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DearSugar Needs Your Help: Should We Proceed?

DearSugar and Not Liked Nancy need your help. She has been with her boyfriend for five years now and his parents still don't approve of her. They are planning on moving in together and getting married this year, but the disapproval of his parents is putting a real damper on their happiness. What can they do to all get along?
Dear Sugar,

My boyfriend and I have been dating for nearly five years and have been talking about getting engaged in the next month or so and moving in together. We're ecstatic to take this next step and so are all of our friends. Here is the obstacle: his parents don't like me. When we first started dating, they disapproved of me for really superficial reasons: they felt I was too "aggressive," they didn't like that I came from a single parent family, and they feel like I'm inherently not good enough for him. After the rocky start (of about a year), I believed we had made progress and his parents were warming up to me. His mother was always very nice to me, said a lot of positive things about me to my boyfriend and her friends, and asked fairly often when we'd get married. However, my boyfriend recently called her to tell her about these developments and she seemed taken aback, shocked, and displeased. I can only imagine how his dad will react, given that he has always liked me less than his mom. I get the impression that he's always assumed my boyfriend would have found someone else better by now.

We both come from a very family oriented background so having parental approval is something that's important to both of us. Unlike his family, mine has always loved and embraced my boyfriend wholeheartedly and can't wait for us to marry. While he is less concerned with having his parents' complete approval, it means a lot to me. I was reduced to tears after he told me about his conversation and her reaction made me feel as if my family and I would never be good enough for his. I don't want to start off my relationship with them as in-laws on the wrong foot, but at the same time, if they honestly have so many reservations about me, I'm tempted to just say "screw them" and go on with my life. I just don't know what to do. My boyfriend isn't letting their opinions affect our relationship, but I can't help but take their viewpoint to heart. Does anyone have any advice for me?

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TASTEthiss TASTEthiss 7 years
I'm not sure if having a sit-down with his parents will work for you. It sounds as if they are pretty set in their ways. There's a huge possibility they will NEVER like you. And guess what? That's perfectly fine. I would just watch out for one *red flag*. There is a difference between not letting their opinions effect how he treats you and not doing anything at all. - If your boyfriend does NOT make an effort to solve the problem - or if he allows his parents to continuously cross the line without coming to your defense.. THEN i would have to say -- run. - If he seems like a mama's boy who is afraid to put mommy in her place whenever she is wrong... walk in the other direction. Otherwise be prepared for a lifetime of infiltration from your in-laws. Because regardless if you like each other or not.. you all become family after you say "i do". Now, if he is supportive, loving and sticks by your side (and defense) then dont let your future in-laws get in the way!! You are about to start your own wonderful family and life together. And that means you (the wife) comes first. Not mommy and daddy. His parents have to decide if they will be mature enough to deal with that. Especially considering they dislike you for reasons beyond your control. Talk to him and make sure HE works that out with his parents. And while hes busy doing that, you go pick out a really fab gown!! good luck
TASTEthiss TASTEthiss 7 years
I'm not sure if having a sit-down with his parents will work for you. It sounds as if they are pretty set in their ways. There's a huge possibility they will NEVER like you. And guess what? That's perfectly fine.I would just watch out for one *red flag*. There is a difference between not letting their opinions effect how he treats you and not doing anything at all.- If your boyfriend does NOT make an effort to solve the problem- or if he allows his parents to continuously cross the line without coming to your defense.. THEN i would have to say -- run. - If he seems like a mama's boy who is afraid to put mommy in her place whenever she is wrong... walk in the other direction. Otherwise be prepared for a lifetime of infiltration from your in-laws. Because regardless if you like each other or not.. you all become family after you say "i do".Now, if he is supportive, loving and sticks by your side (and defense) then dont let your future in-laws get in the way!! You are about to start your own wonderful family and life together. And that means you (the wife) comes first. Not mommy and daddy. His parents have to decide if they will be mature enough to deal with that. Especially considering they dislike you for reasons beyond your control. Talk to him and make sure HE works that out with his parents. And while hes busy doing that, you go pick out a really fab gown!!good luck
bellydancinmary bellydancinmary 7 years
*their...ugh sorry, I'm too tired.
