Facebook share
LinkedIn share
Google plus share
Twitter plus share
Give Advice
Ask For Advice
Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 33

Thread: My mom and my girlfriend dislike each other - and it hurts me so much

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Age
    26
    Posts
    4
    Gender
    Male

    My mom and my girlfriend dislike each other - and it hurts me so much

    Few facts:

    I am male: 26 years from Denmark
    Girlfriend is female: 20 years from Kenya
    My mom is 54 years old

    First of all, TL;DR version:

    My girlfriend feels unseen and excluded by my mom (and I see the same as she does). My mom claims she has already tried to approach her, and she also sees me as her beloved son, and mostly my girlfriend as a stranger. My other family members are good at seeing us equally when we visit, in a way that really makes my girlfriend feel comfortable around them. But my mom is very different. Now I am in bad terms with my mom for criticizing her. At the same time, my girlfriend doesn't like my mom, and says she won't visit her again. Being in between really hurts, because I obviously want all of us to be in good terms with each other.


    Longer version:

    Imagine two people who see things completely different from each other. At the same time, they really stick to their perspective, and are unable to see things from the other persons perspective. And if you try to talk to them about it, they will get really angry and deny to even talk about it. That's the situation I am in.

    Background:

    I am a student, who lives a 2 hours drive away from my mom's place, and I am on my 2nd year out of 5 years on my current education. My girlfriend is from Kenya. I met her in March 2019 when I was on an internship in Kenya, as a part of my education. Since then 7 months passed, where we could only communicate through WhatsApp, until she finally came here on a tourist visa in November. We have now stayed together for two months in my place, out of three. She will leave on February 17th. But of course, we have plans for a future together, and I will be visiting her in Kenya in my holidays, while she will visit me in Denmark too as an au pair if possible... But for now, we have one month left together in Denmark, until she travels back.

    The problem:

    While she has been here, we have been travelling around i the country to visit my family and other close relations I have here. We have been staying five days at my dad's place, and my girlfriend really likes my dad. He is also good at approaching her, and including her in the companionship. When we visit, my dad sees both of us equally, which is something both me and her really like. We have also been visiting my dad's wife shortly, who was very welcoming, and my dad's sister, whom my girlfriend also started liking fast. Not soon after even meeting her, my dad's sister was eager to take selfies with her, and gave her hugs and stuff. Honestly, I see why she likes those people a lot. They really approach her well, and include her good. Then the problem comes when we visit my mom. Because she is different. She sees me a lot as her beloved son, and then my girlfriend is kind of like a stranger to her, that I just brought with me. It's not like my mom doesn't approach my girlfriend, but she doesn't approach her as much as the other people in my family do.
    This often leads to a circle of bad events. Because when my girlfriend feels uncomfortable and unwelcome somewhere, she becomes silent. And silence is my mom's biggest pet peeve. My mom expects her visitors to show gratitude and interest of being there. So when she sees a silent person who doesn't seem engaged in being a visitor, she feels as if it's too much for her to handle, and she kind of gives up trying to approach that person.

    Yesterday, things really went too far. We were visiting my mom during the weekend, and it seemed from both my perspective and my mom's perspective, that she didn't see my girlfriend even being there. At the dinner table, she conversated with me, while my girlfriend was sitting there also, just being silent. And yes, there are always to sides of a case. I also think my girlfriend could have done something to take part in the conversation, but I also understand how it was difficult for her to know what to say, when she already felt excluded... And then when we were about to leave, my mom asked me in Danish to give her a hug, so she received a hug from me, while my girlfriend was standing next to us, not receiving a hug from my mom.

    After we went, my girlfriend felt really bad. She told me she felt excluded and not welcome in my mom's home. And I really felt the same feeling as her. After the 2 hour drive home to my place, I then called my mom, and explained the issue to her. I knew it would be a tough conversation to have with her, because I would have to criticize her, and compare her to my dad and my dad's sister. So I tried as much as I could to explain these things to her in a humble way. Unfortunately it didn't end well at all. My mom denied excluding my girlfriend in anyway, and defended herself a lot saying she had really tried to approach her with questions, but getting almost no response back, feeling like she couldn't keep on trying, putting the responsibility on my girlfriend for having to pull herself together and talk to her instead. About the hug, she excused it with me being her son, and my girlfriend not being a person who had such a close relation to - and that it would be uncomfortable for her to hug my girlfriend because of that. My mom got really angry with me in that phone call, and said she felt provoked by me.

