“Not a real reg”

Since: Jan 13

Location hidden

#1 Sep 22, 2013
R AMY: My brother and his wife are divorcing after 35 years of marriage. It is becoming an ugly affair, and their two grown sons are taking sides.

This is especially difficult for us as we and our children have always been close to all of them.
So far weíve been able to remain supportive without taking sides, but the holidays will bring a difficult dilemma. Since they are our only extended family, we have always spent all of our holidays together. We are not sure how to handle the upcoming season.

My two nephews (both single) are no longer speaking, and my sister-in-law has no family of her own left. I canít imagine leaving anyone out, but having them all at the same time would be a recipe for disaster. Do you have any suggestions as to how to handle this situation?-- Dreading the Holidays

DEAR DREADING: You donít make it clear who, exactly, the grown sons arenít speaking to (perhaps each other), but the best way to handle this extremely challenging situation is to do your best to be open and generous to each family member, understanding that you are all muddling through.

I suggest a Solomon-like splitting of this first holiday down the middle. Contact one party and invite him (or her) for Christmas Eve and then another for the next day, and let your nephews know youíd like to see them so they can make choices about what they want to do. Donít disguise or hide your intentions or give in to manipulations from anyone who attempts to engage you in this unfortunate war.

Over time you may be able to successfully maintain a friendship with your sister-in-law and both nephews ó ideally, this is the goal ó without your brother feeling threatened by it.

DEAR AMY: I just broke up with my boyfriend. We were together for five years, bought a house together and were even talking about marriage. Then we just fell apart.

I have been single for four months, and every guy I meet or go on a date with doesnít seem to be what I want. Any advice?-- Mad

DEAR MAD: The reason you arenít finding what you want is because life isnít a candy store where you get to choose someone to complete you on your own timeline.

You donít want to hear this, but it is too soon for you to find your next partner. The universe is trying to send this message by littering your path with guys you donít want (an unhappy woman on a rebound bender isnít exactly relationship bait, either).

Pay attention to the signs and spend the next few months working on you. You need to figure out what went wrong in your previous relationship ó and the part you played in it ó in order to do everything differently next time.

DEAR AMY:ďUndecided MomĒ was wondering what to do about her adolescent daughter, who was fascinated by and wanted to meet her no-good biological father.

I too was raised by a loving man. When I was 10, I found out he wasnít my ďrealĒ dad.

Visions of a prince on a white horse danced in my head. Even though my dad who raised me was doing a great job, he dealt with the day-to-day, ho-hum father-daughter stuff.

Dad died and I missed him so badly that I called my bio-dad, who looked nothing like his picture. The first thing he did was borrow meat from my freezer and money from my husbandís wallet.

I adored his family, but I chalked him up to life lessons.

He died and I havenít thought about him since, until I read this letter in your column.-- Been There, Done That!

DEAR BEEN THERE: Thank you for sharing your story. Itís important to be honest with kids about their parentage, giving them truthful answers to questions and understanding that it is completely natural to fantasize about the unseen, unknown parent.

It sounds as if your dad was an amazing guy. Now that youíre an adult, Iím sure you can imagine what all of this was like for him. Talk about a prince!

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#2 Sep 22, 2013
1- Gee, invite them over on different days. What a revelation!

2- Within four months of breaking off a five year relationship, you've already dated several guys? Whorecon2.

3- Way to brag about being a cold-hearted btch! Yay!
liner

Patchogue, NY

#3 Sep 22, 2013
1: Invite em all over the same time. I'll bring the popcorn!
2: Buy any houses with the new guys?

“Not a real reg”

Since: Jan 13

Location hidden

#4 Sep 22, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
1- Gee, invite them over on different days. What a revelation!
2- Within four months of breaking off a five year relationship, you've already dated several guys? Whorecon2.
3- Way to brag about being a cold-hearted btch! Yay!
L2: She didn't say she was screwing them, she meets or dates. Nothing wrong with that. Sure beats doing someone else while living with another guy...hmmmm?
Mr. nasty judgemental hypocrite.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#5 Sep 22, 2013
dahgts wrote:
L2: She didn't say she was screwing them, she meets or dates. Nothing wrong with that. Sure beats doing someone else while living with another guy...hmmmm?
Mr. nasty judgemental hypocrite.
It doesn't matter if she's screwing them or not. Going on dates within a couple months of ending a long-term relationship is too soon.

And she wasn't living with another guy when I was "doing" her! Now who's being the nasty judgmental type??

