Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Dating => Topic started by: josieh on February 01, 2012, 09:59:22 AM

Title: Travel issues
Post by: josieh on February 01, 2012, 09:59:22 AM
My bf and I have been together for about 9mths. His previous gf past away but he still keeps a fairly close relationship with her family.
I met godparents in Nov 2011 for dinner once since we've been together in May. I was never invited to dinner after that.  They gave me xmas present and we visited them during christmas for about 2 hrs. Godparents seem nice but I can understand if they have hard feelings because my bf would've been their daughters bf if she was still around.

Shortly after we got together, he told me he had previously planned vacation with ex's parents to Asia for 3 weeks. I was hoping this plan would fall through eventually but he keeps bringing it up. At first, he did not invite me so every time he brings it up, I just smile and look away. But recently, he's been asking me to go with him. The problem is, this is a trip that his godparents (ex's parents became his godparents after ex past away) invited him to before we were together and I don't know if this is a paid vacation but I don't feel comfortable if it was paid for. I also feel weird to be on a trip with people I am not close with, especially for 3 weeks. And I don't think godparents would feel comfortable either.

Bf's brother recently asked if I am going on this trip with them and I said "this is his trip, I won't be joining". His brother said "He can't survive without you for 3weeks."....convo got sidetracked and we left it at that. Since then, bf never asked me to go with him again.  I am not comfortable knowing bf will be away for 3 wks but feel that this is a previous engagement he agreed to and he is the one who needs to fulfill it - not me. I may be planning a trip to Asia around the same time as well but depending on our schedule, we may be going back to back so we might not see each other for 5-6 weeks.

My question is
1) Am I rude for declining his invite without explaining myself?
2) I don't mind going on the trip as long as godparents invited me (meaning that they can accept me as the 'new' gf and that we got close from now until the trip) but how do I tell him?

Thanks!
Title: Re: Travel issues
Post by: Petticoats on February 01, 2012, 10:08:22 AM
I don't see rudeness here, but the lack of communication seems counterproductive. Why don't you sit down with your BF and tell him frankly how you feel--both the potential awkwardness and the desire to be with him--and see if he can give you a clearer picture of what's going on. Since this decision will affect you both, it seems smart to me that the two of you talk about it together.
Title: Re: Travel issues
Post by: ilrag on February 01, 2012, 10:16:41 AM
For question number one, yes!  You should really tell your boyfriend why you don't want to go.

I declined to go on a long trip with my then boyfriend now husband when we were first dating.  He was going to Australia to visit his family - and even offered to pay for my plane ticket. I told him we had in no way been together long enough for me to fly around the planet to meet anyone.  He understood but if I hadn't told him why?  It would have been pretty mean.
Title: Re: Travel issues
Post by: bah12 on February 01, 2012, 10:17:16 AM
Why wouldn't you explain yourself?  I do think that if your BF of 9 months invited you on a vacation and you decline the invite, that an explanation is warranted.  You don't have to say "I don't think Godparents approve of me", but wanting them to have their vacation as originally planned, without you, is a good enough reason.  Besides, I'm sure that you can talk to your BF about your feelings of uneasiness, right?  Also, I would think that details such as who is paying for what should have been discussed in the invite.  Why didn't you ask your BF who is paying?

I'm not sure how long it's been since his previous girlfriend passed away (at least a year by your timeline), but I can understand where there would be some discomfort...on everyone's part.  I doubt that the Godparents have hard feelings, though.  What happened to their daughter has nothing to do with you.  It's just a sad situation that will get easier to deal with as time goes on.

Anyway, tell your BF the truth.  You are uncomfortable because you don't know his godparents and prefer to not go on vacation until you all have had more time to get to know each other. 
Title: Re: Travel issues
Post by: Surianne on February 01, 2012, 10:22:30 AM
I agree with the others, just be honest and have a discussion about it.  I do think that you "owe" him an explanation, in the sense that it's pretty hurtful to say "No" without explaining why.  If he were a stranger that's different, but you care about him, so it makes sense to be truthful.
Title: Re: Travel issues
Post by: figee on February 01, 2012, 02:58:52 PM
But is the other problem the length of time you won't be seeing each other (3 weeks - 5 - 6 weeks)?  Because if so, I have to say that that length of time is really not that long over the course of a relationship.  Admittedly my DH is military, but plenty of couples manage it.  So if that's what you're worried about maybe you need to think about why you're worried - do you not trust him for some reason?
Title: Re: Travel issues
Post by: WillyNilly on February 01, 2012, 03:08:59 PM
My question is
1) Am I rude for declining his invite without explaining myself?

