Love Him, But Hate His Family

How to Make it Work Anyway

You’ve met the guy of your dreams. He’s handsome, charming, romantic, successful, athletic and more than anything else, he seems to understand you. You have common interests and shared goals and well, if you’re not mistaken (and you’ve been at this a long time), you think you two are headed toward a life of domestic bliss. Then he tells you he wants you to meet his family—and at first, you’re so excited. Until you do and your white picket fence fantasy turns into a giant nightmare! His mom’s overbearing. His dad’s condescending. His sister has a hand out and his brother’s a misogynistic slacker. What to do when you love your guy but hate the clan he came from? Unfortunately, it’s not a simple situation, but here are a few places to start.

1. Be sensitive to your sweetie

Odds are, your guy is nervous about this relationship (of you, his girl—or guy—with his family). But if his people are crazy/eccentric/unwelcoming, odds are he’s heard it before and he knows it. Whether he admits it to you or not, that’s a different story. The point is, let him know you care about him and aren’t judging him based on anyone but himself—after all, you’d want the same respect in return. He needs to know you’re going to love him even if they’re the most embarrassing, awful people in the world and you hate them.

2. Leave your boxing gloves (and fighting words) at home

It’s always important to stick up for yourself. However, if you’re dealing with the argumentative parent of the person you’re considering settling down with (or already have), you don’t want to find yourself entangled in unnecessary roughness. Do you really care if you disagree about politics or dinner options? So long as it’s not interfering with your life (and that’s a different story—see number 4), there are a lot of comments you can take in the name of keeping the peace.

“Love and relationships are kind of like jobs, we change constantly until we find that right one that sticks around for the long haul.” – Psychic Lacy ext. 5494

3. Express your feelings to your guy

So you’ve shut your mouth at dinner. You’ve even endured comments that felt insulting or talk behind your back. Good on you! But don’t let it simmer. Tell your boyfriend your perspective on what happened and exactly how you’re feeling—without derogatory words. Never say “I hate your mother!” or “Your father is a jerk!” Instead, say “It makes me feel hurt when x or y happens. What do you think we can do about it?” The answer may be to laugh it off, or see them less frequently, but it’s important that the two of you feel like a team if you’re going to be one.

“Picking your battles is of utmost importance. Sometimes we take things too personally, when in reality 99% of what a person does is not about us.” – Psychic Giovanna ext. 5214

4. Set boundaries

Lastly, it’s one thing to tolerate annoying behavior. It’s another to contend with constant interference from his fam. Don’t let yourself be bowled over by their demands or dictates. Be firm, but polite with your limits and if they’re not respected, respond calmly, but accordingly. While you NEVER want to ask your guy to choose between you and the people he came from, you may need to separate yourself from the situation in order to maintain your own sanity.

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4 thoughts on “Love Him, But Hate His Family

  1. Sue

    Am I being unrealistic? My husband’s family are all about his ex. We have been married for 10 years and together two years prior to that. When we got together they couldn’t stand her because of all the s**t she put him through. She has made our life constant hell for 10 years to the point we almost divorced because I couldn’t handle the stress. Now within the last year his sisters have all started hanging out with her and its very frustrating. His family doesn’t even acknowledge my children and myself as family, but they do her. Am I over reacting?

  2. Marsha

    Gina Rose,
    I agree with you completely. I am living it.

    let me warn you now…If you get to the point of #4 where you have to set boundaries it will not work if your guy doesn’t respect those boundaries. He HAS to respect them for his family to. He has to be willing to draw a line in the sand, and if he is not willing to do so – Trust me, you will still be dealign with their bs years later (14 years so far for me) I have the perfect guy….except for the way he handles his family.

  3. Jan

    My bf’s family is very nasty. His sister has done nasty things to me and him and made up stuff on me to the family. His mom doesnt like anyone and I cant go to his parents if she is there. She is presently in hospital. He also has an ex who ‘never left’- they have not divorced x 15 years and have 3 grown kids but shes still around and involved like nothing happened-including over a this parents all the time, talking to my bf and he talks to her on their cells. I have asked him so many times to divorce but he hasnt to date nor will she make a move. She stirred a big fight at xmas as we were suppose to see her son and son’s gf and we didnt get the right info and missed it. It turned out his other 2 sons were gong to be there and surprise him with xmas gifts. I dont get why the ex-wife even got involved and she got very mad at him. Then she said are u going and he said NO, so then she said then ill go and hung up! It was suppose to be a dinner party for me and him at his sons apt to meet his new girl! I have been called emotional, a stalker etc and its all untrue but I get ganged up on and they all stand together against me. The funny thing is all the people who have been involved in his family and not a family member have been called crazy and stupid etc and they dont like his daughter in law and they dont like me and they dont like any outsider, so the outsider leaves and that is what im doing………I also dont have family in this city im not from here………..

  4. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    These are all great tips……and I would definitely give them consideration…

    however, there are sometimes much more serious situations that may require your hubby or significant other to step up to the plate and tell them that YOU are HIS choice and, as such, no disrespect will be tolerated.
    If he won’t do that…then it’s going to be a l-o-n-g rough road.

    I know that if the shoe were on the other foot, and I brought a guy home for dinner or the holidays or whatever around my family…..and they were disrespectful to him…..I would immediately put my foot down.
    Because to disrespect him, would also be to disrespect me and my choice…..and I would feel ashamed , insulted, and humiliated….for myself AND him.


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