    Meanwhile, my girlfriend is really feeling bad. She says she doesn't like my mom, and she doesn't want to visit her again before she leaves. All of this hurts me SO much. Now I am in bad terms with my mom, and at the same time, my girlfriend feels so bad, that she doesn't even want to talk. She doesn't want me close to her.

    So all in all, I do understand both perspectives, and my wish is to make them both understand each other better, instead of just denying that they could be missing something. I understand how my mom finds it uncomfortable to be faced with a silent stranger in her home that does nothing to open herself up to her. I also understand my girlfriend's silence, because of how she feels unseen and excluded in my mom's home. Personally, I think it is my mom's responsibility to take the first step, and approach her well in a non-judging way. I know she would claim that she already tried, but I honestly feel like she could at least do a bigger effort than what she did already, when compared to my dad and my dad's sister. Because afterall, my girlfriend is the guest.

    And despite my girlfriend being the guest, I also still think that she should be trying more to make friends with my mom, and taking some initiative to open herself up to her, even if she has to start it. Sometimes, life isn't fair, and I have also been forgiving people without an apology before, in order to get the best out of the bigger picture. But as much as my mom denies to change anything, so does my girlfriend. This leaves me truly helpless

    Does anybody have an advice??

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Cloud Nine
    Posts
    37,649
    Gender
    Male
    Relax. They do not have to like each other for your benefit. They both need to respect you and each other but that is it. There are most likely some cultural and perhaps language subtleties that take some time getting used to. The more you force it the worse it will get. Let them simply warm up to each other at their own pace and do not allow your gf to pressure you.

    Your gf would benefit from some explanations about Danish culture. She seems overwhelmed. Some cultures are not as touchy or physically demonstrative with strangers. Tell your gf to stop taking everything so personally. If she wants to get a job in Denmark she will have to understand the cultural nuances a bit better. As far as your mother, just relax and stop making an issue out of everything. Let people feel and think whatever they want. Do not play referee.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,831
    Gender
    Female
    Sorry if this is a bad question, but is your Mum racist by any chance? Maybe I'm just making an assumption...I'm originally from Eastern Europe and my parents lived most of their life in a white communist country. They're quite racist and against me dating people of colour...Anyway enough about me. Sorry if I offended anyone...Just to add though, I date people of all cultural backgrounds and I don't care what my parents think.

    I'm not really sure why your Mum would take a dislike to your girlfriend...Obviously there is nothing wrong with her because your Dad and Aunt really like her, and she likes them. So around them she doesn't seem to have trouble and getting along. In that sense I'm inclined to guess that yes your mother is the issue. I don't understand why you only visit your Mum together with your girlfriend though? You can't at least sometimes go alone?

    I'm just guessing but maybe your mother is annoyed that you always bring your girlfriend along? She didn't see you for a long time while you were in Kenya and now she probably wants to spend as much time as possible with you alone. Maybe she's also jealous that her "baby boy" has grown up and found a woman. Seriously, some mothers get jealous about that!

    Another reason might be that maybe your mother actually expects that your girlfriend, as a guest, will start conversations and make an effort. Does your girlfriend wait for other people to reach out first? Like, did she wait for your Dad and his sister to start including her first?

    I think that unfortunately your girlfriend will have to get over that she doesn't like your Mum and she will have to be polite. She's your Mum and she will always be there. They don't have to like each other, but they need to be polite and try to get along for your sake. Your girlfriend has to do this too, not just your Mum. She also has responsibility if she wants your relationship to work out.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    22,770
    Gender
    Female
    I'd tell Mom that being unkind to my GF is the perfect way to see less of me rather than more of me, and if she ever decides to offer GF kindness, she can let me know. Until then, I won't be visiting home if it interferes with the time I can spend with GF. We'll just visit with her family, instead.

