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I have been with my boyfriend for nearly four years. There's a big difference between our families - my family emigrated from the Middle East twenty years ago, my father is a night-shift worker, my mother doesn't work. We're not at all wealthy, but we get by, and my parents have done their best to look after my brother and me.


My boyfriend's family couldn't be more different. Both his parents work, they're both English, they earn good salaries. His family is largely very nice, but recently his mother has said a few things to make me think that she's not as nice and genuine as I thought she was. I've always liked them because they were politically very liberal, which I am too, and there was never a hint of racism or anti-Muslim feeling coming from them, until now.


His mother and sister have recently made comments which I have found very offensive about Islam and the current Middle East situation. Whatever you think, I don't think it's acceptable to completely rubbish a religion just because of the actions of a few fanatics (I'm not a radical, but I certainly wouldn't go around denigrating Christianity or any other religion just because I'm not of that faith). I was shocked. She's also very snobby about poor people, a side of her I've never seen before. She's desperate for her grandson not to go to a state school (a normal, non-fee paying school), so she's given him a tour of all the state schools in their neighbourhood to show him how awful they are (and trust me, they're not). I went to a state school and have gone on to have a brilliant academic background and the start of a promising career. She's constantly criticising the taste of people who are less fortunate than her and her family, making comments about how awful their taste in clothes/furniture is. I've always been told never to make fun out of the way people dressed because it could well be that they couldn't afford any better, and I believe that what she is doing is just plain wrong.


The things about my religion, the anti-poor feeling, it gets to me. She hasn't even met my parents! Neither of them went to university, my father works for a low wage, my mother doesn't work, and whilst they're both smart people, I'm sure she thinks they're scum. We're poor, but we're classy, we have taste, we have manners, and we're not vulgar, but I worry that she won't see it this way, and it really upsets me.


Should I be upset? Am I being too sensitive? I'm not talking about splitting with my boyfriend, but it angers me that his mother and other members of his family could be so narrow-minded.

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I don't think you are being too sensitive, of course these things bother you, as they are personal attacks on you, your family, your culture, your loved ones. While they may in some way be "exempting" you in ther mind (or perhaps not) when they make those remarks, the bitter truth is really you are not "exempt".


It's hard when it comes to our loved one's family, as you are walking a line between keeping the peace, but also keeping respect.


Have you discussed your feelings/concerns with your boyfriend? What does he do when he hears some of the comments (ie against Muslims)? Is he aware of it, or is it perhaps something new they have begun to do?


I think if YOU are proud of whom you are, and your family (and why shouldn't you be!) I think that will come through in your communications with them. When they make comments on Muslims, perhaps respectfully, but firmly, offer to them that you don't agree with that, and so forth, educate them a bit. When it comes to comments on state schools, or how people dress, I would let her know you are not going to participate in that sort of thing, bite your tongue and just don't get involved. I have been in a similar situation where I dated someone from a very wealthy family - I come from a family that has education, but also a big part of them DON'T, a lot of mix of both blue collar and university educated, when I was small, my mother was a single mom with three kids and we were not well off at all, we ate a lot of homemade soup, wore a lot of homemade clothes and hand me downs. She worked hard though, went back to school again, and I am fiercely proud of how hard she worked, and she is not doing very well career wise (until her illness at least slowed her down a bit). My stepfather whom joined our family is a blue collar shift worker, but they both strived to do the very best for both of us. If anyone EVER put any of us down, I would be fierce about protecting them!


They are your boyfriend's family, so I know it is important to be polite, but that does not at the same time subjecting yourself to being a sacrificial lamb of course to keep them happy. You deserve respect too.

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Well luckely i work with muslims and i can give you a tip or two.


EXPLAIN to her that 'that's' not Islam. All the bombings,hitting woman, forced marriage, point out to her 'here and there' that that's not Islam, that those 'few radical' people go out and claim that the Koran is 'this' and 'that', but that you can say 'no these people are wrong, islam is a peacefull religion, because it says in Koran not to hurt people'.


Because this is not Islam as you hear in the media. You see, even despite your doubts this lady might be a very nice lady indeed. But 'understand' its difficult for 'english' people to understand what Islam truelly is. 10/10 that your bf's parents aren't muslim , and that all the junk they spouted was because they have been poorly informed.


' YOU CANT blame them '


You see i know from my own view that the only thing i see on t.v is 'wtc,londen bombings,Israel' 24/7/365 muslim attacks a day. It 'affects' them, BAD. You see my dear Pixie, people are 'afraid' and these fears have made them speak these horrible things over the people. This is why she is nasty against you even tho she is a nice lady , because she is afraid and badly informed.


Its narrow minded i agree with you, but for them there is no 'right','wrong' there is only fear. And fear makes people irrational in their thinking.


They honestly think ' our son is bringing on of 'those' woman with bombs attached to her body into the house. Of course that scares them to death, you never seen it from 'their side' or from 'their shoes' as england is a target for terrorist and you as a muslima are not.

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I too know where you are coming from. My boyfriends family are atheists and I am Catholic. They're very sarcastic, and his mom and sister are even just flat out mean and rude at times. One time I was at their house and they KNOWING I was Catholic would make comments like "If Jesus is so great how come there are so many bad things in the world" and start laughing really hard or one time someone said "Religion is such BS" outloud to eachother....


I am extremely respectful of others beliefs and opinions as long as they are NOT offensive. My boyfriend doesnt believe and I do, but we respect eachothers opinions and just say things like "well I dont agree but thats our opinions" and we normally change the subject. However I would never say something like "you horrible human being you people are for having no faith"....NEVER- because I just couldnt, I can't even think that way.


So I told my boyfriend "I am catholic and extremely open minded and accepting, but that does not mean I will tolerate disrespect from your family towards my beliefs"....it didnt happen again in my face.


They will probably talk a lot of sh!t behind your back, but thats how they are. His mom and sister are just probably jealous of your relationship, like youre taking him away. I get that vibe, A LOT. However, when I am present, I demand respect, because heck I deserve it! and you do too!


His sister is very snotty and condesending as well. She makes fun of people constantly and likes to talk about how people are scared of her...makes me cringe.


The best you can do is just talk to your boyfriend about hwo you feel. You obviously shouldnt say what you really want to say about his mother and sister, lol (I had to bite my tongue a lot and not call them names)...be respectful but make your point clear. Just because it is his family it does not give them the freeway to make you feel like you are less because of your income or beliefs. If you dont address this now, it will only go further.

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The best you can do is just talk to your boyfriend about hwo you feel. You obviously shouldnt say what you really want to say about his mother and sister, lol (I had to bite my tongue a lot and not call them names)...be respectful but make your point clear. Just because it is his family it does not give them the freeway to make you feel like you are less because of your income or beliefs. If you dont address this now, it will only go further.


I completely agree with this. If you don't nip this in the bud, it could eventually become a source of argument between you and your boyfriend.

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