Help! Boyfriend's family won't drop it
Posted by Deathpotion5 at 06/11/2014
Ok, some background: Was vegan for 2 years, met my guy 8 months ago and went vegetarian (reasoning: 50% financial, 50% because vegan freaked him out). So his family is hard core Italian, really fun and sweet and I love being around them except...
dinner time is hell for me. I've had probably near 50 meals with his family and the veg thing is brought up every freakin' time. At first it was concern that I was or wasn't satisfied with the food, lighthearted joking, valid questions and minimal discussion. My usual response being to answer questions simply and sit quietly as they continued their discussion.
Even though it wasn't intended negatively, after awhile I was getting frustrated and began to avoid eating with them. Until last night. My guy was already "annoyed" with me since I didn't want to eat lunch with him, his mom even jokingly threatened to hold me down and shove food in my mouth and I got angry and nearly grabbed my things and left. Wish I had.
Dinner took a turn when I was jokingly offered the bar-b-que'd chicken and I politely refused as I always do. "Vegetarians want to save all the animals but they are eating all their food," "I'd rather see chickens in battery cages than pay $5 for a carton of eggs" and on and on it went. His mom even threw in a story about a fur coat she owns and how her minks grew up fat and happy on a farm. All this went on for a good 30 minutes while I kept my mouth shut, eating my potatoes and brussels sprouts, thinking how incredibly rude they were all being and how offended and hurt I was. I refrained from saying a word because when I get angry I get really mean.
I'm lost, I don't know what to do other than refuse to eat with them ever again lol. I could talk to my boyfriend and/or his family but I don't think that it's my place to teach respect to people 2-3 times my age. In addition, I don't want to screw up this relationship just because my feelings are hurt, I also don't want to be the stereotypical veg and respond to them the way they are expecting me to. (Sorry this post was so long, but yeah... so upset)
So now that I've painted the picture, what would you do? What would you definitely not do?
I am really sorry to hear about your plight.
To be very open - I do not understand why you put up with it. This is not going to get any better. You write that you went from being vegan to vegetarian because "it freaks your boyfriend out". That, to me, is a first, brightly coloured, red flag. If that person was a racist, would you than be happy about his fun, sweet family, who were wonderful all the time (except when they go to a Klan gathering) and accept that you will just have to be mean to coloured people to blend in? Would you "love" and "forgive" him?
The behaviour of your boyfirends family is one thing. BUT - if your boyfriend would really love and respect you, he would stick up for you.
My advice - end that rather sooner than later.
Eugene Nyunt.06/16/2014 05:29:23
As for what I would do, well, I'd be enjoying my single life.
If your boyfriend can't take the issue up with his family then I'd be concerned as to how much he cares about you.
If he has a word and yet it persists you ask them all directly at the table in a polite manner to stop as it's wearing very thin and it makes you comfortable.
If it's the odd joke of offering you something or discussing the issue in general rather than direct-abuse/directly-aimed-at-you, then consider that due to you they are having conversations they otherwise would not have, you have raised the issue in their consciousness. You are the oddity and curiosity to them and they perhaps do not know that their jokes/discussion are getting to you, until I randomly decided to be vegan I never appreciated just how frustrating the situation you describe could be.
If it's getting to you and it's unrelenting after all reasonable measures then do not eat with them in future.