Amy 2-7

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“Derecho”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

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#1
Feb 7, 2013
 
DEAR AMY: I am a young professional, and I am having a difficult time balancing my long-term romantic relationship and the close relationship I have with my family.

Both relationships demand a lot of time, and planning a weekend gives me a headache because everyone feels entitled to my time!

I try to arrange my weekends so no one feels excluded, but I ultimately feel guilty no matter what I do. At least one of these relationships will certainly suffer (if it hasn't already). How should I handle this without really hurting someone?-- Weekend Woes

DEAR WOES: This issue will revisit you throughout your life, especially if you choose to have children, creating more relationships that you must manage. The primary relationship is the one you have with yourself, and until you value your lifelong friendship with yours truly, you will never be able to balance the ancillary relationships in your life.

So put yourself first. You will have to train yourself to value your own time, and then you'll have to retrain everyone in your life to respect your choices.

You will need to learn to say a firm, friendly and confident "no thank you" to time demands that you can't (or don't want to) fulfill. If you are respectful and consistent, you won't be hurting anyone; if you continue to turn yourself inside out to please and accommodate everyone else in your life, you will hurt yourself.

DEAR AMY: I have been in a serious relationship with my girlfriend for over a year now. Our relationship has been very strong because we seem so good for each other.

My girlfriend revealed that several months ago, she had a conversation with an ex. It was not sexual, but he was a big part of her life for a long time, and she felt the need to have a conversation with him regarding her feelings.

I don't like that she waited several months to reveal this. I had made it clear that I wish to know about any dealings with him, and she lied to me for months through omission.

Since the time she came clean, I have lost some trust. I looked through her phone several times to see if they have been continuing their conversations. She occasionally looks through my phone too, and I don't have a problem with that because I have nothing to hide.

I saw there was a text conversation between them recently. It was platonic but she hadn't mentioned it to me. I now realize she feels my looking through her phone is a violation of privacy (even though she looks at mine). I respect this and won't do it again.

There is now an underlying resentment on both sides. I would hate to see what is an otherwise wonderful relationship be ruined because of this. How can I help resolve this in a healthy way?-- Insecure

DEAR INSECURE: Honesty, disclosure and transparency are important, but you need to decide: Is any contact with this ex a deal breaker, even if you know your girlfriend is not reviving a relationship with him? If so, you better make it crystal clear to her.

And if the relationship is over, then how many conversations must they have before they run out of things to say to each other? She needs to disclose her intentions.

You must then do a very challenging thing: Choose to trust. Tell your girlfriend, "It's obvious that your contact with him hurts me. I'd like you to keep that in mind." After that, stay out of each other's phones. With no evidence of cheating, this surveillance seems more like a trigger than a cure.

DEAR AMY: Your answer to "Divorced Dad" was off base. Dad did not give up his obligations to his children just because he divorced their mom. When "grandma" dies, he should be available to emotionally support his kids. Everyone is "uncomfortable" at a funeral, so it is not a reason to skip the event.-- Son of a Divorced Dad

DEAR SON: I appreciate your perspective -- and correction. Thank you.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#2
Feb 7, 2013
 

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LW1: "Both relationships demand a lot of time, "
The fact that your family "demands" a lot of your time is odd to me. Regardless, your need to cater to their "demands" is silly. Spend time with who you want, when you want. What if you don't wantto spend time with anyone? What if you wanto to sit on the couch and watch movies all weekend long. That's YOUR business and no one else's. Cur the apron strings.

(Part of me wonders if this is all in her head to make herself feel special and in high demand)

LW2: You sound really insecure. Has she ever cheated on you? Why are you so worried about knowing about every conversation. Does she need to record them? Give you a transcript? You would annoy the shit out of me.
"she lied to me for months through omission."
Fluck you. She did not lie to you.

LW3: Stupid, his children were adults. Should dad attend every funeral they go to? Perhaps a friend of theirs that dad never met died. Or a close co-worker. Does dad need to go with them and hold their hand thru every death they experience in life?

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

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#3
Feb 7, 2013
 

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Well, Tonka has his grumpy going on!

1 It was never mentioned that the lw needed time for herself, only that her family and bf pull her is different directions. Personally I think she needs to decide what her priorities are and communicate that.

2 Whateva! Teen drama, I hope she does the entire soccer team and sends you the video and you are scarred for life.

3 I disagree with Tonka. Being their for the funeral of your kids family is different that attending the funeral of a friend or coworker. When your friend dies, it is the friends Family that pulls together, just as this family should when their grandma passes.

