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1 - 12 of 12 Comments Last updated Jun 6, 2013

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

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#1
Jun 6, 2013
 
DEAR AMY: My wife of eight years has a learning disability. As the years have gone by, her moods seem to be swinging all over the place.

I'm a very patient man, and it is easier to just let her go through her "episodes" and pretend nothing happened. I worry that my son may also start to pretend that the way his mother acts is OK.

I need advice about the best way to deal with this situation. I'm not sure if what I'm doing is right.-- Husband in Hiding

DEAR HUSBAND: Two elements are missing in your narrative: a diagnosis, and your wife's own efforts to modulate her moods and behavior.

For your son's sake, ignoring all of this is not a good idea. His mother's behavior has a profound effect on him, and he needs a person in his life who will explain things honestly and compassionately. You should also demonstrate healthy coping strategies.

Furthermore, the health of your marriage will influence your son's emotional life and relationships. Yours needs to be as healthy and high-functioning as possible.

Your wife should see her physician to describe her symptoms and receive an accurate diagnosis. Her mood swings might be hormonal-based, a diagnosable mood disorder or a result of frustration over trying to cope with her other issues.

You would also benefit from counseling. I applaud your patience, but pretending nothing happened is not adequate in your very challenging situation.

DEAR AMY: "Mary" and I met in grade school, and over the course of 30 years were off-and-on-again best friends.

A few years ago I finally had had enough of her games and increasingly toxic ego, and slowly let our relationship fade into history. Even though we live less than 20 miles from each other, we have not spoken in five years.

Last week I got a call from her brother (whom she disowned a few years ago), who told me that due to an acute illness, Mary was in the hospital, unresponsive and on life-support, and was not expected to survive unless she had an organ transplant.

Fortunately, an organ became available, and her life was saved (thank God for organ donors!).

Her brother suggests I visit her in the hospital or call her. Although I am very glad that her life was saved, I have absolutely no interest in starting a relationship with this woman again (I know from her brother that she is still as toxic as ever).

Should I write her a note, visit or do nothing?-- What to Do About Mary?

DEAR WHAT TO DO: A person's successful recovery from a life-threatening illness is something to cheer, but this doesn't mean you should revive a toxic relationship. If you need to make amends, then do so. If you need to forgive, then do that.

In the meantime, reach out -- simply as one human being to another.

I suggest sending a card or note. In it you say, "Mary, your brother has kept me updated on your medical struggle. I am happy to learn that your condition seems to be improving and will continue to send healing thoughts your way."

This is a kind, respectful and neutral expression of good will. If, as time passes, you find yourself drawn in and manipulated by her, you'll have to back off yet again. However, this brush with mortality might have changed her. At least, that's how it works in the movies.

DEAR AMY: "Baffled Bachelor" needs to hang in there. My husband and I were both in our early 40s when we met and married. It was worth the wait. Volunteering and community involvement are great ways to meet someone and great ways to build one's self-esteem and inner joy.

I agree that dating services may prove beneficial. That's how my man and I met. Many people do not realize that they may be projecting unattractive traits. If Baffled has the guts, he should ask a caring female friend or relatives to be honest and give him some suggestions so as to improve his chances with the ladies.-- Happily Married

DEAR MARRIED: Soliciting an honest critique is a great idea.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

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#2
Jun 6, 2013
 

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1. When did "learning disability" become the euphemism for a mental or psychological illness?
My daughter has a learning disability- she has trouble with sequencing and decoding letters and numbers. If she got frustrated and acted about, as occasionally happened when she was in grade school, it was dealt with as an emotional component.

LW's may have a learning disability, but that is not what he is describing. In nice terms, a rose by any other name still smells as sweet. In balder terms , a person with extreme and uncontrollable mood swings has a bi-polar disorder. Call it what it is and help her get help.

2. I disagree. If she was toxic before and she remains toxic, leave her alone. Don't let her brother guilt you into resuming the relationship. An an organ recipient she has access to lots of support.Take care of yourself first.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

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#3
Jun 6, 2013
 

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Moron, idiot and cretin were terms that described progressively lower levels of intellectual functioning. When those became pejorative, the terms mentally retarded came into use. Retarded turned into a bad word so the conditions became developmentally disabled. Some groups don't like the word disabled and want you to use challenged.

Horsefeathers.

Since: Jan 10

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#4
Jun 6, 2013
 

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L1: What does a learning disorder have to do with mental illness in this situation? LW, what do you do? If your wife isn't under the care of a mental health professional, you need to insist that she do so *for the sake of her KID.*

L2: You have no interest in maintaining a new friendship with this woman from here on out, so why intervene now? I completely disagree with Amy and her flippancy is unbecoming even a lousy advice giver such as herself.

Since: Jan 10

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#5
Jun 6, 2013
 

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PEllen wrote:
Moron, idiot and cretin were terms that described progressively lower levels of intellectual functioning. When those became pejorative, the terms mentally retarded came into use. Retarded turned into a bad word so the conditions became developmentally disabled. Some groups don't like the word disabled and want you to use challenged.
Horsefeathers.
When I owned a house, my next door neighbor had a daughter with autism (the far-end of the spectrum non-verbal kind) and Down syndrome. She used the word "Retarded" around her daughter. Not a lot, and not as an insult. The parents she knew with similar children were hypersensitive about the "R" word as they called it. She said the doctors and therapists used the word in a clinical sense, and with the mainstreaming of intellectually handicapped children into the public school system meant she likely would be called retarded by some other kid. She didn't want her kid crumbling into tears in that situation, so she was working on just getting her daughter more used to hearing the word, rather than acting like she'd been punched if someone used it around her.

I respected her a lot for thinking ahead that way and doing her best to prepare her daughter for the world.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

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#6
Jun 6, 2013
 

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Lw1: what Red said.

Lw2: a note would be fine just don't make it sound like you want to be friends again.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

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#7
Jun 6, 2013
 

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Red and Pelly covered my views on this. Political Correctness be dammed. Calling somone retarded is not an insult unless the person isnt, or unless your are intentionally trying to be cruel. Mildly retarded, severely retarded. No worse than being called dyslexic.

I still like the term my daughter was taught. "Differently Enabled." I think that is a very true assessment.

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

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#8
Jun 6, 2013
 

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L1: No it's not okay and you better start by learning exactly what it is that your wife has and if she's on the proper medication.

L2: I think the LW would feel better by dropping a card to this person with good wishes but saying absolutely nothing about some future relationship with her. I'd just do that.

L3: Okay.

Since: Mar 09

United States

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#9
Jun 6, 2013
 

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L1: Not learning how to behave is a learning disability now?

L2: What Ang said. The brother should butt out and not "suggest" anything; obviously, the friendship has been over for years.

L3: Mmmm, dating rehash.
not a ghost

San Antonio, TX

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#10
Jun 6, 2013
 

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If LW2 lives within a day of the hospital where Mary is recovering, what would be the harm in seeing her during visiting hours (with or without a friend accompanying LW2) and excusing oneself if/when it looks like "it's best to be going"?

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

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#11
Jun 6, 2013
 

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not a ghost wrote:
If LW2 lives within a day of the hospital where Mary is recovering, what would be the harm in seeing her during visiting hours (with or without a friend accompanying LW2) and excusing oneself if/when it looks like "it's best to be going"?
Because the ex friend could possibly be a stalker!
Stina

Saint Petersburg, FL

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#12
Jun 6, 2013
 
You guys covered letter two!
I hate all teh PC stuff anyway. Just a side note.

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