How To Keep Your Relationship Safe From Family

Join Tamara and Sheena as they talk about How To Keep Your Relationships Safe From Your Family in this episode of Les Talk About It.

Les Talk About It Episode: 10 of 12 of the Relationship Season

In this episode:

  • Signs that your family is interfering in your relationship
    • Putting unrealistic demands on your time an attention
    • You feel responsible for your relatives emotional wellbeing
    • Keeping secrets from your family
    • Relying on your parents for money
    • Relying on your family too much
    • When your parents expect you to check in with them about everything
    • Violating your privacy
    • Being competitive
    • Indulging your poor decisions
    • Your parents overshare personal details about their own lives
  • How to handle the problem

Listen to the episode

Les Talk About It Series: Relationships

Relationships are important for humans. We need them to survive, never mind thrive. In this series we delve into relationships and break down some statistics and realities because, let’s face it, most us just muddle through and don’t necessarily have the skillset to rally make a relationship work.


please note this transcript has not been edited and is automatically generated meaning certain words will be incorrect

[Music] welcome to Les Talk About It, I’m Sheena and I’m Tamara and today we’re talking about nosey relatives it’s more specifically to do with nosey relatives and relationships so this is where relatives come and miss in your relationship then actually with things that has nothing to do with it mm-hmm and if you’re in a relationship like this you know how difficult it is to deal with us because you love your loved one but at the same time you’ve got this third party that is making relationship very difficult and it’s difficult to deal with that because they’re close to your loved one right and if your loved one doesn’t step up and actually make something happen then you’re stuck kind of in the middle between this person and your loved one and often you portray this bad guy sure but you know it’s the kind of thing where again communication as a couple is highly important because the both of you need to understand that this is a problem and that it’s something that can continue alright but you’ve got some research for us today yeah so what we’re gonna go through is the different ways in which relatives can interfere with relationships oh is this like a how-to guide can I go mess with your relationship with your folks no way that’s the wrong way around them okay so the first way that a relative can put strain on a relationship is by putting unrealistic demands on your time and attention so this is the kind of thing we like your mother your father a sibling whoever it is expects you to drop everything so that you can go help them so this is the needy relative who expects their time to be much more valuable than anybody else’s time exactly they expect them to be the center of your universe and why is that unreasonable it’s not you see unfortunately this can be very difficult because people who prioritize themselves like this will get upset if you put boundaries in place they do and it’s one of these things we as the family member you start to feel guilty that you’re saying no to your parent or whatever it is and the thing is people who do this they kind of know they’re manipulating you really then I like to necessarily acknowledge that so it’s a very difficult situation you know and now like the problem with I’m a relative doing this to you is that this leaves you with very little time to focus not on interests on yourself but on your partner and your relationship so what happens when you’re we’re supposed to go out on a date they’d say and your mother phones up saying oh no she made the no you need to come over and now you’re like oh no we need to go to my mom because she made dinner I feel guilty she went to all that trouble you’re right the guilting is a natural for this kind of yeah and then it’s also can be to a point of view where you’re just saying well what’s wrong with you my mom went to all this trouble why don’t you ever go to dinner you know what I mean right it’s like which is unreasonable especially if you and your partner had something planned or if you spend an exorbitant amount of time with this or the music I think what a lot of this will come down to is that your relationship is made up of two people not three not four not ten two people and here we’re not talking about polyamorous in couples and I kind of think because because that’s a whole different relationship level and that’s different Navigation and there’s nothing wrong with that we’re just talking about the duo here okay yeah and if you are a trapper or more then we’re talking about the three or four people in that relationship right those are the people who matter and relationship not anyone outside of that relationship okay absolutely I think and also important to take note is that in this podcast we’re not talking about abusive relationships not at all because you definitely need family to interfere when it’s abuse and abusive relationship you need help as much help as you can get you can to get out of that relationship yeah we were talking here about your bog-standard happy relationship that may go through some ups and downs but overall it’s healthy absolutely okay so what other kinds of family interference do you have because I see you got like a listing I’ve got a huge list this is in my pile of papers the next one is that you feel responsible for your relatives emotional well-being okay and I think this actually extends to lemon-juice emotional well-being but also well-being in general like you expect if that person is not doing financially while you feel responsible and thus you know is like you need to make sure that your parents always happy there your sibling has money this week to pay rent or whatever it is so your single parent raised you with this thing of it’s us against the world and now you’re grown up and now your parents alone because you’ve moved out of the house and your parent doesn’t quite know how to deal with this and so there’s this this feeling with you are responsible you are the the second person in this relationship with your parent if you like and you have to set the boundary they mmm-hmm because it’s very toxic I mean you know as a child and were relatives to someone else that person is not your responsibility