All relationships are individual, so YMMV but to me declining such a trip without explanation after 9 months of dating would be a deal-breaker/break-up warranted action.  If my SO wasn't able to have a conversation with me and explain why they were declining I would feel the relationship was no where near close enough for me to have invited them in the first place and like I'd just basically wasted the last 9 months on what I thought was a serious relationship but which clearly is not reciprocated.  But really that's a relationship issue not an etiquette one... but then again I think leading someone on for 9 months (which is how *I* would take such an action) is rude, so yeah I think its rude.

2) I don't mind going on the trip as long as godparents invited me (meaning that they can accept me as the 'new' gf and that we got close from now until the trip) but how do I tell him?

I would simply say something like "you know, I've been thinking about that trip to Asia and I have to say I'm really not comfortable with traveling with near strangers for 3 weeks so far from home.  I'd really have to spend some more time with them between now and the trip to get to know them better and for all of us to get more comfortable together and really feel like my presence is welcomed.  But if that's not possible I understand.  You had this trip planned for a long time and I want you to go and have a great time no matter what!"
Title: Re: Travel issues
Post by: LifeOnPluto on February 01, 2012, 08:01:25 PM
Would you consider joining your BF and his godparents for a week or so? That way, if things get awkward, it will still be a short trip for you. And your BF can still get some one-on-one time with his godparents.
Title: Re: Travel issues
Post by: Ceallach on February 01, 2012, 09:16:10 PM
You definitely need to improve the communication here.  My answer to both of your questions is the same - be honest and gentle about how you feel and your position on the subject.  He will hopefully do the same.   Remember he is not a mind-reader and has no way of knowing how you feel unless you tell him.

For what it's worth, I can see how awkward this situation must be.  After his ex died, the fact her parents became godparents to your BF seems to indicate they were very keen to maintain that close relationship and still treat him as a son-in-law.   That has potential to cause issues ongoing if they see you as the "other woman" so it's important that BF understands that and manages it to avoid issues in your relationship.  Hopefully they just want him to be happy and will be supportive.
Title: Re: Travel issues
Post by: gramma dishes on February 01, 2012, 09:45:45 PM
Absolutely your reasons for declining the invitation should be discussed gently, but honestly.

Without a doubt, their specific "relationship" with your SO is unusual and could lead to an uncomfortable atmosphere.  I've never heard of becoming godparents after adulthood, so I really can't quite imagine how that works or know what it entails.  But frankly, I expect that in their eyes at least right now you are the "other woman" in their godson's life.  I can kind of sympathize with them to be honest.  It would seem to be awkward for him, you and them. 

But you do need to discuss it.  Really truly you do!
Title: Re: Travel issues
Post by: TheVapors on February 02, 2012, 02:09:42 AM
So much POD to everyone saying there's a problem with the communication. As in, why are you not communicating?

You should be able to sit down, and have a conversation about all of this with your partner. He might understand right away. He might have a way to make you more comfortable around his godparents.

At the very least, you'll be able to work around his trip (and your potential trip) to Asia. That way, you can both figure out how to manage things during the times that you might not be able to see each other.
Title: Re: Travel issues
Post by: josieh on February 02, 2012, 09:46:07 AM
The reason why I don't want to discuss is because I don't want to push him into doing anything.  A lot of things bothered me when we first started going out because of the godparents issue. I understand that it is not their fault and there is no one to blame but the situation itself gets very uncomfortable at times.  It took about 6 months for BF to tell godparents about my existence because he didn't know how to bring it up.  I asked one day if they know about me because it really bothered me. BF was very, very apologetic and promised to tell them that week.  I asked him not to because I wasn't looking to prove anything; I just need a better understand of things. And I understand how hard it is for him to be in that position too. 

BF is a very proactive person and he means what he say. If he promise me something, he will do it. I don't want to have a serious conversation with him because I don't want to trigger anything.  I do know I have communication problems and I tend to keep things to myself. I will try to change that....
Title: Re: Travel issues
Post by: DuBois on February 02, 2012, 12:03:53 PM


