Relationships – marriage and in-laws (yes eeeek!)

As part of my studies this year I have to practice counselling skills with friends and family – lucky them!

A few weeks ago I spoke with my mother-in-law.

We have a very up and down relationship –  from my viewpoint at least.

She is incredibly helpful in terms of child care but she is also…at times…hard to handle. Sadly my husband has a poor-ish relationship with her, for which he has his reasons but nonetheless I would love to see him also acknowledge what she does for him, out of love. Actually my husbands family’s dynamics are all a bit foreign to me. They are not overly communicative and although close(ish) don’t really seem to connect with each other on an emotional level.

It was very interesting and eye-opening talking with her. Their marriage has its issues (don’t they all?!) and I’ve been seeing it from my husband and his Dad’s perspective without realising it.

I hate seeing them the way they are. It’s obviously not healthy for them but nor is it healthy for my own relationship for this to be the role-models in our (ok husbands) lives. I hope they can find a way to communicate better to each other both their needs and desires just as I hope my husband and I can continue to improve our communication and relationship – this marriage thing is a tough gig.

 

 

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5 thoughts on “Relationships – marriage and in-laws (yes eeeek!)

    1. Thanks for commenting Kooky, actually had to have my own counselling session around the issue this week! Felt honoured to be trusted but so hard to witness something I really can’t help with, other than to be a listening ear.

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  1. I find this a difficult post to read because there are ethical issues here. Have you covered that in your course yet?

    First of all there is one of confidentiality, people who know you will be able to work out who you are talking about and you have posted personal details about others in a very public forum without permission. Secondly you clearly have an agenda for the people you are trying to help here, counselling in any form must be agenda free otherwise those with issues wont be able to work out what is best for themselves.

    Counselling skills is primary about actively listening and I would discourage you from actively seek out problems. Use any skills you are learning when people come to you to talk and seek support.

    One course of action would be to encourage you mother-in-law to see a counsellor too, but that is her choice and only mention it if she asks for your opinion. Also if your in-laws were to see a counsellor together, it should not be the one your father-in-law is already seeing, impartiality would be difficult in this case.

    Finally you are potentially interferring in multiple relationships here. Different people have different coping mechanisms and they are valid to that person and should be respected. Try not to pass judgements.

    I don’t know where you live but here in the UK you can find ethical frameworks that accredited counsellors have to abied by on the BACP and COSCA websites.

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  2. Thank you Sandy for your comments and in response I will edit this post as you are absolutely right regarding confidentiality, I aim to keep this blog anonymous but that of course that cant be guaranteed.

    I start the course on ethics this semester – I have much to learn!

    I will need to work on being agenda free although it is impossible really when ‘counseling’ for study purposes. I have encouraged my mil see a real counsellor and realised my position in this relationship is to listen and support as a daughter in law but not problem solve. I didn’t really look on this as a counselling session as it was more an opportunity for her to just unload to me which I believe she been wanting to do for awhile.

    Being non-judgemental is very important to me however I use this blog as a space to reflect on my thought/feelings so I remain non judgemental in my interactions with others, if I continue counseling studies I may need to consider doing this in a private journal!

    Thanks again for your respectful comments

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