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Problems with partners family

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by avatar dinoceros 1 week, 4 days ago.

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  • #728598 Reply
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    Nikki
    Member

    I am 22 and have been with my partner for the past 5 years. We regularly discuss plans of marriage and future plans. We have lived together for 3 years away from our families and when we get home (over a 10 hour drive) to see them there is always a fight and I walk out feeling worthless.

    My partners mother can be cold and manipulative towards us in order to get us to spend all of our time with her and her family. We try to spread our time out equally between my family and his but it doesnt seem to work out that way. I am always in trouble for  causing a ‘competition’ between the families. We feel as though we have tried everything like me staying with my family and him staying with his while we are there. However this doesnt work. We are both honestly over it and its causing us to stop heading home.  As everytime we do it ends up in a fight and we end up feeling shitty as we don’t get to see my family and my patners mother says some pretty rude things towards myself and my partner when she gets worked up. So i feel as though she really doesnt like me. And we cant combine both families when we are home because when our parents first met they didnt really get along. As my partners mother started an argument with my mum.

    Recently my partner was invited to his uncles 50th birthday. When he told me I wasnt invited I felt hurt as we live in the same city as his uncle and aunty and we seem them a bit and they have always been so nice to me. When my partner asked why I wasnt invited his mother said they had limited seats and wanted a family only event and my partner was only invited because he lives in the same town. This hurt me because I consider his family to be my family and would have liked to think after 5 years together they might see our relationship as serious.

    I just dont know if im overreacting or not as I know my family would never not invite my partner to a family event and this whole situation has made me feel worthless. I understand every family is different but I feel as though im being excluded.

    I just don’t know what to do. I’m looking for advice. If you have any, please let me know, I’m at a loss. Thank you in advance.

    #728599 Reply
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    Ron

    From what you’ve written it certainly sounds like your partner values you. Don’t allow his family’s shitty behavior to make you feel worthless. Their behavior is a reflection of their boorishness, not your value If traveling home is such an awful experience after a 10 hour trip, then go home far less often. Invite your family to come visit you.

    #728606 Reply
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    SpaceySteph
    Participant

    +1 to “invite your family to come visit you.” Especially since you always have to split time between your family and partner’s family, you could suggest it to your family as “then you would have our undivided attention.”

    Don’t know what his mother’s glitch is, but if you and your partner do stay together long term then you need to accept that that’s how its going to be. You and your partner can (and should!) come up with boundaries to enforce and a united front in order to mitigate it, but you’ll probably never have a good relationship with your MIL. You will have to accept that if you stay in the relationship.

    So now is a good time to start practicing communicating with your partner on what the boundaries need to be and then practice enforcing them. Maybe the boundary is “we will stay with LW’s family and visit partner’s for X dinner and Y lunch only and then we will say our goodbyes no matter how much they beg” and maybe the boundary is “partner doesn’t go to family events unless LW is invited.” I can’t tell you what is reasonable for you and him.
    The key is that your partner needs to be onboard with the boundary, not badgered into it by you. If he isn’t comfortable then it’ll crumble when faced with resistance from his mom. Once you both are on the same page with what the boundary is, then you can practice what enforcing it when his mother protests. It’s not going to be easy, it will probably take years of practice… so might as well start now!

    #728653 Reply
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    Chloe

    Well you deserve respect and how you spend your time when you travel home is your business. Go see your own family and let your partner spend time with mother hen and maybe meet up with you and your family before you head back. It’s really not worth the hassle of trying to compromise with a woman who is obviously a negative impact to anyone she is around.

    #728669 Reply
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    Northern Star

    Your partner’s mother sounds like a real pill. But you don’t have to “make” her like you. Hopefully you can work on not caring what she thinks. Make your plans ahead of time according to what you guys want to do (sounds like you’re on the same page as your partner, which is the most important thing). Shrug and leave if Mom throws a tantrum. Once you stop making her feelings take priority over everything, you will be much better off. Don’t punish your own family with your absence to make your pain-in-the-ass partner’s mom whine less.

    As for the aunt and uncle: I don’t think the lack of invite signals that they don’t like you. They simply have a bunch of people they want/need to invite, and there wasn’t room for both you and their friend from church (or whatever). They prioritized.

    It’s not kind to tell someone he’s invited just because he’s in the same town. Another strike against Mom…

    #728670 Reply
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    va-in-ny
    Participant

    SAME TEAM
    SAME TEAM
    SAME TEAM!!!!!

    I can’t say it enough. If you and your partner are on the same team, then nothing else that anyone outside of the “unit” can do to harm the relationship. He’s on your team, you’re on his.

    Mommy doesn’t like her son’s girlfriend? Oh well, he’s on the girlfriend’s team, get on the team or GTFO, Mom!

    I’d let the Uncle’s birthday party thing slide. It doesn’t sound like it needs to be the hill to die on, it’s just exasperated by the treatment you already experience from his mother.

    Take this situation inward (between you and your partner) and discuss how you want to handle these times with the family (10 hours is a LONG way!). Once you get on the same team, everything will work out. Or, they won’t and your team will be no longer visiting his family.

    #728675 Reply
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    AMac

    Your SO should actually check with Aunt and Uncle that you are not invited. I could totally believe that his mom is making this up to exclude you.

    #728702 Reply
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    dinoceros
    Member

    Is your issue here that his family doesn’t like you or do you feel he isn’t supporting you? If it’s the latter, then that does need to be resolved. If it’s the former, you can’t change his family. We can all wish we had different families or our partner’s had different families, but we can’t actually make them into nice people. One thing that stuck out to me is that you said you wished his family would see you guys as serious by now. Based on everything else you said, there’s no indication they don’t see you as serious. The issue is they don’t like you — no need to start implying that the seriousness of your relationship is dependent on how they treat you.

    I get why you’re hurt, but personally, if every visit turns into a fight, do you actually think you’d enjoy the party? As long as your partner supports you and doesn’t side with his family instead of you, then that’s all you can really ask for.

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