An 18-year-old woman is facing the disapproval of her parents over her girlfriend.
But the young woman's sexuality is not the issue. Her parents dislike the fact her 20-year-old girlfriend (gf) is disabled.
Unsure how to address the problem with her parents, she turned to the Relationship Advice subReddit for help.
Redditor Throwraneo posted:
"My parents are against me being with my gf because she's blind and they say she'll 'limit my future options'."
"How do I deal with them being rude towards her and trying to guilt me out of my relationship?"
The Original Poster (OP) began by stating her parents supported her when she came out as bisexual.
"Side note, I came out to my parents as bi a few years ago and they were nothing but supportive and understanding so I know this isn't likely part of the issue."
She explained what her parents' objections to her relationship were.
"I've been in a relationship with my current gf for a few months now and my family recently found out and got to meet her. She's come over for dinner with my family and I a few times and she's always really polite and they have good conversations (she's the kind of person who knows enough about most things to be able to participate in whatever topic) and in general there's been a positive vibe when they're together."
"However, she's blind and my parents seem to have a real problem with her being a burden on me or something stupid like that. After the first time she was over for dinner my mother had a talk with me about how things were going, if it felt like long term thing, and I said yea."
"They sat me down again later that week and talked about how I need to always make sure I'm thinking things through and considering my best interests etc... and I didn't feel comfortable so I didn't prolong it."
"After she'd been over a few more times and once again, there was no obvious issues in them getting along or any animosity, mom asked to talk to me again and discussed how it's not 'in my best interests' to be with someone who will 'limit my future options'."
"I admit, when we talked I reacted badly and got angry because she was saying it in a really condescending tone and acting like my gf is helpless or something (she's really independent and capable, and I've explained that before) and since then they haven't had a conversation for the past few weeks, but they don't like whenever I bring her up and they've been a lot more cold and almost rude to her at points for no particular reason."
"They don't greet her when she comes over to hang out or try and show interest and when they do talk they have this stupid patronizing way of doing it that irks me."
"I have no clue what to do about this because they're just being discriminatory and unpleasant about something that doesn't affect them because they think she's gonna limit me somehow and I seriously hate it. I'm worried they're just trying to be passive aggressive to make her feel bad and guilt me."
"Advice needed big time."
The OP added:
"I'm not even considering leaving her over something stupid like this, she's amazing and doesn't inconvenience me in the slightest."
"That said, I'd really like to solve this issue if possible so I don't have them doing this sh*t all the time and making us both feel bad."
Redditors offered suggestions for how to address the issue with her parents with most centered on asking her parents to see things from a different perspective.
"Perhaps ask them how they would feel if the roles were reversed? If you were blind, would they encourage you not to date, as to not be a 'burden'?"
"What if one of them were to suddenly lose their sight? Should they get divorced so the other can still lead a 'full life'?"
"Many people don't 'understand' until something directly impacts them." ~ mkchpk
"If you guys stick it out the way to really show your parents what a burden she isn't. Go on a vacation when the world isn't on fire."
"Leave at the same time in different cars and go to the airport. Park closer to the terminal, skip to the front of the security line, be on the plane before them and ask your Mom how much of a burden your father must be that it took them longer to get to the plane and board."
"This is just a stupid joke. I am married to a disabled person, with a different disability. My wife isn't a f'king burden and I know exactly how you feel as far as people looking at our S.O. like they are less than somehow."
"But F'k me if the parking and skipping to the front of lines at the airport, and a whole lot of other events/places are not great freaking perks."
"Have fun with her and ignore the a**holes. You are never not going to run into it, we are not in a world where disabled people are considered 'People' by everyone so it's kind of part of the package."
"Remember people in interracial relationships still get constant sh*t, its a long ways till people are not a**holes."
"The only actual burden you will ever face with her is judgement and comments and they will never stop for the rest of your life. It's a mental burden of someone you love being mocked or made fun of."
"That one's never going to go away, from family, friends, strangers, co-workers."
"That one you just have to accept if you are going to date someone that isn't 'Like everyone else'."
"Just enjoy each other, my wife and I spend a lot of time making fun of those people, when they go away, to their faces if we are in the mood. Us vs the world baby!"
"We are lucky our families don't suck so I am sorry you have to deal with that though." ~ Mindtaker
The OP returned with an update.
"I made a post here a few days ago talking about my parents discriminatory attitude towards my gf because she's blind. Firstly I'd like to say thank you for all the people that took the time to comment on my post and help me out."
"Today (it's evening now) she wanted to come over again, and I had told her about the post so I decided to talk to them first."
"I sat down with my parents and discussed some specific issues and basically pushed them to actually name some ways they thought her disability would inconvenience me and answered them for them. After that I asked them to please stop treating her the way they are and that it wasn't fair of them and enough is enough."
"I mentioned that she was coming to stay for the night and that if they talked to her, I wanted it to be respectful and inviting."
"They took it okay, and my dad definitely took it better than I thought, mom not so much. Afterwards, I spoke to dad privately and just asked him to keep an eye on my gf whenever they're in the same area and watch how she does things by herself and is independent and he said okay."
"Tonight has been okay so far, they haven't really had any conversation this evening but there wasn't anything rude or condescending/belittling and I'm wondering how long this will last. I hope my dad actually pays attention and maybe points out some of the independent things to my mom but [I don't know]."
"My gf was pretty pleased when I told her about the post and said it was really sweet that I wanted to go and seek advice for how to help make them treat her better so I got good gf points. I figured people might appreciate this update and I thought I would ask for strategies to use so I can keep this initial little bit of progress going and make it an actual change."
Hopefully Reddit continues to offer this young woman good advice.