In your position, I would be very uncomfortable with your boyfriends friendship with these people. You say that you feel that they resent you for 'replacing' their daughter. Now, if this is just your feeling, and you are assuming, then I think that you need to forget it. Most reasonable people would not feel that way. However, if you have some concrete reason for feeling that they resent you, I think that you need to make it very clear to your boyfriend that that isn't acceptable. Their daughter is dead! They can't expect him never to date again, or to behave as if their daughter never had died. I would say that you should find out how they feel about you joining them: in your position, I would be livid if they excluded me, as I am now in a relationship with their godson. Their daughter doesn't come into it. In fact, I would consider that a dealbreaker if they wanted to exclude me and my boyfriend went along with it. But, it doesn't sound as if that's what's going on here. My advice is to find out where they're coming from. If they truly resent you, I would be telling your boyfriend that it was them or you.
Title: Re: Travel issues
Post by: guihong on February 02, 2012, 02:29:12 PM
On the contrary, I think he should be pushed into doing something.   I get that the former GF and your new boyfriend were very close, but he wasn't married to her or even engaged.  He's supposed to remain single for the rest of his life?  Are you going to remain a secret because he doesn't want to upset them?  In my own opinion, he sounds too enmeshed in their lives after the tie between them is gone.  I get remaining friends, but it almost sounds like a relationship with his own parents, not the parents of a deceased gf. 

I would be very uncomfortable going on the trip, but that's just part of a bigger issue.   Is there a cultural norm at work that we don't know about?

Basically, I POD Lost in Translation.
Title: Re: Travel issues
Post by: gramma dishes on February 02, 2012, 02:58:05 PM
...   Is there a cultural norm at work that we don't know about?   ...

This is actually a very VERY important question. 

Is it at all possible that since their own daughter passed away, they feel they have the right to 'select' his "new" girlfriend?  Perhaps one more culturally like themselves?  Could that possibly even be the reason for this extended vacation -- to introduce him to someone else?
Title: Re: Travel issues
Post by: WillyNilly on February 02, 2012, 03:21:15 PM
^ Wow.  I would like to echo the question about cultural norms we perhaps don't know about (all I can gather is you are not in Asia... since there is a trip to Asia planned...) but I can say I'd have a rather big issue with dating a guy who had standing weekend night plans every week that I was not invited to.  I  mean yeah ok I have dinner with my dad every week, but A) its a week night not a "date" or "party" night and B) my [past] BF's/[current] DF are welcome to come (generally they don't often want to - dinner with someone else's parents can get boring if too often, but they are welcome).

I will say though - at their house of course their daughter's picture is going to be displayed everywhere - she was their daughter!
Title: Re: Travel issues
Post by: Judah on February 02, 2012, 03:23:28 PM
^ Wow.  I would like to echo the question about cultural norms we perhaps don't know about (all I can gather is you are not in Asia... since there is a trip to Asia planned...) but I can say I'd have a rather big issue with dating a guy who had standing weekend night plans every week that I was not invited to.  I  mean yeah ok I have dinner with my dad every week, but A) its a week night not a "date" or "party" night and B) my [past] BF's/[current] DF are welcome to come (generally they don't often want to - dinner with someone else's parents can get boring if too often, but they are welcome).

I will say though - at their house of course their daughter's picture is going to be displayed everywhere - she was their daughter!

Yeah, this wouldn't fly with me. 

OP, why did your boyfriend become these people's godson just because he used to date their daughter?  Their whole relationship doesn't make any sense to me.
Title: Re: Travel issues
Post by: Petticoats on February 02, 2012, 03:50:58 PM
^ Wow.  I would like to echo the question about cultural norms we perhaps don't know about (all I can gather is you are not in Asia... since there is a trip to Asia planned...) but I can say I'd have a rather big issue with dating a guy who had standing weekend night plans every week that I was not invited to.  I  mean yeah ok I have dinner with my dad every week, but A) its a week night not a "date" or "party" night and B) my [past] BF's/[current] DF are welcome to come (generally they don't often want to - dinner with someone else's parents can get boring if too often, but they are welcome).

I will say though - at their house of course their daughter's picture is going to be displayed everywhere - she was their daughter!

Yeah, this wouldn't fly with me. 

OP, why did your boyfriend become these people's godson just because he used to date their daughter?  Their whole relationship doesn't make any sense to me.

BF said godparents said their daughter have always wanted him to be a part of the family (marrying him) but since she past away, her parents asked to be his godparents so he can still be a part of the family.... :-\

Honestly, my feeling is that the sooner BF starts drawing some appropriate boundaries, the better. Letting this pattern get entrenched may mean that it'll be extra hard on both sides when he chooses to scale it back.
Title: Re: Travel issues
Post by: guihong on February 02, 2012, 04:02:10 PM
Uh, no, that won't work.  If/when you marry your boyfriend, guess what?  He'll still be going over there on Friday nights without you.  Marriage won't suddenly make him change if he "can't" do it now.  In fact, whatever merely bothers you about him today will become the nucleus of your worst fights after marriage.     I would be hesitant about getting seriously involved with someone who you say is "proactive" but has allowed this situation to go on for a year.

