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“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#1 Feb 27, 2013
DEAR AMY: I am jealous of my boyfriend's sister and it causes me such anguish. I don't like feeling this way.

We have a long-distance relationship and see each other every four or five weeks. We talk every day on the phone and email, etc., but I get jealous when he spends time with her. She lives nearby, and they are very close. They spend a lot of time together, especially when she is between boyfriends. To make things more complicated, he is separated and lives next door to his wife.

I realized today that I am jealous because he gets to have emotional support, whereas I am alone and do not pursue close relationships with other men. My siblings do not live near me, and I'm not close with them, anyway.

I have tried to tell myself not to care. It's not like I fear it is a romantic situation, but when he was really sick recently, she took care of him. They spend weekends together. Once I went to visit him, and he invited her to join us on an outing!

Please help me to put this into a healthy perspective.-- Grappling Girlfriend

DEAR GIRLFRIEND: First of all, your guy isn't quite divorced. If he was divorced, it might remove that niggling doubt and insecurity that's settling round you like a fog.

It seems that you are jealous not only of the specific person he has a relationship with, but of the relationship itself. So the answer here is for you to do the hard work required to develop close and supportive friendships of your own. The more secure you feel, the less pressure you'll place on this man to fulfill all of your emotional needs. Given the distance between you, he simply can't provide everything you want.

A word to the wise: Your guy's sister is not going away. You should get to know her on your own -- through Facebook, email, etc. If you have a friendship with her (independent of your mutual connection), your jealousy will dissipate and the fog will start to lift.

DEAR AMY: I have been a teacher for many years and run a little nursery school for young children out of my home. This year I have a child whose mother is very supportive and positive about my school, but never addresses me by name.

If she emails me, she just writes, "Hi," and if she leaves a voice message she does not address it to me by name. This is the same in face-to-face conversations. It is the first time in my teaching career that I have encountered this. She is an educator herself at a local school.

I was thinking about writing her an email or asking her in person why she never says my name but am afraid to upset her.

Could you give me advice on how to tactfully solve this problem?-- Nameless

DEAR NAMELESS: I'm going to advocate for an attitude of curiosity and honesty -- probably much like what your young students demonstrate when they encounter behavior they don't quite understand.

This would best be handled in person with this parent, not via email. Say to her, "I have to bring up something a little bit awkward. I've noticed that you never seem to address me by name. Is there a reason for that? The kids call me Ms. Smith. You can call me that or Helen, either one is fine."

Stop and listen to whatever she has to say. Then tell her, "I know you understand how important it is for the children to always address people by name, so this would be a good thing to model."

Don't approach this like it's an unforgivable sign of disrespect. Be neutral and in charge and shelve your bewilderment -- and she'll respond in kind.

DEAR AMY: "Wanna Be Runaway Bride" was overwhelmed by the extent to which her parents were controlling her wedding -- all because they were footing the bill.

I've always felt that if the same time, thought and money were spent having a successful marriage rather than an extravagant wedding, there would be far less divorce.-- Laurie

DEAR LAURIE: It's a start, anyway. Thank you.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#2 Feb 27, 2013
L1: So you're jealous of his sister but not that his estranged wife lives next door. And: "I am alone and do not pursue close relationships with other men." You know you can pursue close relationships with other women, right, and get that support system that way? Also, you're jealous of his *sister*. This doesn't bode well. I don't think this relationship is going to work because you have a lot of work to do on yourself.

And Amy: She doesn't WANT to get to know the sister -- she's upset when he invites his sister along to join them.

L2: Why is this a problem? Why does this bother you so much? Can't you just let it go -- shrug it off -- and get on with your day? Shouldn't someone who runs a preschool out of her home be too busy for this to be a major problem in her life?

L3: Yes, you're a brilliant philosopher who spouts words of wisdom that no one else has ever heard before.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#3 Feb 27, 2013
1 WTF about him not being divorced? She is jealous over the sister not the wife! Anyway, the relationship is doomed, cut your loses and move on.

2 Is this really a problem? Really? I think its time you retired completely and not be bothered by any of this anymore.

3 Peanut gallery saying stink! Leave the snark to us pro's.

Since: Dec 09

Smalltown, Colorado

#4 Feb 27, 2013
LW1 - My eyes are rolling back in my head again.
LW2 - Getting dimmer.
LW3 - Blind as a bat.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#5 Feb 27, 2013
Shari23 wrote:
LW1 - My eyes are rolling back in my head again.
LW2 - Getting dimmer.
LW3 - Blind as a bat.
This made me laugh out loud, literally!

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#6 Feb 27, 2013
Ha!`
Shari23 wrote:
LW1 - My eyes are rolling back in my head again.
LW2 - Getting dimmer.
LW3 - Blind as a bat.

Since: Dec 09

Smalltown, Colorado

#7 Feb 27, 2013
RACE wrote:
Ha!`
<quoted text>
This might be the shortest thread ever.

“bELieve”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#8 Feb 27, 2013
LW1 - This is one of those letters where I would love to have more information because it would make a difference in how I respond - how long have the two of them been "dating", how old is the LW, how many relationships and what type has the LW been in before?

People seem to get the most satisfaction out of relationship when they are first satisfied with themselves. It sounds like the LW wants to have all of the benefits of a long-term, committed relationship without realizing that there are things to be done first to before you can reap the rewards. Go out, make friends (who care what gender they are), find activities to do where you live, work on being the best person you can be and supportive friendships will grow organically.