“Derecho”

Since: May 09

United States

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#4
Feb 7, 2013
 
Mister Tonka wrote:
LW1: "Both relationships demand a lot of time, "
The fact that your family "demands" a lot of your time is odd to me. Regardless, your need to cater to their "demands" is silly. Spend time with who you want, when you want. What if you don't wantto spend time with anyone? What if you wanto to sit on the couch and watch movies all weekend long. That's YOUR business and no one else's. Cur the apron strings.
(Part of me wonders if this is all in her head to make herself feel special and in high demand)
LW2: You sound really insecure. Has she ever cheated on you? Why are you so worried about knowing about every conversation. Does she need to record them? Give you a transcript? You would annoy the shit out of me.
"she lied to me for months through omission."
Fluck you. She did not lie to you.
LW3: Stupid, his children were adults. Should dad attend every funeral they go to? Perhaps a friend of theirs that dad never met died. Or a close co-worker. Does dad need to go with them and hold their hand thru every death they experience in life?
I'm with you on 1, but for 2, it wouldn't bother you one bit if your wife was communicating with her ex and wasn't telling you about it?

And for 3, who's saying he should be at "every" funeral? Going to his former MIL's funeral to help support his children is a far cry from going to his daughter's cousin's friend's co-worker's third cousin once removed former room mate's funeral.

Since: Jan 10

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#5
Feb 7, 2013
 

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L1; I think Amy's advice is the beginning of good advice, but I wish this woman had written to CH, whom I think would have dug a bit deeper in the advice.

L2: I think you both sound insecure, immature, and on the verge of controlling. If that's what you think is "good for each other," then mazel tov.

L3: I don't think "divorced dad"'s *ADULT* children need a second parent for emotional support when an elderly relative dies. IT's called life. They'll deal with it, just like the rest of us do. They'll have their other parent at any rate.

Since: Jan 10

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#6
Feb 7, 2013
 
L1: I think she sounds like a young person, early to mid 20s, college graduate, and she's from a tight-knit family. She needs to carve out her own identity, separate from being daughter/sister/auntie/grandda ughter, and her family isn't used to this new person who suddenly has other priorities (even if those priorities are just enjoying her new apartment and not having any obligations that weekend).

Since: Dec 07

DuPage County

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#7
Feb 7, 2013
 

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1. Draw some boundaries and insist that people honor them. At your age you should have already distanced yourself from your family's control over you and your time.

2. Any girl can cheat on you, nut how many bring you lasagna at work?

3. The only thing that overrides a divorce is your role in your childrens' lives. Eff the former inlaws, they are no longer your problem.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#8
Feb 7, 2013
 

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RACE wrote:
Well, Tonka has his grumpy going on!
I do? OK.
RACE wrote:
1 It was never mentioned that the lw needed time for herself, only that her family and bf pull her is different directions.
It was never mentioned but what was was that she has to walk this delicate line of splitting up her free time between her BF and her family. I did not get the picture that there is room for anything else in her weekend other than family or BF. That seems way out of wack to me. Is it a power struggle between the 2 parties to see who is more important to her? If she takes a weekend to veg, would she get just as much grief from her family as if she spent the weekend with her bf? Vice versa? Either way, I think its unhealthy. No one has any right to your time.
RACE wrote:
I disagree with Tonka. Being their for the funeral of your kids family is different that attending the funeral of a friend or coworker. When your friend dies, it is the friends Family that pulls together, just as this family should when their grandma passes.
But dad is not part of THAT family. And if I recall correctly, he was not liked by that family.

If your kid was married and had a good relationship with her in laws, and the mother in law passed, would you feel a need to travel across country to attend that funeral? I wouldn't, but I think I would feel more compelled to attend that one than for my ex-in law where I don't get along with the family. There will be plenty of other family members to commiserate with his kids. And honestly, I can't imagine being a grown ass adult and needing my parents to accompany me to a funeral where no one liked him.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#9
Feb 7, 2013
 
edogxxx wrote:
I'm with you on 1, but for 2, it wouldn't bother you one bit if your wife was communicating with her ex and wasn't telling you about it?
Nope. Certainly not for the small amount of communication that this LW reported. It would be different if I was having marital problems or did not trust my wife, but neither of those is the case.

Would you have a problem with your wife talking to ANY men without reporting back to you every time? Or just ex's? Who do you think poses a greater threat to the santity of your relationship? Someone she broke up with(for a reason), or someone new? I think its someone new, but I'm not going to be suspicious of every man my wife talks to. I'm not going to expect her to report back to me every time she talks to a man. There has to be more to it than that for me to become suspicious.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

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#10
Feb 7, 2013
 

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Tonka,
I guess I just see things differently than you. Maybe you would not feel the need to attend, but if asked, I would attend, both to provide support for my child and to show that despite the relationship, I can still do this act. Heck, I might even get off on pizzing other peeps off by showing up.

My take on family and what you do for them is simply different than yours. And I dont think it means that I raised an emotional cripple if my child asked me to go to her grandmothers funeral. A cousin of hers maybe, but not immediate family.

