cereta: Laura Cereta (cereta)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: I've been dating a guy for two years. He has his late mom's wedding rings. He always said he would use them if he ever proposed to anyone.

Well, he proposed to me last week. Last night he informed me that he had let his ex-girlfriend of 10 years wear the rings because she loved jewelry. It made me sick to my stomach, and made his proposal not mean anything to me.

I told him it would be like me giving him my ex-husband's wedding band to wear. He doesn't understand because he didn't use them to propose to her, but to me that's beside the point. They were on her hand. [Emphasis in the original.]

I told him he should have given me the option of wearing the rings or having him buy my own set. He thinks I'm just supposed to be OK with this. Am I out of line feeling the way I do? -- TARNISHED IN TENNESSEE

DEAR TARNISHED: I don't think so. To say this "guy" lacks sensitivity would be an understatement. Are you sure you actually want to spend the rest of your life with someone so clueless?

When he allowed his former girlfriend to wear his mother's wedding rings "because she loved jewelry" rather than because they were planning to marry, the symbolism of bestowing them vaporized. If you do plan to go through with it, "suggest" he buy you ones or use the stones from his mother's rings in a different setting for a ring you will enjoy wearing rather than feeling like Secondhand Rose (third-hand, actually).
cereta: Laura Cereta (cereta)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: I'm starting to worry about my boyfriend's relationship with his mother. He's deploying at the end of the month. We have been friends for a long time and dating for a year. He's 31 and lives with his parents. We had just gotten a place together prior to finding out about his deployment.

The problem is, his mother comes over constantly, and she waits on him hand and foot. She tags along to his sporting events and cheers him on as if he's a 6-year-old. If he's hungry, she rushes to fix his food and brings him lunch while he's working. She makes all of his doctors' appointments for him and is on his bank account. She also texts me to find out where he is if he has been out of touch for a few hours.

She has taken a lot of time off work to spend with him. I hardly see him alone anymore because he's constantly with her. At the beginning of his deployment, he will be in Texas for a month. During that time he will get a week off. He told his mom the dates of his time off prior to telling me, and she booked a flight for the entire time! This means I will have no alone time with him or time to say a private goodbye.

I love him very much, but this whole mom thing has got me second-guessing everything. Abby, is this normal? -- COMING IN SECOND

DEAR COMING IN SECOND: No, it's not normal. It appears that when your boyfriend was born, the umbilical cord, instead of being severed, remained securely in place.

I hope you realize that if you should marry him at some point, you will be getting a husband who never learned independence, and you will be expected to take up exactly where his mother left off. Your problem is not that you are "coming in second," honey, it's that he appears to be already married -- to Mom!
cereta: Laura Cereta (cereta)
[personal profile] cereta
NB: All of the Annie's Mailbox columns being posted at Arcamax are reruns from a few years ago, but I still find them interesting.

Really mean-spirited pranks )
cereta: Laura Cereta (cereta)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: I am sure this issue affects many people, but I have not seen it addressed in your column. Oftentimes married partners are separated by many years in age. Eventually the older of them has to enter a long-term care facility due to a mental/physical defect.

Even though the bond and love that kept them together over the years still exists, the younger still has physical and emotional needs that can no longer be met by the older spouse. What are the ethics in the younger one having a "friend with benefits" to address those needs, if it's done discreetly without causing embarrassment and humiliation to the older spouse? -- FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS

DEAR FRIENDS: This is a highly personal decision that no one can make for anyone else. While many readers may disagree, I see nothing wrong with taking care of yourself as long as you remember you have a moral obligation to support your spouse "'til death do you part." To me that means visiting and spending time with your spouse every day to ensure his/her needs are taken care of in a compassionate and diligent manner, and to let the person know he or she is loved.
cereta: Laura Cereta (cereta)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: I have a tough problem. I care very much for my girlfriend. She keeps me in check and does everything for me. However, my best friend's sister and I are extremely close. By close, I mean we have conversations about how things would be if we were dating. We have so much fun together. We never, ever argue, whereas my girlfriend and I are constantly fighting. I legitimately want the other girl, but I don't know what I should do. -- SCARED AND STUCK IN ST. PAUL

DEAR SCARED AND STUCK: You are a free man, neither married nor engaged. Because you have romantic feelings for someone else, gather your courage and level with your girlfriend. Tell her that while you appreciate everything she has done for you, you want to be free to date other people and think she should, too. The news will probably come as a shock to her, but it's the honest thing to do and better for both of you.
cereta: Laura Cereta (cereta)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: There is a boy I like at school. He is a very well-known person around school. I'm not. I do have a wide variety of friends, and I even talk to some of his.

