Any ideas/tools that could help me?

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-29-2006
Any ideas/tools that could help me?
Thu, 03-08-2012 - 3:00pm

I often have wondered if I seeked a professional to 'talk to' ... if he/she would have any tools for me to deal with a family/marriage dynamic I have difficulty with.

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Thu, 03-08-2012 - 3:48pm

So your mother told you basically that she/they did not intend to ever accept your mate into the family, and she expected you to ultimately choose your parents and brother over your mate, she was just giving you a few years to get around to it. And it never occured to her that you could decide to walk away from the family instead of the mate?

Avatar for deenow17
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2004
Fri, 03-09-2012 - 11:22pm
I think you need counseling to help you through this. If you really love your husband that much then you will walk away from your family before walking away from him. A counselor should be able to help you talk with your family to help them accept where your priorities should be. Sounds like they get enough of your time if you work together.

I'm not a big fan of my SIL and he doesn't fit into our family. Frankly, I don't think he tries but I have been able to figure out that it's because we are so different from his family that we make him uncomfortable. For example, his brother eats this special meal every birthday that his Mom prepares him & he hates it. He won't tell his Mom as they never say anything "negative" in SIL's family. They never get angry or unhappy.

Our family speaks their mind while trying to listen to each other. We try to be honest which sometimes results in a slightly louder meal than planned but we don't stay angry & we try not to say things to hurt each other. This makes SIL uncomfortable. I have accepted that my DD will chose SIL if it comes down to one or the other. While I would hate to lose her, this is the way it should be. The husband & wife are the most important family not the married child & parent.

Good luck with your parents but for starters, I would spend more alone tie with your DH since you work with your family. They already have you for a lot of the time.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 03-19-2012 - 8:54am

I think some counselling might help you sort out what your priorities and goals are, because you sound very conflicted about this. I know if I were in your situation I would want to have some more distance, particularly from my parents, so that I did not care so much about what they thought or said. It's great that you are close, but you ARE a grownup, and should be able to stand up for yourself, or walk away from it, more easily. So I would ask: why do you still care so much? Why is it important to you that everyone is happy and gets along, when clearly they don't all the time (and it would be crazy to expect them to!) Why do you feel you have to take sides (eg your DH over your brother, or vice versa?). You don't even need to be *involved* in any of that stuff if you don't want to be. You certainly don't need to let it bother you as much as it does (Every family fights, and has some members that don't get along as well as is not your responsibility to fix this.)

What is 'broken' here? what do you feel you need to fix? Because, actually, nothing much is. Your mother has some unreasonable expectations and has said some pretty mean things, but, hey, that's what mothers do. You have rightly identified that you love all of these people and you can't change any of them. All you can change is your own attitude and behaviour.

I honestly think you need some more non-family friends and activities: take up some social activities (volunteer, join a sports club, amateur dramatics, learning a new language....anything that takes you away from your family once a week). Then you won't feel so enmeshed in the emotional drama that goes one and you'll be more able to take a step back and see what is worth getting involved in/upset about, and what isn't. You can't make all the people happy all the time - so why are you trying? a therapist would probably ask you these kind of questions.

Good luck. There are lots of positives in your life: you have a DH who loves you, a good job, a loving family. To enjoy them properly I think you need a litte outside life to help you get some distance and perspective - give you more confidence in your own strengths and make you feel less like you need to make everyone happy all the time.


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-19-2008
Mon, 03-19-2012 - 12:18pm


First, I do think you should consider talking to a professional for support and also suggestions and advice etc.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2004
Mon, 03-19-2012 - 1:11pm

Yes, a counselor would help.