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Fiancé Treats Me Poorly around His Family

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My Fiancé changes when we are around his family. He isn’t very nice to me, and he talks to me like I am “stupid.” He just does not give me the time of day. He won’t look at me when he tells me a story, I find out WAY more when he is talking to his mom about what he did this week, and when I ask, he barely says anything. His attitude is very negative towards me. I don’t understand why he is doing this. I have tried to talk to him about it, but he says “I don’t know what you are talking about” — I will try to give him an example of something he said that isn’t nice, and he will just shrug his shoulders and says, I don’t know.
I think that since we are going to be a family in about 7 days, I should be able to talk to him wherever we are, and he treats me with the same respect he does when we are at home. I don’t understand. Please help. I don’t know how to talk to him (which he is VERY stubborn) and no matter how i bring up a subject, he will immediately get defensive and he will shut down. it is hard. I just need ways to communicate effectively, and help him understand he needs to respect me no matter who is around…including his best friend who he follows like a puppy…. ah!

Fiancé Treats Me Poorly around His Family

Answered by on -


Thank you for asking this question. It sounds like the culture of his family — meaning his family’s value system and manner of interacting with each other, over influences him when he’s back home. Do not tolerate this. Next time it happens interrupt him and say something about it so that he understands what is happening in the moment. I appreciate how difficult this is, and that it will be uncomfortable to do — but your job is to set the boundary about what is acceptable and what isn’t. It is not something he’ll be able to fully understand after-the-fact. You’ve tried this, and it doesn’t work. Tell him when he is doing it that you don’t like it, that it is rude, and that you don’t like how you feel when he does it. This is important for your future together. You need to have a voice and talk about what’s wrong the moment it happens.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Fiancé Treats Me Poorly around His Family

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Fiancé Treats Me Poorly around His Family. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 25, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 19 Sep 2015)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.