44

Background

My girlfriend and I are going on a holiday in her native country, about 800km from our current city. We planned this holiday months ago and we planned to stay for 2 weeks.

Problem

Today her mother asked me out of the blue if she could come with us during the travel because she wants to come visit her relatives.

Obviously, I don't want her to come with us. This travel our travel, not hers. It's not that I don't like her, but I feel that the travel would not be the same if there was only the two of us.

Honestly, I'm quite stunned about the question: If I were the parent in this situation, I would use public means to come and visit my relatives and surely not bother my daughter and her boyfriend.

Question

How can I answer that I don't want her to come with us without offending her and in a polite way?

I don't want to be rude and I don't want to hurt her, but I feel that she passed my boundaries and I want to give a firm but polite answer.

Notes:

She asked only to travel with us, she won't stay with us during the holiday.

Asking such a thing, she is also asking me to prolong my 8 hours travel by another 50 minutes.

This is my first time I undertake such a trip, so it will be really heavy without prolonging it.

We depart during the night, not sure how she will handle it.

I'm not sure about this but my car is pretty small and I'm not sure we will be ok with all the baggage if she comes ( she will surely have her own baggage).

She asked me through her daughter and not directly.

Also, my girlfriend doesn't like the idea of traveling with her mother too.

@Astralbee I'm 21, my girlfriend is now 19 and her mother is about 50ish.

@1006a We've been dating for half a year now. I've spent a total of 2-3 lunches with her mother.

@Jesse (Hope I understood your question) We don't mind her being in our same location, we mind her coming with us. We usually have to do the 50 minutes trip from my gf's house to mine, and when we do we usually sing, joke, talk about private matters and so.. that's why we would like to be only the two of us.

@Sip The financial situation is not the best one, but she can afford it if she really wants to.

Final Edit: We went for the "car is full/too small" option and her mother seems to have accepted the answer. (Actually, after doing some thinking, the car will probably be almost overstuffed)

  • 3
    Can you clarify what "won't be staying with us, but travel with us" means? your trip is two weeks. Will your mother only be with you for the trip from A to B and back, but you will have the two weeks completely for yourself, or will she see you during the two weeks you are there? or, asked differently: Does she just need a lift (once there, once back)? – Polygnome May 18 '18 at 7:24
  • She asked us about the trip. So she needs to go from A to B but she will surely stay with her relatives. Probably she will ask us out on my girlfriend's birthday ( she will have her birthday during the holiday ). – A.Danzi May 18 '18 at 7:38
  • 3
    How is the financial situation of you girlfriend's family? Paying extra for a 800km trip on public transportation can be expensive. Also, driving together would not only save money but also be more environmentally friendly. – Sip May 18 '18 at 7:48
  • 1
    @walen True, I'm currently helping my girlfriend to answer her mother with the suggested answers. Actually, I'm still acting as shadow in this matter, but I don't want to leave my girlfriend alone. – A.Danzi May 18 '18 at 7:59
  • 2
    @A.Danzi You should probably make that clear in the question itself. The problem of "how to tell my mother X" can and should probably be approached in different ways than "how to tell my partner's mother X". – walen May 18 '18 at 8:11

14 Answers 14

61

First of all, you have raised a legitimate concern about the size of your car. You have luggage to take, so one possibility is to make this your excuse. It is after all truthful.

You or your girlfriend could say:

Sorry, we don't think that we will be able to fit you into our small car with all our luggage too. Even if we squeezed in we think it would be uncomfortable, and maybe even a safety concern. We just don't think we can drive for 8 or 9 hours in a cramped car.

This is probably the least offensive means as it is completely practical and not about personalities or feelings.

However, only use this if it is a strong argument. If you use this and she challenges it with something like "it isn't that small!" then any subsequent argument you use is definitely going to sound like you're making excuses, no matter how you phrase it!

If you want to tackle it completely honestly from the outset then one of you could say:

We don't want to hurt your feelings, but we are really excited about this trip and we imagined it as just the two of us from the outset. Taking you along will make it very different for us. Could we please make our trip alone this time?

