Strategic Avoidance

Posted on | November 9, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
If a friend of yours has really bad table manners (I mean REALLY bad), is it better to point this out and risk losing a friend?  Or should I just avoid eating with this person if I can?
Disgusted

Dear Disgusted:
Assuming this friend is old enough to vote, we suggest go with option 2.

Monkey in the Middle

Posted on | November 9, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
What is our responsibility to our parents as they get older and require more time, more energy and more money from their children?
Exhausted and Broke

Dear E&B:
We hear you. This is very tough and the boundaries are different in every family. Remember that you are an adult (which is often a challenge even when dealing with elderly parents) and determine the limits of your responsibility based on a realistic assessment of your own emotional and financial resources.

Perfect for whom?

Posted on | October 26, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
What do you do if your boyfriend is perfect in every way but he just doesn’t make you happy?  I can’t find anything wrong with Brandon and my friends all love him.  But I just don’t get excited to see him or really miss him when he’s not around.  Do you think this is a bad omen for the future?  Or maybe I’m just not the emotional type.
The Girlfriend

Dear Girlfriend:
There doesn’t need to be any thing “wrong” with him to make him not right for you. You deserve to feel more.

1 person likes this post.

Extra Spicy All the Time?

Posted on | October 26, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
My boyfriend likes to have sex anywhere except the bedroom.  He says it’s more exciting and it turns him on to have sex in the kitchen or the bathroom.  He thinks it’s even better if it’s kind of public like the laundry room in our apartment building.  I tried to get him to have sex at least once in a while in bed but he says he can’t sleep in the same place he f***.  It doesn’t really bother me but it kinda does.  Do you think this is just the tip of the iceberg of his weirdness?
Worried

Dear Worried:
We are worried too. Most couples enjoy a bit of variety or a “surprise” from time-to-time but it seems like he is pursuing danger and exposure.  And more importantly, it sounds like this does not turn you on. Time for a no-nonsense talk — in private.

2 people like this post.

Banking Zzzzz’s

Posted on | October 26, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
What time do you go to bed? What’s normal?
John

Dear John:
Most adults need 6-8 hours of sleep every night to function well.  It is also best to keep kind of regular hours — which doesn’t mean you can’t stay up til 2 am sometimes and hit the sack really early on others.  But 10 o’clock sounds about right for most healthy adults — give or take an hour or two.

Throwing a Blind Eye

Posted on | October 26, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I have a friend who, I think, has a serious drug problem.  I’ve never mentioned it to him because I believe that addicts can only cure themselves.  But now I’m starting to wonder if by ignoring it, I’m enabling him?  His other friends and I have talked about this and not sure what to do.
TWL

Dear T:
You are right that only addicts can tackle their own problem, however one of the lies they often tell themselves is that they are functioning very well and that no one else notices. In fact, they may think they are especially vivacious charming or way cool. You can’t cure him but you probably should let him know that he isn’t fooling you.  Shame isn’t the worst motivator for change.

1 person likes this post.

Cut to the Chase

Posted on | October 26, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
My husband and I have constant disagreements over how to raise our children.  Everything from when is bedtime to how much candy they can eat at Halloween. Is there a book you can recommend that can settle these arguments once and for all?
Wit’s End

Dear Wit:
Disagreements about kids is a marriage killer. It’s very wearing and creates enormous tension for everyone.  Often these arguments are not really about the kids but a way for one partner to undermine the behavior of the other adult!  We suggest you think this through and try to separate you from the kids. When one parent says “too much candy,” are they really saying “you eat too much candy?”  Does “let the kids stay up later” really mean they don’t want to be alone with you — or afraid of confrontation? Once you sort out what is really going on, it is easier to agree on outcomes.  A counselor could really help you quicken this process.

1 person likes this post.

Oh No, This Again

Posted on | October 26, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
Every one around me is gearing up for the holidays and I am so not feeling it!  I love my family and do my very best to stay in touch and hear their concerns, but the thought of all of them banging up against one another (not to mention all that work) is making me tense already — which never brings out the best in me. Here is what I was thinking: I know a needy family — I would like to buy  a ham or a turkey for them (even that seems problematic — will they be insulted?) and fly someplace with just my husband for four days.  Just a fantasy really — I can’t do it.  People are counting on me and plans have been made months ago. What do I do with the feelings so I behave well?
Noreen

Dear Noreen:
Good for you for knowing how you feel — that is step number one. Try enlisting others in the prep and cooking but not POT LUCK which always ends up more work for the host.  Tell everyone who is capable, what you want from them and when — make a chart and include shopping, menu, house prep, serving, clean-up, house restored, etc. All these things take work and we tend to think it’s just the food.  Dragging in the groceries, cleaning the house so that there is room for everyone, moving chairs from all over to fit around tables, cooking, serving, elder care, baby care and of course clean up and putting everything away afterwards.  If you do nothing but manage the others that is still a lot of work — and who knows, they might like it! Family generally want to help they just don’t know exactly what to do..
As for the needy family, follow your heart. And the 4-day get away with your husband — move that to the top of another list. Maybe even next year.  Good luck, honey.


Kids and Dogs

Posted on | October 19, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
Do you think that getting a dog is good training for young children and will help them learn responsibility?
Mom

Dear Mom:
Only if they really want the dog and YOU provide thoughtful and firm guidance throughout the process.  Otherwise, you are looking at mom’s new best friend.

1 person likes this post.

Not All Truth Need Be Told

Posted on | October 19, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
My best friend is having a terrible time finding a boyfriend and probably hasn’t even had a date in years.  Personally, I think she needs to dress better, lose a few pounds, whiten her teeth and get a better hair style.  But I’m kind of afraid to hit her with all this at once.  But also worried that fixing one of those things at a time won’t help.  She needs a total make-over!! Do you think I’ll lose her as a friend if I am brutally honest about this?
Would Like to Help

Dear Would Like:
The older we get, the less we are a fan of “brutally honest.” Hardly ever works and is always costly. Understand how you feel — and try to get how she feels.  Consider that perhaps she is scared — you might what to chat about THAT.

1 person likes this post.

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