DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: My girlfriend and I have been together for over two years, and even though we have separate apartments, we are usually at her place or mine every night. She comes from a strict family, headed up by her old school father, who can’t even imagine his little girl is having sex, much less practically living with a man “in sin.” So, whenever her family comes over to her place, we have to hide all my stuff and I can never be there when they arrive. I can get there later, but not before we go through this whole charade.
I love my girlfriend, and we have talked about getting married, but it really bugs me that I have to disappear to please her family. Is this an overreaction? --- THE INVISIBLE MAN
DEAR INVISIBLE MAN: Well, that depends. You don’t mention if you’ve ever discussed this situation with your girlfriend, so let’s figure you have. If you haven’t, that’s the first step you should strongly consider taking. It’s unlikely she’s clueless about the position her wanting to conceal the nature of your relationship puts you in.
After laying your cards on the table, be considerate of her position too. Most likely, she doesn’t want to hurt her parents and cause a rift in the family. If you’re seen as the reason she and her family are at odds, what does that do to how you’re viewed by her parents, especially as a prospective son-in-law?
Talk it through with your girlfriend, and choose your battle wisely. Either you offend her family now and put your girlfriend in a difficult place, or bide your time and see what the longer-term bodes.