I’m 25, an only child, always very close to my parents. I no longer live at home but we talk and see each other often. Recently, I logged on to my father's email without knowing why.
Unfortunately, I found several emails he’d sent contacting male masseurs for an "erotic massage."
My parents have been married for 30 years and I guess they’ve become each other’s really good friends now. They don't fight, but they sleep in different bedrooms and aren't very affectionate. I love them both, and I don't really know what to do.
This situation has become so overwhelming. I can't stop looking at my dad's email and trying to track where he is and what he's doing. I believe that last week I found a text that suggested he actually went through with this massage.
I don't think I want to say anything to him because a) I was snooping b) my mom may know 3) he may not do it again.
Struggling in New York
Do nothing, other than sort this out in your mind. Otherwise, it’s your parents’ business and none of yours. Since they sleep apart, they long ago came to an accommodation regarding their personal needs.
Meanwhile, they both love you as much as ever, and as much as you love them, having stayed together in friendship to raise you together. You had a normal happy childhood and great relationship with both, because of the decisions they made. And those decisions should be respected.
Maybe you sensed something and it drew you to his email account. Do NOT snoop again. I repeat: it’s none of your business.
Dear Readers – So many of you responded to the woman’s problem of an aging parent neglecting hygiene (August 31) that here are two readers’ experiences for those who need ideas:
Reader #1 – “I got great help from the local government agency committed to helping seniors remain in their home as long as possible.
“They informed me about home help agencies who send personal support workers (PSW’s) to do light housekeeping, meal preparation, bathing and any hygiene assistance needed.
“They informed me about the local Adult Day Program which my mother attends three days weekly.
“Hairdressers in the community do house calls and charge a nominal fee. A “foot care” lady visits every six weeks. I co-ordinate all this, but it’s worth the effort. Mom doesn’t want to leave her home. Her case manager has deemed her eligible for several hours of care weekly, which helps reduce the cost of her overall care.
Reader #2 – “Several years ago, my sister and I tried to get our aging father to accept the services of a nurse's aid in helping him shower. It’d become difficult for him to step over the tub and stand in the shower by himself.
“His “spot-washing” became increasingly “spotty.” Our mother was too feeble to help him, and he was too shy to accept his daughters’ help.
“Finally, we just booked the aid worker. She arrived with such a "let's get this done" attitude that he got swept up in the flow of action.
“Afterwards, all spic and span, he said how good he felt, how refreshed, and how it really wasn't as bad as he thought. He never resisted future showers and the help of a female nurse's aid after that.
“In this case, we had to forget for a moment that he was our dad, and our authority figure in our youth, and just get it done.”
I’m a Grade 10 student and like this boy I’ve been really good friends with since Grade Six. But my friends don’t think I like boys because I’ve always been a tomboy.
I want to tell him how I feel, but I'm scared of rejection. I’m also scared of my friends making fun of me.
People have always made fun about us liking each other and I now actually have feelings for him.
Clear any confusion: As an adolescent, you were a tomboy. In your mid-teens, you’re feeling feminine. This is normal.
It’s also natural that the boy you like is already a close friend. That’s a wise basis for good relationships for all your dating years - look to someone you know and trust.
Friends’ opinions are less important than your feelings. Talk to this boy. He may have feelings, too, OR want to stay close friends. Either way, it’s NOT a rejection.
Tip of the day:
Parents’ private relationship is theirs to manage, not yours.