My siblings don’t like my fiancée, they are making our engagement miserable. How do I get them to act more polite?
Experts agree that squabbling between siblings teaches them to balance their competitions, learn rituals of making up, and can provide experiences to acquire the necessary skills to be part of other social networks.
“A mild answer turns back wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1) In other words, first you need to know and understand the reasons for your siblings’ attitudes towards your fiancée. In a non-defensive way and using I statements you could put into words your feelings. Don’t push for answers or jump to conclusions. This must be a listening and a thinking session for you.
Then, it will be your turn to share the positive qualities that moved you to select her as your wife-to-be. Ask your siblings to listen to you as you have listened to them. The non-threatening interchange of opinions, feelings and reasons, on both sides, will bring about, if not their acceptance of your chosen fiancée, at least the respect that you and your fiancée deserve.
Dr. Gelasia Marquez is a psychologist and family counselor.