Reading your emails, talking with you on the phone, at seminars, presentations, etc., I hear a recurring theme. The struggle you’re having with your in-law feels so big and so looming that it’s hard to know what to do. This feels awful! No one likes being here and so when you are not immediately around your in-law you pretend it “isn’t so bad,” but then you know you are going to see her, or you need to see her and all those feelings rush to the surface. You feel sick inside.
One of the best things for you to do is to take a step back emotionally. Often times we are too close to the situation to really see it the way we need to see it, or see it in a way that could help us out of the situation. I’ve been in that place before – being too close to see a way out. For me, it gnawed away at me. I hurt all the time – I’d think about it, feel the pain of it. It affected every area of my life. Oh, yes I could put it away for a while, but it would always come back. It wasn’t until I was able to create some emotional distance that I could start to see things more clearly.
Creating the emotional distance helped me look at the bigger picture. It helped me put some things together in a way I couldn’t before – right vs. wrong, my desire for my relationship with my DIL, baby steps, etc. – all the things I’ve talked about here in my blogs, articles, and to you when I see you. You can create the same thing for yourself. You, too, can put all the pieces together so you can have a different experience with your mother-in-law or daughter-in-law.
The next time you’re struggling think about taking a step…a step back to create the emotional distance you really do need to gain clarity. It can make all the difference in the world.