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Monday, December 8,2014

Ask Dr. Happy

By Dr. Bob Nozik, MD  
Dear Dr. Happy,

My only son, Steve, got married six months ago at age 22 to Molly, a 19-year-old woman that neither my husband nor I much care for. I am trying hard to like her but she is bossy, stubborn, and overly selfconfident for her age. It especially bothers me seeing her push Steve around. When I discussed this with Steve, I found out later that he told Molly everything I said and now she is mad at me. I told Steve that what I had said was private but he went on to tell me that anything I tell him he feels he should tell her; and my husband agrees with him. Dr. H, I feel like rather than gaining a daughter, I’m losing a son. Dr. H, how can I get my son back?

Losing my son

Dear ‘Losing,’

All four of you are in the midst of major life transitions. Your son and new daughter-in-law are not only entering adulthood but also learning to be marital partners. You and your husband are transitioning from being in-charge parents to supportstaff for your newly married son and his young wife. While this can be a daunting challenge for everyone involved, you can help make the transition much smoother. It is time now for you to loosen the parental grip on your son. His primary allegiance and responsibility is to his new wife and you need to acknowledge and actively support this. This is your best strategy for assuring that your relationship with your son and daughter-in-law will thrive and strengthen rather than bog down in strife and bitterness.


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