bellydancinmary bellydancinmary 7 years
I know parent approval is important, but this is YOUR life and your BOYFRIEND's life, not their's; they already lived their's. They aren't living YOUR life, YOU are, so they're opinion is important, but ultimately, you and your boyfriend are going to be the ones making this decision on marriage and your lives. Your boyfriend needs to step up and talk to his parents and tell them that he wants you in his life for the rest of his life. If they are going to be his parents, they will have to accept that.
bellydancinmary bellydancinmary 7 years
I know parent approval is important, but this is YOUR life and your BOYFRIEND's life, not their's; they already lived their's. They aren't living YOUR life, YOU are, so they're opinion is important, but ultimately, you and your boyfriend are going to be the ones making this decision on marriage and your lives. Your boyfriend needs to step up and talk to his parents and tell them that he wants you in his life for the rest of his life. If they are going to be his parents, they will have to accept that.
cittypark cittypark 7 years
it's so sad that his parents can't see that their dislike is based on things that you ultimately have NO control over (like the single fam issue). you and your fiancee are grown adults, who can make decisions without any parents involved. you are marrying each other, not them. sadly, you will just have to do without their support bc they are acting like children. if they haven't like you up until now, what makes you think they will change their minds?move on :) and why isn't your bf putting in more effort to resolve the issue? it is HIS parents. GOOD LUCK<3
cittypark cittypark 7 years
it's so sad that his parents can't see that their dislike is based on things that you ultimately have NO control over (like the single fam issue). you and your fiancee are grown adults, who can make decisions without any parents involved. you are marrying each other, not them. sadly, you will just have to do without their support bc they are acting like children. if they haven't like you up until now, what makes you think they will change their minds? move on :) and why isn't your bf putting in more effort to resolve the issue? it is HIS parents. GOOD LUCK<3
girlfriday girlfriday 7 years
While I agree with the posters that yes, this is about your relationship with your boyfriend, I truly believe that when you get married, you marry the family too. Because if you have kids, you will have to deal with his parents - they will be your children's grandparents. You'll have to see them on birthdays and holidays etc. I don't think you should talk to the mother in law. Your boyfriend should take the lead. They are HIS parents. He needs to BE A MAN and talk to his parents and tell them they don't like the way they are treating you, and if he is going to accept you as his wife, then they must too. I hear this all the time about women dealing with their mothers in law and the husbands are just too much of a pansy to step in. They are his parents, and he needs to handle this.
girlfriday girlfriday 7 years
While I agree with the posters that yes, this is about your relationship with your boyfriend, I truly believe that when you get married, you marry the family too. Because if you have kids, you will have to deal with his parents - they will be your children's grandparents. You'll have to see them on birthdays and holidays etc. I don't think you should talk to the mother in law. Your boyfriend should take the lead. They are HIS parents. He needs to BE A MAN and talk to his parents and tell them they don't like the way they are treating you, and if he is going to accept you as his wife, then they must too. I hear this all the time about women dealing with their mothers in law and the husbands are just too much of a pansy to step in. They are his parents, and he needs to handle this.
petite42 petite42 7 years
I think this is about the relationship between your boyfriend and his parents, and not about your relationship with them. I would encourage you to take a step back and allow him to work on his own relationship with them. Do not bend over backwards trying for their approval. All that does is give them no reason to work on the relationship with their son. He needs to stand up to his folks and tell them that if they don't accept you (graciously and truly - not begrudgingly), then they will have very little contact with him, because he's chosen you as his family, and will not stand by seeing you in pain over this. They need to respect you and realize you are his first loyalty now. He needs to tell them, "If you love me, you love her too - we're a package deal." Good luck!
petite42 petite42 7 years
I think this is about the relationship between your boyfriend and his parents, and not about your relationship with them. I would encourage you to take a step back and allow him to work on his own relationship with them. Do not bend over backwards trying for their approval. All that does is give them no reason to work on the relationship with their son. He needs to stand up to his folks and tell them that if they don't accept you (graciously and truly - not begrudgingly), then they will have very little contact with him, because he's chosen you as his family, and will not stand by seeing you in pain over this. They need to respect you and realize you are his first loyalty now. He needs to tell them, "If you love me, you love her too - we're a package deal." Good luck!
