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How Often Should I Visit my Parents and Other Family Members?

Sheri Cyprus
Sheri Cyprus

It's a good idea to visit relatives whenever you can — within reason of course. Everyone is busy with their lives and many families are scattered in different states. It can be especially rewarding to visit with parents and siblings, but visiting your extended family members such as aunts, uncles and cousins can also renew family bonds.

Although advances in technology can keep us in closer contact these days, it's still nice to visit family members in person when you get a chance. How often you decide to visit your parents and other family members should depend on how often you want to do that and how often time and distance allow you to. Of course, you must also be considerate and not invite yourself to stay with your relatives just because they are your family members and you expect them to look after you. No one wants or deserves free loaders of any description.

Visiting extended family can help strengthen familial bonds.
Visiting extended family can help strengthen familial bonds.

If you're genuinely interested in spending time with your family, however, they would probably enjoy having you stay in their home for a few days every now and then. Of course, you can return the favor by inviting them to visit you. If your parents live near you, then you don't have to worry about staying in their home and can drop in for visits during the day or in the evenings. The main thing to remember is to think about what types of visits they would prefer.

While modern technology allows people to communicate, it is nice to visit with family in person.
While modern technology allows people to communicate, it is nice to visit with family in person.

Remember, there are no rules about how often you should visit relatives, whether they are your parents or your cousins. Just try to base all aspects of your visits on mutual respect and remember that no one will be around forever. You don't want to regret not visiting a special relative when you had the chance. If your family is geographically spread out, you may want to have a family reunion if and when everyone would be able to attend.

Discussion Comments


@anon336655: Check the U.S. State Department's website, and look up country specific information for Canada. The site says all a U.S. citizen needs is a passport. If he's not going to be there more than 180 days, he doesn't even need a visa. If he has a passport, it should be a simple matter of getting in the car or on a plane and driving or flying in. The Canadian requirements are not nearly as strict as in some countries.


My boyfriend lives in the USA and I live in Canada and he wants to come and visit me for a week or two. How would he do that? Any advice? Please help me. I miss him so much.


Am I the only one here who actually loves to visit their family? I found this thread by searching "Too expensive to visit family."

Me and my husband live about 13 hours' travel away from my in-the-middle-of-nowhere-hometown and I sorely miss the people there. My hubby also enjoys visiting them. My dad takes him fishing and kayaking at the rapids, and my mother hikes with the pair of us. She also arranges awesome parties and is the greatest chef on earth!

My parents pay for the flights whenever we go, but that's a minor part of the costs; the trains actually cost more than the flights and we must live there also.

My problem is, can I tell them "I can't afford to come" when they are paying for the flights?

We spent £2328.72 (3530.57USD) during the two visits we made to my home country within the past 12 months. That is pretty much all of our savings per year.

We'd maybe like a holiday somewhere else than at my parent's sometime. I might also want to save up some money to renovate the house.

Am I being terribly selfish?


It is comforting to know there are others struggling with this. I live four hours away from my parents and have done so for the past 23 years. I used to visit at least once a month (they have come to visit me three times for the day in 23 years). Anyway, the visits were fine up until seven years ago when these little comments started that drove me crazy.

First, there were comments about spending time (a few hours one day) with a friend in town. Then being told I was just coming over to eat their food and use their car (I am 45 years old). I started to bring my own car on trips and eat before I arrived and then got comments about how late I slept in the morning (I work 60-70 hours a week and do sleep a few extra hours on the weekend). For the past little while I have been avoiding going to see them. I know I should, I know I'll regret it if I don't but oh it is so difficult sometimes.


I recently started grad school and I do not live far from my parents, but I wanted to get my own place and visit on my own terms. However, my parents expect me to visit every weekend and I am starting to resent the implied requisite visitation. I would like to have my own life and expect them to understand and I also know that I am an adult and can do what I want, but they are older and are very sneaky about guilt tripping me into coming to see them, or whenever I leave they always ask, "when are we going to see you?" or something like that.

