Dr. Love: Keeping in touch with Family
Saturday, August 11th, 2012
Dear Doctor Love,
Because I have lived here in the Caribbean for several years now, I rely on the phone to stay in contact with my parents. It is very important for them to know how I am doing. I make it a point to call them at least once a week. Sometimes, when something important happens I call two or three times because I know they look forward to the calls.
My parents have been very disappointed because my fiancé does not call them very often. As a matter of fact, she hardly ever calls them directly. She used to call them when I asked her to but now she says it is just too much for her to handle. Instead, she sometimes talks to them after I have called them. She says has a family of her own that she has to call all of the time and she would prefer that I handle the stuff of my family and she can handle hers. I don’t talk to her family very often but they are fine with that. Mine needs a little more support, especially since their health is not too good right now. My mother, especially, feels like she needs to be close to her future daughter-in-law.
I want her to be as close to my family as I am. Is it wrong of me to try to push this on her, as she calls it?
Whether you know it or not, your wife is a lot smarter than you are. She already knows that since she is not a member of your nuclear family, she will never be as close to them as you are.
Here is the basic deal. As soon as you marry your fiancé, you will begin a nuclear family of your own and it will be a sub-branch of each of your families. Your family contacts will still be important, but you will have your own family to care for. If you have children, then your wife and your mother will have some common ground other than you. Face it; until you marry, your mother is just someone who might or might not be her mother-in-law. Put the ring on her finger and you might see her attitude change. Until then, expect her to keep her distance.
Write to the Doctor at:
P.O. Box 35,
San Pedro Town, Belize
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Dr. Love is the island’s and possibly the world’s greatest authority on just about everything. The Doctor answers questions concerning any subject except religion or politics. Persons needing additional assistance or counseling should contact the Family Services Division at 227-7451.