  • 9
    Actually, her family has the my same car, but they never made the trip with that car for a number of reasons, including luggage so we might have a strong point here – A.Danzi May 17 '18 at 15:10
  • 53
    Instead of starting off with We don't want to hurt your feelings which would start with a slightly negative tone, I would start off more positively with: We really enjoy spending time with you and being with you, but for this time around, we were actually planning to go by ourselves – Wadih M. May 18 '18 at 1:01
  • 2
    another alternative is not to split the reasons: the car can be small and they could like to go by themselves at the same time. presenting both points together (and in the way Wadih suggested) could prevent any kind of challenge from the mother. – Federico May 18 '18 at 8:12
  • 1
    It's a request - saying please in the denial at the end isn't required. – curiousdannii May 20 '18 at 1:42
  • 1
    @WadihM. Mileage may vary there. I know plenty of people who already turn dismissive when hearing "We really enjoy spending time with you and being with you, but" without even hearing the rest. If done too explicitly, it feels very professional/neutral to minimize impact; which can imply that there is an impact to be had in the first place. For example, if my SO asks if I like her cooking, and I start off with stressing how much I love her; you can already guess that I'm going to be negative about her cooking. Some people really dislike that emotional padding. Others appreciate it. – Flater May 22 '18 at 11:41
42

You're being asked for a favor. 'Sorry, but I'd rather not' is a complete sentence and a valid answer to a request for a favor. You're generally under no obligation to justify yourself.

Having said that, when it concerns the immediate family of your significant other, you'll probably want to provide some justification. No matter what, you always want to tell the truth, but frame it nicely.

We discussed it, but we'd really prefer to just be by ourselves for this vacation. We were really looking forward to spending this time as a couple, without having to account for anyone else. I'm sure you'd make every effort not to be a burden, but I'm sure you'll also agree that it's always different to travel as a couple or to have someone with you. Perhaps in the future we can plan a trip to visit the relatives together as the three of us, but for now we'd really prefer to be alone.

  • 9
    Note, phrases like "we discussed it and decided..." should only be used if it was discussed and it really is a honest decision made by op and his significant other. From the question it is not clear. He only says his girlfriend "does not like the idea" - not liking something can be far from refusing your parent a favor... – Mołot May 17 '18 at 22:03
  • She'd actually refuse is she could be sure about not hurting her mother's feels – A.Danzi May 18 '18 at 7:13
  • @Mołot That's actually why I use the phrasing I suggested, you're not explicitly denying the request, you're just making it exceedingly clear that you really don't want to grant it. As the OP states, they did discuss the matter and they both felt the same way. That seems strong enough grounds for using this phrasing. I'm open to a suggested phrasing for cases where the agreement isn't strong enough. – Cronax May 18 '18 at 10:32
  • 2
    Upvoting a good answer, although as a person quite non-experienced with this, I would recommend saying "I'd really prefer", instead of "we'd really prefer". Vilify yourself, not yourself and your girlfriend. Then if you split up, she won't have life-long blame. And even if you don't, she may appreciate you taking the large hit in a challenging situation (a hit which she obviously didn't entirely take herself, as she did relay the message). Protect her from the request, and she will appreciate you for it. – TOOGAM May 19 '18 at 23:29
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    Changing it to "I" over "We" makes the effect weaker and opens up the door for the mother to start pressuring her daughter. The idea behind this answer is to show that you've made a decision as a couple to do what's best for that couple. When it's just the OP, the OP is 'being a jerk to his mother in law' but when it's a discussed decision as a couple, that changes. – Cronax May 20 '18 at 6:49
20

Besides some of the good suggestions in other answers, I'm going to take this on from the mother's point of view.

Since you and your girlfriend are young, and it's your first trip together, she may be trying to do a couple things here. The first is acting as a chaperone, with the second is that she may want to spend more time with you to get to know you better.

For option 1, she may want to try to keep both of you aware that there is "an adult" around (as if you two weren't already adults), so you will be "on your best behavior." You don't mention how long you've been together or how intimate you are, so I'm going to assume the idea might be to prevent you two from "getting any ideas", which would mean: becoming intimate if you weren't already that way. In this case, refusing her a ride might be difficult.

