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Please help: I am battling with my in-laws

Conversations with Brendah

Hi Brendah,

I am really battling with my in-laws…well anatete to be specific. They really have this thing that they can control what happens in my marriage and home. My husband ndiye the youngest, so they somehow think that he still needs to be babied and controlled. I always try and be respectful but pakusvika pekuti tichanetsana. While they coddle my husband, they are very critical of anything and everything I do. Hapana zvinovafadza. My house is never clean enough,  my food is never seasoned right, my kids are never dressed okay… its unrelenting and has seriously affected my self-esteem. What can I do about this without negatively impacting family ties?

The age old battle.

I can never understand why families battle to let go of their sons and brothers. And what is this sick twisted need to control other peoples homes and families? Ivo havana imba dzavo here? What is missing here are boundaries. And unfortunately boundaries are never given — they have to be imposed, so it will have some negative impact, but it is worth it.

And because these are his sisters, you unfortunately can’t be the one spearheading the conversation. You need to have a very firm conversation with your husband about what is going on and request that he communicate with his sister so they can fall back.

Now chances are he sees nothing wrong and is actually enjoying the attention and extra love he gets but he needs to understand that when he got married he stopped being a baby brother and became a husband and a father. That role is his priority now and he needs to act accordingly.

If he is not up to the challenge then you, unfortunately will have to stand up for yourself.

Zvedzimba zvinoda kushinga ufunge, saka wotosunga dzisimbe.

And while we always promote good healthy relationships, at times its not possible and kana vanhu varikukudeerera do yourself a favour and put a stop to it because hausi mufesi wawo zvekudaro.

Challenge of the week: Share your distress with your husband without badmouthing his sisters. Doing so will only make him defensive and you will lose your ally.

Song of the week: Ndinenge Ndisina — Jah Signal.

Drink of the week: Varoora vemazuva ano munoda doro too much! Imwa tea

Dear Brendah

I am hoping you can help me with an issue I am having in my relationship. My partner and I seem to battle to get each other in terms of showing affection and love. He thinks buying me gifts is what will make me happy, but it’s not. When I don’t show the appreciation he thinks I should, he gets upset and makes me feel like I am being ungrateful but I am not. Instead of expensive gifts I would rather we spend quality time together cause between work and kids, we hardly get to spend time together.

How can I communicate this to him in a way he understands?

This is one stumbling block many couples battle to overcome.

What you are dealing with is the issue of love languages. People need to be loved the way they want to be loved, not the way we want to love them, or a way that feels good to us. That’s where we always get it wrong. Buying gifts for a loved one might feel good to the buyer, but that doesnt mean it will feel good to the receiver.

So, when it comes to love languages according to Dr Chapman, there are five ways people want to be loved. These include words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, acts of service, and receiving gifts. From the sounds of it one of your love languages is quality time.

Spending time with someone you love makes you feel loved and feels great — the problem comes when we feel that spending quality time with our partner is what will make them feel good too.

Showing your partner love in their love language can be hard cause we have to go out of our comfort zone to do something that doesnt resonate with us inorder to make our lover feel good — but it is so important to understand our partners love language because failure to do so makes the giver feel unappreciated and the receiver misunderstood and unloved.

There is a lot of information online about love languages and I suggest you take the time to read up and understand how you both want to be shown love and appreciation.

Challenge of the week: Take time to do the online quiz to identify your love languages — getting an understanding of how you individually want to be loved is the first step to a better love story.

Song of the week: Zvaunondiita so — Ngonie Kambarami (be motivated to get to this stage).

Drink of the week: Merlot for the good feels

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