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I’ve been dating a woman whom I love very much, and we have lately been talking about marriage and our future together. I’m excited about our future, but I’m having trouble dealing with her mother and her opinions on our “lifestyle.” Her mother is a very important person in her life, but her mother does not support her being a lesbian, and has said on many phone calls that “regardless of who you’re dating, I will never like them.” She calls me my partner’s “friend” and regularly asks her daughter when she will be having “real” kids (i.e., biological kids with a man, no outside science necessary). My partner has told me to ignore her, but I find it hard to when I know how much my partner’s mother means to her and she says things that hurt us both. So far her comments have been easier to deal with, but I’m worried what will happen when we move in together, get married, have children. What can I do in my position without over-stepping into their relationship? I want the best for my partner, so I want her mom to be a positive part of her life. Do you have any advice on how to handle this? – Lucy, 23
Auntie: See, reasons I love being an Aunt is that I can say all the things that my siblings who are parents feel is right. Your partners mother said it right there, regardless of who she is dating she won’t like them – so you truly don’t have to try to get her to like you, but she can respect you. Your partner has probably developed a thick skin to this for most of her life, almost a survival mode, which is why she is not as stressed about it. I would try to find ways to typically engage with her, if you are interested. Find commonalities, show her you are a person (with feelings) and that you are doing the best for her daughter. If she doesn’t come around to that, you show her the respect, but know that she is trying to drive you outside of your window of tolerance. Figure out coping skills to keep yourself calm, cool and collected. You can’t get your partner to turn away from her mama, but she also needs to recognize that your feelings around this are valid and to work on your communication around the subject of her mom.
HER Community, what is your advice for Lucy? Sound off in the comments