Nephew's Girlfriend

Updated on February 15, 2013
C.H. asks from Normal, IL
17 answers

I've been thinking about this since Christmas and just need some outsiders' thoughts on the situation. My nephew is a junior in college and has a girlfriend for about three years. He has never introduced her to me; she just showed up at a family event and my sister (his mom) told me who she was and her name. At Christmas this year, my 15-yr-old daughter apparently brushed past the girlfriend (admittedly my daughter should have said excuse me) to get to grandma's food table. The girlfriend started talking loudly about how most people would say excuse me, but that would be polite, etc. I couldn't believe a girlfriend (not a finance, not an inlaw) would say something like that, making my daughter feel uncomfortable in her grandma's home. I told my sister and my mother that her comments were rude - something I would never say to inlaws even - and that's a conversation for my nephew to have with the girlfriend on the way home. And what really ticked me off - the two of them left without even saying goodbye to me. That's rude too, right? I can't say I've ever been particularly close with my nephew and we only see him a couple of times a year but I have relatives through my husband we see once a year and they're incredibly more polite. I'm seeing my sister this weekend and I believe the whole situation will come up.

ETA - You all sure to add to a lot to a story that isn't there. I didn't defend my daughter. I mentioned to her, after they left, that if she bumped the girlfriend she should have said excuse me. There was no conflict. I didn't mention it to my mom or sister until the nephew and girlfriend had left. There were only 11 of us there. I don't think they "missed us" in the goodbyes as innocently as you all would like me to believe.

What can I do next?

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answers from Louisville on

If you're not close why worry about it? If they bring it up, just say you found the behavior rude, but that it was months ago, you've moved on, and so should they.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Until there's a ring on her finger I wouldn't put that much thought into her or her behavior! Some people are rude and there's nothing you can do about it.

In the grand scheme of life, this really isn't a big deal. If you have another negative encounter with her, then just make a point of avoiding her at family functions.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Philadelphia on

Your daughter was rude, the girlfriend called her out on it, your daughter was mortified, and I'll bet that for the rest of her life, your daughter will say "excuse me" when she brushes past people. I'd say she learned a good lesson in manners.

You're not particularly close with this nephew, right? And you'll probably only see the couple rarely in the future, right? Let it go.

From the girlfriend's POV: "I was at my boyfriend's family's get together and his teenage cousin practically pushed me over to get to the food. She didn't even apologize or anything, so I felt I had to say something. Then when I did, HER MOM told my boyfriend's mom how rude *I* was! What about her daughter? I felt really unwelcome at that point, so my boyfriend and I left. His aunt really doesn't like me...I feel like I should avoid her at family gatherings."

You're both offended. But she's practically a kid, still. You're a mature woman. Perhaps YOU could lead by example next time. Greet her warmly at the next family function, let bygones be short, get over it. Being in a feud with a college kid is just silly.

13 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Introductions are a two way street, it doesn't sound like you made her feel welcome and your daughter got ahead of her in line for food. So now she has two people non-verbally saying she is a second class citizen in the house. Then you expected her to go up to you and introduce herself?

Your daughter should feel uncomfortable, she was rude and so were you so I don't see why you were surprised they blew you off when they left, you had already made it clear she wasn't welcome.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Sounds like nobody has taught these kids manners. Kids need to be taught how to make a proper introduction, how to make someone feel comfortable in a family setting, how to treat people decently face to face. A lot of this generation just text each other all the time, so they don't know how to interact very well, don't think about other people's feelings, don't know how to read facial expressions or body language. So yes, the girlfriend was rude, but so it the nephew for not introducing people, and so is the nephew's mom who just told you the girlfriend's name but didn't introduce you. Your daughter's behavior you've already addressed. The other choice you have in a situation like this is to walk up to the girlfriend and say, "hi, I don't think we've met. I'm John's aunt and my name is...." Then make sure she meets your daughter and anyone else. Ask her about herself. Everyone in this group seems to have a sense of entitlement - entitled to food, entitled to mouth off, entitled to make someone else feel uncomfortable in grandma's own home. But no one's' been treated as if they are deserving of proper manners either. So I think the whole group needs to work on making each other feel welcome.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Well next time, when you notice this, say something is not being handled by people

. . It does not have to be rude, just something like, Walk up to the girlfriend and say, "Hello! I am Aunt CH, I have heard a lot about you." "I am (nephews_) moms sister."

OOo, I am sure Susan is sorry she bumped into you.. Right Susan.

When they left without saying good by, text your nephew "I am sorry, we did not get to say good bye to you and your girlfriend" Be sure to tell her it was nice to see her again..

Do not be the neglected one, put yourself out there. It does 2 things, it shows you are gracious and approachable and it teaches others how to behave in these stressful situations.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Appleton on

You need to get over yourself. You are acting as though you are the most important peson in the room.

It doesn't matter who the person is --- a new person joined your family for a holiday meal. It is partly your job to make this person feel welcome and comfortable. You should have introduced yourself and your children to her. When your daughter bumped into her YOU should have spoken up right away and said (daughter) you need to apologise to her. And since this girlfriend was a new person you should have made sure she was one of the first in line to get some food.

I believe your whole family dropped the ball on this one. A new person, unfamilar with how your family does things, joined you for a holiday and all of you made her feel like an outsider, not one of the family.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I don't see why you haven't taken the initiative here. Why didn't you go and introduce yourself to the girlfriend? Why haven't you made the effort to strike up a conversation with either of them? Why do they have to come to you?

I would forget about it and start fresh. No need to mention this imagined slight ever again.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

You aren't close with him and see him only a few times a year. I guess I just don't think this is your concern. Let someone who has a relationship with him handle this, if anything even needs ti be handled.

