“Should I Crash My Boyfriend’s Family’s Thanksgiving?”

My fiancé and I (21 and 19) have been together for a little over three years and have recently gotten engaged and moved in together out of our respective family’s homes. For the past two years his mother never let him invite me over for family dinners or holidays while he was still living with her. But now that we are living together, I do always go whenever they invite him over. She will only invite him though, never mentioning that I am welcomed to come.

I never feel welcomed around her or the rest of his family, with the exception of his sister who is my age. They will intentionally try to exclude me from family pictures or anything to do with their family. For this Thanksgiving, my boyfriend is working and his mother still hasn’t invited me. What do I do? Should I still invite myself and go or just not even try and only go to my family’s instead? — Excluded From His Family

You should not invite yourself to someone’s Thanksgiving celebration, nor should you invite yourself to your boyfriend’s family’s at all if they are not explicitly inviting you. (You should also not force yourself into family pictures or anything else that your boyfriend’s family “try to exclude you from”). Your boyfriend should be asking, when they invite him over, whether you are invited, too. If you are not, you should not go (and your boyfriend needs to think about whether to go or not to some place where the person he’s engaged to isn’t welcome).

You not getting along with his family is a big deal and you should not be even considering marriage until you have some resolution about it. I wonder if they might think you two are too young to be so serious and if that is part of why they aren’t welcoming you with open arms. At any rate, it’s your boyfriend’s job to get to the bottom of his family’s feelings toward you and to do the work to smooth the tension between you. Your job is to let him do this and to stop going to his family’s get-togethers when you aren’t invited (ESPECIALLY if your boyfriend isn’t going, and I can’t underscore that enough). Spend Thanksgiving with your family where your presence is — hopefully — welcomed and wanted.

I have a long-distance boyfriend who has a lot of “friends” who are women who like to post half-naked pictures on their Facebook. My boyfriend and I are in a serious, committed relationship. But the thing is, he never thought to delete these kinds of women from his friends list when we became serious. I know he sees these half-naked pics pop up in his newsfeed. He is only deleting them now because I made such a fuss about it, but I feel he wouldn’t have taken those women out if I had never mentioned it even though he does get those kinds of pics in his newsfeed almost every day.

Should I just let it go and just be satisfied that he is willing to delete them? I think a majority of these women were already in his friends list way before he and I became a couple. What should I do? — Leery of His Facebook Friends List

Re-read your first sentence and think about what advice you’d give a close friend who made the same sort of statement to you. I can tell you what I would say: No guy who is good boyfriend material has a bunch of female Facebook “friends” whom he doesn’t actually know who post half-naked pictures of themselves on the daily. It’s a creepy thing to do and is such a screaming red flag that it might as well be number one on the list of signs your boyfriend is a dirty dog and probably going to chronically cheat on you if ever given the chance. Honestly, women, if some guy wants to date you, let alone be your boyfriend, but has a public Facebook friends list full of half naked women: Run.

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


  1. LW1. You are not mature enough to get married. 12/10 nineteen year olds are not mature enough to get married, so don’t take it personally. You feel slighted that your boyfriend’s family doesn’t take your relationship seriously enough, but the fact is they’re right: statistically your relationship does not have longevity. And no amount of stomping your feet or directing your frustration at your boyfriend’s mother is going to change that. As a former 19-yr-old who did not get along with her boyfriend’s mother at that age, I can promise you this: All of the energy spent on feeling frustrated over it is a colossal waste of your time and resources. Channel that into something useful that will benefit your future: like focusing on your eduction, traveling, becoming financially secure, and cultivating close friendships. You have more hopeful energy at this age than you ever will again. Don’t waste it.

    LW2: FFS, aim higher.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Haha I’ve been married since i was 19 and I’m 54 now

  2. You’ve been with this guy since you were 16?! And you’ve each just now moved out of your parents’ homes? In all the time he was living with his parents, he never talked to them about how they treat you? Why would you want to go there, instead of to your own family’s Thanksgiving?

    Honestly, nothing matters after question #1. You’re too young and inexperienced to be married. It’s one of the most important decisions you’ll make in your life; it’s not playing house.

    You won’t listen, but that’s the truth.

  3. Boyfriend says to his mother, “We want to spend the holiday together so we are going to her parent’s for the day.”

    To the mother… this is one of the fastest ways to loose your son.

