Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Tell Me About It: He feels left out when wife's family visits

Q: My wife has always claimed she's much better friends with her family and prefers them over friends. I thought this was an exaggeration until I realized she doesn't maintain friendships at all!

Anyway, her parents came into town today, and even though she talks to them almost daily, they've taken over the family room discussing medical directives and other extremely personal family matters without a worry about me.

I know my wife will say it's because she doesn't get to see her family often (true). But every time we do see them, she ditches me to discuss family matters while I fend for myself. I love her family, but I feel marriage should be a lot more inclusive.

Vaping in the Boys' Room

A: I don't have great news for you on the "should" front, because people don't do what they should, they do what they do.

The good news is, a marriage — a life — built around reality is so much more satisfying than whatever we think "should" happen, messier though it may be. Your wife doesn't have to have outside friendships for a happy marriage. You don't have to be included in the medical-directives conversations for a happy marriage.

The more important thing to have is always available: awareness of what you can and can't change. You can't make your wife cultivate outside friendships, but you can cultivate them. You can encourage your wife to join you when you see these friends, and choose not to mind if she opts out.

Likewise, you can't change how she conducts family visits, but you can choose to make an effort to join their discussions; to tell her you feel shut out instead of hoping she'll notice you're gone; and/or to treat her family visits as your chance to do your own thing.

Couples don't need 100 percent shared interests, they just need love and support for whatever those interests are.

Good family therapists can help with this process.


Tell Me About It: Instead of monster or martyr, try ‘Mom’

Q: My sister-in-law, "Mary," has always been a mess. She has two kids with two different men who never see them, don’t pay child support, and she doesn’t work. Mary and her children lived with my mother-in-law, "Kate," until Kate moved into a 55-plus...
Published: 08/12/18

Tell Me About It: Introverted fiancee feels trapped by family

Q: My son and his fiancee bought a condo close to us, which then flooded. They moved in with us and repairs have taken longer than anticipated.His fiancee, "Laura," is an intense introvert. For that reason, I gave up my exercise, TV and craft room fo...
Published: 08/10/18

Tell Me About It: Check in constantly with depressed friend

Q: I have this friend who lives close but I haven’t seen in months. No one in our group of friends has seen her recently. Every time we make plans, she cancels, saying she is too sad or has been crying all day.I’m really worried. She moved here more ...
Published: 08/09/18

Tell Me About It: An occasional push helps to stay on track

Q: What responsibility does a wife have to push her husband to be a decent friend? For years, my husband was close with a few guys from grad school. As they got married and started families, the frequency of their get-togethers died down and the frie...
Published: 08/07/18

Tell Me About It: Grandma finds no one wants her heirlooms

Q: My mother-in-law has spent much of her life accumulating collectibles, heirlooms and furniture with the rationale that she will give them to her children and grandchildren someday. Her four grandchildren are still in high school. She’s decided tha...
Published: 08/07/18

Tell Me About It: Couple ponders rolling the dice on a baby

Q: I mostly want to have a baby; my fiance mostly does not. I’m in my late 30s and have school-age kids; he doesn’t have and never planned to have kids. Deciding to have or not to have a baby seems like too enormous a decision for mere mortals. It’s ...
Published: 08/06/18

Tell Me About It: Boyfriend takes affection to the next level

Q: My boyfriend is responsible, thoughtful, and very very affectionate — which is great for the first four hours of hand-holding, but which makes me want to shove him away and shout, "Just leave me alone!" by hour six. Before this, I thought I was a ...
Published: 08/05/18

Tell Me About It: Boyfriend won’t stand up to cruel brother

Q: I just spent the weekend in the company of my boyfriend’s brother, who mimicked/mocked me, belittled almost all my actions, and made fun of my chronic health condition. My boyfriend says this is just "’George’s’ sense of humor," and that I should ...
Updated one month ago
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Aug. 6-12

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Aug. 6-12

Janet Jackson: The pop icon will be in Control when she brings her State of the World tour to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa on Tuesday ($29.95-499.95). amphitheatretampa.com. Fetish Con: You’ll find even more half-dressed p...
Published: 08/02/18
Updated: 08/06/18
Plan your weekend Aug. 3-5: Tampa Bay Comic Con, Kevin Hart, Miranda Lambert, Warped Tour, tax-free weekend and more

Plan your weekend Aug. 3-5: Tampa Bay Comic Con, Kevin Hart, Miranda Lambert, Warped Tour, tax-free weekend and more

MusicConcerts of note: On Friday queen of country music Miranda Lambert and Little Big Town, the hit-making vocal machine bring a strong night of country’s best female artists at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa. $34.25 and up. Live...
Published: 08/02/18