I love my boyfriend but hate his family. I can’t stand the thought of having to spend holidays with his family for the rest of my life. I can’t stand their values and don’t want my children around them. They’re from the “wrong side of the tracks” and even have a family member in prison. I feel like a snob about this. Help.
He Said: Wow. Since you used the expression twice, I’ll use it here: “I can’t stand” the thought of you being this guy’s girlfriend! You actually “hate” his family? Listen, if you’re planning to spend the rest of your life with him, you’re going to have to learn to spend … oh maybe three to seven days a year with people who are different than you. On the flip side, I’m guessing these uncouth, wrong-side-of-the-tracks relatives consider you a prissy, uptight snob (your word, not mine), but they’ll have to learn to put up with you, too. And before you decide to have children with him, chew on this: It’s your responsibility to teach them values that can’t be toppled over by a twice-yearly trip to the in-laws, even the in-laws from hell.
She Said: Unless your boyfriend were completely estranged from his family with no desire to ever reconnect with them, I really can’t see how you could stay with him but “hate” them. You say you love him. Ask yourself: Is he really so completely different than them? I, for one, don’t buy it. Our parents shape us in ways we can never escape, no matter how many hours we log in pursuit of the education, therapy or cultural status we believe will distance us from them. Look closely: Don’t you see a trace of your potential father-in-law in your boyfriend’s mannerisms? Can’t you see some of his brother or mom in his gait or his eating habits? It’s not healthy to want to isolate someone from their family—even if that family harbors mass murderers. Yes, you heard me. Your boyfriend has a right to stay close and connected with his blood family, and his children do as well. So if you can’t soften your stance or open your mind, then do everyone a favor and bow out. If he passed your benchmark (which I’m guessing is high), then there are probably scores of SF women who would scoop him up while also trying to accept his relatives.
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