Posted in the Chicago Forum
Since: Jun 09
#1 Feb 24, 2013
DEAR ABBY: I have been in love with "Richard" for 14 years. We broke up after we dated for a while because my alcoholic mother kept interfering. She kept telling me how "bad" he was for me -- and I, thinking my mother had my best interests at heart, believed her.
After a divorce on my part and a breakup on his, we are now in a long-distance relationship. We hope to make our relationship permanent after getting to know each other again.
My problem is, when Richard is unhappy or upset with someone else, he takes it out on me. It doesn't seem to matter what happened, he'll pick a fight over something inconsequential. It drives me crazy.
I know what he's doing; I just don't know how to stop it. The latest flare-up involved the fact that his dog was missing, so he picked a fight with me because I "always tell him how nice the weather is where I live."
He refuses to get counseling. What do I do?-- PULLING MY HAIR OUT
DEAR PULLING: Your problem isn't that Richard uses you as a scapegoat for his frustrations; it's that you tolerate it. It's possible that because of your mother's alcoholism and the unpredictable behavior you were subjected to during your formative years, you have accepted Richard's behavior.
Because he refuses counseling, you should get some. What he's doing is not acceptable. It is emotional abuse. From my perspective, the healthiest thing you could do for yourself besides break up with Richard would be to keep the romance long-distance.
DEAR ABBY: I am a retired woman, active in my community and troubled by a recent incident involving a longtime friend. This is the third time it has happened, and it left me feeling embarrassed.
When we're out together meeting new people, she will introduce herself as being a secretary or a senior secretary and me as "just" a receptionist. The job title is true, but I hold a college degree. I have held other positions commanding greater respect. I am chair of the local Council on Aging, a Town Meeting member and on the Cultural Council. The last time it happened, I had brought her to a lunch at a very nice restaurant, and the people we were meeting were members of my community.
Why does this make me feel so demeaned? Am I being petty or vainly pretentious? Right now I no longer want to continue the friendship. Can you help me understand and form a game plan? I think I may be too close to the forest to see the trees.-- MORE THAN A JOB TITLE IN NEW ENGLAND
DEAR MORE THAN A JOB TITLE: Your "friend" is insecure. That she describes you as "just" a receptionist is her attempt to make her own job designation appear more important. And that's what is offensive.
You don't need a "game plan" in dealing with her. "Just" tell her to cut it out or the friendship will be history. Whatever happens after that, your problem will be solved -- one way or another.
DEAR ABBY: A good friend of mine gave me some books -- books she didn't like! My question: Why would you pass on something you did not enjoy reading?-- THERESA IN SAN DIEGO
DEAR THERESA: Perhaps she thought you would like them. Because she didn't care for the books didn't mean you automatically wouldn't. Or, having paid for them, she didn't want the money she had spent to go to waste.
My thought: Give her the benefit of the doubt and stop looking a gift horse in the mouth.
#2 Feb 24, 2013
LW1 - It seems that alcoholic as she was, your mother was right. You stop being treated like a doormat by dumping Richard.
LW3 - Maybe because your friend knows that your tastes are different from hers? Stop looking for nefarious motives in every act.
#3 Feb 24, 2013
LW1 needs some safe friends.
Don't like arrogant people like LW2's so-called friend. She, too, needs some better friends.
LW3 needs to be a better friend and ask the giver to her face, "Why do you think I'd like this book?"
LW3 could also quietly give the books to a library
and let this misunderstanding go.
“Where is Everyone?”
Since: Jul 12
#4 Feb 24, 2013
L1: Call him on it, again. Tell him next time he does that you will have to end the conversation for the day and then do it. Obviously the LW spoke to him about it b/c he refuses counselling and Abby is right -- her problem is that she's been accepting it. I'd dump him but she seems to want to try.(I think it's about making her mother wrong about him but whatever.)
L2: Job Title needs to tell this friend in no certain terms that she does not define herself or anyone by the job title but the people they are and that she finds her obnoxious.
L3: Of all the problems in the world, why does this bother you? Give them away to charity or tell her you have enough books to read and maybe she can find someone else to take the books.
“I Am Mine”
Since: Dec 08
#5 Feb 24, 2013
LW1: You've been in love with the idea of Richard for 14 years. Now that you are with him, you are finding out he's not all that nd a bag of chips. But you'restill stuck on the idealized version of him you carried for 14 years.
LW2: Use your words. Ask her why she likes to speak about you in suc a lowly manner. Stop socializing with her if it does not change.
LW3: You are so stupid you don't deserve an answer.
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