

While I love each of you and want my children to be able to have access to all of you and let love flow freely between us all; I must let you know that if you all continue to your current positions I will choose option # XXXXX above and I will have a broken heart. Please mend your fences and take me and my children out of the middle. Please don't force me to choose because if I have to choose we all loose.
Sincerely,
Your loving daughter
and
Your loving Girlfriend





Let me know what you think of this approach.

Thanks.
Mark Manley




Mark Manley, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 402
Experience: Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Over 15 years exp. Married 30 years and happy.
Mark Manley and 3 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Mark Manley replied 2 years ago.
Hello,
Have I helped you sufficiently? Please let me know. Thanks for using JustAnswer. And thanks for making sure I get compensated for my time and expertise by clicking on 'Accept'.
Sincerely,
Mark Manley
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes, you have helped me.

Thank you,
Jessica

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Mark Manley
Mark Manley
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Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Over 15 years exp. Married 30 years and happy.