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My partner (26) and I (36) have been seeing each other for approximately 5 months and have developed a beautiful open (monogamous) honest relationship. It has complications however which I would appreciate your thoughts on. From the very beginning of our friendship we knew GF would be leaving to study in the UK (I live in NZ), yet it slowly progressed into deeper intimacy - in her final two months in the country we were practically living together. Before she left we discussed what would be the best path for our relationship and after some probing discussion agreed that we would attempt to continue it long distance and see how it works out. I love her deeply and I know she adores me too.

 

In the UK, GF has decided to live with her parents, for financial reasons. The difficulty for me arises because GF believes that it is best not to tell her parents about us (they are quite conservative Christians), as she has first hand experience of the toxic effects of family members on her past relationships, and does not want this relationship to be compromised. I can empathise, but it is not something I would do, preferring to be direct with my parents (though I do have a very healthy relationship with them). I don't like the thought of sneaking around and figure that if the relationship is not strong enough for a bit of bombardment, then maybe it's not meant to be.

 

Our communication has been good in the 6 weeks she has been away. We mostly communicate through IM with some email and Skype (on the rare moments when she is alone). Through these mediums we have managed to sustain, or even augment our love. However, the whole awkwardness due to secrecy eats away at me a little and I think not seeing each other over Skype does subtly affect the strength of our bond. Any insights/ideas about what to do would be appreciated.

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Hm. 5 months is really not that long in the scheme of things... I know many people who have waited until they know they have found "the one" (aka engaged) before bringing the partner home to meet the parents. Especially if the parents are difficult.

 

As long as you are both clear on the fact that your relationship will not be hidden forever... I say let this go for now.

 

She has to live with these people...and while I wish your new relationship luck, let's see if it's even going to survive the LD aspect before she gets her parents all riled up.

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I think what it comes down to, is that she knows her parents and family and knows what they're like. You don't.

 

If she wanted to keep it a secret forever, that would be one thing. But at 5 months I can see why she wouldn't want to be separated from you, living in their house and having to put up with them telling her that she's not living right.

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I think it's hard for people with good parents to empathize with what it's like to have not so good parents. For me, it's not a little bombardment, but daily questioning and pressure. She might just want to keep the peace and focus on her studies than get into a daily fight why "this man in NZ is so so wrong for you."

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Iggles, Sammie87, Agent and Annie24,

 

Thank you all so much for your responses, they are all most sincerely appreciated. Your comments have helped me to reflect on this a little more, why did I feel it desirous to tell her parents? I feel that while my custom of openness is certainly one aspect, and communication is slightly inhibited, a major uncovering from this thread is probably a need for ego validation. The ego is very clever and difficult to see sometimes. By feeling the need to be validated in the eyes of her parents (illustrates some insecurity), and aligning my ego to a situation that may be genuinely destructive, I am placing my needs far above those of our relationship. I wholeheartedly agree with you all, let's see how it goes and focus on loving one another. Thank you once again.

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Last year, a friend of mine was dating a man outside of her race. She told her dad about it, and he is racist and he had a very very negative reaction to her dating him. Personally, I didn't think she should have even brought it up to her dad because things with her guy were on the rocks (she saw them as more serious than he saw her - he was treating her like a FWB while she loved him like a boyfriend). She wound up causing this big rift with her dad when she really didn't need to - the guy basically broke things off with her a few weeks later. I'm all for inter-racial relationships, but in this one, because it wasn't strong, I didn't see any point in telling the dad. From an outsider's perspective, the relationship was doomed, no need to give dad a heart attack. I suggested to her if she was going to introduce him, to first introduce him as "her friend" and let dad get used to him, maybe get to know him first. The guy never wound up meeting dad in the end, so oh well.

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