My parents are farmers; I’ve been their “hired man” all my life – but I don’t own any land or investment in the farm. I’m 32 and not married.
Problems: 1) I’m wanting to find a wife and start a family; 2) I’m wanting to leave the farm and start a career in a more urban area; 3) I’m not getting along with my father/boss.
My friends are married with no time for me so I don't visit with others much; I live in a small town (300 people) with no single women around my age. I’ve tried long distance relationships, but I get very lonely and they usually end badly.
I’m losing interest in farming. I’m not very social and blame this partly on the seclusion I feel in this work.Moreover, my father and I have a love-hate relationship. We’ve argued and fought throughout my life. We sometimes don’t speak for days.
The past couple of years he’s escalated his bitterness towards me and will blow up at me for nothing. He refuses to talk to me about it.
Working for parents on the farm is a long family heritage that causes me huge guilt when I think about leaving. If I leave, some of the work won’t get done. But my father is too stubborn to downsize. And I don’t think other hired help would last long around him.
So for years, I’ve stayed and put up with the loneliness and tension. Now, I’m considering leaving for the winter and going to the city to try working a different career, and/or going to university, and socializing with new people, even though it’s not the easiest time to find employment.
My mother wants me to do what I want, but she doesn't understand the guilt I feel.
- Seeking Guidance
Your mother’s concerned with your long-term well being and so should you be. You’ve given years to helping out – there’s no guilt at this stage in seeking your own life … only regrets and increasing resentment.
Your father reflects his own frustration – he’s not managed to either grow the farm and its needs effectively, or downsize it, or align with other farmers in a co-operative venture, etc.
But by blaming you for all, he’s failed even more, by not encouraging an outside life for you that could’ve kept you happier and more interested in being his partner, not just his lackey.
Go for education. You might find studies in engineering, agriculture, conservation, or food issues not only interesting but easily grasped due to your farming background, and useful for ideas to bring back home.
Even if your father resists any change, you’ll have acquired marketable skills. Meanwhile, university provides opportunities to meet like-minded men and women for socializing and relationships.
I’m married and don’t make friends easily. Recently, I’d befriended a gay female colleague; my wife’s jealous because my friend’s thin, perky and fun … unlike my wife.
She’s insisted I drop my friend because the situation embarrasses her. I agreed and now I’m very angry. I’m left with no friend and the same overweight, grumpy wife. I want to insist that she lose 50 lbs and become 50% more fun as her part of the bargain.
- Fair Deal?
Revengeful anger doesn’t create “fairness.” Your obvious (and unkind) comparisons – whether expressed or implied – hurt your wife.
Your disapproval only contributes to her grumpiness. You should’ve included her, in a positive way. She’s not responsible for finding you friends … but you ARE responsible for showing her respect.
I'm a student, 20, who’s met an amazing guy online in a chat room, 18 months ago. He lives thousands of miles away. I’ve fallen in love, though we've never met; I’m visiting him next summer. He says he loves me too.
Recently, he said he's considering dating another girl whom he likes. Why would he? Is expecting him to wait for me too much? Am I being led on? I'm afraid he'll stop loving me and forget about me if he has a girlfriend, and I'm not ready to let go.
If you could read his lips, you’d get it – he HAS let go. That was his message … he wants to have a girlfriend he can hold onto.
That’s also the reality of online dating over long periods. You’re lucky to discover ahead that this guy needs his physical connection - annual summer visits just won’t do it, for him.
Tip of the day:
Guilt is a wasted emotion, once you’ve tried your best.