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I love my BF but I don't want to be part of his family!

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mrreowwr_kittty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-12-08 02:08 PM
Original message
I love my BF but I don't want to be part of his family!
And here's the thing: His family is perfectly nice. But they're really big (extended-wise) and close. As a little background, I'm what you'd call an extroverted loner, meaning I'm quite capable of social interaction and am quite the conversationalist when I feel like it. The problem is I don't feel like it much of the time and especially when I'm in a situation where I'm being scrutinized. Which is always the case with your SO's family. I also have little in the way of family myself. My parents are gone and I have one sister who lives in another state whom I occasionally visit.

Like I said, BF's relatives are actually quite tolerable for the most part. They're pleasant and literate and all are Dems. So while I know it could really be much worse I still loathe the holiday parties and the outings and his 89 year old mom's monthly brunches that I'm pressured to attend lest her feelings be hurt. She's quite a fascinating woman, but typical of mothers of sons in that it's clear that no woman will ever be good enough for her baby boy. And I'm about as far from suitable daughter-in-law material as you can get and I frankly couldn't be arsed to try to be. So BF's mom will invariably make some "helpful" comment to me about how I'd look much better if I wore my hair differently or whatever. :eyes: Crap like that makes me not want to attend any gatherings but when I make an excuse to get out of them she gets hurt. At risk of overstating the problem, she's really not that bad as matriarchs go. My late grandmother was a hundred times worse.

My boyfriend also has grown kids. They're 21 and 19 and still very dependent on their dad for everything. The 19YO lives with him. I'm basically okay with him having kids although I've never wanted any of my own. (I'm THAT much of a loner!) I'm not jealous of them and don't begrudge BF a minute of time with them. In fact, I encourage him to spend quality time with his kids! The problem is, he often wants me to come along. Uh no...that wasn't really the idea.

I should also add that I had a pretty rotten childhood and my family basically sucked. Being around a happy, loving family like BF's is actually kind of painful for me. I've explained this to him and he's very understanding but it's clearly equally important to him to include me in family events. Which is perfectly understandable as I'm his life partner and I'd probably feel the same way if I were in his position. I think he's hoping that I'll grow to see his family as my own. Much as I love him for that, it will never happen. I want him but I do not want a family. Any family. No matter how nice they are.

I'm not really looking for advice here. I just needed a space to vent about this. A variety of factors have culminated in my life to make me this way and it seems like there's no place in society for a person like me. I keep hearing how "when you marry someone you marry his whole family" and it just chills me to the bone.
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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 02:41 PM
Response to Original message
1. That's a great problem to have

Sounds like you have wonderful (potential) in laws. Congrats. :toast: Believe me, really great inlaws are worth everything. :-) And you might want to share with them sometime that you are just really sensitive to a lot of commotion and periodically have to take time out.

Having said that. I know what you mean. I love my family dearly; they are all really nice people. But sometimes, I can't wait to get away, even in the midst of celebrations like the Holidays or weddings or whatever the gathering is about.

We had a birthday gathering for my sister last weekend. She lives with her daughter and family. There were 9 people there including me. Lots of times, I stay there late and just sleep over. Well, I didn't this time and had to disappoint my grandniece. :-( But I did promise her that we would have a sleepover real soon. What really chased me out of their house in the immediate sense? My niece's hubby loves to CRANK UP THE STEREO after everyone leaves and before bed. He's a great guy, but this behavior rattled my nerves no end, especially when I was exhausted from talking to people all evening! :scared:

Sometimes what I do is just be prepared to feel overwhelmed by it. ;-) It's not a bad thing, feeling overwhelmed if you have supportive people around. After all, there's no one there to harm you or make you feel bad about it. It's just part of the experience for me, sort of like having had too much to drink but without the drink. Also, sometimes I've retreated to quieter parts of the gathering to regroup temporarily and be OK for another hour or two.

I make sure that when I come home, I do have time to decompress and not socialize with anyone outside my household for a day or so.

I don't have a partner, but I will need someone whom I don't mind being silent around (and who doesn't mind that I do that sometimes). Not that I wouldn't talk if something needed to be said. And actually, I find that when my talking self wanes, I'm still very interested in nonverbal communication. :evilgrin:
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-10-09 11:22 PM
Response to Original message
2. I hear you
they look at you like you're a bug in a jar
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Why Syzygy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-11-09 08:23 PM
Response to Original message
3. My ex MIL told me
Edited on Wed Mar-11-09 08:24 PM by Why Syzygy
that I was "difficult to understand". No doubt. My biggest problem was that I didn't realize it was up to me to stand up for myself. Expected dh to do it. He never did. Very close knit family. Even though the parents were separated, everyone got together for every freaking holiday or excuse. It was exhausting. I experienced my first Christmas without depression after we split up. All the expectations were too much. One of the BILs never attended the family events. I know that deal ended in divorce years later, but don't know why as I was already long gone.

Strangely, his family was so different from mine. They didn't accept 'outsiders', me included. I used to WISH my family could just have a holiday meal without inviting all the long lost cousins and church members and loners.

Good luck! Take care of yourself.
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marybourg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-12-09 10:42 PM
Response to Original message
4. I'm assuming that you're also of the age
to be the parent of grown kids (if you'd had them). Just my opinion, of course, but I think someone of mature years is entitled to choose their own intimates and should not be required to become attached to a new family if they don't wish to. Be pleasant, noncommittal and have your own things to do on at least half of family occasions. Adult partners don't have to be joined at the hip.
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