    1. Well apparently not as they’ve been treating her like this for years! Girlfriend, get some self esteem.

    2. I agree. It leaves no room for the mother to argue, but it leaves a lot of room for her to think about her attitude towards her son’s future wife.

  4. anonymousse says:

    You’re not technically a member of the family- and clearly something has gone on that makes them not like you so much. You said they haven’t let your bf invite you to anything for two years while he was living with them. Why? No, you cannot just show up. You shouldn’t go unless you are invited, which you haven’t been. Why doesn’t his family like you? Why doesn’t he stand up for you? Pump the brakes on getting married. You lose nothing by waiting a couple years.

    1. Avatar photo Skyblossom says:

      Just want to add to needing an invite. The boyfriend inviting her doesn’t count as an invitation. I know that hasn’t been happening yet but if it does she still doesn’t go. It is his parent’s home and they get to invite or not invite who they want just like the LW and her boyfriend get to decide who to invite to their home. It’s up to the LW and her boyfriend to figure out how to deal with the lack of invitaiton.

      1. I partly agree with needing an invite extended to her and based on the past she wasn’t invited over to their home, so they probably are really just inviting him. However, thinking about how I invite people over to my home, I don’t think I ever say “Do you and significant other want to come over for dinner” My invite is typically to whomever my relationship was with first (friend, brother, etc) and they bring their other half.

        But when I need time with my friend without her wife, or my brother without his wife, I’m explicit “Hey I could really use some best friend time, let’s get dinner just the two of us” or something like that.

      2. Most people don’t invite their kids high school girlfriend / boyfriend over to their house on major holidays. They assume they are spending them with their own family.

  5. LW2 – heres something for perspective – maybe?
    A guy who was my bf for 2 years back when I was 20 or so (over 20 years ago) friend requested me on FB. I was like aw that’s nice. As soon as I went to his page all I saw was a bunch of “friends” who were women who were all half naked and not in a good way. It was all just very raunchy. Deleted friend request, never heard from him again – yay!

  6. Who are these people looking at their friends’ friends on Facebook, and how do you know what a friend’s friend posts unless you’re snooping and have way too much time on your hands? I have no clue who my boyfriend is friends with or following on any social media platform and I do not care.

    1. Bittergaymark says:

      Yeah. And are there really THAT racy of photos of Facebook? No, seriously. Everybody is up in arms over “half nude” but it seems like hyperbole to me.

      1. It’s really not hyperbole. I had a male friend on FB a few years ago that had tons of half naked foreign women as his friends on there. It is the only time I’ve ever seen anything like it. I noticed because I happened to comment on one of his pictures, and a bunch of them commented after me. Intrigued, I poked around on his page and friend list. He had about 20 “normal” friends and then like 300 random semi-clad foreign women friends. It was so bizarre.

    2. anonymousse says:

      In this day and age, when everyone searches google or background information on their first dates and has polarizing political views, I’d be surprised if the majority of people have never looked on their long distance/new partner’s Facebook if they are an active user. It’s just another way of gathering information about someone. You don’t have to snoop to see posts your friends have liked. They pop up on your feed automatically.

  7. dinoceros says:

    LW1: I think you’re being pretty short-sighted here, and no matter how mature you think you are, I feel like you are going out of your way to look immature. Crashing a Thanksgiving or going over to someone’s home when you are not invited or welcome is not going to help anything. Maturity means not just doing what seems fun in the moment, but actually thinking about how your actions affect the long-term. By you crashing the get-togethers, you are making them dislike you more. How do you expect to be married to someone whose family hates you? Put the brakes on marriage until you’re older and more mature. And stop inviting yourself places.

    1. dinoceros says:

      LW 2: Why would you want to be with someone who follows those women to begin with? Stop focusing on whether he likes you or whatever and take a look at whether he meets your standards. I don’t know if you just know a lot of creepers, but there are plenty of guys who don’t follow half-naked women on social media.

  8. LW1, I don’t even understand why you would want to “invite yourself” at a family holiday. Why don’t you go to your own family??? Don’t get married so young. I am sure his parents disapprove, not you as a person, but such a hurry – and they are right. You are way way too young and you don’t imagine what a marriage implies, what a commitment it is. It is not only choosing one man, it is not choosing all others. And it is very difficult, challenging, long and expensive to undo. Why don’t you want to enjoy your very youth to explore your own potential, educate yourself, experiment your independence, live by yourself or with roommates? Why immediately the homely family thing you just got out of? You can date your fiance and show some autonomy. Take your time.

