What you will learn from this blog:
- Sitting on the fence and trying to appease both sides only makes things worse
- Instead of thinking “why is this happening to me?”, reflect on “what is trying to happen?”
- Instead of blaming others for putting you in this situation, reflect on what qualities is this situation trying to bring out in you; how is this situation trying to help you be clearer on your core values
It can be extremely challenging being stuck between your partner and family over issues such as different beliefs, cultures, wants and needs. You love both your partner and parents – but it can feel like your heart is being pulled apart.
You try to stay neutral, but both sides keep trying to pull you to their side. You do what you think is best – you try to please both sides, but end up in a bigger mess.
As therapists, we are very familiar with this situation through our own personal experiences as well as from those who come to us seeking emotional therapy and online therapy in Singapore.
Here are three tips we offer at Intracresco on how you can navigate such situations with calmness:
01. Reflect on what role you can and are willing to play
It may not be your job to fix the situation or to change your partner or parents. It may also not be sustainable for you to keep conveying messages between your partner and family.
In our experience, it is attempting to do both that drives many couples into a stage of wanting to seek emotional therapy.
Instead, your role could be to hear all parties out respectfully, gently suggest solutions, and help them understand the other side if they are open to it.
02. Take time to process your own emotions
In the midst of dealing with all these emotions, it is important to find time and space for yourself. This will help relieve the stress from the situation, and allow you to process your own emotions.
If you are unable to manage your own emotions, it will be difficult for you to play a calm and meaningful role. You might get triggered by both sides easily and get drawn into their conflict.
03. Communicate how you feel
Reflect on, and communicate openly to both sides your view on the issue. Let them know what you value and what is important to you. Most importantly, share with them how the conflict makes you feel.
Instead of trying to convince them to accept your view, allow them time to process what you shared and decide what to do.
Remember – you mean a lot to both sides, and they are more likely than not to take your feelings into consideration.
It is our natural reaction to sit on the fence when we are in a situation that calls for us to pick the side of either our partner or parents. This does more harm than good, because our partner may feel like they don’t have our support, and our parents will feel as if we have forgotten our duty or allegiances.
Many couples hate being in that situation, and oftentimes this can be avoided if we learn to be more self-aware, get clear on our responsibilities and role, and communicate openly and honestly.