Your partner’s parents are the people you most feel the need to impress in a relationship; you want to make a good first impression and ultimately win them over by showing them how worthy you are of their child’s love. But parents are often the least of your worries when it comes to difficult siblings. Quite often, regardless of age: old or young, siblings can feel threatened when their brother or sister gets into a relationship and can purposefully go out of their way to twist your partner against you, or to make things awkward for you. However, even if this is the case, whether you get on with your partner’s siblings or not, this shouldn’t have an impact on your relationship with your partner. There isn’t the expectation that you should have the same intense and intimate closeness with your partner’s siblings, that you have with your partner. The important thing is to be mature and civil, so what follows are a few handy tips for how to keep the peace if you don’t get on with your partners siblings.
1. Talk to them.
This might be like hitting your head against a brick wall if you get nothing back from them, but it is still polite to acknowledge your partner’s siblings’ existence even if they do not reciprocate. You don’t have to spend ages talking to them, but a five-minute conversation will prove to your partner and his family that you are trying to bond with his/her siblings. You never know, with time, your partners siblings might even start a conversation with you, try and wear them down each time that you see them.
2. Try to find common interests.
Do your homework. Try to find what your partner’s siblings like to do and use this as a way to talk to them and to try to establish a bond. Again, like the point above, this proves you are trying to make an effort, but also that you are interested in your partner’s siblings as individuals rather than just as relatives of your partner. Maybe go the extra mile and organise a ‘date’ to take your partner’s siblings out without your partner present, doing something you know they enjoy. Spending time together without your partner present will force everyone to really engage with each other and to try to get along. If this doesn’t work, at least you can say that you’ve tried.
3. Reassure them.
Siblings can be difficult if they feel like you are trying to take their brother or sister away from them; they are used to having your partner’s undivided attention and don’t wish to share them. Another approach for how to keep the peace if you don’t get on with your partner’s siblings is to sit them down and be honest with them. Tell your partners siblings that your partner will still have enough time for everyone in their life, and that you don’t want to steal them away. Show some respect and consideration for how they might be feeling and if you let your guard down in this way, then hopefully they will also.
4. Organise activities or days out for your partner and their siblings.
It’s so important in a relationship to strike a healthy balance between spending time with family and friends as well as the person you love. Another way to keep the peace with your partners siblings, is to organise things for your partner to do alone with their siblings – you don’t have to be present, but it shows that you are taking the moral high ground by making sure your partner still factors in time for their siblings. Eventually you might be able to join in on these sibling date days but just try and take small steps.
5. Talk to your partner.
If all of the above doesn’t help smooth over relations between yourself and your partners siblings, then it might be worth talking to your partner about how you feel. There is only so much you can do to reach out to your partner’s siblings and it shouldn’t be all one sided on your behalf only. Your partner might be blinded to how their siblings are behaving towards you, so be honest with your partner and ask them to speak to their siblings personally. Hopefully, if your partner proves to their siblings how much they love you, and that you won’t be disappearing anytime soon, their siblings will slowly come round to the idea of you two being together.
So there you have it, a few suggestions for how to keep the peace with your partners siblings if you don’t get along with them. Can you think of any other ways? If the answer is yes, then feel free to comment below.
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My name is Nicole Brownfield and I am 20 years old. I am studying English Literature and going into my 3rd and final year of Queen Mary University, London in September. I am currently the Editor-In-chief of my University magazine 'CUB' and my dream is to pursue a career in journalism after I graduate. I love living in London and am obsessed with sourcing out food and drink places, as well as exploring the parts of London I have never been to before. My boyfriend and I have recently turned pescatarian and this symbolises my goal to constantly keep bettering myself and to stay healthy and disciplined. Every day I try and achieve something as I want to look back and be proud of the life I have lived, and to make my family proud too.