My friends know I like him, and they would like for me to talk to him. I wouldn't mind that, but what would I say? They want it to happen in person, but I want to do it by text, where I feel more me. What should I do? -- TENNESSEE TEEN

DEAR TEEN: Listen to your friends and approach him in person. A smile and a hello should break the ice. Then follow it up with a question about some activity that's happening at school.
cereta: Vic from Non Sequitur (Non Sequitur - Vic)
[personal profile] cereta
Dear Prudence,
I recently rented a room from a single man whom I had a lot of chemistry with at the rental interview. I vowed not to pursue anything before moving in because he introduced his girlfriend (though seeing how they interacted with each other, I felt doubt as to whether she was really his girlfriend). A few days later, he invited me to an art event he was hosting. He seemed extremely happy to see me, got me a drink, and later sat down beside me and told me his life story, including a couple of serious health conditions. It was clear his implicit question was whether they were deal-breakers for me.

Afterward, I started to walk away, and he suddenly said in a shocked voice that he’d kissed my ear instead of my cheek when we said goodbye. I realized later he’d made a pass at me. Since then, it was somehow as if we’d agreed to pretend nothing ever happened. He recently told me he’d be home all day, with the implicit message that maybe we could hang out, but then wasn’t.
 He also has a relatively new business that keeps him busy. Should I write him off as unavailable, or try to talk to him? Ideally, I’d like to slowly begin to date him, though I worry that’s unwise, because moving again is impossible at the moment, both financially and emotionally.

—Perplexed

Oh, honey. You have expended more emotional energy on a man you have met twice than some people give to actual relationships. Of course she is his real girlfriend. Of course you should write him off as unavailable. This man is your landlord. When he tells you about his health problems, it is not because he is testing your compatibility. Whether the accidental ear-kiss was a clumsy, half-hearted attempt at flirting or simply a fumbled goodbye, it was certainly not an invitation to a relationship. I can guarantee that he has not spent a tenth of the mental energy you have on dissecting your few interactions. Pay him your rent on time and look for a boyfriend elsewhere.
cereta: Wendy Watson in Goggles (Wendy goggles)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR HARRIETTE: My ex-girlfriend is a little too invested in my family. My mother regularly texts her, and I get unnerved when I see her name pop up on my mom's screen. I haven't brought my new girlfriend home because of my mother's close relationship with my ex. Do I just ignore the fact that they are still in contact? My ex and I do not speak. -- Unnecessary BFFs, Denver

DEAR UNNECESSARY BFFS: You and your mother need to get on the same page. Visit her by yourself, and ask her if you can have a heart-to-heart talk. Honestly explain to her that it makes you uncomfortable that she and your ex are close. Acknowledge that you did appreciate how welcoming she was to this woman, but remind her that you are not in a relationship with her now, and you are not even speaking to each other.

Make it clear to your mother that you have a girlfriend whom you would like to bring around to meet your mom, but you have hesitated because your mother is so enmeshed with your ex. Ask your mother to sever or at least reduce her interaction with your ex so that she can create space for your new girlfriend. Further, make it clear to her that you do not want her sharing anything about your new girlfriend with your ex.

Just so you know, this situation is not as uncommon as you may think. Especially if you dated your ex for a long while and she spent considerable time with your mother, it is understandable that they developed a relationship. Still, you really do need your mother to honor your life as it is today. I will add that you should be mindful of whom you bring home. Your mother has already shown you that whomever you bring will be welcomed with open arms. Be conscious and intentional about who deserves to meet your family.
cereta: Nightwing is pretty (Nightwing)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: Recently, my wife and I went dancing with my friend "Dick" and his wife. While I was in the middle of a conversation with Dick, my wife kept trying to interrupt. She even laid her hand on my arm to try to get my attention. I ignored her and told her later she had been rude to try to interrupt my conversation. She thinks I disrespected her and our marriage by putting conversation with my friend above her. This happens often when the four of us are together.

Am I being insensitive to my wife's feelings? We frequently disagree, but we have been married 44 years. Your input would be appreciated. -- ALWAYS A LOVING HUSBAND

DEAR LOVING HUSBAND: It is generally considered rude to interrupt someone when he or she is talking. The next time your wife does it, stop and ask her what's so important. (Could it be that the band is playing your song?)

