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Author Topic: HATE my boyfriend's parents.
beaver987
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Hi Scarleen,
I'm back again with yet another problem I'm not exactly sure how to handle.

I've been going out with my boyfriend for a little over two years. At first, I thought his parents weren't anything I couldn't handle. They have proven me otherwise. I absolutely cannot stand his stepdad. He is really rude, sarcastic, and is just plain mean. He's a science teacher at our high school and the last time we worked on a project he said our work wouldn't be good enough for his class but would be good enough for our teacher. We spent 6 hours making our presentation look fabulous and another 3 making the model. No kidding. I felt awful when he said that because I put so much time and effort into it. So my boyfriend tried again saying "our powerpoint looks good though, right?" "I'm not a big fan of all the bells and whistles," was his response. I looked on his website and all of his powerpoints have slides with different colors and things moving all over. It's just frustrating that he can't give one compliment and is INCREDIBLY stuck up. He always says things that put me AND my family down and to make it look like they're so much better. His mom just goes along with it and doesnt stick up for my boyfriend or me at all. I can tell sometimes she wants to though.

Anyways, my boyfriend knows that I can't stand his step dad and hates that his mom goes with it. My boyfriend thinks the exact same thing so we can talk about it openly. We've tried just staying away and only going to my house, but then they won't let him come over here until I go to their house. I've tried ignoring them, but then I've found that I porbably come off rude. I wish I could stand up to him without being mean. I have absolutely no idea what to say. I know his mom will agree with his stepdad if I say something to him and he would call me rude. She would never say that he did anything wrong. I guess I just need some ideas on how to handle this situation witout being rude but getting my point across. I would also like some ideas on how to deal with them. Thanks so much for your help!

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Molias
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Hi beaver,

This certainly seems like an awkward and uncomfortable situation; you have my sympathy. Your boyfriend's stepdad sounds like he's a pretty unpleasant person to be around.
In terms of your boyfriend's mom not standing up to him, of course I don't know what's going on here, but it's very possible that he's being even worse to her where the two of you can't see it and she doesn't feel able to react to him right now, even if she doesn't approve of what he's doing or saying. I don't want to diminish either of your feelings of frustration towards her right now, but that's something to keep in mind. It might be helpful for your boyfriend to have a private conversation with his mom about the way his stepdad is behaving, if it's something he feels really strongly about, but if he does I'd encourage him to be really respectful of her and what her situation could be.

There are ways to be really rude when ignoring someone, but I think it's possible to try to minimize contact with him and give curt-but-polite answers to things he says to you. If he's directly insulting you or your family (which it sounds like he is, at least sometimes), I think it's ok to say "that's not true" or "that hurt my feelings" to let him know that he's being rude, but if he continues then I don't see anything wrong with excusing yourself from wherever he is.

What's the situation been like when you stop going over to your boyfriend's house for a while? Have his parents specifically said he can't visit you until you visit again? I'm trying to get a better sense of how that's playing out, because honestly, other than that detail, I would say your best bet is to just not be around the stepdad if you can avoid it at all.

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beaver987
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Thank you for such a thoughtful response. I really appreciate it! And yes. I've tried avoiding them as much as possible, but they specifically say that he can't come over to my house until I go over to theirs.

Also, we've talked about figuring something out for my boyfriend to talk to his mom. He ended up telling her about something his stepdad said that he didnt like and how he invades his space when my boyfriend does homework to play video games and she responed with "it's his house too. He can do whatever he wants. You should respect him considering he's much better than your father was." (My boyfriends real father left when my boyfriend was 2 when he got involved with drugs and prison.) Like you said, Im not sure exactly what's going on, but we can't figure out how to talk to her even by herself without her defeding him. Its just really frustrating.

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Molias
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It's too bad that your boyfriend didn't have a lot of luck talking to his mom. Even if this guy is a better or nicer person than your boyfriend's biological father, that doesn't make him a nice person! He may have better luck trying again if he brings up a different angle on his stepfather's behavior - maybe even that he's rude to you and it makes both of you uncomfortable - but this just may be something that she's not really willing to discuss or act on, for whatever reason.
If he does want to try again with her and she tries to defend or explain away his stepdad's behavior, maybe you could ask if as a compromise it would be ok for the two of you to get together more often outside of the house, either at your place or off doing something elsewhere?

I wish I had some better thoughts to give you, but honestly this just sounds like an uncomfortable situation that the two of you may not have much power to change right now.

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beaver987
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It definitely is. Uncomfortable and frustrating. I'm also wondering on how to make my relationship work if I can't stand the parents. I love his extended family that live in North Dakota (we live in MN) and his parents are planning on moving far away (CA or even in England), but if our relationship lasts through college I guess I'm just trying to figure out what to do (most other articles and websites say to run because if you marry the guy, you marry the family).
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Heather
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Well, might you be kind of putting things way more ahead here than makes sense?

In other words, thinking about marrying into a family strikes me as something that's really only something you need to think about when and if you're actually thinking about getting married.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Molias
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I think Heather has a good point!

Are you planning on going to the same college? If so, and you're going to both be living away from home, that may be a good time for both of you to get a sense of what your dynamic will look like when his mom and step-dad aren't around as much. I don't know how far away that is, but it might be a light at the end of the tunnel that you can look forward to.

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beaver987
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Sorry, I don't mean to get too ahead of myself. I just can't stand them right now so I was just wondering if things keep going really well, how I'd hansle them or if things would change in the future. I guess I just need to focus what is going on right now
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Heather
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I'm sure it's something that nags at you, but for sure, leaping SO far ahead is only likely to add to your stress -- and unnecessarily, to boot -- rather than help you to reduce it.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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beaver987
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So other than just trying not to be around them, is there anyhing else I could try?
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