Meeting the family is always a gut-wrenching situation that can either go extremely well or horribly wrong. But in these cases, the families are the ones with the problem, not the significant other meeting them...
An Unfortunate Visit To His Family’s Country
“His family was horrible to me, and he treated me so poorly while we were visiting (3 weeks solid because they lived in another country).
His mother constantly called me by his ex’s name (I have the SAME NAME as his sister, how is it possible to get that confused with another name which both starts with a completely different letter and is much longer than mine?).
His sister wouldn’t actually speak to me or include me in any kind of conversation. Her partner was totally lovely and tried his best to include me, but the times that I spent with his sister/mother I was basically just the tag-along who was asked to hold the baby while they did things.
His dad wasn’t so bad all things considered but he made snide comments about my weight (which, yeah, is fair), family (who he’d never met), ‘lack of career aspirations’ (while I was financially supporting his jerk of a son who was trying to make a go of a business at the time!) and was just generally a terrible human being.
He wouldn’t stick up for me or correct any of this and whenever I brought it up, would basically say I was imagining it.
By the end of this trip, we were sleeping in separate bedrooms and I broke up with him not long after.”
Her Mother’s Phobias Were A Warning!
“We were just dating, nowhere near getting married, but I wasn’t totally into it to start with. She was a nice girl but I knew from the start it wasn’t going anywhere.
The first time I met her parents, it was at their dirty, cigarette-stained house (they were both older, and definitely slobs). The dad got out of control and was constantly racist, and I watched in horror as he let the dog lick his plate clean after he’d eaten dinner. Maybe not a huge thing, but the plates didn’t look like they were washed thoroughly to start with and I’m a germaphobe.
The mother was just weird. She had a ‘phobia’ of disabled people, and any time a disabled person came on TV she would force the dad to switch it over because they were weirding her out. Surprised the girl wasn’t more screwed up.
It’s a shame, really, as the girl I was dating was quite nice. That was just the kick I needed to end it though.”
Regret After His Attempt To Repair Their Relationship
“So, when I met her she was perfect. Or as close to perfect as any one could ever hope for.
She was smart. Independent. Super funny. She enjoyed the same things I enjoyed. We got along very, very well and my idea of a ‘Dream Girl’ was shattered in front of me as I realized she was my dream girl.
When we met. She was estranged from her father. When I asked her about it, she just said that he was kind of a prick and that was that. Many years later we were having a talk about marriage. I decided we should get married because we were a perfect match. I asked her if she’d be upset if we invited her father and she said no, that she’d like it if he’d come.
So we talked about reconnecting and she said she wasn’t sure about it. I knew she wanted to, so I pushed for it. We met him a few times and I wasn’t a huge fan of him. He was…okay. I didn’t like nor dislike him or his wife, her step mom.
But I could tell she was on the fence about it. I wanted her to be happy so I gave her the push I thought she needed. You should give him a chance. I’d say. You should write your sisters (her dad + step mom kids) a birthday card for their birthday. We should visit them this weekend for fun.
I gave her the push she needed to make amends with him.
What came next was the issue…
One weekend at a BBQ, I heard her grandfather say: ‘That boy is a good man. But he’s not for you. It’s fine to date him, but just remember to keep our bloodline clean.’
I had a talk with her and told her it is ABSOLUTELY unacceptable. She agreed that it was out of line and we both said we’d pull away from interacting with her grandfather for a bit. She said she’d talk to her dad about it and see if he could talk to him.
So we’ve all met up (me, her, her dad, step mom) for lunch and I asked if he’d had a chance to talk to his dad about ‘the thing’ and he replied with ‘What issue?’ I figured my girlfriend just slipped her mind and forgot to tell him. So I start to explain about it and he cuts me off and says: ‘No. I know what happened. But why is it an issue?’
I took this as ‘He’s an old man stuck in his ways. Just ignore him.’ And then he laughed it off and finished lunch.
The following year, my girl had started to change. She was no longer strong or independent. She’d call her dad or step mom for EVERYTHING!
I’d make a decision on something and then she’d call her dad and ask his opinion. The weekend would come up and she’d decide every single weekend to visit her family. Never mine. Never a weekend alone. Her sisters were over every other day. They’d come inside without knocking.
She started to try out ‘full body cleanse’ stuff. She was a nurse, I assumed she’d be more intelligent. I figured she was just trying it out because someone suggested it. Just to humor them.
We were eating kale and spinach daily. She threw all of the pork out because it was unclean meat. Suddenly we weren’t allowed to ‘work’ on Saturday. Because it was the REAL day God rested when making the universe. If we didn’t cook and prepare food on Friday, we just didn’t eat anything cooked on Saturday. Suddenly some things that were once intimate, were ‘unsanitary’…
As time went on, I kept trying to talk to her about all of this and when she said: ‘Okay, we’ll work this out.’ I assumed we were going to repair things. Her idea of working it out was me sitting down with her step mom as she explained that vaccines cause autism. Then she went on to explain that the government is REALLY run by the Rothchilds and Samburgers. And finally, that in the next few years, people will start getting rounded up and put in internment camps. That banks will freeze all accounts and I needed to pull our money out of banks RIGHT NOW and buy as much silver as possible.
