It is important to build relationships with your partner’s family, but you don’t have to be best friends with everyone. It’s also important to respect your partner’s boundaries and never force them to spend time with family members they don’t want to.

An internet user recently asked, Am I a jerk for ruining my brother’s relationship because I wanted his girlfriend to be more involved with our family? Could you break it to her?


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The Original Poster (OP) (28f) always had a great relationship with her brother (38m) and the rest of her family. When her son (now 5) was born, they supported her through a lot, especially since her baby’s father abandoned them. 

When Did The Problem Start?

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The problem, according to OP, started when OP’s brother met his girlfriend(30s) at university. At the start, she was truly happy for him, especially since he’d talked to OP about wanting to ask her out ever since he heard of her from her classmates.

OP Didn’t Like Her NOT Caring Much

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What OP didn’t like is that she didn’t care much to keep in contact with them, even after being together for well over a year. She was always too busy to meet their family.

What Did OP’s Brother Tell Her? And How Does She Feel About It?

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Her brother told OP she was a fantastic cook, kind, brilliant, etc. and he wanted to marry her and travel with her back to her country once she finished her PhD. He’d always talk to them about how lucky he was to be dating her (she’s a judge) and how her government was financing her. 

What Does OP Say

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OP says, “I’ll admit, knowing a childless woman wasn’t working and was paid more money than me, on top of having her rent and other things covered, stung a little, but it had nothing to do with my dislike of her.” 

What Did OP Want?

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OP wanted her to be more involved in their family, but there was always an excuse as to why she couldn’t meet them for dinners, etc.

She’d be studying, helping someone from abroad (which OP doesn’t really believe because she thinks, what could she be doing for anyone being miles away?), and on the rare occasions she was free, she was either traveling to see her family, hosting friends or wanted to be alone. 

What Does OP Say?

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OP says, “I didn’t buy that she didn’t have any time for us because she doesn’t work and was always at home, but she stopped accepting my visits and refused anything to do with my son as well, which slowly distanced my brother.

She wouldn’t even babysit when my parents were out of town, and I needed her to watch him so I could work. Personally, I don’t think she’s as kind as my brother thought.”  

What Happened A Few Days Ago?

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OP’s parents were on her side; her brother wanted to be “neutral”, but asked them to not “stress her out even more”. 

A few days ago, OP and her parents went to his brother’s girlfriend’s house to talk things out with them both. They were upset but tried their best to explain why her distance and refusal to help were unacceptable since she doesn’t work and had free time.

OP told her she wished she’d be more caring and she got increasingly angrier, but said nothing. Then she turned to OP’s brother and asked him if he agreed, but he said he didn’t want to take sides. 

She Broke Up

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His girlfriend said that this was “another example of why she felt so resistant to the idea of getting into a relationship”, and that “she couldn’t take it anymore and felt better being alone” and then broke up with him. 

What Was Everyone’s Reaction?

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OP was shocked, none of them expected this and her brother immediately tried to backtrack, but she told all of them to leave her house immediately and not go back.

Now OP’s feeling guilty and her brother won’t speak to them because she ruined his relationship and his girlfriend is irreducible. She isn’t bothering to listen to anyone in their family and OP’s afraid there’s no way to fix this. 

“Am I a jerk or did she overreact?” asks OP.

Be Honest With Yourself 

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“You’re the jerk. Not her responsibility to watch your child(ren) or be there for your whims/amusement. And be honest with yourself: the fact that she is childless and does have free time bothers you. You are not entitled to her time. Keep repeating that to yourself until it gets through to you.”

It’s Not Surprising At All

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“You confronted your adult brother’s adult girlfriend about how you think she should spend her free time,  and because she doesn’t want to babysit your kid or spend time with you.  Why would you even think she’s obligated to do any of these things? Your family sounds pushy and needy and I’m not surprised she ended things.”

She’s Doing A PhD!

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“You barged into her home, had a go at her (for..having her own life? For not being at your beck and call? I have no idea honestly) and your brother blew it by not taking the opportunity to set a boundary and standing up for her.

Saying someone who is doing a PhD ‘doesn’t work’ is so unbelievably disrespectful.”

Your Brother Is Spineless 

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“Who were any of you to tell her that “her distance and refusal to help was unacceptable”? Utterly ridiculous behavior and your brother was spineless for not backing up his partner in the face of such nonsense.” 

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This article was originally published on Mrs. Daaku Studio.

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