Option 2 goes into how long you've been dating and how much time you've spent with her parents. You don't mention this, so it may be as simple as wanting to learn more about you, and a long car trip may be her idea of "the best way", since it's harder to make "excuses" to get out of answering her questions. Something like "I'd love to answer that question, but we'd best be getting to the restaurant, our reservations..." just won't apply in the car. Think of this as a captured audience. She may also just want to be a "fly on the wall", to see how you and your girlfriend act when you're "alone". While refusing her a ride might not be what she wants, she may only put up basic arguments before living with your decision.

There's always the possibility that she can't afford the trip without tagging along. You don't mention how well off her parents are, which wasn't necessary for the question, but there's that possibility. She could also see this just as a spur of the moment trip, where a ride is available, but if the ride isn't available, she won't actually take her trip. In this case, the trip won't really matter and she'll brush it off as quickly as she thought up the idea of the trip.

While I'm not giving you a different answer, I thought a different aspect of the request might give you a different mindset when expecting a reaction from her.

I like Astralbee's answer in saying that the room available in the car is the reason for not wanting her to join you in the trip. Since this is not based on feelings, desire, or anything less solid than "facts", it'll likely work. Especially since her family has already used that reason to not use their similar car to make a similar trip, as mentioned by you in comments. Just make sure the back seat isn't completely empty when you leave!

  • 2
    I very much like this answer. My own mum is deathly afraid of flying - so if she could hitch a ride to see family, she absolutely would. – user17810 May 17 '18 at 20:08
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    From a very "save money" focused family, it wouldn't even really be a question for us to let my mother join. Besides, it is only 8 hours out of 2 weeks and it would save a significant amount. However, as its just for this shorter time, I would not really call it a chaperone... – Jesse May 17 '18 at 23:59
19

How can I deny a request from the mother of my girlfriend to tag along on our road trip?

You don't. Your girlfriend has to.

A good rule of thumb for dealing with each other's relatives while in a relation, is that each deals with their own relatives. The reason for this is that you don't want your relatives to sour on your partner because they are the bearer of bad news, or vice versa.

She asked me through her daughter and not directly.

Also, my girlfriend doesn't like the idea of traveling with her mother too.

In your case, it's you mother-in-law-to-be (for want of a better word) who asked her daughter, so your girlfriend should be the one to deliver the bad news to her mother. Of course, you two should be on the same page first, so even though you seem to agree, talk this through beforehand; not just the desired outcome (her mother not coming with you) but also whether you'd be willing to compromise ("but what if I paid for petrol and promised to quietly sit on the back seat and I don't have much luggage anyway?"). You two can decide for you to be present when she delivers the bad news for moral support, but she should be the primary bearer of the bad news.

  • 3
    Your first line after the quote is confusing to me. It looks like being in response to "Also, my girlfriend doesn't like ...", while you are probably intending it as a direct sequitur to "How can I deny ...". – AnoE May 18 '18 at 15:29
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    This is correct. It's her job to deal with her mom. Her mom would get upset with OP, but most likely forgive her. – user2107 May 19 '18 at 6:10
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    "mother-in-law-to-be (for want of a better word)" um, 'girlfriend's mother'? – Michael May 21 '18 at 12:26
14

You say that you are quite stunned, but honestly, I would not be. If a close relative or friend would ask to me to travel with me on a trip that I would do anyway (and the car is big enough, which is a different matter), I usually would not refuse. It saves a lot of money and hassle for your girlfriend's mother, and is a bit annoying for you, so I would not consider it to be an impolite or rude request.

You can refuse to take her with you, but you cannot do it without hurting her feelings.

  • 2
    Actually we're not that close so that's why I'm a bit stunned. Usually I would say yes, but for a trip that long it's a different matter to me. – A.Danzi May 18 '18 at 7:21
4

Explain it to her, making it about you, not about her.

