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issues with partner's family and friends(21 Posts)
My girlfriend and I are our late 40's and have been together for just over 6 months. We get on very well about most things aside from around her family and friends.
In the past she has spent a lot of time with family and friends. She hasn't had many long term relationships and from what I can tell her "relationship" has been with her family and friends.
I don't have a problem with her family and friends as people but I do with the amount of time she, or we, spend with them - having looked back at the last 7 months and forward for the next 5 months nearly 70% of the time at weekends is/ or will be when she is either with her family/friends or expects me to go along to family birthdays and meals with friends etc - and she has a habit of committing to these without asking me first so is behaving as though she is still single and pleases herself what she does.
There is some natural discrepancy between our families as I only have one parent who I see with any regularity and I've moved around a lot so haven't got many friends - that said I'm happy with my lot.
So the question is whether I'm being reasonable expecting more "relationship" time where its is the 2 of us and if so what is the best way to explain this to her.
Thanks in anticipation.
Ooh I think relationships involve family and friends and come as a package. Whilst I think she should consult if you don't want to share time with family and friends in the same way I think there might be a fundamental problem
It seems very frequent at that level. For her to think it just carries on and you should just accept it is naive on her part.
Tell her to go to the ones you don't wish to attend on her own and do your own thing. You don't have to go. And she doesn't have to take you.
Or do you not want to go, but also not want her to go?
Would you her spend her time with you?
Thanks for your replies.
To the points raised its not that I don't want to spend time with her friends and family its that its the dominant part of our time and there is not much time left for "couple time" where its the 2 of us doing things together. It feels like its family and friends first and then me/us.
Its compounded by the fact that everything is governed by the family - this is what happens at Xmas, Easter etc this is what we do for holidays etc - so there seems to be no opportunity for us to develop our own way of doing things as a couple.
I am late 40s and my OH spends every other weekend at the football. Has done for the 11 years we have been together.
To me, your post reads that you might be trying to isolate her from friends and family, which is a red flag for you controlling her. Step 1, being unhappy with the amount of time she is spending with them. Step 2, start the process of getting excuses so that you can use them against her. What is your step 3?
If you are unhappy, then leave the relationship, dont try to enforce changes on her.
She's still behaving as though she's single & being oblivious to your feelings here. Whilst family/friends are important, I think you need to speak to her about this & how it's making you feel. Dont try & change her though, if she's reluctant to do that herself, then walk. You sound like a good bloke & don't deserve to be an afterthought to all that
I think you need to move on from this. It's not on to try to change her, but as it doesn't suit you, you need to find someone else.
Doreen I think it's a bit extreme to jump to the conclusion that he might be trying to isolate her from friends and family and therefore being controlling! They've been together 6 months - at this stage, most relationships (depending on any children the couple may have with previous partners, if any) are still in the stage of spending an awful lot of time together as a couple. I don't think he is being at all unreasonable, if what he says is true, that everything in the relationship is being governed by what the family want first and that they spend little time together as a couple. She is not being unreasonable if she prefers that scenario but she is being unreasonable if she is just making all these arrangements without taking his feelings into account - THAT is controlling!
OP, it doesn't suit you. It wouldn't suit me. It would suit some people.
I agree with expat. I'd let this one go.
I'm with Doreen
Are you looking for permission to control your partner? She gets on well with her family. You don't have many friends. Don't get jealous
Marchate can you please explain to me why it is considered controlling for the OP to want to spend more time just as a couple but that his girlfriend is not considering controlling for this:
"nearly 70% of the time at weekends is/ or will be when she is either with her family/friends or expects me to go along to family birthdays and meals with friends etc - and she has *a habit of committing to these without asking me first*"
Sorry, but if this was a female OP with a male boyfriend, they would be calling the above behaviour controlling, not the desire to spend more time just on their own. FFS he is not saying she/they shouldn't see her friends and family, just that there was a bit more balance
I wouldn't dream of saying no to a family birthday lunch because my boyfriend wanted more "couple" time. It would raise a red flag with me if he expected me to.
Here we go. MN, often marvellous, can be so disappointing sometimes.
Of course you're not being unreasonable OR controlling! It is odd she wants to spend 70% of your time together with her family and friends. You appears to be expected to fall in with her life like a lapdog or teddy; your feelings or preferences not considered.
That said, when I met my husband it took me a while to get into the groove of being a couple - but it didn't take me 6 months.
Are you specifically asking her out on dates? Eg cinema /theatre /event? Walk/dinner? That clearly delineates it's you /couple time. Start with that and see how it goes. If she still prefers to spend time with her family /friends she's not that into you.
Firstly thanks for all of your comments - I really appreciate them.
Just to add a few things...
Neither of us have kids - in my mind that means that we can both put one another/our relationship first.
We both have pretty demanding jobs.
We never really had a "honeymoon period" where we were together 24x7 - in the first 3 months of meeting there were just 6 spare/unbooked weekend days as she had other commitments. This didn't bother me too much as I thought things would change going forward as she'd made these plans before she met me.
But the issue I have now is that it hasn't really changed - in the first 2 months of this year there will have been just one weekend that is completely free for us - the rest of the time she has been away or there has been commitments with family/friends.
At the moment I feel as though I have to book time with my girlfriend - I see a free weekend as an opportunity for us to spend free time together and spontaneously deciding what to do - she sees it as a blank slot in her diary to make arrangements and sometimes not even tell me.
I wouldn't be comfortable with this situation either but it doesn't sound like she's open to compromise, which simply makes her the wrong person for you.
It is isn't about wrong or right, it's about compatibility.
Hmm. It's natural that after many years of being single she has close bonds with family and friends, and it's to her credit that she hasn't dropped them now she's together with you.
But, she should definitely ask you first before signing you up to social occasions!
If your relationship is otherwise strong this is probably something you can get through with talking and compromise. I'd avoid any drastic steps at this point.
i see a free weekend as an opportunity for us to spend free time together and spontaneously deciding what to do
I think you're going to have to court her to get her attention. Ie, as previously mentioned, ask her out on specific dates ; not mooch around hoping to be loved up.
She doesn't know how you feel if you don't tell her. Just simply say you like her family and friends but really miss just being able to spend more 'couple' time together. She's probably not even conscious of it or think you enjoy it so that's fine. If spontaneous plans don't work, then make plans.
Don't look like you are complaining about it though otherwise she may start to resent you. You have to accept that her family and friends are an important part of her life. I'm a bit the same and like to be able to be free to do my own things and wouldn't want somebody to try and change that but I would take their feelings into account. Also if you don't want to go to some occasions then don't go but do not stop her from going.
she sees it as a blank slot in her diary to make arrangements and sometimes not even tell me.
I don't think that's on. She does sound as though she still thinks she's single.
No real advice from me, I'm afraid; I wouldn't know how to raise this. But I think you're being perfectly reasonable not to like it much.
And it's rather over the top to say that the OP is trying to control his girlfriend or that what he's saying raises 'red flags'.
'Neither of us have kids - in my mind that means that we can both put one another/our relationship first.'
It's only been 6 months and she's been single for 40 years. She's just not that into you.
You might just want different things. Maybe you'd both be happier with people with more similar mindsets.
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