Dear Vitamin C –
My husband and I have been married a little less than a year and his parents are coming to visit. I truly love my new in–laws but I have some concerns about their upcoming trip. The last time they visited us (before we were married) his mother completely rearranged our kitchen while I was at work one day. She was so happy about the kitchen’s new efficiency and I was so “wanting her to like me” that I didn’t say anything. I told my husband that I felt his mother had invaded our space and he responded with the usual “that’s just the way my family is – just try to roll with it” brush off. I am trying to roll with it but am having a difficult time. Do you have any coping strategies to help me?
Yours truly, “Not rolling with it”
Dear “Not rolling with it” –
The fact that you’re not rolling with it is a healthy sign. This is a boundary and loyalty issue rather than a try to cope with it situation. Loyalty has a hierarchy. If this hierarchy is followed relationships tend to grow stronger. If it is not followed relationships tend to weaken and dysfunction often results. First you must be loyal to yourself, which means being loyal to your core values (examples: trust, respect, kindness etc). These are your non – negotiables and your partner should not ask you to give them up. Once that is established you are loyal to your partner creating a strong “I have your back environment” then with a united front you are loyal to your children and the family you have created. Then comes extended family and friends. If you feel your husband is more loyal to his family than you that can potentially weaken your bond and lead to deeper issues. You and your husband together need to establish the boundaries that feel right in your house and then stand united in holding them. You may be surprised, carrying out your boundaries in ways that align with your values may lead to being well liked and respected not only by your mother–in-law but by others as well.
Yours – Vitamin C