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“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#1 Jul 8, 2012
Dear Amy: I am a recent college graduate living at home until I can get on my feet.

Recently, my mother discovered my tattoo.

I got it more than two years ago while I was at school, and it represents an important event in my past.

My mother does not believe in body modification (she calls it disfigurement), and she is very unhappy with me.

My tattoo is hidden even while I am wearing a bathing suit; it was not meant for her eyes.

Nor do I believe that she has a right to say what I do to my body.

I am not a bad kid. I never got into trouble as a teen, and she is making me feel as if I have committed a crime by getting this tattoo.

How can I explain to her that it was not meant to hurt or disrespect her?

I want my mother to accept me, tattoos and all.

— Tattoo Trouble

Dear Trouble: You can explain this to your mother the way you have explained it to me: "This is not meant to disrespect you or hurt your feelings. I'm sorry to have disappointed you, but this is about me, Mom — not you."

After that, you can't control how your mother behaves or reacts.

You are correct that your mother can't and shouldn't control what you do with your body.

Unfortunately, living at home exposes you to her point of view — and she certainly has a right to that. You should be respectful, even if she is not. You should be calm, even if she is not.

Dear Amy: What do you think of a husband who says, "In 10 years, I'm outta here!"

We have been married for almost 20 years and have two wonderful children.

In nine years, our youngest will be in college, and my husband feels his parenting will be done.

His job has long hours four days a week, leaving him exhausted and feeling overwhelmed by the amount of yardwork and chores at home, while also wanting to be spending time with his kids.

I have been trying to build my own home business while the kids are in school.

Our interests have diverged to the point that sometimes I think the only thing we have in common is the children. He refuses counseling, so I see a counselor myself.

Do you think it's more important for the emotional health of the kids to stay in this marriage or to be good role models of a loving relationship, perhaps with another person? He is often critical of me and my interests outside the home.

— Wondering Out West

Dear Wondering: Ten years is an awfully long lead time. This tells me that your husband is exhausted and overwhelmed; his default position is "fight or flight," and he is coping by fighting now and planning his flight later.

Why does your husband emerge from his exhausting work life to face yardwork and chores?

Can't he be relieved from the burden of these additional duties? Can you and the kids take these chores off his docket? Can you hire someone?

Yes, your children deserve two loving and emotionally healthy parents, but it is best for them if their parents demonstrate these values while married to each other.

It seems to me that there are aspects of your household that you could change — or try to change — for your whole family (you included) to be relieved of some of this pressure.

You and your husband should have a serious discussion about your lives, starting with your saying, "It is devastating for me to hear that you are planning to leave. But can't we do things differently in order for all of us to be happier?"

Dear Amy: I disagree with your advice to "Distressed Sister," the teenager who thinks her younger brother should be told he is adopted.

Adoption is between the parents and the child. Everybody else should stay out of it.

This sister should be told, "If you ever adopt a child, you can handle it the way you like."

— Also Distressed

Dear Distressed: Adoption is not only between the parents and the child. Keeping this a secret affects the whole family system, as this letter illustrated.

Since: Feb 10

Location hidden

#2 Jul 8, 2012
PEllen wrote:
Dear Amy: What do you think of a husband who says, "In 10 years, I'm outta here!"
"Why wait?"

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#3 Jul 8, 2012
L1: Amazingly, I agree with Amy.

L2: What's up with dad doing everything? The kids should be doing the yardwork and household chores and the mom should be directing things with dad to get these things done.

L3: The adopted is part of a whole family. I agree, it is a whole family thing. What's up with people wanting to keep adoption a secret making it seem like a bad thing? You should be celebrating the fact you were lucky enough to have this child come into your family.

“What's it to ya?”

Since: Mar 09

Location hidden

#4 Jul 8, 2012
1: As much as it bothered me that Chris got a couple of tattoos that I wasn't thrilled with (not tattoos in general, the tattoos he got in particular) I respected his right to to it the same as I would have expected my parents to mind their own business about me and my choices for my body after I was an adult. Seriously, Mom needs to mind her own business.

2: I got nothing. I think it's better for the kid to know, pretty much from day one, it's not the sister's place to be the messenger. <shrug>

3: Why are you waiting for this fool to do whatever he's going to do? Get a job, go to school, start building up your own assets separate from his/community property (use offshore accounts if you have to) and then get out.

You won't of course. You will continue to hope against hope that in 10 years' time he will have changed his mind and then everything will be all good. You'll be writing amby about how he just "suddenly" left you, in the lurch, and how you don't know what you're going to do with no job training/experience/money. <shrug>

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#5 Jul 8, 2012
L1: you need to stop caring so much about your mother's opinion. Seriously.

L2: Call his bluff. And stop making it sound like his life is so horrible. He works four days a week. Big fing deal. Too much yard work? PUt your damn kids to work out there. Your husband sounds like a whiny cry baby and I don't understand why you feel the need to make excuses for him.

