I’m a woman in my 30s whose parents have been going through a difficult divorce, with countless lawyers, name-calling, restraining orders, etc., over almost three years.
Both of them are full-blown narcissists.
I ended my relationship with my father a year ago, but maintain a close but trying relationship with my mother.
She fails to realize that I’m a grown woman with my own life, and she continues to tell me every little thing that’s happening with her lawyers.
She calls me at work three or four times a day and tells me to write up these "contracts" to email to my father to get him to sign.
When I tell her No, she gives me a sob story about how she can't afford to have her lawyer write them and send them.
She’s aware that I don't want a relationship with my father for various reasons (most being his anger issues), yet she still puts me in the line of fire.
I dislike confrontation with her so I do it.
I’ve tried telling her I don't feel comfortable doing the things she’s asking, but every time is "the last time" with no end in sight.
I don't know how to relay to her that I'm tired of everything, I'm tired of being put in the middle, and that if she doesn't respect my wishes, our relationship is going to suffer more than it already has.
Sick of the Middle
You just told me, and you can tell her, too.
You’ve described her as a narcissist, which is possibly accurate, but certainly tells you that she’ll keep asking for help no matter your feelings.
It’s up to you to refuse. By “disliking confrontation” – which you have with her anyway – you keep up the cycle of her dependency and your annoyance.
Break the pattern.
Be sympathetic to her troubles, as you would be with a friend. Give her a specific time when she can call you in the day, and another in the evening, and don’t take the calls in between.
She may recognize that you’re an adult with your own life when you demonstrate it with confidence. Or, she may never get past her self-interest, especially not during stressful times.
But you still have to draw those boundaries.
I met a man my age (65), two months ago through friends, and we hit it off.
But how do I get past the feeling that he’ll eventually leave me for a younger, prettier, fitter woman?
I tried to meet someone through on-line dating and a more personal dating service, but the majority of the men wanted women who were at least ten years younger than them.
I did have some dates, but found the men (who were older) were fuddy-duddy – too old for me.
I’m still attractive, fit, healthy, and active so I wanted to meet someone who was “young” in his thinking and had a good, active lifestyle.
I’ve found that man, but can’t stop this nagging feeling, even though he’s not given me any reason to believe that he’s only with me until someone better comes along.
If there’s anything that looks fresh and inviting on a partner, it’s healthy self-confidence.
But doubts (which eventually show up), and insecurity, put a shadow on all that you have to offer by being active, fit, young-thinking, and healthy.
Show your enjoyment at sharing good times together. Be positive about being mutually good for each other.
Ban cynicism. It’s self-defeating.
I find it hard, with exposure to social media, not to get "the-grass-is-always-greener" syndrome.
I chose my field not to be rich, but because I love what I do.
But watching others have so much success makes me feel I could’ve done more.
I work hard and have enough to be happy, but I don't have anything overwhelmingly prestigious or anything.
What should I do?
Take a break from Facebook. You’re not alone in feeling rattled by watching too many Happy Posts from people whose lives are not akin to yours.
Nor did you intend to be in competition with them. So get away from the ever-present window on Too Much Information.
Once you get back on your own stable territory of what you have, need, and want for feeling comfortable with yourself, you can periodically check into your account.
Like anything else that’s too easily overused, social media has to be managed.
Tip of the day:
It’s the adult child who must set firm boundaries with a constantly intrusive parent.