06-11-2021 11:54 AM
06-11-2021 01:18 PM
Hi @ladybates ,
That’s a difficult situation you’re in with a couple sticky obstacles in the way of open communication as you’ve identified. I want to first acknowledge your excellent self-awareness and ability to recognise the verity of options of how to approach this. Navigating mixed family situations is always tricky!
My gut feeling is that sharing drinks is very common within her family, some people may view it as a sign of intimacy or closeness with other family members. As you’ve pointed out, everyone was brought up differently so we could almost view this as different family “cultures” of interaction, and when two different cultures interact, there is bound to be some friction.
I would say checking in with your husband isn’t a bad idea, if maybe to get his perspective on the situation or advice as to how approach his mother in the future. I feel if she is as sensitive as you describe her, regardless of how you approach it she may take it differently than you intended to. So it may be worth asking yourself, how much this matters to you and if you are able to let go of some of your feelings if you aren’t able to bring it up to her in future?
06-21-2021 10:37 AM
It's always tough navigating expectations, especially with in-laws!
It sounds like an open an honest conversation with your husband may be a good place to start. Having him on board will help a lot. Try raising the issue with him by trying to get him to see why you consider sharing drinks as unhygienic (without making him feel it is attack on his mum). The way you present the issue to him will play a big part in the outcome, reiterating that it's not about his mum, just the act of sharing drinks etc.
In regards to your mother-in-law, you mention she is very sensitive when you say anything remotely confrontational. Have you considered adjusting your communication style to get a different result? I have found that I really need to consciously change the way I speak, at times, with my in-laws, because we have very different ways of communicating. It was hard work to start but I have found an immense improvement in our relationship by thinking about what I say may be perceived based on their view of the world.
Good luck! I hope it goes well for you.