I’ve been dating a man for over a year, travelling to see or meet him every three weeks.
Who should be responsible for air expenses?
He pays for all other expenses and is financially capable. My girlfriends feel he should also pay for my travelling expenses.
I feel I’m contributing, but don’t want to be taken advantage of in any way.
If you discuss your financial arrangements with your girlfriends more openly than with your guy, this long-distance romance will land in trouble.
A one-year pattern is easy to track: Add up what you’ve spent, consider what he’s been spending on you, and see how the amounts balance.
If you feel you’re paying more than your share or what you can comfortably afford, say so - to him, not your opinionated pals.
My daughter (30) and her boyfriend (34) are getting married soon at a wedding we’re paying for.
Four years ago on vacation in Mexico, she met this local boy who worked in a nightclub. She moved there to be with him, much to our concern and objection. She’s getting along fine. Her fiancé is shy, and very respectful towards her mother and me.
Recently, prior to our taking them to their favourite restaurant (upscale), I noticed he was wearing a shirt with the "F word" emblazoned across the front. I told my daughter that I found the shirt disrespectful, not only to me but possibly to others. She replied that if she were to say anything she’d hurt his feelings, and that it’s part of the "club culture” and his job.
I felt that my values and morals were dismissed. I don’t care what they do when I’m not around. My wife doesn't think it’s a big deal and wants me to "keep the peace."
I’m concerned since my elderly parents will be at the wedding amongst others who may be offended if he wears this shirt. I care what everyone thinks about our daughter and us and who she’s marrying.
- Father Wants the Best
There’s more than a shirt’s message bothering you.
Your daughter knows your concern with appearances, and she’s not making it easy for you.
But it’s wrong for you to be left muzzled and uncomfortable, so I recommend you speak to her fiancé directly and explain, gently, that it’s about the “word,” and not about him. Say that its use as a swear-word offends you and your relatives, and you’d prefer he not wear it at wedding events.
Work on the bigger issue between you and your daughter – she’s chosen a more laid-back lifestyle in Mexico, for a reason. Try to show her your acceptance of her choices and recognition that she’s responsible for her own image.
But do ask her to show equal respect for your feelings on important family occasions.
I’m 28, married for three years and living together for 10, to a binge alcoholic. We have two children.
My husband doesn’t come home until 6 or 7 in the morning. He doesn't think there’s anything wrong with what he’s doing. He swears up and down that he’s not cheating, he just likes to party.
There have been a few times when I was ready to leave him, but he said that he'll stop this behaviour, and he wasn't going to drink as much any more. But it's hard when the people around him aren’t helping any.
I’m ready to end this marriage for good.
- Fed Up
I urge you to attend Al-Anon/Alateen meetings and get the support of people who understand your situation. It's an organization for family and friends of alcoholics (binge or otherwise, your husband is still an alcoholic). By sharing experiences, as well as ways to handle them, you'll gain confidence about what you want to plan and/or change for your future and that of your children.
Hopefully, you'll be able to take a firm stand, one that may even be a wake-up call for your husband.
He needs to make major changes in his life – including, not hanging out with the same crowd. But he's the one who must gather the will and determination to do that… you can't do it for him, you can only show him what you will NOT accept, and what you'll do if nothing changes.
• To find a local meeting of Al-Anon-Alateen in your area, see www.al-anon.alateen.org.
Tip of the day:
Relationship chat about who’s paying for what needs to happen between the couple, without gossipy input from outsiders.