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Nightmare evening meeting the family(98 Posts)
Wise ladies of mumsnet, I need your opinions please, apologies if this is long. Boyfriend and I went for dinner last night with his two brothers and their respective partners (girlfriend and sister in law). I have met brother 1 and girlfriend before and got on great with them, but not brother 2 and sister in law. Him and I have been together for almost six months now. Dinner was hosted at their house, really informal affair.
I didn't really say very much, being in a new environment etc, but towards the end of the evening I get a text from boyfriend (who was sitting right next to me) saying that I was being too negative and that I had to be more positive. I'd just told an anecdote directly related to the conversation about someone that I worked with, and ended up, sort of by accident, talking about some of his more negative characteristics (to give the anecdote more context), but had trailed off a bit awkwardly. I was immediately pretty shocked and embarrassed that a) he thought this, and that b) he would do that whilst I was still sitting around the dinner table in a bloody unfamiliar social situation, thus making me feel incredibly uncomfortable and embarrassed.
Afterwards, when I got home I texted him telling him how upsetting and quite frankly rude I'd found him doing that, at which point he told me that I'd been nothing but negative all night, and that I was 'affecting' everyone at the dinner table, because I had
a) Agreed with brother 1 and girlfriend that working in the service industry was difficult (I used to do the same job as them, and they directly asked me for my opinion). Apparently this meant I was 'going on about how soul destroying their jobs are and bringing them down' when actually I specifically said several positive things to counterbalance the negative stuff I said! His sister in law, who had never done the job, had also joined in and said some negative stuff about it.
b) Agreed with him when he was telling a story about a daft housemate about how silly said housemate was
c) Told this anecdote about workmate, which ended up with me saying he was basically a rubbish person who boasted about doing horrible things like weeing on people in nightclubs. I was just trying to give the story a little more context, but probably failed and went a bit past the mark, I admit. His brother then made a sarcastic comment at my expense. Maybe I was a little negative there, but pretty much everyone around the table had moaned or been negative about someone by that point in the evening, including his brother and sister having a rant about how much they hated their lodger whom none of us had ever met.
d) Made a comment to his sister in law, a vet, about the fact that she probably had to euthanize a lot of animals over the years she'd worked as a vet! This was after his brothers girlfriend had directly pressed her to tell everyone about the most distressing euthanisation she'd had to do, and so I was hardly digging in the knife anymore than anyone else at the table was!
He basically told me that he'd 'had' to 'intervene' and text me because I was being such a Debbie downer and that I'd missed several social queues which should have told me what a misery I was, and how shocked they all were by what I was saying, and that if he hadn't inervened things would have 'only gotten worse' (!) Now, if I was making bloody racist and off colour jokes, or arguing with people, or getting embarrassingly drunk I could understand, but all I (thought) I'd done was contribute to a few conversations, when apparently I was actually this black hole of misery and poor form all night. Consequently, I now feel like absolute shit. Was I out of order? Or was boyfriend just being an arse? There are other issues re. his family and how he makes me feel at the moment that are also getting to me, and at several points on the way to this dinner he had already made me feel pretty shit, and I don't really know what to do about it all.
Think you have had a lucky escape, see the writing on the wall & get out while you can from this weird family !
He TEXTED you at the dinner table?
I'd run from someone who wanted to control my conversational input, I'd run even faster from someone who would text at dinner.
So, difficult to face, but the reality is that you can choose to be with someone who tries to control what you say and nitpick constantly or leave. I know what I would do. There is more to life than feeling like you are treading on eggshells constantly.
That sounds really unfair. Even if you had had a few drinks and needed to be told to rein it in a bit, that was rude to text you at the table and then dissect it all after the event.
Next time you go out with them you will feel under such pressure you won't want to say anything.
For me there wouldn't be a next time. It doesn't sound like he likes you and he is certainly trying to control you. Tell him where to go.
If you stay with this man, I guarantee this won't be the last time he tries to control what you say, when you say it, and who you say it to.
He is telling you who he is, loud and clear, and if you don't listen he will take it as tacit approval and assume you are happy to do as he says.
Run. Fast, and don't look back.
I'd be very wary of anybody who felt free to "correct" my behaviour..and to do it by text ! So it's hidden criticism.
