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Am I creating a problem?


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I have been living with my b/f and his family while we try to catch up on bills and get back on our feet since the beginning of March. His family is awesome, they have welcomed me as one of their own. There have been no problems or conflicts... until yesterday. His sister who is married and 9 months pregnant is staying with his parents this week, too, because her husband is out of town. She has a dog who is very hyper and jumpy...and he always tries to follow me into my room. Well, I'm allergic to dogs. Well, his sister complained to his mom who complained to him that I yelled at her dog yesterday morning. I don't even remember this... I do remember him trying to get into my room and I said, "No, you can't come in here" but it was, in no way, yelling. Well, now I can feel the tension in the house, his mom is treating me differently, etc. I don't want to put my b/f in the middle but his family obviously already has. I don't know what to do... I started writing this letter but I feel I'm going overboard with the whole thing... Here's what I have of the letter so far:




I’m not trying to freak you out and I know little tiffs between us is normal and going to happen no matter what… but we shouldn’t be having them daily. We used to never have them! We’re both taking things the wrong way when we never used to and neither of us is sure how to take it. Things between us have been beyond amazing and easy and simple…and I am just worried that these little arguments are going to change that eventually. I’m mostly just trying to get us to deal with the issue now while it’s small so it doesn’t end up doing a bunch of damage. Do you understand and agree? I have no problem working on a relationship, I never have. The problem with my past relationships was that I was the only one working on it, the only one making sacrifices and adapting and trying to be patient and understanding and whatever. I don’t feel AT ALL that this is the case with you… I’m just reassuring you that, as long as we both understand the problems that will come up in our relationship and both want to work to fix them, we have an incredible chance at making this work.


I know it is stress-related, stress that is coming from all sorts of areas in our lives. The reason I wanted to start taking walks more is because it’s supposed to be a way for us to get out of your parent’s house and be active and it was supposed to help with the stress. But, as we both know, these walks haven’t been the best stress-reliever. As of right now, there is only one stress factor that we are able to change and fix right now… Remember, before we moved into your parent’s house, I said I was afraid it would change things between us? I was worried because it meant you were going to be put in the middle of things between your family and me. Everyone, except for me, will choose their family over someone they are dating… and they should. Family, especially yours, will always be there for you. I’m not saying that’s what you are doing, ok? Not at all. I’m just saying those facts are going to put strain on our relationship. Up until recently, we were lucky enough to not have to experience that. Your family has been great, I can’t even describe how thankful I am for all they are doing for us. But that little incident where I upset your sister who is 9 months pregnant has changed that. I can read people… no matter how much you want to tell me it’s not a big deal, it’s very apparent that it is. I can feel it. I do not want you to be put in the middle, I do not want you to have to ever be put in a position where you have to choose between your family and me. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how things will be after this incident is done with. And maybe I am blowing this out of proportion… but I have dealt this closely with other’s families and I know how it almost always ends up. The plain and simple truth is this – no matter how much you adore me, I am not part of your family. Even if we got married someday, I am still the outsider. Your Aunt who lives here has been your uncle’s wife for quite a while… but she is seen as an outsider. Your aunt who lives in Arkansas is also considered an outsider. I am an outsider… I will always be polite with anyone but I’m not going to make decisions based on what other people’s reactions are going to be. I’m not a crowd pleaser. I never will be.


This is all I have so far... I feel like I'm creating an issue, that there isn't really one. I don't do well around families... I don't like being around other people's (or even my own, actually) families. Should I bring this up or just let it go? Please help.

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Why do you feel you have to write a letter? If you do not do well around families you should do what you have to do to get out of their house asap. The pregnant sister, I can see her being there while her husband is away and she is their daughter but YOU live there... so, I think you have the right to push the dog out of your way for your own health... The preg. sister should respect this.


But, family is family and your not their family so plan on being treated as such. You need to get out of there. Is your boyfriend your potential husband? Do you have a home/family of your own?

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I think you might be blowing this way out of proportion. If she's 9 months pregnant she's bound to be highly emotional and under a lot of stress and pressure. People always have little run-ins like this when staying at someone's place. And it was only yesterday morning.... if they are still acting weird two weeks from now then you might have reason to worry. If you're still worried just try being extra sweet and unobtrusive for a while, but I really caution you against making a big deal out of this.

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I would not take this issue anywhere NEAR as far as you are. The sister has very excalted hormones and is very edgy at 9 months into her pregnancy.


My recommendation is to talk to your BF's mother and offer to make a family dinner for everyone.


Make sure the sister and the BF is there. Bring up this issue at dinner in a calm manner. Keep it simple but address your alergy problems with them if they don't already know and assure them that you did not mean for it to seem as if you were yelling at their pooch.


What ever you do, do not make your BF feel like you are freaking out. That letter you are writing will scare him more than anything else. You need to make your stand in that house and show that you are not intimidated by them. Don't shy away when they address a problem that has arised. Just stand your ground and explain why you act the way that you do and assure them that you do not mean any hostility by your actions. They will have more respect for you in the long run. If you don't stand up now, they will walk all over you. I am not saying be hateful by any means. If you do not make your stand then they wont have respect you and you will in fact become that "outsider". Parents like to see their children with strong individuals.


I made a stand to my GF's mother and although things are rocky between her mother and I now (because my gf moved out of her mothers house and in with me), her mother will have a whole new respect for her daughter and me once this all settles down. By making the stand to her mother and moving out, this will prove to her mother that she is independent. You are doing the same thing right now. Just keep your room clean, help out around the house, offer to help with groceries and housework. Make it a fun enviornment while you are there. Trust me, you will be ok.


