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You Asked: My Girlfriend Hates My Parents

Dear Sugar,

I've dated my girlfriend for six years. In general, our relationship has been great with the exception of one thing — she hates my parents. They can be control freaks sometimes, but they've never done anything to make her hate them. Her resistance to my family has caused a major rift in our relationship, and she recently told me that she wants to end things. She says she loves me, but doesn't want my parents to "abuse and bully her" for the rest of her life if we get married.

I love my girlfriend, but I love my parents, too. Is it worth trying to reconcile this relationship, or is this just a no-win situation? — In a Bind Barry

To see DearSugar's answer


Dear In a Bind Barry,

I am really sorry to hear about this predicament you're in — I can only imagine how hard that must be for you. You say your parent's have never done anything to make your girlfriend dislike them, but are you sure you know all the information? Even if they have clashing personalities, her strong aversion to them makes me think there is something more to this story.

Six years is a long time to be with someone, so I definitely don't think you should end the relationship without giving it a fighting chance. But if she's just not willing to budge, or at least agree to be cordial to your parents, I don't see how this relationship can work. I wish you luck, Barry.


Join The Conversation
cbaby28 cbaby28 8 years
there has to be more to the story. i hated my ex's grandmother because she tried to come into my house and tell me what to do and take over. my ex was oblivious to this. he absolutly thought there were not any issues. i think you should let her go she deserves better
IdeaOfOrder IdeaOfOrder 8 years
I'm surprised at how many other people have dealt with this situation.. I thought I was alone on this one. My husband's parents hated me (called me a slut, although he was the first person I was ever with).. their hatred was uncalled for. My husband told his parents that after we married they were out of his life unless they changed their attitude towards me. We have been married for almost 3 years and he hasn't spoken to his father since our wedding day. He talks to his mom occasionally, as do I, because she's apologized and tried to make amends. If your bf wants to be with you then he needs to choose you over his family, bottomline. If he can't do this, you don't want to be with him.
lolliriots lolliriots 8 years
Oh lord. This is a hit-home issue for me. I'm currently with my guy for 6 years, and all his mother does is bully me, or act like I'm beneath her (for being from the south, or just in general) and that I'm not good enough for her son. I did nothing to her - she tried to find things to blame on me, such as "I'm anorexic." (when I'm not), or "I smoke" (But I don't. Somehow a lighter ended up in her backseat, but wasn't mine) and this was ALL in the week I met her. I returned home (it was a long distance relationship in the beginning), he told her that he was serious about me. Her response? "She's a little ditzy .. Do you really want to be with that?" I always get undermined for being from the South. Everything is a spectacle for her. She makes a little thing into a big deal. Constantly questioning my intelligence, and constantly putting me down. I was nothing but nice to her. Everyone's parents loved me, except for her. The mothers just adored me, but she's just so different. Well, my boyfriend knows how his mother is, so thankfully, I get stood up for, a lot. missjules, notinthemood -- in fact, a lot of the ladies in this are 100% correct. You need to ask her what they do that makes her feel this way. I cannot believe how oblivious you've been to her feelings. If she doesn't like them, there is more than likely a reason, and a reason you should've asked about a long time ago. In the beginning, did they ever spend alone time together? When I did with my boyfriend's mother, all she did was rag on me in a subtle manner, and about my family, and even about her own son! She tried to tell me (or scare me) into thinking he'd never leave her house, and we'd be stuck there forever. She's done some wicked awful things over the years, in a mental way to get me to leave. My boyfriend does stick up for me, thankfully, and you need to ask her what's going on. And if she leaves, be prepared, because more than likely, it won't stop with her.
MissJules5x MissJules5x 8 years
and also... if you think this behavior on your parents part will change once you find a new girlfriend... YOURE WRONG. they are prob the kind of people that no one is going to be good enough for you so if u keep giving up people in your life to please your parents that is exactly who you will end up with. your gf put up with it for 6 years so obviously shes been doing her part to try and make it work and if the reason shes cutting off your relationship is because of your parents then something is def. wrong here. this is prob killing her because she cares about you but for her its gotten to be too much. you need to be a man and stop being such a bitch and turning a blind eye to your parent's bs and fight for your relationship otherwise this will keep happening to you and u will be alone with your parents.
MissJules5x MissJules5x 8 years
maybe she has a problem with how close you are with them and shes just jealous or maybe theres something going on that you aren't seeing because youre busy trying to stick up for your parents. why don't you ask her what it is that happened or what they did to make her so upset/uncomfortable. ask for examples and really try not to go defending your parents. if you really feel that you want to work it out with your girlfriend then you need to stand up for her and her feelings while trying to keep the peace with your parents. ask her what needs to be done to work it out. and maybe even talk to your parents once you know why shes so upset.
