A healthy relationship with your partner’s family is all about respect

Wednesday November 25 2020
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Show them respect and in the end, you will be able to demand the same from them.

By Bradford Kamuntu

One of the most unknowns when entering a new relationship is how you will get along with your partner’s family once the relationship becomes serious. In the beginning, the honeymoon phase is so great that for some time you forget that should the relationship become serious, you will have to meet the most important people in their lives and for you to succeed, you will have to get along with them.

The Crown, “Season Four,” just premiered on Netflix, and while each season is exceptional, I think this is the one we had been biting our nails in anticipation for, the introduction of Diana into the royal household. The scene where she actually meets them was so painful to watch. In my opinion, I feel like she was bullied, attacked for not knowing the protocol and code of conduct. But all that aside, I blamed Prince Charles for not backing her up as she was torn to shreds and made fun of by his family.

He did not even once speak up and to make matters worse, he did not prepare her prior for what was to come and how she should have presented herself.

When you are in a relationship, the people that were there before you (especially family) are only going to treat you as well as your partner treats you. They will hold you in the regard which you have been presented. If you are met with disrespect at first meeting and your partner does nothing to stand up for you, you start off on the wrong foot and risk never being on good terms with them.

Most situations differ

I have known people in my close circle that have introduced me to their partners almost immediately. I have also known those who have held off until they are serious and in the rare occasion, there are those who wait until they are just about ready to walk down the aisle.

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But one thing that remains constant is most people will give you a pre-introduction. They will tell you how their partner makes them feel, they will share what qualities they liked most and if they honour and respect them, that will shine too.

Often, the mark of how some treat and values you is in the way people closest to them treat you as well. If they do not respect you, if they do not value you, then neither will those closest to them. Because you will only be seen as something temporary, someone just passing through and human beings can be so tough on each other for no apparent reason. On your end, enter with openness and excitement. It is completely normal to feel nervous and overwhelmed with the potential weight of those relationships. 

However, seeing as these people might be in your life for a great part of the foreseeable future, it is always a great idea to start off by showing yourself off, how great and valuable you would be as an addition to their fold but most importantly, how great you are for their family member.

Meet them with such great respect, such that you will be able to command it from them as well. Do not go in expecting a great reception but also do not go in expecting the worst. Talk to your partner and get to know the individuals he needs you to know beforehand. Learn how to approach them and if there are any triggers that might be worth avoiding.

Always remember, you are new and not in any way entitled to their time or pleasantries but at the same time, the lack of the two is telling about how your partner has presented you to them.

bradkamuntu@gmail.com

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