He Loves Me, They Love Me Not
Have you ever met someone who is just adorable? Someone who is considerate of your feelings, not too clingy but gives you just the amount of attention that you desire?
This person has their own friends and they get along with yours as well. Your heart pitter-patters as the butterflies flutter about in your stomach every time they are around. You wonder, ‘Hmm, maybe this is too good to be true; what’s the catch?’ And as fate would have it, there’s that family gathering where he/she takes you to meet the rest of the clan.
The ‘perfect in-laws’ - do they even exist?
What to do when you have tried your best to be cordial, but in turn you are faced with rude and obnoxious comments? Growl and show your teeth, or grin and bear it?
Although it is quite natural to defend yourself, you must consider the person in the middle, your significant other. I had an in-law who was a sniper of sorts with insults ready and willing to shoot down any comment that I made. I complained and complained to my partner.
“Why don’t you ever defend me?” I would question. I didn’t recognize the position I put him in. He loves his sibling and he loves me as well, and frankly he didn’t want to be placed in the middle of petty bickering.
There is still the question of what to do. Be very careful and choose your battles wisely. If this person is someone that you wish to be with for the long-term, you have to find a way to deal with their family.
If you are in a relationship with someone who has an emotional umbilical cord attached to parents and siblings, you are walking on very thin ice. The situation between you and the relatives can change the dynamics of your relationship significantly.
In the event that you are insulted, attempt to tactfully defend yourself without offending your partner or their kin. Try to limit the amount of time that you spend with the family. If they are an extremely social clan and there are various functions thrown throughout the year, only attend the events on major holidays. Your partner will appreciate your effort.
At the end of the day, you are not dating your in-laws. As long as you are in a happy and healthy relationship, do not let their negativity rent space in your head.