I detest confrontation and when I told my mom I only wanted to visit once a month or whenever, she first let out like a gasp of surprise, then said I could do whatever I wanted, but I know she doesn't mean it. How can I appease them without confrontation? I just resent having to do anything against my will.


I visit my parents now twice a year for two to three weeks at a time. I live 3,000 miles away in another country. They have guilted me for a long time and have pulled some amazingly mean stunts in the past.

They do not like my boyfriend and ruined my wedding when I was married. My sister is no contact. My dad lost his license a couple years ago due to dementia and my mom has anxieties and won't drive, so I go to be their driver.

I have no kids, which suits them fine. My mom said if I had a child, I would have to stay at a hotel. I know that no one is going to visit me when I am older. But is that why people have children? My mom yelled at me a few years back and told me that I am boring. I am something of her entertainment director when I visit.

I do my best to please them. I talk to them about four hours a week. It used to be four hours every two weeks for about twenty years, but now it is once a week. Some are crisis calls, some calls are fine. The thing is, my parents kicked me out at 20 when I moved back to save money and work to finish my third year of school. They told me that I could be a "prostitute in the street, and never come to them for money." I never have, until recently, because my financial situation has changed in order to be available for them.

So why have I had to be their emotional crutch? I will never be free. I never asked to be born. I am not sure why people have kids. Please do not have a child to ease your loneliness, boredom and to provide you with emotional comfort.

I have toyed with the idea of giving up my life to be their chauffeur and to take care of them in their older years. Dad is 77 and mom is 74. Likely I would end my life if I did. I am not sure I could do it. My mom is very high anxiety and maintenance. If it was just my dad, I think I could. Sometimes I wish I was two people. One to be their robot and the other to live my life.


I am looking for some advice. I am from Argentina but have lived in the US since I got married. My husband's family lives in the US and all my family lives in Argentina.

I try to go for a visit once a year but every time I decide to go, my husband gets really upset because I spend a lot of money every time I go. He says that I should have thought about it before deciding to move to this country and then he ends blaming me because I moved to this country and said I should have stayed in Argentina if I miss them. He hasn't met my family yet and is really hard for him to travel due to a very busy work schedule, but I really think he doesn't really want to go, either. My frustration is he doesn't understand that I miss my family and need to see them, but at the same time he doesn't want to travel with me. What am I supposed to do? Am I wrong or is he being selfish?


Simply put, it means as we go along, particularly the older lot should expect less, lesser still and so on. It is not that the younger lot does not want to visit. It is just that given the additional familial responsibilities, there is not the time enough for these extended visits.

Rest assured the younger lot mean well; it is just that they are overextended for time and space. I am from India and have had this experience with handling such situations during active service and so on. My folks have been very understanding in these matters.

Expect the least is the buzz word in all relationships, and don't you think all problems emanate from misplaced expectations, whether between parents and siblings or within siblings or for that matter, between the couple? The less you expect, the less would you be grieving for those that have not been met. God bless us all as He has enough for all of us. --Amarjit P.


Thank you amypollick! I think I knew the answer already to this. I just needed to hear it from someone else. I do appreciate your response!


@ingy: Unfortunately, there's not much you can do at this point. Your sister knows how you feel, and she knows what she needs to do. I've seen this before. Unfortunately, it happens all the time.

Once your mother has gone on, your sister will have one time to regret it, and that's the rest of her life.

Visit your mom as much as you can, call her, do what you can and tell her you love her every time you talk to her. Your sister will have the crippling guilt and regret to deal with -- not you.


I found this article to be very interesting. This is my story: I have both a sister and brother you moved away with their spouses to another province. My sister's children still live in the same town she moved away from. My mom lives in a smaller community approximately an hour away from the small town that my sister moved from.

My question is how to handle this situation. My sister will drive all the way back to the small town she came from to visit her kids, but she will drive right by the small town where my mom lives in and will not stop by to see her. My mom has been very sick for the last two years and has had a hip replacement done in the last couple of months. The last four times that my sister made the trip this way, she phoned my mom to say that she would stop by on her way back from visiting her children but always ends up calling to say sorry she can't make it and needs to get back home.

