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1 - 17 of 17 Comments Last updated Feb 4, 2013

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

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#1
Feb 4, 2013
 
DEAR AMY: I am in seventh grade. I think that my parents' marriage is happy, but they have problems. I think these problems are mostly my mother's fault, because she is constantly accusing my dad of doing little things wrong. She never actually confronts him about it but complains to me, which makes me feel like she is putting me in an unfair position.

She also claims that he shuts her out of conversations and shoots her down when she tries to talk, but I frankly feel that he is just defending his argument and that she is being extra-sensitive on purpose. Most of the time they get along OK, but they never kiss (at least not in front of me) and they don't really act like they are in love anymore.

I think they need marriage counseling, but I don't know how to talk to them about it. This has become very painful for me. How can I persuade them to go to marriage counseling? I am very scared that they will become very unhappy with each other, and eventually get a divorce.-- Parents with Problems

DEAR PROBLEMS: Your parents may have marital problems, but one big mistake they're making is to involve you in their personal, adult relationship. You are in seventh grade -- you should not be expected to take sides in their disputes or mediate their marriage.

Your mother should not confide in you to this extent. It is human nature to try to determine who is right or wrong in an argument, and every time your parents have serious and unresolved arguments in front of you, they force you to take sides.

You are obviously bright and perceptive. I can understand why they trust your point of view, but they may not realize the extent to which they violate your right to be a kid. Tell them both: "I worry so much when you don't get along. I wish you would not involve me in your arguments. And I really wish you would see a professional because I don't know how to help you, and I'm worried you'll get divorced."

I hope they will follow your excellent instinct and seek marriage counseling.

DEAR AMY: I have been a widow for seven years. After grieving for a while, I joined a singles club and met a man who was fun to be around. I started dating him, and we had a lot in common. My problem is that this man has a Napoleon complex: He needs other women around him.

He is always out helping other single women with auto and home projects. When we are out together in local clubs, he leaves me sitting by myself while he asks women sitting alone to dance.

I am totally fed up and doubt if he will ever change. Should I accept him as he is, or break up and find a better companion?-- Down and Out

DEAR DOWN: Unless your guy has a sudden hankering to invade Switzerland, I don't think he really has a Napoleon complex. He sounds instead like a fun flirt. And I assume he was like this when you met him.

He will not change because he has no incentive to change. If you want a different outcome, you should choose a partner who won't engage you in a game of musical chairs.

DEAR AMY: "Worried Husband" asked if it was OK to have a "secret friendship" with another woman.

Friendships help us get through life. One problem with our understanding of marriage is that it should be the "be-all and end-all" relationship. That is simply impossible. It's this wrong-headed belief that drives us to feel as if we must have "secret" relationships.

If we can learn to develop honest and mature relationships with our spouses (and our friends), we avoid the destructive baggage that comes with keeping secrets. Your spouse doesn't need to know every single thing that you do or say or feel, but she/he does have the right to not be lied to.

Secrets, in the sense of this situation, are lies.-- Sally

DEAR SALLY: I agree. Thank you.

Since: Jan 10

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#2
Feb 4, 2013
 
L1: I agree that this is mostly on your mom, and that's based on the fact that she is showing such HORRIBLE judgment in dumping her crap onto her *kids*-- and a young one at that. I disagree with Amy's advice. I don't think the mom will listen to this kid at all. I think the kid would be better off going to another adult, like an aunt or uncle, or family friend. AT any rate -- your parents' marriage is none of your business and you should refuse to listen to your mom about any of it.

L2: Um, I don't think that's what a Napoleon complex is. And no, he isn't going to change. If he's going to ignore his date, he's not worth dating. DTMFA.

L3: WTF?

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

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#3
Feb 4, 2013
 
Lw1: Read up on how to conduct a family meetings and call one.

Lw2: I thought that was called a Hefner complex.

Either you can live with it or you can't. Amby can't really help you with that, can she.

Lw3: In am so not in the mood for rehash.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#4
Feb 4, 2013
 
LW1: Hah! Sounds like my parents. Just keep your head down and your mouth shut.

LW2: "I am totally fed up and doubt if he will ever change. Should I accept him as he is, or break up and find a better companion?"
Why is this even a question? Stop going into relationships expecting people to change. He's happy living his life the way he is living it. If you are not happy, move on. He will no doubt find other women to fill his dance card.

Since: Mar 09

Miami, FL

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#5
Feb 4, 2013
 
L1: It is horribly unfair for your mom to complain to you about your dad, especially at your age. I speak from experience. And I agree, advice-wise, with Ang.

L2: I love how Amy called out the LW on the misuse of the term "Napoleon complex."

