What to do when your partner's parents compare you to his ex

By Faeza
23 June 2017

Anonymous from Midrand writes:

I am a 24-year-old woman and I have been dating a 27-year-old man for eight months.

When I met him, he had just came out of a threeyear relationship. His family loved his ex-girlfriend because she used to help out with the house chores when she visited the family home. However, I don’t do this. I like sleeping and having quality time with my boyfriend, and now his family does not like me. They are comparing me to his ex-girlfriend and I feel like they want me to be someone I am not. What should I do?

Move expert replies:

Mandisa Muruge, who is counselling social worker at Family Life Centre in Johannesburg, says, “When you go to your boyfriend’s place, you are not going there to enslave yourself in order to buy his family’s affection. As a woman, there are reasonable things you can do as a visitor. You cannot be forced into doing house chores because you are in a relationship

with their son. You can help whenever you want to help; it is not fair for the family to expect you to work like a helper. Talk to your boyfriend about this matter and he must intervene. He must make sure you are comfortable, but this does not mean that you can leave dishes lying around in his room or refuse to tidy up areas you use like his room.”