Many parents don’t like their child’s partner, maybe out of fear, or from a wrong idea they have formed of her. They become overly protective. That moment of introduction of the girlfriend or boyfriend to the parents is always a moment fraught with tension: you don’t know how the others will react. We are all afraid of being misjudged, but the judgments arrive, inevitably and unfortunately. I’m sorry to admit it, but many times they end up being negative. As parents, you can also be right about some aspects.

What to do in these cases? It depends on the situation and everything is uncertain. We do not know the future. Parents love their children and are convinced they know what is best for them, but at some point they have to let go of them. What comes to mind is the phrase from Genesis, “Man will leave his father and his mother, he will join his wife and the two will be one flesh”. This phrase is placed immediately after the creation of the woman as man’s companion, flesh of his flesh! So from the beginning, God indicates what the life of man will be. This also applies to our children.

Parents love their children and are convinced that they know what is best for them, but at some point they have to let them go. One day there will be someone else more important for him than we are, a partner whom he feels can listen to him, and who becomes indispensable and complementary to him. Our children can have views, passions, and preferences different from ours.

At first, we are often enthusiastic to welcome their new companions, but then we begin to discover their flaws and limits. We may be able to tolerate them, or it can also happen that we cannot bear them. However, if there are no serious or dangerous reasons, we must take a step back. It is precisely through this detachment that parental love is realized.

Love between two people is a gift and a great mystery so that Jesus could say: man cannot separate what God has united. Even if we have every reason in the world, love cannot be dictated only by human logic, so a decision cannot be imposed. The choice is really up to the couple themselves.

However, as parents, who are a guide and support for your child, it is also right to express your opinion and share your fears about his relationship. Once you have told him your reasons, however, it is important that you also listen to your son and try to revise the idea you have formed.

It will be your son then, in time, with the advice of parents, and the support of friends, who will have to decide.

What, then, if you do not have a positive feeling towards this girl who will be “daughter-in- law? You may try to appreciate the beautiful things in her, with benevolence. Again, let’s make an examination of conscience to understand if you may be harboring prejudices, or exaggerated ideas. Finally, you can ask for help in prayer, which can often help us untie the stubborn knots in our heart! Moreover, consider too that if you turn her away and her relationship with your son is true and firm, you may be also distancing yourself from your son.

If all this is not enough, let’s ask the help of some mature couple
or experts in family relationships. To conclude: we parents want to
be close to our children, but let’s also keep a certain distance and approach on tiptoe! With the arrival of the grandchildren, we may later acquire a new and greater role. But this is another story!

Marco D’ Ercole and Marina Gui
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