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Boyfriend Criticizing my Family (asian)


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My name is Ash and I've been dating my bf for 4 years. We are both asian in our 20's so please note that we were both raised to value family.

He's extremely nice to my family and he's always there for me. However, one thing that bugs me is when he keeps criticizing how certain people in my family is like. For instance, he doesn't like that my cousin (age 21) is immature but I told him that my cousin has been through a lot and he is becoming more mature. Another example is when he would criticize my little brother(age 14) for staying at home, sleeping and playing with his ipad when my bf's seven brothers do the same thing. I also told him that my Dad can be "bipolar" like one day he is bossy and the next day he is pleasing. My bf then said "i wouldnt want to have a Dad like that." Seriously, what is my bf's problem?

Also, lately he's been more engaged in politics and watches more negative news. He's been saying these things only witin the past year. Maybe he's actually feeling comfortable enough in the relationship to even say those things.


Honestly, I'm deeply hurt that he would say things like that about my own family. I haven't told him how I feel because I don't know if it's normal for people to say those things. I don't have enough social experiences to know what is ethical/unethical but it makes me have a bad feeling.


Am I overreacting? Is this what happens in a normal relationship?


I would love to hear your thoughts on this. I don't know who to speak to.

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While I personally do err on the side of keeping my mouth shut when it comes to your partner's family, after so much time and familiarity, it's inevitable a comment or two will slip out at some point or another. I'd like to give him the benefit of assuming that he's thinking about a family himself and is considering these aspects from that perspective, but what you describe sounds pretty catty and unnecessary regardless. I consider the "I wouldn't want a father like that" to be an exceptionally brutal dig.


Have you let him know that comments about your family are a sensitive spot for you and you'd prefer it if he'd refrain? And, for your part, are you limiting any family-related griping that could put him in a position to negatively view your family?

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You just need to talk to him. Tell him it makes you uncomfortable and you'd like it if he'd stop.


Honestly I can't imagine not being able to talk to someone four years into a relationship. If you hide your feelings and what you need, how is he supposed to know?


Do you live at home with your family? I'd give more leeway too for the comments slipping out if that is the case. Being in a situation where it's harder to have strong boundaries with a partners family can cause resentment. I'm not saying that's the case here, but I would definitely take into account the dynamic you have with your family.

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