While answering a question for Beliefnet about getting along with future in-laws
, Thomas Moore stresses the importance of being clear about who you are.
"... learn how to be loyal to yourself — and especially to whatever qualities are being challenged. Find the strength to be firm in who you are no matter what someone else might say. Criticism is always a two-way street: one person complains, and then the other person caves in under the attack. Your job is not to cave in but to be proud of who you are."
Moore makes the simple and significant observation,
"In every marriage, a lot of people come together and get entangled in each other's lives — the two people exchanging vows, family members both close and distant, friends, animals, and even the inner figures that play a part in the lives of us all (your inner mother,weakling, hero, or adventurer, for example). So your starting point should be to be realistic about the future: If you get married, you'll be connected to your fiancé's family, including his sister, for the rest of your life."
In addition to urging the writer to voice her concerns and seek support from her fiancé, Moore shares his approach,
"I work by the principle, 'Go with the symptom.' If you feel too emotional, the solution is not to try to be cool and contained. Instead, you should respect your feelings: speak for them, make them known, use them as guides to let you know what you need. In other words, it's time to flex your psychological muscles."
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