06/07/2013 11:58 am ET Updated Aug 07, 2013

How Do You Offer Family Input Without Getting Pushed Away?

Generally speaking, offering unsolicited opinions about a family member's relationship can be tricky, which is why it was so bold of Liam Hemsworth's brothers to stage an alleged intervention about his relationship with pop star and Twitter icon Miley Cyrus. Liam and Miley have been dating since 2009, and have been engaged since June of last year. They've reportedly been on the rocks for months. Rumors suggest it was Miley's chronic jealousy that brought the Hemsworth brothers to their breaking point and forced them to confront Liam. Though Miley and Liam haven't been seen in public together much lately, neither will officially confirm the split. While it's unclear if the couple is still living in the same home, or going their separate ways, it appears his brothers' opinions did indeed have an impact.

Like Liam's brothers, it isn't unusual for family members to have concerns about the person their loved one is dating, worrying that the person they've decided to be with isn't good enough for them or that they have made a bad choice. So what do you do when you find yourself in that situation?

Before you do anything, try to decipher where these feelings are coming from. Make sure your alarm and possible dislike is based in reality and not jealousy. Has your family member exhibited behavioral changes, are they acting depressed, are they more reckless or less responsible than usual? If your instinct is that they need help and protection then you might want to consider taking action just as Liam's brothers did. Once you've made the decision to reach out, keep in mind that you don't want to approach the subject by saying you don't like their significant other or by declaring that they are no good for them. Instead, start a conversation. Ask how your family member feels about the person they are involved with. If they've broken up a number of times, inquire about that to draw out the possible conflicts they are facing as a couple. If they mention concerns, then you can speak to those matters and reinforce that there is a problem.

If, on the other hand, you are motivated because you feel the other person is taking your sibling, child, or parent away from you and you miss them, then you might want to take a different approach. Instead of blaming the boyfriend or girlfriend, explain to your relative that you would like to spend more time together and be more involved in their life as a unit. If they are going to end up marrying this person, you don't want to have been the one who tried to end it just because you feel left out. Find a way to embrace it.

I don't know how the conversation went between Liam and his brothers, but I do know that if you find yourself in that situation you want to remember that there is always the chance that they will stay together, or reunite, and you don't want them to feel that they are then going against you if they stay with the person. You might be initiating the conversation, but let them take the lead. Who knows what the future holds for Liam and Miley? What we do know is that Liam's brothers made an impression, at least for now, and hopefully you will, too.

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