I have a problem, and I don’t know how to fix it. I have been dating a guy, I’ll call him Jack, for the last six months. We have a great time together. We always laugh, and he makes me so happy. I have known Jack and his family since I was a young girl. I am now 21, and Jack is 32. I have worked for Jack’s family at their family business since I was in high school.
The problem is his family. They think that Jack is too old for me. I don’t care what his family thinks. I am very happy with Jack. My family approves of Jack as well. They see how he treats me, and they see beyond the age difference.
Jack agrees with me, and we try not to let his family bother us. It is hard to do. They create so much drama in our lives. They are constantly trying to split us apart. They don’t understand that their son makes me happy and that he is what makes me want to wake up in the morning.
I don’t get to see him as often as I would like to, because I am in college and I work with his family after class. He works at a job as well, in another city. So, the only time that we get to see each other is on weekends. We treasure our time together.
When we go to his place, his family is always there. They start arguing with Jack, and make sly comments about our age difference. We’re not sure what we should do. If we quit going to his place, will it look like we are running away from them? His family is trying to tear us apart. What should we do? I don’t know how much longer I can take this.
Signed, I Love Jack
Dear I Love Jack,
It is absolutely time for you and Jack to stand up to his family. The first thing that you need to do is to find another job. Working with them is adding to the problem. You can’t continue to be financially dependent on them.
The next thing you need to do is to quit spending your precious weekends with them. It is time to establish your independence from them as adults. If they think that you are running away from them, that is their problem. That would simply not be the case. Finally, since Jack agrees with you, he may want to have a talk with his folks when you are not there. They have known you since you were a young girl. It is probably hard for them to think of you as a woman that is growing up.
Jack needs to clearly set things straight with them. He needs to let them know that you are both adults, and that while he hopes that they will be supportive of you, he does not need their permission to date you. When you do these things, Jack’s parents will see a big change in the way they see their relationship with you. They will not think of you as an adult until you start to act like one.
My parents have been divorced for almost two years. They promised my sisters and I that they would remain as friends for our sake. At first they really seemed to do it.Over the past year, however, things have really started to change. They seem to have grown farther and farther apart. They can hardly stand to be in the same room.
To make matters worse, they are now starting to date other people. Things are getting very awkward for my sisters and I. How do I confront my parents about going back on their promise to us? I am very angry with them. I want them to be close again. What should I say to them?
Signed, Parental Problems
Dear Parental Problems,
You parents have made a mistake, but it’s not the one that you think it is. The mistake they made was in making you such a promise in the first place.It was almost inevitable that the course of things has happened just as it has. You and your sisters must accept this.
You must stop looking at things from your own perspective, and try to look at this situation from theirs. There is a reason that they chose to divorce. You need to face that.
So, try to understand that what you really want for them is for them to be happy. In order for them to do that, they want to, and need to, get on with their lives. You should not try to hold them to a promise that they never should have made in the first place.
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