Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Doctor Love: Confused

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Dear Dr. Love,
I’ve been with my boyfriend for almost ten years now. I’m 38, and he is 42. Long story short, my family disapproves of him, which is a tremendous stress I need to address. I’m just not sure how. I do not like confrontation and am not the best at communicating, so it ends up in a terrible argument anytime I try to discuss it with them. I want my parents to sit with him and have them discuss any issues. I love my boyfriend and want it to work more than anything, but sometimes, I am not 100% certain we are best for each other. I could do a better job creating must-have things that he can do to prove his love for me. I’m just not sure what. Thank you for your time! I’m looking forward to your words of wisdom and advice. /s/Confused

Dear Confused,
It’s tough when those we love don’t get along. To handle this, try inviting your parents and boyfriend to a calm and casual setting for a chat. Encourage them to share their concerns and listen to each other. You can act as a mediator, helping each side understand the other. It’s not about winning an argument but finding common ground.
As for proving love, think about what truly matters to you—actions that show care, respect, and understanding. Maybe it’s helping with daily tasks, supporting your goals, or just being there during tough times. Make a list of these things and share them with your boyfriend in a loving way. Focus on clear and simple needs that reflect your heart. Trust in honest communication and remember, love thrives on mutual effort. Relationships grow when both partners know how to meet each other’s needs. /s/ Dr. Love

Dear Dr. Love,
How do I deal with the fact that the woman who destroyed my marriage is moving in with my ex-husband and will help to raise my 10-year-old daughter half of the time? The thought of this is driving me crazy. /s/ I am the Mom

Dear I am the Mom,
It’s hard to see someone who hurt you in your child’s life. Focus on your daughter and be the best mom you can be. Your love and stability are what she needs most. It’s important to set boundaries and communicate with your ex about your concerns regarding the new living situation. Let them know your feelings without turning it into a confrontation.
While it’s difficult, try to see this as a chance to show your daughter how to handle challenging situations with grace and strength. Spend quality time with her, reinforcing your bond. With time, things might get easier. Remember, your strength and love will always shine through. No one can replace the unique bond you have with your daughter. /s/ Dr. Love

Dear Dr. Love,
My parents were never very warm or close when I was growing up, so I softened my expectations for them as grandparents. But when my kids came along, my parents were initially very involved. They were somewhat helpful for my postpartum and really into our son. Their visits started to fade after he hit 16 months. Recently, my mom tried to get him to play with a specific toy and he picked another, she said to me, “This is why I’m more of a baby person. They’re less fun when they get older.” She then asked me when I would have another baby “for her.” I brushed it off, but she’s been repeating it and doesn’t pay much attention to our son when she does visit. My dad is even less involved. I can shut down the baby questions fine. But the idea that she doesn’t care about our kid now that he’s old enough to make choices himself hurts so much. I thought she was turning over a new leaf as a grandmother, but I think this is how she’s always been. My in-laws are awesome; I feel lucky to be in the family. It’s not like our son wouldn’t have grandparents without my parents’ attention. If I stop trying to keep them involved, they’ll probably fade out to holidays only, and he’ll forget after a while. But this hurts me so much. What should I do? /s/ Granny Only Likes Babies

Dear Granny Only Likes Babies,
It hurts when expectations aren’t met, especially with family. You hoped your parents would be involved and supportive, but their interest has waned. Focus on the joy your in-laws bring and let your parents naturally find their place. Keep the door open but don’t push. Encourage your parents to engage with your son in ways that suit his current stage of development.
It’s important to protect your heart by accepting what is, not what you wish it to be. If your parents choose to fade out, let it be their choice. Surround your son with people who cherish him for who he is now. Your in-laws seem to provide the warmth and involvement you hoped for. Your son will thrive with the love he has. Love is best when freely given, and your son will benefit most from those who are genuinely there for him. /s/ Dr. Love

Doctor Love is the islands, 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 Family Services Division at 227-7541. The opinions herein are not necessarily of The San Pedro Sun. Write Doctor Love at PO Box 51, San Pedro Town, Belize, or email: [email protected]

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