I refused to introduce my boyfriend to my parents for 7 years

Tracey Folly

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.

We broke up just months after he met my parents for the first time.

My ex-boyfriend and I dated for seven and a half years. For the first seven of those years, I did everything I could to keep him away from my parents.

He could be difficult. My father could also be difficult. I didn't think they would be a good match. I figured it might be better for me if I just kept them apart.

After seven years of dating, his parents announced that they would no longer allow me inside their home. They had never liked me; the feeling was more than usual.

Since he lived with his parents, and I lived with my parents, this move made it essential for me to bring him home for the first time. We didn't have anywhere else to go.

I invited him over and cooked him dinner.

My parents weren't home yet. That made it easier. I figured I could give him the grand tour and lay down a few ground rules to make sure everything ran smoothly.

I showed him my father's reclining chair and remote control. "This is my father's chair," I said. "He's the only one who sits here. Don't sit here."

My boyfriend didn't respond. That wasn't a good sign.

"This is my father's remote control. Don't touch my father's remote control and don't sit in his chair."

I left the room. When I returned, my boyfriend was sitting in my father's chair and using his remote control. I knew I had made a mistake.

"Can you please get out of my father's chair?" I asked. My frustration was immediate. "There are so many other chairs. I asked you not to sit in this one chair."

"Why?" he asked. "He isn't even home."

It was like dealing with a child. I hate children. This is why I hate children. Too many questions. Too much explaining.

"Because I said so," I replied. "Choose any other chair."

"But why?"

I decided to answer his question with another question. "Did I ever sit in your father's chair when I went to your house?" I asked. "Did I ever use your father's remote control when I went to your house?"

He sat unmoving with my father's remote control in his hand and stared at me.

I moved him into another chair before my parents got home, but he kept glaring at me balefully so I knew it bothered him.

That was just the beginning.

If I was worried about how my parents would treat him, I needn't have worried. They were kind to him and welcomed him with kindness and acceptance that I, quite frankly, hadn't expected.

My boyfriend repaid them by acting like a petulant child every time he came over.

He expected my parents to let him choose the dinner menu, allow him to set the temperature in the house, turn the lights off that my parents were using, and change the channel on the television they were watching.

Each time, I had to catch him and reprimand him. Finally, after three months of this, there was an incident that gave me the perfect opportunity to banish him from our home, and my life, forever.

Seven years wasn't long enough to wait to introduce him to my parents, but at least he's gone now. I consider that a win.

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Writing about relationships online since 2009.

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