My boyfriend is an old friend of my two brothers. Obviously they know everything about him. I fell in love with him and he fell for me, but everyone, including my mother, disapproves of our relationship. They say he is a "dog," and that he doesn't know how to respect women. I know all of his past sins, but I get a lot of respect from him. I refuse to react on what my siblings are telling me. I believe that I made a choice to be with him and if there's anything wrong with him, I should see it with my own eyes and not because of what everyone else says.
I'm a little scared though. Sometimes I wonder if I'll regret loving him and wonder if my family is right. We have been together for almost two years now, and we've had our ups and downs just like all couples do but one thing's for sure — we dearly love each other and we want to be together forever. My mom and brothers used to like him before he dated me, and now she hates the sight him. It's so sad and painful! I feel like I'm making his life miserable and he feels the same. My boyfriend would say that I'm an adult now and they need to know that I'm old enough to make my own decisions. I agree with him, but it's hard because my relationship with my family is beginning to suffer. What should I do?
—In Love and They Hate Him Harley
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Dear In Love and They Hate Him Harley,
I know this is a really hard situation to be in, but try to take a step back so you can see things from their perspective. They only want what's best for you because they love you so much. They think you deserve to be with someone who treats you well, someone who loves and cares for you as much as they do. With that said, even though your boyfriend has had issues with respecting women in the past, you've been with him long enough to know that he respects you.
If you love him and are happy with your relationship then I would keep trying to convey that to your family. Explain how much it hurts you and your boyfriend when they act so hatefully. Also let them know how serious this relationship is and how much it would mean to you if they gave him the benefit of the doubt. It stinks that he has to defend himself to win their trust, but if you know in your heart that he's the one, don't give up. I'm sure your family will come around once they realize how happy he makes you and that what was in the past has nothing to do with your future together. Good luck, Harley.