The warning signs were going off loud and clear as day. From day one, I knew something was off and I should have never repaired their relationship.
We tried and the relationship floundered until I called it off when she said she didn’t know how she felt about me and marriage anymore. I moved out and we split up. She’s getting worse as time passes and I mourn the loss of my best friend.”
Possessive Mother Alert!
“I intended to marry my ex, but after meeting his mom a few times I really couldn’t do it.
His mother was extremely possessive of her son, and never smiled when I’m with them.
I was the blame for her son not eating properly (I always cooked healthy food for him), sleeping properly (he worked 16 hours a day) dressed properly (I ironed his shirts for him when he was too busy to do it), any blame you can think of.
She was also a single mom who has had two sons with two different ex-husbands and had a lot of drama with both. She wanted to retire at 45 but didn’t have a stable income, so my ex had to give her money every month so she can ‘retire’ and not work.
All in all, I couldn’t see myself dealing with the mom so I eventually broke it off before it was too late.”
Her Friend Was Concerned About Her Boyfriend’s Family Trends
“A guy friend actually convinced me to break up with my boyfriend because of the family trends.
My ex’s father was always away on business and his mom was a super cute, bubbly teacher. She would go out with her (female) teacher friends at night and the dad would get super jealous and have massive phone fights. My ex and his sibling became super possessive of their mom and hated their dad to an unhealthy level. They thought both their parents were probably having affairs.
My ex was 18 and had never done a single chore in his entire life. Their pets urinate all over the house and the mom cleaned everything (even my ex’s bedroom).
Our mutual guy friend took me to lunch one day and was like, ‘Seriously, is this the future you want? He’s a cool guy, but the dude is seriously a terrible boyfriend and will be the worst husband!’
Well, it turns out that he had been cheating on me the whole time anyway with two girls that were best friends. They would just switch off days they slept with him.”
Too Trashy Of A Family To Deal With…
“Well, by ‘intended to marry’ I mean the first serious girlfriend I had as a 16/17-year-old (so was kind of dumb to think that). She was 18/19 while we dated, so I had started to think about marriage when we were both of age.
She was a little ‘rough around the edges’ but man, when I met her family they were the definition of white trash.
They lived in a smoke-filled house with beer bottles everywhere. Her parents were both early 40’s but looked mid 60’s. Her older sister had a baby that she didn’t know who the father was. Her younger brother (nice enough to me) had pending assault charges (and once bought a jar of urine off me to pass a drug test). And lastly, her other brother was in jail for killing someone while driving drunk.
Every other word out of any of their mouths was a cuss word. 6 kids, including my girlfriend, and not ONE of them had a high school diploma, and the two that were still school age had dropped out.
I realized that, despite being poor, this was not a family I wanted to be a part of. I kept dating her a few more months after meeting them, but when I broke it off, the family was definitely the reason, which I actually did tell her.
And I guess the last thing that really frustrated me was that she paid rent, was 18, had a full-time job, and they STILL treated her like a child with rules, such as curfew, limited phone time, etc.”
He Watched As Her Family Argued Over Dying Grandfather’s Possessions?
“I dated this girl for 2 years, She was cute, but a little off. As in, she would self-harm and then talk about how much better she felt… Whatever, I was 19, and if you look past that, she was great.
She was very close to her grandfather, I had met him a few times before, Sweet guy. One day she gets the news that he’s dying, so we drive to see him off.
Meeting the rest of the family…this is where it gets fun.
Her mom, didn’t strike me as particularly crazy at first, but once I sat down to talk to her, she started getting overly sappy, talking about marriage, but ‘NO KIDS! Kids are the worst thing that can happen to you!’…erm ok.
The aunt just wanted to argue with everyone about everything, and belittle her grown adult nieces and nephews.
Her sister was very obviously a prostitute and almost always had some coke residue around the bottom ring of one nostril or the other, she also brought a bouquet that completely filled the tiny hospital room, the lady dying next to grandpa was not amused.
Her brother offered me a slew of drugs while I was there. Much appreciated, but calm down man.
And as grandpa laid there, struggling to hold on to the last threads of life. He got to watch his entire family fall apart, mostly arguing over which of his possessions would go to who.
There was also some rumors about grandpa taking advantage of family members, this made his bedside as well. It was probably the most screwed up last days a person has ever experienced.
I left early because I couldn’t stand it anymore. Too much drama over a dying man. I had been contemplating how to break up with her the following few weeks after all that when she started hanging out with her manager at work, and after work, getting rides home with him…and sleeping with him.
