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Not connecting with my partners family

Community Member

I've been dating my boyfriend for a year and a half, and we're starting to look into renting a place together.

He has a really close family that all live an hour away and he goes up to visit them a lot and always overnight. Every time I go with him I dont feel like I fit in. His sisters are all older and talk a lot about their kids and jobs and people from around the town that I don't know, so I tend to sit back quietly most of the time.

Recently his parents decided they're going to pay for the whole family to go on a holiday for his dad's birthday next year, but I didn't get an invite. "Married partners only" apparently

I dont want a free trip I would be happy to pay, but it really hurts knowing that Im still not considered part of the family. To make it worse by that point we'll have been together over 2 years and will be living together, so I'll just be left alone at home for the week while he goes on holiday. And a few months ago my parents organised a family trip that he came to. I would have stuck up for him had he not been invited, but he wouldn't do the same for me.

I'm starting to question what hope or relationship has when he's so close to a family that I just don't fit in with.

11 Replies 11

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
dear Ellie, I can hear the disappointment in your comment and it seems as though you have been side-lined by his family.
It would feel very uncomfortable being there with his family, so have you mentioned this to your b/friend which I'm sure you have, so I just wondering if he has tried to overcome this concern, because the both of you have had a relationship for two years, so you know each other fairly well to consider moving in together.
Does his family disagree with this idea of living with each other and if they have their own protocols which they expect their children to behave by, so did any of his sisters live their now husbands before they were married?
If I was you I wouldn't be happy for all of them to go away without you, and by saying 'Married partners only' doesn't seem to be right, so your b/friend should have stuck up for you and said that you are going otherwise he won't go, and that's what you need to find out why from your b/friend, and if his parents are against it then your relationship with him is going to be difficult, because if you are told to only have 1 child which is not what you want and want 2 or 3 kids and then have to be born into their religion against what your own beliefs are, it's not going to be easy for you. Geoff. x

Community Member

I don't think they're the kind of family to meddle in the relationship, I dont think he's told them we're looking for a place, but I think they'd be fine with it they let their kids make they're own decisions.

The reasoning behind " married partners only" is apparently because they don't like one of his sisters boyfriend.and they didn't think they could invite me without inviting him. So it's just me and him that aren't invited.

But as far as I know they don't like me either. I know I don't talk much when I'm around them but I do try, I've always been a bit of an introvert, and commonly I have felt like I can't fit in with new groups of people because I'm just not outgoing enough.

I hate that my boyfriend tried to reason how they made the decision not to invite me, he seemed so matter of fact about it. I've told him how uncomfortable I feel and it just turned in to him getting upset with me. I just wish he would get upset with them for excluding his girlfriend- it's like he doesn't even care.

Sorry I meant to say "as far as I know they might not like me "

My boyfriend tries to convince me that they like me but this whole situation really doesn't support that.

Hi Elliemaybe,

Relationships and in laws can be confusing at times. It is wonderful your family invited your boyfriend to join in the family holiday. Do you have other siblings? If so were they and their partners invited on your family holiday?

Hopefully you can discuss this with your boyfriend. He may feel like he is stuck between a rock and a hard place right now! He may not want to disappoint his family or you, but doesn't know how to keep everyone happy.

Occasionally my parents have not wanted my husband and I staying with them so we have had to book other accommodation when we have returned to their town for family gatherings.

My sister in law keeps telling me I am not part of the family and we have been married for nearly 30 years!

I can sort of understand the parent's solution, but it is very tough on you. I guess they may feel that if they do invite you to join them, then they must invite the boyfriend of their daughter.

When I feel like I don't know what to chat to people about, I ask them about themselves. This may be a great way for you to feel more connected to your BF family. Ask about their jobs and children, about some of the characters in town, what was it like at school there, favourite movies, books etc.

Another thing I keep reminding myself is that I married my husband not his family. If we all get along that is wonderful, if we don't all clique all of the time that is okay as well. As long as we are not all yelling and screaming at each other, I am happy.

Please tell your boyfriend you love him and explain why you feel hurt by his parent's decision. Ask him to help you plan positive experiences for yourself for the time he is away.

This might help you both feel closer together over this issue.

Cheers for now from Mrs. Dools

Thankyou for your response Mrs Dools,

I have thought a lot about what to respond and im pretty stumped. I do have a brother and a sister, and both of their partners were invited on our holiday, but I honestly can't imagine my parents excluding somebody the way I've have been excluded- and the way my boyfriend's sisters partner has.

To be honest I think I was looking for a place to vent by writing here.

I'm feeling pretty miserable a lot of the time these days, largely because I feel like I have no place and that I don't fit in. probably why this whole situation has gotten to me so much.

Is it bad that I just don't want to make an effort anymore? I am tired of trying to fit in and every time I see them I feel even worse.

Advice on how to make conversation is helpful, but I really wish I could just avoid them, which I know isn't possible but it's all I really feel up to doing at the moment.


After 4 long term relationships I realised that I'm with my partner/wife. I haven't married my in-laws. Eg you are not living with your partners parents.

Otherwise you'll have an expectation to fit in. What about a different approach? When he stays over at his parents place, go visit a friend. Go enjoy yourself.

Then again I'm burned out trying to get along with in-laws. My brother in-law hardly talks to me so after several attempts I now don't bother.

Their loss. That's just my view.

Tony WK

Hi Ellie

I feel exactly the same. My story is.... with partner for nearly 2 yrs and have definitely had our fair share of ups and downs but through out still have good relationship. Before we got together I had known his sister, she does not like me and has made that very clear through an abusive phone call a while ago. I was very hurt by what was said and the tone it was said in (screamed at me). I have attended numerous family Christmas's and Birthdays go out of my way to do things like drop clothes for grandchildren at his mothers house ect and still feel disconnected from the family. Moved in together about 3 months ago and have been together for 2 years this November and neither of his sisters or there partners/kids have visited us once and we all live very close to each other maybe 3 suburbs away at the furthest. I feel as if maybe they disapprove of me but would never say it to my partners face or mine but rather in small comments or there 2 cents into what they think of him moving out of home. This is my 3rd serious relationship and I have honestly never felt so disconnected to someones family. I am not a shy or quiet individual and I love children and would love to be closer to his family but I feel like there is no point trying to get close to a group of people who seem to already have made there own opinions on who and what my partners partner should be like, which is obviously what I am NOT.

I definitely know how you feel and it gets me really down when i think about it....

This is a fascinating thread that raises many questions. I suppose getting on with one's own family can be difficult at times let alone getting along with one's partners family.

Elliemaybe It is sad that you feel left out and disappointed your partner did not stand up for you. Have you managed to tell your partner how you feel.

De_Lune Welcome to the forum. Have you told your partner how you feel about the way his family treats you?

I went through problems with my in-laws but now I am a mother-in-law I want to make my children's partners feel welcome whether they are married or not. My philosophy is that if my child has chosen a partner I will make them feel as welcome as I can.



It has actually been a very long time since I have posted here (could be considered a good or a bad thing) . The family trip went ahead as planned, I stayed home alone. Now that my partner and I live together, we have a dog, things are good between us. I still don't quite fit with the "in laws" but I've come to terms with that, I'll take it as their loss! I have other things in life to focus on right now