My best friend and her boyfriend (both under 30) have been together for eight years, throughout which she’s worked to financially support him, while he stays home and plays video games daily.
She wants kids, a house, and marriage. She openly admits he’s neither keen nor committed to achieving those goals.
Recently, she had an emotional affair. As friends of both, I know it's not my place to judge nor advise.
Recently, our conversation sent alarm bells ringing. Her partner learned of her affair. He got physical - no hitting, but cornering and pinning her against a wall and breaking things.
He constantly threatens to harm himself, or her, and any new partners should she leave.
She stays because she thinks she deserves this treatment.
Should I contact her mother for help, whom I know has an idea of what's going on, even if it betrays her confidence? Or offer to get an officer on scene when she chooses to ask him to leave?
My friend knows she has to be ready to make the call to leave herself.
Worried Best Friend
His threats and aggression should be worrying her as much as you. She must deal with these immediately – even if she thinks there’s hope for them as a couple (there likely isn’t) she should be getting counselling with him and/or alone, at the very least.
Tell her you asked me for advice (they’re anonymous to me and my readers, as is their locale).
She needs to think clearly, so going to her mom would be wise.
Her “emotional affair” was an escape from living with a guy who’s providing little (no emotional support or financial partnership) in exchange for her looking after him.
The break, counselling, and a restraining order against him if there are more threats, are what’s needed. Tell her.
I come from a somewhat strict and traditional Sikh family. I’m 25 and recently met someone at college. He’s Caucasian.
We’ve dated for six months, care a lot about each other, and feel this could be something great.
I was afraid to tell my family.
Once living back home after school, I told them about him, said I liked him a lot, and wanted to continue seeing him.
My brother refuses to speak to me, and my sister doesn't want me talking about him, but will speak about other things.
My parents are trying to accept it but fear our once-close family may be tearing apart.
I’m constantly worried about them, which affects my relationship with him. I feel if I don't give this guy a chance I'll regret it.
He believes that if we get through this, it’ll be worth it.
At home, there’s constant tension whenever I talk about my relationship.
Between Family and Love
Many couples surmount initial family rejection and worries about cross-cultural unions.
Sometimes the “outsider” becomes a much-appreciated family addition because he/she tries so hard to show everyone respect and caring.
But, much depends on your awareness of yourself and what YOU can handle. Consider whether you can, emotionally, live with this divide from your brother who may remain estranged indefinitely.
Your parents are trying to be accepting but they worry about you. When serious culture clashes occur, they come later - over religious differences, opposed views on parenting, and over lifestyle issues.
But if things go well, the arrival of a grandchild often turns things around completely.
The decision is about you, not your brother, sister, or parents. Think long and hard about what you can accept long-term.
My wife’s a dreamer and wants to quit her job for a business idea that worries me. What should I do, besides arguing against it?
Dreams should never be quashed only out of fear, and it’s also unhealthy for the relationship for one partner to summarily dismiss the other’s ideas and hopes.
Discuss the facts together, and how it’d work – how your family budget would be affected by losing her steady income for awhile, how much investment’s needed for the new venture, and how she’d handle the time and organization demands of the start-up effort.
Look together at the obvious risks – whether this business has something to offer that’s unique, the competition, any legal aspects involved, and any personalities involved, etc.
Be open, not critical. If there are major downsides, she’ll likely see them herself. If not, then go together with the idea to professional advisors – legal, financial, and business-savvy.
Tip of the day:
When your safety’s threatened, leave first and weigh the relationship afterwards.