His/Her Parents Hate Me!
You check your teeth in the mirror, make sure your shirt is perfectly tucked in and smile shyly looking up at him as he whispers, “Don’t worry babe, they’re going to love you!” Your heart races at an impossible speed as he rings the doorbell. The door opens, you smile and it takes nothing more than a split second for your entire world to come crumbling down; they hate you.
This can be a little more serious than friends hating your significant other. At the tender age of 15, a boyfriend invited me over for dinner. While quietly waiting in the living room, I heard his mom yell, “I don’t give a shit what Chiara likes.” That made dinner a bit awkward. Needless to say, I spent the rest of my relationship tip toeing around the house. I was 15, I needed approval.
When I was 20 years old, I dated a Mexican/Filipino. He asked me to accompany him on a trip to visit his mother and sisters, his father had passed away 3 years prior. As we neared the end of our 3 hour drive, he began warning me that she was a bit of a bitter woman. I smiled and was confident I could win her over. The first 2 minutes in the house, my boyfriend at the time decided to leave me in the living room with his mother and sisters and the conversation went something like this: “Is it Keee-rah?” she asked. “No,” I laughed, “It’s Key-are-ah. It’s a hard name, I know.” The little hint of warmth washed off her face and she continued, “Yeah. Whatever. What’s a white Italian girl doing with a Mexican boy?” I choked. The rebel inside me ended the attack with, “What can I say, I like me some flavor.” It was definitely a rough 2 and a half years, I was now a young woman and no longer sought approval; I now needed to defend myself.
There are two ways parents deal with their dislike for their son/daughter’s new partner. Either they hide it with a smile and cut you with their words or they feel the need to let every one know how they feel. Either way; you’re fucked. You feel cornered and uncomfortable -it’s inevitable. When we date someone seriously and actually agree to meet their parents, it’s under the assumption that there is a POSSIBILITY we may EVENTUALLY consider marriage. How does the thought of marrying into a family like this really make you feel?
How to deal with parents hating you
So now you’re at what feels like a dead end. Below are a few quick tips on dealing with such monsters.
- You’re no longer 15. Don’t change yourself to seek approval.
- Remain polite and retain your dignity. You don’t want to be labeled “That crazy one Luke’s been ‘dating’”
- Stand up for yourself and don’t be a push over. They don’t have to like you but respect is important.
- Don’t put your partner in the middle of it, it’s not his place to play mediator.
- Go rent Meet the Parents
- Don’t suck up. They’ve been around long enough to detect an asslicker and it’ll only result in more ridicule.
- If the abuse is still tolerable, show up when you have to. You don’t want to make your partner chose and he has every right to attend family events
At the end of the day, the decision is yours. If you’ve tried talking to the parents and expressing how you feel and they brush it off, know you’ve done your part. If the abuse gets bad enough, you’ve got to make the decision of whether you want to be involved with this family or not. Don’t forget that some relationships DO lead to marriage.
Parents and friends shouldn’t affect your relationship, but unfortunately, they often do. You can do everything in your power to ignore the abuse but if it gets bad enough, you won’t be able to control how shitty it’ll constantly make you feel. And inevitably, it’ll affect your rapport with your partner. If it’s a basic dislike but everyone can still remain civil in public settings, the relationship can survive.