I'm emerging from a catastrophic breakup that was devastating and infuriating.
I need to completely cut off contact from my ex.
I've removed from my home all of his things and gifts that he gave me.
However, I'm friends with his sister, brother-in-law, and two of his buddies on Facebook.
I want to un-friend them, but I also don't want them to hate me.
Can I un-friend these people or please explain to me why I shouldn't bother?
I just don't want him feeling connected to me on social media through them, as he often uses their computers.
A catastrophic breakup can certainly shake your world.
But the collateral damage to yourself and others goes easier with less drama and more self-confidence.
These people have done you no harm. If you un-friend them, it’s like a slap in their faces.
Hopefully, you already know how to control your input on social media, so you’ll stop yourself from posting nasty insults about your ex, or revealing all the breakup details on Facebook.
It can never reflect well on you to reveal these things.
Unless you have fears for your safety if your ex reads about your life without him, there’s no need to cut off these people.
Of course, IF they take a position against you on FB, that’s a different story.
You’ve got the guy out of your life. Now get him out of your head.
Have confidence in your decision to end it, and in your ability to move on.
My mother acts like a playmate, so my daughter, age five, expects her undivided attention when she's visiting.
My daughter pulls her away from the adults so that they can play undisturbed.
My mom’s enabling the behaviour and refuses to sit with the adults.
I end up feeling guilty.
Worse, my mom coddles her. Example: My daughter took a toy home from school. I worried that she didn't know this was wrong.
Mom said she's “only five” and defended the behaviour.
When I said that I'm having her take it back, my mom thought I was being hard on her.
She acts like we’re mean parents when we discipline our daughter with time outs.
She makes us second-guess our parenting methods and leaves us feeling guilty. She wants to be the fun grandma.
With her other grandparents, our daughter doesn't become clingy, whiney, or pull them around. Her behaviour’s very good.
We’ve explained to my mom gently that her granddaughter’s behaviour changes negatively when she’s around, but Mom just gets angry.
Frustrating “Fun Grandma”
A grandparent shouldn’t undermine parents in front of the child.
Otherwise, it’s a good thing for parents to periodically second-guess their own parenting methods, especially regarding discipline.
As example, time-outs are appropriate for some misbehaviours, but not for others.
That said, this is really about your relationship with your mother.
Especially since the child already demonstrates good behaviour when she’s with other adults.
But having a “fun grandma” is hard for her to resist.
Your mother’s ability to make you feel guilty is likely longstanding.
She pushes hard to be important in your daughter’s life, and you resist. The competition is affecting everyone.
Back off, but set limits. Arrange a set “playtime” for Grandma’s visit when other adults aren’t coming.
Allot an hour for play, then time for grown-up talk during a meal, or when your daughter’s encouraged to read, draw, or play on her own.
Also, call your mom sometimes, without discussing your child.
FEEDBACK Regarding coworkers or associates who have noticeable body odour, as per the obese man in a co-worker’s car (Oct 4 column and Oct 28 comment):
Reader - “My wife and I square dance a lot and sometimes a dancer may have this problem of body odour.
“My wife has found the perfect solution. Quietly, she approaches the individual and asks, "Has anybody mentioned to you that your deodorant is not working?"
“It is not offensive, and at least with the dancers, it usually takes care of the problem.
“This would avoid having to get HR personnel or a workplace manager involved – a step which could imply more serious negative things to the person being asked.”
Ellie – Any thoughtful and straightforward approach directly with the person is worth trying, in most cases where a person’s unpleasant body odour becomes a persistent problem in a social or workplace setting.
Tip of the day:
Don’t un-friend an ex’es innocent relatives/friends, except for strong reasons.