Advice Column: Response to Uncomfortable

Dear Hailey,

My boyfriend is great, but has recently been making random racist remarks. I am completely against that and it is pretty out of character for him. It always makes me feel uncomfortable and I try to explain to him how that is wrong and why he needs to stop and he refuses. I love him, and have for so long, I don’t want to just leave him, but just me talking to him about things like that isn’t actually getting through to him. What do I do?

Sincerely,

Uncomfortable

Dear Uncomfortable,

You’ve done the right thing by approaching the subject with your boyfriend directly. It’s a scary thing to do to tell someone you care about that you need them to change. It’s frustrating when it’s not received the way that you expected.

Do your best to get to the root of the problem. People generally make these types of remarks for one of three reasons: 1. As an attempt to be funny, 2. To fit in, or 3. Because they genuinely believe what they are saying. The first two are much easier to address than the third. Changing someone’s incorrect beliefs isn’t something you can do without them wanting to change.

However, if it’s one of the first two, this is something that can be addressed. With it being a recent issue, it’s possible that he has started spending time with people who make these kind of remarks or hold these beliefs. If he has started spending time with new people in the recent past, ask him about this and together you can determine if the two are related.

If he personally holds these beliefs, and they have only happened to recently come to light, you have to make the decision if this is a deal breaker. Before you make any big decisions, I would make it clear to him how much this is bothering you. Only you can decide how to proceed with future conversations and with the future of your relationship.  

I wish you luck,

Hailey

Posted in Q&A

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