I understand you might be from a culture in which it's hard to speak up, and where perhaps there's some duty or obligation involved in the godchild-godparent relationship, but since this bothers you already and you're in a relatively new relationship, you must speak up now before you even think of marriage.   
Title: Re: Travel issues
Post by: WillyNilly on February 02, 2012, 04:52:59 PM
^ Wow.  I would like to echo the question about cultural norms we perhaps don't know about (all I can gather is you are not in Asia... since there is a trip to Asia planned...) but I can say I'd have a rather big issue with dating a guy who had standing weekend night plans every week that I was not invited to.  I  mean yeah ok I have dinner with my dad every week, but A) its a week night not a "date" or "party" night and B) my [past] BF's/[current] DF are welcome to come (generally they don't often want to - dinner with someone else's parents can get boring if too often, but they are welcome).

I will say though - at their house of course their daughter's picture is going to be displayed everywhere - she was their daughter!

Yeah, this wouldn't fly with me. 

OP, why did your boyfriend become these people's godson just because he used to date their daughter?  Their whole relationship doesn't make any sense to me.

BF said godparents said their daughter have always wanted him to be a part of the family (marrying him) but since she past away, her parents asked to be his godparents so he can still be a part of the family.... :-\

Its really great these people want to remain close to someone their daughter loved.  But what about what your BF wants?  How does his life - his current life - play into this situation?  Does he want to spend every single Friday night with them?  Does he want to keep you a secret from them (you mentioned up thread it took him 6 months to even mention he was dating)?  Does he want to spend every Christmas with them (or was this year a one time thing/their first Christmas without their daughter)?  What exactly is the timeline for stepping back the weekly dinners?  After a year of dating?  Not until you are engaged?  Not until you are married?  Maybe not until you have kids?  I mean when exactly do the weekly dinners you aren't invited to stop?  What if you date for another year?  And what if you have a year long engagement after that?  And what if it takes a year or 5 to get pregnant?  Are you willing to sit around and wait through years of this?

And what about what you want?  You and your BF are in a relationship together just the two of you.  His godparents/dead girlfriend's parents are not part of your relationship, and your wants are equal and important to his and their wants are not relevant in terms of your romantic life.
Title: Re: Travel issues
Post by: bah12 on February 02, 2012, 06:34:26 PM
I can't say that they resent me but I can tell that there is a barrier and we will never be close like normal godson's gf and godparents would be. They never bring up their daughter or put me in an awkward position but when I was over at their place for dinner/xmas, the daughter's pictures are everywhere. It's hard not to look but at the same time, it feels uncomfortable.  I once told BF that I feel godparents are treating him like a son-in-law more than a godson and he agreed. He said it gets 'scary' sometimes.  I personally don't have any problems getting close to them but the line between godson and son-in-law becomes blurry and it bothers me because I feel like my BF was someone's husband, but not really. Does that make sense?!

BF once said he is only doing what godson is suppose to do and nothing more. He said he will put me in first priority over them and if they ever ask for more, he will make it clear that he does not have any obligations (godparents has a son too) as a godson.  BF currently has dinner with them every Friday nights. He said he can't stop going but eventually when we get married and have babies, he will stop seeing them on a regular basis. He said he hopes I can put up with him for now and that he loves me too much to let me go.  Problem is, I don't know if godparents feel/think the same way.... (Note. I am not invited to these Friday dinners. This is for godparents, godparent's son and my BF only....)

My husband's first wife passed away and I will say that I assume, had she not, he'd still be married to her.  We also have a relationship with his former in-laws and they still treat him like a son.  I can admit that, at first, I was very apprehensive about meeting/interacting them.  It is uncomfortable.  Their wedding picture is still prominately displayed in their home.  No one is going to dispute that there's discomfort.  Sadness.  It's all very natural.  No doubt his ex in-laws wish that their daughter was still alive and the one coming over for dinner with my DH vs. me.

This is all very natural.  So, here's the deal:  You have to find a way to be comfortable with this.  He and his ex never broke up.  They now never will break up.  So, can you live with the inevitable question of "If she were here, would I be?" 

This is something that you have to work out both with yourself and with your BF.  The whole psychology of this situation can be maddening.  So first, you need to accept that the "if" didn't happen.  She's not here.  You are...and life moves on.  Once you get to the point where you can be ok with that, then you can work through the issue of her parents with your BF and not project your own discomfort on them (I'm not saying that you are doing this necessarily, but I did...so, it's just my perspective.)