Dont you normally not trust your perception of whats acceptable and you seem to have been able to perfectly justify yourself
Are you happy to be with someone who is comfortable asking you to change your behaviour on demand?
Are you running yet?
Bloody hell - if he's giving you shit like this after only 6 months in, run for the hills now.
He sounds horribly insecure. You missed social cues? WTAF.
I'd have to dump him. This was the very time that he should have been going out of his way to make you feel more comfortable and instead he texts you at the table to criticise you and then provides a detailed account of your conversational failings?
He's a dick. I'm on your behalf.
I do think telling stories about someone who wees on people in a nightclub at the dinner table is pretty ghastly, actually.
But having said that, I agree with Keith that he sounds like a controlling arse, and I would call it a day. If he doesn't like the person that you are, then find someone who does.
At several points on the way to this dinner he had already made me feel pretty shit. This is all you need to know.
He is telling you something very important; listen very carefully. He is telling you how it will be in the future if you stay. He will belittle you and put you down. He will monitor your conversational input - don't you dare show him up. Your views do not matter.
Run. Run fast. Run like the wind.
And fwiw, they all sound pretty dull.
How awful. Controlling behaviour, and you say he's done other things that have upset you. Run for the hills!
It also suggests he feels he and his family are somehow superior to you and is more concerned with their opinion of you than yours of them.
My ex used to do this. Analyse everything little comment and twist it to find a negative.
Run...... Run now, it got to a point where I was scared to say anything to anyone.... but then of course I was a standoffish, snobbish, misery. It is abusive and it will get worse.
I started apologising to people who he said I had upset. When they were completely flummoxed and didn't know what I was talking about and asked him about it he started using his fists.... I'd embarrassed him see it was still all my fault. Fucking twat.
Throw away your phones and have real conversations!!
You could send him a social clue by dumping his controlling arse before he does any more damage to your self esteem.
Yeah, in my defence re the weeing on people story, I was basically adding it as a coda to try and clarify what a careless person the guy I was telling the story about was. To be honest in my family we are maybe a little bit bluer the stories we tell etc than his family perhaps are. I can understand that maybe it wasn't the best thing to say but I was quite nervous and was struggling a bit to find a way to close off the story.
Afterwards he seemed to realise he'd upset me, suddenly got very huggy and affectionate and sent me an overcompensatory text on the way home before I told him I was upset. At the end of the text conversation he insisted that everyone really liked me (after everything he'd said about how awful I was being? ) and said that partners and friends should tell each other if they think that people are being rude etc.
Background on his family, they are very religious (he and I are not) and as such he hasn't told his parents that I exist yet....because...reasons? As such I was really embarrassed and put on the spot when his brothers lovely and well meaning girlfriend insisted that we go around to his parents for sunday lunch tomorrow and he basically fobbed her off (and sort of weaselled out of another activity me and him were potentially going to be doing with brother and girlfriend tomorrow, as it would have lead to more awkwardness about how he is essentially hiding my existence from his parents)
Jesus he sounds AWFUL. Really don't go out with him, he is being horrible to you. His attitude to you should be more of a 'this is my love NEW girlfriend who I am delighted to show off to my family'. He, for whatever reason, doesn't feel like this about you, and he really should.
Honestly, end it with him and move on - find someone who makes you happy, who wants to make you smile, who sees you as an asset to a conversation and to their life.
He sounds horribly insecure - you really don't need that in your life.
It shouldn't be this much hard work after only 6 months. Run!
hiding my existence from his parents
Oh god - really another awful sign. WHY? Why would he do that? Really, text him gently breaking it off and explain why. If he comes to his senses after a month or two and realise what an absolute arse he has ben then great. But don't sell yourself short!
You really think you need to be lectured on social cues by a man who texts at the dinner table?
He's a rude, controlling and he will ALWAYS be right. Run for the hills.
God almighty; were you auditioning for a place in his family?? Critiquing your performance by text at the dinner table! Run like fuck.
Lucky escape that he has shown you how controlling, rude and unsupportive he is early on in the relationship. At 6 months into a relationship he should be gazing at you fondly while you speak because he likes you so much and loves to hear you talk. Not sending you controlling negative critical texts during the dinner (was he reared by wolves???)
Say goodbye and thank your lucky stars.
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