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Couple's first TG together goes so badly they're still dealing with it. UPDATE

Couple's first TG together goes so badly they're still dealing with it. UPDATE


Update: I (28M) went to my GF’s (26F) parents for Thanksgiving and it went horribly.


We’ve been dating for over a year and I’ve met her parents a few times, but just things like dinners. They live four hours from us, and this was going to be the first holiday we spent together (her parents, her younger brother and younger sister).

We drove down Thanksgiving morning and were going to spend the night there then a few days at a resort.

Her parents are blue collar and church going, I teach high school math. A bit of a cultural difference. My GF made me promise not to get into a discussion with her dad on politics or religion. I was fine with that, I’m not going to change his mind.

Her dad never hid the fact that he didn’t respect me. He kept making comments about teachers indoctrinating students, common core, and other nonsense. No reason to get in a fight, I’m sure that’s what he wants.

I mostly ignored him but he never let up, he was a total ass. Everyone was uncomfortable, and her family avoids confrontation with the dad. My Gf and her mom tried to change the subject but they never stood up to him.

I was done with his shit and told my GF she could say something or I would be more than happy to. She begged me not to make a scene. So I didn’t, I went upstairs, packed up, thanked everyone and left.

I told my GF she should stay and get her parents or brother to drive her home (we don’t live together).

I went on to the resort and enjoyed my weekend. My GF has been trying to apologize, but when I asked what she said to her dad when I left and what he said, she still never confronted him. He never took responsibility. Sounds like he continued to insult me after I left. I’ve never seen her so avoidant, she’s only like that around her dad.

Her only solution seems to hope that he’ll eventually lighten up.

TLDR: my gf’s dad hates me and she won’t stand up to him.

Do I tell her to stop being afraid or her dad? Do I confront him and put him on blast? Or is this a learning experience that we’re just not compatible?

Here were the top comments on the first post.


I think it’s ok that you left seeing nobody was standing up for you or stopping thr verbal onslaught. I have a dad like that and those types just don’t stop but it took me to be 35 to go no contact.

It’s difficult with narc parents she may never get proper boundaries. You need to make boundaries for yourself going forward so you don’t have to endure this again.

I am also very confused why she didn’t go to the resort with you as planned the rest of the trip- were you punishing her or ??


She wanted me to stay Thursday night as planned but I wasn’t going to stay under his roof and l wasn’t going to argue with her.

I was pretty mad so I just drove on (the resort was another 2 1/2 hours) and got a room off the interstate for the night.


My (32f) partners (34m) dad was like this. The first time I met his parents was for thanksgiving dinner and he just insulted, diminished, and picked on me the entire night. In the brief moments he wasn’t picking at me, he was insulting his wife or my partner.

I knew my partner wasn’t close to his dad but he had never told me that this was what he was like. My partner never stood up for me the whole night. I felt shell shocked by the time we left.

When we got home we got in a big argument and I set a boundary: I’m largely no contact with my own family because I’m not ok at all with them just berating me and I’m certainly not ok with another person's parent berating me.

My partner ultimately understood, shared that had been his whole life with his dad and that no one stood up to his dad ever, they all just sort of learned to tolerate it. Basically he just froze. But that he could see how unacceptable it was and didn’t want to ever put me in that situation again.

It started him down a whole road of finally dealing with some of that trauma. The issue definitely didn’t resolve overnight, but he owned it that night and committed to a change.

and the next time we saw his dad and he made a snarky comment (making fun of where I went to college), my partner immediately jumped in and corrected him (“yeah thats the top school in gwaronrug’s field, she’s so skilled at her work”) and changed the subject.

For whatever it’s worth, had he just been like “no you’re gonna have to deal with an onslaught of personal attacks whenever we see my family”, it definitely would have been a deal breaker for me.

I don’t think you fight with the dad but have a serious, calm, good faith conversation with your girlfriend about your boundaries and how you expect to be treated and how you want her to be treated and why it’s ok with her that her dad disrespected her partner that way.

I think how that convo goes will tell you where she stands and if you can get past this together or not.


My dad can be difficult. My now cut off in laws were really difficult. Standing up for yourself is not a bad thing, but doing it in “their house” is not a good idea. I think you did the right thing by leaving. I think your gf should’ve stuck up for you.

Asked her dad to stop and when he didn’t, she should’ve left with you. That how my husband and I have dealt with our parents. You do not have to put up with abuses. Assume that that man treats his wife and children just as bad, if not worse in private. You are not compatible with the dad, and if avoiding him is an issue for your gf, then you aren’t compatible with her.

I’m sure your gf has trauma from him. Counseling can help a lot with that. Couples counseling could help too.

All in all- You need to decide what you are willing to put up with and communicate that to your gf. Be clear and concise. Lay out your boundaries. Just because she puts up with the abuse doesn’t mean you have to.


Real talk.. everyone sat there awkwardly. It sounds like they are all afraid to set him straight. The bigger picture you need to think about is the future.

If you stay with your GF, this man will eventually be an "in law". You'll always have this guy hanging around stopping you from enjoying a family event with your gf. He will always be a problem.