Did YOU introduce yourself? She was a guest to your family, it should NOT be up to her to make herself known. The guest should not have to put in any work, she should be made to feel welcome by the hosts and family. I suspect she didn't feel welcome, at all. I also think she had every right to call your daughter out. This REALLY is not an important situation. I think it needs to be dropped all together.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

There's no accounting for taste. Add that to this oblivious self absorbed time in their life and you have a formula for rudeness. Your sister has no power right now. Putting pressure on her will not accomplish anything.
Except hard feelings.
For now. Let it go.

For the future, teach your DD to stand up for herself.
Such as, I should have said excuse me. But polite people would have let it go.
Or you could have taken care of business directly, that day.
But to invest anymore emotion or pressure into this incident would be overkill.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Kristin C.'s thoughts mirror mine. Your focus is only on this girl and not your daughter. Did you say something to your daughter about her being rude?

Everyone doesn't have the same values you do or the same teaching and trainings you received growing up that doesn't mean they should be condemned for it.

Honestly this incident happened almost two months ago and in the scheme of things isn't much to hash or rehash. Life it too short. There may very well be a simple reason they didn't say goodbye to you. Perhaps they were trying to avoid further conflict with you.

If I were in your shoes I would try to make a new start, forgive and move on. If you are regularly this intense over matters that are so small, I would be reluctant to be close to you too. It's time for you to change and be a bit more forgiving. You won't always be around to shelter your daughter from the consequences of her actions.

If the situation does come up AngieOPlasty's response is quite fitting.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Do you remember how hard it was the first holiday you spent with your now husband's family? Especially to be there with no formal introduction. The girlfriend must have felt uncomfortable, on edge and disrespected all together and your daughter seemingly pushing her aside must have been the "Icing on the cake" and she snapped in calling her out. To be honest, allow it to blow over and move on, and the bottom line is your daughter was rude to not say anything.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

You're talking to everybody but the girlfriend. Maybe it was rude of her, but there are at least two sides to everything. Had your daughter ever spoken to her? Maybe there was some friction between them, or some other established level of communication. Have you talked to your daughter to find out what was happening behind the scenes? You knew who the girlfriend was. Why didn't you introduce yourself, since it was such an intimate family gathering? You are the "adult", and now you've seen her more than once. Walk up and ask her name and shake her hand. That's how these doors get opened.

When you see your sister, which of you will bring it up? I think that you should withhold your judgment and just tell her that you will look forward to actually meeting her next time you see her, maybe having an actual conversation with her. Your daughter is old enough for this not to be treated as some huge deal, as long as she wasn't assaulted. Set the stage so that you'll be better prepared next time. 15yos and young 20-somethings have "attitudes"; you don't need to get yourself heavily involved in this particular situation. Just keep your eyes open, and, like I said earlier, put yourself in the position to have some kind of say by breaking the ice with the girlfriend.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

There are rude obnoxious people in the world. YOu nephew was rude in not introducing his girlfriend indiviually to each person ot the gathering so she would know everyone. Then the girlfirned was rude in making such a commet. We have no idea what her family is like - and she may have expereienced that same exchange a hundred times in her home growing up. When the young lady was around the hosue without introductions one of the adults (your sister, you, another adult) should have introduced themsevles "Hi I'm Mike's Aunt Sally, you can call me Sally - what's your name?" 20 years olds are notorious for being in this wierd land of still having to eat at the kids table, yet living in an apartment, having sex & being an adult in many ways when they're not with family at holidays.

I think everyone is over-reacting. Your best hope is that your nephew doesn't marry this girl and instead meets someone who can teach him manners. It's a continual practice with my teens - I remind them to say please & thank y ou , to stand up and offer their seat to anyone older, to open doors, to smile and be nice, etc. But once they walk out that door you just never know.

If it happens to come up this weekend with youur sister let it drop. It is sooooo not worth the effort and aggravation.

Bottom line is tha

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I have one of those large families that keep going and going and going. If even a portion of us get together there's a crowd. If we don't say something to everyone or go from person to person to speak to them when it's time to go....well, if they had hurt feelings over that and were willing to hold it against me then I'd say Oh well.

If I miss someone then it's not because I planned on snubbing them, it's because I just missed them in the goodbye's.

As for the issue of the bump I'd think this girlfriend is very immature and has a lot of social skills to learn. I didn't learn a lot of them until I was in my 30's so I can't hold a grudge against someone for making social gaffs. It's just one of those things. Both should have said Excuse me, sorry for bumping you, even if it wasn't their fault.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boise on

I honestly can't believe after 2 months this is still a topic. It's been two months, time to move on. This should no longer be an issue, it's a non-issue and if it is brought up that's what you say "Oh, we've moved biggy" and leave it at that.

If they do feel the need to beat the dead horse, then what are you going to say? Your DD did brush up against her. The average adult would have just shook their head a little and moved on. Kids, even teens, are kids and sometimes leave their manners at the door. I mean, common she was excited to get to grandma's food, she'd probably been waiting hours (years for teens and children) to get her hands on some of grandma's yummy goodness.

The girlfriend, not knowing you or your DD, doesn't know that on any other occasion your DD is well mannered. She felt slighted (although personally I think she is just as immature), so she felt the need to say something. End of story. Personally that's the point I would have went over and introduced myself "Hi, I am X, sorry my dd got super excited over grandmas' food" Then left it alone, or continued on with some basic pleasantries.

There situation diffused, after 3 years it doesn't sound like this GF will be going anywhere, at least not soon.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I think you are just being "too sensitive" with this whole thing. If it bothered you at all, why didn't you say good bye first? If your daughter was rude, you should have apologize for her rudeness or at least have your daughter say excuse me. You act like your going to be the future mother-in-law. Your the aunt...don't sweat it. Plus, he's in college, they are probably won't get married anytime soon or at all.

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