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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » His family won't butt out of our relationship

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Author Topic: His family won't butt out of our relationship
Member # 33170

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Hey, I've been dating my boyfriend for about 8 months. It's been going pretty good, He's a great guy and we've shared some great moments together. We're hoping that we're going to last and eventually get married. We just have a few problems that I'm worried will impact our future.

His family is of Indian background and they believe in a few things I'm not quite used to. My boyfriend isn't so into the culture, but he really just wants to please his family.

I've met his mother a few times, and she seemed like a nice lady and my boyfriend told me she liked me. But then a couple of weeks ago, she asked him to dump me because she doesn't think I'm good enough for him. I don't know what I've done to deserve that kind of behaviour from a woman I barely know. I found it very disrespectful, and I've been very hurt because of it and haven't wanted to see her since.

My boyfriend actually considered what she said to him (which really upset me), but me and him have since worked everything out.
It just upsets me that she (and his other family members I have not even met) has so much of an impact on what happens in our relationship. Especially since my whole family stays out of it completely and is just happy that I'm happy.

I'm just scared for what our future holds, and how they are going to treat me. Yesterday I said to him "Can't you just get your family to butt out?" And he said no. Sure I know family is important. But I feel like the more he brings them into this relationship, the more he's going to drive me away.
I don't really know what to do. Does anyone have any advice for me?

- a

Posts: 8 | From: Australia | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gumdrop Girl
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Member # 568

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I think YOU are ignoring a HUGE part of his culture, and therefore having a problem understanding a big part of who he is. It seems to me, Western cultures put a lot of stock in the individual pursuit of happiness. But believe it or not, there are a lot of us in this world who still put a lot of importance on the influence of family and the society around us. Hey, I'm Asian-American and about as white-washed as it gets, I'm still REALLY traditional in a lot of respects. Really, I think you are asking too much in this case because you are asking him to reject a big part of his cultural upbringing.

Yes, it sucks his mother doesn't approve. Hell, my parents have disapproved of some guys I've dated, too. but in this case, you have to either try to curry favor (pun NOT intended) with his family somehow. Or you have to accept that your boyfriend very well may choose family over you.

I think you should try to reach out to them and play the saint. Killing them with kindness works wonders.

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Posts: 12677 | From: Los Angeles, CA ... somewhere off the 10 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Wise words, Gumdrop.

In addition, many parents, no matter of what cultural background, react to their kids first serious relationships by saying '(s)he's not good enough'.

I reckon that's actually pretty normal: parents want the best for their kids, and I'd say that his mom saying that you're 'not good enough' is more an expression of her wishes for HIM than a true judgement of YOU.
You said it yourself: You've only met his family a few times, and they don't know you very well.
Thing is: By NOT wanting to see them now and by telling your boyfriend to basically abandon his family, they are, however, getting to know you, and seriously, if I were them, I'd smugly feel rather validated in my original, cursory judgement.

Sorry to say, and as much as i can understand your desire to not see a woman who's said she doesn't like you, but your reaction has not been a smart choice.

Your boyfriends family and his cultural background are an essential part of who he is and he has said that he doesn't want to let go of either. I'd suggest that you find a way to get along with it and with his family.

So get to know them. Say yes to dinner invitations. Hang out at their house with him on the weekends to watch the cricket. Be nice and respectful and interested and non-confrontational. Like Gummy said: Kill 'em with kindness. That doesn't mean you have to pretend to be someone that you're not, but be on your best behaviour.

If you want a long-term-relationship, and you said that you are, there simply is no shutting our of family. Asking this from your boyfriend is asking way too much, at least in my book.

But the challenge you two are facing is an opportunity; When you're dating someone from a different cultural background, you get to see a totally different philosophy and way of life, which can, essentially, rock your own philosophy and way of life and help you find out just how you want to live. You, the two of you together.

If you discover that this effort is more than you're willing to deal with, it's fairer for you to move on, than asking your boyfriend to shut his family and cultural background out.

[ 04-06-2007, 11:40 AM: Message edited by: alaska ]


Posts: 4526 | From: germany | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 32065

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I agree with you here, Alaska, that his mother saying "she is not good enough" is disrespectful, rude and there was really no need for it. Do you know what she means by "not good enough"? Does she mean not good enough as you arent the same race or religion as your boyfriend? Or do you think she has said it just because she generally doesnt think you are good enough?
Fair enough, his parents have a culture and religion they like to stick to, and you obviously respect that. But there is no need to be rude. As long as you understand their culture, and they realise that, then maybe she would change her mind. The fact you also said your boyfriend considered it seems a bit dodgy. Did he consider it because of what his mother said, or because he felt like it as well?
If this happens again, you should really try and talk to your boyfriend seriously, let him know you try so hard to get along with his family and their religiong, and that them shutting you out upset you and makes you feel small.

Posts: 25 | From: England | Registered: Jan 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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