Dear Princess, I need help. My brother is in a relationship with a woman who drives me crazy. For the sake of family harmony what do you suggest I do to get along with her. Thanks. Frustrated in-law.
August 3, 2002
Dear Frustrated In-law,
I empathize with you. Fortunately, I married into a terrific family and they live in another country. It’s always great to see and be with them, I’ve adopted them as my family.
Is your brother married, and his wife “drives you crazy”? Or, is the lady his girlfriend or significant other? How does your relationship and response to her influence and effect “family harmony”? To effect the family, there must be conflicts with others, not just with one member.
Is your brother married, or she is his significant other, the answer is the same. Respect his partner. Without identifying the “driving you crazy” issues, it’s impossible to address a remedy.
I suggest that you think about the issues. Discuss this with your brother, and ask his advice on how to approach the matter. Have you discussed this with other members of your family? If you have an open relationship with her, could you approach her to discuss this?
In the interim, to diminish further aggravation, you have a choice to avoid her and activities where you’d have close interaction. Be kind, be generous, be understanding, be a gentlemen.
Assess the value of the relationships. Life’s too short. We inherit family and their DNA; we don’t select them, that’s why we have selected friends as extended family.
But, there are times when you have to be firm and tell them to get out of your face!
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