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Boyfriend's Sister Doesn't Like Me

Group Therapy: My Boyfriend's Sister Doesn't Like Me

This question is from a Group Therapy post in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!

My boyfriend invited me to spend Christmas with his family (just his older sister, her husband and children, not his parents) this past year. I was really ambivalent about agreeing to meet his family, especially since we hadn't been going out for very long, but after much persuading on his part, he convinced me it would be OK.

I went and thought it went pretty well. After Christmas I asked him what his family thought of me, and since it seemed like Christmas had went well I wasn't really expecting any negative feedback. He told me that his sister thought I was too quiet for him and she thought he should be with someone more outgoing and sociable than me. How she gleaned all of this from meeting me for 5 hours, once, I find really insulting. And what's worse, I actually liked his sister when I met her.  


When I questioned him about what she was telling him, his response was "she liked you, but she just wants the best for me," implying that I am not good enough for him. When he saw this made me really upset, he didn't seem to understand and told me that it didn't matter what his sister thought, that he still liked me and wanted to be with me.

Since he is extremely close with his sister and values her opinion highly, I worry that her opinion matters a lot more than he lets on. Since Christmas I feel like he's been distant, but he still wants me to do things with his family and he doesn't want to break up. How do I make him understand that this upsets me and it does matter. And how do I face his family in the future, knowing that they have issues with my personality?

