Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Girlfriend Wants to Spend Too Much Time With Her Parents”

My partner and I have been together for two years. Her parents live within a 15-minute drive of us and my parents live a six-hour drive away from us. With the exception of maybe three weekends in the two years we have been together, we have spent every Sunday at her parents’ house for dinner. Also, in the two years we have been together, we have spent every holiday with her family with the exception of two, which were spent with my family. I have told her that, if she feels the obligation to see her parents every Sunday, she can go, but I don’t and never will feel the same obligation. We have also seen a therapist in regards to this same issue, and she said that this routine seems a bit rigid. Yet, that hasn’t change anything.

One other thing I should mention is that I moved nearly three hours to be with her and I have no friends or family in the city we live in. Her having to see her parents every Sunday just seems a bit odd to me. I am close to my family as well and, being that they live six hours from me, I don’t see them but a few times a year. I have told my partner she seems to be “attached to the apron strings” in this, and she took great offense, and then, when the therapist told her the same thing, she stopped seeing that therapist and said she didn’t care for her.

Do you have any thoughts or advice to share with me in regards to my situation? — Too Much Time with Her Parents

There’s nothing at all wrong with your partner wanting to see her parents once a week. Maybe it seems excessive to you, but it obviously isn’t excessive to her, nor is it excessive for many, many people who also enjoy seeing their parents weekly if they can. On the flip side, there’s also nothing wrong with preferring a more lax visiting schedule with one’s parents or in-laws. Your seeing your parents a few times a year is perfectly normal and acceptable, too, especially since you live six hours away. It’s also totally acceptable that you wouldn’t want to see your partner’s parents every single week. So, don’t. It’s one dinner a week. You can sit it out.

Surely, you can find something to keep yourself occupied with while your girlfriend is at her parents’ house on Sunday evenings. You say you have no friends in the city where you moved to be with your girlfriend, and it would seem to me that having one night a week you know you’ll be on your own would be the perfect time and opportunity to forge some of your own friendships. Join a club or group that meets Sunday evenings. Do you like to read? See if there’s a book club you can join. Do you bowl? Join a bowling league! Do you drink? Find a local watering hole to hang out at. Become a regular and sit at the bar and strike up conversations with people sitting near you (or with the bartender if there’s no one else to talk to).

I sort of get your frustration, but I also think you sound like a bit of a crybaby. Unless your girlfriend is forcing you to go with her to her parents’ house every week for Sunday dinner or you have other plans she is regularly blowing off or refuses to commit to because of her long-standing date at Mom and Dad’s (and if that’s the case, my advice would be a little different here), I just don’t get what the problem is. My husband has dinner with his dad every single week, too, and has for as long as I’ve known him. Once every four-six weeks, I’ll join him (and I’ll bring our son to visit his grandpa), but mostly I use the time he’s gone to do stuff I might not otherwise do if he were around — call some of my long-distance friends, watch dumb shows he doesn’t like, apply a facial mask and eat a whole pint of ice cream — and you know what? It’s totally fine. And I even have a toddler to feed and bathe and get ready for bed whom I don’t have help with on those nights my husband is at his dad’s, and, whatever. I survive. And you can survive too.

Don’t push this issue with your girlfriend any more than you already have. It’s not worth it. You risk alienating her, offending her family, and creating drama where there just really doesn’t need to be any. And instead of relying on a therapist to convince your girlfriend she’s too rigid in seeing her parents for dinner once a week, I think you should utilize the therapy sessions to address why you have such an issue with it and why you’ve been relying on her to be, what sounds like, your sole social outlet in your new city rather than reaching out and making some friends.

One other suggestion: if part of the problem is that it’s Sunday evening and always Sunday evening that your girlfriend hangs at her parents’ and you have an issue with that for whatever reason, ask her if she can sometimes go on a different day of the week. If you frame it more like you just want to be able to have an entire Sunday with her rather than, “I can’t believe you want to see your parents every single week! That’s so weird!” I think you could have better luck reaching a compromise.

***************

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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

44 comments… add one
  • call-me-hobo

    call-me-hobo February 18, 2015, 9:14 am

    WWS. I also wonder if your gf’s family is at all religious. It’s common in the south for “family supper” to be held on Sundays after church where the whole family attends. If that’s the case, LW, your gf is trying to include you in something that is exclusively for family (usually a pretty high honor).

