My partner of more than 15 years and I are both 50-ish, although I’m a few years older.
My grown children and friends embraced him immediately, when we started dating after my divorce.
They all love him and we get along beautifully.
However, his aging parents don’t approve of our relationship because I’m older and have grown children.
They’d prefer someone who’ll give him children. He was previously married only briefly.
We’ve been together for 16 Christmases, 14 of which he’s spent with his family where I’m not included.
He’s also gone to numerous weddings, birthdays, christenings, etc. without me.
I said he shouldn’t attend events since I’m not invited, but he doesn’t want to upset his parents.
I finally put my foot down with the ultimatum that the next time he attends a family event to which we’re not recognized as a couple, we won’t be a couple after that.
Am I wrong to make this ultimatum?
You’re right to put your foot down, but not on an ultimatum.
Instead, insist on going to counselling together (it’s cheaper than breaking up, and worth the time for what should be short-term therapy).
He needs to hear in the counsellor’s presence how you feel being excluded by his family, and un-championed by him.
You need to hear him explain to a professional counsellor why he’s still so tied to their opinions.
You both need to agree that “50-ish” is old enough to set limits on what parents can dictate… or else recognize a deeper problem.
If after 15 years his insisting on including you can destroy their relationship with him, then it’s an unhealthy and far less loving relationship than he thinks.
My friend’s turning 21 and I'm worried that’ll worsen her problems with alcohol.
She has anxiety and is supposed to be taking medication for it, but not drink while on the meds.
I'm afraid she’s not taking her pills.
Her ex-roommate (my recently new roommate) never saw her take one pill in an entire year.
Even if she is, she’s also drinking.
Now she's about to have unlimited access to alcohol, not needing friends to buy it for her anymore
She drinks on weekends, weekdays, whenever she has time outside work or school - a glass or a bottle.
She says she likes how getting drunk makes her feel.
I'm having our group of friends up this weekend and she asked if it's okay if she gets drunk for the whole weekend.
Is she on her way to a problem? Should I talk to her about her drinking habits or keep my opinion to myself?
She already IS an alcoholic.
And you may have a serious legal and/or moral problem, if you’re the host where she gets “drunk all weekend.”
Depending on the laws where you live, if she harms herself or anyone else because of alcohol supplied by you or at your place, you can be held responsible.
I’m talking about her causing a car, boat, or swimming accident, or falling down and banging her head, causing someone else to fall, etc.
Even without that possibility, she needs to hear from someone, that she’s crossed the line into addiction. If her parents don’t know, they should be told.
Urge her to tell her doctor she has a drinking problem. Suggest she attend an Alcoholics’ Anonymous meeting (go with her, if you’re very close).
She needs a major wake-up call.
FEEDBACK Regarding previous feedback about the pharmacist inappropriately touched by her workplace superior (August 21):
Reader – “One person highlighted why innocent people don't readily report workplace harassment.
“Too often, it's the victim who gets blamed for what’s happened.
“With almost lusty, obsessive detail, "Reader #2" imagined and projected all sorts of benefits and dealings from a report of workplace harassment, without considering a word of what the pharmacist actually wrote you about her feelings and experience.
“Even if supposed benefits were received, they could still be unwanted by the recipient as they were unjustly earned.
“Speaking from experience, it doesn’t feel good to learn later that your boss actually didn't choose you for a better job because of your work ethic, accomplishments, education, or enthusiasm.
“Sexual harassment isn’t a promotion or compliment. It can tarnish and poison your work life and make you doubt your own strengths as a member of the workforce.”
Tip of the day:
When a partner doesn’t stand up for you before parents, either the family relationship or your union isn’t that secure.