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teperry3 teperry3 6 years
I have to agree with post #12, perhaps you should think about getting out of the relationship. I recently had to make the same decision. Knowing how important family is to myself I wanted to be more involved with my boyfriends family. He knew is was a big issue of mine but still chose to limit the interaction I had with them. The first year we were together I felt very involved with them (some of them lived closer at the time) however we took a break and he started dating someone new. fast forward, we got back together but there were HUGR differences in the interaction i had with them, mainly because his ex was still involved with them, which made it uncomfortable to be around for our relationship. Cut to the chase, he refused to stand up for our relationship and I felt like I would never be involved in his family if he never spoke up about his ex's interaction and constant invitations to family events. It's sad that his family made him make tough decisions due to their friendship with his ex, but I had to take a step bak and evaluate the whole situation and realized it was better to no longer be in a relationship where we did not have the support of his family and were constantly arguing about the same issue. I'm sad that it took over 4 years to realize it, so evaluate your situation hard and figure out what is best for you and your future.
chelseacbboyles chelseacbboyles 6 years
I hate to tell you this but I think you should break up with this guy. What guy would tell you something like that?? I guess I understand you could appreciate his honestly but I think that by telling you that he only made any situation worse and more stressful. He could have easily said oh it was fine let's hang with them again, and secretly explained to his sister why she should get to know you better, that way, she would get to know you and why he likes you so much. I think this guy is an idiot. I'm sorry!!
totygoliguez totygoliguez 6 years
If that really matters to you, then try to built a relationship with his sister and family. Ask your boyfriend to arrange a lunch meeting and try to be more outgoing and pleasant. Try to get her to like you because at the end of the day, having your boyfriend's family to like you is important. And as to what your boyfriend said, I honestly believe he didn't mean harm. I'm one of those clueless people who sometimes don't realize what I say. So talk to him and tell him to be more careful.
searching-soul searching-soul 6 years
My take is there is room for human error. Was he insensitive, yes. Could he have stated things in a more diplomatic way, of course. All I'm saying is that the OP's experience is fairly common in the beginning. If it's not the sister, it would most likely be the Mom and ultimately the in laws. If the worse mistake he has made thus far is being too blunt, I think that can probably be worked through. If people choose to harp on every single negative thing that a person does and they may not being doing it to be intentionally hurtful, no one would be in a relationship. Sometimes people are clueless and need to be told , hey what you said hurt my feelings or something of that nature. Give them a chance to correct themselves. If they keep doing the same thing over and over that's a different story. To write someone off after one mistake-well whoever does that I hope when someone returns the favor, you don't have an issue with it. I agree with Greg-the situation is being over analyzed. The guy said something dumb, the OP needs to tell him it was TMI and ask for a little more sensitivity next time. Most of us have said things that were not always PC or have been too blunt and have regretted it. He needs to apologize to his girlfriend and not do it again.
GregS GregS 6 years
I think you're overanalysing this. You've just started dating him. You don't really know much about him or his family. You're feeling your way around and taking the conservative, cautious approach. Good call. I wouldn't be too concerned with what sis said. You need to be yourself and not worry about her. If bf is in fact more distant, maybe that's a good thing at this stage. Tell him you want a do-over, but at some future time when you are on more solid footing in your relationship with him.
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 6 years
I find it a little weird that your boyfriend even told you this information. I agree with Pistil on that. That seems a little asshole-y to me. But, if you still want to move forward and have a good relationship with his sister, just try to be extra attentive next time you see her. Respond to her comments, engage yourself in the discussion, reach out with a little extra oomph, etc. Hopefully she'll come around. And talk to your boyfriend about this!
Helen-Danger Helen-Danger 6 years
Try being extra nice and chatty with the sister next time you see her. Fake it. Act like a talk show host on crack. Sometimes outgoing people find introspective ones creepy somehow. I don't get it, but I've seen it happen. If that doesn't fix it, drop it. And evaluate your boyfriend's behavior as an individual. There are lots of reasons why he might choose to act in a way you don't like. His sister, the weather, job stress, the color sweater you're wearing, a hangnail, the national gross domestic product, anything. Your job is to decide whether he acts fun and loving enough to hang around despite all that, not to diagnose and solve the problems themselves.
searching-soul searching-soul 6 years
typo" Chunk of time"
searching-soul searching-soul 6 years
I think it's pretty common for the sister or Mom to be reserved or for lack of a better term "suspicious" of the new person in their loved ones life. It's natural because they don't know you and not to be dramatic but for all they know you could be a heart breaker, psycho, or have ulterior motives . She's looking out for her brother. Once you are in the picture long enough and it's apparent that your intentions are good, they will most likely warm up to you. The same thing happened when I first met my boyfriends sister and his Mom. His Mom warmed up to me a little later and it took the sister a while. It turns out that they had become attached to his ex- that he was with for two and a half years. Then 6 months after the breakup they have to get used to his new girlfriend (me). Now they love me, his Mom invites me to go Gallery hopping with her when she's in town and a couple of weeks ago my boyfriends sister invited us to go to the movies with her. They even brought Christmas gifts for me. You are the new person and they don't have to accommodate you per se, until they know you better. For all they know you guys might not be together for the long haul and they don't want to get attached to you. I bet if you guys are together for a decent chuck of time their attitudes will change once they see your not going anywhere. Just go with the flow and concentrate on your relationship. Let things naturally unfold and don't keep talking about his family or he will resent it. Give them time to get to know and like you.
kurniakasih kurniakasih 6 years
Wow. That's a toughie. I know you're not happy with what she said, but that is her opinion. You can't change how she thinks about you. People make first impression judgment all the time (you did too, and you liked her, while she in turn didn't think you're sociable enough), and after 5 hours of spending with you, that's her first impression of you. The good news is, first impression changes in time, as she sees the 'real' you (if you ever got that close) or as she sees how happy you make her brother. The bad news is, your bf is not diplomatic enough. I mean, how awkward it's going to feel for you knowing that his family has that first impression of you? If anything, you may not be able to turn around and show more of yourself, you probably feel more defensive and uncomfortable. If your 'more sociable' side might have been interpreted that way by his sister, imagine how things will appear after you feel uncomfortable, angry and possibly hurt (by the tone of your post). Another possibility since your bf is 'dumb' enough to let this on to you is that your bf completely misunderstood his sister's wording, and guys have selective hearing too, you know. And gave wrong interpretation of what she said about you, to you. No need to drill him anymore about what his sister said, but you need to tell him how you really feel after he's told you. Good luck.
Pistil Pistil 6 years
He says he likes you, but how much do you like this guy? It just seems a little insensitive to tell someone 'I like you, but my family doesn't, and here's their specific criticism'. How are you supposed to behave around his sister now? Awkward. At least he's honest. But listen to Nina's advice.
Nina06 Nina06 6 years
I think that you just need to be honest and real with him. I think that honesty is the best way tell him how you feel. Say something like I had the feeling your sister liked me but when you said she just wants the best for you I felt like what you were saying was that I am not good enough for you. Trust me I have been maried for seven years I'm twentyseven now, if he really means something to you, you need to tell him now don't wait and let things build. You will have an elephant in the room with you the rest of the relationship.
missnacho missnacho 6 years
hm. that is a toughy considering that you haven't been in a relationship with him for too long. perhaps you can take more of an interest in the sister, ask her if she would like to hang out sometime. charm her. but remember not to suck up. I've never been one who has been crazy about family interferences in my relationship (unless it has to do with my health). Also you have to take into consideration that it was only the first meeting, it's a little hard when you're under that kind of pressure to be completely yourself. The more time you spend with his family, the more comfortable you'll be around them, so don't be shy. If he cares for you and wants to be with you, he won't let the first family meeting set him back. Good luck hun.
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