How can I tell parents I’m back with ‘lowlife’ love they disapprove of

Dear Coleen

I’ve recently got back together with my ex after two years apart and I don’t know how to tell my parents.

We spent five years living together after meeting when I was 18. I’m 24 now and living back at home while I save for a house.

My ex and I both got into debt, which my parents helped me pay off when I moved home.

He was very immature, jobless and rubbish with money, which I tried to help with but I got into debt myself.

Other things happened and I had a miscarriage, which all added to my stress.

In the end I left him as I became ill with depression and anxiety, and needed to sort myself out – not because I didn’t love him.

My parents were always telling me to come back home and ended up hating him.

We were both young and silly, but my parents never saw the kind and loving side of him, believing he’s a lowlife and was the cause of my illness.

They don’t know about the miscarriage or other things that contributed. I can’t even say his name without causing tension, so this news will break their hearts.

We’ve both grown up and he’s turned his life around – he has a good job and has had a promotion, he saved enough to have driving lessons and buy a car and is steadily saving for a house, too.

He has apologised to me for everything and regrets not being there when I needed him.

He’s committed to me and has said he will even apologise to my parents too. 

How do I bring this up? I’m an adult but I also don’t want to upset them.

Coleen says

It’s important to keep in mind that your parents aren’t trying to ruin your life, it’s just tough to see your child going through a hard time and, ­naturally, they want to protect you.

And if it looks like your ex is the person who’s at fault, of course they’re going to have concerns about you getting back with him.

I think you need to explain things to them as you’ve explained them to me and if your boyfriend has offered to be there, too, I think that’s a good idea.

Sit down with them and acknowledge what happened, but explain that it was down to immaturity and finding your feet, and he can explain how he’s turned things around.

Your parents will probably still have doubts, but you’re 24 now and this has to be your decision.

Offering to talk to your parents with you shows your boyfriend has matured a lot and is willing to face the music.

This will give your parents the ­opportunity to ask questions and everyone can explain how they feel.

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