Throw that letter away, its toxic.



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One thing needs some clarification here....were you and your boyfriend living together, unable to to maintain financial independence as a couple - and you both have gone to his parents to live....or


Did you find yourself unable to sustain financial independence paying for the boyfriend and to have him as a guest in your home regularly and frequently, while he really lived at home...and so you needed a place to go to catch up on YOUR bills so they took you in because you'd been feeding and paying for his entertainment and expenses, and they felt they owed you. In short - they got a break on parenting him whe you were doing it -they're in turn giving uyou a small period of time to get yourself back together ifnanicially - so you can take him off thier hands again.


It makes a world of difference, because it means there are different problems in play and different solutions to consider.

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I think that is extremely irrelevant to what she was asking advice on.


Thank you for this post. I have been running into people way over analizing the post at hand. Many times there is way too much thought that goes into ENA posts and they get off topic.


Back to the origional post....


One more thing. I agree with the post in regards to as "how bad are your alergies?"


Is it something that you can suck up when the dog comes around to show a little compromise? This could be helpful... or if your alergies are pretty bad, maybe by petting the dog and then letting the family watch your face swell up will reverse their negativity. They will see that it is a very bad situation for the dog to be indoors and perhaps they can make an arrangment to keep the pooch outside while you are present.


Just a thought

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I agree with the others who said that you might want to let it go. She is pregnant and probably super irritable. If things have been going well so far, maybe write this one off as just a big of snapping - happens to the best of us.


If she does continue to be a bit rude - I would talk to her face to face, not through a letter. I think the letter is making too much of a deal of it, and I think you will be able to resolve things much better by talking.


Since you are a "guest" in their house, though, I would consider being extra careful and polite. I would imagine it is somewhat of an imposition for them to have you and your boyfriend living with the entire family, so I would be sure to be extra helpful and discrete.

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As I said in my previous post, just let it go for now.. It isn't fair to you how they're reacting but I think if you do anymore than what's already been done it will just make things worse. Let things cool down and then if someone brings it up or it happens again then you say something. Hopefully it will pass and everyone will forget all about it. You say things have never been an issue before so I don't really understand why it would start now. Good luck!

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The point of "she is VERY pregnant and very emotional" is part of what stopped me from sending the letter. I completley understand this... my issue is that now the Mom is treating me differently for it. She adored me, I could tell... and I adored her. And yes, it's only a day... but strain between a significant other and family can ruin a relationship, it's happened to me (thus the reaction). I've never felt more connected to a person than I do with my bf and I don't want this coming between us. I want to snuff this issue before it gets big and out of control. I was ranting BIG TIME (thanks for pointing it out, Aviatormy!) in that letter. I'm just not sure how to go about this... that's why I posted.


The reason for a letter and not face-to-face discussion is because I am not a face-to-face discussion kind of person. I say it better (or not, ha) in a letter. As for the allergies, I'm not deathly allergic BUT I also have asthma. I pet the dog and have no problem being around it OUTSIDE of my room. As long as I have my room that is dog-hair-and-dandruff free, I can keep my asthma and allergies under control.


My bf's family and I get along great... I guess I'm just really worried that this will damage my relationship with them a little. I do what I can to be helpful around the house and I am always polite and sweet to them. Like I said in the letter, they are doing a great thing for my BF and I. I don't have a relationship with my family... they wouldn't offer me a place to stay no matter how down and out I was. I am in a financial rut for many reasons, one of them NOT being taking care of my BF. We split costs in everything. It's fair and if one of us pays for dinner twice in a row, we don't really care. We support each other in every way. We both just have a lot of debt and his parents offered to let us stay, rent-free. I was hesitant to move in but my BF decided he needed to do this in order to stop from getting deeper into debt (we were living together, yes) and I had no other options. I couldn't afford a place of my own and there is no one else I want to or can live with. Plus, we have a "get out of there" goal that we are sticking to.


I think I answered everything... thanks so much for the advice so far, it's definitely helping me to think about it more clearly!


*Oh and to clarify, the letter was for my boyfriend, not any of his family members.

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Before this goes any further, you may want to talk to your bf about moving out. It seems like a little thing and it will probably blow over, but if you stay there long enough other things will come up that are going to make your bf choose sides, that's just human nature. Have a move out date for you guys and inform his family. When your situation is seen as temporary, things will calm down. I, too, have experience in this and now I always refuse to move in with someone's family. Heck, I can't live with my own!

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It's a darn dog, for crying out loud. If I stay at a friend's house and when they don't have the respect for me to get their stupid mutt off me, I give it a whallop so it realizes that I'm the person, it's the dog, I get to 'get' what I want (especially if it's its' stinky butt NOT on me)... When it comes down to it, it's not like you kicked rover or mistreated it... you just don't want to have to go get a neb. treatment or break out in a rash, etc. You JUST didn't want it in your room. If these folks are as great as you have said they are (and I'm sure they are) they aren't going to get worked up over something as dumb as not letting the sister's dog in your room. Not to diminish the value of your relationship with the bf's family, but I'd say this is a non-issue. If they keep their heads up their butts over it, I'd address it quite plainly and say "Look, I have allergies... I'm allergic to dogs... it's not like I was cruel to scruffy, I just didn't want him in my room. Okay?!" Any 'sane' person would be able to deal with that...

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