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  • avatar

    Eve February 18, 2015, 9:22 am

    ” I have told her that if she feels the obligation to see her parents every Sunday she can go, but I don’t and never will feel the same obligation. ”

    So does this mean she insists on you coming with her every single time she visits them? I think this is really key point you haven’t made entirely clear. Do you have to drive her there?
    If this is the case I see why you’d be frustrated.
    If not, follow Wendy’s advice.. You should give your girlfriend the freedom to see her family every week if she wants to, even if you don’t agree with it, you should at least accept this is how it is, if you love her. If she is fine with going there on her own, you don’t have the right to criticize her about the ways she chooses to relate to her own family.

    Regarding your family, well to be honest it is normal to visit your family on much more rare occasions than you visit her family who live 15 min drive. I don’t see it as anything that shocking – you have made the mutual decision to live at a place which happens to be much closer to her parents than to yours. It’s only expected that, considering you both have good relationship with your respective families, she’d be able to see her parents more often than you see yours. Regarding important holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc I guess it won’t hurt to make the 6 hour drive to visit your family these special times a year, especially since you see hers every week – does she insist on having each holiday with her parents as well? If so that’s just a matter of effective communication and compromises which need to be made.

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    • something random

      something random February 18, 2015, 10:51 am

      Really good point, Eve. He does continually use “we”. “We’ve” gone every weekend expect maybe three.

      ” I have told her that if she feels the obligation to see her parents every Sunday SHE can go, but I don’t and never will feel the same obligation.”

      I agree with Wendy’s advice that the simple solution is to go as often as you would want and tell her to do the same.

      I know I read too much into things sometimes but I can’t help but wonder if these are surface issues.

      LW, You made the remark that you have only spent two holidays with your family and you moved three hours to be with your girlfriend. I wonder if you are building up this issue into some gesture your girlfriend should provide of her appreciation, commitment/willingness to sacrifice for you?

      I wonder if she is digging in her heals because she feels she has to in order to have her point of view and relationship with her family respected?

      If this is the case there are better ways to approach the issues. It’s to bring up how you feel and ask someone to validate it than to try to get someone to agree that what THEY are feeing is wrong.

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      • avatar

        Q February 18, 2015, 11:28 am

        I feel the same way Random. Very rarely do people already have a large social circle waiting for them when they move to a new city. LW needs to make some new friends (and I am quite an introvert myself so I know that is easier said than done, but still!)

        I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to spend a lot of time with your significant other, and it’s really easy to get addicted to the way it feels being around them. But if it’s to the point where she has become your only friend in town and her going to dinner with her family one night a week is such a concern, it’s time to learn how to miss each other a little.

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  • avatar

    ktfran February 18, 2015, 9:27 am

    I’m with Wendy on this one. And I too don’t think it’s weird at all to spend that much time with your parents and/or family. Heck, I would think it’s weird if my significant other had a problem with it and didn’t want me to. I probably wouldn’t be with that person.
    .
    Growing up, we saw both sets of grandparents pretty much once a week, if not more. I know my little sis is the same now since she still lives in the same city as my parents. My ex-fiance and I use to spend almost every Sunday at his parents house. IDK, it worked for us.
    .
    Now, if something comes up on a Sunday and your girlfriend absolutely refuses to go because of dinner with her parents, I think there needs to be some compromise. But if that’s not happening, I think you’re being a bit unreasonable.

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  • avatar

    Sunshine Brite February 18, 2015, 9:28 am

    So… she’s close to her family? And you’re dragging her to multiple therapists over it? I’m confused.
    .
    I would sit down and think about what I really want. Is it the Sundays, is it holidays? I’m big on creating my own holidays, we do something with each family usually but every now and then we save a holiday to create our own rituals.
    .
    I like my Sundays to get ready for the week, if you’re expected to go along and don’t want to spend Sundays like that I would suggest what Wendy did, find something else to do. I send my husband off to see friends fairly often on his own so I can putz around the house. What feedback did the therapists have for you vs your girlfriend? Did they tell you to also develop your own friends and interests?

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  • avatar

    PumpkinSpice February 18, 2015, 9:28 am

    LW, I really don’t understand what the big deal is. I come from a large Italian family and the whole family used to get together for a big Sunday dinner. Now its harder because of kids and who moved etc. Also, my parents still like to have us stop by once a week just to see us and catch up, and to feed us. There is nothing wrong with that, it’s just the way we were raised, and we are very close.

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  • avatar

    jlyfsh February 18, 2015, 9:32 am

    I agree you shouldn’t visit her family every week if you don’t want to and you both need to come up with a plan for the holidays that makes you both happy.

    After that though you need to learn to be happy in your town for yourself. I have a lot of questions based on your letter. What did you expect life to look like, in regards to your social life when you moved? Did you think it would be different and how? Did you try and make it happen? Is she spending every day with her family? Do you all do things together any day of the week? Have you tried to make friends? Moving for someone is a big deal, it seems like you expected her to be your everything once you moved, at least from your letter. Also I’m really surprised a therapist told a patient that seeing family once a week made them attached at the hip. Either there is more to the story than you shared here or I agree with your gf and I would have stopped seeing that therapist too.

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    • avatar

      Sunshine Brite February 18, 2015, 9:55 am

      I agree with that, I’m not seeing what’s rigid about that family ritual unless there’s more or something was communicated in a rigid way, something like that. Everyone has non-negotiables – some people is a sports team, hers is her family.

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  • GertietheDino

    GertietheDino February 18, 2015, 9:53 am

    I think it’s a little weird to see her parents every single week (My parents live about 40 miles away and I see them maybe once a month, but we aren’t Southern and we have Facebook and text). But dude, use the time to your advantage, work on your projects without interruption, read quietly, watch sports that she isn’t into (curling, anyone?). Is it because you would like to spend that time as just the two of you, getting ready for the week ahead? If so, I most certainly see your issue. Could you suggest she go over there on another night?

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  • Crochet.Ninja

    Crochet.Ninja February 18, 2015, 10:02 am

    someone else mentioned it, but it’s pretty common where i’m from that you go to your parents or grandparents on Sunday. at my house when i was a kid it was for lunch/dinner after church. sometimes people stayed the whole afternoon, sometimes we scattered. unfortunately we’ve all moved so only 2 of my siblings are there now, but it’s not quite the same.

    however…. i don’t know what my siblings spouses thought about it. if they complained they never said anything??

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  • avatar

    SasLinna February 18, 2015, 10:07 am

    Agree with Wendy – the first step you should take is to stop joining your girlfriend every Sunday when she goes to see her parents. Maybe start out by going every second weekend so it doesn’t come across as you not liking her parents anymore and abruptly changing the routine. Explain it as you taking some time for yourself or for a hobby. As for vacations, suggest a vacation just for the two of you, that’s definitely a reasonable request.
    As for the underlying issue, I’m getting the feeling that you need ask yourself both if you currently get enough quality time with your girlfriend (is the Sunday dinner interrupting the only time of the week you have quality time with her?) and if you need to ramp up your own social life. You having moved for her doesn’t mean that she’ll change all her routines, but it’s always reasonable to ask for what you need in terms of quality time. Just don’t rely on her uniquely to fill your need for human interaction, make sure to distinguish between what you need from her specifically and what you may need in terms of a social life more generally.
    (As for the frequency of visiting one’s parents, I’m definitely on the side of “once a week is too much”, but this is basically just about personal preference. I’ve had boyfriends that did the weekly dinner and I sometimes joined them, but most of the time I didn’t. If you’re otherwise happy with your girlfriend I wouldn’t turn this into a basic compatibility question. There are always some differences like that with any partner. )

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  • Miss MJ

    Miss MJ February 18, 2015, 10:14 am

    Unless she is refusing to alter the schedule or there is more to it (which there may be if therapy is involved), I don’t see the problem here, either. My dad and I have coffee every Sunday morning. My husband usually doesn’t go, which is fine. I like having “alone” time with my dad. So, LW, just don’t go to Sunday dinner every week.

    As for the holidays, I do think it is unfair that you spend all of them with your girlfriend’s family. Both my mom and my husband’s family live about 8 hours away. We’ve gotten into a pattern of seeing my mom on Thanksgiving and his family on Christmas and we do something with my dad on Easter, the 4th, etc., though it isn’t as fixed, and we visit the far away relatives one other time every year, either there or here or somewhere else that is also a vacation. It works for us. Come up with a similar schedule.

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  • avatar

    ktfran February 18, 2015, 10:14 am

    LW, I do think there should be some compromise on holiday’s…. or…. you know… you could make your own holiday like the weekend before or weekend after and spend the actual holidays with your respective families, if it’s important to both of you. That way, you could possibly get like two or three Christmas’!!!! Who wouldn’t want that? (If you celebrate Christmas that is). Until there are kids, who really cares if things are done a little differently?
    .
    My middle sis and her husband got married last October. He’s Jewish, we’re Catholic… So Christmas is never a problem. BUT, there’s also Thanksgiving. They spend their first Thanksgiving apart. He visiting his mom and her spending it with us. Some people raised eyebrows, but hey…. they spend almost every other day together so they didn’t think it a big deal to spend Thanksgiving apart. Of course, this will change and they’ll have to compromise once kids are in the picture. But like I said, until then, they do what makes them both happy.

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    • avatar

      SpaceySteph February 18, 2015, 5:01 pm

      FWIW, I think its probably simplistic to say that because he’s Jewish there’s no problem with Christmas. In fact, as a Jew married to a Catholic, I resent my in-laws assumption that we will always go there for Christmas. Whether or not its a religious holiday for us, it’s a week that my brother has off school, and my sister/her fiance and my husband and my dad have off from work… it’s still a convenient time for all of us to take a vacation and be together even if we’re not celebrating a holiday. Not to mention we’d like to maybe stay home and start some traditions of our own… but we can’t because the first time we tried that they pitched THE BIGGEST fit. And I’m obviously projecting my issues on your brother in law. Just, you know, encourage your family to cut the guy some slack if they ever don’t come for Christmas. It’s hard being the only Jew at midnight mass.
      .
      On to the topic at hand, once people get married the holidays do not belong exclusively to the family of origin anymore. Since your gf sees her parents any damn time she pleases, it would seem rather unfair that she doesn’t give you at least ONE major holiday at home a year. Unless there are extenuating circumstances.. is it hard for you guys to travel (either time off, money, or physical disabilities?) or is one of her parents terminally ill and she’s trying to soak up as much time as possible? I would say that otherwise, you should definitely push for at least one major holiday a year at your parents. And if she can’t give you that, I think this is a mismatch in expectations and you’re not compatible as a long-term couple. Sorry, but true.

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      • avatar

        ktfran February 18, 2015, 5:07 pm

        I was speaking strictly for my sister and her husband and by no means applied it to all Jewish/Christian matches. I mean, wow.
        .
        It’s isn’t a big deal for my sister and her husband. He never goes home during that time of the year to see his mom. His dad passed away long ago. My sister always comes home. He comes with her every other year. The years he doesn’t come, he does this thing with an organization he’s involved in.

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      • avatar

        SpaceySteph February 18, 2015, 5:47 pm

        Ok sorry, I didn’t mean to start a *thing.* I just rubbed me the wrong way that people in general assume things (especially regarding family and faith) should be easy because they look easy from the outside. Like this LW thinking his (her?) partner is attached at the apron strings for wanting to eat dinner with her parents once a week.

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      • avatar

        Anonymous February 18, 2015, 11:14 pm

        Thank you. I could see how that statement may have come across, but it’s not at all how I meant it. If there is anything I want people to know about me is that I’m a go with the flow kind of gal and enjoy finding solutions to make everyone happy.
        .
        I also get that it would totally suck to not have your desires or wishes looked at equally just because of religion or anything really. I’m sorry that you have to deal with that.
        .
        Not that it’s an excuse, I am having a really should shitty week and may be a little sensitive. Sarah B has helped tremendously though. &&

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    • avatar

      ktfran February 18, 2015, 5:13 pm

      I’m revising my statement…
      .
      “My middle sis and her husband got married last October. He’s Jewish, we’re Catholic… So Christmas is never a problem FOR THEM AND THEIR SITUATION.”
      .
      And then I went on to give an example of a different way holidays could be spent, just in case the LW would like different options that what is the norm, because I’m all for thinking outside the box and finding compromises that work for everyone.