As for the boyfriend, don't go into a relationship trying to change someone or break the bonds that they have formed with others. That, too, will evolve over time as his feelings for you grow stronger and more meaningful. Be happy that he has a support system in place, because I would be more worried about someone who doesn't have close friends or family. If you can't bring yourself to feel this way, then it is ok to say that this is not the right relationship for you to be in right now. Sometimes timing/location/factors beyond your control just suck.

LW2 - Grow up. She is acknowledging you and actively participating in her child's education. Stop making a mountain out of a molehill. Amy, shame on you for encouraging this self-important behavior.

LW3 - Why did Amy even bother to print this? I would rather have 2 good letters than have a stupid third one just waste space.

Since: Mar 09

Miami, FL

#9 Feb 27, 2013
L1: What Ang said. I was trying to be sympathetic about the sister thing until the LW mentioned the wife. Too much baggage going on here.

L2: Maybe she FORGOT your name and is embarrassed.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#10 Feb 27, 2013
LW2- Maybe she forgot your name? Maybe hse isn't sure if you go by Catherine or Cathy or Ms Hannigan?

Maybe you should use your words?(Sound familiar?)

“bELieve”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#11 Feb 27, 2013
PEllen wrote:
LW2- Maybe she forgot your name? Maybe hse isn't sure if you go by Catherine or Cathy or Ms Hannigan?
Maybe you should use your words?(Sound familiar?)
A very easy way to make sure that all of the parents know how the LW would like to be addressed is to make handouts for the parents that go home with the children and sign them. Whether this is an in-home preschool or a large facility, communication is key.

My son's school sends home a paper at the beginning of each week to let the parents know what the focus will be for that week, any special days that are coming up (silly sock day, holiday party, etc) and any homework that will have (they have weekly homework, not daily, since not all of the kids attend 5 days a week). She then signs the bottom of the page, so there is no doubt what to call her.

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

#12 Feb 27, 2013
L2: What? I would never even notice if somebody casually in my life didn't ever use my name.

“bELieve”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#13 Feb 27, 2013
Matilda77 wrote:
L2: What? I would never even notice if somebody casually in my life didn't ever use my name.
And I would rather they just say "Hi" than continuously address me by the wrong same.

The Chairman for the organization that I belong to calls me "Sue" about 50% of the time, even when he is talking to other people about me. I would rather he just say "the Recording Secretary".

“On Deck”

Since: Aug 08

French Polynesia

#14 Feb 27, 2013
L2. Color me black. I seldom call people by their real names.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

United States

#15 Feb 27, 2013
1- Insecure much?

2- She doesn't know your name. And why don't you get over yourself?

3- Ah marriage. Where two people vow to love each other... until someone better comes along.

“FD&S is no way to be.”

Since: Feb 13

Knoxville, TN

#16 Feb 27, 2013
1. Um, get a life of your own maybe? You basically described the solution in your letter.

2. Yes, by all means, talk to her like a teacher, make her feel scolded for something stupid and inconsequential. Really, this is what you have to gripe about?

3. And thank you for your support.

Since: Oct 09

Wagner, SD

#17 Feb 27, 2013
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
L1: So you're jealous of his sister but not that his estranged wife lives next door. And: "I am alone and do not pursue close relationships with other men." You know you can pursue close relationships with other women, right, and get that support system that way? Also, you're jealous of his *sister*. This doesn't bode well. I don't think this relationship is going to work because you have a lot of work to do on yourself.
And Amy: She doesn't WANT to get to know the sister -- she's upset when he invites his sister along to join them.
Yup, that just about covers it. She sounds very, very young, in maturity if not in age. And because she's not close to her own siblings, she probably has difficulty understanding why he's so close to his sibling. But that doesn't give her the right to be upset or to try to control or change their relationship.

At least she doesn't have to deal with the same scenario that a Dear Prudie advice seeker put forth during the live chat on Monday, which was put online yesterday. That poor wife's husband had been having an affair with a co-worker who was killed in an accident. The wife didn't know about the affair until after the ho's death, when hubby went nuts. He was especially going nuts because she was also apparently pregnant and didn't know if he or her husband was the father (before you dismiss this as a fake letter, I gotta say that having previously worked over a decade in the legal field I saw things like this, and even stranger and more soap-operish, all the time in my work. Truth really is stranger than fiction, and there's a reason why so many lawyers and legal support staff become writers).

He'd quit his job because he just found it "too traumatic" to return to work there and had been in mourning, waking up at night crying, for three months and he wanted her to comfort and support him in his "grief". She wanted to know if, or how much longer, she should put up with it. He's lucky it wasn't me, or he wouldn't have to worry about the physical part of any affair from then on, and he'd be lucky to have a sleeping bag to sleep under a bridge with. So, this LW should count herself lucky, lol.

Since: Oct 09

Wagner, SD

#18 Feb 27, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
3- Ah marriage. Where two people vow to love each other... until someone better comes along.
Unfortunately, all too true in too many cases.

Since: Dec 07

DuPage County

#19 Feb 27, 2013
1 He's not divorced, lives next door to his soon to be ex-wife and he's over-enmeshed with his sister? By all means, have his love child.....moron!

2 Maybe she forgot your name and wants to avoid that awkward "Mulva?" moment.

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#20 Feb 27, 2013
LW1: Do the guy a favor and break up with him.

LW2: I don't see what the issue is. Why does she have to go out of her way to use your name? Why does this mean so much to you. Who the f' cares?

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