Monthly Archives: February 2015

“Jaw With John” – Wean Boyfriend Off Home

I am in a new relationship. We are very much in love and have similar values and relationship goals.

I am 35 and have been living on my own for over 10 years. My boyfriend is 30 and has never lived on his own. He is Chinese-American and has said that he still lives at home for cultural reasons. We have made the decision to move in together, but now we have run into problems.

He is having a harder time adjusting to this change than I expected. I was practically thrown out the door as a young adult, encouraged strongly to build a life on my own. Therefore I lack the empathy needed to understand his point of view. He isn’t moving across the country (like I did) — he’s moving only 10 miles away!

I’m hurt and think he is no longer excited about taking this step. I feel rejected and sad on the nights he chooses to sleep back at his home. What can we do to get through this? — Lonely at Home

Dear Lonely:

Just because he’s having a hard time adjusting, doesn’t mean he isn’t happy.

You’re, admittedly, not making this easy on him by lacking empathy. If you think it’s harder on you than it is him then you need to look outside yourself and see what’s really going on. In some cultures it is perfectly acceptable for a child to live with their parents until they get married. He seems to be in a transitional period and needs some time to figure things out. This isn’t Failure To Launch though, I am certain of that.

You could always move further away so that he’d have to take a plane or train to sleep at home, but you’re not that cruel … Are you?

You will need to address this issue with him and see what YOU can do to help make him feel more comfortable in his new home. Wean him off sleeping at home and openly discuss what he wants out of this relationship and then go from there. It’ll be a process, but if you truly love him and want to be with him then you will do whatever you can to make it work.

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“Jaw With John” – Void The Check, Not The Friend

I have a friend whose daughter and mine were classmates in intermediate and middle school. Although our daughters moved on to different high schools, we remained close friends. Our daughters graduated the same year but three weeks apart.

She sent my daughter a graduation gift, a check for $100. I reciprocated with a check of the same amount to her daughter when she graduated.

Weeks later, we went out to lunch with two other friends. After lunch, she tried to return the check I gave to her daughter. I politely said, “No,” adding that it was for her daughter — just an even exchange of gifts.

A month later, I noticed she still had not deposited my check.

I sent her an email reminding her to do so and that I hoped she had not lost the check. I did not get a response. It’s been almost seven months but she has not deposited the check.

Our other friends told me to let it go.

I am really confused about this. There was no argument — in fact, I gave her birthday and Christmas gifts months later, which she accepted and thanked me for. What should I do? — Bewildered Friend

Dear Bewildered:

After some period of time don’t checks become void if they haven’t been cashed? I know very little about nuances of finance, but I think this check is kaput.

For some reason, she doesn’t want your money. Yet she is perfectly OK with giving you HER money. It’s very confusing and may be an issue of pride. You have tried your best to see why she won’t accept and she has repeatedly tried to return the check to you. I think it might be time to throw in the towel and void the check yourself.

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“Jaw With John” – Jack & Jill Went Up The Hill And Jill Kicked Him In The Nuts And Stole His Money And Ran Away, Possibly

My friend “Jack” recently got engaged to “Jill.” Jack and I have been friends literally since before we could walk.

Jill is 26, and this will be her third marriage. Both previous marriages ended with her having affairs. She also has a history of doing drugs and stealing. She has stolen from me, my family and Jack’s family. She has stolen medication, money, you name it.

Jack insists that she is “doing better,” that she has recovered from her mistakes and would never do things like that now. Jill has never apologized for her actions and blames everything she did on her previous husbands.

I worry for Jack but he brushes off my concerns. Jill has made it clear she won’t let me be around Jack unless I allow her to be present. Recently she has started mocking and insulting me.

Should I keep trying to express my worries that this will only end in tears for my friend, or should I back off, let him do as he wants and prepare to help him clean up the mess? — Worried and Wounded

Dear Worried:

You know what they say: Third time’s a charm!

Jack is a Grown Ass Man. He can handle himself juuuuuuuust fine. As for Jill, time will tell if she has learned the error of her ways or if she is just a sociopathic leech. You need to step back and let Jack figure this one out on his own. If he gets burned, then so be it.

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“Jaw With John” – Teenagers Scare The Living Shit Out Of Me

My middle daughter (I have three children) is 18 years old and a senior in high school. She has been a challenge to me, as she has always been very private about her emotions and what is going on in her daily life.

Over the last several months, I have noticed her withdrawing from friends and activities, and spending large amounts of time in her room watching movies on her computer. She will not talk to me and in fact gave me a 10-day silent treatment when she was caught trying to skip classes. (I turned her in when I learned she had falsified an email from me to get out of going to class.)

She occasionally talks to her dad, but when he has expressed concern about her apparent depression, she just says she is sad and doesn’t see the point in reliving the problems with a therapist, as they will just make her feel bad all over again. She is refusing this option.

She still goes to school, makes good grades, goes to a part-time job, and is now shopping for a prom dress — so she is not entirely hopeless in her outlook. However, she wants to attend college out of state, and I am concerned about the effect of such a transition on her mental status. I tried to talk to her pediatrician, but there can be no discussion without my daughter’s consent, because she is 18. My daughter won’t give the OK.

Any ideas? — Mom who Cares

Dear Mom:

You’ve given her enough space to let her try and work things out on her own but that clearly hasn’t worked. It’s now time to get positively involved and see what is at the root of this funk. Part of this might be the dreaded “Middle Child Syndrome” where your daughter feels as if she has been mistreated since she is smack dab in the middle of the first child and the “baby” in the family.

Maybe that transition into college is exactly what she needs. She could find the support and guidance she needs in a new place because there isn’t that fear that Mom & Dad are lingering and she can finally be her own woman. But if that doesn’t seem worth the risk, then you need to sit her down and talk with her. Not to her. Listen and respond. Don’t try and force her do anything she doesn’t want to because that could drive her further away. If talking with her doesn’t work then you should seek a professional with whom you can talk to and get some actual insight into your daughter’s life and how to proceed.

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“Jaw With John” – ‘What if?’ Is Driving Him Nuts

My wife and I have had (and continue to have) a great marriage of almost 40 years. We are both in our 60s, with two grown children and two grandchildren.

Lately I have developed a nagging curiosity about my wife’s relationship with a boyfriend she was apparently very much in love with before I met her.

She only briefly discussed him with me a few years ago, after his name came up at a social gathering. There has never been any contact with him during our marriage, so why do I wonder about this now? — Just Curious

Dear Curious:

“What if?” That’s what’s driving you now. Those two simple words are taking control of your brain and your thoughts causing you to worry about something that clearly isn’t a problem. How do I know it’s not a problem? Because you’ve been married for almost 40 years! Unless your wife is going all Diane Lane in Unfaithful – which I doubt – then you have nothing to worry about.

There are two things you can do: 1. Let this question eat at you as you ponder and wonder “what might have been?” or “why did they…?” until it drives you nuts. OR 2. Straight up ask your wife WTF happened to that guy.

Maybe he died. Maybe she moved. Maybe he cheated on her. Maybe she met you.

I recommend doing #2.

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