Ask the Trollacle: Christmas with the family

Nervous in Narrabundah writes:

Trollacle, this will be the first Christmas my new partner meets my family. They do not get along. I fear that at least one of those relationships will be damaged, maybe permanently. I will not ask my partner to not tread on any toes, and my family wouldn’t tread carefully even if I begged them to. I love them all, what do I do?

High Nervous. Sorry about the Narrabundah thing. Don’t immediately write off your chances of reaching harmony. Methylenedioxymethamphetamine has been useful in resolving interpersonal conflicts. Judicious deployment may help you achieve what you thought was impossible. Just make sure the relevant parties are separated on comedown day.

If you’re certain that no matter what you try there’ll be irrevocable damage, then you’re left with no alternative but a brutal cost benefit analysis.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs suggests that security of family sits higher than a need for sex but below sexual intimacy, which is level with love from family. I’m just going to assume that you can’t get the sexual intimacy from your family.  Though Maslow did marry his first cousin Bertha. Look let’s just leave that there.

Is the family rich? Is pissing them off going to hurt your wallet? Or will the windfall from their departure make you more attractive anyway? Get brutal. Which one can’t you live without?

Only you can answer this. Once you have your answer, you cannot flinch. You must see it through. Tear off the band-aid, don’t eke it out over painful days. Just make sure you do it after you’ve taken possession of the christmas gifts from the losing side.

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