TheConfidante In the Media
“I really do have a soft spot for my Mother in Law. It’s out in the garden behind the garage.” said one client last week as she chuckled, guiltily.
Did you hear about the office administrator that said, “Hey Boss, can I have a day off next week to visit my mother-in-law?” “Certainly not!” the boss replied. The office guy says, “Thank you so much. I knew you would be understanding.”
One last one, “I haven’t spoken to the mother-in-law for six months now… apparently it’s rude to interrupt!”.
You guessed it, the focus is your Mother-In-Law. Not just the outlaws, but extended family and friends too.
Starry-eyed romantics are often caught unaware having slipped into that love vortex where clarity is skewed thanks to the love neurochemical, oxytocin that helps us pair up. Many seal their commitment with a kiss and a ring to realise down the marital track there’s a whole new group of influencers behind their beloved.
There’s Uncle Bert who drops in unannounced way too often and your spouse seems incredibly nonplussed. How about your partner’s best friend you’ve never really gelled with from the start? Ever heard of that inappropriate sister-in-law who reveals way too much about your partner’s ex.
Do you have a father-in-law who unashamedly runs a dictatorship around money that you’ve earnt? Speaking of your hard-earnt coin, how are your step-children syphoning that out of your lifestyle?
Then there’s the wedding day - so many expectations for the most wonderful, memorable celebration. It’s too often tainted by the bitter sadness of those family members who weren’t included enough or managed to bustle their way in with way too much influence. This rather excruciating list could go on!
There are so many challenges when it comes to the “free with purchase” extended family and friends. In my experience, the greatest conflict arises when you feel your partner prioritises them over you. Relationships become strained during those times you longed for your partner to have your “back” when you need them to protect and nurture you from the opinions or bizarre behaviours of others.
When I say culture, you and your spouse could have been raised in the same street of Buderim and still experience extreme family cultural differences as if one of you was from Saudi Arabia and the other, Tasmania!
What to do? Watch this space next week when I outline strategies and healthy boundaries when there’s building resentment around your partner’s family and friends.
Joanne Wilson is the weekly columnist for the Sunshine Coast Daily Weekend magazine, weekly radio guest, professional relationship counsellor and certified clinical neuropsychotherapy practitioner of TheConfidante Counselling. She is based on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland - Australia. You can contact her at: www.theconfidantecounselling.com or email HERE.
Joanne will be your Confidante, enabling you to speak freely in complete confidence and serenity. An integrated approach tailored to your specific needs will be utilised.
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Relationship Specialist for Individuals and Couples servicing areas including Caloundra, Noosa, Noosaville, Buderim, Mountain Creek, Gympie.