LilLucyT21 LilLucyT21 8 years
Parents are a larger factor in a relantionship that most people realise, and a lot of the other half need to realise that the g/f doesn't want their decisions/wants influencing their lives
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 8 years
So you've been ignoring your parents antics for 5 years? Let that girl go. She needs someone who isnt as ignorant as you. Imagine what she's been dealing with for you, and you come here and call her a liar. Seriously dude, with boyfriends like you....
sprinkibrio sprinkibrio 8 years
You need to make a point to stand up to your parents when you notice they start doing something that offends her. You should always be on her side if you see any future in this relationship. When I was in college one of my guy friends even cut himself off finantially to distance himself from the rift his parents were creating in his relationship and in his own life. You're an adult now and make sure your gf knows although your parents are part of the package, they no longer have control over you, her, or your relationship.
jazzytummy jazzytummy 8 years
I think the OP is clueless. Agree with the above. I would also add that I wouldn't stick around in a relationship for 6 years with no progression. I would bet anything that the girlfriend is feeling that the relationship is stagnant, and the OP is to blame for that, whether that fact has to do with the parents, I don't know, but the result is the same. I would also bet that the OP is a mamma's boy and is dragging his feet on progressing in the relationship and the girlfriend has had it. I don't blame her.
Muirnea Muirnea 8 years
I pretty much agree with most of the other posters. If your gf is willing to give up 6 years b/c of your family, there is something wrong that you aren't seeing. Sorry, but guys tend to be so out of touch with other people, so I'm willing to bet your parents are being passive aggressive or downright mean and you just don't pay enough attention to notice. If you want to stay with her you need to do the work now. Hear both sides of the story and take what your gf says seriously. B/c obviously she thinks it's pretty serious. And if you decide your parents really are in the wrong, then you need to stand up for your gf and defend her when your parents act rude/mean/w/e. You should respect your gf enough to demand respect for her from others, especially your own parents. If you decide that your gf is in the wrong and your parents aren't really doing anything wrong...then I guess y'all will have to really break up.
merie33 merie33 8 years
oh my gosh lindssaurus...if my boyfriend had a brother I'd swear you were talking about the same father!! I have the same issues with his father and grandmother. His grandma is constantly making snide comments (they're Indian though so she does it in another language that I can't understand without a translation) and his father is VERY controlling..calls when we're out, wants to know when he's going to be home etc.... It's stressful!! OP I think you need to step back from the situation and see what it is that's causing this issue. And if it's your parents being overprotective and controlling to an extreme that they're shunning your gf you really need to step in and say something. 6 years is a long time to have invested in someone if she's going to dump you over your parents. That's not fair to you, or her! Especially her. There's definitely more to this if she's willing to walk away because of them, and only you can figure it out and stop it!
lindssaurussss lindssaurussss 8 years
been there. ended it. boyfriend didnt see that his dad judged me or would mock me in front of the whole family. would call in the middel of dates and tell him to come home immediately!!! to fix the internet connection. out of those 3 1/2 years i think my boyfriend only defended me once, because other times he didnt see it. i dont think the relationship will work if the parents dont respect you. i would talk to your parents and ask whats going on....because obviously you dont see whats going on.
HoneyBrown1976 HoneyBrown1976 8 years
Sounds like we may have a Momma's boy on our hands. If she's willing to walk away from six years, chances are your parents may be sabotaging your relationship. Nip in the bud now. In-Laws, besides money, cause the most riffs in marriage. Do you really want them to ruin your life? Seriously, I don't care for my in-laws too much. They've let it be known that I was not their choice for a daughter-in-law and quite frankly, it takes too much energy to act as though I'm cozy with them. I love my hubby; but, in-laws can be real pains in the ass.
Janine22 Janine22 8 years
I agree with Nutmeg84. OP I can see where you are coming from because you are obviously stuck in the middle. But you also seem really oblivious to the ways that your parents treat your gf. Have you actually sat down with her and listened to how they treat her and how it makes her feel? I mean, REALLY listened, put aside the fact that they are your parents for a minute and just try to understand why she feels 'abused and bullied' by them? I don't think many people would use that term unless your parents have done something fairly bad and severe to her. Also, have you talked to your parents about their side of the situation? Why do they treat her so badly, why they don't like her? How have you portrayed your gf to them? Because in the end, your parents do not make your decisions for you. If you truly love someone, it is up to you to facilitate communication and listen to everyone. Only then can you have an accurate enough picture of what is going on. But either way, your parents do not have the right to 'abuse and bully' someone you are dating just because they don't like her. You need to make your own decisions about your gf's and your future wife, and if your parents are trying to sabotage your happiness then that is not right. If you truly love someone, you should defend her honour and be loyal to her. If you want to break up with someone based solely on the fact that your parents don't like her, then you seriously need to get some backbone. Good luck to you.
