Does anyone feel like their relationship is judged bc they don't have a ring?

posted 2 years ago in Waiting
Post # 2
187 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - Villa Celeste

I think your feelings are completely valid, and I understand where you’re coming from. My fiance and I were together for four years before we got engaged. His family has always been nice enough to me, but certain family members were colder to me and more standoffish. Especially my future brother in law. Not sure why exactly, but now that we’re engaged, he’s a bit more accepeting. I am sorry that you are being treated like an outsider, and there’s really not much I think you can do. Just continue on being a strong and supportive partner for your SO. 

Try to also understand that their issues with you, are their problems to deal with not yours. You can’t change other’s behavior. Just know that many of their issues with judging you are probably issues that they have with themselves. If they were truly secure and happy, I don’t think they’d feel the need to push you out to the side. Especially since you and SO have been together for awhile now, it’s clear to me you are both committed. 

Post # 3
967 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Why would they call you Aunt if you aren’t? That seems like a strange expectation to me.

Post # 6
1987 posts
Buzzing bee

“Do you think the aunt or uncle title is only appropriate if you are engaged or married?”


<br /><br />Yes. Actually only appropriate if you are married. That’s what that particular label means. I can feel your frustration with things as you don’t feel validated by all of his family in your relationship, but technically you are not an aunt to his brother’s children unless you are his wife. I’ve been to all kinds of things (Baptisms, graduations, birthdays, etc) for my friends’ children but that doesnt make me their aunt. I am only an aunt to my sister’s children and my husband’s sister’s children. That’s what that title means. 

You are not a disposal girlfriend; you are his partner. But you don’t get the benefits of those titles (daughter-in-law; sister-in-law; aunt) until you are his wife. 


  • This reply was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by  MrsYokiman.
  • This reply was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by  MrsYokiman.
Post # 7
592 posts
Busy bee

I wrote a thread like this a few months ago, so I understand how you feel. A big part of what I learned from the thread was that a lot of pressure probably came from the area of the country and type of culture I live in. 

Mine was coming fro SO’s extended family and a LOT from outside sources like acquaintances or strangers due to the marriage obsessed nosy type of culture I live in. 

Due to some advice from other bees I acquired the attitude and pithiness to fend off rude non-family for the most part. I’m sure people are still judgy twats but I have enough courage and snark now, so they keep it to themselves instead of insult me and my relationship to my face anyways. 

As far as family I still haven’t quite figured that one out. My boyfriend’s mother is a ‘family is family’ type and she wants people to get along. I just can’t bury the hatchet when every time I do there’s his cousins and aunts there to remind me how I’m not a part of the family by law or jewelry. I’ve just been avoiding his extended family get togethers which is fine by SO since even he doesn’t like to them. 

Avoiding might not be the most mature tactic, but it is the one that keeps me sane and prevents me for being fodder for his extended family while ‘keeping the peace for family’. Until I get a better option, immature avoidance it is!

Post # 8
2894 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

ellagrace: I mean this in the nicest possible way, but you are just the girlfriend. That is where your relationship is and if you’re both happy with that, fantastic. It sounds like you aren’t. If you resent all the time doing family stuff with his family, then stop doing that stuff. 

I don’t think it’s fair to expect a closer relationship when it just isn’t. One of my girlfriends was with her boyfriend for 10 years — they started dating before they went to b-schoo, then went to b-school together, only applied to jobs in the same cities after school, moved to the same city together, went to weddings, family reunions, etc. together. They were financially comfortable. For all intents and purposes, they acted like they were married, but he just wouldn’t put a ring on it — “She’s the right girl, it’s just not the right time.” 

She almost died in a terrible accident. He literally almost lost her and she realized that she did want to be married and be in a relationship with someone who wanted that too. Even after everything, he would still not put a ring on it. So, after 10 years, they decided to move on, separately. None of us in their friend group saw it coming. At the end of the day, she was just the girlfriend, he was just the boyfriend. 

I’m NOT saying that your relationship is like this, but I am saying that I’ve seen this happen to enough friends and family members that I can understand not getting close until there’s that outward social, legal, spiritual commitment. Especially if there are kids involved. 

I’m not judging you or your relationship, but I also wouldn’t introduce you as Aunt to my kids, and I’d probably introduce to as Uncle’s friend until they had the birds and bees talk. Then you’d be Uncle’s girlfriend because you don’t have cooties. 


Post # 10
967 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

ellagrace:  I would not expect to be called Aunt unless I was married to the Uncle. I understand others may have different opinions and practices and that’s great. I just wonder if your expectations are substantially different from his family’s in that and other aspects. Those differing expectations may be the source of your disappointment. If and when you do marry your bf, you may find you will be warmly accepted into the family but until then may be (possibly unfairly) considered a potentially temporary partner.

Post # 12
2649 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

ellagrace:  But…you ARE a girlfriend?  

You can choose not to be married but why resent people for treating you like wat you have chosen to be?  You are NOT a daughter-in-law and you are NOT an aunt and you are not an actual memeber of the family.  Why resent this when its your choice?  

Post # 14
3735 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

ellagrace:  My family used to try to get my neices and nephews to call FH “uncle” but at one point I did tell them to halt that shit because that title is earned. If we aren’t married, he’s not an uncle. FH was there to hear it too. Duh.

From that point on FH was referred to a “Funkle” — future uncle.

For me, it was important for FH to know he had to propose and marry me to be an uncle. He wasn’t going to get any honorary title from those kids unless we were hitched. I felt like Oprah and Stedman he took so long. Damn.

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by  LilRhodyGem.
Post # 15
1209 posts
Bumble bee

I had a similar situation when I was with my Ex-husband. We were together 7 years by the time we got married and his sister flat old told her daughter: Do not call her Auntie. At her wedding, Ex and I were engaged and planning our wedding and she wouldn’t have me in their family photos, although it was ok for me to be a bridesmaid. I never knew where I stood really.  Luckily she has family photos that don’t include me since Ex and I didn’t work out.

I think your feelings are valid, and either way, they’re your feelings so you’re entitled to them.  Has your SO mentioned how it makes you feel to his family? Maybe they don’t realize they’re alienating you a bit?  

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