Her Bi-Polar Mother…
“I didn’t necessarily intend to marry her, but it was on the table and was where we both wanted it to go, I later found out.
This girl was completely amazing and my best friend in the world. Unbelievably kind and inquisitive. We fell in love just a couple months into our friendship and dove headfirst into a relationship once we found out about the other’s feelings. It moved very quickly, and I loved every second of it. Until I met her parents…
Her parents were extremely wealthy and extremely weird. Her dad was a high-strung workaholic who seemed to do anything he could to stay away from his family, be it traveling for work or training for marathons. But her mom…Oh my gosh! She was obsessed with everything vegan and holistic, had a blatant hatred and distrust for anything artificial, especially medication. Extremely untrusting, and would flip from hot to cold on a dime.
When she found out that the girl I was seeing, the ‘baby of the family,’ and I were intimate, she began essentially bullying and shaming her for it. She pressured her heavily to give (extremely personal and violating) details about our intimate life and then would flip out when my girlfriend would cave and tell her. She found every possible excuse to shelter her and keep her as her little baby. Mind you, this was in college when I was 22 and she was 21.
Eventually, her parents started doing things like dropping in on campus (this was when I was at Penn and her parents were a 15 minute drive away), calling her to make sure she wasn’t sleeping over at my place, and guilt tripping her to stay at home as much as possible to make sure that her 21-year-old daughter wasn’t drinking or sleeping with her boyfriend of about 9 months at the time. I thought it was a ‘me issue’ and became very depressed, wondering what was wrong with me, but it turned out that it was just the way her mom was with my girlfriend, and always had been. Her 3 older sisters were all free to do pretty much whatever, just not her.
I couldn’t take it anymore. We split. Didn’t see another choice. We literally couldn’t be together unless she wanted to cut her mom off, which I didn’t want her to have to do, and which she didn’t wanna do either, as it would mean being isolated from her family pretty much, which I would feel completely terrible about. We talked for a while after and still had strong feelings, but her mom insisted that we stop talking and just let the feelings die. We kept touch in secret for a while, and her mom continued to keep a death grip on her, telling her if she slept with a man before marriage again, she would literally be disowned. She had no problem with her other daughters sleeping together out of wedlock either. I couldn’t help but wonder, ‘what the heck is wrong with this woman?’ Eventually, my (then ex) told me:
The reason why her mom was so anti-doctor and such was that she was diagnosed severely bipolar in the 80s, and refused to believe it, and decided that all doctors are liars and that medication is the devil and refused to get any of the treatment she desperately needed. Also clearly has some severe attachment issues.
Glad I dodged the bullet of engaging with anything too long term with this girl- I thoroughly believe her mom would have literally murdered me if I ever proposed.”
A Possible Proposal Turned To A Creepy Lobster Sacrificing?
“I’d met them before but I guess it’s safe to say this time I really ‘met’ them.
I’d been dating this guy for four years. Everything was going really well. We had excellent communication within the relationship. He was intelligent, funny, intuitive, handsome; he came into my life and completely swept me off my feet. I thought marriage was a sure thing.
It just so happened that one late afternoon I’d finished work and was making my way home. My boyfriend called me while I was driving and requested a change of plans, so instead of us two dining at one of our regular restaurants, we’d be going to his parents’ home for dinner. He also mentioned that there would be a surprise.
I was completely psyched. The man I’d spent four years of utter bliss with was about to propose that we take our relationship to the next level.
I got home and got ready in a flurry and then left to meet him.
When I arrived his entire family was beaming. I’ll never forget the way his mother said, ‘Welcome to the family,’ and hugged me. Again, this solidified my assumption that after dinner was over I’d be admiring a diamond upon my finger and planning our future. When we sat down to dinner, the conversation continued as normal but everyone was simply so affectionate towards one another that it was clear the night wasn’t totally routine. The only thing I took special notice of, however, was that dinner had been very light and consisted of salads and crackers only. I was then perplexed when his family – mom, dad, and brother – excused themselves from the table and my boyfriend’s dad proceeded to pat his shoulder on the way out and smile rather warmly. At this point, it was just my boyfriend and me.
About ten minutes later, his family emerges, proudly wearing lobster costumes. This wasn’t what ultimately confused me the most because in the container his mom was carrying, were five live, gigantic lobsters. I looked to my boyfriend for some kind of explanation. He grins at me, takes me by the hand, and leads me to the kitchen, his entire family in tow. So we get to the kitchen and I see five boiling pots on the stove. I’m totally lost at this point. You can probably imagine where this is going…or so you think.
Before my mind has a chance to even try and process what’s unfolding before me, my boyfriend quickly takes the container of lobsters off his mom and within moments is placing each lobster in a boiling pot. I’m standing there mouth agape as my boyfriend hands me the remaining lobster and nods towards the last pot. At this point I begin to hear a rhythmic clicking just behind me, followed by two voices singing in unison. It went something like:
‘Hello lobsters, my tasty friends,
I’m glad I got to see you again
Thanks for joining me for supper
As I cover you in butter
We may part ways now
But this isn’t the end…’
His brother then shouts loudly, ‘YUMYUMYUMYUMYUM!’ At that point, I pretty much bolted from the kitchen and took the lobster home with me (alive).
My relationship subsequently went like this: There was no marriage proposal and one was not on the cards either. The whole point of this bizarre romanticised night had been to include me in their weird ritual of Friday night lobster sacrifice. I noped the heck out of that relationship and his crazy family real quick!”
His Obsessive Father Influenced The Break Up…
“Meeting his family was one of the last straws, and certainly brought up huge red flags.
His father was incredibly abusive to him growing up. My boyfriend was an only child that his father never wanted. His dad was obsessive and needy towards his mother, and basically wanted all her attention at all times, and was jealous of the child they had together. I could see some of these obsessive and needy tendencies in my boyfriend, and I knew he didn’t want kids and I did. If we had kids, I was afraid he would react how his father had. Maybe not in an abusive way, but I was still worried.
We ended up breaking up for other reasons, but this definitely influenced it.”
Giving In To His Mother’s Manipulation
“His mom was incredibly overbearing and controlled what he could/couldn’t do by constant guilt tripping and made up stories.
She would drape herself on him for ‘snuggles’ to the point where it was awkward (I have children of my own and I don’t clasp them to my chest and sigh about how wonderful they are when their friends are over) and she would make sly digs at me all the time; what I was wearing, how I looked, why we were going out, how much money was being spent on me (we always split everything 50/50 at my insistence by the way) and just generally made me feel bad about myself.
He just took it.
When I brought it up, he was just super passive and was like ‘she’s my mom, she’s just over protective’…he had a sister actually, who had left home but was clearly the favorite. Whenever she came home, he was forgotten and shrugged off to the point where it was actually mean. Again, I brought it up to him and he was all ‘she’s just excited to see her daughter.’
His dad was a very passive (albeit kind) man himself, who just seemed to roll with whatever his wife wanted and I guess my boyfriend learned that from him.
She was heading for the classic ‘mother-in-law nightmare territory’. There was NO talking my boyfriend round, he batted my concerns and feelings on the matter away like they were nothing.
I realized that would be our marriage, and I knew I couldn’t live that way. It obviously wasn’t the only reason I split from him, but it was a key issue.
I have no regrets. When we split, he VERY quickly started dating and then married a local girl. They were divorced within 2 years, and from what I could gather from mutual friends; his mother was pivotal in the failure.”
The Obnoxious Family With All Of The Red Flags!
“I honestly didn’t notice until I broke up with him, but several family members shot up red flags:
1. An overly attached sister, she always wanted to be around. Even in some of our dates.
2. An ‘I can do it better than you’ cousin who always wanted to have the upper hand but always had my boyfriend make loans for him.
3. But what really did it was one time we were at one of his niece’s birthday party. All of them basically circled around us and asked us when we’d marry.
After this, he’d always bring the marriage issue up.
That’s when it clicked I did not want to marry the guy.
He was literally being controlled by his family.”
The 40 Year Old Who Is Treated Like A Child…
“I dated a 40-year-old man who lived with his mom because his father had ‘just passed recently’ (more like 5 years ago) and he didn’t want his mom to be lonely, although his sister and her family were neighbors…
At first, I thought it was really cool they all were so close until I realized how much of my own personal information he shared with EVERYONE (including our intimate life).
One day we were at his sister’s and we had planned for a night for just us. I wanted to be alone with him, for obvious reasons, but he was lingering, so I whispered to him ‘let’s go.’ Well, he decides to announce it to his entire family that we were going to go to his house to sleep together because I can’t wait for it any longer. Then he wondered why I was no longer in the mood.
After a few months, I realized how much deeper their weird relationship was. He was 40, but the baby out of his siblings. They all treated him as such. Treated him as the baby of the family instead of like a 40-year-old man and he loved every minute of it. Like all of the attention was on him. It reminded me of the scene from the nutty professor when they’re all sitting at the table cheering ‘HERCULES HERCULES HERCULES!’ that was every. single. dinner.
If he got a cold, he would tell every single person and they would ‘oooh…’ and ‘aww…’ over him like he was a precious gem. It all mostly annoyed me because I saw the people who were being left out, like his niece that no one seemed to care for and had obvious signs of depression, and he expected me to treat him the same way. Everything he did, needed cheering and high fives and good jobs. I literally mean everything. He was a child in an adult’s body and it was because his family treated him as such. I ran. I ran fast.”