From a LW:
“I’ve been with my boyfriend for 9 months. He is fantastic, we have so much fun, and I love him very much. From the beginning, I knew his family was extremely important to him. He lost one of his sisters a few years ago and his family has struggled a lot since then. It also brought them all very close together, including his direct family and his more distant family, like aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.
He lives with his sister and they are VERY close. Like closer than any siblings I know. They live together, are best friends, and inseparable. I also love his sister, but have had run ins with her about the time he spends with me cutting into their time together and his time with his family. I try very hard to be conscious of the time he wants/needs with family, but recently, it has felt threatening. His sister said to me last night that I shouldn’t speak up against his cousins and other family when they said controversial things because “you’re not safe yet”. It didn’t feel so harsh in the moment, but when I got home and thought about it, that hurt me. I know that he loves me, but sometimes I feel like I have to stifle my thoughts or comments because of his family, out of fear that their opinion of me could have negative consequences for our relationship.
I’m not sure how to address this with my boyfriend or whether this is something I should brush off and see as something I have to deal with.”AnonymousseOctober 31, 2023 at 3:31 pm #1126447
I think you should tell him what she said. It’s pretty weird that anyone is complaining to you about how much time he’s spending with you. You should definitely talk about this with him. The entire topic of his very close knit family. If you don’t like his close knit family, you may want to consider someone who isn’t so into their family.LisforLeslieNovember 1, 2023 at 6:42 am #1126453
Or the bf has to figure out how to move into this next phase of life. He’s not going to live with his sister forever (right?).
My BIL was in a similar spot in his early 20’s. When my sister came along and suddenly he wasn’t available as much it made things difficult. At some point the sister tried shit-talking and my BIL was like “nope. I love you but she’s going to be my wife. If you make me choose, I will choose her.” He had to do the same with his parents – not that they were shit talking, but that they hadn’t adjusted to the fact that their nuclear family was no longer a nuclear family. He was married, with a child on the way and that was going to be his nuclear family.
Tell your BF. He may not do anything immediately, but if you are getting bullied by his family – he needs the opportunity to either make it stop or show you that he’ll always put his family first.
You definitely need to talk to your BF to see how he feels about all of this. Does he want distance from his family? Is he willing to stand up to his family to make your relationship work? Is he fine with his family being all up in your business? If he’s not willing to make your relationship a priority, then you need to make some decisions. And, if dealing with this type of family situation is not what you’re up for, then it may be time to move on.