I’ve been in 2 serious relationships in my short life. The first one I felt like and still do feel like part of the family. There was nothing I wouldn’t do for his family and friends. I Loved his brothers like my brothers and they treated me the same way. My present relationship has not be a smooth intergration of the people surrounding us. I don’t feel like his family is my family and it is very evident that his friends certainly are not my friends. Don’t get me wrong they are very nice people I just don’t consider them my people.
There is stark difference in the way that we were taught to interact with people and I think it has a lot to do with where we are from. I am from a city where everyone was extended family if you were around long enough. Friendships last forever, as a matter of fact, if I call my friends from high school today we would talk as if no time has lapsed. I don’t know if people just like to gossip, but there were very few secrets; good and bad. He on the other hand was not raised in a very open and inviting community. His family is very small and close knit, it seems that in his family and with his friends you have to prove that you are worthy of their acceptance; and endure some ancient family ritual. Whereas with my family once you cross the threshold you are one of us. We are open books but we respect the fact that we are individuals living different lives. It seems that with his friends and family the willingness to share their failures as well their success is absent.
I understand that complete immersion into someone else’s inner circle is not always a good thing but when it feels as though you are on the outside looking in, it kind of sucks. I think that it is very important that I make him feel like he is part of my family and that there is no reason to shy away from them. In a serious relationship you will have to interact and constantly hear about these people. The funny thing about his people is that they will secretly hate you and smile in your face. I don’t know people close to me who are that nice. Then again people around him feel like they have the right to voice concerns about our relationship. Honestly I don’t think I make people that comfortable or I just don’t even give it a listening ear when advice or concern is unsolicited.
In relationships we have to deal with more than just or signifcant others and this can be very difficult when you are seen as the villian. I am exactly that in the eyes of people around him and I don’t know what he does to change that now; I know what he has done in the past and it doesn’t exactly make me confident. We are not attached at the hip, ir over the top affectionate couple that people like to see. They hear about the downs far more than they hear about the ups and honestly I’m done defending myself or playing nice. Quite frankly it is not my place to check the people around him. My people don’t have a vested interest in the demise of our relationship.