“Derecho”

Since: May 09

United States

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#11
Feb 7, 2013
 
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>
Nope. Certainly not for the small amount of communication that this LW reported. It would be different if I was having marital problems or did not trust my wife, but neither of those is the case.
Would you have a problem with your wife talking to ANY men without reporting back to you every time? Or just ex's? Who do you think poses a greater threat to the santity of your relationship? Someone she broke up with(for a reason), or someone new? I think its someone new, but I'm not going to be suspicious of every man my wife talks to. I'm not going to expect her to report back to me every time she talks to a man. There has to be more to it than that for me to become suspicious.
I make a distinction between "reporting back every time" and absolute secrecy. I'm not suggesting you should be suspicious of "every man she talks to" (what is it with your absolutes?) If my wife or gf was talking and texting her ex on several occassions and hiding it from me, that is a cause for concern.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

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#12
Feb 7, 2013
 
LW1: You're going to have to get used to disappointing a few people if you don't want to go bat sh!t crazy. You have the opportunity now to make this a nice experience where no bridges are burned. If you wait until you're at your wit's end, you will permanently piss someone off.

LW2: Stupid phone crap.

LW3: Bleck. Funeral rehash.
Sam I Am

Huntingdon, TN

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#13
Feb 7, 2013
 

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1. I think someone is feeling a little self-important.

2. You can quit being a dick. Looking through each other's phones? Is that really how you want to go through life? Do your gf a favor and tell her to run.

3.

Since: Mar 09

United States

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#14
Feb 7, 2013
 

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L1: Whaaa! Everyone loves me so much, I don't know what to do about it.

L2: I'm taking everyone's advice and taking a break from talking to Jasper. My friend M attempted to validate this by saying "how would it feel to his new girlfriend that he talks to his ex all the time?" My response was "I don't give a shit what she thinks." Eh... I got M's point though.

L3: I don't want a funeral at all if it causes all these problems.

“Derecho”

Since: May 09

United States

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#15
Feb 7, 2013
 
Sam I Am wrote:
Do your gf a favor and tell her to run.
Why should he tell HER to run? She's the one keeping secrets from HIM. How is HE the jerk?

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#16
Feb 7, 2013
 
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
I make a distinction between "reporting back every time" and absolute secrecy. I'm not suggesting you should be suspicious of "every man she talks to" (what is it with your absolutes?) If my wife or gf was talking and texting her ex on several occassions and hiding it from me, that is a cause for concern.
What is it with you an characterizing it as "hiding" it? If you do not expect her to report back very time, then why do you regard it as a secret if she does not tell you? She does not tell you every time she calls her mother. Is she keeping it a secret? Again, the degree of contact is relevant. This LW described a very small amount of contact. So little, that, to me, its meaningless. Unless of course you don't trust her.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#17
Feb 7, 2013
 
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
Why should he tell HER to run? She's the one keeping secrets from HIM. How is HE the jerk?
Dude, he said she had ONE conversation withthe ex several months ago and it was not sexual. Then he said he found ONE text conversation between them that was platonic. You say she should not have to report back to him every time, but you call TWO conversations a secret?

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

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#18
Feb 7, 2013
 
L1: This smacks of immaturity and lack of self-confidence and throw in a bit of overbearing family. This person needs to learn what she wants not what everyone else wants.

L2: I'm suspicious of how he wrote about all of this. The fact that she told him says she's not hiding it. He probably went off the deep end so who's going to bring THAT subject up again. If she wants to stay friends with the ex why doesn't he ask to meet him over dinner or drinks sometime?

L3: Why would you go to a funeral where you would cause trouble? You're not helping anyone then.
Kuuipo

Salinas, CA

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#19
Feb 7, 2013
 
LW1: You need a vacation.

LW2: My ex and I text occasionally, once every couple of months or so. He's a friend and no threat to my current bf or his new gf. You sound very insecure. Don't create unnecessary drama.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#20
Feb 7, 2013
 
RACE wrote:
Tonka,
I guess I just see things differently than you. Maybe you would not feel the need to attend, but if asked, I would attend, both to provide support for my child and to show that despite the relationship, I can still do this act. Heck, I might even get off on pizzing other peeps off by showing up.
My take on family and what you do for them is simply different than yours. And I dont think it means that I raised an emotional cripple if my child asked me to go to her grandmothers funeral. A cousin of hers maybe, but not immediate family.
By the way, in the original letter, grandma was not even dead. No kids asked him to go. He was just expecting her to die soon cause she was so old and wondering if he had an obligation to go, at great expense cause he lived so far away.

Personally, I can't imagine asking my dad to accompany me in a scenario like this. You disagree. But what if you were not even asked? Would you feel an obligation even if your daughter did not ask nor expect you to come?

My personal experience with death:
-maternal grandfather died. Mom went to funeral and took us kids. Dad did not go. Overseas trip
-paternal grandfather died. Dad went. Mom did not go. Nor did I. Overseas trip
-maternal grandmother died. Mom went to funeral. Dad did not go. Nor did I. Overseas trip
-mom's Aunt died. We all went to funeral. Was in Miami. 4 hour drive for me.
-mom's cousin's husband died. We all went to funeral. Was in Miami. 4 hour drive for me.

So I guess the cost plays a big role in my decision on whether or not to attend. I don't feel this guy has any obligation to go thru great expense to attend a funeral for a person that did not really even consider him family anyway(nor did he consider her family)

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