However, if you have been droning on with your buddy for a long time, she may simply be craving some attention. If that's the case, perhaps it would be better if you saw Dick on a one-to-one basis without the wives around. That way you won't be interrupted.
cereta: Claudia Donovan in goggles (Claudia)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: At 26, I am about to move in with my girlfriend, "Candace." I love her so much, and I'm confident she's the one I want to marry. Candace has her 4-year-old daughter, "Michelle," with her most of the time we are together.

I'm confident that moving in together is the right decision, but living with Michelle makes me nervous. Although Michelle is smart and well-behaved, like most kids, she can be bratty and demand a lot of attention from Candace and me.

Candace has the utmost patience with Michelle, and I trust her ability as a parent. What I'm worried about is my own level of patience. I don't want kids anytime soon, and I get annoyed with Michelle a little too easily. What steps can I take to assure longevity in this relationship? -- YOUNG STEPPARENT

DEAR YOUNG STEPPARENT: Feeling as you do, I am not at all sure you should move in together. I'm surprised that a man who doesn't want kids anytime soon is so eager to enter into a living situation where that very thing is guaranteed. Before changing your living arrangements, consider signing up for parenting classes. They may not only give you insight into what to expect, but also how to handle situations that may arise.
cereta: (batgirlwit)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: My sister, "Dawn," recently got engaged to a man I detest. They have been dating for two years. I don't trust him, and I believe he is controlling her. He has lied to me and to my parents, and has strained Dawn's relationship with our family by constantly making her choose between either him or us.

Dawn worked hard to earn her master's degree and is now earning a great salary; her fiance has no education beyond high school, constantly switches jobs and uses my sister for financial support.

I have spoken to her multiple times in the past about my concerns, and at one point made it clear that I wouldn't attend her wedding. Now that Dawn has decided to move forward with the relationship, am I required to go? My parents, despite not supporting my sister's marrying this man, still plan to attend and are urging me to go. I don't think I can stomach seeing it. What do I do? -- OPPOSED IN NEW YORK

DEAR OPPOSED: Go to the wedding. If this man is as awful as you say he is, your sister is going to need all of the support she can get from people who love her. One of the things that insecure, controlling men try to do is isolate their victims. Letting Dawn know that you love her and will always be there for her will make it much harder for her husband to do.
cereta: Audrey from Haven (Audrey)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR HARRIETTE: My husband surprised me with a dress to wear out on our anniversary. I was surprised by this gesture and wore the dress proudly. I thought this would be a one-time thing. Now, my husband wants to dress me or gives his not-always-positive input on my outfits. I took his first gesture as a fun way to connect, but now I'm regretting opening this door. How can I ask my husband to step back and to stop buying me the clothing he wants me to wear? -- Fashion Emergency, Shreveport, Louisiana

DEAR FASHION EMERGENCY: Clearly, your husband is trying to send you a message. Before you say anything, do a visual review of what he has bought for you and what you have chosen for yourself. Figure out what the difference is between the two wardrobes and if there is anything that you like about his choices. This does not mean that you should feel OK about him putting down your choices. This may also be a fun way for you to connect with each other that sparks some youthful romance.

Feel free to tell him that while you enjoy dressing up for him, you want to take back the control of your wardrobe. Soften the blow by asking him what excites him in wardrobe choices so that you can sprinkle some of those features into your outfits.
cereta: Aristotle wonders what they teach them in these schools (aristotle)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend and I have been dating for two years. He is in grad school. I failed out of community college. My lack of education stresses me out emotionally. I love him very much, and I see a future with him. But the idea of an architect and a community college dropout makes my heart ache. He deserves someone more on his intellectual level. He is originally from another state and this is one of the reasons why I haven't met his family.

I have thought about trying to get a degree to become a certified nursing assistant, but again there would be a gap in our professional levels. I'm afraid that when he does introduce me to his family they will convince him he's better off without me. Part of me believes it's true.

Please give me advice about what to do. I don't want to lose him, but at the same time, I want him to be happy. -- UNEQUAL IN WISCONSIN

DEAR UNEQUAL: I can't help but wonder if you have ever spoken with someone who does career counseling. Some universities and community colleges have extension divisions that offer it. Part of the counseling involves aptitude testing, which could help you determine what you would be good at.

Being a nursing assistant is a respectable career that involves responsibility and people skills. If you feel drawn to it, then that's what you should pursue, and you should not feel embarrassed or have a need to apologize for it.

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