Thanks for you offer to travel with us. I have given this some thought and, this time, I am afraid I'd prefer we travel alone. It's not about you, but please understand this is our first great trip together. We have everything planned already and I'd like to be able to concentrate on entirely. I hope you understand.


It´s up to you how to tell her. If you want to prevent discussions and make clear this is your opinion as a couple, tell her together. If you Girlfriend is afraid to stand up to her Mother you can do it. If the two of them get along well, maybe she wants to do this to spare her any embarrassment.

  • Sorry, she asked me through her daughter and not directly. Will include that into the question. – A.Danzi May 17 '18 at 14:34
  • 1
    Ah, that´s great - then you can answer through her daughter as well. Her mother, her problem ;) (just joking, of course - tricky to keep everyone happy - maybe you want to elaborate on your girlfriends stance as well?) – user6109 May 17 '18 at 14:40
  • Sure, but I can answer directly if necessary. Maybe we could turn it into a thing we say to her together. – A.Danzi May 17 '18 at 14:43
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    Whatever you do, make sure you are on one page with your girlfriend first, or you´ll ruin your trip either way! If she does not want her to come with, but is afraid to tell her, you can be the Hero and do the telling / take the blame. – user6109 May 17 '18 at 14:52
3

Considering your girlfriend's mom doesn't seem to understand early couples prefer to spend quality time for themselves and specially have their 'first-times' without external interference, and considering your girlfriend doesn't want to take her either but she was not able to make some excuse by herself before asking you.
Chances are, you are gonna have to lie.

Car space is a real concern, just like it is privacy and quality time together, if your in-law isn't the insightful or wise type of person to understand that in advance (it seems she isn't), then exaggerate a concern she understands, like car space in this case. Even if it sounds like a wrong thing to do for people with a ridiculous unreal sense of righteousness.

So you'll have to ask your girlfriend how does she feel about lying to her mom in a way that she won't need to remember details of a false story, details is what makes lies hard to keep and easy to fail, there are no details in this story, it is a simple exaggeration of luggage.

If she agrees, then you need to make a simple excuse that doesn't leave space for discussion or subjectivity.

The car is absolutely full, nothing else will fit.

The car's capacity is not in question, no one is asking or saying how big or how small the car is, regardless of size, the car is absolutely full.

Don't elaborate too much into why the car is full, you can easily avoid that because your girlfriend will deliver the message, not you. So she can simply say:

I don't know. He's taking a bunch of stuff, (cold weather?=skiing equipment, a beach nearby?=snorkeling or surfing equipment).

Make sure it's about inanimate objects, avoid including more parties on your lie at all cost, you don't want to say "we're taking a couple of friends too", they won't be in the pictures. In the end, you are going to end with pictures with objects which might be rented on the spot, and if by any chance she was to come over to your house and ask about the surf board, well

It broke and I had to throw it out

Addressing people offended by my suggestion to lie:
No son in law should be trying to educate on common sense the adult parent of their boy/girlfriend, this is common knowledge, at least in the western world and almost any other culture I'm informed about where parents are not an overbearing presence in their children's lives. But some people are simply, like, unaware, or don't care, and to avoid such a conflict, as in, "let's try to educate your mom", it's easier, more polite and tactful to lie, yes a simple lie with no chances to get out of proportion, and proud of it. They can worry about building a stronger more fulfilling relationship with in-laws later.

Live long and prosper.

  • Actually, car space is a real concern. We could go this way in case there's still a little spot ( that will cause the car to be overstuffed with another person ) – A.Danzi May 18 '18 at 7:34
  • @A.Danzi Car space will be a more realistic concern on the way back, where you wont be able to take back any shopping. – Rui F Ribeiro May 18 '18 at 23:25
  • 1
    Car space is a real concern, so it is privacy and quality time together, if your in-law isn't the insightful type of person to understand that, exaggerate a concern she understands, like car space in this case. @A.Danzi I find it hilarious that I just finished watching "The invention of Lying" by Ricky Gervais the very same day I posted this answer. – J A May 18 '18 at 23:43
2

Road trips with your girl can be a beautiful thing.