We have had several disagreements over this, and her latest comment to me is that her relationship with my mom is her business and she will handle it her way and not mine. My mom is so hurt every time she says she is going to stop by and does not, while my sister says that "oh she will get over it. It is not a big deal." I am at my wits' end and would love some advice!


This article is interesting. I am really upset for my mum. She hasn't had an easy life. My dad had numerous affairs, an illegitimate child and ended up committing suicide. She has always been a nice person, looked after herself, maintained a job and tried to get on with life.

She has been really good to my uncle and aunt (they have two teenage boys) who live just over an hour away. They seldom visit. She always does all the visiting and nice things for them, like babysitting when the boys were younger (drove up even though she had a busy teaching job). Recently, it's got worse and Christmas is always upsetting.

My mum always makes the effort to call and organize a get together with them and my other uncle who is a bachelor. They 'um and err...' and never commit to anything, so we can't arrange anything. They'll usually announce last minute that they'd prefer we all come down to their house. I've seen my mum cry and worry they'll just all meet up without her (I know they wouldn't).

This year it was really their turn to visit (mum has a nice new house too), but they didn't commit to any thing until last minute New Year's Eve. We drove down and had a meal on the way. Mum burst out crying in the restaurant, saying nobody cared for her, she was on her own and nobody made the effort. Then when we arrived at their house, they'd both gone out to get some football tickets and left their 15 year old son in, so we had to make our own drinks.

They used to always come down for mum's birthday (it's in the school holiday). This year, they went to see a relative on the aunt's side (not ours) on my mum's birthday (true, me and mum spent a night away in a hotel). My mum was irritable all weekend and tearful and picked on me, but never told me the real problem.

Now we are in the six-week holiday. Mum is a teacher. They haven't visited but went to a different relative on the aunt's side. Mum tries to make the most of it, but she is on her own and sometimes gets upset (like she did today).

She went down last September for my uncle's birthday, she also put them up last summer holiday (nice they visited -- very rare) because the boys had a tennis match near us. To be nice, my mum offered to drive the boys back home because my aunty had been working (over an hour drive). It was like they left as soon as they'd played tennis and did what they came for. It annoyed me a bit.

My mum is on her own. I just want them to show some consideration and visit her. It's been a year and she does a lot for them. Plus I've been ill and ended up back with mum in my 20s. I always thought they'd be someone to care in these circumstances.

They do telephone every two weeks, to be fair, and also got me a really nice Christmas present because I finished my masters from home after illness. It's seeing my mum cry that gets me. I am really worried I am going to crack and say something.


My family is crazy. It consists of eight siblings, a crazy mother, some crazy aunts, nieces – you know, the works. I didn't grow up with any of my siblings but one. We were all separated as young kids. I've been getting to know them the past seven years, and we've shared some good moments. I love them dearly, but they make it excruciating to have a relationship with them.

First, when I was 16, one of my sisters read my diary and exposed its entire contents to the rest of my family. (And let's just say, nothing was G-rated about that book). Since then, although it was years ago, I have a hard time trusting her. It doesn't help that the information they read was spread all over town as well.

When I was 18, I went mentally insane and ended up in the psychiatric unit diagnosed with a whole bunch of illnesses. When I got out, I had my meds and was ready to move on with my life. Of course, they had to tell everyone they could think of that I was the "wild and crazy" sister. I had people I didn't even know coming up to me and asking me when I had gotten out of the unit.

Then of course, I went to college and kept my distance from them. I was tired of the disrespect and rumors and the truth of my dark past spread all over the city. I made new friends, got a new identity and graduated.

You would think they would be happy for me, right? Wrong. Not one single person showed up to my graduation. Not a soul from my family. And I let them know six weeks in advance. They called me on the day of graduation, after I got my degree, and said "we threw you a party, so come down here to be a part of it." Mind you, my boyfriend (now husband) and I already had plans for that night. Of course, they didn't consider how I felt about them not showing up. Of course, they somehow tried to make me feel like the bad guy.

