Ask the MH girls the questions you can’t ask anyone else. They’re three women who speak their mind, so don’t expect sugar-coated answers. Today they’re asked: My girlfriend’s parents are very conservative and I have to bite my tongue at dinners for fear of offending them. Do I have to play nice forever or can I voice my opinions at some point without causing friction? –RW
Jess: I’d like to think that if you’ve been dating for a while and you see a future
with your girlfriend, you can also feel comfortable to engage in conversations with the wider family. And conversation doesn’t mean simply mean being agreeable – you should be able to state your views.
Becky: I see no harm in voicing an opinion so long as that opinion – whatever it is – is communicated respectfully.
Jess: Yep. The key’s in the delivery.
Nik: I think it depends on the issue at hand and the view you’re responding to.
If it’s a view about something trivial, then you could probably let it slide. But if
it’s something that conflicts with a fundamental belief of yours, then you should say something because you’re
only going to dwell on it.
Becky: Pick your battles, RW.
Jess: Hollering and fist-pounding at the dinner table? It’s a no. A polite rebuttal? Sure. Go for it.
Nik: Talk to your girlfriend about how to handle this.
Jess: Yes! One hundred per cent.
Nik: She’ll be able to advise you on which topics are worth engaging them on and which are best left alone if you want the wine bottles to stay in one piece.
Becky: There’ll be a middle ground – which is not the same as self-censorship. Well . . . you can be smart about this, I’m saying.
Jess: Harmony trumps unfettered free speech sometimes. Not often, but sometimes – like when you’re getting
to know your girlfriend’s parents.
Becky: Put a view of your own out there and invite their thoughts.
Nik: Fun times.