• Relationships

Girl Talk: Your Significant Other And Your Family Don’t Get Along

On a last night’s episode of “The Hills,” Spencer was being his usual d-bag self, but I couldn’t believe he was so rude to Heidi’s mother that she later cried on camera. This to me is the most unthinkable sin for a boyfriend or husband to commit. I’ve never understood how a woman can date a man that doesn’t get along with her family, especially if she has a close or at least workable relationship with them.

I have a friend named Linda (name has been changed) whose husband doesn’t get along with her family. They had lukewarm feelings towards him at first, but most of them figured, “Who are we to tell her who to date?” Their initial reactions to him, I think, were based on the fact that Linda was so secretive about who this guy really was. All they knew was that his moniker was “Smokey,” a reference to his occupation and favorite pastime (as they came to find out later).

They also noticed that Linda started distancing herself from the family. At one point, they, including her mother, had no idea where she lived or how to contact her. They just waited until she contacted her mother or her eldest cousin, which happened most often.

Everyone realized Linda was making a huge mistake when she announced she was marrying “Smokey” at City Hall. The family wasn’t invited, but they understood that it would be really awkward for several people to show up in the courtroom. However, they were totally shocked to learn that even Linda’s mother and sister weren’t invited. If I remember correctly, his rationale was that his birth mother couldn’t be there, so she shouldn’t have her mother there either.

Linda and “Smokey” have been married for several years now and his relationship with her family hasn’t improved. And over the years, her relationship with them has deteriorated also. Most of the issues are centered on the fact that he does not work — well, he has worked as a photographer since “quitting” his previous occupation, but he hasn’t worked since he was fired or laid-off from that job, making Linda the sole supporter of herself, him and their two children.

I know you’re thinking, “Well, maybe he’s a stay-at-home-dad.” Wrong. He has very little interaction with his children and thinks the home is Linda’s responsibility. He basically plays his PlayStation and indulges in his favorite pastime all day. And Linda has to pay for daycare for their daughter because she can’t possibly stay home with her father. He does none of the hard work, but still makes the decisions that affect the family.

Linda borrows money from her mother on a regular basis to make ends meet, but “Smokey” is never thankful or at the very least courteous to his mother-in-law. Her mother used to try to engage “Smokey” for the sake of Linda, but now he and the mother don’t speak to each other, even if they’re in the same space.

Thankfully, “Smokey” doesn’t come around Linda’s family anymore. I think he understands that no one likes nor respects him. The sad part of this situation is that Linda’s family has pretty much lost respect for her also. She showed so much promise as a New York University graduate, and no one saw this as her future. I know people can change and must make their own decisions, but Linda’s choices have affected her family on several occasions. They’ve had to bail her out of financial ruin several times. I don’t think her family is expecting an award for helping her because support is the function of a family. But they do however expect a little respect in the process.

I don’t get how some women allow their significant others to disrespect their family or friends. To me, the women are saying, “Thanks family for getting me this far, but you’re no longer needed.” I understand that things can’t be peachy keen between everyone, but liking someone and blatantly disrespecting someone are two totally different things.

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