“My Daughter Wants to Include Her Boyfriend in Our Weekly Dinners and I Don’t Want To”

My 26-year-old daughter has a history of jumping into relationships. By the second week of dating, she’s acting like a bossy wife. Her latest 29-year-old conquest works 20 hours a week (Tuesday through Saturday, 6pm to 9:30 pm) waiting tables. (Our daughter teaches school and works 45 to 50 hours a week at school and numerous hours after school.) His restaurant closed for two weeks during the summer, as it does every year, and the boyfriend had to borrow money to pay his bills because he hadn’t planned for the two weeks off work.

After six months of dating, my daughter wants to include her boyfriend in our weekly dinner visits (at our home), at least some of them, which means he’d be taking off work. We do not want to do this. We said that we would be open to occasional lunches on Saturday or Sunday as we don’t want to start having him in our home weekly.

My daughter said Saturdays and Sunday lunches don’t work because that’s their time together, although that’s exclusively when they go to his family’s for visits. Weeknights don’t work for us and we are not willing to include him in our weekly family time with our daughter (we’ve enjoyed every week for six years). What are your thoughts? — Weekend Dinners are for Family Time

My thoughts are that everyone in this scenario sounds a little ridiculous, especially you. Your disdain for your daughter’s boyfriend is clear, and it’s obvious you don’t want to help foster a relationship with this man you think isn’t good enough for your daughter (because he’s 29 and waits tables part-time and borrows money to help pay his bills). And, who knows, maybe he isn’t a match for your daughter, but she’s with him now, and if you don’t want to hurt your relationship with her and you don’t want to risk losing the time you have with her, you better start including her boyfriend in your family dinners, “at least some of them,” which hardly seems like that much of a sacrifice.

Three weekends out of the month have a family dinner at your home on a Saturday when he’s working and can’t make it, and then on the fourth weekend, make it a Sunday dinner and invite him, knowing he has the day off. Tell your daughter those once-a-month Sunday dinners are so her boyfriend can be included, which should hopefully appease her by showing some effort on your part to be nice to her guy.

It’s a fair compromise, and if you can’t bend a little to accommodate a monthly visit from your daughter’s boyfriend, then you are going to be in for a very rude awakening if your daughter actually marries him or someone else you find equally unfit to be her husband and starts building a life and family that you may find yourself excluded from.

Related: “I Wasn’t Invited to My Boyfriend’s Daughter’s Wedding!” and “My Daughter’s Boyfriend Is Taking Her Away From Us”

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