Short version of what I would do: communicate to my girlfriend that I have been really looking forward to this trip as a time for us to get away and spend some quality, amazing, and romantic moments together just the two of us. As it turns out, having her mom in the car as well would take away from this experience.

That right there, in my opinion, is truthful and shows your girlfriend what really is on your mind, how you're putting your relationship and time together as a priority, and that you're honest.

Longer version of the above: something to consider when you find yourself in a bit of an awkward situation like this, is the culture and the relationship you have with this other person (your girlfriend's mother, in this case).

For example, a few times a year my girlfriend's mom talks about planning trips and likes to invite me. In the past, I joined them on a few of these trips, but now I just politely say no and thank her. Why? Because experience has taught me that it is very important to mark clear boundaries between family time and relationship time. Since the question got to you via your girlfriend, what did your girlfriend say to her mom as it unfolded, before she even told you about it? Depending on your gf's personality, she:

  • A) thought it was fine at the time and didn't want to confront her mom
  • B) didn't like the idea and told her that she would rather be alone with you during the trip as she wanted it to be something special, romantic, and personal between the two of you alone

From what you've mentioned, it sounds like option B wasn't the case. The sucky part about situations such as this one, is that now you're left to be the one making the decision, which depending on how the mom is could rub her off slightly the wrong way. If your girlfriend tells her something like: "Hey mom, X and I talked about it, and we thought it would be best if you didn't go because we're not sure we have enough space in the car," or any other thing along those lines really, at that point you're already involved in the delivery of that answer and it may not come out the right way.

Anyway, best of luck and let us know how it goes.

  • Many mothers wouldn't take "no" for an answer from their daughter. – gnasher729 May 20 '18 at 9:02
2

I suspect that your girlfriend's mother isn't suddenly missing her relatives, but what she really wants is keeping an eye on you and your daughter. Once you dropped her off with the relatives, expect calls that she needs you for further transport. And you and your girlfriend agree that you don't want her there.

I suggest you pretend that she really wants to visit her relatives, so you point out that your car is too small for three people and luggage, and you offer to drive her to her relatives after you return, and then she can stay as long as she likes. For her, based on what she says she wants and not on what we suspect she really wants, that would be a much better solution since she can go there at any time, and stay with the relatives as long as she wants, and isn't limited to the two weeks of your vacation.

There isn't much she can do to argue with this. At most she can say that this would be too inconvenient for you (but you really love driving your car, don't you, so it's not inconvenient at all).

Best case result: She suddenly loses the urge to visit the relatives, and you've won. Worst case result: You have to drive her there and back again, which is mightily inconvenient, but you can take your girlfriend with you, spend the weekend where your relatives live, and it's not "mum spoils our holiday" but "we take mum to see her relatives", which is a totally different situation).

2

As others suggest, and coming also from a Latin culture, where parents are overly protective of their "kids"...the situation smells strongly of a misguided chaperone attempted hijacking of your time alone in a trip. Will the mother also will have then "problems" with the accommodation? Who knows.

As for a possible compromise...if you have space problems now, so much more in the way back, for returning with shopping or souvenirs. One possible way of compromise if you do not want to say no, is giving the mother a lift, on the premisses she returns by her own means. However this arrangement can backfire with some "emergency" on the way back.

The mother has to stop seeing her daughter as a child, and it is up to you both to start establishing boundaries and having your own space. I would stand my ground, with no lies. Your gf has to have the maturity to say to her mother that you both need and deserve this time alone, and that she ought to respect that. As an added benefit, you are setting a precedence you should started being respected as independent adults.

You both need this trip to start building up your memories, and bonding. Do not let yourself be manipulated under the guise of keeping "good relations". You will have a lot of time for establishing a relationship with your in-laws.

Contrary to what others say, this trip is not to be taken that seriously, and it is to be taken shortcuts, pauses, knowing new places and people, and having lots of fun, time permitting. I also did that on my time, and those trips are certainly not in my list of regrets. Carpe diem.

PS. Coming from a similar Latin culture, my parents, and especially my mother can be pretty possessive , manipulative and outright mean if I let them be, on situations that involve me and another woman, even still today well in my 40s - and believe me I had already a fair enough share of "official" gfs that they knew.

