my girlfriend's parents are calling her fat - what should I do? I feel powerless.

Discussion in 'Relationships' started by Carlfloydfan, Jun 15, 2006.

  1. Carlfloydfan

    Carlfloydfan Travel lover

    We talk all the time since she has left America for her home in France (she speaks english very well and is going to teach french to kids in england soon). most of the conversations we have are amazing and funny. she talked to me yesterday and she is very hurt about what her parents say about her weight. at first it was subtle things, like "emeline, when are you going to do a sport?" and they told her "since you've left for america five months ago you have been food obsessed".

    Today she sent me some messages of what her parents said.

    "my mother told me again, emeline, you've to do something about your weigh"

    "then i learnt that my father feels really embarassed with my weigh
    but does not dare to tell me directly"

    "she told me today that they wanrt to help me, that they are trying to help me because some people are gonna do mean remarks"

    now why do I feel powerless you may ask?

    A. She is back home, 7000 miles away
    B. Even if I wanted to somehow talk to her parents, they speak French, no english
    C. Even if B were not the case, I don't know her parents. I can't yell at them the first time I meet them.
  2. free2fly

    free2fly Members

    that girl is NOT fat, and even if she DID gain weight ... they have NO right to say such things to her...

    Man if I were her, I would tell my parents to FUCK OFF... yeah ... nobody has the right to make such critical comments about weight, I dont care if they are parents or whoever....

    and I dont agree, I think even if you dont know them you should feel free to speak up and say something to them (if you could get over the language barrier of course) .... I would!! I would sooooo tell them off.

    That is so sad. It is so sad that people -like her parents- are such perfectionists that they would break the heart of their child, and rather than offer unconditional love and supportive encouragement, they make critical comments that will only tear her down...
  3. .Hannah.

    .Hannah. Member

    Oh for god's sake. Those are her parents. Of course they have a right. What is such grotesque angst and illfeeling going to do?

    She's pretty, and looks like a very peaceful and gracious person. But are you sure she doesn't mind you putting her picture up here?

    I think even though it's natural for you to feel frustrated, I don't see how exploding her problem (and a whole transcript of your private? conversation) and picture on a forum of strangers is going to help her selfesteem unless you go back hoping to make her feel better that a bunch of people said she looks great. I thought this was about HER.. not about how many compliments you could try to get with a pretty gf. ;)

    Frankly many girls go through the "you're fat" critique from their families. Realistically she has two options:

    1) Make an effort to not just lose weight but keep fit and healthy.

    2) Move away from her family and the comments.

    Family has a funny way of hardly ever changing their ways. Her trying to revolutionize her family's opinion by sitting on the couch isn't going to do anything. And personally a flat out "FUCK YOU" is incredibly immature and RUDE. It demonstrates nothing.

    I went through this also especially with my own mother while I was living at home with them. At first I hardened myself to their comments which made no sense from the "you're fat" point of view. The scale pointed at 115 lbs. But also gradually realized, after the irrational/complainy side was over, that they were sincerely more concerned about my HEALTH than anything.

    If you can convince her that her family has good intentions even though they can be crass, you'll help her realize that the situation isn't so bad. Maybe she'll be able to joke about it one day. ;)
  4. Carlfloydfan

    Carlfloydfan Travel lover

    maybe it was not the best idea to post here...but my friends will sugarcoat things. Strangers will tell it like it is without sparing anything. That is my reasoning. And I am not trying to get compliments...looking for advice as the title states.

    It really isn't a big deal posting 2-3 pics of her, people post pics of their S.O. all the time here. sometimes under a different contexts like "look what I did over the weekend", ect. I am proud of her, yes. I talk about her much more than I show pictures of her though, you should do that with the person you are dating. she shows pictures of me to her friends and I love it! She is proud of me too. That isn't being showy, its being happy :).

    A few quotes don't really give to much private stuff away. there is a lot I took out. I want to make a point that her parents are being unfair, because I do not know what to do. But so far, pretty good advice.
  5. free2fly

    free2fly Members

    nope, I dont agree... if family can make rude and very critical remarks about a daughter gaining weight (which NO, they do not have a right to do, regardless if they are flesh and blood or not) ... then they do deserve a well put, FUCK YOU. Because sometimes its what they need to hear. It demonstrates that their daughter is her OWN person, who can speak up for herself, let them know in 2 simple words that she doesnt CARE about what they say, and shock them awake to reality ...... that is, that she is not someone they can manipulate into losing weight to meet their expectations with their uncaring, unthoughtful remarks about her weight.
  6. .Hannah.

    .Hannah. Member

    Well, it's your own life. But I personally wouldn't. lol. I'm not sure I care what the people on these forums post pictures of. I was just speaking from her point of view, I suppose and sure as hell would not appreciate my boyfriend pasting pieces of our convo or my pictures to strangers. And not even real life/one on one in the flesh friends/strangers. I kind of feel bad for her.

