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Life By Design - Living the Life You Really Want: Changing Other People in a Relationship
Life By Design - Living the Life You Really Want
Changing Other People in a Relationship
(ITALICS)"My husband and I have been married for five years and his family is still a mystery to me. I've tried everything I know to develop a closer relationship with them. I call his parents at least once a week, set up outings and dinner dates with them, and invite them on our excursions. All to no avail. They simply don't seem interested. I think that close family relationships are important and I've told them how much I would like to get to know them better. And still their response is lukewarm. Should I just give up?"(END)
Often times in relationships we are looking to the other party to be an equal part of turning a relationship into something that meets our needs. But before we even get to that point there is a lot of our own internal work that can be done and often needs to be done before we can experience the kind of relationships we want.Unfortunately - or is that fortunately?- you can't change anyone but yourself. Taking the focus off your husband's in-laws and putting it on the only place you can change - yourself - will put you back in the driver's seat and leave you in an empowered position.
It is so important to be aware of our needs and then to find ways to get those needs met. Asking for what you need from friends and family can be a wonderful and successful tactic. But, it has pitfalls.
You may be asking your husband's family to fulfill a need of yours that they are not capable of fulfilling - particularly in a way that is satisfying to you. If you have a need for close family relationships, you have to match up with someone who likes to give close family relationships. It makes no sense to keep coming to the tropics when you want to be snow skiing. They may be doing the best they can but simply not be able to do what you need.
If you have a need for close family relationships and your in-laws don't seem to be able to meet that need - find another way. Perhaps it is more fulfilling for you (and less stress on them) if you fill your need by developing close relationships with other family members.
Also, it is a good practice to discover what is the underlying essence of your need. Maybe, having these close family relationships makes you feel connected and secure in a caring network. If that is the case, there are many ways to experience this type of connection - become a Big Sister or get involved in a local charity organization. Once you discover the essence of your need, there are many means to getting that need fulfilled.
Good luck and have fun.
Mary Ann Copson, founder of Evenstar Mood & Energy Wellness Center for Women, is
Life Coach who specializes in helping her clients better manage their moods and
energy. www.evenstaronline.com; 434-263-4996.
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