Home > Relationships > Families > How to Handle Parents Who Interfere in Your Relationship

How to Handle Parents Who Interfere in Your Relationship

What do you do when your parents try to break up your relationship? These tips on how to handle parents who interfere in relationships are inspired by a reader’s question…

“My boyfriend and I moved in together after six years – we asked for their opinion and they said that they were uncomfortable but okay with it,” says J. on How to Cope With a Mother-in-Law Who Doesn’t Like You. “Suddenly his parents say they don’t like me…and they would pay him to move out ASAP. He and I don’t know what to do about this. I want so bad to work things out with them but they only talk to him. I have every respect for them and am beyond hurt (not to mention I cannot afford the apartment myself). Any suggestions?”

Yes, I have a few thoughts on your situation! My first thought is that you and your boyfriend need to set and stick to your boundaries – and read the book Boundaries: When to Say YES, When to Say NO, To Take Control of Your Life. You need to learn how to handle parents who are interfering in your love life!

And here are a few tips…

How to Handle Parents Who Interfere in Your Relationship

I’m flying blind here, because I don’t know how old this couple is (is the boyfriend 16 years old? 42 years old?), whether or not they’re financially independent, and what the parents have actually said to the boyfriend.

I’ll assume that J. and her boyfriend aren’t mooching money off his parents, and that they’re in their early 20s.

Remember that if you live with your parents, you live by their rules

If you and your boyfriend lived with his parents or were moving back in with his parents, then they have the right to interfere in your relationship by setting rules and expecting you to live by them. But you and your boyfriend are living in your own apartment, earning your own money, and paying your own bills. So, you and your boyfriend need to be able to stand up to his parents and be mature about the situation.

If you’re an independent, responsible adult, then it doesn’t matter if your parents are interfering and want to break up your relationship. It’s a pain to live with parents who disapprove of your relationship, but your life is your life.

Learn to live with parents who don’t approve of your relationship

parents interfere in relationshipDealing with difficult parents – whether you live with them or not – isn’t a walk in the park. My husband lived with his last girlfriend, and it caused a lot of problems between him and his parents. His way to handle parents who tried to interfere in his relationship was to stand up to them and said he wanted to live his own life on his own terms. It wasn’t an easy time for any of them, but my husband believed he was an adult who could make his own decisions…no matter what his parents thought.

You can’t always make your parents (or your in-laws) happy. You should try to live in peace as far as it depends on you, but you can’t bend over backwards to make sure your parents or in-laws approve of everything you do. At some point, you need to live your own life and make your own rules.

And sometimes that means being hurt and feeling disrespected by your – or your boyfriend’s – parents.

Remember that you don’t know what his boyfriend and his parents talk about

I’m curious why his parents are offering him money to move out. It sounds fishy to me – almost like he’s said he wants to move out, but can’t afford to. Or, that maybe the deal was you two would live together for a short time, until one or both of you were financially independent.

J’s boyfriend’s parents are only talking to him, which makes me wonder what exactly is being said. Her boyfriend may not be telling her everything because he doesn’t want to hurt her, or he doesn’t want to make things worse.

I think there’s some missing information here, but that’s okay. The bottom line is that it doesn’t matter that J’s boyfriend’s parents want him to move out. What does her boyfriend want to do…what does she want to do? That’s what matters most.

For more tips on handling interfering parents, read Dealing With Toxic People Before They Take You Down.

Your comments are welcome, but I can’t offer advice. Sometimes just writing about your experience can help you sort through your feelings, though. Feel free to sort away here!


Need encouragement? Sign up for my weekly "Echoes of Joy" email - it's free, short, and energizing. Like me!

Is your relationship in trouble? Get 7 Steps to Fixing Your Marriage from relationship coach Mort Fertel. It's free and helpful, no strings attached.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

11 thoughts on “How to Handle Parents Who Interfere in Your Relationship”