If the parents really do resent you or feel like they have some say in who he chooses to date, then you absolutely have to take that up with your BF.  Personally, I don't think that there's anything wrong with him eating dinner with them once a week.  If your relationship has progressed to the point that you're talking about getting married and having kids, then I do think you should be invited as well.  They want to treat him like a godson/son-in-law, then fine, that comes with accepting his new relationship.  If they aren't doing that, then he needs to fix it...either by pulling back on the relationship or having a heat to heart with them.

I guess, what I'm trying to tell you, is that you shouldn't be concerned that telling your BF how you feel will push him into doing something...because him doing something has to happen.  The parents may not be so quick on the draw for him to move on...but that doesn't mean that they can't get there. 

My advice is to talk to him and tell him how you feel...not just about this vacation, but the whole thing.  He needs to be willing to help you feel comfortable and I hope that her parents can get to that point too.  I have a wonderful relationship with my DH's ex in-laws, but I'll admit it didn't start out that way.  Not because they didn't like me, but because they were sad.  They weren't trying to hurt me, but their sadness made me feel bad.  First, I had to get my head straight, then I was able to articulate to DH how I was feeling, who in turn was able to help smooth things over with the in-laws.  I've spent a lot of time with them...but I still haven't vacationed with them.  So, there is that. 
Title: Re: Travel issues
Post by: Eeep! on February 02, 2012, 07:00:17 PM
^ Wow.  I would like to echo the question about cultural norms we perhaps don't know about (all I can gather is you are not in Asia... since there is a trip to Asia planned...) but I can say I'd have a rather big issue with dating a guy who had standing weekend night plans every week that I was not invited to.  I  mean yeah ok I have dinner with my dad every week, but A) its a week night not a "date" or "party" night and B) my [past] BF's/[current] DF are welcome to come (generally they don't often want to - dinner with someone else's parents can get boring if too often, but they are welcome).

I will say though - at their house of course their daughter's picture is going to be displayed everywhere - she was their daughter!

Yeah, this wouldn't fly with me. 

OP, why did your boyfriend become these people's godson just because he used to date their daughter?  Their whole relationship doesn't make any sense to me.

BF said godparents said their daughter have always wanted him to be a part of the family (marrying him) but since she past away, her parents asked to be his godparents so he can still be a part of the family.... :-\

Honestly, my feeling is that the sooner BF starts drawing some appropriate boundaries, the better. Letting this pattern get entrenched may mean that it'll be extra hard on both sides when he chooses to scale it back.

I agree with this. Truly, most adults don't even see their actual parents every Friday night.  Waiting until you are actually married/engaged or whatever is only going to make the situation more odd and uncomfortable.  While I don't think that it was the intention, this arrangement has actually put your BF into a weird sort of stasis.  In a way it seems like if he had married their daughter and then she passed away the situation would be easier to navigate, because then there are kind of expectations that eventually the widowed spouse (particularly if they are young) will eventually have a new relationship, etc.  Because the have created this false "godson" role, he is being treated neither as a widowed Son in law, or as an actual son (whose girlfriend would, presumably be invited to things).
Title: Re: Travel issues
Post by: LifeOnPluto on February 02, 2012, 07:57:27 PM
^ Wow.  I would like to echo the question about cultural norms we perhaps don't know about (all I can gather is you are not in Asia... since there is a trip to Asia planned...) but I can say I'd have a rather big issue with dating a guy who had standing weekend night plans every week that I was not invited to.  I  mean yeah ok I have dinner with my dad every week, but A) its a week night not a "date" or "party" night and B) my [past] BF's/[current] DF are welcome to come (generally they don't often want to - dinner with someone else's parents can get boring if too often, but they are welcome).

I will say though - at their house of course their daughter's picture is going to be displayed everywhere - she was their daughter!

I agree with WillyNilly. To me, Friday nights are "Date Nights". Or at least "Hanging Out With Friends" nights. Not "Family Dinner Nights" (once in awhile might be fine, but not every single Friday night!)

I think that your BF either needs to scale back the dinners, or ask if you can be invited along too. If his late GF's parents are ok with it, why doesn't he invite them and you around for dinner at his place?

I also really like Bah's perspective on the situation too.
Title: Re: Travel issues
Post by: CluelessBride on February 02, 2012, 09:25:55 PM
May I ask how long ago his previous girlfriend passed away and how long they had been dating?  That makes a difference in how I feel about the godparents.  I very much see bah's perspective. So while some of their actions may seem a little over the top, they might temper a bit with time. 

I also think it's important to remember that the trip was planned before you were in the picture.  He committed to it, and money (his or theirs) may be lost if he backs out.  So that gets a total pass from me.

