Dear Sasha,
“I am 49 years old and got married to my husband when I was 19 years. I was young, immature and not independent enough to make decisions on my own. As a result my husband and mother-in-law made decisions for me and I happily complied thinking I didn’t know better. But now I feel suffocated when other people try to tell me what to do. Whenever I refuse to follow what they want, it leads to conflict. Please guide me on how to handle this situation.”
Dear Friend, 
At age 19 we are still forming our personality so it’s natural that you were looking up to others to help you with decisions. But now at age 49 things are obviously different when you are a well formed individual who is clear on what she wants.
Now here’s the thing. Over the years the pattern that has been built is that you have been the ‘good girl’ who listens to other people and wins their love and approval and validation. This is well ingrained in them. You are trying to break that pattern and rocking that proverbial boat. When you do that you are, needless to say, going against their expectations. We believe that when we don’t meet other people’s expectations, we begin to experience guilt.
Do know that we are not responsible for other people’s emotions when we stand up for ourselves and behave in a more authentic manner. Remember we don’t need to people  please all the time. We don’t need to look after others’ emotional comfort over ours all the time. We don’t need to be scared of disappointing others all the time.
We all have a need to be our authentic selves. So go into conversations knowing and expecting that there will be resistance. But as you would know that to make a carving in the wood you have to make hundreds of stabs before the carving or a groove is made.
So for other people to accept this new version of you, you have to be patient and loving and kind while standing in your truth and asserting yourself.
Best wishes and good luck
Much love