Fixing A Family Feud


February 06, 2005|By Harriette Cole | Harriette Cole,United Feature Syndicate

Dear Harriette: My aunt and I are very close. A couple of months ago, I was having a bad day and, without intending to, I took my frustrations out on her in front of her children, using profanity, etc. I deeply regretted it immediately and apologized. She accepted my apology, we hugged, and that was that.

A month later, I stopped by her house, but neither she nor her children would really interact with me. I haven't been back in two months and no one has called me or anything. I think that they are all holding a grudge, but I apologized and she accepted. They are making me feel bad now. Should I say something to them about this?

-- Giluce, Queens, N.Y.

Giluce: Even though your aunt accepted your apology, more damage control is needed. You embarrassed her and her children. Go back to visit and bring up the incident again with your aunt, reminding her that you are sincerely sorry for being so rude. Tell them you want to start off the new year right and that includes re-establishing a close bond with your family. Even if they don't warm up right away, don't give up.

Dear Harriette: My fiance and I have been together for two years and we have a 6-month-old son. I'm Hispanic and he's from the Middle East. The problem is I think he's ashamed of me. Recently, one of his friends had a traditional Middle Eastern party. Instead of taking his family, he went alone. His excuse was that he didn't think that the culture would interest me and that the next time he would be sure to take our son. I've taken him to my family functions ... why can't he do the same for me?

-- Kenya, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Kenya: It seems demeaning that your fiance would not invite you to this event -- and worse that next time he will bring your son but not you.

Before you get married, address what marriage and family mean to each of you. Talk to him about your understanding of these two matters. Start by explaining that when two people get married both partners' families become one. That you come from two different backgrounds can be wonderful for your family, if you approach it that way. Otherwise, your differences may cause more friction than your relationship can bear.

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