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Feeling lost in a relationship

Community Member

I'm quite new to this forum (My first post)

Recently, I have been feeling quite lost and uncertain with my future...

I'm currently in a relationship with my partner of 4 years and we are/supposed to get married next year in June. He is my world and I love him very much but there is one problem...

Cultural difference is causing a conflict between us. He is Australian born with Greek background and I am Australian. I do not get on with his family; they and I have very different ideas. There were recently a fight between my partner and I arguing over wedding guest list because I do not want a big wedding whereas he does. I tried to comprised with him by asking if we could have a medium wedding. We agreed on this till he went over to his parents house and they emotionally blackmailed him saying that he should have 'respect' for his family. He then came home and decided that he wanted to make his mum happy instead of me by inviting extra 50 people. We were fighting over this for a couple of months until one day he decided to stand to his parents and told them that he should respect me too so the guest list is sorted out. Since this incident I have been having doubts about my future (My partner being influenced strongly by his parents affecting us long term).

I have been observing his behaviour lately and I note that he is very stubborn; he wants to do everything his way and not comprising with me with the things I want in life. For example, he wants to live no more than 30 minutes away from his mum for the rest of her life and for us/ our future kids to visit his family once a week. I feel as if I have no say in this (I have no support as my family are living in another country).

My main concern is that I will become very unhappy in the future if things are done his way. His mum is very controlling and I'm worried that she will brainwash my partner's mind by telling him what to do with ours and kids lives instead of listening or putting me first as he depend on his family a lot and trying to please them.

I always get really anxious when entering or leaving a relationship and in this case I am over analysing what the future will bring. Currently, I'm thinking that I am 30 year old and may not be able to find another guy and time is running out on starting a family.

Any experiences? How can I resolve the 'lost' feeling? I feel stuck not knowing what to do. I have tried talking to him but he doesn't understand my perspective.

7 Replies 7

Community Member

Hi Starlight86,

Firstly, welcome to the forums.

It's such a tough one your situation, because it seems you partner is trying to juggle between keeping you happy and his family happy. I am from Greek/Australian background as well and our culture is very family orientated and I, myself also got married this year, albeit to a Greek/Australian also, we had similar issues with out guestlist, where her family wanted to invite all these people they don't even speak to or see but "just because"... i understood that is was their family values and accepted, maybe begrudgingly but accepted none the less, I knew i wouldn't see these people much on the night and if it made them happy then all good. Regarding the feelings you have for your partners stubbornness and not seeing your way, unfortunately you have to keep trying to talk to him to sort it through. You don't want to enter into a marriage with resentment, just need to keep trying to explain yourself as best you can. It's always tough when you feel your partners side "interfers" i have felt that quite a lot at times, always felt my mother in law was too involved. I can't say my partner is influenced by her however so I cannot relate unfortunately.

Key here is just keep trying to work it out and talking about these issues you have, i am sorry my advice isn't the greatest but I just wanted you to know I do understand what you are going through.

My best for you and your partner.


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
hello Starlight, I'm not sure whether the cost of the wedding has been split up 50/50 and if not and your parents are paying only means that a large wedding will cost them more.
By having a mother in law (MIL) dictate to what you actually want to do is going to cause a lot of problems between your finance and yourself resulting in arguments, if and when you, you decide to have children then this pressure will only increase, and for any comments like 'it won't happen' you have to realise it will happen.
In laws can destroy a marriage, a once loving frienship then courtship, what you should do with your house and any meals brought over for you for the family to eat, which you may not like or want, and rules set down by your MIL to the children, in other words interfering in any way possible.
The only solution is to not live 30 minutes away, but further away, because a marriage is between two people that's it, not by being under control by MIL, because if this does happen you won't be happy at all, you're be married to your MIL.
I could suggest going to relationship counselling but he will just ask you 'why' and if his mother finds out then he will get a lecture.
It's a very difficult post to answer to because you and your finance are in love and want to be married, and that's what I would love to happen, but I have seen your situation before and that's why I have answered as I have.
I hope that I haven't upset you because that's certainly not my intention. L Geoff. x

Community Member

Hi Starlight86,

I'm very sorry that another person has the MIL interfering. You have some sound advice from others on here. I will tell you my experience of dating from a different cultural.

