I’m a college student, helplessly in love with my former high-school teacher. He’s married, expecting a baby soon.
We text constantly, he's always sending me photos and music that he thinks I’d like.
I feel that he has feelings for me, but I’m afraid to reveal mine and possibly sacrifice our friendship.
I don't want to ruin his marriage. I just can't imagine going the rest of my life and never telling him how I felt.
Your former teacher has – innocently or otherwise - placed himself in line for major trouble.
It goes beyond your feelings needing to be expressed.
This is an inappropriate relationship that began while you were his student. His continued “constant” texting becomes suspect, not just friendship.
Proof that it’s misguided and risky is that you now consider yourself “in love” with him.
However, this is a crush. You and he do NOT have a relationship as equal adults, with open potential for knowing each other well, sharing time together, etc.
Revealing your feelings for him will inevitably lead to grief.
His wife may accidentally see your texts or his.
You may be moved to tell someone (not me, this is anonymous) or already have, and within social media, this gossip will spread, just when he’s becoming a father.
Meanwhile, you’re letting your crush get out of hand and he’s playing loosely with his marriage and career.
Protect yourself and this man by ending all communication.
My mom’s a middle child stuck in perpetual arguments with her siblings.
Her personality’s strong, intense, but this sometimes appears "aggressive," particularly when backed into a corner where she'll react quickly and stronger than others.
It’s long created tension between her and her siblings, and her mother. Now, there’s added tension for us, her daughters, as we’re subject to her frequent complaints about others.
The family arguments are never resolved. We just start meeting again for birthdays, holidays, etc. and pretend nothing happened.
But soon, a new reason arises for anger and frustration towards her family.
My aunts and grandma provoke and "gang up" on her. None will walk away from a fight. This isn’t in our culture.
My mother’s become increasingly bitter, angry, and sad. I see the signs of depression, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder in her.
She needs to heal herself. But she believes in the stigma associated with mental health treatment.
We’re loyal to her but sick of this.
We now see our cousins and aunts less and less. One day we may not see them at all.
How can we convince Mom that seeing a therapist can help her deal with a difficult childhood and difficult family members? Would this even help?
Can daughters change the decades-long behaviour of their mother? Unlikely.
BUT, good, professional therapy can help anyone who’s willing to change.
You and your sisters must back out of this dysfunctional, hurtful drama.
Stop listening altogether, change the topic, walk away. But maintain your own relationship with your cousins.
Tell (and show) your mother that your generation is throwing away the old pattern. She can squabble forever… Or, she can make the years ahead easier and happier for herself.
Find the right therapist, go with her to the appointment. Say it’s for YOUR mental health if necessary, and let her hear how all this has affected her own daughters.
Even if she doesn’t accept treatment, she’ll know why her children won’t be part of this scene anymore.
FEEDBACK Regarding how to move on from repeated loss of relationships (Feb. 6):
Reader – “This isn’t the time to become involved with another love It’s time to strengthen your own self-esteem.
| “Get involved in community group activities, whether group sports,joining a painting group, choir, faith group, etc.
“Do not focus on meeting another love. Instead, be of
help and assistance to others who are less fortunate than you.
“Keep busy with independent activities such as working out, going for a
walk, reading. Focus on becoming healthier.
“Make a list of long-term and short-term goals that focus solely on
yourself, without the involvement of a romantic interest.
“Do the things you’ve always wanted to do on your own, eat the meals
you wanted to eat for yourself without having to cook, clean, and see to another’s
Ellie – Most important in this advice: Do NOT repeat the patter of relying on someone else to make you happy.
Tip of the day:
A crush on a teacher can be innocent, OR become risky to you both.