My husband and I now have a beautiful three-year-old baby girl, and guess who showed up at the hospital to see my baby when I was pregnant? Not a soul. Guess who threw me a baby shower? No one. Only my husband who put the last of our money together so I wouldn't feel like crap. Guess who even came to see the baby after I had her? You got it – no one.

I had to bring my baby when she was four months old to see them, for them to see her.

I'm always excluded from family priorities, and now they expect me to bend over backward for them all the time. It's not happening, and they try to guilt trip me with emotional blackmail. I'm tired of the disrespect, negative feelings, unfair expectations, constant gossip and false state of mind that we are an actual, normal functioning family.

If they weren't my blood, I would have absolutely nothing to do with them. I wish I didn't feel like this, but eh... Forget it.


I feel the same way as many of the other posters. Yes, I moved three hours away to try to improve my chances of starting a career at that time, but if you love someone you should not hold this against them. My parents never go out of their way to visit me. I always have to come to drive to their house.

My stepbrother and his wife live in the area and recently had a child. Ever since he met his wife (the girlfriend), it has always been about her and her family. She wants to be the center of attention, and would spend on hour max with my family at Christmas. Now they have a new house and a baby, and expect that everyone within both families should come to their house every year for every holiday. Again, they must be the center of the world.

Of course, since they live a half hour away from my parents, that is where they will be going. I, too, can't stomach this one-sided relationship anymore so this year I am spending Christmas alone with my fiance.


I enjoyed the postings significantly more than the main article here. Simply put, I cannot stand the holidays, and especially my family around the holidays. Without going into painfully long explanations here, it's a broken, broken, broken family. There have been several divorces and subsequent variations of sibling relationships, abuse, terribly destructive behavior (from everyone, myself included) and grotesquely obscene attempts to make up for all the dysfunction through material consumption-based offerings at Christmas.

I spent the entirety of my teens and twenties dutifully attending every holiday event (at multiple step-grandma, half-sister, etc. homes), cautiously anticipating when or where the next horrible, soul crushing screaming match would come from, so I could quietly slip away to friends' homes to actually enjoy a portion of the holiday.

I now am in my late 30s and refuse (although I don't use that language) to see them during the holidays. My wife and I have a lovely, quiet holiday at home and that has completely changed how I feel and experience the holiday season.

My family continuously attempts to emotionally blackmail me into going home to see them. They are either in denial about our shared holiday history, or are attempting to change the dynamic for my younger siblings. Whatever the reason, I don't care to placate them any longer with excuses why I am not coming home, and I don't want to unload a train full of emotionally painful baggage about our past onto them either, as that wouldn't be constructive and would only hurt them unnecessarily.

Anyone have any thoughts on how to explain that I will never "be home for the holidays" again?


There are actual rules for visiting your parents:

1. You have to make an appointment. You cannot just run into them or drop by. An actual appointment is needed or else you don't get credit.

2. Do not combine the visit with anything else or any other purpose. The visit, starting from leaving your home until returning to your home, has to be a single isolated incident. Don't combine with with shopping, don't got to the store on the way home, don't meet anyone else, etc. Otherwise, you don't get credit, and they will say he/she only comes by if they happen to go shopping in town.

3. Don't have any reason to visit them except to visit them. Don't bring anything (or else you just come by every now and then if you want to bring something). You literally have to stand in their home wondering "What am I doing here" and then you are doing it right.

4. Don't have anything to talk about. If you have too much to talk about, then you are just coming by to "tell them this or that" but the visit won't be about them anymore. God forbid, don't ask questions or you are just coming by if you want something.


I don't really think this post said much of anything. Basically, you are saying visit as much as is appropriate in your given circumstances.


Why didn’t I think about this ? I hear exactly what you’re saying and I’m so happy that I came across your blog.


