While it’s great for our parents and partners to be on comfortable terms, it’s also important to be cautious about letting your parents’ influences negatively affect the relationship you have with your romantic partner. Strong families are a gift, and being close with parents can increase our health, but excess parental involvement in our relationships can create tension and compel people to start picking sides.
As a certified health coach, I work with clients on creating a happy, healthy and secure family bond that will embrace blood-relatives, as well as romantic partners and their relative families. While being best friends with your significant other’s siblings and parents is not necessary for a successful romantic relationship going forward, as unfortunately not everyone is able to magically “click” with one another, especially when there are tons of different personalities floating around, maintaining a level of civility is extremely important. Plus, you should never try and take your partner away from his or her family. He or she should be able to see parents, siblings and cousins as much as desired, and while you don’t need to attend everything, it’s best to stay on good terms with everyone when all together.
A level of separation between parent and partner is actually healthy, and as we grow older, we begin to realize that we love our parents and will always hold them close to us, but we must also focus on intimate relationships for the future that have its own category and should not be meddled with from familial influences. Here are thirteen ways to not let your relationship with parents affect that of your partners.
1. Don’t Always Defend Your Parents’ Behavior
If your parent didn’t do something wrong, so be it. Standing up to your partner when your parent clearly didn’t do anything disruptive should be allowed. However, if your parent did do something to push your partner over the edge, even if the action wasn’t intentional, then that should definitely be noted, as it can ruin a romantic relationship. “One trap to definitely avoid is getting into defending your parents or trying to convince your partner that something an in-law said or did meant something other than the way it was interpreted by your partner,” says licensed marriage and family counselor, Erika Fay, LMFT, over email with Bustle.