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Relationships stresses and strains . . . .

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Relationships can be the bedrock of our lives, but what about when those relationships offer more stress than support?

Our Lead Therapist, Dr Vikki Powell, was recently asked to speak on BBC Suffolk Radio about the particular issues surrounding our relationship with in-laws. Here are some of Vikki's words of wisdom:

  • Avoid creating a battlefield over who knows your partner best - you or their mum. This will only lead to defensiveness and threat, leaving all parties in a heightened state of alert to the next awkward comment or act.
  • Be mindful of the expectations we have of ourselves and others in important relationships - aiming for an overly deferential or familiar relationship can lead to resentment and tension when one side doesn't reciprocate.
  • Get to know your in-laws as individuals and not just your partner's parents. This can expand your awareness of them as people, offer insights to areas of common ground, and demonstrate your respect for them even if you disagree.
  • Have a good sense of your own boundaries in the relationship, and the boundaries you as a couple want to hold with either set of parents. For example, to what extent are they involved in disciplining your children, or what degree of freedom do you allow for them to turn up unannounced.

If you're quick you can catch the radio programme on the BBC iplayer. Use the link below and scoot along to 30 minutes in to the programme . . . .