Jump to content

Worried about how my family will treat my girlfriend.


Recommended Posts

Disclaimer... my spell check add-on doesn't work on this forum and I'm about to leave for work so I don't have time to re-read everything. If there are mistakes, sorry.

 

My birthday, my Mom's birthday, and my brother's birthday all fall within a week of each other. So my family usually gets together for dinner sometime that week to celebrate. Well, that get together is happening this weekend. My brother and my Mom have both met my girlfriend in passing. They haven't really hung out with her though, it was just a quick Hi nice to meet you kind of thing when they were at my house.

 

Ok so last year my girlfriend had to have some teeth pulled. I don't have time to go into the exact reasons, but it wasn't because of drug use or bad hygiene. It's something she is really self-conscious about and she doesn't smile big because of it. She is saving up to have it corrected but that is really expensive. Sadly people in the US aren't very forgiving of any issue with someone's teeth. If someone doesn't have perfect teeth they are considered trashy, etc. Insurance rules everything when it comes to health care in this country and most insurance doesn't cover dentures, implants, etc because that's considered cosmetic. My Mom and my sister won't make any nasty comments to her face, but I'm sure they will make comments behind her back. I'm a business owner and I have an employee who is missing a tooth because of a calcium deficiency, and they have made nasty comments about my employee, so I wouldn't be surprised at all if they say something about my girlfriend.

 

Part of me thinks as long as they don't say it to her face there's really nothing I can do, so why even worry about it? I just wish they weren't so judgmental about that kind of thing. No one is perfect. I also wonder if I should say something about it to them beforehand. Like, "Hey, I don't want to hear comments about her teeth. SHe's not a drug user and she takes care of herself. Lay off."

 

And the other issue... my lesbian sister absolutely hates Bisexuals. This is something she's been really vocal about even directly to me. When I first came out she told me she hates people like me because we make "real gay people" look bad. She has also made comments about how people like me are disgusting because we are only gay when it's convenient to be gay. She doesn't seem to understand that it doesn't work that way. She hates that I'm with a woman. So I wonder how that's going to go, also.

 

I'm not worried about my brother at all. He's the most chill person on the planet and he judges no one. My Mom and my sister can be pretty two-faced though. I know they won't say anything to her face. But I don't want to deal with the snarky comments later on to me about her either.

 

Anyone have any suggestions?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Do you think they will be rude to her? How does she feel about going to this get together?

 

I seriously doubt they will be rude to her. They will.most likely be rude to me later on about the two things I mentioned in my post.

 

She is fine with it. She actually wants to get to know them better.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think there will always be people who make snarky comments and judgey comments. If they treat her politely that's all they are obligated to do. I would say nothing in advance or make a deal out of it. Show up. If any disrespect or rudeness is targeted to her - and I'd try to be sure not to be looking for it lest you misinterpret something harmless - then you cut the visit short with no drama. If you feel like it later on when you're calm explain calmly that you couldn't allow your SO to be subjected to rude comments.

 

Also I'd avoid initiating any sensitive topics - religion, politics, sexual orientation, etc -you can only control you but if you do that you lessen the risk of things going awry. It's nice that she wants to attend.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
I think the only thing you can do if they are rude to her is leave. Unfortunately ; we can’t control the way people think.

 

They won't be rude to her. I know how they operate. It will be me who has to deal with the negative comments and stuff later on in text messages and possibly on the phone. That's what I'm not looking forward to.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd explain to them why she won't be smiling big and that you appreciate, in advance, their acceptance of her predicament. Tell them you expect them to be pleasant and respectful to your gf, just as your gf will do the same with them.

 

It will be me who has to deal with the negative comments and stuff later on in text messages and possibly on the phone. You teach people how to treat you. If you're on a call and someone is toxic, you tell them you're not having that discussion. Goodbye. If you get a toxic text, you can say something like: That hurts. I'm choosing to block you for the day since your behavior is mean and disrespectful.

 

You take away your company temporarily, and call them out on their behavior. If they don't like those consequences, maybe they will change. Good luck and let us know how it goes.

Link to post
Share on other sites
They won't be rude to her. I know how they operate. It will be me who has to deal with the negative comments and stuff later on in text messages and possibly on the phone. That's what I'm not looking forward to.

