I’m 25 and in a loving relationship with my boyfriend of two years. My father is old-fashioned and strict, so it’s been a struggle to convince him to let us move in together. We’ve just found a great place and I’m so excited to start this new chapter together.
Yes, I think he’s the guy I’m going to marry, and not long from now. That’s why I was interested in taking this next step. And I’m grateful to my stepmother for pushing my dad into this century.
The problem is my biological mom. She and my dad had a terrible marriage and subsequently divorced. They can be in the same room together, for me and my sister, when necessary, but they’re not friends. My mom keeps asking me why I want to get married. She goes on how marriage is so much work, and you can never please your partner no matter what.
My boyfriend’s heard her rant and he’s very supportive, but I need her to stop. I understand where she’s coming from, but her life isn’t mine. How can I speak to her without being disrespectful?
I’m hoping you’re not damaged by your mom’s point of view. It’s imperative that you know in your gut that her life is her life and she is just projecting on to you. It’s sad that your parents’ marriage was such a failure, in their opinion, but you and your sister are the products of it, so there’s a positive outcome.
Tell your mom that you appreciate how hard marriage was for her, and you’re sorry for her, adult to adult, that she had that life experience. But remind her of your existence (ha ha) and tell her that you have learned from her experience.
You obviously can’t guarantee that your marriage will last the test of time, but you love this man and you want to go that route. Tell her that that you’d really like her to support you, or - at the very least - keep her negative thoughts to herself.
Two years ago, my wife and I agreed to get a puppy for the family. The kids had been pressuring us for a while and we felt they were finally old enough to lend a helping hand. I was the least interested. I leave for work before anyone else is awake, and return just before dinner. I like to be hands-on with the kids until they go to bed, and then I usually exercise or relax.
I didn’t want the added responsibility. But my wife assured me that she would pick up the slack that the kids couldn’t handle or do as she works from home.
At first, the kids were really into the puppy and very helpful. They fought over who would walk her, cuddle her, brush her, etc. And my wife was true to her word and did whatever the kids couldn’t. My involvement was minimal, though the puppy fell in love with me and could often be found at my feet.
Now, two years later, the kids are “over it” and my wife has stopped being that involved or caring. The dog’s care has fallen in my lap.
I’m not sure what your question is, but you don’t sound unhappy about your new role. I understand it wasn’t part of the plan, but life changes and evolves. Figure out how to look after this puppy, enlist your family’s help, or the puppy will need to be rehomed for her health and wellness. And I don’t think anyone wants that.
FEEDBACK Regarding the university student’s money-making job (April 26):
Reader – “If the letter writer is having second thoughts about telling her parents about her job, that's a big red flag.
“She’s only considering the money she is getting paid right now, but what will she say at her first postgraduate interview?
“I remember when I was in my last year of high school, in the mid '60s, the guidance counsellor advised me that I should look for jobs that would advance my resume, i.e., jobs that would use my new knowledge, and to use the career center at the university.
“I remember her wise words: "Your days of working as a sales girl, waitress, or a commission worker are done." Thus, after finishing university, I would have something on my resume that would show future employers that I was conscious of my studies, my work experience, all for a future career in that field.”