My bf is so thoughtful and considerate and selfless in every way in our relationship except when it comes to spending time with my extended family. He loves my parents and siblings, but when I have bigger family events he makes up excuses why he can’t come or he’ll come but be really anti-social the entire time and it comes across as rude and disrespectful and I’m SO embarrassed.
I used to cut him slack; I knew it was overwhelming for him. My family culture is all about togetherness, and he was raised differently. His family is very independent, he and his siblings weren’t made to attend any family event if they didn’t want to, and they all chose not to from a certain age. So I tried to be considerate of that, but now it’s getting ridiculous.
It means so much to me and I hate having to make excuses for him. He always changes the subject when I try talking about it but the other night he admitted that he knows he’s let me down. I don’t know how to fix it, I thought I’ve been accommodating.
It seems like you’re between a rock and a hard place. It sounds like you love your boyfriend and your family, so of course, you would like for everyone to love each other and to love spending time together. But sometimes situations don’t work out the way we want them to.
Your boyfriend is obviously trying to live up to your expectations of him, and he is trying. But I can see how one could get tired of pretending to be something he’s not. Your boyfriend is fine spending time with your immediate family, but not your extended family. You have to ask yourself if you are truly okay with that. Obviously, you’re not, but you have to really ask yourself that question. Imagine years from now, and you’re still with your boyfriend. You have big family functions, but he never attends. How would that make you feel? Your family seems like they are a big part of your life and it seems that your boyfriend is not giving you what you need or desire. If he can’t give you what you need, what will you do?
I wish to play devil’s advocate for a second. Imagine this; you’re dating the most amazing, compassionate, considerate guy. He loves and accepts all of you, and he always thinks about you. He is amazing when it comes to your relationship, but there is one hang up. He enjoys spending time with you and your immediate family, but not your cousins, aunts, uncles and etc. He is perfect all except for that one little exception. What do you do? He gives you everything you need except the one thing that you want most.
I understand that family is important to you, but your boyfriend obviously doesn’t wish to be around them. Why should he have to make the concession? It seems that your boyfriend is always giving to you and taking care of your needs. What about his needs? Relationships are all about give and take and compromise. Your boyfriend has compromised on more than one occasion when it comes to your family. Why don’t you try compromising with him? Tell him that he doesn’t have to come to the big family functions. And if someone asks why he isn’t there, just tell them the truth. Tell them that he’s not used to big family functions and that it has nothing to do with him not liking the family.
But you also have to remember, there are only two people in this relationship. This relationship does not have room for any more people. Your family may have opinions, but they will have to learn to keep them to themselves. Usually, when there are more than two people in a relationship, the relationship fails. Is that what you want? You have to decide how you feel, not what others think or expect out of you or your boyfriend. And remember, you’re not going to have everything in common with each other. You just have to choose what is most important, and you have to decide to look at the glass half full or half empty. Ultimately you have to do what will make you happiest.