 

Wow, it's unfortunate they don't support you. Why not tell them if they continue that behavior, you will block them and see if that helps?

 

You shouldn't have to, "put up," with that... it's borderline harassment in a way, and you can shut it down by having a firm boundary that if they act like that afterwards, you will not put up with it anymore.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Leave any pre-event discussions about her teeth out. It's too anticipatory and anxious for people you don't appear to think highly of in the first place (I'm speaking about your family members). Telling them ahead of time as a warning isn't going to stop them from yapping behind your girlfriend's back.

 

If you have a higher degree of respect for your family members and anticipate something like mild shock or sincere concern, I'd say it's a different matter and would approach those family members in a different way.

 

From your account of things you barely see eye to eye with them.

 

I can tell you're deeply anxious and that is fine. We are all more or less a little nervous sometimes bringing an S.O. to family gatherings, especially important ones so keep this in perspective if possible. Let your love and care for each other shine through in your interactions.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

"If someone doesn't have perfect teeth they are considered trashy," This is NOT true.

 

Why do you repeatedly bring up the "drug user" bit? I would not think that of someone missing their teeth. Have you dated women like this in the past?

 

The problem is your family, perhaps you should speak to them first

 

I feel for you. Your sister sounds hateful and awful. I would try to keep my distance.

Edited by Hollyj
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Cynder,

 

First off don't make a problem until one exists. You are worrying about what might happen. I agree it is a good idea to have an idea how to handle a situation like this so you are not caught flat footed but I know you well enough to know if these were not your family you would not take any crap about this so treat it the same way.

 

Be firm and shut down any rude comments right away. Don't explain anything or try and convince them of anything just remind them that you fell in love with her, not her teeth and if they do not like her then they will not be seeing much of you anymore. Then ask them straight out if they are going to treat her with respect and dignity or not.

 

Your sister is the worst kind of person. Gay people have been persecuted for hundreds of years and have worked so hard to be understood and accepted and she is now doing the exact same thing to you and your gf just because you are Bi. Remind her of that.

 

I know you are happy to have your gf in your life so don't let anyone rain on that, even your family.

 

Give them the benefit of the doubt and if they say something to you then do what I suggested. Usually once you turn things back on a rude judgmental person they don't like the light being shown on their actions and will back down.

 

Happy birthday!

 

Lost

Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly I think it's fortunate that the rudeness would be later and not during. You're not a captive audience. I agree with not tolerating it after. And don't tell her. If you truly disagree with their criticisms and comments and find them rude this should be easy peasy with the way our technology works, especially since you're forewarned/expecting it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Born and raised in the United States, and I could care less if your teeth aren't perfect or even missing. Making a blanket statement like that is weird. And unless it's her job like acting, modeling, or being a dentist, don't worry about her teeth.

 

I hope you do realize your mom and sister being petty or vain has nothing to do with the other person they are making fun of - it has everything to do with their own insecurities. They feel ugly all the time, and instead deflect on focusing on other people's looks. So F-em. If they say anything to you, just ignore, don't reply, or if they call, tell them to , and hang up the phone. And if they pull you aside, tell them to F-OFF, and leave the room. And if you don't like cursing, say back, "you're not one to talk," and go about your life.

 

If you love your girl, that's all you need - that and a backbone. Don't get caught up in their drama.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd probably just be ready to defend her and leave.

 

If they make comments after, I'd put them in their place. who are they to judge? they should be ashamed of themselves putting someone you care about down.

 

Honestly they sound pretty rude which is uglier than any broken smile.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're certain they won't say anything to her face, I would leave it alone unless/until they bring it up with you afterward. If/When they do, shut it down immediately by saying something like "I'd appreciate it if you kept your judgements about [insert name here]'s appearance to yourself. It is not your business, and I am not going to discuss it with you. Please respect my wishes" and leave it at that.

 

I had to do something similar a few years ago -- but I did it pre-emptively -- when some family members with VERY divergent political views were coming to Thanksgiving dinner. My parents (very staunchly on one side of the political spectrum) and my brother-in-law (very staunchly on the other side) both have difficulty NOT stirring things up (my parents because they can be a bit clueless about some things and my bro-in-law because he likes trolling people, for some reason). It was just after the 2016 election, and I informed them all, in advance, that I didn't want to hear ANY of it -- I didn't want any of them bringing up the election or talking about politics AT ALL in my house. They all agreed. One of them did end up bringing it up in passing, once, and I said, calmly but firmly, "We're not talking about this today," and we changed the subject.

