Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Not too sure if I should see it through

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  • #1109593 Reply

    Hi there

    Need advice on the following:

    I met a really good man. He treats me well and sees a future with me. We’re nearing a year into our committed relationship, but I have some concerns before engaging in conversations about our future.

    Firstly, his family. They’re good Christian people. Also treats me really well. But after hearing my boyfriend’s mother use a derogatory term to refer to gay people, I felt this was a major red flag as I have a brother who’s gay.

    Also, my boyfriend has a sister who graduated high school last year and is spoiled. She didn’t graduate with great marks and just sleeps in late, watches tiktok videos and gets whatever she wants. As a woman, I’m a bit annoyed that they’re not pushing her towards seeking her own independence. She was interested in taking a hair dressing course. I casually mentioned that a entry level job (even retail jobs) could help her pay for the course. The family just looked at me (crickets) and my boyfriend paid for her entire course.

    His parents and sister judge other people and look down on them. They always have something to say about someone else.

    Also, I will always bring treats over to my boyfriend’s family when I visit. He doesn’t extend the same courtesy when it comes to my family. Just feel that he could do more to get involved with my family

    These are just some issues I can explain briefly.

    I was told that when you marry someone, you marry their family.

    I may be overreacting, but the relationship is serious and my boyfriend and I do want a future together. I can’t help but feel his family is very small minded, and from where I come, I’ve had to work for everything in my life.

    Is this something to worry about now?

    #1109597 Reply

    There’s quite a lot there to worry about, because it could be a long-term problem. You say nothing about how you feel about your bf as just himself.

    I think you’re wise not to agree a future with him, but you should be talking about a possible future together and how that future is affected by your concerns about his family.

    Your bf paying for his inert sister’s entire hair dressing course can be viewed either as a kind brother willing to help out a sister he loves, or a guy who is too dependent on his parents’ thinking. Also, not at all clear whether his sister will put in the energy to graduate from the program and actually use that education to get and hold a job.

    Yes, you do marry a family and unless the two of you would agree to move fairly far away from them, or he is in full agreement with your views and willing to be quite independent of his family, the impact of family upon a relationship can be large.

    #1109599 Reply

    I don’t think you should care about sister, and I’d avoid bringing that up as a concern. He can choose to buy a course for his sister. You can choose to have an opinion about it, but it’s not really a moral character flaw to point out.

    Is he as small minded as they are? Have you brought these concerns up to him? Have you asked him if he thinks gay people will burn in hell for eternity? That answer should tell you a lot.

    If he’s grown up in a household and still has close relationships with his family, there is a big chance the family dynamic maybe one he wants to replicate, with the wife possibly being subservient. I don’t know how small minded these people are, or if he is but yeah, I’d be concerned. I personally wouldn’t date anyone who held a shred of homophobic beliefs.

    They don’t sound so very Christian if they judge others so harshly.

    #1109601 Reply

    Agree with all this that it’s concerning, but if he were an awesome guy who shared your values then it may not be too big of a problem how his parents are. But are you confident he does share your values?

    #1109622 Reply

    “I was told that when you marry someone, you marry their family.”

    It doesn’t matter what you were told, what do you want? Some people develop close relationships with their in-laws, others have minimal contact with them. And most people are somewhere in between.

    Do you want a close relationship with his family? If it doesn’t matter to you, you don’t have to have one.

    Do you want him to have a close relationship with your family? If so, then tell him. Don’t assume that he knows what you want. Tell him. People come into relationships with different expectations, and you can’t assume that he values family relationships as you do.

    #1109623 Reply

    Your boyfriend does not have ESP does he? If no, then you need to talk about these things and make it clear what you need out of a relationship and where your boundaries are.

    For some people, it’s hard to break out of well established patterns and behaviors. Your boyfriend has been a son & brother a lot longer than a boyfriend. And he may not have considered that your family is as important to you as his is to him. And he may not have realized that a good parent helps their children be independent and create their own nuclear families. He shouldn’t be burdened with trying to create his own life and supporting his sister.

    My BIL went through this when my sister got pregnant. He had to explain to his parents that with a child on the way, his priorities were changing and he was setting needed boundaries that made sense for him and his wife. They started to argue and then he asked them “Do you call Nana and Poppy to discuss your decisions?” and they realized that the family dynamic had shifted and they needed to let go. They weren’t happy about it, but they managed.

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