Dear Coleen: My boyfriend’s rude, selfish family are trying to sideline me

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For example, when I met his brother and his wife for the first time, they didn’t bother to talk to me and asked instead about my boyfriend’s ex

Dear Coleen: My boyfriend's rude, selfish family are trying to sideline me

Dear Coleen

I’m having trouble with my boyfriend’s family. I was so excited to get to know them, as well as being open to getting to know his children. However, his mother and sister constantly talk about his ex when I’m around, including going into detail about the births of his kids, which I found really odd.

The thing is, I also have an ex and we have a son together, but my family would never of treating my boyfriend the way his family have treated me. When I mentioned it to him, he just said his mother “really loves babies”, which is such a cop out.

There have been other conversations about his ex, too. For example, when I met his brother and his wife for the first time, they didn’t bother to talk to me and asked instead about my boyfriend’s ex.

Last summer, I planned a and birthday party for my boyfriend’s daughter, but his mother organised something too, and he expected me to cancel my plans.

It seems obvious to me that his mother doesn’t want me to get close to my boyfriend’s kids and neither does his sister. I could go on but I feel like leaving him just to get away from his inconsiderate, selfish family.

Coleen says

I guess it comes down to how much you love your boyfriend and if you see a future with him. His family may never change or it might take them a time to do so once they finally realise you’re not going anywhere.

I know it can be stressful if you don’t get along with the in-laws, but keep in mind that it’s him you love, he’s the one you’ll be spending your days with and you don’t really need to be with his family that much of the time.

I think he needs to up for you, too, and be a bit stronger with his mum and sister. Does he really want them having this much influence over his life?

Try not to battle with his family, though. I know it’s frustrating but, if you do, you’ll only give them ammunition to say more negative things about you.

Often, the best form of attack is actually to be incredibly reasonable and kind because it immediately takes the heat out of the situation. How can they come back at you if you’re being perfectly reasonable? And that’s not a weakness – it takes a lot of strength and maturity to behave like that. You can leave his mum’s house smiling and scream when you’re in the car!

If you behave like this, the majority of will wake up and think, “Actually, it’s me who’s being an idiot.”

More of our agony aunt Coleen Nolan’s advice on your sex, family, and problems

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