Dear Savvy Auntie,

I adore my best friend’s baby girl. She’s four and I have been in love with her since the day she was born. I am very close with my friend so I really feel like little Kayla’s real Aunt. The problem is that my husband, whom I met when Kayla was not yet two, is annoyed that I want to spend so much time with her. He keeps saying that she’s not my real niece and to focus on our family. But I don’t have any siblings and his nephew and nieces live 300 miles away. How can I convince him how important this relationship is to me and that I couldn’t love Kayla more if she were my blood relative?

Kayla's Auntie

Dear Kayla's Auntie,

Translation…by family your husband means himself. He feels that he is not your number one. Since his nephew and niece are not nearby pay more attention to them through telephone, email, notes and cards. Most importantly, make him feel that he comes first in your heart and give him “special attention treats” before and after seeing Kayla. Keep in mind that he may also fall in love with her as she gets older and can relate to him through activities and games. Many men feel at a loss with young children.

You can give this connection a jump start by leaving them alone to forge their own relationship and under no circumstances criticize him about his behavior with Kayla.

Good Luck,
Natalie Robinson Garfield

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