“Not a real reg”

Since: Jan 13

Location hidden

#6 Sep 22, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
It doesn't matter if she's screwing them or not. Going on dates within a couple months of ending a long-term relationship is too soon.
And she wasn't living with another guy when I was "doing" her! Now who's being the nasty judgmental type??
You're still the champ. And you're still really, really wrong about the dates.
Pippa

Hancock, NY

#7 Sep 22, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
1- Gee, invite them over on different days. What a revelation!
2- Within four months of breaking off a five year relationship, you've already dated several guys? Whorecon2.
1: Of course that is the solution if they actually DO something on both days. My suspicion is that they only do Christmas Day and Christmas Eve is simply a day spent in preparation. So now she'll have to change her own way of doing things and have family dinners at least on both days. That's quite a lot of work when you come to think of it. And after Christmas Eve, there will be extra cleaning up and prep work for the next day. But perhaps it will be worth it to do this for a couple of years. Eventually, perhaps the brother and brother's ex-wife can take turns doing one of those days.

2: It's very possible that there's more going on than you realize, edog. It's possible this has been a problematic relationship all along and the lw has other long term issues with self-esteem and she needs to feel that some guy cares about her. It's not necessarily that she's what you called her. She just wants/needs some man in her life but she isn't finding one. I agree with Amy's comment that she shouldn't be looking for a serious relationship at the moment though. If she asked me, I'd tell her to spend some time with a therapist to help her get over what is essentially a "divorce" situation. Just because she wasn't married, it doesn't mean she isn't experiencing the same kind of grief. She needs help right now, not condemnation. I just hope she gets the help she needs.
boundary painter

San Antonio, TX

#8 Sep 22, 2013
LW1 and spouse could simply take out the disagreeing parties one at a time and invite whoever wants to come to the open celebration.

LW2 will heal in time and just hasn't found the right man for herself yet.

LW3 was okay and found an answer that worked for her.
Erghh

Nashville, TN

#9 Sep 22, 2013
LW1- Invite them separately or tell them if they can't act like they would in church, they can stay home.

LW2- More pressing than who she dates or how soon is what's going on with that new house she and her ex just bought?She needs to deal with that and all those issues that could prove even more longterm than most marriages would have been before diving back into the dating pool.

LW3- At least she got real. Too many folks keep clinging to fantasies their whole lives.
Pippa

Hancock, NY

#10 Sep 22, 2013
Erghh wrote:
LW2- More pressing than who she dates or how soon is what's going on with that new house she and her ex just bought?She needs to deal with that and all those issues that could prove even more longterm than most marriages would have been before diving back into the dating pool.
I didn't think about the house situation but you are right that she needs to deal with this. She did not even mention how this was being handled - possibly because she isn't even capable of dealing with that right now. We don't even know who is currently living in it. This is one of those examples why you should either not even think of buying something like that with another person until you're married or you need to talk to your OWN attorney before agreeing to purchase a house with another person. You need to have details of what happens if you break up sorted out before you do it at the very least. But that probably wasn't done and now there's the problem of what to do with the house and who gets what. Yes, seeing a lawyer is a MUST. This does seem more and more like a real divorce situation when people do stuff like this. There's still legal entanglements in addition to the emotional woes even without having to file for a divorce.
cheluzal

Plant City, FL

#11 Sep 22, 2013
1: I actually don't think LW should be responsible for 2 C-mas celebratios because her sibling and SIL are acting like dooshes.
Invite none--that would send a stronger message to grow up and act civil after 35 years and grown children they are tearing apart.

2: No one needs to be jumping into a new relationship after a long one. People are so afraid to be alone and heal and know themselves, then bring old issues into new people.
4 months, eh? Shaddup, lw!

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#12 Sep 22, 2013
Pippa wrote:
1: Of course that is the solution if they actually DO something on both days. My suspicion is that they only do Christmas Day and Christmas Eve is simply a day spent in preparation. So now she'll have to change her own way of doing things and have family dinners at least on both days. That's quite a lot of work when you come to think of it. And after Christmas Eve, there will be extra cleaning up and prep work for the next day. But perhaps it will be worth it to do this for a couple of years. Eventually, perhaps the brother and brother's ex-wife can take turns doing one of those days.
Because of work situations, scattered family, and inlaws, I don't think I've actually "celebrated" Thanksgiving or Christmas on their actual days in many years.
Pippa wrote:
2: It's very possible that there's more going on than you realize, edog. It's possible this has been a problematic relationship all along and the lw has other long term issues with self-esteem and she needs to feel that some guy cares about her. It's not necessarily that she's what you called her. She just wants/needs some man in her life but she isn't finding one. I agree with Amy's comment that she shouldn't be looking for a serious relationship at the moment though. If she asked me, I'd tell her to spend some time with a therapist to help her get over what is essentially a "divorce" situation. Just because she wasn't married, it doesn't mean she isn't experiencing the same kind of grief. She needs help right now, not condemnation. I just hope she gets the help she needs.
I understand the woman is a nut. Some people can't go a day without being in a relationship. She needs to fix whatever makes her do that before jumping into a relationship with someone else.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#13 Sep 22, 2013
cheluzal wrote:
2: No one needs to be jumping into a new relationship after a long one. People are so afraid to be alone and heal and know themselves, then bring old issues into new people.
4 months, eh? Shaddup, lw!
Zactly, beautiful.

