Dear Nadine,

I am a 30 year old married woman. I have two children and we live in Dubai. I have been married for four years. When I got married, my husband was separated from his family. In fact, he wanted to marry a girl his family didn’t like. This girl’s parents refused to wait forever for my husband to convince his parents and accepted another proposal for her. My husband loved the girl so much that he could not stay in the same city and thanks to a friend managed to find a job in Dubai. I met him at a party and we kind of clicked. We started seeing each other and after a year he proposed to me. My parents wanted to talk to his parents and very frankly he told them the whole story. By the way, I already knew that, but I hadn’t told my parents. He said he hadn’t seen his parents in three years and didn’t want them involved in his marriage in any way. My parents did not like this situation but I convinced them and we got married in Dubai only. No one from his family attended our wedding. My husband never talks about his parents, but two months ago he met his niece, M, at a mall. M is the married daughter of her sister who also lives in Dubai. It seems that she is very attached to him because my husband and M are almost the same age. Now they are in constant communication. They text and talk to each other almost every day, and my husband calls M and her husband every week at our house for dinner. M seems nice, and I personally don’t have any hard feelings against her, but I feel bothered sometimes. I think his constant messages are an interference in my private life with my husband. Nadine, I have dedicated my life to my husband. I talk to my parents in his absence and don’t visit them more than two to three times a month because I don’t want my family to be disturbed or neglected. My husband loves me and is very attentive to my needs, but now I feel like my husband loves his niece more than me. Should I ask my husband to limit his messages to her? I don’t want to annoy him or fight him. It is not at all my intention to prevent my husband from talking, meeting or exchanging messages with his family but these daily messages hurt me too. By the way, his niece has been in Dubai for two years. After that, she will move to Australia. Please advise me as soon as possible.

Neglected wife

Dear Neglected Wife,

Your husband hasn’t been in contact with his family for almost seven years. It’s no wonder that when he met his niece, he immediately reconnected. Honey, even if he doesn’t meet his parents, he most certainly loves them and his other family members. He was hurt when this girl he loved got married and his anguish made him leave his town. After that, it was only his ego – and that of his parents, of course – that kept him away from his family.

Have you ever tried to reconcile your husband and his parents? It would have been nice of you to contact them, but that obviously didn’t happen. Now that your husband has reconnected with his niece, he probably misses his parents and other family members. That’s why he texts her and calls her once a week for dinner. This is not an invasion of privacy at all; just a man yearning for his blood relatives making the most of his chance encounter with his niece. Instead of resenting him, you should be happy for him. It is true that you have devoted your life to your husband and children, but you have the opportunity to meet your family whenever you wish. You talk to your parents in the absence of your husband because you want to give him your full attention, but it’s your own decision. Your husband didn’t tell you not to talk to your family in his presence. So please consider these things and don’t make a mountain out of the molehill. Be generous and let him enjoy his niece’s company. If possible, ask his niece to try to reconcile your husband and his family. Your husband would appreciate it and his esteem for you would increase. Good luck!

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