On special occasions, my boyfriend of 3 ½ years and I usually buy each other expensive gifts, kept as a surprise until opened. I absolutely love jewellery and though we don't tell the other what we’d like, I’ve hinted I’d love a necklace, earrings or a ring.
I’m very independent and buy myself whatever my heart desires. However, it's different when it comes as a gift from your significant other. He's in school and working part-time so I don't expect extravagant or expensive jewellery.
I’ve only received one necklace from him in all this and it was costume jewellery. I’m not materialistic, but feel that I’m missing out. Am I wrong?
You’re values are confused: You send mixed messages, but what comes out loud and clear is that you ARE materialistic. I’d say it’s lucky that you haven’t pushed this hard-working guy away, so far.
What are you REALLY saying? A surprise gift has no meaning for you unless it’s jewellery; you say “nothing expensive” yet turn your nose up at affordable costume jewellery.
Go buy yourself whatever bling you want and can afford yourself. If you continue to measure your boyfriend by the extras he cannot provide, you may end up always feeling you’re “missing out,” unless you get realistic, instead of materialistic.
I’m 49, he’s 30; two years ago we were happily married, until my sponsorship for him to move here from Europe was denied and he's not even allowed to visit me. We’ve only been able to see each other once a year for 2 weeks on my vacation.
He’s decided we should divorce, since we can't be together unless I move there. I don't want to move, as I’d have a lot to lose. But the divorce decision was so sudden, I’m thinking maybe he has somebody else and isn’t telling me.
I do love him but it's like circumstances are against us. We don't see how this marriage can survive. Should I just let it go and move on with my life? Do you see a career move for me (which I’m thinking of doing)? Will there be someone out there for me so I’ll happy again?
- Hurt and Confused
You both took a risk by counting on immigration officials to make your marriage work, rather than on having a “Plan B” if that didn’t happen.
The crucial question is whether it’s your love and desire to live together that matters most, or his need to move to where you live.
Lots of people make sacrifices for love. This time, it’s up to you. But if you prefer to blame “circumstances” because you’re unwilling to even try moving to him, then go for the divorce as “Plan C.”
My mother worked steadily over 10 years but was laid off 11 months ago. I don’t think she’s doing much to find another job. I don't know if she’s depressed.
My father’s hard working and can’t save enough for their retirement on his own. It’s tremendously unfair to him, but he doesn’t stand up for himself. She does little during her days, but has already gone on a vacation to Europe. How do I help?
This is your parents’ issue to work out, not yours. Mom’s inaction may indeed be affected by depression and her trip may’ve been part of her trying to feel better.
The best help you can give is to be co-operative at home, encouraging about Mom’s abilities, supportive to Dad and not judgmental.
My half-sister and I always had a hard time maintaining a good relationship. I’ve been disappointed many times by her insensitive, harsh comments to me, often unwarranted.
We’ve communicated about getting over this, but it doesn’t happen. How can we have a relationship at a distance and still be happy together at family functions? I’d love that sisterly bond, but I keep getting hurt.
Your relationship likely reflects complex stuff from the past … the fact of being half-sisters, the situation that existed growing up, etc. None of that can be changed now.
BUT you can change your reactions. Try a conversation with her in that you acknowledge that you’re BOTH dealing from old scripts, perhaps each reflecting a different parent, rather than relating as individuals.
Then, try to rise above her comments, respond gently, or change the topic. If nothing works, know what to expect when you see her and don’t overreact.
Tip of the day:
Mixed messages about what you want from someone rarely brings satisfying results.