Be open to part­ner about change in feel­ings

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - PAUSE & PLAY -

Q-I'm 23, my hus­band’s 25; he’s my brother’s friend.

He’s nice, kind-hearted, very lov­ing, and re­spect­ful.

We mar­ried when I was 20 and spent two weeks to­gether as new­ly­weds un­til some­thing hap­pened.

He went to jail, sen­tenced to five years. It was noth­ing vi­o­lent.

The first year was tough but we still talked via tele­phone, wrote sen­ti­men­tal let­ters, and tried to keep our re­la­tion­ship go­ing.

If he hadn’t gone to jail, we’d still be very much in love. But I be­came very lonely and dis­tant, not want­ing to talk to him. My love for him faded dra­mat­i­cally.

I’m work­ing two jobs and go­ing to col­lege ma­jor­ing, iron­i­cally, in law-en­force­ment.

Should I just get a di­vorce? I haven't talked to him about this yet.

I hon­estly don’t think I can go an­other two years feel­ing this way.


A-When the “some­thing” hap­pened, you still be­lieved in him. Now you want to give up and tell him about it later.

Speak now. Say how lonely you are. Lis­ten when he tells you how it is for him.

Keep up your stud­ies, sur­round your­self with fam­ily and friends, and fo­cus on your stud­ies and a fu­ture ca­reer.

Talk to him about what he’s go­ing to do when he gets out, how he can re-di­rect his life, fur­ther his education, get a job, etc.

You both need a plan that gives you hope.

If this ap­proach doesn’t help you feel more pos­i­tive, at least you’ll have tried. You’ll still be young, and can look at the chances for your mar­riage more re­al­is­ti­cally.

Q-When my step­daugh­ter was un­der­age (17) to get a tat­too, she did so any­way, against her mother’s and my wishes.

This caused tears for her mother, and frus­tra­tion and anger on my part. She was told that if she were to get an­other one, she’d be out of the house.

Sev­eral weeks ago, I no­ticed a new tat­too, driv­ing my anger and frus­tra­tion fur­ther. She then hid an­other five tat­toos from us.

Most glar­ing, is one on her chest, her mother's (my girl­friend's) name.

We've asked her to cover up in the house, I can't stand to see what she's done to her­self, and my feel­ing snubbed. I un­der­stand she’s ex­press­ing her­self but I can’t move past the dis­re­spect and re­peated of­fences against me.

Her mother’s equally up­set but she’s un­will­ing to ad­dress con­se­quences. I no longer speak with her, since she doesn't care what I think, or re­spect her mother. Also, she's a con­stant liar so I’m fin­ished. I’d like to see her out of the house.

Why should I com­pro­mise on my feel­ings for some­one who shows com­plete dis­re­gard and gets away with ev­ery­thing?


A-Your step­daugh­ter’s been cry­ing out for help and you’ve missed it.

Those tat­toos (es­pe­cially her mother’s name) are vis­i­ble signs of loss (the fam­ily that once was, hav­ing her mother to her­self).

They test whether you care so lit­tle for her that she can be thrown out of her home.

Many a step­par­ent (my­self in­cluded) has had to learn that chil­dren of di­vorce of­ten seek re­as­sur­ance of be­ing loved and se­cure.

You’re re­spond­ing as an ad­ver­sary. This is about you, and your own need­i­ness re­gard­ing at­ten­tion, and con­trol.

Her mother needs to as­sure her that you do care for her but that house rules and re­spect are im­por­tant for ev­ery­one’s com­fort, even hers.

Get over the tat­toos and be the step­fa­ther she needs. This should NOT be about you.

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