BRANDYNICOLE730 BRANDYNICOLE730 7 years
When you two get married, ya'll are your own family. I think a lot of people seem to forget that, what with all the divorce going on today. I mean, do your parents still ask their mom and dad for their approval on everything? I would hope not, as that would make for a horrible life. If you are not asking for their financial support, then it doesn't matter what they think of ya'lls relationship. There will always be someone who doesn't approve!
BeautiJunki BeautiJunki 7 years
From someone who has been in the same place with my father law, you just have to focus on your relationship with your boyfriend because that is the person you love...it took many years for him to come around. My husband and I just married in September and I have the beautiful Moroccan glasses in a beautiful rosy hew and for our wedding gift his father gave us an beautiful moroccan tea set in the same rosy hew, which I now is his way of accepting me into his family (cuz my husband has zero interest in a rosy tea set) and he is excited for the future with grandchildren. So keep your faith in your love and they will come around because if you're important to their son they will get it!
Silverlining10 Silverlining10 7 years
If you boyfriend still loves you more than anything, and he doesn't let his parents' mean opinions of you get in the way of his love, then forget them. I mean, don't be nasty and make their lives miserable, but don't stress yourself about how to gain their approval. Some people are close-minded, and maybe with more time, they'll come to their senses. Nothing should ruin a good love (like people outside the two of you), especially ignorance. :)
whitefox whitefox 7 years
Oh my, you have recieved a lof of good advice here (da*m, I snapped my fingers in the air at GlowingMoon's comment! LOL). Do the talk, but really, really rehearse what you're going to say. Have your fiance there - you will need the witness! The in-laws can make life miserable and even decay your relationship. I had a similiar problem with my long-term boyfriend. I am the creative, glam-type, but quite intelligent as well. However, his mother, particuarlly, couldn't quite get past the blonde hair and large breasts. It was a shame, because the more I tried to engratiate myself, the more foolish I felt - and likely looked. I was so nice and did everything I could at family gatherings, but they still never really gave me a chance. My now ex-boyfriend usually stood up for me, but after the years it became an issue with him. His need for approval from his mother tainted our relationship.It seems to me that you have a great guy who loves you no matter what his family thinks. He is willing to commit to you. If he has been this great, this long and is willing to go the distance with you, I don't understand the problem. You and he need to hold on to each other, rely on each other and that is all that matters. When (If) you have children things will change. My sister had the MIL from hell, but when she had their first child, it was as if there was never any bad blood! The MIL came even came over and helped with laundry!! Go figure!!Congratulations! Don't worry! Be Happy - BE CONTENT - BE APPRECIATIVE. Some people never find what you already have (that goes for him, too!)
whitefox whitefox 7 years
Oh my, you have recieved a lof of good advice here (da*m, I snapped my fingers in the air at GlowingMoon's comment! LOL). Do the talk, but really, really rehearse what you're going to say. Have your fiance there - you will need the witness! The in-laws can make life miserable and even decay your relationship. I had a similiar problem with my long-term boyfriend. I am the creative, glam-type, but quite intelligent as well. However, his mother, particuarlly, couldn't quite get past the blonde hair and large breasts. It was a shame, because the more I tried to engratiate myself, the more foolish I felt - and likely looked. I was so nice and did everything I could at family gatherings, but they still never really gave me a chance. My now ex-boyfriend usually stood up for me, but after the years it became an issue with him. His need for approval from his mother tainted our relationship. It seems to me that you have a great guy who loves you no matter what his family thinks. He is willing to commit to you. If he has been this great, this long and is willing to go the distance with you, I don't understand the problem. You and he need to hold on to each other, rely on each other and that is all that matters. When (If) you have children things will change. My sister had the MIL from hell, but when she had their first child, it was as if there was never any bad blood! The MIL came even came over and helped with laundry!! Go figure!! Congratulations! Don't worry! Be Happy - BE CONTENT - BE APPRECIATIVE. Some people never find what you already have (that goes for him, too!)