their decisions and the outcome of this decision was not your responsibility again your responsibilities the relationship that you are currently in and I can speak from experience that this is a difficult road to navigate no it’s yes and it’s not that I have any family members that are particularly like trying to interfere whatever it is I just personally take on the responsibilities of everyone and it’s so damaging to me and and you see that the term well it causes in the text it takes on me and it’s it’s like I only have a certain number of emotional points if you like in any given day and I use up way too many of those on family scenarios where I actually have no control of anything that I think very important to remember you have no control of other people’s actions yes and you know keep that in mind family members decisions on them you’re not on you yeah and it’s not your job to fix them mm-hmm okay okay so the next one is you lie to your parents or your inner terms to avoid disappointing them ooh this is a tough one to hey no it is because sometimes it’s easier to lie or not to mention something because you know it’s just simpler but where do you draw the line and how do you know because shitty you can’t just spill the beans about how terrible your life is all the time if that’s what’s going on but it doesn’t even have to be about something terrible it could be that’s your diet and you watch your parents about it you just don’t tell them and you’re putting they like well-being before yours I see so as a yeah and your your girlfriend is actually not your roommates yes so like you know you go over for Christmas dinner and it’s like you’re I’m here with my friend Angie instead of I’m here with my girlfriend Angie so it’s more do we need to have a conversation about edgy edgy does not exist okay okay this isn’t one of those things we dis approve well the disappointment is again more important than your own feelings and that’s not healthy these are tough lessons to learn as you grow up in mm-hm and sometimes it can even be as simple as you decide that you don’t want to study law for example and instead you want to study theater and now that’s not quite relationship advice but again it’s something where you just go along with what your parent ones because they apparent and you know how can you ever do something that they don’t agree with so this is the coasting kids sort of scenario but yeah you just and if I were a parent I can tell you straight off I would not want a relationship in which my kid felt that they had to lie to me mmm-hmm I mean I mean when it becomes into a relationship like you know you start like oh it’s not tell mom that we’re gonna go to the Bahamas for holiday because she hates the Bahamas um so the next time you see her it’s like oh no we’re not going away and then you know you build this little like house of cards of Lies because it ain’t your phone you to find out you can’t come to dinner and meanwhile you’re on the way to the airport and yeah these a lot of these are hitting home straight nine tenths of the mm-hmm no seriously not okay no I believe you I’m just I apparently I just have complicated relationships with my family the next one is relying on your parents for money I think this is so easy to do our parents grew up in a generation where money was easier to come for them and so they probably have paid off houses or at least close to being paid off they have more general accumulation of wealth and it’s tough to live in the world these days mm-hmm but the problem with relying on your parents for money is that you’re an adult and you’re in a relationship with another adult and it’s not fair to firstly discuss your private finances with someone else and secondly you’re kind of negating the other person relationship by letting someone else step in and you also because you’re not taking money from someone else there’s also all these expectations so now it’s like Oh mom wants us to go to dinner with her so there’s not gonna add a tune you know like well she gave us money so I feel like I have to go to dinner or not go in our dates it’s skewing the relations yeah and it’s not allowing you the independence you actually need and for your relationship to flourish yes so I mean just again the relationship is a bath of people in the relationship and you shouldn’t be transferring their power to someone outside of it okay the next one is sort of similar to the menu one but it’s you allowing your parents to handle your responsibilities okay so this can be anything from allowing your parents to deal with getting a car serviced to always being there to take care of your kids when you need to go out whatever it is that you’d like relying on them when you’re not allowing yourself to be an adult really I think something like babysitting the kids is mutually beneficial you have to weigh then when I put an individual sort of basis oh sure but I think it’s a kind of thing where again once in a while it’s fine if it’s a regular thing and it’s again create some sort of imbalance of power it’s not okay I suppose it also depends though entirely on how how it affects the relation yes so completely I mean maybe that was a poor luck example but okay for example your parent weekly comes into your house and drops off groceries firstly it’s not groceries that you put in last year of their coming into your house willy-nilly how do you handle the idea and it might be okay for you as the child or the relative but it might be very uncomfortable for your spouse right espouses I get that I think grandkids are a different sort of a thing I think if you have a healthy relationship with your folks and they can have a healthy relationship with their grandchildren I think it’s really important to have that extended family for the kids and I think that’s always important I just think it’s one of those things where it can be taken advantage of in both directions like it or not free childcare but also like you need to let your children deal with their children because they chose to have those children so yes but having a stable relationship with your grandparents is key to being able to form relationships that are healthy in the long term I don’t know I have a close relationship with my grandparents so for me I’m not saying that that’s bad not at all and I think you should see your grandparents as much as you can but what I’m talking about here is people overstepping boundaries okay okay all right so the next one is when