Q: This may sound petty but I can assure you, it is not. In a few weeks I will have the displeasure of joining my husband to visit his parents in Connecticut. Now I know a lot of wives do not get along with their husbands mothers, but I absolutely cannot stand her. I think it has more to do with the way my husband acts when hes around her. She makes these rude passive aggressive comments about me, and my husband never seems to stand up for me or himself. The thing is, my husband and I have really improved our relationship over these past months (we had some issues), and I feel that by going to visit his parents, we will just be setting ourselves up for inevitable failure and reset all of our progress. Any way you might be able to go in my place and pretend youre me? -Amy, 33
Dr. Anna: This is a tough one. If youre not feeling ready, consider whether skipping out on the visit is an actual possibility. Sometimes what we assume is a given, like the idea that you must go with him, doesnt necessarily have to be that way. If you do have to go, you may be better off using the time to focus on yourself. Can you try to be curious and non-judgmental? Can you practice being relaxed and calm even when you see things that could be better. Sometimes difficult life circumstances present opportunities for us to work on our own stuff.
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Advice for Her
Advice for Him
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.