Dear Aunt Liz,
I am a working female graduate, 25, wishing to settle down. I have tried a relationship that didnâ€™t work out so we broke up. I was so hurt because I tried my level best to make it work and failed.
Currently, Iâ€™ve been seeing another man for almost a year and plan to settle down with him. We get along well, he is well mannered and every inch a gentleman, but my relationship has failed to grow to another step because of my elder sister. My boyfriend calls my sisterâ€™s husband uncle (a brother to his mother).
There were some disagreements that caused hatred between my sisterâ€™s family and my in-lawâ€™s family. On many occasions, my sister has warned me to dump the man, but I need time to make my decision. My man wishes that we keep our relationship secret from both families. I wonder why yet we are both mature enough to be in love. I am confused because I still love him yet I donâ€™t wish to create enemity with my sister. I want to make a decision that I will not regret.
Dear confused ME,
You seem to be a victim of circumstances beyond your control. In the middle of such conflict, you need to know clearly what your position is, in this relationship and stick to it. If your
sister is in conflict with her in-laws, you need to be careful not to get involved because it will affect your relationship with the man you love.
Choice of a marriage partner is an independent one. It may be influenced by others but in the end, it comes back to you. Does your sister want you to dump this man because of the family conflict? Or is it an issue that concerns this man directly?
You need to let your sister understand that there are boundaries that exist in any relationship. Certainly, there is a limit to which external influence can go. When it goes overboard, the relationship turns sour. With increasing pressure, you are likely to feel insecure. You begin to reflect on the broken relationship and start to imagine that this one too may slip out of your hands.
Do not give in to fear, be confident about yourself. The far that you have come in this relationship, should give you assurance that you have got what it takes to win the heart of the man you love despite any other opinion.
Donâ€™t lose focus. Take it slow. Follow your heart, thatâ€™s what counts.
Aunt Liz is a professional counsellor