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How to handle awful future in-laws..?

Published on November 13, 2013 by alucio

My boyfriend and I have been dating for three years now and ever since we started dating his family has basically hated me for no reason. His mother has always been rude to me and sends me nasty text messages about how I'm worthless and bringing him down. I am a full time college student with a full time job, I am definitely not a bum nor am I worthless. There have been countless issues with his family from them invading our privacy by opening a letter I had sent to him while I was away for college, to most recently telling him that he is a loser for dating me and calling my father an alcoholic for taking him to a couple bars. Mind you my boyfriend is 23 and they have only met my father twice. They claim to be a holy Christian family yet are the most awful, rude, and disrespectful people I have ever had the misfortune of meeting. I have tried to work things out with them over and over again. At this point, I am done. Once they brought my family into it they lost every ounce of respect I could have possibly had for them.

Not to mention that they have kicked my boyfriend out twice now and each time my mother let him move in with her since I am still living in the dorms.

I have told them to never contact me again and that they are not invited to our future wedding, which will be happening in two or so years, once I am done with college.

My question is this, do I have any right to ask my boyfriend to stop speaking to them?

Their mistreatment of me bothers him, or so he says, but I want all communication with them cut off. They are hateful people who I do not want to be a part of my family, current or future.

Also, if and when we have children do I have the right to not allow them to see my kids? Are there such things as grandparents' rights?

ANSWERS

Dear Alucio,

What a pickle!

Yes, you have the right not have them in your life, but if you are joining your life with his, you don't have the right to make that choice for him. You have to make this choice together as their involvement or lack of involvement will affect your life together. You are his family now.

Just because we share DNA with people does not mean we need to allow them to poison our relationships and walk all over us. He needs to sit down have a conversation with his own heart about how he feels about this behavior. He needs to draw some boundaries for himself as to what he will and will not tolerate and he needs to stick to it; even if it means cutting his family members out of his life. It's not pleasant having to do this, but ultimately, it may be the right decision if they are only going to behave in such a manner.

If he truly cares for you, he needs to stand up to his family. He needs to put his foot down and tell them that it is unacceptable behavior to trash you and that he will not tolerate disrespect, and he needs to not tolerate it even if that means hanging up the phone, not speaking with them, or not participating in family gatherings until they can be tactful and polite. I am a Christian and believe me, this is not Christian behavior. In fact, it is quite the opposite. It will have a much bigger impact coming from him. But it doesn't sound like they respect him either, so it may change nothing in this case.

He can love his family and not tolerate their behavior; love them from a distance. But this has to be worked out together, agreed upon, and stuck to in order to remain a united front, and to protect your relationship.

Best of luck.

-YourTango Expert

You really can't ask him to cut them off. But you can be patient, kind, supportive, and open about how their treatment of him makes you feel. I hope that you can talk to him about coming up with ways to communicate with his family that doesn't leave you feeling so upset.

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