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My boyfriend and I have been dating for two and a half years now and everything seemed to be going great – until this past July. We moved into his dad's second house, which he rents to people in the neighborhood. My boyfriend has been away for an extended work training and I have been living by myself. I decided to fly down for the weekend to visit, and when I came back to my apartment I found everything to be cleaned perfectly – including the toilet. My boyfriend (30 years old) was scolded by his dad because he didn't like the condition of the apartment.
Mind you, all my friends have said my apartment is always clean, which it is. Aside from breaking and entering, he touched my belongings. I can't let this go and I am dreading seeing his dad in the future. This past weekend, my boyfriend had a conversation with his father and his father thinks he did nothing wrong since it's "his house," he said. I was always under the impression that he was my landlord and that was it. I have been upset for months, moved back into my parents house, and will be officially moving out in October. I don't want this to be an obstacle for our relationship especially when we're moving into a new place so soon but how do I let this go?
– An averagely clean person
The good news is that your boyfriend understood why this was a problem. He spoke to his dad about the issue, and he was open to moving somewhere else so you can feel respected and safe. All of that says a lot about your relationship.
The anger toward your boyfriend’s dad – that might affect your relationship. But for now, let the two of them figure out their own family stuff. All you have to do is maintain your own boundaries and figure out whether you can get past this enough for you and the dad to be polite to each other. It doesn't sound like you'll be getting an apology from this man.
Wait to see the dad until you're really happy in your new place. It might feel less fresh once you're fully done with the moving process – when you have your agency back and can walk away from a conversation and go to your own home. Also, maybe after some time with a new tenant, the dad will have better perspective about why you were upset about what he did.
I can't tell you what will happen or how this will feel over time, but I do know this: a lot of letter writers write in because in-laws cross boundaries. Many letter writers despise in-laws. The most important thing seems to be whether the partners of these letter writers understand, listen, and manage their own families. Your boyfriend did that, right? That's a good sign.
See how this feels after the move and some time.
Readers? How do you get over a significant other's family member crossing a boundary? How can the LW deal with this problem without it hurting the relationship?