Q&A Sessions 7 Q: Dear Suga, I have been with my husband for 8 years. I love him dearly but I just have a hard time getting along with my mother-in-law. She’s always in our business and goes against everything we do in raising our children. Any advice on how I can coexist and get respect from her?
Sincerely, Mother-in-law from Hell
A: Dear Mother-in-law from Hell, I am sorry you’re having such a hard time with your mother-in-law, especially after all this time. You love your husband so it’s natural to want a good relationship with her. My suggestion would be to sit down and hash everything out. There’s nothing wrong with asking what she has against you. Odds are she won’t have a straight answer. A lot of times women are very protective over their sons. No woman will ever be good enough because no woman is her. I hope for you this isn’t the case, but if it is there’s nothing you can really do about that. I would ask her to respect the way you and your husband have chosen to raise your children. Tell her that you will ask if you need any advice for how something should be done but to respect you even if you don’t. Mothers will believe that their way is right but that might not work for how you want your children raised. Now if there is something specific she has against you maybe you two will be able to talk it out and move on. There’s nothing worse than having to be around someone you know doesn’t like you. Neither of you want your husband to have to choose sides, so hopefully you can resolve this without including him. After all, you’re stuck with her like she’s stuck with you.
Q: Dear Suga, I have a brother a couple years younger than me. He seems to trust his friends more than me. They know more about him than I do. How can I get a closer relationship with my little brother?
Sincerely, Man Wanting His Brother’s Friendship
A: Dear Man Wanting His Brother’s Friendship, I’m sorry that this is even happening and hopefully my advice will bring you comfort. Not all siblings are meant to be friends. Of course it would be the greatest thing but that doesn’t always happen. Now obviously if you needed one another you would be there for each other, but that sometimes is more out of obligation since you are family. Have you ever thought about why he doesn’t come to you with things that are happening in his life? It’s possible that his ego doesn’t want to come to his brother and admit that there’s something wrong. Siblings at times look at each other as competition. Coming to you may seem like a failure on his part. This has nothing to do with you and is something he has to work on. If I were you, though I would tell him that you are always there for him no matter what it is and that you would come to him if you needed something. This may help him feel that you’re there for him and won’t judge if things go wrong. It is a part of life. Try your best to repair this relationship because no matter what happens in life, you will always be brothers!