I’m feeling guilty about my beloved pet of the last seven years.
I was a struggling single mother of two children until eight years ago when the youngest left.
I tried to fill the void with an amazing standard poodle. He’s gentle (my baby grandson can pull his hair and he doesn't flinch), kind, loyal, loving, and smart.
But I resent the physical, financial, and emotional involvements.
Last year, I moved into a high-rise building to “downsize” and reduce stress.
Upon waking, I cry that the dog’s needs must be addressed before my own.
My day is so focused on getting home to take him out, feed him, etc., that I can't focus fully in my job or personal life.
I’m 57, on my own since 16, twice divorced, parents gone. It’s the first time in 40 years that I don’t answer to a relationship.
I want to travel, take photography, and singing lessons, socialize, and exercise.
I work in a high profile/high stress job with a seven-day workweek of 60-70 hours. Changing jobs isn’t an option.
If I give him up, I’d break his heart. Yet I'm sure he feels my resentment. He gets short-changed on exercise and “me” time.
The cost’s also taking its toll – regular grooming, high-quality dog food, and vet needs.
Overwhelmed and Guilt-Ridden
Get a once-daily dog-walker to ease the time pressure. Your stress is worse than the added cost.
Or, see if there’s a young dog-lover in your neighbourhood who’d play with him after school.
Your grandson’s parents may be happy to have the dog for brief stays… but make sure the child learns to NOT pull his hair.
If you can manage the dog’s needs enough to pursue some of your own interests, you’ll feel less resentful.
But frankly, it’s not the dog who’s holding you back, so much as yourself. You ARE overwhelmed with conflicting interests, like a kid in a candy shop.
Yet lots of single active people have dogs as well as a full life. They often meet new people and socialize through their dogs, at parks, and on walks.
Give the dog another chance. If you can’t improve the situation, then ask your vet if he/she can help you find a loving home for him, which is what he does deserve.
Two years ago, I saw this guy in school and it was like in the movies. Ever since, when I see him my heart races, my stomach gets in a knot. I can't stop thinking about him.
Recently, he's been making A LOT of eye contact. Now, I'm avoiding him because I feel he’ll see right through me. The longest sentence I've said to him was five words.
He's a year older than me and will be going to another school next year.
Can I love someone I barely talk to?
What Do I Do?
There are many feelings we call “love,” and the kind that knocks you out instantly when young is a powerful crush. There’s attraction, fantasy, and yearning all mixed up together.
It’s a great feeling… but it’s not healthy if it becomes an obsession.
His changing school is fine, because you can’t handle a lasting relationship at this stage.
Try to say hi, and how’s it going, if you possibly can, rather than be intimidated.
You’ll have other crushes and loves, but you’ll remember this one, because it’s taught you how strongly you can feel, and how important it is to enjoy but control those feelings.
I’ve tried for decades to have a harmonious relationship with a family member.
But after years of abusive emails, being told how to deal with very personal aspects of my life, and erratic and irrational behaviour and comments, I’m emotionally drained, as are other family members.
This person refuses to seek help and blames at least 17 people, including me, for being the ones with the problem.
Do I walk away and save my sanity? When does family know when too much emotional damage is being done?
You already know which is why you’re reaching out for affirmation. This relative has been getting away with toxic abuse, criticism, and discouragement for too long.
Cut ties as gently as you can. Make no apologies, whatever you say will likely be repeated negatively, to badmouth you.
If all 17 people decide it’s time to “save sanity” too, the suggestion this person gets counselling might have an impact.
Tip of the day:
When you commit to pet ownership, find ways to manage the responsibilities.