I was recently in the midst of a family crisis when my uncle decided to get engaged. My family was being torn apart at the very seems from this new person coming into our small but close knit family. I had always had a great relationship with my uncle and we spent a lot of quality time together of the years. However, as he approached the middle years of your life that every person reaches when you go past 40 years of age, he had decided that he was tired of being seeing and just wanted someone to settle down with. The woman who he had gotten engaged to however, was not at all what my family had in mind. Her values went against my family’s religion, she had almost no personality, and she smoked. It was a bad combination for my family
I have been approached by my peers and friends asking what I did in that situation to make do with the best that could happened upon the circumstances which I was under. It is not a new concept for a member of your family to marry someone whom the rest of your family dislikes. However, I have found using these tips and ideas the best ways of just simply getting along with my new relative.
The first main thing that was troublesome was the fact that she had almost no personality. She had a penchant for dogs and bought two of them. All she ever talked about was dogs and when any other subject arose she became extremely quiet. Even the most common of topic like politics or sports or other common talking themes she hardly said a word on. While this bothered my parents whom they took her as a woman who didn’t like them, I took it as a sign of a woman who tried her best to fit in, in a family that was unlike her own. Perhaps she had come from a family full of pets or an immigrant background that didn’t speak much English. Whatever her story was, I would always nod and agree with her to generate small talk and sound like I was listening to her whenever she rambled on about her pets. Whenever I wanted to have a conversation about another topic, I would address my uncle while his fiance would just listen in.
The second main obstacle to adjust to was the fact that she had a different religion than my family. This was a major problem because my family was highly religious and celebrated almost every custom and value in our religion. My uncle had wanted her to take conversion classes but she ended up dropping out because she wanted to get a job as a baby-sitter and decided she didn’t have the time for the classes. This further pissed off my family. While I was frustrated at the matter, I decided that just because someone new enters your family doesn’t mean you can change the other person’s upbringing. My new relative was raised under a certain religion and customs that for whatever her reasons were, just didn’t want to let go. Or maybe she was embarrassed at the whole conversion process. Some things you just have to accept in your life and move on. I decided that my uncle’s happiness was more important than whether this woman wanted to convert her religion or not. If my uncle decided that it wasn’t that important, that was his decision, and no matter how upset I was at it, I couldn’t change a thing. The sooner I accepted who this woman was and that at such a late stage in her life, she would not change.
My final personal obstacle was the fact that I had been sued to spending so much time with my uncle. In the past he had gone to my sporting events as a kid and been there for every birthday. I remember we used to spend almost every weekend together, going to a restaurant for lunch or he would have dinner with my family. He would come over to my house on the holidays to celebrate and a smile would light up my face. As his engagement began, those weekend meals disappeared, along with holidays which he attended at his fiance’s house. I was upset but I learned to compromise. After discussing the situation to my uncle, he made an agreement with me to have lunch or dinner at least once every two weeks and to be at our house for the holidays with or without his fiance.
My parents were another matter. Being in their middle age as well, their ideals were not going to change. While they tried to accept this new relative into the family it just wasn’t going to work out. They decided that the best way was to have very small talk with my uncle’s fiance whenever they saw her and just listen to her wild stores about her pets. Their relationship with my uncle may never be the same again but at least they have learned to accept the fact that my uncle is happy and that is what ultimately matters in the end.