I thought it was going to be some boring old post, but it really compensated for my time. Anyway I wanted to say that it's nice to know that someone else also mentioned this as I had trouble finding the same info elsewhere. This was the first place that told me the answer.


I moved 1250 miles away from my family, to a different country. For the past seven years, I've been making the visit back at least once a year, sometimes twice.

But this year, I'm feeling the urge not to go. Why? Because it's always a one-way street: I make the visit, and only once someone came to visit me, my mom, for a week. She's the only one who bothers contacting me; the rest I can go months without hearing from, if at all, between visits.

I feel obligated to visit them, but then I think that there are lots of other places I've wanted to visit and haven't yet.


I live in Las Vegas now for 35 years all alone, no family by my side. I have a wealthy aunt, and her kids are now well in their 40's living in Calabasas california. It's a large family, and practicing religion, and running a temple, and you would think, that they would show some respect in 35 years of trying to pick up the phone once, to see if I'm alive or dead. I tried e mailing them a few years ago, and I got a brush off response, that they are just too busy. They all live in multi million dollar homes on the hills. How horrible is that? any suggestions. Or should I leave it to God, to punish them accordingly?


wow reading these posts really brought tears to my eyes. My heart goes out to all of you. I have been in a similar situation. I am in my late 50's now and all though the years I was raising my kids (as a single parent for the most part), I was the one who visited my sister and my parents. I wanted my children to have the childhood I had, with visits from family and holidays with them as well. Well it never happened, unless I came with all my kids to visit my parents or my sister.

I finally stopped visiting as frequently because I became sick and tired of always being the one to drive and spend the money to visit. I wanted my house to be full with the sound of my nieces and nephews and the rest of my family on the holidays.

My sister always had one excuse or another followed by, "Oh you're welcome here for the holidays". And yes I agree with the previous posts that talk about how important it is to make time with your family, not just a phone call or now a text message, but real time, and if it is constantly a one sided thing, how could you help feeling that your family just doesn't think that you are important enough.

When I finally one time confronted my sister with that comment, she just became angry and refused to talk to me for over a year. I don't get it, life is so short. I have stopped expecting anything in the way of a visit, ever.


I have four grown kids, three who live within a 20 minute ride but they never seem to call or make an effort to stop by. I feel it's always up to me to make the effort. It hurts that they don't seem to care enough to know if I'm okay, etc.


My parents moved to the USA from the UK some 11 years ago. We've since had two children, their grandchildren. With childcare, bills etc we don't have much money to put aside to visit them.

Yet it seems to be a constant thing year on year, "Are you going to visit us this year? Why not?" "Mom will be upset". We have never given them false expectations. They chose to move to another country.

Inevitably, the emotional blackmail starts, which I'm too old now to pay heed to. I do miss them, but they chose to live in another country and I have no wish to compromise my family financially or emotionally.


With both sides of my family, I'm the only one who puts the effort in to visit, but they never come see me. I'm sick of it and I'm not doing it anymore.

I have had the worst year with car problems and i have to take care of myself because no one else will and they get mad if i don't come see them. I'm only one person and i can't do it all.

I didn't even want to go over there for xmas this year, but i felt like if i didn't then they would have dropped the gifts off to me, so next year I'm done with my family.


I am also new here, and also in need of some feedback. I am a graduate student at a university about four hours away from my parents. Needless to say, I am able to visit them only about twice per semester, and then for Christmas.

The last three years, my fiance has taken to getting extremely angry with me for wanting to spend so much time with my family for the holidays (I spend Christmas eve through New Year's Day). I try to talk to her, but she just gets angrier, saying that "I don't want to spend time with her, so she doesn't want to talk about it."

I really enjoy spending the time with my family, but the last couple of years have been anything but enjoyable because of the looming fights with my fiance when I return to my college town (not to mention the complete breakdown she has on the day that I leave).

I am curious as to whether I am being ridiculous by wanting to spend so much time with them- as a background, I was raised by my grandparents and consider them my parents. They are now in their upper 70's and I'm afraid that they won't be with me much longer, and I really don't want to miss what could be one of my last holidays with them.

