21 December 2008

I have problems with my girlfriend's family

I am 17 and I love a girl. We are in a relationship now though she has had 2 other boyfriends in the past… Her 1st boyfriend is her own cousin, and he found out about our relationship and started blackmailing her saying he will tell her family. What should I do?

sarah eidelmans

Hi Tanveer,

Thank you for your question.

This sounds like a really difficult situation. It sounds like you care about this girl a lot, and regardless of her past or who she had relationships with before, no one has the right to make either of you feel uncomfortable or uncomfortable with your relationship. The two of you have the right to feel comfortable in your relationship without other people telling you that you should not be able to. However, it does sound like this is a pretty complicated situation that is making you feel confused and uncomfortable. Have you thought about anything that could make this situation feel more comfortable for you and your girlfriend? No one has the right to blackmail you – is there someone you can talk to about the person who has threatened to tell the family of the girl you are in a relationship with?

It can be really hard to feel like a relationship you care about is being threatened.

Some possible actions to take include: 1) having a discussion with your girlfriend’s family before they find out by somebody else you two are dating 2) talking to a trusted advisor/counsellor at school who may be able to act as a mediator between you and this girl’s family 3) talking to the cousin who is threatening you and trying to find out why he feels so distressed by your relationship-you may be able to convince him you truly love this person and want the best for her. And you can also do all of the above! The choice is yours.

The important thing to remember is that you have the right to feel safe in your relationship and do not deserve to have to worry about being blackmailed and the person who is compromising that has absolutely no right to do so.

Thank you for your question, Tanveer. Feel free to write back again.

-s, for Alterheroes