I DON’T KNOW Ask Karen!

Q:

I have been dating my girlfriend for over six months. I really like her and I think that I am falling in love with her. Things were going well until recently when I met her family. Her parents and siblings are liberal and talk about anything from sex to religion especially at the dinner table. I was raised in a very conservative family that rarely talks about anything. I am uncomfortable when they ask me my thoughts and a little embarrassed by the conversation. I really like her but not sure I can handle such liberal conversations. Should I stay with her?

A:

Well staying with her is a decision you will have to make. However, let me just share a couple of thoughts with you.  You don’t just marry the girl, you marry her family.  Chances are the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. If she comes from a close family that talk openly, then chances are that is the life she probably wants. Spending more time with them is an opportunity for you to grow within yourself to experience a different family with different values and views.  Don’t be afraid to let them know you are uncomfortable. If they are used to talking about anything, then they will probably be very understanding.  You might find a place to express many thoughts, feelings and ideas.  Don’t be afraid of something that is different than what you grew up with.  She in turn will have to do the same when she is around your family and their values.  Learning to respect the differences is an important skill that you need to develop. You picked each other for a reason and maybe that reason is to grow!

If you have a question for Karen, email her at kjloftis@cox.net. Karen Loftis is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in Ramona.  karenloftismft.com

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Posted by Karen Brainard on Feb 19 2012. Filed under Columnists. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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