Should I cut back the time that I am spending with them, or should I try to find some way to make my fiance understand?


I need some advice. Am I expecting too much when I want my parents to visit me? They live three hours away from me and never visit. If I want to see them, I have to go there. They always visit my brother who lives four hours away. He has kids and I don't. I think they visit him more because of the kids.

I am hurt that they don't visit me. I have repeatedly invited them to come and visit. I always get the same response. They are so busy. Yet, just yesterday my mom who rarely calls me unless there is some family emergency called to tell me they were visiting my brother again. Even when they are in the area they don't bother to give me a call to meet somewhere.

It hurts. I feel as though I am not a priority in their lives. I am to the point of not going to family events. The way I look at it is if they don't see me as a priority, why should I see them as one?

I love my parents very much. I don't want to lose them, but I feel there should be give and take in any relationship. If people are important in your life, you make time for them. Am I wrong?

Please give me some advice. I appreciate it. --Feeling left out.


I spent over $500 fixing my car and for hotel rooms, not to mention food and gas for my brother and I to go see our cousins seven hours away for the weekend. They had been asking for us to come down for months.

When we finally got there, they didn't give us the time of day. They spent their time talking to the other side of the family that was over and the next day riding horses that my brother couldn't ride due to back problems and didn't ask me if I wanted to ride.

We sat in the hotel most of the trip trying to get ahold of them and do something. We had it out, but they won't apologize or admit they were wrong and should have spent more time with us, so we are not speaking anymore. I want to sue them for the cost of the hotel stay. (the car had to be fixed anyway.) I wonder if I can do that. Even if I don't get any money out of it, I just want to prove a point.

I put out a lot of effort to go down. The least they could have done was paid attention to me. -- disappointed


My wife and I have arguments about the family. She thinks that I have too high expectations of wanting see them. She doesn't think she should have to see them more than once a month. We live about 90 miles from her parents and a little more than two miles from mine. I help her parents when I can because they are moving into a new house. This a first marriage for is both of us. I am going to be 40 later this year and she is in her 40's.

We sometimes spend the night at her parents and sometimes they spend the night at our house. I make sure that we spend more days with her parents then we do with mine.

She often argues with me that our expectations for spending time with my family are too high but she has asked me to go to her parents by myself and help them get their house ready to be moved into which I offered, but they turned me down.

I asked her this morning to go with me and wish my nephews and nieces and my sister-in-law farewell (we haven't seen them in over a year at our wedding) but she got mad about it because she just spent last weekend with her parents helping them get their house ready to move into.

Today I told her that she was the one with the higher expecetations and if she continued to refuse to see my family that resentment would start building.

I don't want a divorce but can't help feel that my wife is selfish when it comes to spending quality time as a couple with my family. I am not saying that she doesn't do it at all but not enough and usually fusses about it. (The other day was one of the few times in over a year of our marriage where she voluntarily offered to have the family over and cook for them.)

We have seen a counseler about this before and I have backed off greatly, but would like to see her meet me a little more half way. (She did have a cookout for my family about two weeks ago.) Still I am going to have her parents over later this week and driving them to the airport on my day off so that they can go on vacation.

I would go back to a counselor but they are hard to afford. I am either going to have to quit asking her or possibly face divorce or a trial separation. I want to stay married but also want my wife to be supportive in spending time with my family like I am supportive spending time with hers.


I feel that you have good intentions where your relatives are concerned as well as "valid and logical reasons" about not spending much time with them, but unfortunately 'face time' matters when it comes to family relationships. It would be great if the family could visit you at your house then. Would that work better? An invite from you to them to gather at your place once a month would help smooth things out for both sides wouldn't it? Then, if they refuse that, you could explain calmly and logically why you would need to do this rather than visiting them constantly etc. It will take effort on both parts to work this out so that neither you nor your relatives feel unliked or disrespected!