So how's your relationship with the halitosis colitis guy? Still working on it or have you moved on? Ready to jump into a long-distance relationship with the dog?
Pippa

Hancock, NY

#14 Sep 22, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
Because of work situations, scattered family, and inlaws, I don't think I've actually "celebrated" Thanksgiving or Christmas on their actual days in many years.
<quoted text>
I understand the woman is a nut. Some people can't go a day without being in a relationship. She needs to fix whatever makes her do that before jumping into a relationship with someone else.
I agree that this woman needs to fix what's wrong in her life. That's pretty much what I said. However, I don't normally like to use the term "nut" in regard to people. If they're having problems dealing with life, that's sad and calling a person a "nut" is unkind at the very least. Sure I've thought that at times in regard to people who cause actual problems for others (like for myself or loved ones) but I wouldn't say it unless I was having an emotional breakdown myself over the situation at the time. My mom used to say (fairly often actually), "There but for the grace of God go I." It was her way of letting go of bad feelings.

I'd say someone in the situation like today's lw needs help and probably doesn't realize it. And a lot of people simply don't seek professional help because there are a lot of bad therapists out there who do more harm than good and there's still quite a stigma attached to getting help from a therapist. But that doesn't mean a particular person doesn't NEED help. I'm not a therapist but if anyone reading today's topix is one and can explain why some people (we usually think of women in this context but I bet there are men who are in the same fix) feel they NEED to be in a relationship in order to be happy, I would really like to know. I suspect that in at least some cases there's an underlying problem of poor self-worth and being in a relationship somehow validates that person's existence. For some it might just mean they aren't alone in the world - that someone actually loves her/him and will be there for them. Friends may care and be helpful but they don't usually put a friend ahead of the needs/desires of their families. A "significant other" is more likely than a simple friend to put you first and their family second. Does anyone have any other thoughts on this?

“Not a real reg”

Since: Jan 13

Location hidden

#15 Sep 22, 2013
So what poster in FL had a long relationship and soon thereafter, even though sad, was posting about going out , meeting a guy here and there? And another poster was posting about jumping in and wanted to heal her breaking heart? I don't recall there was that much time between those events.

It's called meeting , folks. She never mentioned getting in a relationship. Don't do what I do, do what I say just doesn't cut it.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#16 Sep 22, 2013
dahgts wrote:
It's called meeting , folks. She never mentioned getting in a relationship.
Don't be so dense! We both know exactly what she's talking about. She's looking for a new relationship. That's why she's writing Amy complaining that some dude she hooks up with in a bar just isn't meeting her expectations.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#17 Sep 22, 2013
Pippa wrote:
I don't normally like to use the term "nut" in regard to people.
Just because the truth hurts, doesn't mean you need to sugar-coat everything.

She's a NUT!

NUT I say!!
cheluzal

Plant City, FL

#18 Sep 22, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
Zactly, beautiful.
So how's your relationship with the halitosis colitis guy? Still working on it or have you moved on? Ready to jump into a long-distance relationship with the dog?
I told him about the breath and he took it well and worked on it. Whatever he did worked, since there was no issue on last night's date (and he wasn't chewing gum). But there is no spark, so I'm letting him go.
Talking to a new guy. ;)

Sorry, dog--I applaud your unashamed relentlessness but you will have to admire me from afar.

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#19 Sep 23, 2013
L1: Tell the family that it is the holidays -- time to put aside differences. Probably won't work, but invite the usual and whoever doesn't show, it's their deal. You never know how things will be the following year.

L2: The guys aren't what you want b/c you really don't want a serious relationship right now. Take it slow. Make friends, go to dinner, have fun. It'll come when you are ready. So prepare yourself and, as Amy said, work on yourself.

L3: Another example of learning things a tad bit too late.

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