    I disagree about the fair/unfair statement. If a child continues to live under their parent's roof, and it's a little criticism like this, what is there to overreact to? Some scream "emotional abuse". Oh please. Open your eyes up to a lot more injustices and sufferings people go through. It doesn't justify any mental anguish she is being put through, but it sure does put greater perspective on things.

    Hopefully she'll be able to deal with this in due time. SHE knows her parents best. Not you. Maybe it's better that you let her sort this one out before goading her on or letting things fester more (between relations with her family). Support is one thing, but nourishing spite and anger can be something else.
  7. .Hannah.

    .Hannah. Member

    Utterly disagree.

    A kid wants to throw tantrums and stomp their feet around, swear at a parent? Oh, how about smashing this vase too?

    Get a job, find your own place, pay your own rent. There are other ways to assert your own maturity and individual person.

    Poor conduct, tantrums and coarse language is not only ridiculous, it reduces what may be a potentially large or serious issue into a screaming squabble that usually (in my opinion) gets nowhere.

    Shock? What kind of shock? Into a parent thinking their child is even MORE of a baby than they initially thought?

    The horror.

    I'll opt for something more peaceful and persuasive where even parents can save face, and possibly even learn a few things along the way. Remember that parenting is learned, it continues and it should continue.

    Have some faith.
  8. Carlfloydfan

    Carlfloydfan Travel lover

    well, there are so many other things you can critize a kid for. weight problems, especially with her, is the worst thing in the world.

    You know damn well that girls have terrible standards to live up to. those airbrushed woman in magazines, tv and ads set impossible standards and add a lot of pressure if you are not careful. You should be able to go home to a loving family and feel comfortable. It is not very respectful or mature to point out a problem that really is not a problem to begin with. What her parents said is bogus and unwarrented, they do not "have a right".

    ***I edited anyways, same point, more private for both of us.
  9. .Hannah.

    .Hannah. Member

    To say what they want? I believe every individual should have a free right to speech. They're not death threats.

    Instead of pointing fingers, perhaps your gf might take a more proactive (gentle or diplomatic) approach. As for you caring or thinking such things are unwarranted of her parents, well, it's up to her and you to speak that out between the both of you. I would very honestly tell my bf to shut it and mind his own business.

    That is the strange thing with partners and parents also. To constantly think that parents are evil and unwarranted, mean-spirited. I clearly have no idea what her parents are like but if she's having such a problem, I'm pretty sure she's smart enough to handle it on her own without you badmouthing the in-laws?

    Whether her parents are right or wrong, is a separate issue. I just have no idea why you're meddling yourself in this, getting worked up, possibly encouraging her frustration by putting your two cents in when you likely have not spent good time with her parents/relatives at all?
  10. Carlfloydfan

    Carlfloydfan Travel lover

    she came to me and talked to me...that means I can say what I feel. she came to me for comfort. thats how relationships work.

    hopefully a gf/bf or any couple can converse about nearly anything without saying shut up. we are both very chill with each other and shut up is pretty harsh for someone you claim to love.

    no where did I say any parent is constantly evil. But I am suprised you think parents are allowed to be tactless about sensitive issues, to the point where it makes someone cry. Just because they are parents does not give them the authority to critize about weight as they did. they are not experts in that area (weight loss) anyways. They can ask her if she wants to play sports...or offer up a healthy dinner. But at least be subtle..

    make it not an issue of weight, but enjoyment of activities together and indulging in good foods over conversation. but to come out and basically say "you are fat" is not warranted for a parent or non parent. it shouldn't even come into the picture. Since she is becoming a young adult who has been on her own, they really need to back off and have faith. she will be fine.

    I haven't gotten worked up so much as just confused and baffled...I guess different people have different definitions of fat..some people if it isn't near aneroxia its fat. But I am showing I care. can't be indifferent if its something your girl cares about and shows emotions over. If I was indifferent or choose to back off, than I would start to question things. she can fight her battles, I am here to encourage and support.
  11. mamaboogie

    mamaboogie anarchist

    might as well be... that kind of verbal abuse is inexcusable. For parents to emotionally peck away at their own daughter's self-esteem is criminal. The long term effects of this kind of abuse from one's own parents are very real, and often never go away. For way too many girls who are treated with disrespect from their parents, they end up in relationships just as abusive, or moreso, as adults. If she's old enough, I'd suggest she move away. If not, maybe a family counsellor would be helpful. Something has to be done before the damage is irreversible.
  12. .Hannah.