    Then this is done unless and until Mom is willing to do her part. If she tells you that she is, then I'd propose to GF that Mom has had a change of heart, and I'd ask whether she's willing to give Mom a chance with another visit. If not, then you'll need to decide whether a GF who won't do her part to integrate with your family is one that you're willing to keep.

    The only thing we can do is let others know what we want. If they won't comply, then we get to decide how much interaction we choose with them. While I wouldn't tolerate rude behavior from family toward anyone I choose to expose to them, I also wouldn't view anyone unwilling to try with my family as someone I'm willing to keep in my life.

  5.  

  6. #5
    Platinum Member SherrySher's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    6,357
    I'm on the Mom's side here.

    She had this girl over, she made dinner for you both. She talked about different things while she was there. She was respectful.
    It sounds fair to me.

    Your girlfriend is expecting too much. Not everyone is going to be jumping all over her. Your mom sounds set in her ways, and that's just fine. She doesn't have to change to please your girlfriend.
    She's been respectful to your girlfriend by the sounds of it. She just isn't being as engaging as your girlfriend wants and that's not fair.

    Keep in mind that your girlfriend is still a stranger to your mom and you two have not dated long.
    They also have different ways and different expectations.

    So be it.
    They don't have to like each other and your girlfriend doesn't have to keep on like she is.
    She can go see your mother for YOUR sake and being respectful...for YOUR sake.
    It's not like you're asking her to live with your mom, it's only a meal now and then.

    If she's unwilling to do that and she keeps complaining then I would say it's your girlfriend who is causing problems.
    Last point, your mom doesn't have to like her. It's not expected. Some people just don't get on. All she has to do is be polite and accept her into her home for meals and visits, which sounds like she has been.

  7. #6
    Platinum Member SherrySher's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    6,357
    I think that unfortunately your girlfriend will have to get over that she doesn't like your Mum and she will have to be polite. She's your Mum and she will always be there. They don't have to like each other, but they need to be polite and try to get along for your sake. Your girlfriend has to do this too, not just your Mum. She also has responsibility if she wants your relationship to work out.
    100% agree.
    You girlfriend needs to stop focusing on how your mom behaves and expecting her to be a certain way. As long as the mom is having you both over, that's good enough.
    She hasn't been rude to your girlfriend (trust me, family members can be downright mean at times) your girlfriend hasn't had barely anything to complain about.
    She should just accept that your mom isn't like your Dad or his sister. She'll just have to be okay with that.

  8. #7
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Wilds of Texas
    Posts
    10,462
    Gender
    Female
    From what you are describing, your gf is being rude, entitled and creating drama. Quite manipulative to pit you against your mother. I don't see where your mother is being rude to your gf. Quite the opposite, she opened her home to your gf, cooks meals, etc. Your gf is not making any effort to be civil and when she isn't the center of attention, she is playing games with your head about it. Hope you like drama because if you stick around with this girl you are going to be in for a lot of that.

  9. #8
    Platinum Member Gary Snyder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    deleted
    Posts
    1,639
    This happens a lot where some family member and the SO don't get along.

    So just see mom without her, no problem.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    51,410
    I think your girlfriend needs to make an effort to have a pleasant demeanor and approachable body language - she's probably not just silent -she probably has a sullen/cold look to her too. She doesn't need to be chatty but she needs to make an effort to be part of the gathering if she's going to sit at the table or in the same room as the other people.

  11. #10
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Central Canada
    Posts
    14,625
    Gender
    Female
    How long have you been dating this princess that likes people who take superficial selfies with her but who sits like a stone expecting to be included in on everything as if she's been in the family for years?

    I'm also on the Mom's side here if it went down exactly as you say. You were there for goodness sakes, DID your mother try to engage your girlfriend but she was either standoffish or just shy? If she was just shy then YOU should have tried to include her more in getting more comfortable with your mother and your mother her... if she was just standoffish and wasn't engaged in your mom's attempts then she's the Princess I'm assuming she is being.

    IMO there is no reason for you to tell your mother that you won't visit until she is more accommodating but rather you should tell your girlfriend that she shouldn't try to separate you and your mother but see how it goes if she is more open and she herself offers a hug to her (perhaps) future mother in law instead of just EXPECTING to get one from her.

Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast

Give Advice
Ask For Advice

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •