They constantly tell me to “wait for marriage,” which we actually are. But this is not good enough; they have also made me promise not to do things that might make other people think we’re not waiting, such as sleeping in the same room or traveling together. I tried to appease them by spending a few days at my boyfriend’s house first when I come home so that I could then dedicate a few days to them, but they said I was “lying” about my whereabouts. My boyfriend thinks telling a “white lie” is the only option in this case. I feel guilty about it, but is he right? Is lying really my only option? — Wanting To Do The Right Thing
No, lying — or “withholding information” — isn’t your only option, but the way I see it, it’s one of only two options and it may not be the better choice. After all, if, when you visit your home town, you always stay at your boyfriend’s place for a couple days before dedicating a few days with your parents, who’s to say you wouldn’t be spotted out and about with your boyfriend? Maybe your parents themselves would see you, or someone they know would see you two together and word would get back to them. Do you really want to spend every visit with your boyfriend concerned you’re going to be “found out”?
You’re other option may take more courage, but it’s probably a better long-term choice. This option is to have a long overdue heart-to-heart discussion with your parents in which you thank them for raising you with strong morals and an even stronger sense of self and independence. Explain to them that while you have nothing but respect for your roots and where you come from, you represent a new generation and a blended culture, in which able-minded adults who fully support themselves live the lives they choose to live, not the lives others choose for them.
Let them know that you are happy to follow their house rules when staying as a guest in their home, but if they are going to continue to have such restrictive rules, you’re left with little choice but to stay elsewhere on future visits to your home town. Explain that this isn’t the most ideal solution because it means sacrificing time with them, something you hate to do, and that you hope they can come to trust your judgment as a reflection of your good upbringing and learn to be a little more lenient with you now that you’re a grown woman.
You know your parents and you know which option has a better chance of working to your advantage, so use good judgment and don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself. You are your own person, not just an extension of the people who raised you, and you deserved to be treated respectfully.