Dear Readers - Why are “Feedbacks” important to this column?
Empathy. That is a word with very strong meaning for our times, both in the pandemic and in politics, because it matters that we understand the lived experience and related concerns of others.
Empathy also applies to relationship advice.
People write me, anonymously, about their deeply-felt issues with partners, parents, children or within themselves.
You, the readers, add your similar experiences, your solutions that worked, and yes, sometimes, opposing views to mine.
None of us can converse directly with the letter-writer. However, through your experiences, you present added ways of dealing with an issue, what worked and what didn’t.
I’m as grateful as the letter-writer for the added information.
FEEDBACK #1 Regarding the husband whose eight female colleagues are regularly contacting him, including a young woman who wants to get pregnant by someone like him (Aug 21):
Reader – “Any husband with eight “regulars” is fishing for female attention. Sharing that information with his wife is keeping her under constant stress.
“He’s not uncomfortable, he is playing a game to support his ego. If he were uncomfortable, he would have told those women to back off months ago.
“Instead, he would be talking to his wife, his kids and male friends, too. He’s wasting her life, time and energy making this her responsibility.
“A “lunch” with these women would just afford him the opportunity to sit back and watch the entertainment as the younger woman vies for his attention and the “baby daddy disturber-seeker” competes with the wife. It would just go to the next level.
“It’s up to the husband to make it clear and stop inviting the conversations by engaging. This guy is a charmer looking for validation, and a player.
“Next thing he'll be apologizing for going too far to “help” one of these women. Shut it down and don't play the game.
“She needs to go overboard on admiring him, telling him how awesome he is. He needs validation and then validate herself and know how perfect she is.”
FEEDBACK #2 Regarding the young man who loves his girlfriend, but is being pressured to accept living free in the same house as her parents and her extended family or else lose her (Aug 20):
Reader – “As one who had the same experience that you are going through at the moment, here is my advice.
“To the male: Run away, run don’t walk!
“If you move into their house you will be required to hand over your work pay without objection.
“You will also have to live by the family’s rules and obey the orders of the patriarch without dissent.
“Your life will not be yours and your spouse will also expect you to live under the family rules.
“Run away, fast and quick!”
Ellie - This is a prime example of how a stranger’s empathy moved him to share his personal experience to help a young man be aware of all that may be at stake.
That young man wanted to be able to buy a home to start married life. But his girlfriend’s father had laughed at that idea and she had cried that it was “everyone” living together or no marriage.
While the accuracy of the strong predictions in this Feedback are unknown, it certainly stresses the need for learning more about the family plan.
I suggested that he take a break from the situation while he thinks all of the implications through.
FEEDBACK #3 Regarding the woman urged by her father overseas to send money to help her brother whose always in trouble (Aug 22):
Reader – “Disagree. Nobody should be buying an apartment for someone else if it’s “not expensive but a lot for her.”
“This could jeopardize her financial future when she’s attempting to recoup COVID losses and presumably not so many years from retirement.
“She must take care of herself, now and later, to not become a burden to others, e.g. her daughter. Nor is it a good idea to make major financial decisions from a sense of guilt that others are imposing.
“She should offer three to six months rent to help her brother get back on his feet.
“He’s apparently had a sense of entitlement all his life. But his sister doesn’t have to buy into the idea that he somehow has a right to own a property.”
Tip of the day:
Sharing your personal experiences on related issues with letter writer’s seeking advice makes this column a richer conversation.