Lisa Shouldice MA, RP, CCP, Psychotherapist
How Was Your Mother's Day? What Is Your Role In Supporting Your Partner When the Relationship With Mom is Strained?
|Posted on 12 May, 2015 at 15:15|
Picture it….Mother’s Day and you’re going in the in-laws to “celebrate”, but your partner’s relationship with their mother is a bit of a train wreck!? Ouff. Do you suddenly feel sick? What is your role? How do you support your partner in a healthy way?
I would suggest that it is to be supportive, but not over involved. What does that mean? It is natural to feel protective of you partner, but please remember that it is their battle and family relationship. They need to work this through. You are there for emotional support because your presence as a loving, supportive other will ground your partner. You can empower them on the way there and process and reflect on the way home. They need to learn how to be assertive and demand respect in their family relationships.
However, to sit there quietly and listen to your loved one be berated by their family is simply not real and I get it. It would have a lot of power if you are a lovely, caring, helpful person that after critical comments start, gets up and says calmly, “I am sorry. I cannot listen to this. I will be in the car”.
You may have to remind your partner that in a healthy relationship your role is to support them in making the best decisions for themselves, not rescue them. While the “inner child” may want this, the adult needs to fight their own battles. Give it a shot if your Mother’s Day with the in-laws was a trial!
Sending Love and Light!