Doctor Love: Housing Issues

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

Readers, please send your letters. They can be emails, formal letters or handwritten notes. They are edited solely for grammar and spelling. Also, they are sometimes edited for length.

Dear Doctor Love,
My mom and I have always gotten along well. When I finished studying in another country and came back she suggested that I move in with her instead of looking for an apartment. Recently, my older sister had to move back in with us temporarily. We have clashed from childhood onward. She still treats me as the little sister who doesn’t know anything. Whenever my mom and I are in a discussion of what we are going to do about something my sister butts in and makes sure her opinion is heard. My mom always takes her side and this is driving me crazy. Should I just move out to be by myself? I can easily afford it. Or should I just go stay with someone else for a while?
/s/ Little Sis

Dear Sis,
Your mom knows when it comes to you and her the relationship is solid. She is probably making up for your sister’s need for attention by taking her side. No, it is not fair to you but she undoubtedly feels it is a way to prevent a worse battle if you two sisters go head-to-head.
It’s time to leave. You are not going to change your sister. Going on your own shows that you are wiser than either of them.

Dear Doctor Love,
My family lives in our own house but it is on my husband’s family’s property. All of his brothers and sisters live nearby. Everybody feels free to drop in anytime for any excuse. His mom likes to know what’s going on in our marriage and is really pushy about it. She shows up for dinner any time she wants to. My husband tried to explain that we need time alone and his mother blamed me for not wanting them around.
I know families in Belize are used to this but I am from another country and I can’t seem to adapt. How can we live so close to his family and still get some privacy?
/s/ Squeezed In

Dear Squeezed,
This may not seem realistic to you but it worked for someone else who wrote about the same situation a while back. Try talking to your mother-in-law again. If giving her a second chance does no good, take to locking your front door every evening and on week-end days. Having to knock on the door instead of just walking in will eventually start to sink in to them.

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