Have you ever been in a situation where your introduction to your partner’s family was not as warm as you had hoped for it to be?
Have you ever experienced your family’s vehement opposition to a relationship because of certain reasons?
Family is a very important pillar in one’s life, especially one that is closely knit and constantly in communication. Because of the vital role the family plays in one’s life, it is quite easy to feel torn and caught in the middle. Here are few tips on how to deal with the situation:
- Stay calm: Yes, you want to scream out in anger. You feel belittled and treated unfairly. You feel you are mature enough and capable of choosing your own partner and should be allowed to, after all, you are the one in the relationship with your partner, and not mom or dad. BUT, such battles are not won with fights. Such fights compound issues and can even destroy or strain the family bonds. So, show your maturity to your family by letting them know you ackowledge them as your haven of love and support and that you value their concerns for you. This approach helps you listen to what they have against your partner and also enables you to think them through.
⦁ Observe: In your calm mode, keep your eyes open. If you are a Christian, ask for guidance and a sharpened sense of discernment from God. Take your time to analyse the relationship. Ask yourself whether the relationship has longterm essence. Establish the existence of the ‘flaws’ – i.e. the things that make your family or you concerned. Ask yourself whether you can cope with your partner’s ‘flaws’ in the future. Love alone is not enough so try to be as realistic as possible.
⦁ Be open, firm and determined: After your observation, you may have arrived at the decision to let the relationship go. This decision doesn’t necessarily mean that things between you and your family will be smoothened out automatically if your now past relationship caused rifts between you and the family, which is why you should follow the first step and not compound issues. You can’t lose on both ends. However, you would have learned to appreciate their involvement in your decision making.
If after your observation you decide to stick with your partner, be sure of your partner’s commitment and determination to prove your family wrong and themselves worthy of you. Evaluate the situation and decide on how much distance or closeness is appropriate for peace to reign on both sides. Once you and your partner are determined to stay together against all odds, you should give your family some time and space to process the change and be convinced as well. Because hey, you can’t deny it, it is a double win when you have your family’s approval. Your relationship is more enjoyable when both parties – family and partner – can relate cordially with each other. It’s blissful to say the least.
What does the rejected partner do to salvage the situation?
- Prove themselves: There is nothing more you can do apart from enduring and proving yourself worthy of their family member. Sometimes it is not YOU per se, but certain circumstances, ideologies or fears.
- Stay calm: No one will feel confident in having you constantly around their loved one if you do not respect them or show them that at least, you are not one to abuse their family member. Losing control only gives you negative points See their opposition as a challenge and work on overcoming it. Do not force your partner to choose you over their family.
- Observe and calculate: Yes, you too need to observe. You can’t convince certain people on certain issues. That is one thing you need to clarify: “Is their reason for not accepting me tangible?” Be honest with yourself. “Do you understand them? Would you do same or worse in their situation?” Then: “Is your partner worth it?” Look beyond the love and scrutinize the person and the relationship. You can’t be going through all that for nothing.
Through it all, as a couple, you need to communicate openly and be each other’s strength because: whatever will be, will be.