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1 - 14 of 14 Comments Last updated Jan 25, 2013

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

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#1
Jan 25, 2013
 
DEAR AMY: I am a 24-year-old man, and my weight has fluctuated greatly over the years. In the last year, I have gained a lot of weight due to bad habits. I understand my bad habits -- overeating, bad foods and lack of exercise are all contributing factors.

My father feels the need to offer advice and lecture me every time I visit home. I expect and brace myself for these hourlong repetitive tirades whenever I visit. He knows that I know about my weight and I am struggling to deal with it.

Over Christmas I got four lectures over a five-day period. I told him to back off and stop harassing me about this subject. He let it drop, but then right after New Year's he sent out an email to our family bringing it up again, in a public setting this time. My dad is relentless; he just won't stop.

I have tried explaining all this to him a number of times, and he understands but chooses to ignore what I say. Recently I got more direct and told him off very strongly, but that hasn't worked either.

The only option it seems is to cut him out of my life entirely, but that seems extreme. I know he cares for me, but it has gotten to the point that it is causing me to relapse into depression.

How should I deal with a loving family member who keeps harassing me about a sensitive issue?-- Michael

DEAR MICHAEL: You've given your father many opportunities to change his tactics, and he has responded by turning up the heat.

Emotions, such as anxiety and anger, have a lot to do with body image and overeating. The healthiest and most logical way to respond to your challenge is to avoid the triggers that cause you to feel worse -- and to orient yourself toward positive examples and reinforcement.

You needn't cut your father out of your life. You do need to avoid him -- and his regrettable behavior -- until your health is more stable. The armchair psychologist in me suspects there is a lively connection between your father's attitude toward you and your attitude toward yourself. I hope you can turn some of this anger into action.

Overeaters Anonymous uses a 12-step model and group meetings to address chronic eating addiction. Check oa.org to find a local meeting.

DEAR AMY: I would do anything to have a relationship with the children of my troubled son.

I am not proud of his actions regarding his ex-wife and children, and I make no excuses for him. But my husband and I are loving, caring people who have much to offer his family.

We have reached out only to have our letters and cards returned. We would be glad to comply with any restrictions his ex-wife felt necessary to impose.

We have no personal agenda other than to be there for our grandchildren. I implore all mothers in this situation to think long and hard about what their children are missing.-- Sad Grandma

DEAR SAD: I hope your loving and reasonable plea will be received by other families facing this sad challenge. If all adults could concentrate on putting the needs and rights of children first, then even broken families could be mended. I hope you will keep trying to change the dynamic with your grandchildren; don't overwhelm or pressure your former daughter-in-law, but please don't give up.

DEAR AMY: I loved the letter from "Across the Street," the snooty neighbors who didn't like their new neighbors' lawn ornaments.

My husband and I had neighbors next door with tacky lawn ornaments that we used to make fun of between ourselves. Then we actually got to know our neighbors, who turned out to be a wonderful older couple, and we really enjoyed their company.

Funny thing -- after that, their lawn ornaments didn't bother us anymore. Both of those wonderful people have passed on now, and we would give anything to have them and their tacky lawn ornaments back.-- Missing Them

DEAR MISSING: Beauty is in the eye -- and the attitude -- of the beholder.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

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#2
Jan 25, 2013
 

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1 Dont cut him out, but leave as soon as the lecture starts. Walk away for an hour. literally walk you porker, you will burn some calories and cool your jets. rinse repeat.

2 More to the story than being told here. Me thinks they were complicit in sons actions in the past when the wife needed help. As you sow, so shall you reap and all that.

3 A plant growing out of a toilet is tacky, no matter how nice they are.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#3
Jan 25, 2013
 

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LW1: "The only option it seems is to cut him out of my life entirely, but that seems extreme."

Extreme circumstances call for extreme measures.

It does not have to be a lifelong thing, but cut him out long enough for him to understand that you will no longer put up with his nonsense.

"How should I deal with a loving family member who keeps harassing me about a sensitive issue?"
Does not sound very loving.

"You needn't cut your father out of your life. You do need to avoid him"
And how the F would he do that, dummy? His father not only badgers him over the holidays, but now he's sending out mass emails too? The dude was at home minding his own business and still got shit from pops. Time to cut him out.

Set an email rule. An messages from pop get auto-returned with the message that if he has anything to say, he can tell it to mom and then mom can decide if its worth repeasting.

LW2: Sorry to say, but kids' mom probably hates your son so much that she wants every connection to him severed. That includes you. Would it be nice if she could let you in? Sure. But she owes you nothing and I really can't fault her for circling the wagons.

Since: Dec 07

DuPage County

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#4
Jan 25, 2013
 

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1 If your father is negatively affecting your mental well-being, advise him to cut it out for good or you'll cut him out of yur life for 6 months each time he pulls this, and stick to your word. He'll get it eventually.

2 Tough world but sometimes grandparents pay the price for their childrens' sins. He sounds like a piece of work, great job.

3 Crazy old people stuff, don't care.

Since: Aug 08

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#5
Jan 25, 2013
 

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LW1: Your father is a jerk. I would distance myself from him Ö and get on a treadmill, Tubby (J/K about the last part).
No, really, that is a toxic person.

LW2: What did you do to pi$s her off at you so bad?