Do you see a future with this woman? And if so, are you willing to decline every invitation or just sit there while he keeps disrespecting you? Because your options are heavily limited.

A week later, OP returned with an update on how the relationship's going in the wake of a classicly bad Thanksgiving.

I appreciated all the comments. A significant number of comments said I shouldn’t ask nor expect her to stand up to her dad, so I didn’t. I also don’t want to break up with her, but we’re setting expectations and she can decide if she can live with them.

I wanted to respond to some comments but the post got locked before I had a chance.

I started by apologizing for leaving her and not continuing our vacation as planned. She also apologized for not leaving with me Thursday night. She wasn’t mad I left, she knew I was frustrated with him and the promise I made to her.

However, she was hoping things would be better in the morning. She ended up spending the weekend with her family. She wanted to spend time with her brother, sister, and mom. One promising comment she said is they basically ignored and excluded her dad from everything they did that weekend.

I asked if her dad physically abused her or her mom, she was really taken aback by this. She got a little upset at me and said he would never lay a hand on his family. She asked why I’d even ask, and I said her family was so reluctant to stand up to him even going as far as asking me to promise not to that I thought they might be afraid he’d react physically.

She said that’s just how he is, but he’s gotten worse the last few years. He thinks his family shouldn’t question or criticize him, especially not in his own home

We set clear boundaries, I will never go to his house again if that’s his attitude, unless things change drastically. If they want to visit in the future it will be at my house (or if we get to that point, our house). I won’t ignore or defer, though.

I asked if she would be Ok having little or no contact in the future if his behavior continues. She was very reluctant to promise that and feels he’ll eventually change his attitude. I told her she doesn’t have to ask him to apologize or even pretend to like me, but it’s all in his court and depends completely on how he acts.

She won’t stand up to him, so I’m taking it out of her hands and doing it myself. I don’t care if I ever see them again.

We’re spending Christmas with my family, they absolutely love her and she has a good relationship with my mom. My parents live close and my GF is becoming my mom’s favorite. I think my mom is starting to like her more than me. Our parents haven’t met each other. They wouldn’t put up with his crap.

A lot of people criticize me for my blue collar, church going comment. I was trying to stay in the rules of the sub and not discuss politics.

What I should have said is he sounds like every other extremist media junkie parent who repeat the same anti-vax, crt conspiracy nonsense nearly verbatim. Fake Christians who misinterpret the Bible to bully LGBTQ kids and ban books…is that a better background?

I put up with that garbage and personal attacks and didn’t respond because my GF specifically asked me not to argue, plus he wants to play the victim, wants to pretend everyone looks down on him. I can’t say anything to my student’s parents either.

Do I think I’m better than blue collar workers? No. Do I think I’m better than qanon idiots uncritically repeating whatever’s been pumped into their brain? Yes.

That’s where we’re at, I understand my girlfriend’s family dynamics. I’m not mad at her anymore (I am a little disappointed, ngl), she’s a product of her upbringing and unlikely to change. Fortunately she’s not like that in the rest of her relationships.

tldr: my gf’s dad hates me and my gf wants me to take his abuse like her family does.

Edit: Thank you for everyone that commented, I came to respond but the post was locked within hours.

I copied the post to my profile page if you wanted to comment.

Here's how the commenters reacted.


"I asked if she would be Ok having little or no contact in the future if his behavior continues. She was very reluctant to promise that and feels he’ll eventually change his attitude."

She's 100% right. He'll get a lot worse.


Why on earth is she expecting him to change when no one is challenging his nonsense? Co-signing bigotry with silence is not how you turn people around, they just get worse.


I guess I’m old. If a relationship comes with a toxic family and the person you are with is ok with continuing to interact with them - reluctant to reduce interactions, then why date or marry them? They have learned to tolerate/accept bad boundaries and bad behavior as normal. It’s always going to be a battle. Why do it?


Are they financially reliant on him, or…his will? That’s also sometimes a factor here, as well as the “respect your elders, even if they’re terrible” stuff that was probably drilled into the kids.


I mean this just kicks the can down the road. Its still something you are going to have to deal with. I HIGHLY recommend couple counseling for you guys to talk about this specific issue. You BOTH need to establish clear boundaries and intelligent means of navigating this issue. Think about if you ever have kids! That is going to be a whole other level to this thing.

You have only just begun to address this issue. Good luck, I know it ain't easy. Keep your head up though, you can do it.


I think this is a pretty good update, all things considered.

My dad isn't as bad as your gf's dad, but he can be difficult. And I recognize your gf's family dynamic in my own. But I'm 10 years ahead of her...I've been in therapy, plus I'm just getting less tolerant of bs as I get older.

I'm at the point where I limit contact with my dad as much as possible. She clearly isn't ready for that right now, but I would just give it time. She's had a whole lifetime of navigating around the feelings of a toxic parent, and she has to unlearn that!

You may want to suggest she sees a therapist who can give her strategies to deal with her dysfunctional family dynamic. In the meantime I think your personal boundaries surrounding her dad are great, and you should stick to them.

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