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My bf and I have been dating for the past 4 years. We both thought it was time to tell our parents. His parents have been really supportive of the whole thing. My mother on the other hand is finding it hard to deal with. I know there is no issue on which she can say that I have made a bad choice since my bf is very well educated and earns very well. According to her the problem is that his family isn't financially well off i.e. they do not have money which can be inherited. She says she would want me to get married in a family where they have some amount of money to be inherited by the family. I really don't think this is a reason for me to break up with someone or not consider him suitable for the future. Please tell me how to convince my mother about the following situation. Other than this there has been nothing wrong which she has been able to find in my bf. Please help.

Hello Lovita - I don't know your cultural rules about parental approval for marriage. Unless "tradition" prevents it, my opinion is you have the right to choose your own life partner regardless of your mother's concern. I would hope she would value your marital happiness in the coming years more than her hope you will be financially comfortable when your partner's parents die. The world economy is unpredictable, so even if his parents were well off, that's no guarantee of a sizable bequest some unknown year in the future. "Money cannot buy happiness." Here is some perspective on the values difference you and your Mother have:

In general, here are some courtship cautions you two should consider:

I hope you partners can find long-lasting happiness together, Lovita - Pete


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Peter Gerlach, MSW


I can answer questions about choosing a mate wisely, marital communications and problem solving, affairs, same-gender relationships, trust, respect, bonding and intimicy, values differences, boundary problems, grieving, dealing with ex mates, parents, and in-laws, remarriage, separation, divorce, abuse, feeling unloved, codependence, psychological wounds, money disputes, balancing kids, careers, and marital primacy, etc. I cannot answer legal or medical questions


I've been a professional family-systems therapist in private practice for 33 years. I have specialized in helping people avoid and adapt to divorce, and manage remarriage ans stepfamilies, since 1979. I've studied and taught classes in interpersonal communication for over 40 years, and have presented over 200 seminars on a wide range of human-relationswhip topics to Chicago-area churches, schools, menyal-health agencies, and businesses, and have been featured on Chicago and national radio and TV. I have been married and divorced. I now believe all marital and family problems are caused by five little-known factors - see This forms the basis of my work as therapist and educator.

I now answer "" questions on stepparenting, communication, and counseling. I belong to ", "Death with Dignity," "Compassion and Choices," and to the online Adverse Childhood Experience Study (ACES) at

I've published over 200 free Internet articles on childhood-trauma recovery and wholistic health, communication skills, healthy grieving, human relationships (including marriage and divorce), family health, effective parenting, and managing a stepfamily). These articles are in the form of seven free self-improvement lessons ( These articles are augmented by 168 YouTube videos ("gercacn" channel); I've published a book on childhood-trauma recovery ("Who's *REALLY Running Your Life?"), and other books on interpersonal communicactioin skills ("Satisfactions"), remarriage ("The Remarriage Book"), "Stepfamily Courtship", and "Stepfamily Co-parenting" All published by

Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering (BSME) from Stanford University (1959); Masters degree in Social Work (MSW) from George Williams college (1981); hundreds of hours of post-grad trainng from Northwestern U. the University of Chicago, et. al. in a wide range of human-relationship topics.

Awards and Honors
The state of Illinois licensed me to practice clinical social work in 1981. I was selected twice to serve on the board of the Stepfamily Association of America (SAA), and am currently on the Stepfamily-expert panel at Auburn University; I was the Board chairman at a major public mental-health agency in suburban chicago, and was the chairman of the Parent Relations Council for a major suburban High School. I currently have over 500 subscibers on YouTube since I began uploading educational videos in May, 2011.

Past/Present Clients
I've worked with over 1,000 men; women; dating, merried, remarried, divorcing, and redivorcing couples; and whole families. I'm currently 74, semi-retired, and disabled, and I do therapy with people and couples by phone and Internet (Skype).

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