  1. Hi my name is bhavna. I got recently married in May 17 .I Am 33 year old girl. I am an engineering graduate and worked for last 10 years. I got married to a boy of 35 yrs age as B Com graduate. It was a arrange marriage affair. Though he was not qualified like me but what he told was he was working in a company who is paying him 50000 pm. He was in my family relationships. So my parents agreed my on the marriage saying he earns good salary. He lives with his family where his father merely has a shop of daily uses which earns him about 20000 pm. His younger brother too shares the same shop. I thought that he is working so there will be no inteference from his family though living in joint session. But soon after marriage his behavior was very rude. He starts avoiding me. After 10 days of my marriage I suffered from fever which his family took no serious concern for it and keep on delaying by saying you will be OK without consulting doctor. After living for 10 days more and waiting that may be my husband will See Me to a doctor in his house he hasn’t shown any interest for it. I took my last option and came to my home where doctor declared me jaundice. I live in my home till one month. During that period he and his family never come and see me. Suddenly when I was home I came to know that my husband lied for his job. From past 9 months he is job less and sits with his father on that shop. I came to know that they lied and have done marriage with me. Now I met with his family with my family saying OK we can shift to Delhi where I will do job and of course you will also find a new job and we will start over again. But he refuses and says he will not leave his family. Whether you be with me or not. My family Now wants me to go back and give one more chance to him. But he has no regrets in saying lies and doing marriage. Neither his family members too they say so what if we lied? Please suggest what should I do now? Please mail me your answer.

  2. How are your parents’ comments about your boyfriend jeopardizing your relationship? Are they actively interfering or getting in the way of you and your boyfriend’s time together?

  3. I am having a problem with my parents liking my boyfriend. They say they like him. But behind his back they say that he is cheating on me. How do I deal with this? My mom mostly says “why does your boyfriend every Saturday night not spend time with you?” He was on vacation with his friend for a weekend. He is going into the army soon at the end of the summer. Wanted to spend time with him before he went. But my mom was like “he should spend time with his friends Wednesdays and then u saturdays”. I don’t know how to deal with this. It is jeaportizing our relationship. What do I do?

  4. I would do what you think is right for both of you.

    Both of you are born with ightsto speak up on your own. Psrents shouldnt violate that even if you live at home.

    They can’t tell you what to do what to say etc.

  5. My Mom is telling me forget about My Wife to be, and my parents are interfering in my relationship. Mom says to break up with her, but my girlfriend really trusts me. Since we’ve been together she’s given me Great Luck and we’ve been together for about Six or Seven months now. We have a special relationship and I don’t want my parents to interfere.

  6. Dear Hope,

    There is not much you can do to handle your boyfriend’s parents when they are interfering in your relationship. Your best bet may be to just give them time to get to know you. It sounds like there being protective of their son, and they love him and want the best for him – just like you do!

    I don’t know how old you are, or how much control your boyfriend’s parents have in his life. But it’s important to remember that you can’t change them. There may not be much you can do, other than to live by their rules. It sounds like your boyfriend is living with his parents, which means they get to make the rules. The last thing you want to do is alienate your boyfriend’s parents!

    So, it might be wise just to accept your boyfriend’s parents rules and work on building a strong and healthy relationship with your boyfriend in the time you have together.

    What do you think about that?

    1. Thank you for your advice and I’m 17 and he is 18 and things have been getting better but I just do not understand how they where not like this when we first started dating and then all the sudden they started this but thank you so much for your help

  7. Okay so be and my boyfriend have been dating 5 months now and his parents are always on him and saying we see each other too much and the we should maybe take a break and then they tell him how when they was dating how they both seen other people while they where dating which is so not okay and now they have said that we can only see each other 2 times a week and maybe on the weekend but also every time he trys to come see me his dad always gets mad at him about something for no reason what should I do I don’t know if his parents even like but I’m in love with him and my parents know that and are okay with that but I don’t know about his parents

  8. What if the interfere comes because your girlfriend talks to her mother about everything that goes on in your life?(worries, concerns, what you’re doing with yourself, etc.?) my girlfriend and her parents are close and she values their opinions. We’ve moved in together and they actually live in the next neighborhood across from both of their daughters. My girlfriend discusses what is going on with me to her mom, who loves to gossip, but claims she doesn’t tell her anything when I ask her things. This can’t be true because on 4 separate occasions they’ve asked her to make a special trip to the house so they can talk to her. The subject was me of course. They do this and then smile in my face as if they’ve done nothing wrong. I’m starting to really resent and dislike her parents and I’m wondering if I could be in a relationship or marriage with this issue. She has stated she is and always will be close to her parents, but fails to see how it is putting a strain on our relationship. I’m upset about it and she doesn’t seem to understand that. What can I do because I’m dealing with enough of my own issues and my first thought is to leave her to her parents. I love her, but she’s 34 and I’m 36 and I feel like her parents try to run their household and her and her sister’s too.

  9. Thanks for your tip on handling parents who interfere in your love life, Doug! I agree that starting from the beginning is the best way to handle interfering parents.

  10. Start from the beginning. Tell your parents if they want to be part of your life, don’t interfer with my relationship with my significant other.