Part of his life, most of the time

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-15-2014
Part of his life, most of the time
Fri, 08-15-2014 - 10:43pm

I'm 52 years old, and have been in a committed relationship with a wonderful man for over eight years.  We have many things in common and truly enjoy each other's company.  I genuinely love this man and believe he loves me, too.  We both have demanding jobs and busy lives, but we talk often of having a future together.  He has two sons and I am part of their lives - they've both told me that I'm the closest person to a mom they've ever had.  (He has raised them alone since they were two.)  What is troubling me is that, of all his family other than his sons, he is closest to his brother.  Although I'm invited to a rare family get-together now and then, when his brother invites him to, for example, go out fishing on his boat, I am excluded.  His brother has just invited my guy and his sons out on the boat this coming weekend.  I am not invited.  This has happened several times in the past, and the brother's live-in girlfriend is included, but I am not.  I have tried to explain why I feel hurt and excluded, but my guy makes excuses (from my perspective), such as, "but you don't like to fish."  No, but I love being on the boat and the ocean.  I'm not sure if the exclusion is on his brother's part, his, or both.  He knows it's a hurtful subject for me and I'm not sure he's telling me the whole story.  I know this sounds cliche, but in so many ways what we have is great.  I just can't help but wonder why he doesn't even think it's odd to exclude me in these outings.  Whenever I have a family function, he is included.  My family understands that we are a couple and always includes him.  It's not just a male-bonding thing, because the brother's girlfriend is included.  Please help me - tell me if you, too, think there's something odd about this or if you think I'm overreacting.

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Sat, 08-16-2014 - 2:04am

I don't think you are overreacting. After 8 years you should be accepted as a permanent part of his life, which should mean including you in family events.

Have you asked your bf straight up for a real answer, no beating around the bush with " but you don't like to fish" type of replies? If he says that he doesn't know why you're not included then I would tell him to ask his brother and get an answer for you. You said that you are rarely invited to the family there a larger family circle and do you get along well with any of them? Or is the entire extended family excluding you? What is the history with the sons' mother, or with other women in the following years, and could that have anything to do with the treatment of you? 

But...if the answer isn't pretty do you know what you will do with that information? If the brother said he didn't like you, would it affect your relationship with your bf? Would you still want to build a future with him if you knew you might never be accepted into the extended family? Hopefully its nothing that dramatic but it does seem like your bf is being vague for a reason.

There are some other boards that are relationship-themed where your post will get more views and replies (this Help board is more of a technical help board). Look at the various boards (and folders within some boards) in the Love and Sex Channel and copy your post into whichever board seems most appropriate to you.