Here’s some good old-fashioned relationship advice: When partner gets into an argument with their own family members, it’s wise for the other partner to steer clear.

That means lending an ear so your other half can vent, and adding your two cents’ worth, but never, not ever, getting involved to the point you contact the other family member.


Of course, I’m not including serious issues where perhaps an intervention is necessary, like physical abuse or destructive alcoholism.

I’m talking more about your wife getting into a fight with her sister, or your husband having a difference of opinion with his father.

As the partner, it’s unwise to try to placate the other family member, or get them to apologize to your mate. In fact, it can even backfire and cause more damage.

Here are some tips to deal with trouble and strife in your partner’s family relationships:

  • Do give your partner the freedom to explain the situation, from his or her point of view, without your feeling like you have to come up with solutions. Nor do you have to play devil’s advocate, or try to “explain” the other side. Just listen and be supportive.

  • Never go behind your partner’s back — unless it’s absolutely necessary, like in a case of danger — to make private deals.

  • Don’t be aggressive or nasty to the other person in the dispute. Remember, blood is thicker than water and families often do reconcile and won’t appreciate the “outsider” who meddled.

  • Put yourself in your partner’s position and think about what you would want him or her to do. Besides giving you their utmost devotion, you probably wouldn’t want your partner to interfere.

  • As a partner in a loving relationship, you have chosen your teammate. Remember whose side you are on at all times, and retain your loyalties. That’s what love is all about.

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