L3: Another person who is completely wrong.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#6 Jul 8, 2012
itser wrote:
<quoted text>
"Why wait?"
Brilliant.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#7 Jul 8, 2012
1- Guess your mom will have to get over it.

2- Wah, long hours four days a week, how does he manage? You're a SAHM enjoying the fruits of your husband's labor and now you're considering having an affair? Your husband might be a whiner, but I don't think your counseling is doing any good. Find a new counselor, get a job outside the home, and work on making your husband more happy.

3- If too many people are in on the secret, it won't stay a secret for long.
Kuuipo

Salinas, CA

#8 Jul 8, 2012
LW1: Mom needs to get a perspective. Maybe she needs to get out more. I could introduce her to a few people, LOL. I have one friend who has most of his arm tattooed. A young woman I know has large neck, arm, and back tattoos, none of them are pretty, and they don't look good together. Tattoos are very fashionable and a lot of people get them. LW's tattoo is normally hidden and will not inhibit her from getting a good job. Anyway, Mom has a strong opinion so LW will have to work around that while living at home. Hopefully, once the shock and disappointment wear off, she will come to her senses. If not, LW, don't get defensive, just shrug and refuse to discuss it or argue about it.

LW2: I think LW's husband is trying to do the right thing for his kids, but is feeling stuck in a rut. LW doesn't give any clues about their relationship other than her husband's work and chore schedule and their divergent interests. LW and her husband need to find something they both love to do together in their down time. I know this long-married couple who are on their way back from a cross-country tandem bike tour. Wouldn't be my cup of tea, but I think it's sweet that they can be thisclose for weeks on end after 20+ years together. Another long-married couple I know are ballroom dancers. LW needs to come up with some ideas to put the fun back in the marriage.

LW3: My friend's family adopted their grandson and didn't tell him. So he thought that his mother was his sister until his cousin asked him why he called his grandparents Mom and Dad. He was a pre-teen at the time, around 12. This news hit him hard and he was extremely resentful for having been the last to know. LW says "Adoption is between the parents and the child. Everybody else should stay out of it." The problem is that everybody else doesn't stay out of it. Parents should tell their child as soon as s/he is old enough to understand, IMHO.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#9 Jul 8, 2012
L1 Sigh. I am the mom in L1- not the actual mom, but in the same role. I was adamantly against tattoos especially after I lost the battle on multiple body piercings. I have come to learn that one can bring an image to the tattoo parlor and that they will computer scan it to create a template to do the actual tattooing

Some of you may recall that my taste in music runs to operetta and show tunes and standards and some of you may also recall that I feel strongly that you should indoctrinate your kid from an early age with your values.

Some of you may also remember that my older daughter and I had a contentious relationship in high school and that my sister stepped in as a surrogate mom for those years.

So, older daughter was home this week with the bf. It was hot.She had on shorts. She has a tattoo which probably starts on her hip. It certainly extends down her upper thigh.

The image?

The lyrics to Moon River . In my sister's handwriting.

(That thunk you heard was me hitting my head against the wall)

Thunk. Thunk, Palm to forehead. Thunk.

Henry Mancini? And not even the Pink Panther! Thunk.

There are some things in life that I cannot ask an explanation for.This is going to be one of them.

Thunk.

Since: Feb 08

Location hidden

#10 Jul 8, 2012
Kuuipo wrote:
LW3: My friend's family adopted their grandson and didn't tell him. So he thought that his mother was his sister until his cousin asked him why he called his grandparents Mom and Dad. He was a pre-teen at the time, around 12. This news hit him hard and he was extremely resentful for having been the last to know. LW says "Adoption is between the parents and the child. Everybody else should stay out of it." The problem is that everybody else doesn't stay out of it. Parents should tell their child as soon as s/he is old enough to understand, IMHO.
My friend was 14 when a cousin innocently asked "what's it like being adopted?" Did not go over well and that launched a string of bad decisions based on his feelings of being betrayed and lied to his whole life.
I have friends who've adopted their grandchild. The child has known from the first time he could ask. There won't be identity or betrayal issues with that child.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#11 Jul 8, 2012
Heh. and Wow!
Cass

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

#12 Jul 8, 2012
"Why does your husband emerge from his exhausting work life to face yardwork and chores?"

Uh... Because he lives in the house? Is Amy suggesting that the one earning a paycheck outside the house is exempt from any housework? That's BS.

"Can't he be relieved from the burden of these additional duties? Can you and the kids take these chores off his docket? Can you hire someone?"