 

Being firm -- shutting them down immediately when they say something - is the best way to go in my opinion. Setting boundaries is crucial, and telling your mom and sister you're not discussing/don't want to hear anything about it as soon as they bring it up is probably your best bet.

Link to post
Share on other sites
"If someone doesn't have perfect teeth they are considered trashy," This is NOT true.

 

Why do you repeatedly bring up the "drug user" bit? I would not think that of someone missing their teeth. Have you dated women like this in the past?

 

The problem is your family, perhaps you should speak to them first

 

I feel for you. Your sister sounds hateful and awful. I would try to keep my distance.

 

I see your point, but...there are a lot of people who DO associate missing/broken/otherwise "bad" teeth with drug use, being "low class," etc. I have heard/seen a lot of "hillbilly" and "meth head" jokes about people with less-than-perfect teeth, and I remember when my mom had lost a couple of teeth (and put off getting them fixed because of severe anxiety about having a major procedure), she NEVER smiled because she knew people would ask "What happened to your teeth?" and people actually did. I 've had students who dealt with this as well. I'm not generalizing that all Americans think this about teeth -- of course they don't -- but it's prevalent enough that a lot of people are very self-conscious about it.

 

That said, I agree with you about the sister. Yikes. Reading stuff like this makes me very grateful for my sister!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
I see your point, but...there are a lot of people who DO associate missing/broken/otherwise "bad" teeth with drug use, being "low class," etc. I have heard/seen a lot of "hillbilly" and "meth head" jokes about people with less-than-perfect teeth, and I remember when my mom had lost a couple of teeth (and put off getting them fixed because of severe anxiety about having a major procedure), she NEVER smiled because she knew people would ask "What happened to your teeth?" and people actually did. I 've had students who dealt with this as well. I'm not generalizing that all Americans think this about teeth -- of course they don't -- but it's prevalent enough that a lot of people are very self-conscious about it.

 

That said, I agree with you about the sister. Yikes. Reading stuff like this makes me very grateful for my sister!

 

 

Yea, A LOT of people think this way unfortunately. I used to work with drug addicts. A lot of habitual meth users are missing teeth. And meth is a huge problem in my area right now. So sadly, missing or broken teeth are stereotyped that way. When my Om and my sister saw one of my employees was missing a tooth there was a whole conversation about how sorry I would be when the methhead I hired steals all my money, etc. My employee is not a methhead or any kind of drug user. She just has a deficiency that caused her to lose a tooth. And it was just as upsetting that they think I would hire a methehead to work for me.

 

My gf tried online dating before her and I got together. We met organically, not on a dating site. She is absolutely stunning. She is 5'9'' and has a body like a runway model, long legs, etc. She has dark wavy hair to the middle of her back and really pretty blue eyes. So she attracted attention online, being so good looking. but there were people who just straight up stopped being interested at all when they found out about her teeth. That's pretty sad.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I also wonder if I should say something about it to them beforehand. Like, "Hey, I don't want to hear comments about her teeth. SHe's not a drug user and she takes care of herself. Lay off."

 

Maybe, but I wouldn't be so confrontational. For my own head, if it were my mom and sis, I'd speak with each of them separately and say something mild, like, "Just a word to you because I know how you feel about teeth. You're meeting Girlfriend'sName before her mouth surgery, so I'd consider it a personal favor if you'd not notice should she have any trouble eating. It's sensitive, so please don't discuss this while she's there."

 

This is not a lie, and it covers all bases up front to prompt discretion.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I seriously doubt they will be rude to her. They will.most likely be rude to me later on about the two things I mentioned in my post.

 

She is fine with it. She actually wants to get to know them better.

 

If you doubt your mother and sister will be rude to her, then "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." If they're rude to you later, deal with them then. Tell them the truth about your girlfriend not being able to afford to fix her teeth at this time and meanwhile, she's saving up for her future dental expenditures. Be honest. Omit the part about "poor hygiene" and "drug addict" because you're calling attention to unnecessary suspicions. Don't add fuel to the fire. Tell the truth, keep it brief and say no more.

