I Love Her, They Hate Me!
Five things to consider when dating a lesbian whose family dislike you.
Dating these days is hard, maintaining a healthy, lasting relationship even harder. So how do you deal with a family of in-laws who outright rejects you?
There are so many lesbian couples who are blessed to have the love and support of both sides of the family. But then there are the less fortunate who have the complete opposite. It can be frustrating to fall in love with a woman, decide you want to spend the rest of your life with her and then you realize her family despises you.
In a situation where something's gotta give but nothing will, some partners simply make a run for it. While others choose to suffer through it (love is pain, right?), hoping things MIGHT change at some point.
If you're one of those who's chosen the latter we want to offer some support and advice...for you AND your partner.
1. Do NOT ignore it.
I'm sure we've all seen that one movie/ tv show where the in-laws are just plain horrible to the wife/husband. In Modern Family Jay Pritchett can't stand Phil even though the poor man did nothing to him. In Jumping the Broom Pam does it to her son’s fiancé, almost ruining their wedding day. If you're reading this you're probably experiencing something similar...or you know someone who is.
Maybe they don't like you because they never wanted their daughter to be involved with/married to another woman. Maybe they think you're the one who turned her gay (that one is pretty common, isn't it ladies?). Maybe you're just plain too tall, too chubby, not educated enough, the wrong race. Who cares why your in-laws don't like you? The fact is they don't and ignoring it won't cause it to hurt any less.
2. Talk about it with your partner.
Like I said earlier, ignoring it won't stop the hurt….and I'm sure it must hurt some when you love someone who's momma or daddy can't stand you. Talk to your partner about how you feel, if you don't there will be problems in your relationship before you know it. Maybe they haven't taken the time to get to know you. Maybe your partner never properly introduced you to them, if guys eloped and denied them the chance to walk you down the aisle that might be the reason they're mad.
You haven't hung out with them a lot because you're a busy, career woman. They may have mistaken that for you not liking them, then decided to reciprocate. Perhaps you have things in common, y'all just don't know it yet. Ask your partner. I'm sure you and her dad will finally have something to talk about if he knew your dad also served in Vietnam…..around the same time period!
3. Demand the respect you deserve.
Sometimes there's no reason to do number one or two, sometimes there's nothing to discuss. Your in-laws don't like you, they haven't tried to hide that fact and you're expected to deal with it.
What's your partner’s reaction? Is she making excuses for their behavior? Does she want you to ‘understand because they're set in their ways?’ Because if that's the case she's being unfair. You reserve the right to not visit, to not show up on Thanksgiving or Christmas if you know from experience that it's gonna be an awful time. You should have a say in whether or not you purposely put yourself in an awkward and uncomfortable situation.
At the end of the day, you're dating your partner and not her parents. But if she loves you as much as she loves them, she should want to do whatever is necessary to protect you. Maybe it's time she woman up and have the talk with her folks.
4. Something's gotta give.
Perhaps you're like me, you hate guessing and prefer to just have that come-to-Jesus moment and get it over with.
Ask them. Find out why they've been unwelcoming to you. It helps if your partner is on/by your side, sometimes the only way to get straight up answers is to ask straight up questions. Who knows? Maybe having a conversation (be respectful, mind you) will reveal to them that you're actually not the bitch who turned their precious daughter gay. Maybe they'll realize your being bi doesn't mean you're just playing with their baby's heart until you find the right man. I'm just saying, if y'all can at least be civil enough to have a discussion it might make things a lot easier...especially if you plan to bring kids into the equation.
5. Your feelings matter.
That is self explanatory. You shouldn't have to spend Christmas with a bunch of people who won't even make eye contact with you. You shouldn't have to grin and bear it when another adult speak to you in a condescending manner. Or keep reminding you that your relationship is wrong. You reserve the right to tell (not ask) your partner you refuse to participate.
I wouldn't give her an ultimatum (honey she'll choose her folks), however I'd let her know where I draw the line. It could very well result in your relationship ending or her ending her relationship with her parents. Or we could hope for that Hallmark movie ending where they realize how important you are to her; then decide to give you a chance because they love their daughter and want her to be happy.
You'd think they would've wanted that from day one but who cares as long as in the end, love wins!
Whatever happens at least you were honest about how you feel, you addressed any elephants that may have been in the room. You're not wrong for forcing a conversation and remember, love doesn't always have to be pain.