Dear Therapist: 'My wife doesn't get along with my family'

Making sense of the world we inhabit

By Prateeksha Shetty

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Published: Thu 7 Apr 2022, 7:23 PM

My wife just can’t pretend to even be civil with my family. I love her deeply but this is becoming more of an issue each passing day as I also love my family and don’t want to pick sides. She says she can’t fake her behaviour in order to please people. If we’re unable to come to terms with it, this might lead to some serious consequences. — Name Withheld

Dear Writer, this can truly become a bone of contention in your marriage. While it’s understandable that your wife does not want to become a people-pleaser, engaging pleasantries and being cordial plays a huge part in maintaining good relationships, which is unavoidable. Additionally, as adults we understand that we cannot always be true to ourselves and learn that sometimes, we do fake emotions keeping in mind the relationships that are at stake. However, it’s also important to be assertive and genuine in relationships. Finding this balance is tricky and is a skill we learn through experience. Considering that there seems to be an impasse on this issue, it would be best to seek couples therapy to help negotiate better outcomes. Sessions may also shed light on your own social behaviour and help identify your patterns of communication with your family.

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