Expert advice by Dr. Rachna Khanna Singh: There are few sources of love and support that compare to family. Finding a good friend in a family member is a lifetime joy. Therefore I understand how unnerving this must be for you. Family dynamics are almost always complicated, there exist as many perspectives as the number of members in the family. To navigate these relationships there are many factors to consider.
In this instance, you might not feel like talking to your cousin’s wife. However, as you are still close to him, it becomes imperative to have a conversation about what happened. Try to be understanding about the reasons he has halted communication with you. It is clear he prioritizes his marriage but whether it is because of his wife’s influence or he feels hurt by your reaction towards her is something you need clarity on.
It is also possible that he’s ignoring the problem as he doesn’t want to openly choose sides and hurt either party. It is also essential for you to understand that his wife’s disdain towards you is not really about you. Feelings of comparison, jealousy, and possessiveness often stem from our childhood experiences. When children don’t feel secure in their early relationships with caregivers and friends they tend to develop anxiety around close relationships later in life. Considering these factors will help you interpret her over-protective behaviour.
Lastly, it would be worth a shot to try and develop a relationship with her. Try to make her see that there is enough space for both of you to exist in your cousin’s life, one’s presence doesn’t have to threaten the other. Try getting to know each other. When you share a separate relationship with her, she will notice you as her friend, not a competitor. Do not be disheartened if your attempts at reconciling are not initially met with the same response. I encourage you to keep trying. However, be careful about your timing, do not make hasty attempts when the situation is heated, and wait for a few days or weeks as this will allow everyone to respond from a calmer space.
Remember that how a person treats you is greatly a reflection of their inner world. If they lack the maturity to work it out then there is little scope for amelioration. While this might feel like a roadblock, it doesn’t have to hinder your connection with your cousin. His willingness to work things out with you will ultimately decide the future of your relationship.
Dr. Rachna Khanna Singh is HOD – Holistic Medicine, Artemis Hospital, Gurgaon, Relationship, Lifestyle & Stress Management Expert
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