Friends and Relatives in Your Relationship
Anyone who has ever been in a relationship understands that at times it can be very useful to discuss problems in the relationship with an outsider. Whether it’s a friend or a family member a person who is not actually in the relationship often has a very different point of view and this is exactly what is needed at times.
Unfortunately, once you allow a person to advise you about a situation in your romantic life this may seem like an open invitation to instruct you about everything else in this category. Though common sense usually allows us to separate those people in our lives who become too opinionated and those that will keep a respectful distance, we may not always know which are which until it is too late.
When you’re in a relationship having a confidant who you know will always support you and perhaps lend an ear when it’s needed, can be crucial as an outlet. In some cases it helps to set some ground rules if certain subjects are off limits or if you have any issues with something that the person does when discussing your relationship.
In many cases the advice of a friend or relative will be taken into consideration, but not followed blindly. For those individuals who find that they are easily influenced by those close to them, advice can be very dangerous to the safety of your relationship.
One of the first steps you can take if you suspect that a friend or loved one might be too involved in your relationship is simply to sit them down and politely ask them to stay out of your affairs. This probably won’t be easy, but at least you can stop them from doing any further damage while you begin to repair what’s already been done.
If getting to the root of the problem seems a little more difficult it may not be the advice of those close to you after all and this you should be fairly certain of before you make any accusations that might end up hurting someone’s feelings.
With so many couples experiencing the same trouble with outside interference it is only natural that the same types of signs emerge again and again. When trying to pinpoint some of the origins of your relationship struggles, if you suspect this kind of interference you may want to look for these signs:
* Your partner constantly accuses you of allowing someone else to direct your opinions.
* When speaking, or fighting with your partner you often find that without one another’s advice you can’t back up your own statements.
* The mention of a certain person to your partner creates immediate tension.
* When this person is around you almost always end up fighting with your partner.
* Your partner’s opinion and the opinion of this friend/relative are almost always in opposition.
If any of these statements can be applied to your relationship it’s time to take action if you hope to improve your situation:
* Step One: The Root of the Problem
Before you can determine the level of interference that has taken place you must appeal to your partner and allow them the chance to explain what changes they see. Though these opinions may often be skewed by a certain perspective, the point of view may be of great help. The fact that you are willing to admit that your opinions are being influenced may also help your partner to be objective as possible.
* Step Two: Why So Influenced
Once you have begun to separate your own thoughts from the outside influences of others you can begin piecing together how you became so dependent upon this advice. This realization may prove to be a life changing experience in that the problem may not be exclusive to your relationship. This process may be quite difficult and will no doubt require a great deal of strength and insight.
It is likely because you love help that you will be tempted to, you guessed it; go ask for advice and this you must not do. If you find the problem too difficult to manage on your own seek the aid of a therapist who can help you through this time, objectively.
* Step Three: How Do You Feel About It
Now that you have managed to separate your own ideas from those of others you can determine how you feel about your current relationship. This may also prove to be a difficult process as these kinds of discoveries are not always pleasant. In some cases couples may find themselves falling in love all over again; acting as they did toward the beginning of their relationship, saying and doing the things they love to do together.
On the hand, some couples realize that the constant tension and fighting covered up much larger problems and that there is not enough left of the relationship to make it worth the repair. Whatever the outcome of your discovery, eventually you should be able to begin a happier, stronger life as a result of it.
* Step Four: Living What You’ve Learned
Whether you and your partner decide to fight for your relationship, or to call it quits, it is important that you do not allow yourself to repeat the same mistakes by enlisting the help of other people who may not always have your best interest in mind, even if they don’t know it. A friend, for example, who secretly wishes you were single because currently they lead that lifestyle, may unknowingly sabotage your relationship.
Perhaps a parent who would rather have most or all of your attention to themselves rather than share you with a significant other could derail your relationship with some extremely bad advice, even if once again by accident. From now on you must force yourself to form an opinion that is your own so that other people, your partner included, cannot direct your actions. Through this you will find that you can no longer blame anyone for your mistakes, but perhaps you will no longer find your victories so hollow.
Whatever happens as a result of this change, if you choose to become the kind of person that does not allow others to manipulate them, you will more than likely find your life to be a fulfilling and exciting one. Now that you are directing, perhaps you can finally find the true love you’ve been hoping for, whether it’s far away or right across the kitchen table.