Advice Column

Maggie Bain is a Relationship and Intimacy Specialist with Family Medicine Center on Blake Road. She is also the only certified Sex Therapist in The Bahamas.

Every week Maggie answers questions submitted to Tribune Woman in the hopes of helping individuals with their romantic problems.

Q: “My relationship with my partner’s mother is truly strained to say the least. I know she does not like me and I am not fond of her either. But I wonder if this dynamic is the reason why after so many years my partner has yet to propose? What are your thoughts?”

My first thought is you may have just answered your own question.

Without knowing your relationship details, I think I can safely say your relationship with his mother may very well have influenced his delay in proposing marriage.

For a lot of men, their mother is their first love and I can imagine his loyalty is being torn. However, luckily for you this doesn’t sound like it was a deal breaker for him, as you are still together after some years.

Since I have limited information, I am guessing he has heard negative comments from both of you and probably has felt caught in the middle. Or perhaps because of the potentially explosive topic, it’s an area that neither gets talked about or resolved.

Either way I get a sense the communication between you both could do with some guidance, because it sounds as if you are in the dark about his marriage intentions.

A starting point could be for you to open the conversation and ask him about his thoughts on your communication. Sit back and listen carefully without interruption.

I know…I know this sounds easier said than done, but if practiced consistently I promise it will set you up to be able to talk about the toughest of conversations.

If this goes well, suggest a certain time, place and agree to the mood for a relationship talk. For example, I would suggest keeping it light rather than making it heavy and serious. By doing this, you will both be setting the intention for a more favorable outcome.

My advice is to look at it as an opportunity to address all those unanswered questions that have been floating around between you both.You may not get the answers you are looking for, but hopefully you can reach an agreement on where your relationship is heading. This is essential as it is so important to be on the same page as each other, particularly with marriage goals.

At some point, in this conversation, I would encourage you to gently introduce your relationship difficulties with his mother, and how to improve your dynamic. Try very hard not to sound accusatory or defensive, but ask for his advice. By doing this you will open the door to his feelings and how to find a workable solution. He knows you both, so his advice is really the only one you should look for.

So often in life our own self limiting beliefs or stuck mindset prevent us from seeing the bigger picture. I say this, because I see that you are being presented with a choice. You can either leave things alone, or alternatively acknowledge the role you are playing in this stalemate situation. Remember we can not change anyone else, but you can accept responsibility for your own behavior. Therefore, my advice is for you to make the first move to improve relations with his mother.

Remember love is precious and does not come around many times in life. So do not settle with how things are at present, but push forward to improve your love life.

I hope my thoughts have helped, however if the situation is more complicated than you have shared, then let’s talk privately.

Relationship and intimacy specialist Maggie Bain– also known as the Bare Naked Coach– has returned to the Bahamas to help local couples repair their relationships. She will be answering questions which she has received for Tribune Woman in the hopes of helping individuals with similar romantic problems. The column comes out the 2nd & last Tuesday of each month.

Maggie Bain is a relationship and intimacy specialist with Family Medicine Center on Blake Road. Book a consultation at 702-9310 ext. 130 or click here to book an appointment.

Publish Date: Tuesday, June 6, 2023, The Tribune