My family loves my girlfriend. I feel pressured by them to marry her but am thinking of breaking up. We have a lot of history together, like trips with my family, and her being close to my family makes a breakup harder. I just don’t feel the chemistry I used to with her. How can I work this out?
This question reminds me of the wisdom of my own parents who thought it best to keep relations with boyfriends and girlfriends casual until the engagement, or, by today’s standards, until the couple is living together. I remember my mother explaining the rationale for this, which was to avoid just the issue you now have. When your parents are more excited about your marrying this girlfriend than you are, it does make it harder for you to break up with her.
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You are the one who has to live with the wife, not your parents, so if you are “thinking of breaking up” I’m guessing you’ve already passed go and need to plan your exit strategy.
The first person who gets the breakup news is, of course, your girlfriend. Yet, since your family seems so emotionally attached to her, I would make them a close second to receive the news. It would also be advisable for you to decide if you want your family to set boundaries with your Ex, or not. After some breakups, some guys are ok with the Ex still having lunch dates with their mom, others want the family to have no contact.
If you’re ok with your Ex remaining a friend of the family, it would be a good idea to have them keep their distance for a few months to give your relationship time for a clear breakoff. That way, the Ex won’t be using her relationships with your family members to manipulate her way back in to your life.
I’m a fan of a clean, clear break with both you and the family, but do works for you. Yet, I’d put money on the fact that when you get a new girlfriend, she will take my side in the clean, clear breakoff with your family.
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• What would make you hesitate to choose for yourself what you want and need, even if your family disagrees with your choice?
• What boundaries do you need your family to honor regarding this breakup?
• What has your family seen and heard, or need to hear, that will clue them in to the fact that you are considering a breakup?