When His Sisters Don’t Like You…

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We’ve all experienced the thrill of meeting someone new—someone we’re attracted to. And when that person likes you back, it’s even more exciting. It can be hard to meet that special person, so when you do, and everything falls into place, it’s truly a special thing.

You can’t imagine anything going wrong when you’re spending time together, enjoying romantic moments, reveling in the excitement of a new relationship. At this stage, you’re happily in your relationship cocoon, getting to know your new partner better. New love is oh so exciting.

Eventually, if the relationship is serious, you have to escape your cocoon and re-enter the real world as a couple. This means introducing your new love to family and friends. You hold your breath, unsure how your new partner will be received.

Undoubtedly, if you have children, this is the most challenging of introductions. Will your children like your new partner? Kids can have trouble seeing a parent in a new relationship, so you fear how this will go. But you luck out. Your kids see how happy you are in your new relationship, and they love your new partner. A huge weight has been lifted from your shoulder. Life’s wonderful, right?

Until you meet your boyfriend’s sisters when they come to town to visit. The sisters who have always had a special relationship with their brother—and have never been shy about expressing their views on his partners. They’re used to having influence in his life; they’re used to their opinions mattering to him. And for some reason, they’re not that impressed with you.

This is a very real situation that I was discussing with a friend. Her relationship is going very well, except for her boyfriend’s sisters. She is not alone. People face this challenge every day, all over the world. And it can definitely cause a rift in your relationship.

When your partner’s siblings don’t particularly like you, it can be difficult to ignore that and concentrate solely on the relationship you’re building.

Typically, the siblings are in your age group, and therefore the type of people with whom it would be ideal to form friendships. Depending on how well you get along, you may hang out together, plan excursions together, and be friends independent of your relationship with their sibling. Of course, that’s not required, but it’s certainly a bonus.

But what do you do when they not only don’t like you, they try to get into your partner’s ear, telling him you’re not good enough? They believe he should be with a different kind of woman, a different race, ethnicity, less accomplished, perhaps one without children—or whatever they object to where you’re concerned. For whatever reason, they’re not interested in getting to know you, which is disheartening, but it wouldn’t be so bad if they weren’t determined to undermine your relationship.

Sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers, children…any of these family members can create major tension in your relationship—if you let them. And that’s the key here. Do not give others the power to destroy your relationship.

Your children will eventually come around. Trust me on this. A friend of mine was thirteen when her mother re-married, and she refused to go the wedding. Years later, her mother is still happily married, and my friend feels guilt over her behaviour. If her mother had let her dictate the success of the relationship, my friend’s mother might not be happily married to the love of her life right now.

Parents will come around too. And so will siblings. Now, I’m not saying to ignore any glaring red flags your family might see that you’re blind to, but if their objections to the relationship are based in stubbornness and their ideals of what should make you happy, you’re not obligated to sacrifice your relationship to please everyone else. And why should you?

Relationships are already tough enough, and when we let others interfere for no good reason, what are we accomplishing? Giving your mother or sister or children a sense of power just because they’re blood relatives? Condoning their meddling in your relationship? Unless there’s a genuine reason for them to be concerned about your happiness or well-being, they need to stay out of your relationship.

Do not give a family member the power to destroy what you’re building. You may think that walking away is escaping the problem, but all you’re doing is letting them win. If you and your partner have something real and special, who cares what others think? Your relationship is not their business. And their opinions don’t matter.

Concentrate on your partner and appreciate the fact that against the odds, you’ve found each other. Spend your time and effort on building a wonderful relationship. Because you deserve to be happy. Let that happiness radiate to everyone around you, and eventually—if they really care about you—they’ll be happy for you, too.

Kayla Perrin is an internationally acclaimed, award-winning USA Today and Essence best-selling author, with 46 books in print. Perrin is best described as passionate, fearless, motivated and self-driven to excel at whatever she pursues.

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