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Where do you stand if he is fighting with his parents?

Reader's Lounge By Allan Kimani
Photo; Courtesy

He is involved in a disagreement with his parents. You want to support him but, on the other hand, getting in your in-laws' bad books isn't a good place to be. So what should you do, especially if you are married and not just living together?

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It's always tricky depending on how you and your man relate. Tricky because it involves knowing your role in his life and how to go about playing it.

Who or what is the cause of the fight? If it is you, then even that may affect how you handle the situation. Your man, as a grown-up, is by definition yours and not his mother's or father's child; he is their grown-up son and, therefore, should stand up for you.

But even then, him standing up for you may or may not fix the disagreement. Who knows what side the coin will fall once it does? This makes it a game of chance where the stakes are high. It is made more complicated because you are dealing with a volatiles situation that is unpredictable.

The whole point behind this is that it almost always means that your relationship could end based on what you do or do not do. So it is important to think carefully about how best to proceed.

Your role is to be your man's support system, even if you are somehow, the cause of a disagreement. This means taking a low-key approach and making it clear that you are there for him. From a man's point of view, even if you think his parents have a point, to say so might earn you the proverbial, "Then why don't you marry them?" or something similar. By this point you will not need to be told that things are thick!

However, don't be submissive just to keep the relationship. It means that in those instances that the parents have a point, you might have to "play the game" and handle things appropriately. So what is appropriate?

Well, that depends on the situation you are in. It can be a minefield, full of tricky twists and turns making your intuition your best guide here.

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As you can imagine, since tricky is the main word here, it implies some measure of trial and error and mistakes, which you will inevitably make. And this should not freeze you into doing nothing about it, even if, God forbid, it means physical assault.

You have the right to make mistakes, you are not the same person, nor are you joined at the hip or even raised by the same parents. How then will you not make mistakes?

Mistakes that you then strive to improve on, since we are all human; we grow and learn by our trials and errors. This is OK, more so in a marriage where some of the most complex challenges come up.

It does bring the your commitment to him into very sharp focus because it feels like an intrusion into your usual comfort zone. In situations like this, it is more common to hear men throwing blanket accusations on the wife or partner and making fairly generalized broad claims that sometimes don't point to how the guy feels.

It is also likely that the woman will respond to what her man said without reading between some lines, or as we say, not really having paid attention to the message behind the message. His response to you, his lady, therefore becomes that much more, shall we say, baffling.

But what if you strove to respond as neutrally as possible to what he is saying? This is where you dig into yourself to summon your energy and presence of mind to show up for him with all that you are. This is a true test of your commitment.

In marriage, being there for your man can be automatic and a welcome sacrifice. In real life, with numerous issues pushing, pulling and churning, this is not an easy thing to do.

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