As a male "child", I do remember having an huge fight with my mother when I was 21 for she not be chaperoning me and my gf who was 26 at the time. I regret the outcome of the fight, but not the principle per se.

2

I guess the question you have to ask is, Is the journey that important to you?

You've got two weeks of Couples Time ahead of you and functionally 18 hours with Momfriend and Girlfriend if you do this.

This is an opportunity for bonding time with Momfriend and even if you spend the entire journey in silence (very doubtful given the personalities you describe) it's a favour that absolutely will ingratiate you to Momfriend.

It might be a lot of fun, it might not, but being precious about plans is rarely a good thing.

I speak from experience on that last point, I have a borderline pathological hatred of sudden changes of plan and really relate to how you're feeling on the subject.

To decide, maybe ask your girlfriend what her mom is like on long car journeys, if they've been on road-trips before, does mom sing? is the conversation stimulating? Is she awful to travel with? Motionsickness?

If she'll be a good travel companion then your journey might be a lot of fun.

On the other hand, That "we're on our way" feeling when you set off on your own together really detaches you from normal life a lot and travelling with Momfriend might well disrupt that, but it's a fleeting feeling, it'll be gone within half an hour or so. So the question is, Is that feeling really worthwhile?

Edit:

If you're set on refusing however, I would elect to be frank about it. Explain that it's important to you that this be 100% couples time from start to finish. Be apologetic but firm.

Momfriend ought to understand it, you might leave her in the lurch as far as travel goes, but she is imposing on your trip and you have every right to refuse. People are not always reasonable however. Very much depending on the individual, you may not have a way to refuse without upsetting anyone.

Talk to your girlfriend about it, she knows her mom best and given the request is coming through her rather than directly, she's probably going to be the one to deliver the bad news to mom anyway.

I also really cannot stress hard enough that you should make sure you and your girlfriend are on the same page about this.
Her priorities may not be aligned entirely with yours and being too firm about refusing may put a damper on the trip.

  • 21 year old boy and 19 year old girl. Legal adults who can do whatever they like, including lots of naughty things. It occurs to me that the presence of the mother would take a lot of the fun away. In addition, you didn't respect the poster's question who asked how to get rid of the mother. – gnasher729 May 20 '18 at 9:04
1

If you are in a serious, commited relationship with your girlfriend, I think the first step is to talk with your girlfriend alone , to see if you both are on the same page with regards to this issue. That's considering you are both legal adults and are free to accept or refuse her mother's request. (I am not sure the legal age in your country, but here it is 18 years) .

If your girlfriend were a minor, then her mother would have legal rights over yours and she would therefore act as a chaperone and be obliged to accompany you.

After you have talked with your girlfriend, you can approach her mother, together , perhaps taking her out for coffee or tea on neutral territory. The point of this, is to be clear with her mother about what you both want ,instead of imagining all kinds of unpleasant scenarios on the road, as well as generating negative feelings about her mother, by trying to find excuses to avoid taking her.

A frank discussion between all of you , assuming that you are on the same page as your girlfriend, will avoid misunderstandings and the he-said she-said situation . In relation to this, depending on the dynamics of the personal relationship between daughter and mother, your girlfriend being approached alone by her mother on this issue, may pressure her into accepting her mother's request, whereas discussed in the open , on neutral turf, would give a more balanced discussion .

It could be that her mother is only needing a ride and does not intend to act as a chaperone. But until you discuss it openly, you will not know her state of mind. It would be helpful to approach this issue with an empathetic view of her mother. She could be just feeling protective of her daughter and has difficulty letting go of her emotionally , which is not uncommon. Afterall, she has been her caregiver since birth and it may take her some time to detach herself from her daughter and watch her depart alone with a boyfriend. Oftentimes, a mother can be left feeling lonely and abandoned when her children become adults and it does take a period of adjustment.

If you refuse her request, which may upset her mother ,you could at the same time suggest another occasion, when you could all holiday together, so as to create no hard feelings.