    .Hannah. Member

    Well, all I can say is I've been through it myself and it's a stage both girls and parents go through at times. If it's so terrible that she's breaking down, becoming anorexic, incredibly depressed about her self image, I'd suggest councelling also even if it's just personal councelling on her part - at least she has a professional guiding her about how to handle such comments, stay positive, healthy and happy however she chooses to do it.

    I was never born into some polite, touchy, highly considerate family either, and I did HAVE to dig deeper to read between their lines. What I am trying to say is try to develop a healthy self image of herself, grow some thick skin and sure as heck do not start throwing tantrums like a 4 year old as another member suggested.

    She's having a hard time dealing with French ideals of "thinness"?? I had to find my way around the Asian size 00, xxxs.
  13. RetroGroove_Grrl

    RetroGroove_Grrl I'm a big girl now


    Just make sure you let her know, every signle day, how beautiful she is , especially to you.

    Her patrents are wrong to be calling her 'fat', but you cant change them, so you can only do the best with what you have
  14. free2fly

    free2fly Members

    And that is like saying that parents should have more respect then their children, which I disagree with as well.

    Hardly a "tantrum" to finally break down and curse in front of one's parents ... lol, and I had to laugh about the little smashing the vase comment ..... I've seen my parents smash more things than I can count .....oh and cursing ... HAHA .. what a joke!!! Parents can speak vile and lash out and throw their tantrums with the best of children. In fact some parents are incredibly immature. You are speaking of idealistic situations and this girl may be in less than that. Who knows? But lets be openminded here.

    And its very easy for someone to say "oh just move out and get your own life" but believe me, sometimes doing that is alot harder than you think. Ive been on both ends of that and I know. In fact there are some parents who will go out of their way to put hinderances in front of their children to keep them from gaining that independance. Some are so full of complexes by the time they reach 18 that they dont even know how to function normally.

    Oh, and there are "some" parents who will listen to cursing when they wont listen to anything else. Perhaps not yours, but mine did. So you never know. Some parents are so calloused that they will let respectful, firm polite conversation go through one ear and out the other, because as long as things are quiet, they can continue to ignore the matter at hand. Those type of people have seen their child be nice and quiet all those years, and they depend on that behaviour, and thats how they know they can get away with talking to their kids the way they do. "Peaceful and pursuasive" will NOT work with those type of people!!! Some parents NEVER learn. Some things dont change. So dont count on that. Believe me, when that kid turns around and finally gives his/her parents a dose of their own medicine, if it doesnt do anything else, it WILL open their eyes. Maybe not the best thing but it WILL get through their thick-sculls. Everything cant always be handled in a Dr. Phil way. Sorry, but thats just life. Faith has nothing to do with it.

    Nobody is perfect and we all cant act perfectly. Sometimes we all need to burst. Send the damn wake up call. DO WHAT IT TAKES, and yes this is different in every situation. But no matter how it looks and what people think, do what it takes. Sometimes its more than mere words and conflict .... to some who are struggling on the inside, it could be a matter of survival. DO WHAT IT TAKES.

  15. Grim

    Grim Wandering Wonderer

    ....not to be the jackass of the group, but maybe she is fat?
    Hear me out.
    I'm all for being yourself, whomever that may be. If that means having some extra girth - so be it. But, if being that way is who you are, you should be proud of it and embrace it.
    If she is happy the way she is, if someone calls her fat it wouldn't bother her - right?
    So if it does bother her, maybe she doesn't want to be the way she is, and needs to do some soul-searching about what she really wants to be.

    As for her parents, freedom of speech is freedom of speech - even when it isn't something nice. Sure, that's kinda cruel to say to your own kid...but she doesn't have to give a damn what they say, either.
  16. free2fly

    free2fly Members

    of course, theres always freedom of speech .... which is why I say that she should feel free to curse them out, if it makes her feel better and if thats what it takes to shake them... :)
  17. Carlfloydfan

    Carlfloydfan Travel lover

    look at my gallery and tell me she is fat dude. she is not! She is beautiful and fine!

    Now, a hypothetical and realistic thought I had: when someone you love, like a parent, says you are fat..that tends to subconciously condition you to accept that when someone else you love, like a BF says that or something similar

    "oh my mom calls me fat (physical), so it's okay for my BF to tell me to enlarge my brests" (similar physical). not that straightfoward obviously, but you get my point. And this story, involving my gf and parents, is one of the reasons great girls end up with pricks. Their parents (someone they love) call them fat so they just take it when their boyfriends (someone they love) do the same. Is it okay for a bf to call his girl fat now? or to ask her to enlarge her brests? NO to both! It is tactless, you can not deny that. It is just something physical and has no barring on your soul anyways. It is none of her parents damn business and I told her that.

