Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Boyfriend’s Family Dislikes Me”

Home Forums Get Advice, Give Advice “My Boyfriend’s Family Dislikes Me”

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Author
  • #858211 Reply
    Dear WendyDear Wendy

    From a LW:

    “My boyfriend and I have been together for two years going on 3 and his mother and aunt don’t like me. I have met his family on numerous occasions I have spent holidays with them and even gone out of town with them and it seems like no matter what I do there’s a problem with me.

    For some background I am not a social person at all, my boyfriend is the social one in the relationship so when I am with his family I go out of my way to be social and have conversations with them. His mother stayed with us when she was visiting and I guess she knocked on my bedroom door and I did not hear it (I can only assume I was in the bathroom or I was sleeping) but now she use this as the basis for why she doesn’t like me. To make matters even worse my boyfriend works in another country he’s been gone for a few months now and his family is complaining that I have not reached out to any of them to check up on them, when I feel like they should have checked on me seeing as I’m Alone and have no family where me and my boyfriend live besides his family. As soon as my boyfriend left I stopped receiving the weekly food and visits we would get from his family and One could assume this is because he was no longer here.

    Well my boyfriend sees no problem with that, he says it’s just because of how his family is and that they expect women to be friendly and social and that I just need to be that and check up on them and reach out to them. When I did reach out to his mom I sent a really nice loving text message and her response just was not sincere , she responded six hours after I had already sent the message after she had called my boyfriend to tell him I sent her the message and to tell him her issues with me and I believe the only reason she responded is because I told my boyfriend that my feelings were hurt and I was visibly upset . also says that his mom’s complaints that I don’t check up on her and I don’t reach out to her and the whole issue from me not answering the door.

    Wendy do you what do I do?? I don’t wanna feel like I’m changing my personality to make his family like me but it makes me wonder am I the problem if all three of these people are saying I am the problem. But I really want his mom to like me. My boyfriend is very family oriented and we’re in the process of working on having children and getting married and I know none of that’s gonna happen if I can’t get along with his mother.”

    #858236 Reply

    First, very important here, work on being happy in the relationship before marriage or children. Then prioritize marriage before you have children. Don’t marry a man who says you can’t be yourself.

    They don’t like you and they probably will never like you. They can blame you over and over for that and yet you will probably never know the real or full reason. You need your boyfriend to back you up, not his mom. If he always supports her over you that’s a problem. If he tells you to change that’s a problem. If he was just giving you tips on how to fit into his family that’s okay but wanting you to be a different person won’t work.

    The tit for tat situation sounds childish. You and they all waited for the other to reach out to prove that you/they care. I guess you both failed on that one. Maybe none of you care. Probably none of you actually want a relationship.

    You can’t change yourself into a person that they like. You either take your boyfriend as he is with the family that he has or you find a different boyfriend. You need to seriously question whether you can be happy long term with him with the family he has. If you had children with him would they try to minimize you and control your children? Would they put you down and complain about you around your children? If anything happened to him would they emotionally and financially help support you and the children?

    Could you move with your boyfriend to the country where he works? Can you work there?

    #858240 Reply
    avatarRuby Tuesday

    I’ll leave the rest to the forum, but your statement about the family ending their weekly food delivery really stuck out to me. “One can only assume?” You don’t have to assume anything. Their son left the country. They don’t like you. Did you expect his family to continue bringing food to a person with whom they barely have a relationship?

    You will never develop a relationship with his family if you continue to dwell on why they don’t like you. You need to focus on what you can do to improve the relationship on your end. Maybe it won’t be enough, but you will never get anywhere without changing your attitude.

    #858254 Reply

    The problem is that you want his mother to like you. She won’t, for whatever reason (probably because she doesn’t understand introversion and takes it personally, and because she is so close to her son). So don’t expect that. You will feel liberated if you aknowledge that you don’t get along, at best you will get used to each other and will hopefully have an OK relationship, if you are both respectful with each other. So don’t expect food (why on earth should she feed you? You are no baby) or personal calls or whatever.
    Ask your BF to stop the pressure.
    If you want to make a significant endeavour, take your phone, call her (no text) and invite her and her sister to a lunch at a restaurant. You will be proactive and in charge, at a neutral place. It might change her image of you. Set a date, and be friendly during the lunch. Insist to invite them !You can manage them during two hours. But I wouldn’t see them every week. Once a month or two months is all you need.
    The problem is more with your guy, in my opinion. If he is superclose to a difficult mother and doesn’t respect your boundaries (women should be friendly and social, WTF?), do you really want to marry him? And have her as a granny for your kids? I would stop thinking about his mum. Really, she isn’t so important. I would focus on the relationship with the BF: you don’t have to do everything with his family. Focus also on your own social life. You have to work on this self-definition of being “not social at all”. This doesn’t work in society! I understand introversion, but you seem too lonely and dependent. As you are apparently in a foreign country, you have to get out there and create a social life out of your BF’s family.