  • Legal age in Italy is 18. That's why I put the cultural tag. – A.Danzi May 18 '18 at 7:28
  • The demand of the mother doesn't create any obligation for the boyfriend. She asks for a favour - if she doesn't get it, there is no reason for hard feelings. What makes you think the boyfriend would have any obligation to make promises (for a holiday together) that he doesn't intend to make? – gnasher729 May 19 '18 at 8:42
0

Your girlfriend's mother has asked for a lift in your car to see relatives at a location you are travlling to - and you are going to ask her to use public transport??

Are you serious about your girlfriend? If so you need to need to put your (frankly immature) feelings aside and do the right thing. You are going to spend a day in a car with your future mother-in-law - big deal.

If your car really doesn't have the space then that's different but you should make an effort to welcome your girlfriends mother.

My apologies for being so blunt.

  • 1
    Yes, I am serious and my girlfriend is serious too. The problem here lies withing both of us not wanting her mother because it would ruin our trip. Yes, this is our thing and yes, it's a big deal for us. I asked how to answer no politely, I haven't asked for personal considerations. – A.Danzi May 18 '18 at 9:42
  • 3
    Your perception that this will "ruin your trip" is part of the problem. – Eric Nolan May 18 '18 at 10:38
  • @EricNolan You're right - they both don't want the mother to join, because they feel it would ruin the trip. That is the actual problem, and that's why OP is here. It's not part of the problem. – pipe May 18 '18 at 12:55
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    I couldn't disagree more with this answer if I tried. If someone is immature in this scenario it's the mother. I'd suspect that her intent isn't visiting relatives, but keeping control over daughter and boyfriend. I had a similar first holiday with my now wife, and there's no way in hell her mother would have been on that trip. – gnasher729 May 19 '18 at 8:35
  • You may have missed the bit in the question where the girlfriend is also less than pleased with her mother joining. If he's serious about the girlfriend, he should consider that she may be his ex-girlfriend if he doesn't put his foot down and tells the mother to stay at home. – gnasher729 May 19 '18 at 8:38
0

This is a test, and "no" is the wrong answer. That is, you have to say yes because you are trapped, and frankly it was unfair of your girlfriend to even put you in this position.

My hunch is part of her wants her mom on this trip. My reaction, if my mom floated this idea, would be to laugh and say "Not going to happen." It wouldn't be to say "Oh let me ask my new boyfriend and see if he says it's ok." Seriously?! Either she is terrified of her mom and can't say no, or she sort of wants her to come. If the former, she needs to learn to say no.

If the latter, then you need to think very carefully about how you handle this. Don't just listen to her words. Think about what she did. Entertain the prospect with her: "Hey listen maybe it wouldn't be that bad if your mom came." See if she seems to sort of like the idea.

Because if it's true that she really didn't want her to come, then unequivocally, she should have handled it without involving you. Now that she has, it is too late. The only answer is yes. I know that doesn't answer your question, but all this stuff about "oh my car is too small" and such is just BS and no halfway intelligent parent will buy it, and they will poke obvious holes in it. Just stop it is ridiculous.

She has unfairly put this in your lap, and you cannot say no without harming the relationship with potential in-laws. Either she handles it like she should have from the start, or your girlfriend's mom is coming with you. Just get used to the idea.

Welcome to the rest of your life. You marry a family, not a person. Have fun. :)

  • Welcome to IPS! Please take a moment and view the Help Center. I don't see a problem with this here but we have one rule of "be nice". – baldPrussian May 19 '18 at 17:40
  • I recommend the poster buy something like an Audi TTS or save up for a Porsche 911. She won't survive more than 30 minutes on the back seat. – gnasher729 May 19 '18 at 21:48
  • Buy a motorcycle. :) – neuronet May 20 '18 at 2:15
  • In my first really long vacations with my wife, she suggested we went to a beach resort with her brother and wife, and I told her I was not confortable with the situation and those were our vacations. They did not go. T here are limits, you have your family time but you should also not give up your time alone as a couple. – Rui F Ribeiro May 20 '18 at 13:38

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