So, just to get it out of the way, I love my parents. They have been and remain two of the most important people in my life. They are not just family but also friends and confidants (wow, there’s that Andrew Gold song again). Almost without exception when I have something bothering me my mother (in particular) or father are the first people I go to. I feel lucky and blessed to have this relationship and that both are still around for me. So you’re saying “um, ok, doesn’t everyone love their parents”? Well, the answer is no, not everyone does. I have some friends who have grown up with horrible, contentious relationships with their parents for one reason or another, some justified, some not. But what I find hard to comprehend is when formerly great relationships with ones parents grow strained to the point of not speaking. I have two friends who recently confided in me they were not speaking to one or both of their parents. As explanations were not offered, and I’m not one to pry, I don’t know the actual reason but typically it seems to come down to money or, more often then not, issues with a significant other that strains the parental relationship
So, maybe I’m the exception but my family’s opinion, my parent’s in particular, means a lot to me. It doesn’t mean I’ll always agree with them but by and large we tend to be on the same wavelength. Ultimately, I am my own man and make my own decisions based on what’s best for me. However, I don’t know that I could commit to a relationship that would put me at odds with the very people who helped mold me into who I am today. Now, love is a funny, wacky, illogical thing that makes one do things they didn’t think they were capable of. I guess sometimes it comes down to familial love versus relationship love and people are forced to make hard, life-altering decisions. It just has to be an awful, sickening feeling to have to be put in that position. To have to sacrifice one love for another has to be the hardest choice there is
I guess where I struggle with the concept is I don’t know if at this point I could spend the rest of my life with someone my family disapproved of or worse, disapproved of my family. I’m in a different place then a lot of people still being single in my 40’s so my familial relationship, which was already important, has grown even more important over the years to the point I think I’d be incapable of being involved with someone that would put that relationship at odds. But, I guess it could happen. I love talking big about loyalty and family and the like but if push came to shove, could I pick true love for someone over my family? Honestly, I don’t think I could and I’m not sure what that says about me. Is it love for my family? Is it a crutch for avoiding relationships? Or am I just a typical Irish catholic kid how loves his mom and dad and wouldn’t do anything to damage that relationship? I don’t know but at this point I don’t see a scenario arising where I’ll have to make that decision so it’s all good.