“You Didn’t Ruin The Vacation. Her Homophobia Did”: Couple Leaves Family Vacation Because Of MIL

Being with someone you love often entails spending time with their kin as well. And while for some people it means quality family time, it might feel like torture to others.

Redditor u/throwaway5289392 asked the AITA community if he was a jerk for leaving a family vacation, as he wasn’t willing to deal with his mother-in-law. He decided to leave after she repeatedly made comments about him and arranged separate beds for him and his partner—her son—to sleep in. Scroll down for the full story.

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Being in a couple often entails spending time with your significant other’s family

Image credits: Stanley Dai (not the actual photo)

This redditor didn’t want to spend the vacation with his partner’s family because of his mother-in-law

Image credits: Teona Swift (not the actual photo)

Image source: throwaway5289392

The OP shared some more details based on the questions he received

Fights between one’s partner and family are arguably the worst for the individual in the middle

Image creidts: cottonbro studio (not the actual photo)

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Meeting the family is quite a significant step in a couple’s relationship, as it means the partners are ready to merge their worlds even more than they have before. In an article for Psychology Today, social psychologist and professor of psychology at Loyola University Maryland, Theresa E. DiDonato, Ph.D., emphasized that people introduce their partners to their parents when they want to show their significant other that they are serious about the relationship.

Dr. DiDonato also pointed out that, “when partners choose each other, romantic relationships exist within an elaborate social system, and different forces within this system can help (or hurt!) relationship success.” In most cases, families are part of one’s social system, consequently influencing their romantic relationships.

Some people are on great terms with their partner’s family; in life’s lottery, they seem to have won the grand prize. However, quite a few people are far less lucky and dread any occasion where they might face the in-laws, that long-lost cousin, or the aunt that just won’t stop asking personal questions. Such situations are not easy to juggle for any of the involved parties, especially the person who’s stuck between their family and their partner.

In a piece for The Independent, Head of Clinical Practice at ‘Relate’, relationship counselor and sex therapist Ammanda Major pointed out that it’s not fair to make the person in the middle choose. “Not only could it result in unhappiness for them but it could mean they end up resenting you,” she pointed out. “If you really can’t get on with their family and are no longer on speaking terms, allow your partner to continue their relationship with them on their own.”

Some people choose not to introduce their partner to their family, or to anyone else, for that matter

Image credits: Renate Vanaga (not the actual photo)

There are also times when one of the partners decides not to merge the two worlds. They keep their significant other to themselves and refrain from introducing them to their social circles, whether it’s friends, family, or even people they hardly know. Such secrecy when it comes to romantic partners is known as ‘pocketing’.

According to psychologist and life coach Ana Jovanovic, it’s a situation “where a person you’re dating avoids or hesitates to introduce you to their friends, family or other people they know, in person or on social media, even though you’ve been going out for a while.” She summarized that in cases of pocketing, the relationship seems non-existent to the public eye.

There is no one reason people decide to keep their significant other away from those around them. However, sometimes it can be related to difficult relationships in the family. The OP didn’t describe the family dynamics among his partner’s kin, but he mentioned his mother-in-law making borderline homophobic comments before. Research shows that LGBTQ adults sometimes have to use “conflict work” to maintain intergenerational bonds, which might be something they don’t want to involve their partner in.

The vacation seemingly wasn’t the OP’s first time meeting the family; it didn’t end up being a lengthy one either. The couple decided to leave the house and spend their vacation elsewhere, which resulted in the rest of the family calling them jerks for doing so. However, the online community was split into two camps over the situation.

Quite a few redditors didn’t think the OP and his partner were in the wrong here

Some netizens believed the couple overreacted

The post “You Didn’t Ruin The Vacation. Her Homophobia Did”: Couple Leaves Family Vacation Because Of MIL first appeared on Bored Panda.
Source: boredpanda.com

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