Un­der­stand­ing ad­dic­tive el­e­ment of failed mar­riage

Cape Breton Post - - ADVICE/GAMES - El­lie Tesher

Q: My sis­ter and her hus­band are finally di­vorc­ing, af­ter eight years of a tu­mul­tuous mar­riage, with ex­hil­a­rat­ing highs and dev­as­tat­ing lows.

The un­der­ly­ing de­spair be­tween them came from his be­ing ster­ile and also his re­fusal to al­low her to ob­tain donor sperm, along with their mu­tual re­luc­tance to adopt.

They stayed to­gether for the pas­sion and hot sex that he spoke openly about, and it seemed like an ad­dic­tion on both sides.

I know it was height­ened by ex­cess drink­ing (es­pe­cially by him), but they both felt they’d never find that con­nec­tion again.

He could be ver­bally mean to her, and even vi­o­lent when he got an­gry, so I’m re­lieved and happy that my sis­ter’s no longer ac­cept­ing his abuse.

But she’s stuck in de­spair. What should I rec­om­mend that she do to get over him? – Re­lieved Sis­ter A: Her need for coun­selling is cru­cial.

Oth­er­wise she’ll turn this loss on her­self, and pos­si­bly seek another abu­sive re­la­tion­ship, as it’s the pat­tern she’s ac­cepted for so long.

Help her un­der­stand that the “ad­dic­tive” el­e­ment of the highs and lows, plus the ac­tual in­tox­i­cants they used, kept her in a re­la­tion­ship that she knew was fail­ing her.

If she still hopes to have chil­dren some­day, and to move on, she needs a process of ther­apy to be­come free of feel­ing blame.

Q: I’m happy to an­nounce that I’ll be get­ting mar­ried this April 15th. My fi­ance and I moved our wed­ding date up for a fam­ily mem­ber who is ter­mi­nally ill.

I’m very ex­cited that she’ll now be able to at­tend and I’m also ex­cited to marry my best friend.

My prob­lem is my own mother. She said it wasn’t a good idea to move the date.

She’s had her mis­takes in life and I’ve had mine.

I haven’t even told her per­son­ally of the new date but re­cently cre­ated an event on Face­book (in­vi­ta­tions are ex­pen­sive and be­sides, Face­book helps me keep guests up to date eas­ily on any changes). My mother’s on the guest list. How do I ap­proach her now? Ev­ery­one around her knew we’d moved the date up, but I hadn’t wanted to have that con­ver­sa­tion with her.

She’s go­ing through “the change” and blam­ing all kinds of things on ev­ery­one else.

I re­ally just want to tell her to keep her mouth shut at my wed­ding or else she should not come at all. – Bride with Dif­fi­cult Mom A: Don’t let your own at­ti­tude from past moth­er­daugh­ter is­sues sab­o­tage your wed­ding.

The fact of your mom be­ing dif­fi­cult and go­ing through menopause is not new to you. But she’s still your mother and should be at your wed­ding.

Some­day, when you deal with your own hor­monal changes and their ef­fects, you’ll want un­der­stand­ing and ef­fec­tive strate­gies to get through it, not dis­missal.

You’ve done what feels right for you and your ill friend, and that’s what mat­ters.

Your mother’s re­ac­tion isn’t go­ing to change the date, so if she starts to dis­cuss it, just say it’s a done deal.

But ex­clud­ing her from that in­for­ma­tion un­til she saw it on Face­book was a mis­take. It likely feels like an in­sult to her.

Bet­ter to have let her have her say to you pri­vately, than in­form her pub­licly through Face­book.

You two have ob­vi­ously got a his­tory of dis­agree­ments and clashes.

Try to put them aside as much as pos­si­ble and keep your fo­cus on your hap­pi­ness about get­ting mar­ried in just two months.

Q: I mar­ried my high-school sweet­heart at 21, had two chil­dren, di­vorced a year ago, and started work­ing at 36.

I’m as­tounded at how many men – in the same large com­pany or clients of the com­pany – ar­range meet­ings and in­ter­views with me that are re­ally ex­cuses to try to have sex.

I’ve been asked to meet in a ho­tel room, cor­nered in a bar un­til I threat­ened to scream, told I’d lose my job if I didn’t com­ply, etc. What am I do­ing wrong? – Work­place New­bie A: Don’t blame your­self, but do sharpen your an­ten­nae.

Tips: Never ac­cept “meet­ings” in a ho­tel room. In­sist that you meet at the of­fice dur­ing work­ing hours, or at lunch in a pub­lic place.

Don’t drink al­co­hol at a work meet­ing. It’s un­nec­es­sary and eas­ier to keep the at­mos­phere from be­com­ing so­cial or too fa­mil­iar.

Don’t give out un­nec­es­sary per­sonal de­tails. Your di­vorce or young mar­riage aren’t per­ti­nent to a work meet­ing. TIP OF THE DAY When a volatile re­la­tion­ship ends, coun­selling can help you rec­og­nize in fu­ture what is con­sid­ered healthy and un­healthy “love.”

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