Relationships and extended families

When you love your partner truly it leads you to know that person deeply. You learn their weaknesses and strengths, their true selves. We all have different sides that we show in different situations. These may be shallower interpretations of our true selves or they may not reflect our true selves at all. This depends on our own acceptance of who we are. In our closest relationships however, we can, hopefully, be ourselves. Our loved one should then be able to understand our actions when we “put on fronts”. An example might be when a depressed person is the life of the party.

When we choose our partners they come with existing family ties. This forces us into forging new relationships with individuals that have a lien on our partners. The “in-laws”. When we interact with them, we are not usually able to portray our true selves. We aim for approval, or just to keep the peace. The sad thing is, they then never see the person their daughter/son loves and perhaps they even despise you because of the front you put on. The in-laws don’t stop to try to understand the real person underneath. This causes pain to both parties in the relationship. The one may constantly feel inadequate and the other may constantly feel the need to defend.

What we can learn is:
1. Understand that two fully committed people know each other better than you know either and respect that relationship. Never undermine either the individuals or their actions
2. Stop putting on fronts. Be real. That personal honesty will give you self-confidence and will result in decreased strain on your relationship with all parties. Don’t make excuses but be the best person you can be.
3. Endeavor to understand the feelings behinds the actions – on all sides.
4. We all make mistakes, forgive and don’t condemn someone because they have different thoughts/ideas/ways.
5. Don’t ever come between partners.

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