Gordon F. from Wisconsin says,
Hello LoveLearnings, I’m having a huge issue with my girlfriend and my parents. She hates my parents and as a result, I really don’t think my parents like her either. Help! This is really making things awkward for myself as I care immensely about both my girlfriend and my family. Is there any way I can resolve this issue without making things worse?
Thanks for your great question.
I get questions regarding this a lot, Gordon, and it can be an extremely frustrating and stressful matter. Both sides want you to side with them and it can be one of those ongoing issues that may or may not ever go away.
However, there are things you can do to help minimize the drama.
Find Out What The Problem Is
I’m sure you’ve already done this before, but finding out exactly why she doesn’t like your parents (and visa versa) can really help you alleviate the problem. Be sure that when you bring up the issue, don’t make it into a fight.
Your girlfriend is going to get negative once you bring up the issue of your parents, so make sure it does not go down this road. Keep calm. Tell her you understand that she feels that way, but it really bothers you that she and your parents don’t get along.
Sometimes, the problem might be a little more hidden. Sometimes it can even be her fear of commitment that’s causing her to act this way.
Once you find out what the problem is, then do your best to address this issue quietly. That means, don’t go blabbering to your parents saying, “Hey, well, my girlfriend says that she doesn’t like it when you guys swear at the dinner table.” Say something like, “Maybe you guys shouldn’t be swearing so much when we have guests over?”
This way, you’ll solve this problem “quietly.”
Minimize Personal Interaction
Sometimes, people just don’t mix well. If you get the feeling that the problem can’t be fixed, then make sure it doesn’t get any worse. Try and minimize the amount of interaction between your girlfriend and your parents.
If interaction is unavoidable, make sure there are a ton of other people present to diffuse the situation. So if there’s an important dinner that she and your parents absolutely have to go to, then do your best to bring other people along (siblings, very close friends, etc.).
Diffuse The Situation Yourself
Finally, sometimes you just have to take matters into your own hands and try and diffuse the situation yourself. So try and find out if your girlfriend and parents have anything in common. Find out these commonalities so that the next time you all meet for a family dinner, you can bring up these interests. This should surely get the conversation going!
Remember, it’s not the end of the world if your parents and your girlfriend don’t get along. Do your best. If your parents and girlfriend love you, then they’ll try their best to get along as well.