My partner and I are about to embark on a life-changing journey. 13 years ago we moved to our home country of Ireland. My wonderful and wonderful partner will arrive for the first time and I will also meet my family for the first time. My parents (especially my mother) are overjoyed to have me back and my partner who has taken me home after so long away will be royalty.
However, the visa process takes a long time, so my partner will more or less be fiddling with his thumbs for six months. In the short term it will be a pampering for Christmas and my niece, but in the long term it’s time to settle the matter and forget about the post-Christmas perks.
There is also some background. My partner and I are very liberal. My partner is of color.know Some of my relatives have made racist and not particularly funny comments in the past.
How can we keep the peace? How would you best handle this situation in the medium to long term?
Eleanor says: In my opinion, the challenge is to help your partner feel like he or she is a separate person from you, as much of their life is determined by their relationship with you. She will be folded up waiting for her visa to take this big step with you. your with the house your family. It sounds like you truly love and respect her as much as you do yourself. The question is, how can we help that individual to emerge in such a relationally defined space?
Start by being sensitive to the fact that this is not her home. Many things about where we come from seem to us to be true, and we tend to think of these as merely objective truths when in reality it is the gilding of familiarity. is easy. Everything that makes her feel like home to you won’t be passed on to her. Especially if some of her relatives see her as an “other”. If you or her family take it as an insult when she’s restless, it makes her feel even worse. So, as much as you can, make it okay for her to have those feelings. Prepare each other for her to become misunderstood, sad, or homesick, so that those feelings don’t make her feel like she’s ruining the party.
It might really help her if you let her know you’re watching over her so she doesn’t feel like she’s the only one looking after her health. A little check-in procedure goes a long way. “How are you feeling?” “It’s been two months since we arrived, do you feel like you’ve had enough time to talk to other people, not just me? ”
And of course, if these racist remarks reappear, you’ll be publicly confronting your relatives.
It may also help to find ways to show her that she isn’t being stigmatized for messing with her thumb when she doesn’t want to, and that it’s important to you too. Buy her a membership to a club she thinks she likes. She reserves space for her own work and creative space. Treat the challenge of keeping thumbs off as a collaborative effort.
One thing that might come in handy is doing something new for both of you in Ireland. That way you don’t necessarily have to guide her. If one partner is always in a position to learn and the other is always in a position to tell, it affects the rest of the relationship.
Let her find her own connection to the place as well. Tell me how she keeps telling her her things. It means all about Ireland: her own hangouts, routes, favorite spots, and the life she left behind. Create space for her skills, hobbies, history and family.
With a little effort, this move can make her feel like you’re building a new home together instead of just fitting into the one you already have.
This letter has been edited for clarity.
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https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2023/jun/02/my-partner-and-i-are-about-to-move-to-my-home-country-whats-the-best-approach My partner and I are moving to our home country.What’s the Best Approach? | Life and Style