L3: Yes, lying and secrets are bad.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

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#6
Feb 4, 2013
 
1 Again, agree with amby (checks sky for pigs)

2 Yes, stay with him, accept the fact that he likes boning other women and you are just another booty call.

3 Is a secret friend like you guys?
dahgts

Chicago, IL

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#7
Feb 4, 2013
 
L2: Maybe he's 5'1". Dump the shorty.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

United States

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#8
Feb 4, 2013
 

Judged:

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1

1

1- A Napoleon complex is a short person who makes up for his smaller stature by being overly aggressive and assertive. It has nothing to do with a desire to invade Switzerland or flirt with women. Idiot.

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

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#9
Feb 4, 2013
 

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edogxxx wrote:
1- A Napoleon complex is a short person who makes up for his smaller stature by being overly aggressive and assertive. It has nothing to do with a desire to invade Switzerland or flirt with women. Idiot.
So how tall are you, edog?:D

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

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#10
Feb 4, 2013
 
L1: That mother is setting up her daughter for a future of problems.

L2: You must know the answer to this question but perhaps you're too afraid to be alone. Being single is not being alone. Dating someone who acts like this is worse than being single.

L3: Glad you got that off your chest?

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#11
Feb 4, 2013
 
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
L2: Um, I don't think that's what a Napoleon complex is.
I'm thinking it MIGHT apply.

"Napoleon complex is an informal term describing an alleged type of psychological phenomenon which is said to exist in persons, usually men, of short stature. It is characterized by overly-aggressive or domineering social behavior, and carries the implication that such behavior is compensatory for the subjects' stature. The term is also used more generally to describe people who are driven by a perceived handicap to overcompensate in other aspects of their lives."

If this dude is short, and therefore does not fit the female dream of TALL, dark, and handsome, perhaps he is driven to demonstrate his desirability by flirting with so many women. An overcompensation for his percieved handicap of being short.
tiredofit

Los Angeles, CA

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#12
Feb 4, 2013
 
L2: My mom spent time at the local senior center and went on the day trips they organized. One man, Wayne, took turns hanging out with one senior lady on these trips. When my mom's turn came, she totally enjoyed herself (no sex involved, please). We were cleaning out her home after she passed and the phone rang. It was Wayne calling to see if she wanted to go to lunch. It was so sad, cause it would have made her day.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

United States

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#13
Feb 4, 2013
 

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Toj wrote:
<quoted text>
So how tall are you, edog?:D
5-10, which is above average, thankyouverymuch!

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#14
Feb 4, 2013
 
Toj wrote:
L2: You must know the answer to this question but perhaps you're too afraid to be alone. Being single is not being alone. Dating someone who acts like this is worse than being single.
I wonder if hte LW is just assuming exclusivity, while the dude has not agreed to or indicated that in any way and simply taking her out on dates, you know, for fun, but is not "dating her". Like she's one of several he has on speed dial for casual dates. I get that its uncool to be on a date with her and then leave her by herself to go dance with someone else, but she has a problem with him helping other single women with home projects and such? This just seems like they are in 2 seperate relationships. Hers the more serious one.

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

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#15
Feb 4, 2013
 
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>I wonder if hte LW is just assuming exclusivity, while the dude has not agreed to or indicated that in any way and simply taking her out on dates, you know, for fun, but is not "dating her". Like she's one of several he has on speed dial for casual dates. I get that its uncool to be on a date with her and then leave her by herself to go dance with someone else, but she has a problem with him helping other single women with home projects and such? This just seems like they are in 2 seperate relationships. Hers the more serious one.
You have a point. Could be. One of the thoughts I had when I was reading it was that I thought she was going to say he was cheating. By the end of the letter I thought she was a bit slow and probably insecure. Who stays with someone who constantly does that -- exclusive or not?
Sam I Am

Cedar Grove, TN

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#16
Feb 4, 2013
 
1. Just tell them they're making you miserable. That should have a big effect on parents who give a rip.

2. Why are people so stupid? Either you're happy with him or you're not. Why do you need to ask someone else if you should accept that or not? And would someone telling you to accept that make it o.k.?

3. Shut up shut up shut up.
Kuuipo

Monterey, CA

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#17
Feb 4, 2013
 
LW1: Good advice from Amy; your mother should not be using you as her sounding board or therapist. This is not healthy for you. I hope you will do everything to discourage that and instead encourage her to seek a qualified therapist.

LW2: People who dance usually mix, even the married ones. I don't see anything wrong with that. I don't think there is anything wrong with him helping others, either. Why do you feel threatened by other women? Are you two dating exclusively? IMHO, you should accept him as he is. He's a social kind of guy, fun to be around.

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