17 Jan What do you do when you find yourself in a situation like Haz and Megs?
What do you do when you find yourself in a situation like Haz and Megs?
I have been reading the news regarding Harry and Meghan’s decision to make changes to their roles within the Royal Family. Whilst most of us aren’t royalty or successful TV stars, most of us probably have been at some time torn between what our family wants for us and what we want, or in between the needs of our partners and our families.
Ever found yourself having conversations or conflict about where to spend Christmas and the expectations of each of your families? Or how upset your brother, sister, Mum etc makes your partner when they ignore or disrespect them? Or maybe it’s been something deeper rooted, like following religion your family does or choosing your own path as a couple. Either way, most of us have faced the decision about how we can hold the needs of our relationship and those of our family.
Harry and Meghan
It appears to me that Harry and Meghan found themselves in a position where they needed to reflect on what their new little family needed most. Whilst we don’t know what has happened within private conversations with Harry’s family of origin, we do know that the backlash from the media and the public has been pretty vicious.
Hurtful and cruel things being said about both of them and in particular Meghan and they have both been made the butt of many jokes. Whatever your feelings are about the Monarchy, these are still 2 human beings. One of whom has been bullied, shamed and criticized in public for many years and the other who experienced the traumatic and sudden loss of a parent at a young age in a very public way, in circumstances that he says remind him of how his wife is now being hounded. They have decided to honour each other’s wellbeing and needs and the backlash has been vicious.
As ChristieLee from “Mum. That’s A Bad Word” wrote “One day a man said he would not be bullied into playing a game that killed his beloved mum. He and his wife made the choice to put theirs and their child’s mental health and well-being first.”
What I am witnessing is a couple where 2 people love and respect each other immensely, one of them made the compromises of moving to another country and giving up her successful career and now one of them is offering to do something similar based on the needs, wellbeing and dreams of the other.
I am witnessing a couple who are choosing each other over everything else, investing in building shared meaning and life dreams together, who are presumably honestly and openly communicating with each other about their fears and desires and then each of them acting on honouring these.
To me, that appears to be a successful and fulfilling way to have a relationship.
What happens for you in this situation?
What happens when you realize you need to prioritise the needs of your relationship or your partner over what your family expect or need from you? Maybe it brings conflict to your relationship? Maybe it is something that you and your partner fight over? Or maybe you are both on the same page but there is conflict or push back from your family?
When you enter into a committed relationship, you bring with you your own beliefs and attachment style. You bring your dreams and fears, your love language and expectations and you also bring with you, in most cases, your people. Your friends and family and loved ones.
Maybe you are lucky and your family and friends and partner all love each other and respect each other as much as you both do as a couple. Maybe you are not, and if not, how are you supposed to keep everyone happy?
The simple answer is you usually can’t. This is where your communication and conflict skills come in to play. You communicate with each other about the situation, you LISTEN to each other about your feelings and experiences and you try to discover ways to honour each other.
Sometimes it does end up meaning loss. Maybe relationships with family members or friends need to be evaluated. If you are being bullied or your partner is being bullied by people around you, is that something you are going to support?
Whilst I recognize that it is not a simple or cut and dried as this, it’s important to remember we have choice and it is okay to cut people or situations out of your life if they are toxic to the wellbeing of you, your partner or your relationship.
So, if you find yourself I a situation similar to Haz and Megs, talk to and listen to each other. How does it make each of you feel? What do you need from each other to feel safe? How can this be practically acted upon? You can check out my previous blog for tips on how to communicate constructively here https://nestcounselling.com.au/how-to-work-with-conflict-in-your-relationship/
You can always contact us to book in for couples’ therapy if you feel you need to build your communication and conflict resolution skills.
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