cereta: Laura Cereta (cereta)
[personal profile] cereta
Dear Annie: I am 23 years old and have been dating "Tom" for two years. He works in a demanding job that requires an extensive amount of travel. He's away almost six months of the year.

When Tom isn't traveling, he's with me during the week, but spends most weekends going places with his fraternity or visiting his parents. This means for the six months he's in town, I get perhaps one weekend.

We are saving for a house, and Tom's constant recreational travel is cutting into our budget. I want our couple time back, as well as time to take care of things at home. I've suggested compromises (such as two weekends away and two weekends home), but things always come up that he "has to do." Two months ago, I was let go from my job. That same afternoon, Tom left on a trip with friends that could have easily been cancelled. I can't use those same weekends to visit my family because they are too far away, so I spend a lot of time sitting home alone.

I know nothing unsavory is going on. Tom is a wonderful guy. I have no intention of leaving him. I knew when we met that his job would require a lot of travel, but these personal weekends are difficult for me. I know he hates being inactive or staying home, but it seems excessive. How can we come up with a workable solution? -- Home Alone

Dear Home: Tom thinks he already has a workable solution and has no incentive to compromise. After all, he sees you all week. Right now, his schedule is a minor hardship for you, but if you marry and have children, it will be a major problem. You'll have to revisit this issue then.

Meanwhile, we are never in favor of sitting home alone moping. Please find things to occupy yourself during the weekends when Tom is absent. Look for part-time work. Take classes to bone up on your skills. Go biking. Accompany him when he visits his family, and get to know them better.
cereta: Laura Cereta (cereta)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: Can you settle a dispute between my husband and me? Sometimes, I take it upon myself to hand-wash my car because I enjoy seeing my hard work reflected in my shiny car. When I do, it sparks an argument.

His view is that since he's the man, he should be responsible for washing the car. He says there are certain things "women just don't do." I think I'm perfectly capable of washing my car. Should I give up and let him take care of washing my car, or should I stand my ground? -- JUST AS CAPABLE

DEAR CAPABLE: If you want to wash your car occasionally, it should not be grounds for an argument. Many women do, and it's not an issue. However, because your husband seems to find it emasculating, let me suggest that rather than argue about it you allow him to spoil you by doing it for you from time to time. And when he does, if you feel compelled to polish something, let it be your nails while he's out there sweating in the driveway.
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.

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