There Should Be No Secrets in a Marriage

By Dr. Robert Wallace

April 21, 2020 6 min read

DR. WALLACE: I'm 18 and engaged to be married to a wonderful guy who is 23. He alternates between treating me like a lady and treating me like a queen. Either way, I'll admit I am super fond on him, and he truly makes me feel great whenever I'm with him!

We haven't set a date yet for our nuptials, but we would like to get married next year, especially since we probably won't be able to have a large wedding for the remainder of 2020 due to COVID-19 anyway. Weddings take so long to plan and book in advance, so we are thinking of getting married in 2021, once things get better in terms of social gatherings. I've told my fiance everything about my family. He has met my parents, sisters, grandparents, aunts and uncles.

My concern is that my fiance has told me nothing about his family. He's pretty uncomfortable discussing this topic and has said that it is no concern of mine since he is not too proud of them, whatever that means. All of my close friends and family members are telling me not to marry him until he opens up about his family history. It has me wondering, why is he so secretive? He won't even tell me where he was born. I've asked him what nationality he is, and he always says "human race." I'm concerned about all of this, and now I am having my first few creeping thoughts and doubts about marrying him.

I'm really in the middle of a big conundrum because he is so wonderful with me 99% of the time, but this 1% issue about his family background now has me shaky about moving forward with the marriage. Fortunately, I now have a great excuse not to rush into anything. In fact, one of my girlfriends, who works with a wedding planning company, has told me that their whole industry is in chaos these days and that it will take a long time for things to get back on track. She thinks it may take at least four or five more months to get anything booked again, and even then, there will be a huge backlog of couples who want to have big weddings.

So, Dr. Wallace, should I worry about my beau's family background or just let that topic go? Please remember he is a wonderful guy who treats me better than anyone I know! Even my close girlfriends notice how devoted to me he is. — Bride To Be or Not To Be?

BRIDE TO BE OR NOT TO BE: I do feel strongly that there should be no secrets in a marriage. You absolutely have the right to know about the family background of the man that may be your future children's father. Rather than calling off all the wedding plans, give him an opportunity to warm up to finally discussing this matter with you.

Tell him you will not judge him by who his family is or what they may have done in the past. As long as he does not have any truly hideous skeletons in his closet, then you should not look down upon him for circumstances and/or past actions that are or have been out of this control.

One good way to try to do this would be to ask him to put himself in your place. Have him imagine the circumstances were reversed and that you knew all about his family, but he knew nothing about yours.

Finally, let him know that you are in no rush to push him to open up immediately, but that you would truly appreciate him doing so when he is ready. Hopefully, this will put the two of you on a path toward open, honest dialogue, which is one of the true hallmarks of a successful relationship and a great marriage.

SIMPLY DON'T WATCH

DR. WALLACE: I'm a 17-year-old girl, and now that I'm at home with my family all day due to the virus quarantine, I'm watching more movies at night with my two older brothers. Watching the movies they select makes me very concerned about the quality of movies being produced these days. I'm no prude, and I welcome films that shake up our social consciousness, but I strongly protest films that deal with sex and violence in ways that dramatize unbelievable horror and terror.

What can I do to protest against these types of movies? They are gross and disturbing. — No Fan of Violence, via email

NO FAN OF VIOLENCE: The best form of protest is economic boycott. As long as moviemakers make money serving up the types of movies that you deem to be trashy, they will continue to do so.

You do have some power, however. Simply refuse to watch offensive films, and encourage your friends and family members to join in your protest. If they won't, then simply stop watching, and find another film or activity that fits with your mindset, moral standards and temperament.

In a free society, the masses drive the marketplace. Don't patronize events or businesses that you don't share values with. Instead, patronize those events and businesses that you have respect for. It's as simple as that.

Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Photo credit: igorovsyannykov at Pixabay

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