The weekly dinners seem a bit much to me, but it may be part of the grieving process (theirs AND his).  And he may not be quite ready to give them up.  Which may or may not say something about his readiness to completely move forward.  So I guess my advice is to have a frank conversation with him about why he's not ready to give these dinners up until you have kids.  I know you don't want to push him into anything, but a conversation doesn't have to be a confrontation.  You don't even have to tell him to stop seeing them - just try to understand *why* he's seeing them.  And let him know that you understand if he is still grieving, but that you want him to be able to talk to you.
Title: Re: Travel issues
Post by: June24 on February 08, 2012, 12:09:50 AM
Honestly, 2 years is a long time. I would have trouble continuing to date this man as long as he keept going to these dinners without me. Nor would I be willing to attend these dinners with him every Friday night. He needs to scale back, IMO. This doesn't seem like a reasonable situation. Most people don't see their own parents that often, let alone a deceased ex-gf's parents.  :o No way would I consider marrying him while this is happening. He's not going to change after the wedding. I think you need to talk to him, and pushing for a change is exactly what you need to do. You describe him as proactive, but he actually sounds extremely passive, and he's being unfair to you. Who expects a gf to put up with this situation with the promise that it'll go away after you're married and have kids?! He might benefit from counseling. He may feel guilty or like he owes these people something. It's true that he can have any sort of relationship he wishes with them, but if I were you I wouldn't want to get sucked into what seems like a very unhealthy/co-dependent/weird situation.
Title: Re: Travel issues
Post by: Ceallach on February 08, 2012, 09:00:15 PM
BF's ex passed away 2 yrs ago. They were friends since grade school but didn't start going out until 6 months before she past. BF said they liked each other but couldn't get pass the friends barrier to be together. Her sickness was diagnosed when she was young and it was known by friends. They lost contact for a couple yrs and when her sickness got worst, all friends gathered by her side and BF realized he missed a lot of opportunities before and thats when they got together. Since she past away, he's been having dinner at her parents house every week.

Oh wow, a 6-month relationship and they're clinging to him like their own flesh and blood 2 years later?  I think there are some definite issues there.   (Think about it this way:  If she hadn't died, but they'd broken up after a 6-month relationship, would it seem odd if 2 years later your BF was still dealing with the closure from the relationship and heavily involved with the girl and her family?  Yep!)  Obviously it was a painful situation, and he's somebody who she knew as a friend for a long time.   But the fact they're using him as their crutch isn't right.

Don't expect this situation to change unless your BF wants it to change and is willing to make some tough decisions about moving away from them on his own.  If the closeness is a deal breaker for you then it's better you know that now than later - because there's every chance that he'll never have the heart to break away from them.
Title: Re: Travel issues
Post by: Shoo on February 08, 2012, 09:13:21 PM
This relationship between your boyfriend and his deceased girlfriend's parents would make me, personally, so uncomfortable that I would not be able to tolerate it.  I certainly wouldn't be comfortable going on ANY type of trip with them, let alone a 3 week long trip out of the country.

You definitely need to have a discussion with your boyfriend about this.  I can't see why you'd object to him going without you, except for the fact that to me, it seems unhealthy.  To call them his godparents just seems weird to me.  The whole situation seems weird to me.  I'm sorry.
Title: Re: Travel issues
Post by: anonymousmac on February 09, 2012, 08:48:49 AM
I believe that people can create whatever relationships they want to, and to me this sounds like more than "the parents of my ex-gf that I dated for 6 months."  Clearly the boyfriend and the parents consider themselves to be in the relationship of godparents and godson, and if that's what everyone wants, there's nothing wrong with that.  It's good to have people in your life who love and support you.

The problem I see is that it's difficult for josieh to figure out her place in all this, and it feels like the boyfriend is keeping these two parts of his life too separate for someone who's talking about marriage and children someday.

In your place, josieh, I'd start by asking about being included in these Friday night dinners.  If you and your boyfriend are an important part of each others' lives now, then you should be included.  Or, if your boyfriend doesn't consider you part of his "family" or wants to keep you separate and non-serious, then you deserve to know that too.

As far as the big trip goes, I'd tell everyone that I'm flattered to be asked, but I really want to get to know everyone better before making such a big commitment.  Ask about coming to these Friday dinners for a while, and see how the relationship with the godparents, and the overall situation, develops.  Then you'll have a much better feeling for whether you want to go on the trip, or let your boyfriend go without you for now.

