Play with Fire

Posted on | November 11, 2018 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
Is it possible for a “heavy” social drinker and a recovering alcoholic to live together?

Dear Pat:
Possible? Yes. But we think it’s a bad idea — at best irritating, at worst, dangerous.

Matter of Life or Death

Posted on | October 20, 2018 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
My husband is an absolutely horrible driver and it scares me to death to be in the car with him. Unfortunately, he insists on driving and gets furious when I criticize something he does. He yells at me and can stay mad for days. Should I just put my foot down and say that I won’t ride in the car with him or do I shut my mouth, close my eyes and hope that the airbag works?
Running Scared

Dear Scared:
Put your foot down. The consequences of ignoring the problem are far too serious.

Teach Your Children Well

Posted on | October 20, 2018 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
In this day and age when you can lie every day and still be President of the United States or a Supreme Court Justice, how do you teach your children that lying is wrong when lying actually seems the best (and maybe only) way to get ahead?
Desperately Seeking Truth

Dear Truth:
Your own behavior and commentary on public events remains the most powerful teaching tool around. Make sure your kids know how you feel and why.

The Situation Has Many Possibilities

Posted on | September 13, 2018 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
My husband and I are well into our 60s and have a wonderful relationship.  The problem is that we have very different sleep habits. I am a very light sleeper whereas he snores and tosses and turns all night.  Now that the kids are out of the house, there is plenty of room for me to sleep in a different bedroom but when I suggested it my husband was appalled and says we need counseling!!! How do I convince him that this is not the end of our intimate relationship.  It’s only a way to get some sleep!!

Dear Sleepy:
We think good sleep makes all the difference. But you might invite him to join you for a “night cap.”

Freedom to Speak

Posted on | September 12, 2018 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
Last year my neighbor’s 15 year old daughter had a baby.  There doesn’t seem be a father around and since both grandparents work full-time and the daughter is still in high school, I offered to help baby sit since I am retired and my kids are long since grown up. Believe me, I have given them hundreds of free baby sitting hours while the grandparents worked and mom went to school. I am now appalled to find out that the girl is pregnant again!! I feel a little responsible since I seem to have made their lives so much easier but I also feel used.  I want these two babies to have a fair start in life but maybe the mom needs to take responsibility for her actions. I am tempted to say “no more” but don’t know whether the girl will learn her lesson or the kids will suffer.  What’s the right thing to to?
Good Neighbor

Dear Neighbor:
We have many concerns about a high school age single mother of two.  It sounds like you do as well and have earned the right to say anything you want to the girl, or her parents. That includes saying that babysitting TWO infants is TOO much for you.

Don’t Look Back

Posted on | September 9, 2018 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I have a wonderful family with 3 kids, 5 grandkids and a terrific husband. I’m not sorry about any of the decisions that I made but I am feeling more and more like I didn’t fully explore the alternatives that seem to be available to people nowadays. I certainly never plan to leave my husband or abandon my current life but is there any way that I can see what I might have been missing without losing what I already have?
Ruth with Regret

Dear Ruthie:
No. There is no way to see where another road might have led — and remember what happened to Lott’s wife.

Weighty Choices

Posted on | September 9, 2018 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
When I was younger, I was very much into the environment and careful about the products I used. My goal was to reduce my carbon footprint to practically zero. But now that I have two small children I find that I am using plastic and other disposable products more and more. I even use disposal diapers which I swore I would never do. There just seems to be too much going on in my life to spend the extra time it takes to be truly environmentally conscious. Is this wrong? Or just a temporary trade-off until I get the time and money to be more careful?
So Sorry

Dear Sorry:
We are so believing it’s option B. But “trade off” means you have weighed both sides.  Try really weighing the waste — just for 24 hours. We have found it motivating.


Posted on | September 9, 2018 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I’ve been married for over 20 years and my husband and I argue about money almost every single day.  Is there a secret to financial compromise in a marriage because if there is, I can’t figure it out. Please HELP!
Sick of It

Dear Sick:
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over — and expecting a different outcome. Stop it.

So Much for Friendship

Posted on | August 21, 2018 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
A woman at work is getting married next year and has been asking me for a lot of advice about her wedding plans since I recently got married myself.  I planned my wedding for almost two years and it was amazing.  So I don’t feel like I should give away all of my hard work for free. Would it be rude of me to ask for a wedding consultant fee?  I know she can afford it.
Recently Wed

Dear RW:
Yes, it would be incredibly rude to ask for a fee. If you don’t want to share your experience, then suggest she hire a professional planner.

At Your Own Risk

Posted on | May 27, 2018 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
Do I really have to acknowledge any mother beside my own on Mother’s day (daughters, sisters, in laws)?
Manipulated by Media

Dear Manipulated:
Surely you have some sense of how the players in your life feel about these kind of occasions. There are no general rules, but every family has their own.

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