My boyfriend puts his family before me: 7 reasons why

“My Husband Prioritizes His Family Over His Wife” | Paul Friedman

6) Does he feel pressure or is he uncertain about you?

Remember that romantic relationships can often feel tumultuous and uncertain. Perhaps when he met you, he gave you more attention and now this feels lacking? Your boyfriend might change his behavior and focus on others for all sorts of reasons:

  • He might not feel that has to impress you the same way as when you met
  • He might not feel comfortable including you in his family life quite yet.
  • He may not be sure about his feelings or future with you and be pulling away to take some space.
  • As messy as our relationships and life can be, our families are our first stepping stones. They might be a comfort that he can return to for a sense of security, stability, and familiarity.

    Let him deal with his family matters. Try to give him some time and space to naturally open up about what is going on. If something directly impacts you and your relationship, then openly discuss that matter. Focus on your relationship with him.

    For whatever reason, when our partner feels distant, it’s easy for us to feel hurt or rejected. Try to look a little deeper into your own feelings.

    Are there deeper issues of dishonesty or distrust between you both? Is there something else going on that upsets you?

  • Is he using time with his family as a way to avoid you?
  • Have you caught him in a lie?
  • Do you trust he is doing what he says he is doing?
  • Maybe your issue isn’t his family, maybe there are underlying problems that stem from distrust, or worse, behaviors, and actions that he’s hiding from you.

    First and foremost, identify what you are experiencing and what bothers you:

  • You have a hard time relating with his family
  • There are language or cultural barriers
  • His family comes over unexpectedly
  • His family demands his time and attention immediately
  • You aren’t invited to functions that you would like to attend
  • He places family time in front of your planned time together
  • He talks to his family on the phone when you are on a date
  • You feel he doesn’t make enough time for you
  • From there, you can begin to process what’s truly bothering you about this situation, and this will put you in a better position to resolve these issues.

    Ask your boyfriend about it. Ask him how he sees the situation and what he’s been feeling. Let him know that you are not trying to judge him. Remind him that you don’t hold negative feelings toward him or his family.

    Show him that you understand that he has love for you and his family as well. Check-in with him.

    my boyfriend puts his family before me

    Personally, I’m from a very large family. We are all extremely independent and we all live in different parts of the world.

    So, I remember being quite shocked when I met my Italian boyfriend’s family because I couldn’t relate to how much time they spent together. Every weekend he drove three hours to his grandmother’s home, where his mother and grandmother prepared his laundry, doted on him, and cooked his favorite meals.

    Since my Italian was incomprehensible I went in with curiosity; I watched how they spent time together, enjoyed my tiramisu, and reserved my judgment.

    In time, I saw the tiny, spartan room that my boyfriend rented in the city, and shared with eight other university students. The flat had no washing machine and was without a kitchen.

    It took months for him to tell me his parents were divorced and his grandfather passed away when he was young. In their absence, his grandmother raised him while his mother worked full-time. He was frugal and saved his money to help pay for his family’s needs, his own schooling, and to invest in his growing entrepreneurial start-up on the side.

    I started to understand the strong love and care he held for his family. I respected him more for that. The weekends were the only time they had together and they made a point to be there for each other, no matter what.

    So I came to understand that a Tuesday night date night with him was more plausible than a Saturday; I looked forward to weekdays instead of questioning his absence on the weekend.

    When you do open a conversation with him, keep it light. Expressing how you feel doesn’t have to feel too serious. Just keep it honest and clear. Have you tried using the four pillars of nonviolent communication? The process goes like this:

  • Ask him if it’s a good time to talk. Have him agree first before you launch deep into your thoughts.
  • Start positive. Say something supportive about him.
  • Describe what upset you. State what he said or did and how you felt about it. Try to avoid using “you” statements. Keep it to one recent situation.
  • Finish with a clear suggestion for what you would prefer going forward.
  • Then, wait. Listen. Give him a chance to respond. This might not happen immediately, but you are opening a door for more clear communication.

    5) Don’t forget that you are on the same side

    When you discuss how you feel, remember that you are not against each other! Are you trying to win an argument or improve your relationship?

    Try to avoid ultimatums or putting your partner in a position where he has to decide between spending time with either you or his family. It doesn’t have to be like this. It’s not a competition. He can have great relationships with all of you!

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