Friends and Family - Family Matters

For many couples this isn't a problem at least not at the beginning of the relationship but when children come along difficulties with partners' families often crop up.

Difficult decisions have to be made about parenting and a competition between 'my family' and 'your family' can arise. Often each of you wants to raise the children in the same way as you were brought you up. It is important to remember that grandparents can be a support to you and your children. Research shows that most children view their grandparents as fun companions, and many children say they confide in their grandparents when they are worried.

Each week a quarter of families in the UK use a grandparent to provide child care. If you feel that your partner's parents interfere it is worth remembering that this is just a way of showing they care. Often it helps to try to focus on what you do like about them rather than the things or ideas you find difficult. If this doesn't help it is important that you and your partner show a united front. It can be difficult to stand up to a parent but if you and your partner can agree and be supportive of each other, you're more likely to find a way of overcoming strained relationships.

Most couples will have various sets of friends from different areas of their lives - work mates, people we went to school with, friends made through having children the same age.

In most cases our partners will get along with some and not with others and a balance will be struck. However problems sometimes arise.
Sometimes if one of you really dislikes the others friends it may cause friction; you may even find yourself rethinking your whole relationship with your partner. You may find yourself worrying that if these are the people they have shared values and interests with then they aren't going to go away - they are going to be part of your life as a couple forever.

In any relationship it is normal and healthy to want to pursue your own individual interests and spend time with people other than our partner. Often in the first phase of a relationship we ignore this fact and often spend more time alone as a couple than we do with friends; so we may not get to know our partners friends until later on in the relationship.

In time you should be able to balance being a person with your own friends and interests with being a partner. If your partner doesn't like your friends, you shouldn't necessarily have to give these friends up. You just need to figure out why your partner isn't too keen on them, and then agree on a compromise.

Being able to communicate honestly with your partner and telling them why you find some friends harder to get on with than others or why you feel threatened might be difficult at first but it's all a natural part of getting to know each other.
Over the last 35 years One Plus One has been investigating what makes couple relationships work or fall apart. With the increased use of social networking and technology on the web, the launch of Couple Connection has assisted with relationship problems and relationship advice.

Article Source: Parenting Article Library