Each of us only enters into a relationship with our partner, theoretically that is said, because practically when we have a new relationship, we actually have several new relationships and these are linked to the connections our partner has with their family, their circle of friends. Often the most important influence we get in the couple relationship is from our families. You may feel that his family has a toxic emotional effect on you. We invite you to discover 5 behaviours to help you maintain balance in such situations.
If you’re thinking of talking to your partner about how you feel and the pressure that comes with being in direct contact with his or her family, we recommend that you address this issue as gently as possible. Our advice would be to pick specific topics and refer to them specifically. It is very likely that his parents mean well, but the way of communication is not suitable for you. We are all unique and don’t always manage to create harmonious relationships with each other, even though we often have the best of intentions.
Here’s what you can do when you feel your relationship with your partner’s family is toxic for you or the couple.
Find out which boundaries help you
It’s important to take a close look at what is causing you to feel uncomfortable in your relationship with these people. Once you’ve established what those negative behaviours are for you, you can start to draw some boundaries so that you can limit their repetition as much as possible or undo their effect if you can’t stop them.
If they are too critical, point out to them that your partner trusts you, if they think some things need to be done differently, pass the responsibility on so they think they can do them better. If you feel they are trying to influence your partner with gossip that you feel is unfounded, talk to your partner about how you can have a balance in the relationship so that you don’t go overboard with your values.
If he thinks the relationship and possibly your future family should look different in terms of sharing their responsibilities than you think, try to come to a mutual agreement. If you can’t, well, maybe his parents are right, and he will follow their advice to the letter.
It is very important that your partner also realises that he is in a relationship with you and not with others and that he has a say in what he wants from his love life.
Focus on your well-being
Make it a point to create spaces or loops of time where you are specifically taking care of yourself or where it can just be the two of you. Either plan to move in together, just the two of you, or you can rent a place to invite him to.
If you need to spend some time, on holiday for example, with his family, be sure to plan events where you can attend separately. Perhaps give your parents tickets to a local show or resort as a gift, while you find time to enjoy each other.
Whatever solution you adopt, make sure you give yourself enough time for personal pampering and wellness.
Forgive, but remember
It’s important not to take to heart all those behaviors or words that you feel hurt you. Keep your inner balance and remind yourself every moment what a wonderful being you are and how important it is in this world that we are different.
Learn to forgive and forgive quickly so that negative feelings don’t cloud your heart and you can keep your spirit free and easy.
At the same time, be aware of possible direct or indirect threats from others, so that you can defend yourself if they do come true. Allow yourself an escape route at any time from a situation where you feel you might lose control.
Distance yourself as much as possible
Distancing yourself will help you get rid of the “Chinese drop” effect when it comes to small, ongoing behaviours that cause you inner tension and negative emotions.
You’ll certainly cope much more easily if you have family gatherings a few times a year, when you already know what to expect and how to avoid certain likely situations, rather than trying to get through small but annoying situations several times a day.
Take care of your partner’s family
Even though it’s often hard for you to interact with them, they too need a bit of your youth and all the new things that the younger generations always know and could pass on to the older ones. Giving them the feeling of care and protection is likely to help them understand why certain behaviours are harmful to you or the couple, and can lead them to try to support the couple rather than criticise them.
We all need love, and when we don’t know how to act, it’s the example that becomes the most powerful. Be the example they need.