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Health & Spirit

Spouse worries about awkward in-law love

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My husband and I are middle-aged. We got married five years ago.

My husband's parents live out of state. I only met them one time before we got married, and now see them about twice a year for a day or two.

Every visit or phone call is ended with them saying, "Love you." It makes no difference if I am alone or with my husband.

I understand them saying this to my husband, but it is very awkward when this statement is addressed to me.

They are nice people, and I like them, but I don't love them.

They barely know me and I really doubt that they love me.

Any suggestions on how to fill the awkward silence after they say, "Love you"?

-- Awkward

Dear Awkward: There are many different kinds of love, and the way we express our feelings of affection are usually established in our birth family and home culture. I'm going to assume that your family is much more reserved than your husband's, and there is nothing wrong with that, but there is also nothing wrong with what your in-laws are doing.

Please don't doubt their feelings. They likely loved you before they even met you, because for them, when you got married, you instantly became a member of the family. Plus -- their son loves you.

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