I certainly wouldn't go on a three-week trip to Asia with a group of people with whom I'm too uncomfortable to attempt an evening's dinner.
Title: Re: Travel issues
Post by: gramma dishes on February 09, 2012, 09:36:54 AM
Josieh, I don't mean to sound negative, but I think this (BF and his "Godparents") is an uncomfortably too close relationship.  It sounds like maybe they're trying to replace their deceased daughter with this new pretend "son" and consider him to be a part of their immediate family -- maybe more so than even his actual real life parents. 

Honestly, if he doesn't have the ability to set some realistic and definite boundaries with them, I don't think he's anywhere near being man enough for you.

That certainly doesn't mean that he needs to cut them off entirely.  But he should be able to put you at the front of the line and make the choice between spending time with you or with them.  Right now, they're apparently usurping all his time and energy and he's letting them.

And to be honest, I doubt if they'll ever accept you.  Right now, they seem to view you as the "competition".  I truly sincerely hope I'm wrong.
Title: Re: Travel issues
Post by: Eeep! on February 09, 2012, 12:22:02 PM
Josieh, I don't mean to sound negative, but I think this (BF and his "Godparents") is an uncomfortably too close relationship.  It sounds like maybe they're trying to replace their deceased daughter with this new pretend "son" and consider him to be a part of their immediate family -- maybe more so than even his actual real life parents. 

Honestly, if he doesn't have the ability to set some realistic and definite boundaries with them, I don't think he's anywhere near being man enough for you.

That certainly doesn't mean that he needs to cut them off entirely.  But he should be able to put you at the front of the line and make the choice between spending time with you or with them.  Right now, they're apparently usurping all his time and energy and he's letting them.

And to be honest, I doubt if they'll ever accept you.  Right now, they seem to view you as the "competition".  I truly sincerely hope I'm wrong.

I agree with this - it really sounds like they are trying to use him to fill the void their daughter left.  Which is really not healthy for anyone involved.  Would he spend this amount of time with his real parents? If the answer is No then that tells you something right there.  And the fact that you aren't invited is a problem.  Because he should be doing something about that one way or the other.  I think - if this was a normal parent/son relationship - most sons would just say "Hey mom and dad, Fridays are really Josieh and my date night so I'm gong to have to cut back on these weekly dinners" or something similar.  If he did that and they said "Well she should come too!" then you could go from there. (I still think that weekly is ridiculous). But the fact that he hasn't said this means that he either (1) really likes/needs these weekly visits, which is something you will have to figure out if you can deal with or (2) is operating out of guilt.  If it is the latter, that just isn't healthy for him or your relationship and it needs to stop.
Title: Re: Travel issues
Post by: anonymousmac on February 09, 2012, 01:04:26 PM
I don't think he wants to exclude me in their dinners but godparents never asked or invited me over and because these dinners are hosted by godparents at their place, BF can't really invite me without their permission. 

Hmm.  Could he say something to them like, "Godparents, I've been dating Josieh for (however long) now, and it would mean a lot to me to introduce her to you and have you all get to know each other better.  Could I bring her to dinner this Friday?"

Because there are etiquette rules about not inviting only one member of an established couple, I think it would be OK for him to politely ask to bring you like that.  But they probably won't invite you if he never says anything to them about it.

How they react will help you figure out how to proceed.  If they say "Oh, we didn't know you were dating someone seriously, we'd love to meet her!  Of course bring her to dinner!", the way true godparents should, then that's great.

If they get upset and seem to think that it's inappropriate for him to bring you, or for him to be dating someone seriously, then that might tell you that there really is something wrong here (such as maybe they're still trying to keep him as a widower-son-in-law).

My concern is, certain people think more than that and expect something more out of the relationship.  I can see that BF don't care for the dinners or the get togethers but knowing that they're going on a trip together makes me nervous about the whole situation all over again.... I would also be flattered if godparents invited me on this trip but I think this is all BF's wishful thinking....

It sounds like BF is conflicted or uncomfortable with things the way they are, but is afraid or doesn't know how to try to change things.  However, if there's something wrong in the situation, if these people aren't really going to be true godparents in the long run, but are just trying to hold on to the past, then it's really important to find out sooner rather than later, especially if he risks losing you over this.

Your BF can be respectful of the godparents, and sympathetic to their emotions, without necessarily going along with everything they ask for.  He has every right to ask for you to be invited to dinner along with him, or to start spending less time with them if they refuse to accept you.

If it's not even clear whether the godparents have actually invited you on the trip, or if BF was just planning on sort of springing you on them, then I -really- recommend trying to test the waters by trying to be included on the dinner first.  That should tell you both quite a lot about the true situation, and where to go from there.