your parents expect you to check in with them before you make a decision oh wow yeah like you know that codependency thing where even though you’re an adult yours wonder so tight that you speak about everything and anything and sometimes you might even speak to them before you speak your partner okay so when you in your relationship with another person you’re going to be making big decisions such as buying a house choosing way to love I can be even deciding whether you’re gonna go on to birth control or something like that and that’s the kind of stuff that you should be discussing with your partner and that’s the person you should be making the decision with it shouldn’t be what the relative or your parent the thing there is that your parent would also give their thoughts honor to give their ideas and what you should be doing and that’s sometimes not you know what your partner wants to do so it should be something with you guys agree on together okay the next one is when your parent violates your privacy by looking at text emails financial records that kind of thing I don’t think it’s every careful parent to violate your privacy even when you’re a teenager hmm I think the only maybe circumstance is if you think that your child is in trouble on drugs or something like that but even then it concerns me that parents think that it’s okay to read their kids journals and and texts and that kind of thing you know I think you know something worth noting is social media in this day and age and if your parents are stalking you on social media like it’s okay if they come across a post and they like it or whatever but you know if they’re constantly stalking you so they’re using it as a way of keeping track it becomes a problem you’re not a teenager you know a child like you’re living your life young you said it’s okay to not be friends with your mother on Facebook when you’re a little really yes you’re listening to the lesbian talk show the lesbians or choke on your hub of podcast information another way that agent can be brought into relationship with relatives is when you feel that there’s competition between you and the relative okay okay so this is where like you know whether it’s feelings or accomplishments or that kind of thing you always feel like there’s a competition so you know I bought a car now my dad goes in buys a car I buy a car now my aunt cousin buys a couch or whatever it is you know that kind of thing or if appearance is to you oh I can’t believe you went and did that because that was what I wanted to do as if you can’t both do something exactly or I cut myself badly this week and then that’s left oh you won’t believe like you know how I’m almost dying or something you know everything has to be one-upped that can cause like a lot of issues because it will be a lot of jealousy creating a relationship there can be a lot of jealousy developed frustration over having to maybe because you’ve been brought up this way you also feel like you have to keep up and you have to keep one-upping well also if your parents or like this and you’re not inclined towards this then what happens is you just thought the thing where you just don’t tell them stuff mm-hmm and you stuff like and you start the lying cycle yes you know and it’s a really unhealthy space to be in yes and if you are the kind of person that’s continually competing then you’ve got your partner who has to deal with you using money or resources whatever it is to mess with that job the next one is your parents enabling your bed or your irresponsible behavior okay so this is them again treating you like a child like a spoiled child and just allowing indulging you in doing things that are not necessarily good for you I think parents sometimes do this is a really messed-up way of showing that they K mm-hmm but it actually just hurts ultimately no it does so it’s you know things like uh your job is difficult just quit and I’ll give you money every month or I don’t want to see you driving they’re perfectly fine card rather see you driving an SUV he has a SUV could be even beast things that are something about buying stuff but just indulging people well it’s you know that your child has a penchant for throwing away perfectly good relationships because of some strange personality quirk like your kid decides that her girlfriend is the worst person in the world cuz your girlfriend doesn’t like cats or whatever exactly yes and then you indulge that you’re not actually doing your kid any favors yeah or even things like has been adult like your child joins a volunteer organization and being that just be feels like too much work and you’re like that’s okay if you quit you know that kind of a thing yeah encouraging the yeah yeah yeah and I mean it’s a kind of thing we this cut becomes a problem especially when your relationship because it might be fighting with your partner’s values so you know if you both decided to volunteer at an organization and your parents allow you to quit and your partner’s lift worth like what like I thought this was something it was important to you it’s important to me how can you just quit yeah these deeper issues in that relationship yes okay alright and then the last one is your parents over share personal details about their own life oh my you know okay and this is important because you are the child yes whether you are growing up or not you’re the child and this shouldn’t be inappropriate communication going on and especially when you’re in a relationship you shouldn’t be communicating to other people as kind of stuff yes I never ever want to know about my appearance sex life yeah and I think in some of these cases it’s also we you know because they’re over sharing makes EQ to overshare the problem comes in say you fight with your spouse every now and you start sharing those details with your family then all your family hears is did you in this terrible relationship with your fighting with your spouse when it affects it could be that you’re fighting with your spouse one you talk about fighting once in a blue moon but the only thing they ever hear is fighting right and so because you’re sharing inappropriate details with your family it comes across as your spouse is bad guy yes exactly so there is a couple of ways that you can deal with us okay illuminate us because things were really miserable but my relationships right now it’s basically all about the big be the big be the big be who’s a boob okay so what is the B okay the baby is