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  • avatar

    snoopy128 February 18, 2015, 10:33 am

    My family has dinner together every Sunday night. It has been our ritual since we were kids and things with our sports got so crazy that we could go a whole week without eating together. Sunday night dinners in my family have become a bit of a legend because my parents love inviting our close friends who also have no family in the area. On a given night, Sunday dinner can have between 3-10 people. When my brother and I were away fro school, we skyped in for a little bit each Sunday night. It is just our family thing. Occasionally, if something comes up, Sunday dinner is canceled, but for the most part it is a standing date.

    If a guy I was dating had a problem just because I go for dinner with my parents every Sunday, he’d be out of my life pretty fast. He doesn’t have to come every week, but considering friends come often, it would look weird if he didn’t come often.

    LW, what exactly about this once a week meet up bothers you? The frequency? If so, I think you need to chill. Just because YOU are close with your family but happy seeing them less doesn’t make somebody else who sees theirs more as weird or rigid. Is it the fact that she won’t schedule anything else on a Sunday night? Think about it as a commitment, like if she were in a soccer league and had a game every Sunday night, would you feel the same? Dont get me wrong, I will miss dinner for important events, like a close friends birthday. Or is it something else going on here?

    I think a lot of commenters above have offered some suggestions on how to deal. But you need to get at the root of why this bothers you beyond what you wrote in in your letter.

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    • avatar

      RedroverRedrover February 18, 2015, 2:30 pm

      I think it would kinda bother me, if I was expected to go, which it sounds like he is. It’s just not my thing. I don’t think it’s abnormal or anything, but I wouldn’t be able to handle that frequency. But I would recognize that and probably end the relationship. You have to be compatible in this type of thing.

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      • avatar

        snoopy128 February 18, 2015, 3:29 pm

        That’s totally fair. If he’s being forced to go, that wouldn’t be fun for him. But then is this issue really about the family dinners? Or is it about differing views on family time, what events are mandatory to attend together and listening to each other and respecting each other’s feelings/requests?

        My Sundays are precious to me. I don’t talk much to my family during the week. It is our catch up time. If my serious significant other didn’t want to come, I would respect that, provided he could articulate a reason (not that I have the validate that reason).

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        RedroverRedrover February 18, 2015, 4:16 pm

        For me, it wouldn’t even matter if it was mandatory or not. If it was a family dinner, and SOs generally attended, then it wouldn’t matter if I was “allowed” not to attend. I would still feel the pressure that I should be there. I would probably go about half the time and be uncomfortable, and the other half of the time I would not go and feel guilty. That’s how I’m built. 🙂 So it would be a real challenge for me to have an SO who had this kind of family ritual, no matter how understanding and respectful of my feelings he was.

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      • avatar

        Eve February 18, 2015, 6:33 pm

        Yeah I’m not a very family-loving person either. When I’ve been visiting past boyfriends’ families I have felt tension and anxiety in every nerve and muscle and bone in my body. Even when they have been perfectly nice to me, I feel like I’m at a constant assessment center of some sort. I am fine going to for the odd weekend once every 2-3 months but anything more than that is too much, I feel too much on edge – it’s not exactly a pleasant BBQ weekend for me at all. (Do consider that I am quite young, I guess you get used to this whole boyfriend’s parent thing as you become older).
        So if I start dating someone who insists on having every Sunday afternoon with the family, I am not sure how much I could take. I guess it depends on the family, but for me this isn’t an overall super enjoyable experience…
        I remember once, after a long weekend with my ex’s extended family (cousins and uncles and aunts and all that!) I felt mentally and physically exhausted. As soon as we said our goodbyes and left (phew!) , he informed me he has arranged us to meet all his friends like… in 10 minutes. I almost broke down in tears and threw a tiny tantrum, I just wanted to relax (mentally) for at least a day or two before meeting anyone new…. again!

