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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

My partner’s mom acts like she doesn’t like me

Dear ‘Randa,
If your boyfriend’s mom acts like she doesn’t like you by her nonverbal language, how do you go about addressing the problem with her so you can understand what she really thinks without causing damage to the relationship?
Sincerely,
Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,
If a member of your partner’s family doesn’t like you it can be a major issue. The dislike is often shown through the use of verbal and nonverbal language. Popular movies like “Monster-in-Law” and “Meet the Parents,” have highlighted these tensions.
Okay, maybe the movies overly dramatize the in-law relationships, so don’t go pulling pranks like Jennifer Lopez did, but the movies do have a point. The issue must be addressed and there is a way to go about it without the problem growing.
For starters, be honest. Be honest with yourself, be honest with your partner, be honest with the family member. This will help you figure out what is truly bothering you and what you need to say in order to turn your relationship with the family member in the right direction.
Next, sit down with your partner and explain to them your perspective. Doing this will also show that you truly care about them because you care how their family thinks of you. Most likely, they know their family better than you and will be able to determine if the issue is a result of miscommunication or if there is valid cause for concern.
One of our psychology professors on campus gave valuable insight on the topic of communication.
“Be honest and open about your feelings,” Dr. AnaMarie Guichard, Assistant Professor of Psychology, said. “John Gottman, a respected relationship scholar, urges people to stay focused on the immediate problem without bringing in all of the other past and present complaints.”
Dr. Guichard teaches an intimate relationships class within the Psychology department here on campus if you are interested in learning more.
After having a discussion with your significant other, have a discussion with the family member who acts as though they are not too fond of you. Ask them out to lunch or to a coffee date with you and your partner. Meeting in a neutral location will help to control the situation and make it much less awkward because you won’t be in “their territory” or “your territory.” It helps diminish the intimidation factor.
I came across a quote a few days ago that fits in with our topic perfectly this week. The writer is unknown but it says, “Always believe, never expect, assume or demand, and just do your best.” Believe your relationship with your partner’s family member will become better, never expect it to change overnight, never assume they don’t like you, never demand “me or your family,” and just do your best through each and every step.
Wishing the best,
‘Randa

Send your email to [email protected] with your relationship question or questions. There is no need to include your name, just your situation, and I will do my best to find the advice you are searching for.

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My partner’s mom acts like she doesn’t like me