boundaries uh-huh shocking I know I should have seen their cooing okay okay so it’s basically about establishing boundaries with your relatives so that you can focus on your relationships so the first thing is presenting a united front and this is the bad junior partner discussing and communicating and then presenting a united friends about whatever the problem is okay okay so for example the mother who is always inviting herself over or who is always expecting you to come to her okay so your partner has told you listen this is making me feel really crappy it feels like you don’t pay attention to me it feels like you don’t value our relationship I need us to not drop everything for your mother okay okay so the United Front is now that we’ve both agreed that this can’t go on that yes we can see my mother every now and then but we’re cutting it down to maybe twice a month whatever it is we’re actually quite good at this you know so we’ve decided what the boundary is and now we’re going to implement it so the next time the mother phones we will say oh thank you for making dinner but we can’t make it we can do it on Saturday whenever two am tonight we’re going on the date okay and then the mothers all disappointed and she said and whatever so she finds a partner and trying to guilt the partner now and the partner says the exact same thing okay so you it’s a really nice in French you don’t change your decision based on who’s talking to her so a good parenting technique it is it’s true you have to parent your parents sometimes mm-hmm okay the next one is letting the blood relative be the person who’s the messenger when you need to deliver some sort of news or some sort of boundary so for example if I have an issue with your mother then it’s your job to deal with it and no no no it’s not about your personal issues with my mother it’s about our relationship issue with our my mother if you get annoys because my mother does something which irritates you that’s not this just for the record I really like tomorrow’s mother and she doesn’t irritate me no mother dropped by her family it has to be an issue that’s about the relationship and is causing the relationship damage so for example financials so your parent is saying that let’s go on H a joint family trip to Mexico initially to be the kind of thing we would do except that this would always put us in financial stress right okay so again we have a united front we’ve decided we’re not doing this okay but it’s for me to go to my parents and say listen we cannot do the Mexico trip we cannot afford it no thank you I don’t want your money it’s better to do it that way because then you’re not making this pasture bed exactly because it’s not about you not wanting to go you know what I mean because there is this whole thing about the spouse being the bad Cruz so I have a question yes so what if the blood relative is a worse and doesn’t want to deal with stuff well then like this is the problem like the blood relative not dealing with this is what causes the relationship to suffer you have to do something it’s kind of like you know we spoke about these codependency issues that people accepting money people telling everything to the appearance like that’s something they do already and that’s what’s causing the issue they’re going to have to like fight really hard to stop doing that it’s not gonna be easy okay not an easy conversation but it’s an important one it’s basically do you value your relationship or do you value your relatives relationship more and I know that sounds hard and harsh but the thing is your relatives are going to love you no matter what seriously even if they disappointed us we’re gonna get overwritten 24 hours I promise you but your relationship with your spouse is something that you have to work on and your last tip for dealing with these and went to disturbances in a relationship okay this is one we’ve actually kind of covered already and that is not talking about your spouse to your relatives mmm unless you’re singing praises I think it’s a good rule of thumb and here’s the thing right so you you you guys through difficult times with your in your relationship it’s just how it is you know through difficult times in all relationships you know relationships are perfect you and I have fought but if I ended up talking to people about every time we fight because it’s weighing on me or whatever it is then you just come across as like this horrible person all the time and the thing is in the hands of a certain kind of person that also becomes mo to drive a wedge between you and you don’t want it to become Adam versus her situation so who do you talk to you you talk to you probably like if you have a close actually I never know how to talk to a friend about it because it creates the same issue you know probably a therapist or something would be the best thing I mean if it’s somebody’s actually trained to help yes because if it’s a relationship issue that’s probably your best bit because one who’s close to you in a personal capacity is going to have the same problem like they will see their person in different lights and I will just stop liking that person or whatever what’s the skew they also love you and so their viewpoint is skewed by the love for you so they’re going to naturally think that the other person is always wrong the bad guy yes and I mean like the thing is people always need to vent but I think relationships are the kind of thing we it’s a serious matter and if you’re having something a problem that’s big enough that you need to share to someone else I think maybe you need to be speaking to someone who is educated on the Met room that can actually help you well this was a really epic podcast it was much longer than us which is going to be I think that’s all for this week if you have questions or if you want to know anything specific about relationships now is the time to email us on podcast at the lesbian talk show calm because we’re gonna do a special episode where we answer listener questions so ask us anything about relationships and we’ll do our best to answer mm-hmm in the meantime please go and like and share this podcast on Apple podcasts your five star review helps other people find us you can also chat with us on our Facebook group the news bein talk-show chat group and if you like this podcast any other podcasts on the trail become a patron you get exclusive content you help us grow and you help keep us on the air thank you thank you bye bye