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How to Deal With a Family Who Disapproves of Your Spouse
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While it is important to listen to what your loved ones have to say about your spouse, it’s also important for them to recognize and be respectful of your partner. The Holidays tend to arrive with enough stress and, when we’re spending time with family, we’re often reminded of the saying that "in-laws never get along." I have tips on how to handle situations, between your spouse and family for the upcoming Holidays, and not only that, but I have a back-up plan, just in case other plans fail!

  But It's Not Like That?

If your partner is being attacked, for little or no reason, you may have to raise your voice, be more firm, and say “look, this is the Holidays. You are my family members and I’m not happy that you guys can’t just enjoy my presence, and keep the peace for us to be together on this day. If attacking my partner means more to you than keeping your mouth shut long enough for us all to enjoy each other, then would you prefer us leave?”

Well, what can you do? It’s certainly not an option to let your partner sit there, humiliated with their head hanging low, while your family attacks their choice of career, the way they choose to raise a family with you, etc.

Unfortunately, I’ve been in a situation where an ex-boyfriend’s mother would trash me really badly and he never stood up for me but she never did it to my face, only over the phone. But had he said just a little something to his mother, even just “that’s not very nice. Kendra would never talk that way about you,” it would have made a difference.

Then, I’ve had a situation, where my boyfriend did stand up and tell their parent that they wouldn’t even put up with trash-talking me, and it stopped instantly. That was a fortunate situation. I’ve also had my own dad be less than pleasant to an ex-boyfriend, and I told him that he was being absolutely rude, and even if this boyfriend was a bad idea, him being rude only did one thing: made him look really bad and reflected badly on only my dad.

He straightened up quickly... after my mom chewed him out. I'm kidding, though she did have my back, which helped him to see that he really was being inconsiderate.

Seriously though, sometimes a person, parent or not, just needs to see it from your point of view. If you tell them that their ugly attitude makes them come across as unpleasant, rude, or unpleasant and it is causing tension, they very well may take this to heart, and be easier to get along with. Tell them that they don’t always have to approve, but the least they can do is be civil.

  All Else Failed?

If your family sees you and your partner interacting with love towards each other, this shows that they are special to you, and if your family has no valid reason for being hateful, this can make at least a minor impact. I don’t mean having sex or sitting on your partner’s lap and grinding, in a family-filled living room. I mean, show affection and your family might see things slightly differently. Don’t leave your partner in the living room, with drunk uncle Jeff, to take the heat alone.

You should try not to stick them in a situation, where snotty remarks can happen. I don’t like to be left alone, in a room full of people who want to be rude to me. If my partner’s family were like this, I’d be terribly uncomfortable, and hope that he would stay by my side for the most part, as a way to show his "having my back." Just be careful not to feed your lovie to the sharks!

Make them stand in your shoes.

Say it’s your dad, who’s ragging hard on your partner. Ask him if how he’d feel, if your partner said the same rude things to your mother or another person your dad loves. That wouldn’t make anybody feel good, to sit there listening to someone they love be treated badly. Putting the rude person in your shoes is a way of putting them in a corner. They know and you know they wouldn’t like it, had the tables been turned. Maybe they’d be likely to reconsider their remarks and behavior.

Or maybe your family is the type that need to be reminded throughout the day. If you have to whisper to them to put a sock in it, every 30 minutes just like a child, do so. Don’t let them get away with it, but don’t be nasty to your loved ones either. If it comes down to that, the only civil option would be to remove yourselves from the place altogether, and perhaps find another way to finish celebrating the evening. Doesn’t the jewelry store stay opened on Christmas day? Kidding. Kidding.

Call your parents beforehand. Ask them to make a promise, for your sake, that they will try and keep the peace so that you all can enjoy each other’s company for the Holidays. Is this harder said than done? Try convincing them. Persuade. Plan. Use your sweet honey method again! Tell them that you miss being able to relax, and enjoy time spent with them, that you hate how there’s tension and you’d very much enjoy it, if they could enjoy themselves and everyone else's company. Tell them that this is a special time for you, and while you won’t force them to give you their blessing, it won’t kill them to be peaceful.

Is there any specific activity that you used to do with your family, that everyone enjoyed? Baking? Playing a certain game, after Christmas dinner? Karaoke? Dirty Santa, or just looking through photo albums and reminiscing? Ask them if they’d mind doing this activity again. It’s especially helpful, if you have a mom who always warms up when you ask her to dig out the old photo albums! Does your grumpy father warm up when you ask him to tell stories of his motorcycle riding days(that is just one example)? If you can get creative and think of what it is that your family really enjoys, something that warms them up, and puts them in a good mood, you could use this to your advantage.

If you have to, tell them that you've been overly stressed the past couple of months, to the point of it affecting your health. Explain to them that you’re at a breaking point, and need for this Holiday time to go smoothly, and that their teamwork would be a great help in keeping your blood pressure from going up to unhealthy levels.

These are my tips and ideas that I've even used to combat the madness in my own situations. Care to share any of your own ways of combating the madness? Or were any of these ideas helpful enough that you'll store them in your own mind for the upcoming Holidays? I'd love to hear your thoughts.


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