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dating coach for smart, strong, successful women Evan Marc Katz
Hi Evan, I’m in a great relationship with a great guy. The time has come for him to meet my family. I hate to admit it, but they’re a total embarrassment to me. My parents are a stone’s throw from being hillbillies, and two brothers are totally crude and obnoxious, telling tasteless jokes and displaying the worst manners. This is the reason why I haven’t introduced him to any of them yet. I don’t see them much, and have tried hard to distance myself from them because they are not a reflection of who I am.

I don’t want my boyfriend to run because of what he’s getting himself into. I had one guy do that already and am scared to death. I know I can’t hide my family. How do I handle this?

LJ

Dear LJ,

I saw this on The Bachelorette a couple of seasons ago and I have to admit, that’s a really tough thing to overcome. Some male contestant in the top 4 brings home the Bachelorette to meet his Dad and it’s white trash heaven. She takes a tour of the basement, which is filled with scores of dead animal heads, and all she can do is keep a frozen smile on her face. Hard to believe that this didn’t impact her perception of the guy.

But should it?

That all depends on one thing: how close you are to your family and how often you’re going to see each other.

I asked my wife for permission to tell our story because I think it’s relevant.

That all depends on one thing: how close you are to your family and how often you’re going to see each other.

Her Dad is certainly no hillbilly, but let’s just say that we would never choose each other as pals. He’s a retired Navy fighter pilot. He has Rush Limbaugh on in every room of his house. He drinks. He smokes. He drinks some more. He lacks certain social graces. He’s opinionated and stubborn and rarely sees the value in compromise. But he’s not a bad man, not at all; he’s bright, loves classical music and Shakespeare, spent his career defending our country, and truly enjoys spending time with his three children and their partners — mostly smoking, drinking, playing Trivial Pursuit and watching Jeopardy.

Now if I had to spend every weekend with my father-in-law, it might get strained because we’re such different people, and it’s hard for me to shut my mouth.

But I don’t have to spend every weekend with my father-in-law.

Once a year, we’ll visit — my wife goes a week; I go for 3 days. I smile and nod at the Obama the Evil Negro Socialist talk and enjoy the company of the rest of the family. And that’s all there is to it.

This is her family. And it’s not my place to judge her for something beyond her control, nor is it my place to come between them.

I’m married to my wife. This is her family. And it’s not my place to judge her for something beyond her control, nor is it my place to come between them. It’s my job to love my wife unconditionally and do everything in my power to make her happy.

Your boyfriend, if he’s as great as you say he is, will understand your embarrassment, support you through it, and not blame you for the sins of your brothers.

And as long as he only has to go through this a few times a year, it should be a small price to pay for him to be with such an amazing partner. Don’t you think?