My Boyfriend is a Nurse
This is a repost blog.
Original posts by u/mybfisanurs on r/relationships on Reddit
15 Oct 2015: I [30F] am a doctor. My boyfriend [29M] of 1.5 yrs is a nurse. My dad’s [50M] wife [48F] of 4 years continuously makes fun of my boyfriend for his profession and I’m tired of it.
My parents had me really young, and my mom split when I was 3, so it’s only been me and my dad. My dad is an only child, and his dad died when he was in school and my grandmother passed when I was 10. My dad is truly one of the most incredible people ever; he raised me more or less on his own and sacrificed so much for me to be where I am today.
I met my boyfriend my last year of residency; he was a nurse (in a different unit) and we met in the cafeteria. One thing led to another, and here we are. I’m a hospitalist in a different hospital now but he still works at the same place. We moved in together about three months ago and I truly do see myself spending the rest of my life with this man.
Anyway–my dad didn’t date at all when I was growing up, really, but when I was in college he met Cindy (a divorcee with no kids) through a friend of his. They started dating around 10 years ago and got married 4 years ago. I’ve always gotten along with Cindy; I consider her a very close older friend (I was simultaneously maid of honor/best “man” at their wedding) and I think she’s a wonderful partner for my dad.
My dad LOVES my boyfriend, they often hang out without me (which is totally cool) and Cindy did as well, at first at least. For the past six months or so she’s made some really pejorative comments about my boyfriend being a nurse, him being the “woman” in the relationship (FWIW, my boyfriend is 6′4, muscled, bearded…he’s basically the epitome of masculinity) just because he’s a nurse. My bf laughed off the comments at first, and explained why he went into nursing rather than being a doctor (nurses work more with patients than doctors do, and he’s a very nurturing person by nature), but Cindy has just not let up. i really don’t think my bf is bothered by this, but I definitely am. I think it’s disrespectful and her archaic views of “men’s/women’s work” are not appreciated. I can tell my dad gets pissed off about it too; once he told Cindy to just shut up (in gentler terms) when she kept “joking” about it. She always defends herself as “just joking” but like………it’s not fucking funny. I’ve talked to my dad about it and he agrees that it isn’t cool, but he just goes on about how she doesn’t mean any harm or whatever. My boyfriend is adamant that it doesn’t bother him but still. I just think it’s so disrespectful. How do I talk to Cindy about this in a way so she’ll stop? Because honestly if it continues, I’m going to cut back on spending time/seeing her, even though it’ll definitely hurt my dad (which is something I don’t want to do)
tl;dr: My dad’s wife makes fun of my boyfriend for being a nurse; how do I talk to her about this without ruining our relationship?
20 Nov 2015: UPDATE
My first post blew up in a way I didn’t expect it to, but I wanted to thank you all for your advice. You gave me a lot to think about so when it came time to talk to Cindy, I wouldn’t trip over my words or anything.
I took her out to lunch yesterday (Sunday), and just very matter-of-factly told her how I was tired of her disparaging my bf, how I was tired of her putting down nursing as a profession and dismissing it just as “women’s work”, and finally told her that despite her insistence that she was just joking, I found her “jokes” offensive and was done with hearing them. I made it very clear that my boyfriend hadn’t sent me to defend him but that I was the one who was offended and tired of it.
She started to cry a little (which was alarming) and broke down and told me why she was doing what she was doing. Apparently, long story short, in her first marriage, Cindy’s income was more than double of that of her husband. After a year or so of marriage, he quit his job and ended up just mooching off of her. He became incredibly emotionally abusive and ruined her financially until she was able to get out and leave him. Basically–she was nervous that the same would happen to me, and she hoped that her “jokes” would sway my opinion enough to leave my bf.
I was kind of ??????? about her explanation, but she told me that she knew the jokes were childish and offensive, but she didn’t know how else to go about it. She said that I was the closest thing to a daughter she had, and that she loves me very much and that she felt awful about everything.
I started getting teary at this, and I told her that the jokes especially hurt from her because she’s someone I care deeply for, and she apologized profusely for having offended/hurting me. She said she really thought my boyfriend was a nice guy and that she wanted to get to know him better, which thrilled me.
I went home, told my boyfriend (who didn’t know why I was gone, I wanted to be covert about it), and he was thrilled. He told me that secretly he WAS upset about the jokes, as he knew that Cindy was someone I cared a lot for, but put on a game face because he didn’t want to drive a wedge in between us. He told me he loved me, and thanked me for standing up for him, and said he’s looking forward to getting to know Cindy better too! And my dad is over the moon as well :)
Thank you for your advice, all! <3 Communication really is key.
tl;dr: Cindy and I talked, she apologized, my boyfriend is happy, my dad is happy, and my family is the best :)
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