    #858261 Reply

    Unfortunately, traditionally women are the emotional labor group in the relationship and plan things with the family, manage the household, etc. She probably just doesn’t not understand introversion and has taken your disinterest/unsociableness as a personal thing. I know women shouldn’t have to do those things, but it’s what the previous generations (*some of them) had to do and still expect.

    I am married to a man with a large, tight knit family that have grown up together. They are actually pretty progressive in many ways but I have noticed no matter what, I’m the one they go to to plan things. It’s just how it’s always been. I don’t take it personally, although sometimes I have him respond to the invitations.

    You should ask your bf to explain to his mother that you are introverted, shy, anxious, whatever and ask her to be more open to you. You should also make an effort to make the relationship better. Building relationships takes more than one persons effort. So yes, call and check in with them every week or two or some amount of time you can manage. Ask them over for dinner once in awhile. I don’t think you should have to change your personality drastically to do this. If you don’t want to be with someone who has a family with opinions that you will hear about, perhaps this is not the guy for you. He should be helping the situation get better. He should be standing up for you as you try to make nice with his mom and family.

    #858292 Reply

    Agree that the bigger problem is with your boyfriend. He shouldn’t repeat the negative things his mother told him to you. He shouldn’t tell you to change. He should have your back and support you when she’s acting out of line and he doesn’t.

    Definitely stop the marriage/baby planning and look towards counseling instead if this is a relationship you want to work on. Get on the same page regarding his mother. Maybe that means you reach out to her more and he has your back more.

    #858368 Reply
    avatarAnonymous xx

    It is ridiculous to get upset at someone for not responding to a text after 6 hours. I often turn my phone to do not disturb when I am visiting someone or at an appointment, leave it in another room while working or sleeping, or leave it in my purse and forget about it because I am not attached to it. I often reply to messages that arrive late in the evening (after I am in bed) very early the next morning after aeveral hours have passed. Your expectations about phone are wrong. Makes me wonder about your other assumptions.

    #858539 Reply

    Your problem isn’t your boyfriend’s mom, it’s your boyfriend. He should be there running interference for you and standing by you. If he isn’t capable of doing that, then I’d really question his commitment to your relationship and his expectations of you.

    The fact that he expects you to be friendly and social with his family just because you’re a woman and that’s how women are supposed to be is a huge red flag. Potentially a dealbreaker. So until you get this matter cleared up with your boyfriend, put all plans on marriage and kids on hold. Otherwise, your boyfriend’s mother might just turn into the MIL from hell.

    #859254 Reply

    I feel for you. It’s definitely not easy being in your situation. Please focus on taking care of yourself, and prioritizing your own well-being above all else. You’re in a vulnerable situation, not having family nearby. Can you afford counselling? I think the most important thing right now is to build your confidence, so you really believe that you have value and that your needs are just as important as anyone else’s. Once you’re stronger inside yourself, you’ll be able to see this situation differently. In a good relationship, people love and value each other for who they are without trying to change them. Your boyfriend is wrong to try to change you and not support you. I agree it would be a good idea to move to be with him. And perhaps also to do couples’ counselling if you really want to make this work. But you should not be trying to make his family like you because it creates an unhealthy dynamic. If your boyfriend isn’t willing to support you and be a united front as a couple, I agree with others that it would be a miserable life to be married to someone who’s extremely close to a unwelcoming mother and doesn’t have your back. You deserve better than that. There are other guys out there. You have options. Remember that. Good luck.

    #859291 Reply

    I think you need to determine if you can be happy in the relationship when his family doesn’t like you and when your boyfriend justifies their behavior and tells you to make changes to your behavior. (I also am not sure why you know that his mom called her boyfriend — but if your boyfriend is telling you all this stuff, that’s sort of obnoxious too…who goes out of their way to tell their girlfriend bad things people say about her).

    There’s no indication the family will change. So, determine whether you can live with it before you have kids or get married.

    #859597 Reply
    avatarKaterina Vladnik

    You are better off going somewhere else for advice.

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
Reply To: “My Boyfriend’s Family Dislikes Me”
Your information: