I have a dilemma I’m hoping you can help me with. My sister and my best friend hate my boyfriend, and obviously this is a big problem. It’s so bad that my sister and my friend don’t even want to come to things where they know I’ll be bringing my boyfriend, and if they do come to events where he is, they barely say anything more than hello. I get that they don’t like him because of the things my boyfriend has done to me in the past, but if I forgave him, why can’t my family? How do I get my family and friends to a place where they will respect my relationship and my man? I can’t wait to hear your thoughts?
-King Tut 93
Dear King Tut 93,
Thanks for writing to me. I’m sorry to hear about the problems you’re having. No one likes to feel as if he’s stuck between his family and friends and his boo. It’s a very uncomfortable position to be in. However, I suspect that you put yourself in this position.
Often times, people in relationships have a bad habit of oversharing with the family and friends in their support system. These coupled-up persons share all of the intimate details of their relationships with their brothers, sisters, best friends, and mothers. They share how good or bad the sex is, what places they’ve been to and what they’ve done as a couple, and what the partner does to piss them off. It’s this last intimate detail that people share that lands them in your position.
See, when you share every bad thing your boyfriend has done with your family and friends, you create this image for your loved ones. You start drawing a picture for people like your sister and best friend, that your boyfriend is the Big Bad Wolf. That your partner is the lame person Destiny’s Child sang about, that film writers base villainous characters on, and that our parents warn us to stay away from. And who wants a close relative or friend to be tied down to a terrible guy in a crappy relationship? Absolutely no one that’s who.
Suggestions going forward.
- Stop telling your family and friends all your relationship business. Stop using them as a sounding board every time you have a disagreement with your boyfriend. Especially, if you have no intentions on breaking up with your partner. You’re putting your sister and best friend in a position not to like your boo, and putting yourself in the middle between the two sides.
- In order to fix this problem, I recommend that you sit everyone down in a room, and have your boyfriend attempt to butter up your sister and BFF. It would help if your boyfriend would be willing to cook them dinner, or take them out and pick up the tab, or even bring them gifts as a warm gesture and peace offering. Better yet, if he offered them an apology for what he did to you in the past that would go a long way with your support system. However, expect resistance from your boyfriend wanting to apologize to them. Honestly he doesn’t owe them one, but since you’ve brought them into your relationship, the apology may ease tensions. When you ask him make an apology, make it worth his while. (Wink! Wink!)
- If your boyfriend has a history of verbal or physical abuse with you, then your sister and BFF are justified not liking him. And I’ll encourage you to leave the relationship.
As always nothing but love,