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TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
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Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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My bf & i have been living together for 1 yr now. His family

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My bf & i have been living together for 1 yr now. His family keeps inviting his ex-gf to events that we are to attend together. My bf says I'm jealous. I'm not - I think it's rude and disrespectful to him and me. When we first starting living together, some of the family members said that I had big shoes to fill to compare to his ex gf. His mom in particular keeps inviting his ex gf to family functions and is not happy when he refuses to go. He won't stand up to his mom and tell her how he feels about it, stating that she is just lonely and at least the ex gf is there for her. He accuses me of being jealous - There may be a small part of me that is - but mostly, I'm mad that he chooses his mom and obviously his ex gf over me. His mom has told him that she plans on staying friends with his ex no matter what and that he can just like it or lump it. I have asked him many times to stand up for me against his mom and family and he says he doesn't need to - that his actions should be enough. But, his mom keeps doing it. I keep getting mad and them we fight over it. He chooses his mom's side vs standing up for me. I feel that if something isn't done soon, that I will just stop dealing with his family all togehter. But, then there is a drift in our relationship. what to do?

Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

You are caught in a very difficult situation. And it sounds like you have done all you can to deal with it. You are the one in the situation who is looking at this in a healthy way. But everyone around you is acting in a dysfunctional way.

Your boyfriend should be backing you and your feelings about his ex girlfriend. He needs to tell his mother that if she chooses his ex girlfriend over him, then he has to make the choice not to attend family events. Those are the natural consequences to her choice. But as it is now, he is not standing up to his mother and that is causing the conflict between the two of you and with his mother. But until he takes a stand, this conflict will remain.

You are not being jealous. No one should be told that they have "big shoes to fill" when they are in a relationship. The choice to include the ex girlfriend in everything is hurtful and inconsiderate. And you have the right to ask that she not be included.

At this point, you have tried everything possible and that would be recommended to deal with the situation. But because your boyfriend refuses to put you first no matter what, he leaves you with the choice of whether or not you want your needs ignored in this relationship. Sometimes there is little you can do to change another person so you need to start considering what you are willing to put up with in order to be in the relationship. If you want, it may help to talk to a therapist to help you decide. You deserve the support at this point. You may also want to talk to your boyfriend again and let him know he leaves you little choice but to decide if you even want to be in the relationship. Some time away may also help. Take a break from seeing him and be on your own for a while so you can think through this and decide where to go from here.

I hope this has helped you,
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.



What about his kids? They had disrespected me and he won't force them to apologize. Saying that he values the relationship he has with them and that it is strained all ready - it would add more. Yes, he has told them to but nothing...


Regarding his mom, he says that i am being a child. That I cannot assume how he feels and that I have no right to tell him how he should feel. That is correct. But, I tell him by not choosing to do anything that he is actually choosing a side. She says no. That by avoiding the problem, and by just not attending the family functions that should be voice enough. I would agree if it hasn't been going on for a year..


Yes, I avoid problems - but when they become a repeated problem, then I have taken action. He has not.


He claims that I am acting like a high school child and that I am playing head games with him. That he isn't going to play that game with me. He says it all comes down to me being jealous - I am not jealous - well, maybe just a little - but I am furious that he has not stood up for me...


What can I do?

You cannot make him respect you. That is the unfortunate part. You are doing all you can to make that happen, but from his behavior with his children and his ex girlfriend/mother situation, he is not listening. The only thing you can do is to decide to stay and just put up with him or leave. That is not ideal, but until he is willing to listen, he is not going to change. And right now, he is putting his own feelings in front of your feelings. You can suggest counseling and maybe the therapist will be able to help you convince him, but other than that, he is not willing to put you first like he should.