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        RedroverRedrover February 18, 2015, 6:59 pm

        Exactly. I’m the same way. My husband’s family is really nice and they like me and I like them, so now it’s not so bad (after 8 years). But it took awhile to get to that point. My husband’s the same way too, and my parents live out of town so we stay with them when we’re visiting. But they understand that it’s too much for him, and they don’t mind if he excuses himself to go be by himself for awhile. We’re a family of introverts which makes it easier. His family is all extroverts except for him, so it can be tough on that side (for him too!). Luckily they live in town so we don’t spend whole weekends together unless we’re at the cottage, and the cottage is much more “everyone do their own thing” than a holiday event is.

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    g February 18, 2015, 10:55 am

    WWS! My bf sees his parents every Sunday evening for dinner or a movie. I am also super-close with my family & I feel flattered to be included in his family’s plans (plus, I enjoy his parents, & was actually friends with them before I even met my bf), but I feel zero obligation to go over there every single week.

    Also, not sure which holidays are important to you & your family, but 2 major holidays in 2 years together sounds pretty reasonable, given the distance. If you do want to see your parents more, going on a non-holiday weekend can mean lower hotel rates & fewer tourists. If you have the flexibility, consider taking off a Friday or Monday & planning a trip with your gf to see your parents then.

    Try to handle this with a smile on your face. You sound really grumpy! : )

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  • chief10

    chief10 February 18, 2015, 12:07 pm

    I agree a lot with what Snoopy128 had to say. Sunday dinner has always been a big deal in my family, especially since we’ve all gotten older and done our own things over the years. We all come together and have dinner pretty much every Sunday. I’ve had ex’s who have had issues with this over the years and that’s a big reason why they are ex’s. I was called out by them about this, I even was in therapy with one of them helping her deal with a trauma and she brought up how I’d abandon her every Sunday to have dinner with my family and therapist told me that’s not normal. Well then, I’m not normal then.

    LW if you love you significant other and you can see a future in this relationship, you should attend Sunday dinners, maybe not every Sunday but at least once a month. I wouldn’t be able to love or respect anyone long term if they weren’t willing to put in the effort with my family, especially if they wanted to become PART of my family.

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    • avatar

      ktfran February 18, 2015, 12:38 pm

      What the fuck is it with therapists telling people who spend lots of time with their family that it’s not normal?!?
      .
      Also, yes, when you’re in a relationship, your significant other should be the primary person in your life, but not to the detriment of all other relationships. I mean, IT’S OK TO HAVE A LIFE AND INTERESTS OUTSIDE OF YOUR PARTNER. IN FACT, IT’S PRETTY HEALTHY.

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  • coconot

    coconot February 18, 2015, 12:18 pm

    Did anyone else think of Rory and Lorelai’s Friday night dinners on this one? Always the bane of their current boyfriends’ existence. Lol… maybe just me?

    Anyways, on a more serious note, what did you expect when you moved so close to her in-laws? If your problem is that you feel like you aren’t getting enough time with your gf, you should tell her that and come to a compromise — but that doesn’t necessarily require her seeing her parents less often. If the problem is you are expected to attend every time as well, then politely explain that you like to have some down time on the weekends without family, and that you’ll come every other week or every third week instead of every week. If you are very nice the (less-frequent) times you do come rather than grudgingly coming frequently, I bet everyone will be happier.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark February 18, 2015, 12:47 pm

    Eh, everybody is right about the family dinner thing… Simple. You on go once in a while.
    .
    BUT the fact that she has been willing to ONLY spend a whopping two holidays with your family would royally piss me off. Those should be split up MUCH more equally… It’s seLfish and obnoxious of her to be willing to spend so little time with your family — yet DEMAND that you spend so much with hers… && yes, I highly suspect it very much IS a constant, weekly, whiney demand from her… “How can you not come? How can you be so rude? So Selfish?! They just wanna see us and blah blah blah…” IF I am right on this… && I suspect, I am… I would not walk away, but rather… RUN

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    • avatar

      MissDre February 18, 2015, 12:50 pm

      #&&

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    • avatar

      MsMisery February 19, 2015, 12:41 pm

      Yeah I think it’s fairly normal to want to spend time with your own parents, when you enjoy their company. Less normal is wanting to spend all that time with in-laws.