    I sorta agree with you. a well placed "fuck you" is fine if she wants to stoop to the immature levels of her parents..or she could be a lady and tell them off by saying, "it is my body, I will do what I want on my terms. Plenty of people love me regardless of what happens." I see fuck you as a last resort, or used with what I said.
  18. .Hannah.

    .Hannah. Member


    Sorry to hear about the kind of environment you had to live in. It sounds pretty damn dysfunctional, to be honest. And if you had to break out of it yelling and screaming, that's wonderful for you.

    I agree about the "fuck you" being a last resort. In the end your gf has to live with herself or the bridges she burns. Call it dr. phil or however which way you wish to see it, a person who cannot treat their parents with some modicum of respect or tolerance no matter how "terrible" they are, has way too much drama for me to want to know.

    I think you're getting a tiny bit hysterical here with the fat comments. True, it can damage a person's selfesteem or make a person less stubborn or willing to please. Has it ever occurred to you that while it may not be so FEMINAZI or politically correct, some women don't mind getting a few tweaks here and there? or they're happy?

    It's strange how things are so black and white for you? What others want = bad! = destroying yourself! Almost like it's a given that ALL GOOD women should resist any suggestions however remote. And if they're not... oh man, what a basketcase that chick turned out to be.

    You may be missing out on many dynamics in a relationship, even contexts if such a question were to be put to a woman, "Hey honey, how about a little more to squeeze.." And if the same woman asked him to go for hair transplants because his balding is unsightly, that's okay? Or is it tactless? How would you know?

    In the same way, how can you colour such suggestions for body enhancements in an exclusively negative light?

    Some women are so sickeningly quick to jump the gun all the time or call bloody murder and abuse. Save the drama queen fetish for the cat.
  19. Carlfloydfan

    Carlfloydfan Travel lover


    odd word to use. what made you choose it? if hysterical = caring for my gf and calmly typing to strangers in a concise manner to look for advice, than I suppose thats hysterical..sounds like an oxy moron to me. If I was hysterical, I would be calling her house and yelling at her parents. I am being quite rational and logical.. logical because I know her form, and it is not fat. the weight they want her to lose is ridicilous and un needed, 10-15 pounds. please. it should not be something you say to a daughter after 5 months of not seeing her either.

    "Some women are so sickeningly quick to jump the gun all the time or call bloody murder and abuse. Save the drama queen fetish for the cat."

    come again? she isn't claiming anything like abuse. I am not quite sure I get that last sentance either.

    If I understand that last sentance correctly, her parents bring about any drama that is in her life these days. none of it is because of her. if they don't bombarde her with fat statement, there is no drama, period. she has done an amazing job to get rid of any drama (from exs) that she had from a year or more ago. she was drama free for five months in the usa.

    lets see...I know there are many dynamics to a relationship, I don't need to be told that..

    Our relationship is a very interesting one, deep on a mental level and we get very philosphical. This incident is one small fraction of a percent of a percent of a percent of what we experience but it is quite annoying right now. and frankly, there shouldn't be much gray area with this particular incident. you call your daughter fat which is bad.... or you don't which is the ideal!..

    gray area = at least be subtle. Part of my problem with this is wishing they were more tactful.

    admit that saying "you are fat" multiple times is not tactful...gray area = being subtle at the very least and not making it an issue of fat, but enjoying an activity with your daughter or good convo over a healthy meal. my point partially is, fat should not come into the conversation, it is tactless and not really needed. she can change on her own will. it is none of her parents business and their words do nothing. she needs to have the self created will to do this..and she will, she is highly motivated..part of it is she is an only daughter...

    her father should not feel embarressed because of her weight which is fine to begin with..she has suceed so much, he should be proud. its such a nit picky thing to complain about. 3.7 gpa, great bf, teaching french in england, doesn't get into trouble with booze drugs or anything, nice and social to friends and strangers, caring...her father should be counting his blessings!

    Thank you! I agree, especially with the language barrier, it is impossible to change them.
  20. free2fly

    free2fly Members

    I truly dont understand people who say that "no drama" shit. Those are the people, who I honestly believe have had very little REAL drama in their lives, which is why they dont want to hear about it or know about it. Because quite frankly they cant DEAL with it. There is no "right" way of dealing with it. And you dont like to hear about it, because it doesnt fit in your perfect little world.
    Don't diss something until you have a better understanding of it. Walk a few miles in anyone else's shoes and you'll see the way life really is. Its all drama, my dear.

    carlfloydfan, I totally understand what you mean. And it truly is a shame that her parents are causing her that grief. I know what thats like on many levels. I hope you both can come up with a way of helping her to deal with it/get away from it. What people just dont understand is that there are no easy answers for some situations, and you have to do whatever it calls for. But you gotta do what you gotta do, because something has to be done because she doesnt need to put up with that. My heart goes out to her.

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