 

As for your sister, learn to ignore her and live your own life. Whenever she starts her rant about your lifestyle choices, walk away. You don't have to sit through it. Let her talk to a wall for all you care.

 

If your girlfriend is fine with it and wants to get them know better, then allow the two parties to get acquainted. Keep encounters brief and never drag visits out. Enforce healthy boundaries for everyone.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
Yea, A LOT of people think this way unfortunately. I used to work with drug addicts. A lot of habitual meth users are missing teeth. And meth is a huge problem in my area right now. So sadly, missing or broken teeth are stereotyped that way. When my Om and my sister saw one of my employees was missing a tooth there was a whole conversation about how sorry I would be when the methhead I hired steals all my money, etc. My employee is not a methhead or any kind of drug user. She just has a deficiency that caused her to lose a tooth. And it was just as upsetting that they think I would hire a methehead to work for me.

 

My gf tried online dating before her and I got together. We met organically, not on a dating site. She is absolutely stunning. She is 5'9'' and has a body like a runway model, long legs, etc. She has dark wavy hair to the middle of her back and really pretty blue eyes. So she attracted attention online, being so good looking. but there were people who just straight up stopped being interested at all when they found out about her teeth. That's pretty sad.

 

I really did not know about this stigma, this assumption. I mean I thank you for educating me and I'm sorry to know that this goes on.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I think there will always be people who make snarky comments and judgey comments. If they treat her politely that's all they are obligated to do. I would say nothing in advance or make a deal out of it. Show up. If any disrespect or rudeness is targeted to her - and I'd try to be sure not to be looking for it lest you misinterpret something harmless - then you cut the visit short with no drama. If you feel like it later on when you're calm explain calmly that you couldn't allow your SO to be subjected to rude comments.

 

Also I'd avoid initiating any sensitive topics - religion, politics, sexual orientation, etc -you can only control you but if you do that you lessen the risk of things going awry. It's nice that she wants to attend.

 

Thank you.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Leave any pre-event discussions about her teeth out. It's too anticipatory and anxious for people you don't appear to think highly of in the first place (I'm speaking about your family members). Telling them ahead of time as a warning isn't going to stop them from yapping behind your girlfriend's back.

 

If you have a higher degree of respect for your family members and anticipate something like mild shock or sincere concern, I'd say it's a different matter and would approach those family members in a different way.

 

From your account of things you barely see eye to eye with them.

 

I can tell you're deeply anxious and that is fine. We are all more or less a little nervous sometimes bringing an S.O. to family gatherings, especially important ones so keep this in perspective if possible. Let your love and care for each other shine through in your interactions.

 

Thank you.

Link to post
Share on other sites

So, just an update for everyone... this get together will likely still happen, but my girlfriend and I won't be going. I am on quarantine for ten days because there's a chance I could have covid. There have been several confirmed cases where I work, most of which are people who work in or go in and out of the quality lab, and I go in the lab regularly. I got really sick out of the blue yesterday and had to go get tested. The doctor wants me home at least until the results come back. And my girlfriend works for a company that has a lot of immune-compromised clients. Her boss already told her if she starts showing any symptoms she will be off for two weeks and if she gets sick she could lose her job. So we are staying 6 feet away from each other even at home right now.

 

All these replies were helpful though, so thanks to everyone. My family will meet her eventually even if not this weekend.

Link to post
Share on other sites
So, just an update for everyone... this get together will likely still happen, but my girlfriend and I won't be going. I am on quarantine for ten days because there's a chance I could have covid. There have been several confirmed cases where I work, most of which are people who work in or go in and out of the quality lab, and I go in the lab regularly. I got really sick out of the blue yesterday and had to go get tested. The doctor wants me home at least until the results come back. And my girlfriend works for a company that has a lot of immune-compromised clients. Her boss already told her if she starts showing any symptoms she will be off for two weeks and if she gets sics she could lose her job. So we are staying 6 feet away from each other even at home right now.

 

All these replies were helpful though, so thanks to everyone. My family will meet her eventually even if not this weekend.

 

OK so, one I hope neither of you has covid. And two maybe sorta a blessing in disguise -at least putting off the meeting??

Please do feel better.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...