lickety-split lickety-split 7 years
what do you need their approval for? seriously, if these people lived across the street from you would you seek their approval? what's the saying: people can only make you feel inferior if you let them.their son loves YOU. if you get married you won't have the norman rockwell family dinners but you will still have a family and be married to the man you love. if you are always looking for approval you will be frequently dissapointed. live your best life, not someone elses.
lickety-split lickety-split 7 years
what do you need their approval for? seriously, if these people lived across the street from you would you seek their approval? what's the saying: people can only make you feel inferior if you let them. their son loves YOU. if you get married you won't have the norman rockwell family dinners but you will still have a family and be married to the man you love. if you are always looking for approval you will be frequently dissapointed. live your best life, not someone elses.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
You've received some really good advice so far.Personally, if I were you, I would accept that they don't like me, and that's it. You can't change someone else's opinion, only she or he can.Truthfully, I think your future in-laws are being very foolish to alienate you. Come on, their son wants to marry you. His heart belongs to you, and he's loyal to you. You will be the future mother of their grandchildren. You are in a position of power. If they want a good relationship with their son (and future grandchildren), they need to be on your good side. They shouldn't f*ck with you.Yes, their approval is important, but honey, you're not powerless. Your approval OF THEM matters, too. You're a matriarch in your own right.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
You've received some really good advice so far. Personally, if I were you, I would accept that they don't like me, and that's it. You can't change someone else's opinion, only she or he can. Truthfully, I think your future in-laws are being very foolish to alienate you. Come on, their son wants to marry you. His heart belongs to you, and he's loyal to you. You will be the future mother of their grandchildren. You are in a position of power. If they want a good relationship with their son (and future grandchildren), they need to be on your good side. They shouldn't f*ck with you. Yes, their approval is important, but honey, you're not powerless. Your approval OF THEM matters, too. You're a matriarch in your own right.
cvandoorn cvandoorn 7 years
Just screw them. You've been with your boyfriend for 5 years, and he's very supportive of you. You don't have to see the in-laws every single day (probably only during the holidays and birthdays and such) so don't try to force something you can't change. I mean, by all means, have a chat with the future MIL, but don't expect anything to come out of it. If anything, it could make things worse. They'll eventually get over it. And if they don't...its their loss!
Asia84 Asia84 7 years
after 5 years of them not liking you, you're still upset?!they will NEVER like you. you have to face that possibility.maybe once you have their grandchild, but if someone has a strong opinion, it's kinda hard to change that.i don't know you or them, so i don't know what the real reason is. but it is what it is.all i can say is give it time. if you try to make them like you, it will only make things worst.but i'm kinda curious as to why you fiance is telling you all of this negative stuff if he knows it will upset you so much. if it didn't bother him, it seems like he would protect you from the harsh welcome, or lack there of.
Asia84 Asia84 7 years
after 5 years of them not liking you, you're still upset?! they will NEVER like you. you have to face that possibility. maybe once you have their grandchild, but if someone has a strong opinion, it's kinda hard to change that. i don't know you or them, so i don't know what the real reason is. but it is what it is. all i can say is give it time. if you try to make them like you, it will only make things worst. but i'm kinda curious as to why you fiance is telling you all of this negative stuff if he knows it will upset you so much. if it didn't bother him, it seems like he would protect you from the harsh welcome, or lack there of.
ufshutterbabe ufshutterbabe 7 years
I wouldn't even try to meet and discuss this with the MIL - doesn't seem like it would help any. Continue to be civil and polite to his family, but otherwise ignore their disapproval. Not all Mother-in-Law - Daughter-in-Law relationships are going to be picture-perfect. You've already tried with them, it hasn't really changed anything. You can't control other people, you can only control your reaction to them. Maybe they'll come around eventually, but until then, work on not letting it bother you so much. Go see a counselor if you need help in learning how to change your reaction to them.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 7 years
What exactly do you need approval for? Not everyone will believe what you believe and sometimes you have to accept that. Are you going to break up with him because they don't approve? What if he does that to you?
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