  9. LW1: Here’s how adults handle the situation you describe.

    Man: Gets invite for family event that doesn’t mention girlfriend. Thinks, “hm, I wonder if GF is invited?” Calls family member who made the invite and says “I’m confused, is GF also invited?”

    If man’s GF is routinely being excluded from family events, man has long talk with his family about a) GF’s importance in his life, b) his hope to marry GF one day, c) how he would really appreciate it if they would start including GF in things. If this talk doesn’t resolve exclusion and rude behavior, man has much sterner talk with family about how he can’t force them to like GF, but he can insist that they treat GF with respect.

    The fact that your boyfriend isn’t doing any of these very simple, normal, obvious things tells me that he either doesn’t care how badly his family treats you, or he’s not mature enough to know how to handle the situation. Neither one of those things is good.

    Slow your roll. Learn to be adults. There’s no rush to get married.

    Oh, and for the love of god, don’t crash anyone’s family event, especially if your boyfriend isn’t going to be there. All that will do is guarantee that they’ll tell stories about that time that Joe’s girlfriend JUST SHOWED UP for years to come.

  10. LW1. I just don’t get why you’d go to their thanksgiving over your own family. Even if you were invited. That’s not cool.
    You and him are not married. They don’t have to include you in family pictures and they probably think you are a little cuckoo you think you would be.
    I think you are forcing things here, your relationship has not progressed to that level and you are learning a painful truth-that your partner has to WANT to do these things. Moving in together, being invited to family get togethers means nothing if your boyfriend does not want to progress the relationship. Keep doin whatcha doin if you wanna have a ring on your finger in 5 years but a fiancé who mysteriously can’t pin down a date.

    1. I agree so much! LW1: I get that you’re engaged but you are not married. You are not part of their family yet, so no you should NOT be part of family pictures.

      I also have no idea why you’d want to crash their Thanksgiving. That’s so extremely rude and comes off as childish, which is the opposite of what you want to do.

  11. allathian says:

    LW1: Slow way down. You’re not a part of your boyfriend’s family. At this rate, you probably won’t ever be. For that to happen, your boyfriend (I hesitate to call him fiance, in my book engagements don’t count until the wedding date is set, no matter the size of the rock on your finger) will have to tell his parents that if they want to see him on Thanksgiving, they’re going to have to invite you too. This for next year, when he hopefully isn’t working.

    Why do you insist on trying to go to your boyfriend’s house, especially without an invitation and without him there?

    Is your boyfriend welcome to attend family dinners with your parents? At any rate, spend Thanksgiving with your family, unless there’s something in your relationship with your parents that you’re not telling us. Did they disapprove of your relationship so much that you cut off all contact with them when you moved in with your boyfriend, or what?

  12. Wouldn’t your own family be really hurt if you went to your boyfriends’ family, –when he wasn’t even there,– rather than spent Thanksgiving with them? Maybe they are really casual and it wouldn’t be an issue but it seems like quite a snub. Don’t take your own family for granted just because you are so keen to inveigle yourself into your boyfriend’s family.

  13. LW1 the way you are handling this is very immature. What needs to happen is when they invite your boyfriend he asks if you are invited too. If they say yes he invites you. If they say no, he says, oh sorry then, LW and I have planned to be together for the holiday and she means a lot to me. Then you both plan your own Thanksgiving dinner at your place. Most likely, his mom will cave and say of course you are invited too.

    1. I also don’t get why they can’t just go to their respective family’s Thanksgiving. It’s not a romantic holiday, there’s no reason why can’t go stuff themselves separately.

  14. Bittergaymark says:

    LW1) Joining the loud chorus of — why not just go to your own family’s Thanksgiving?

  15. I wonder if LW1’s boyfriend is still getting money from his parents and that’s why he won’t stick up for his GF?

  16. Anonymous says:

    I agree with advice given to LW1 but she’s young, cut her some slack. If she isn’t handling it optimally, I think that’s understandable.

  17. LW1- I was also in a very serious relationship at a very young age. It started when I was 15, and when I was 18 we moved in together. His family was nothing but the most warm and welcoming people to me. Their home felt more like home than my own and I was ALWAYS invited over for holiday dinners and even weeknight dinners. I went on ski trips with them and even to another country with them. Even though you’re young, you should still be treated with kindness and there are so many more kind families out there. If your current bf doesn’t want to find out why his is this way to you, go find one that’s kind, warm and welcoming- because they are there.

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