And, of course, if your BF ends up being too conflicted, or too unwilling to rock the boat in order to make sure that you're treated as his girlfriend, then that tells you something important as well.
Title: Re: Travel issues
Post by: gramma dishes on February 09, 2012, 02:33:12 PM
"Oh, we didn't know you were dating someone seriously, we'd love to meet her!  ..."

OP says they did have dinner together once and they never invited her again.  Just him.  Apparently they also gave her a Christmas present, so they definitely know she exists.   Maybe they thought that if he wanted them to invite her, he would mention that.  Or maybe they just really don't want her there.
Title: Re: Travel issues
Post by: Sara Crewe on February 10, 2012, 02:21:25 PM
How do BF's parents feel about this relationship?  It sounds as though he spends more time with the godparents than with them!

It sounds to me as though the 6 month relationship is mixed up with their daughter's death in the godparents' minds.  I don't think that is healthy for anyone.

I don't know whether you are in a country where counselling is usual, but I think BF needs to at least talk to someone (even if he doesn't need therapy for himself).  It's not the close relationship so much as it is the deliberate leaving out of BF's new girlfriend - this relationship doesn't sound healthy.
Title: Re: Travel issues
Post by: QueenfaninCA on February 10, 2012, 04:12:31 PM
Seriously, he needs to man up. He needs to tell his god-parents that he is in a serious relationship. They can either invite him with his partner on Fridays or he'll have to pass on their invitation in the future. Otherwise you might want to pass on him.
Title: Re: Travel issues
Post by: WillyNilly on February 10, 2012, 04:53:32 PM
So....cruise trip is cancelled due to BF's tight schedule. He doesn't seem to care so much that we have to keep changing our travel plans but his mind is set in stone about his trip to Asia. i can't deny the fact that I am upset about this whole thing. Maybe everyone on here is right about me not being the priority and never will be!

Time to think twice about this relationship.....

So the trip with you and your parents was flexible enough to be cancelled but the trip with ex girlfriend's parents without you is set in stone...

Here's the thing.  He needs to break up with his ex.  Yes yes I know she's passed on.  But he hasn't broken the relationship off, literally.  he is literally still trying to remain connected to her.  Only the problem is, well she's dead.  She has passed on - she has left the relationship and gone to the great beyond, whatever you/he/she believe(d) that to mean.  But it does mean she is not longer actively in a relationship with him, so its time for him to stop actively pursuing a relationship with her [and therefore her parents].  He can of course have a passive relationship with her parents, but its time for that to take a backseat and not his primary relationship.  Which it currently is.
Title: Re: Travel issues
Post by: Judah on February 10, 2012, 05:02:06 PM
Here's the thing.  He needs to break up with his ex.  Yes yes I know she's passed on.  But he hasn't broken the relationship off, literally.  he is literally still trying to remain connected to her.

You make so much sense.
Title: Re: Travel issues
Post by: MacadamiaNut on February 10, 2012, 05:46:14 PM
So....cruise trip is cancelled due to BF's tight schedule. He doesn't seem to care so much that we have to keep changing our travel plans but his mind is set in stone about his trip to Asia. i can't deny the fact that I am upset about this whole thing. Maybe everyone on here is right about me not being the priority and never will be!

Time to think twice about this relationship.....

The bolded troubles me.  OP, I think you are starting to make decisions in your mind before having communicated with your BF and that seems unfair.  The single biggest problem I see here is that BF knows absolutely nothing about how you feel.  For all he knows, you are peachy keen happy about this whole setup.  The weekly dinners, the cruise, the snubbing of you as his GF... all of it!  That's what I gather from reading the thread - please correct me if I'm wrong about that.  But honestly, I have to say I really don't think BF has done anything wrong as yet. 

OP, no matter how awkward you feel about it, you must speak up!!  Please don't blindside him with this later down the line.  The longer you wait, the more hurtful it will seem.  Imagine if you were doing something that bothered him and he didn't let you know for months?  Would you not feel a little deceived by that?  As though he was pretending all this time?  Have the discussion with him and then let the chips fall where they may.  You will likely feel better afterwards.  I get the sense that you're bottling this up inside and that can't be feeling good at all.  If you're afraid to hurt him by bringing it up, just think about the fact that by keeping this to yourself, you already are hurting him and the relationship.
Title: Re: Travel issues
Post by: JoyinVirginia on March 17, 2012, 01:49:16 AM
You have received lots of good advice. I agree with macadamia, talk to him sooner rather than later and tell him how you feel. His response will tell you a lot, and maybe help you decide what the next thing to do should be.