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My boyfriends attachment to his family is driving me insane


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This sounds like an awful post by even the title, so please bare with me to explain before assuming I'm evil.


My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 4 years, we started living together after being long distance for two of them years - he moved to my city to begin a training course.

Before we moved in together, we went on a family holiday which was pretty much hell for me. His mum complained a lot about us going off to do our own thing, then back-tracked on these comments when we confronted her about her issues (we'd go off for a few hours, never an entire day, or days in a row) By the end of the holiday, she made a comment too me about not being grateful enough after I'd just offered money to pay back some expenses. I was a bit put back by this, because I expected this has a teenager - but not when I'm a grown woman living on my own and in my mid-20's. I told my boyfriend and he never confronted her, I said to leave it because she was possibly stressed ect, and it would of been ungrateful for me to raise this as an issue, usually she is quite pleasant to me.


Anyway, things got worse when his brother came up to visit last month. Me and my boyfriend were talking about family holidays and how we think theres a cut off point in ages you should really go ect. His brother took offence to this, and kicked off at me, slating my family and saying how my family just don't want to be around me. The comments got worse as the conversation progressed and I made a decision to back down and try and defuse the situation, shocked that my boyfriend has sat there the duration of the conversation and not confronted his brother. The next day we argued about it and I haven't really forgiven him for that - as I feel when it comes to his family, I will always be second best.


On top of this, he had time off this week and made the decision to go back home without talking it through with me, usually I wouldn't mind him going - but it is nice to be considered and make an input on something that actively affects you. It would of also been nice to him suggest us taking time off together for a day or two as well, as his annual leave is scheduled (education sector) whereas mine is taken whenever. But instead he went home, and went completely AWOL on his phone. Which annoyed me even more, because when he is at home with me, he is constantly on the thing texting and calling his mum, to the point he is texting her constantly when we are in bed together at night - so I don't understand why the lines of communication are different when it comes to me.


I have constantly felt in a losing battle for attention against his family, which is i put down originally to us being long distance - but now we are living together I did think I would have a bit more respect in the scheme of things. I'm now absolutely dreading him returning home at the end of the week because I don't know how much more of this I can take and if I can be with a guy who hasn't let go of the apron strings. When i asked him what his plans for his christmas break where, he told me I would have to come down to him because he is again going home for the entire duration of it, which is another segment of his time off we won't spend together.


Has anyone been in this situation? Am i being unreasonable? How do you even compromise when you're fighting a losing battle anyway?

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Nothing you've written sounds terribly extreme of your boyfriend. I don't know why he has to talk it through with you to visit home. If my lady ever wants to take a trip to visit her fam, all I ask for is a heads up, and I wouldn't even really care if she let me know as she was heading to the airport. She can choose whatever days work best for her and hers. Unless it's disrupting something we'd already planned, I don't see where there's room for discussion. I likewise live with her, so needless to say, I see her plenty. I don't mind sharing. I'm assuming there's not a kid in the picture that he's just leaving you to take care of on your own on a whim.


And a whole lot of families go on family vacations well into adulthood. Avoid making judgmental comments about it in front of his family if you don't want to deal with pushback from them.


If you don't like the dynamic he has with his family, find someone who's less dedicated to theirs.

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Well, I say good for him for having such a good relationship with his family. When/if you have children, Op I'm more then sure you'll be glad if you and your children can continue to have a good union into adulthood.


He sees you everyday, I assume you live near your own parents (correct me if I'm wrong) so you can see them regularly, he doesn't have that benefit so I can see why he would want to visit his family and friends when he has the chance.


I agree with Jman... if you can't accept that he has solid ties with him family then perhaps you're with the wrong man. Oh and not to mention that it's fabulous to have 'grandma' around on that trip so she can baby-sit the kids while you and your hubby go off and do day trips. I'll predict that once the grand-kids come along she'll not resent you having some time with your husband.


As for him not sticking up for you when you argued with his brother and his mother. Did you ask him if he thought his mom and brother were right? Maybe he thought they were right in what they were picking up from negative vibe of them?

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You have not painted him as being a terrible mama's boy or something too unhealthy so I can't just go on a rampage trashing him.


Now I am a fiercely independent person and I get annoyed about parents interfering with my life. The issue is that you can only really deal with your family and he with his until you are married(in my opinion).


That being said you have to get your boyfriend on your level or you are just pissing in the wind. Talk to him and explain all of this. If he doesnt think it is an issue then you either need to get over it or leave.


When I got married I made it very clear beforehand with my wife that I would never ally with anyone against her, whether family or whoever. And that I expected the same.


I would not tolerate being second to anyone in my spouse's eye so I understand your frustration at feeling second.


I will end with the same as I began. It really doesn't sound like anything he has done is overtly bad though.

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I don't know. If you come at someone in my family with a snarky comment about something you know the family enjoys doing, sorry... you're on your own. Obviously I'm not gonna let it get to the point anyone's choke slamming each other, but I'd assume they're adult enough to deal with some very predictable blowback. I also wouldn't be in a relationship with someone who couldn't keep a thought like that to herself while my family is around. Given how every ounce of the rest of the post contradicts it, I highly doubt there was very much "we" involved in thinking families should stop going on vacation after a certain age.

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You know what, if you were going on a FAMILY holiday with the family, "offering to pay back" some money for the trip as an adult is not what you should be doing. You should have paid your way to begin with -- paid your transportation, set up ahead of time that you would cook one of the nights, or otherwise contribute so it wasn't all on the parents. Paying someone money when they are upset with you to diffuse the situation is too little too late.


When should you outgrow "family holidays?" Never. We ALWAYS went back to "grandma's house" on Thanksgiving first as small children in tow of our parents, later as young adults, and then finally with boyfriends/girlfriends or spouses unless we were rotating holidays (spent one Thanksgiving at in-laws and one at our family because that is what you do when you are married.) It would have been one thing to ask him to "rotate" and see your family for THanksgiving and his for Christmas but to just complain about the fact that he wants to go is going nowhere. What is the alternate plan? Making him stay home with you and not visiting anyone? Sure, sometimes when people live out of town sometimes a quiet Christmas is nice, but not when one wants to see family.

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I do agree that you never outgrow family holidays. We have 2 kids now and we rotate which parents see us. Until we had kids we would go to one side for Christmas and one for thanksgiving and rotate every year.


Now that we have kids they come to our house but it is still our family. Now that it is at our house I am a lot happier as now my wife and I are in charge of it.


I didn't call out the comment before but it is a really good point. In my opinion you never ever outgrow family events like that. If your boyfriend came from a close family and you spout off things like "when are you going to outgrow this family stuff?" I wouldn't doubt he gets annoyed.

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