Hi AuthorSheriC, and thank you for your reply. I really am not sure if they are hurt, but am sure they have noticed a change...I have sat back few times and observed the situation myself and I came to similar conclusion as yours that I used to visit them more often then and now that I haven't been able to fulfill those duties. I think the thing is everyone’s life status changes through time....those who experiences the change adjust themselves to those changes quickly....those who are observing the change others life from outside the close circle will have hard time understanding or accepting that fact. I am sure my family knows...I much more busier then I once was...I have two jobs...I bought a house.... responsibilities as a husband is just another big change in life that's keeping me busy....I don't want to justify myself with these being the reason for me not being able to visit them. I just want them not to expect much but know that I am still a member of that same family...and love and respect them in same way I did. We do have these family gatherings and potlucks...games...it's a lot of fun and everyone comes for that same purpose. Those are situations that we plan....when I visit mom and dad...and that's my plan...anything else being suggested by them....will frustrate me very easily...cause both wife and I have probably made other arrangements for our weekend. I am sure that you know that on a Saturday or Sunday...there isn't much time in it...you can not realistically do a lot and make everyone happy...especially when you haven't planned for it.

The other thing is...most family members such as my own parents have more time....they don’t work as much....they have plenty of free time to call me if not visit me......I realize we are the younger one...but who really makes that rule in a relationship that younger member of family has to be running around and paying their respect when they see the elders taking no initiative at all...to me it odd times for these extended family members it seems as our relationship is really one sided....where I give and give....and there is nothing from them to offer. My wife being new to family she says at times...that maybe they don't like us or they don't like her....I mean I would feel the same if I have been calling my extended in laws always and they wouldn't even bother once calling or visiting us.

I don't want to feel regret for elders ever getting ill or passing away and us not being able to fulfilling their wishes. I just wish that the elders in the family could acknowledge and put their ego aside that if I am the younger...I could have valid and logical reasons behind what I feel or what I expect from them to keep the relationship healthy.


Hi Oblivious. Do you think that your family could feel hurt that you used to visit them "very often" until you got married? Is it possible that they may feel that your new wife doesn't care to spend time with them? This is probably not the case with your wife as I'm sure the two of you really don't have a lot of free time, but look at it from your family's point of view. If you used to spend a lot of time with them and then this stopped after you got married, it is understandable that they would feel rejected and hurt by it.

Could you all arrange visits that include your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles etc. all in one place such as a family dinner? (It could be potluck where everyone brings something to save on the work involved etc.) It could be once a month even since you live 2 hours away. This would still give you 3 whole weekends a month to do other things since you'd visit everyone at once.

Plus, if you mention the idea to your relatives, they would realize that you are trying to work out a way to see everyone. Also remember that, especially with older relatives, you never know when their time has come to pass away and you don't want to really feel guilty and regret that that you didn't spend more time with them when you had the chance!


Hi, I am new here, but I need some feedback. I have been visiting family very often in the past (before my marriage)...I have recently got married...and I spend most of my time-off (which is normally just a sunday or sometimes if I get lucky saturday and sunday) with my wife...I don't visit family as often anymore..especially the extended family members. The tension I been experiencing lately is that every time I visit my parents with my wife...they suggest (and expect) that we should visit...uncle...or aunt...or grandparents...and if my time doesn't permit me to visit them and I don't...I feel that my parents are getting disappointed and my wife being new to the family doesn't understand why we have to be made feel guilty when our time frame on our visits are so small that we don't' even get to spend enough quality time with parnets.

My most recent visit was this past weekend...we went because it was father's day and I wanted to spent some time with my dad...but they decided to visit the extended family to pay their regards to my grandfather and everyone was gathering up....I really couldn't go....forcing myself going there..as we decided to leave early because we live at least 2hours (driving distance) away from them....we were once again made feel guilty....and the more I experience this awkward tension...the more I want avoid family visitation.

Please tell me what you think we are doing wrong or how I can stress this out to my parents to realize. I have taken initiatives calling extended family from time to time...but rather than them appreciating my calls...they have nagged that I haven't visited them. I just don't understand why they expect....I don't hear from anyone...until I call.....

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