LW3: Yeah, Iíll trade neighbors with those folks any day of the week.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

United States

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#6
Jan 25, 2013
 

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1- Well, I suppose you could cut your father out of your life... or... START DIETING!!!

2- Um... why have they cut you out of their lives, exactly...?

Since: Jul 10

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#7
Jan 25, 2013
 

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RACE wrote:
1 Dont cut him out, but leave as soon as the lecture starts.
This is the tactic I had to take with my mom. She wasn't thrilled when I first enlisted, but she was OK with it. At about the 8 year mark of my career, though, she decided it was time for me to get out and get a "real" job. Every conversation was simply a lecture, and I got real tired of it real fast. I went to see them on leave during that time - was supposed to be there for a week, and I didn't even make it an hour. I had told her before I got there that the subject was off limits, but she ignored me. I got to the house and took one suitcase to my old room, then came back down, got a cup of coffee and sat down with her at the table. I think we had about 10 minutes of other conversation when she started in. I said "hold that thought...", walked out the back door, got in my car (with my other suitcase) and drove an hour away to a friend's place. I came back a couple days later, and didn't even mention it, but the rest of the visit was fine. Had I stayed in the first place, the lecture would never have ended. She took arguing as agreement that it was her decision to make, and just walking out was really my only option left on how to deal with her. LW may have to do the same thing - not cut dad out of his life completely, but let him know that if necessary, he will go to that extreme.
Sam I Am

Cedar Grove, TN

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#8
Jan 25, 2013
 

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1. Cut him out. Sometimes you have to speak the only language someone understands.

2. I am guessing that, in the eyes of the ex, you are guilty by association. Nothing is going to change that but time.

3. Gag.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

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#9
Jan 25, 2013
 
LW1: "My dad is relentless; he just won't stop."
Um, that's what relentless usually means. <eyeroll>

Follow others' advice about leaving when he starts in on his rant.

LW2: She doesn't want anything to do with you because *you* raised this a$$hole. You'll have to live with that until the kids are adults. Maybe they'll reach out to you...

LW3: Huh, imagine that. Being neighborly in this day and age...

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

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#10
Jan 25, 2013
 
L1: I'd get up and leave, not answer the phone, auto-return emails until the father stops that crap. It is an effective way. I wouldn't cut him out completely like others said. Just get up and leave when he starts in.

As for emailing outsiders, believe me he's making more of a fool of himself than you, although that must be difficult to emotionally feel that.

L2: I'm with squishy on this one.(I guess on L1 as well.)

L3: Great. Good for you.
EJG

Manchester, CT

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#11
Jan 25, 2013
 

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Sgt__Smith wrote:
<quoted text>
This is the tactic I had to take with my mom. She wasn't thrilled when I first enlisted, but she was OK with it. At about the 8 year mark of my career, though, she decided it was time for me to get out and get a "real" job. Every conversation was simply a lecture, and I got real tired of it real fast. I went to see them on leave during that time - was supposed to be there for a week, and I didn't even make it an hour. I had told her before I got there that the subject was off limits, but she ignored me. I got to the house and took one suitcase to my old room, then came back down, got a cup of coffee and sat down with her at the table. I think we had about 10 minutes of other conversation when she started in. I said "hold that thought...", walked out the back door, got in my car (with my other suitcase) and drove an hour away to a friend's place. I came back a couple days later, and didn't even mention it, but the rest of the visit was fine. Had I stayed in the first place, the lecture would never have ended. She took arguing as agreement that it was her decision to make, and just walking out was really my only option left on how to deal with her. LW may have to do the same thing - not cut dad out of his life completely, but let him know that if necessary, he will go to that extreme.
I have to say that I am floored by your mother's idea that you did not have a "real job" when you enlisted in the Armed Forces.

Since: Mar 09

Miami, FL

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#12
Jan 25, 2013
 
EJG wrote:
<quoted text>
I have to say that I am floored by your mother's idea that you did not have a "real job" when you enlisted in the Armed Forces.
I know, right? It doesn't get any more real than that.
not a ghost

San Antonio, TX

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#13
Jan 25, 2013
 
Sgt__Smith wrote:
<quoted text>
This is the tactic I had to take with my mom. She wasn't thrilled when I first enlisted, but she was OK with it. At about the 8 year mark of my career, though, she decided it was time for me to get out and get a "real" job. She took arguing as agreement that it was her decision to make, and just walking out was really my only option left on how to deal with her. LW may have to do the same thing - not cut dad out of his life completely, but let him know that if necessary, he will go to that extreme.
Well, i'm thankful for you (and all others in the Armed Forces who are defending our country).

Since: Jul 10

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#14
Jan 25, 2013
 

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EJG wrote:
<quoted text>
I have to say that I am floored by your mother's idea that you did not have a "real job" when you enlisted in the Armed Forces.
Thank you.
She actually had a lot of respect for the military. She just didn't think it was where I belong. Not only did she have a different career in mind for me, I think it really bothered her that I enjoyed, no, LOVED what I was doing and had strong friendships with my coworkers (nearly all were men at that point). Pretty sure she thought could only be true if I was sleeping with them. She graduated from high school just as WWII was winding down, and who knows? Maybe that was true for most women she knew back then. Doesn't matter. She finally caught on that I was serious and never brought it up again.

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