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I am in a serious relationship. My girlfriend and I get along great, there is an awesome connection and great chemistry between us. The problem is her family. When I am around them, they are constantly making digs at her or picking apart something that she has said. I want to speak up for her, but something always stops me, and I don’t really know what to do.
Stuck in Silence
Dear Stuck in Silence,
That is for sure not an easy position to be in, I am so sorry.
First, have you talked to your girlfriend about this? What are her thoughts about what her family is doing? How much does all of it affect her?
Is there a reason she is staying silent herself? Is she not great with confrontation, or is she deciding to not speak up for a reason unknown to you?
The best thing you can do is have the truth out there between you. Regardless of whether anything else is done, she needs to hear your opinion and frustration, and vice versa. You need a clear picture on where she stands.
Once that is accomplished, then I would discuss a plan of action between the two of you. Does she want to work her way up to talking to them? Does she want your help?
You should follow what she wants to do, especially since this is her family. But also keep in mind that there could be a line her family crosses where you are unable to stay silent in the moment.
Just remember that as long as you guys are dating, these are people that you will have to deal with. And above that, the most important thing is the two of you.
Don’t let any comments that anyone makes, no matter who they are, get in between what you both have together.
I met someone during the fall semester, and we hit it off. I am excited about our relationship but also sad the closer we get to the end of school. Once summer hits, we will both be going our separate ways as our families live a good distance away from each other. How am I going to make it to next fall?
Dear Bummed Out,
Ah, the ever foreboding long distance relationship. You definitely are not alone in this, although there is no question how much it sucks.
First, I really suggest you concentrate on yourself this summer. Do you know what your schedule is going to be for the fall? Are there any classes that you can work ahead in, whether it be reading or writing?
What is your chosen field? Is there anywhere that you can get an internship or a part-time job for the experience?
Are there any friends at home that you haven’t seen in a long time that you are looking forward to reconnecting with, and that can join you for activities?
Concentrating on you has both the advantage of being healthy as you continue to find yourself, and will also help the summer days pass by quickly.
All of that being said, make sure your relationship is a priority too. Talk on the phone, or through video chat through the computer.
Text when something funny or sad happens. Send each other stuff, whether through the internet or the mail.
Plan a special road trip to see one another by yourself or with some friends if the opportunity presents itself.
Stay connected, to both yourself and your relationship.
That is the most important thing.
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