LW didn't say that the hubby had to do ALL the chores and yard work. She is, by the way, not unemployed. She is trying to build a business while the kids are at school, so she IS working. And yes, the kids can do some of the chores and the yard work, but it sounds like the younger one is 9 years old (he/she will be in college in 9 years). How old is the older one? 10? 11? 17? Some yard work can certainly be done by 9-12 year olds, but not necessarily all of it. If the older one is 14 or older, it's a different story, of course.

I tend to think like Itser - see a lawyer now.
Cass

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

#13 Jul 8, 2012
LW3 - The stupidest idea I've ever heard. Adoption is NOT between the adoptive parents and the adopted child. There are a whole lot of other people involved - the bio parents, for example, and all and any relatives and friends who know. The sense of betrayal from being lied to when (not if) the adoptee finds out that he/she is adopted will be huge. And why lie in the first place? What is gained by such a concealment?
cheluzal

Tampa, FL

#14 Jul 8, 2012
1: This is what moms do. LW can say her piece and be done with it. You usually cannot change someone's mind and the sooner LW realizes that mom can disagree and still love her, the better off she'll be.

2: Unfair of him to completely deny counseling though. I find it sad when one party won't do everything necessary to change/fix a situation.
Maybe she's intolerable; maybe he's a jerk....all I know is, I'm glad this is not me!

Since: Mar 09

Boynton Beach, FL

#15 Jul 8, 2012
L1: I'll bet you'll remember to lock the bathroom door from now on.

L2: You guys have this covered.

L3: LW, you're wrong and have no idea what you're talking about. Amy's intern, thank you for letting him/her know that in a succinct manner.
Julie

Chicago, IL

#16 Jul 8, 2012
LW1: How did Mommy "discover" your tattoo that is "hidden even by a bathing suit"? When she was giving you a sponge bath?
Cass

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

#17 Jul 8, 2012
Julie wrote:
LW1: How did Mommy "discover" your tattoo that is "hidden even by a bathing suit"? When she was giving you a sponge bath?
Probably walked in on her in the bathroom or when the LW was changing. Why is it important?
cycle003

Sun Prairie, WI

#18 Jul 8, 2012
PEllen wrote:
L1 Sigh. I am the mom in L1- not the actual mom, but in the same role. I was adamantly against tattoos especially after I lost the battle on multiple body piercings. I have come to learn that one can bring an image to the tattoo parlor and that they will computer scan it to create a template to do the actual tattooing
Some of you may recall that my taste in music runs to operetta and show tunes and standards and some of you may also recall that I feel strongly that you should indoctrinate your kid from an early age with your values.
Some of you may also remember that my older daughter and I had a contentious relationship in high school and that my sister stepped in as a surrogate mom for those years.
So, older daughter was home this week with the bf. It was hot.She had on shorts. She has a tattoo which probably starts on her hip. It certainly extends down her upper thigh.
The image?
The lyrics to Moon River . In my sister's handwriting.
(That thunk you heard was me hitting my head against the wall)
Thunk. Thunk, Palm to forehead. Thunk.
Henry Mancini? And not even the Pink Panther! Thunk.
There are some things in life that I cannot ask an explanation for.This is going to be one of them.
Thunk.
Holy Moly!

Thanks for sharing.
Rash

Saint Petersburg, FL

#19 Jul 9, 2012
PEllen wrote:
L1 Sigh. I am the mom in L1- not the actual mom, but in the same role. I was adamantly against tattoos especially after I lost the battle on multiple body piercings. I have come to learn that one can bring an image to the tattoo parlor and that they will computer scan it to create a template to do the actual tattooing
Some of you may recall that my taste in music runs to operetta and show tunes and standards and some of you may also recall that I feel strongly that you should indoctrinate your kid from an early age with your values.
Some of you may also remember that my older daughter and I had a contentious relationship in high school and that my sister stepped in as a surrogate mom for those years.
So, older daughter was home this week with the bf. It was hot.She had on shorts. She has a tattoo which probably starts on her hip. It certainly extends down her upper thigh.
The image?
The lyrics to Moon River . In my sister's handwriting.
(That thunk you heard was me hitting my head against the wall)
Thunk. Thunk, Palm to forehead. Thunk.
Henry Mancini? And not even the Pink Panther! Thunk.
There are some things in life that I cannot ask an explanation for.This is going to be one of them.
Thunk.
Personally I would have gone with the sheet music to Baby Elephant
Walk :)
Rash

Saint Petersburg, FL

#20 Jul 9, 2012
LW2: This had to have been Amy's intern responding, its too chewy and ripe for complete and total male bashing for her to have passed up. As for the couple? Sounds like problems all around. First and foremost communication. I wonder if he feels resentment that she is home all day and doesn't have everything done when he gets back (not saying that's right). She should get the kids organized to do some chores though, I was cutting our lawn when I was probably 9 years old and continued to do it through high school.

After twenty years this guy is checked out though, he works comes home and sleeps and doesn't care about his wife anymore.

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