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  • avatar

    Whatwhatupgurl February 18, 2015, 12:54 pm

    The real thing you need to ask yourself is: is this a dealbreaker? It would be for me. I couldn’t be with someone that is that close to their family. Because I dont want to live a life where part of my life will always revolve around a set of parents. This is just my belief after dating a guy like this who would hesitate to make plans on sunday because of sunday night dinners.

    So, you have to ask yourself if this part of her life is not something you could imagine as being part of yours. There is nothing wrong if you realize after moving to be with her its not going to work out. At least you tried.

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  • avatar

    RedroverRedrover February 18, 2015, 2:27 pm

    I’d actually think that if anything, they should see his family MORE on holidays, since he hardly gets to see them, whereas she sees hers constantly.

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    • avatar

      RedroverRedrover February 18, 2015, 2:27 pm

      That was a reply to BGM, not sure why it showed up as a separate comment.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark February 18, 2015, 4:56 pm

        Agreed.

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  • findingtheearth

    findingtheearth February 18, 2015, 3:36 pm

    I live in Montana and was in college 6 hours away from my parents. I made it home regularly to see them. To me, six hours isn’t that big of a deal. Get a few books on tape and enjoy the drive.

    I was not close with my family growing up, but now that I have a child, I see my family often. My parents are divorced, but I see my mom at least once a week, my dad at least once every other week, and my grandparents on a regular basis as well. Familial bonds are important to me.

    You don’t have to go to things with her family if you don’t want. My cousin’s husband doesn’t come to every single family event. Take a Sunday night off every now and then.

    I also think you should talk to her about spending more time with your family, if that is what you are really aiming at with this letter. Have you talked to her about fitting your family in more?

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  • Dear Wendy

    Dear Wendy February 18, 2015, 4:36 pm

    Not that it really matters, except for the pronouns everyone is using, but I’m pretty sure the LW is a woman and this is a lesbian relationship.

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    • bittergaymark

      bittergaymark February 18, 2015, 4:50 pm

      I totally picked up on that as well…

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    • avatar

      ktfran February 18, 2015, 4:52 pm

      I thought so too.

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  • avatar

    wobster109 February 18, 2015, 4:38 pm

    IMO it sounds like the issue is that it absolutely has to be every Sunday, uncompromisingly, and nothing can ever displace it ever, not even for one week, not if LW wants to go on a trip with GF, not if there’s an event that Sunday, Saturday is no good, Wednesday is no good, must be Sunday. And LW is expected to attend. He says “we have spent”, so it sounds like GF drags him along like it or not. I agree she can visit them if she likes, but it’s too much to take up someone else’s time too.

    LW, you can’t make it this Sunday. You promised you’d [do something] with [friend] this weekend. You hope she has a good time. 🙂

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  • Lyra

    Lyra February 18, 2015, 8:44 pm

    Navy Guy and I see his family probably once every 2-3 weeks. It’s more of a “hey, can we come over?” versus a standing date, but we see his parents quite a bit. I brought up once that I wished we would go see my parents more (an hour drive instead of 20 minutes) when he was asking if I wanted to go to dinner at his parents’ place, and it didn’t cause a fight or anything, but he didn’t understand why I was getting upset at it. We split holidays pretty equally which I like.
    .
    The biggest thing in this letter is I think girlfriend needs to agree to go to more holidays with the LW in my opinion, especially given that they see her parents ALL the time.

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  • Nookie

    Nookie February 19, 2015, 5:13 am

    I’ve lived with the Cockney for well nigh three and a bit years and I RELISH the times he goes out without me. I don’t know if I’ll ever give up that feeling of having the whole place to yourself with no one else there… Use that time for you but yeah BGM is kind of right, you should be spending time with your folks when time allows like holidays – if you want to.

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  • Monkeysmommy

    monkeys mommy February 19, 2015, 10:33 am

    I moved 10 hours away from my parents at age 30, after living 5 minutes away my entire life, for my dream job in a coastal city. I am envious of your partner. My husband is much like you, LW. His parents are across the country and we see them once a year at best. My husband may not have enjoyed so much time with my family, but he sure as hell didnt request therapy for it. I mean WTF? You’re lucky your partner hasn’t shown YOU the door for being so weird.

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