Sharing a close bond with your family can be one of the greatest parts of your life. And seeing your partner have closeness with his or her family is often a good indicator about how your future family might operate. Still, can someone be too close with his family…even obsessed? It is one thing to be family oriented, but if your partner is family obsessed it can actually turn into a wedge in your relationship.
Here are some ways to tell the difference and how to handle a family obsessed partner.
What is the difference between family oriented and family obsessed?
Being family oriented means the family spends quality time together, celebrates with one another, and supports each other during difficult times. On the other hand, a family obsessed partner will make you feel like you are always competing with his family – and can never win. Your partner’s mom may feel threatened by your relationship and throw a tantrum for attention. Or, the guy may be too worried about upsetting his parents so he always “takes their side” to make them happy, and won’t ever take a stand for the relationship.
Should you consider your partner’s relationship with his family?
When you date someone, you date his family. You’ve got to make sure that the family dynamic is something you can work through. Don’t let the family be the only deciding factor when you decide if you should continue dating, but take it into consideration. If you don’t get along with the family, examine how you and your partner can work through these issues. Does he seem like he can hear you out? You’ve got to make sure that the relationship is solid and can handle his family feeling threatened.
If you and your partner are trying to overcome one of you being family obsessed, it’s important to build a strong, secure attachment. Your partner needs to know that even if you love your family, you will still stand up for the relationship and not always take your family’s side. Communication is key. Come visit us at Estes Therapy if you need the tools to talk about this issue and move forward with a stronger bond.
About Jennine Estes, MFT
Think of me as your relationship consultant, I'm your neutral third party that can help you untangle the emotions and help you figure out what's really going on. I am a Marriage and Family Therapist in San Diego, CA. Certified in Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples. Supervisor. I write relationship and self growth advice for my column Relationships in the Raw. Creator of #BeingLOVEDIs campaign. MFC#47653