Deny­ing one’s fam­ily may bring fur­ther ques­tion­ing

Orlando Sentinel - - ONE DAY UNIVERSITY -

It also has the ad­van­tage of be­ing more re­lat­able, even if oth­ers’ cir­cum­stances are not as dire as yours.

Dear Miss Man­ners: Iam50 years old and have been liv­ing with a man for more than eight years. I have al­ways had a good re­la­tion­ship with his mother.

Over the years, we have re­ceived hol­i­day cards from his mother ad­dressed to both of us and signed “Love.” But this year, the en­ve­lope was ad­dressed only to her son; en­closed was a “son”spe­cific card signed “Love,” and a sec­ond card to me with only her name noted.

I men­tioned this to my part­ner and he said, “What is the big deal? You got a card.” I told him that it was hurt­ful. Am I be­ing too sen­si­tive?

Gen­tle reader: Not know­ing how this lady gen­er­ally op­er­ates, Miss Man­ners could not say. It is her usual pol­icy, how­ever, to as­sume the best.

If you are anx­ious to find out her in­ten­tion, you may do so del­i­cately by say­ing, “It was so kind of you to think of me, as al­ways, with a hol­i­day card. Even more so to go to the trou­ble of get­ting us two. But re­ally, Lance and I are at the point where we can share one card. Was there any rea­son you thought oth­er­wise?”

Be pre­pared for an an­swer rang­ing any­where from “I thought you would like the pic­ture of the cats” to “Yes, get away from my son.”

Dear Miss Man­ners: I have been with my boyfriend for seven years. It seems that ev­ery time I bring up the goals in this re­la­tion­ship, and ask if he plans a fu­ture with me, he al­ways has a rea­son why mar­riage is not a good idea and how ev­ery­thing needs to be just right in ev­ery way: re­li­gious and po­lit­i­cal views matched, fam­ily re­la­tion­ships and friend­ships ac­cepted mu­tu­ally, etc.

Ev­ery­one around us, in­clud­ing our fam­i­lies, con­stantly asks when the big day will be, and his re­sponse is al­ways “soon.” At times, he has even told peo­ple we are al­ready en­gaged.

When I ask, he says I have to be pa­tient and it will hap­pen one day. But it’s been seven years, and I have grown tired of hear­ing these “rea­sons.” I feel that “when you know, you know,” and the pro­posal should have hap­pened al­ready.

Am I be­ing im­pa­tient or ex­pect­ing this too soon?

Gen­tle reader: Seven years of this seems, to Miss Man­ners, to demon­strate greater pa­tience on your part than your boyfriend has a right to ex­pect. It is ap­par­ently long enough for him to have re­al­ized that there are no con­se­quences when he gives eva­sive an­swers. Whether you de­cide in ad­vance to leave, you might at least want to change this im­pres­sion.

Dear Miss Man­ners: Iamso frus­trated. My hus­band is very hard of hear­ing but re­fuses to wear his hear­ing aids. There­fore, he misses out on de­tails of con­ver­sa­tions, and if I raise my voice to re­peat some­thing for the third or fourth time, he will tell me not to yell.

He is con­stantly fight­ing with our son be­cause he says our son screams at him. It is ev­ery­one else’s fault, not his. I have pretty much stopped con­vers­ing with him. Any sug­ges­tions other than di­vorce?

Gen­tle reader: While it is not Miss Man­ners’ be­lief that eti­quette ap­plies any less at home, fam­ily prob­lems are less likely to ben­e­fit from the in­di­rect so­lu­tions one of­ten uses in com­pany. Ex­plain — in writ­ing, if nec­es­sary — the im­pos­si­ble sit­u­a­tion in which he is putting his fam­ily: He can­not hear you and you are ad­mon­ished for speak­ing up. What would he sug­gest be done?

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