kurniakasih kurniakasih 8 years
I agree with the others, the OP Barry must be oblivious to what's really going on because it's been 6 years and her reason to want to leave is because of his parents and he has no real idea what's going on? OP Barry, if you can't figure it out yourself, how about you ask your gf why does she think they bully and abuse her? And how about your parents? Do they like her? Have they talked to you about her? It's been 6 years, there's bound to be talks, there. And how about you open your eyes too and really see instead of trying to look at it in a passive rose-colored glass.
queenlizzie queenlizzie 8 years
I'm willing to bet the parents are toxic and he needs to step back. I'm in the same situation. We've been together 5 years, and his parents are alcoholics who constantly disrespect him and try to control his life. They are extremely passive-aggressive and arrogant, and are always making my boyfriend feel like he's some sort of disappointment to them. Barry needs to take a step back and figure out why his girlfriend doesn't like his parents. I bet there's more to this than he thinks there is.
LaurenE8504 LaurenE8504 8 years
I've been in the same situation. Relationship status: over. We dated for 5 years and all of those years his parents judged me and he rarely saw it. He never knew how difficult it was for me to visit his family. His mother, the main cause, would constantly question my career choice (I work in retail management and I teach), she would always wonder what I did with my money (none of her business, but I saved a lot more than her son), the way she would look at the way I dressed, etc. She was very critical of me, but my ex never saw that, he just assumed I hated his parents for no reason. So, like others, I think you need to find out why she has problems being around your parents. Also, you need to stand up and be a man. If you love this woman and want to spend the rest of your life with her, you need to make her feel safe and comfortable. When you get married, you also marry the family, so things need to be smoothed over soon.
Smacks83 Smacks83 8 years
Amen, Notinthemood, amen indeed.
notinthemood notinthemood 8 years
I've been in a similar situation... relationship:over. It's your family... you need to tell them to make her feel welcome and protect her, especially when they do crazy things! Most guys I know are pretty hands-off when it comes to situations like this, but the reality is that when she is subject to your family, you are her ambassador. You might not see things they do as signs they don't like her, but ugh... it's a dirty, rotten game. From ex-girlfriend references to dirty looks to off-handed remarks about being "unable to trust people these days...", mothers, sisters and even grandmothers can be a girlfriend's worst enemies. Convinced no woman is good enough for their "little man', they'll work tirelessly and sometimes totally under-the-radar to destroy her credibility among other family members (especially of the female variety) and push her buttons to try to bring out the terrible person they think she is. They'll tell you they like her, and act surprised if you say she thinks they don't. They'll talk about her less-desirable traits as if they're a disease and swear up-and-down that it is she who doesn't like them and wants to tear their whole family apart. Doing nothing will get you nowhere, you need to act. Armed with some truth, approach your family and tell them your intentions for this girl. Tell them what you'll do if they continue being cruel (stop coming around so often) and stand behind your words. Most importantly, listen. If it's true that they don't like her, be prepared for an explosion of reasons why you should never marry her.
babesio3 babesio3 8 years
I have to agree with the other comments, something just doesn't add up. I think you should look further into this from both sides. I am also going through a similar situation. I absolutely don't like my fiance's sister, one time early in our relationship she invitied me over to her house, (she just took my number out of my fiance's phone without permission) and immediately led me into the kitchen where on the fridge was a pic of him and his ex-gf from the year before. I know she did this on purpose since she had just moved in a month before. But i'm rambling, I agree that you need to do everything you can to fix this before you give up.
nutmeg84 nutmeg84 8 years
It sounds to me like he is completely oblivious to how his parents treat his girlfriend. I think the problem is less how his parents treat her and more how he is reacting to it, or his lack of reaction.
vmruby vmruby 8 years
Why would your girlfriend hate your parents to the point where she is considering ending your relationship after 6 long years for no reason.I have a feeling there's alot more to this story than what you're saying especially if you are describing your parents as being "control freaks" and your girlfriend as saying she doesn't want to be "abused or bullied" for the rest of her life.Something's not right .....
RunninginBoston RunninginBoston 8 years
Nicely said telewyo
RunninginBoston RunninginBoston 8 years
"They can be control freaks sometimes, but they've never done anything to make her hate them." Um, doesn't the first half of the sentence contradict the second half?
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