I'm an Australian guy, grew up in a country town, my GF I split up with a year ago was Indian. We were together 18months. Her mothering didn't like the fact she was dating a white man, so my girl got Emotional Blackmail constantly and eventually that's what caused the split, I couldn't handle others interfering, I really tried to adjust to the Indian customs, but her mother was so controlling. Now I'm still miss this girl everyday.

I know you want to work things out but I see you are intelligent person that can use insight and determine the issues the future can bring. 30 is still young and imagine a life of dictating by your MIL and a few kids as well with you, you would be really depressed.

I really suggest, you tell your BF straight and say to him, I'm marrying you, not your family, if you can't get some guts to stand up to your mother, I'm leaving.

I have seen many couples married into different cultural relationships that work because both put their partner first. You are young still. In reality, a bitter ending is better than a lifetime of bitterness. You need someone who puts you completely first and a stronger person.

I'm not telling you to split, just letting you know there is serious alarm bells ringing. I want you to be happy. I'm 35 and I still believe I can find the right person.

Do some serious thinking.

I hope my message helps you.

Btw: I know a Greek guy married to a Australian girl with Italian background, he is a nice guy, he doesn't allow anyone to interfere in their marriage, his MIL was and he threw her out of the house, now she respects him and her daughter.

Take Care


I completely disagree.

This is Mental Health Week.

Family is extremely important to mental health.

Being given ultimatums to cut ties with blood relatives is a major red flag to me.

Hi Jay,

Thanks for your comment

I understand about the whole 'respecting' other people's culture which I am totally fine with; it just would be nice to have respect in return too. I am just more upset on the fact how my MIL approached us using powerful words and taking control when it comes to wedding. That what worries me. For example; she would say things like 'I have no choice but I HAVE to invite them' where she could of said 'There are quite few people I would like to invite if this is okay with you?' This would of given me more control and handle the situation differently because it is a lot nicer when you say things in a nicer way and make you want to fulfill their wishes.

We have counselling booked in a few weeks so hopefully there will be things we can sort out for the future, it is all let's wait and see!'

All the best, thanks for your advice

Hi Geoff,

Thanks for your message.

Yes! I would suggest all the things that could happen in the future and he would respond 'No that won't happen' or 'No MIL can't control our future kids.' I mentioned that it would cause a lot of problems between us if he does things MIL's way. He said that he wouldn't and promised to stand by me. I just find that very hard to believe as he is quite a soft person where as I am quite tough and had to stand up to MIL quite a few times as she had said things to offend me. Some things I will never forget but moved on.

I suggested moving away from his family so we can concentrate on ourselves but he seem to think I am taking him away from his family (I am not stopping him from seeing his own family) and would say 'What is wrong with my family?' I have explained but he doesn't seem to get the message...

The situations you have seen before...how did it turn out? Very hard to make a decision when I can't see what the future will bring as well as not hearing enough of other's experiences to help me to make that decision

We will be having counselling in a few weeks so hopefully this will help me to make a decision

No, you haven't upset me, I have to be realistic about this and think what is best for me


Hi Touille,

So sorry to hear your experience and that your MIL caused a lot of problems between you too. Must be really hard on you and her. I hope things will get easier and you will be able to move on. I guess you have to think what is best for you and for your future. I totally agree with what you have said 'a bitter ending is better than lifetime of bitterness.'

I guess the hardest part is having to end a relationship (If I have to). Currently, I am happy with him and I'm in my comfort zone. I know that I don't have to see his MIL much as I work on Friday evenings and he sees his family on that evening for dinner. I believe that a lot will change when we have kids; he will be very stubborn in terms of doing what he and his family wants (this is what I think will happen- very hard to predict the future) and this will affect my happiness. Being in a relationship is very different to being married.

You're right, I know there are a lot of people out there who are single and in their 30's and it is quite okay. I guess it will take time to get used to being single again if this happens

All the best for the future