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What to Do if Your Family Dislikes Your Partner

 

Ideally, you want your family to think as highly of your boyfriend or girlfriend as you do, but unfortunately this isn’t always the case. For whatever reason(s), your family may not approve of your partner or may genuinely dislike him or her, and this can create strains on your relationship with your family and your mate.

When you’re faced with a partner vs. family faceoff, there are ways to try to reach a peaceful accord so that these feelings of dissent can disappear.


Find out what’s behind your family’s feelings. If your family is going to take the stance that they don’t like your mate, you have to ask them why. Is it something that your boyfriend or girlfriend is doing or saying? Or is it something much larger? In order to take the appropriate steps to help resolve your family’s issues, you need to first figure out what’s causing their underlying feelings.


Superficial Issues. In some cases, the problems that your family has with your partner may be ones that can be fixed easily.

And once you know your family’s concerns, you can see if your partner is able to modify his or her behavior in respect to your family’s requests. For example, you can ask your mate to try not to swear in front of your family, to try to be more punctual or to put his or her phone away at the dinner table.

At the same time, you should also ask your family to be more tolerant and understanding on their end as well. When your partner and family are both working to be more mindful and respectful of each other’s needs, a resolution is not far off.


Unchangeable Issues. In other cases, your family’s concerns may stem from something broader. Perhaps your family doesn’t approve of your mate because of his or her race, religion, job, sexual orientation, appearance, upbringing or long-term goals. Or you might keep hearing the phrase, “He’s just not good enough for you,” without any concrete reasons to back up this claim.

When the issues that your family has with your partner are based on generalizations and preconceived notions, one approach is to try to bridge the gap between your family and your mate by bringing them together more often. Sometimes the mere act of spending more time with your partner and your family as one unit can be enough to start breaking down the barriers, misconceptions, biases or concerns.


Unseen Issues. There are also issues that your family has with your partner that you might not even realize. Your family may not like the way that your boyfriend or girlfriend talks to you and/or treats you and others. They may find him or her rude, controlling, argumentative, disrespectful or even prone to violence.

While these cues may not be as pronounced to you, or perhaps you never really noticed them in the first place, there’s something to be said about your family’s opinion if they fear you’re in a harmful and/or abusive relationship. In these cases, even if you can’t see it for yourself, it’s important to ask others if your family’s feelings are off base or on target.

It can even be helpful to seek outside counseling and receive an unbiased, professional opinion so that you can learn more about where their concerns are stemming from. It may take the words of people outside your relationship to open your eyes about what’s going on inside your relationship.


It’s Your Issue. At the end of the day, if your family still won’t back down from their stance regarding your significant other, you ultimately have to make a crucial decision. While it’s never ideal to have your family and your boyfriend or girlfriend at odds, the truth is that your loyalty doesn’t lie with your family or your partner—your loyalty is to yourself.

The best way to approach this kind of unsettling situation is by placing your health and happiness as the number one priority. From there, the right decision for you and your needs will fall into place.
 
 
 

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