My girlfriend, “Heather” and I have been dating for almost 2 years and are in our mid-twenties. In the last year or so she has been putting on weight. Heather was about 125 lbs and 5’ 5” when we met, and now she’s around 170. (I’m not sure exactly how much she weighs, but that’s what she looks like she weighs to me.)
She says she wants to be thin again, but if I try to talk to her about how to do it, she gets hurt or mad. If I don’t say anything about it, she says that I’m really thinking about it, but just not saying anything about it (which is true, sometimes). I feel like I’m stuck because no matter what I do, I can’t help. I do want to help her do what she wants, but I don’t see any way to do that.
I’m trying hard not to be shallow, but I’m just not attracted to her the way I was before. Heather says that I should love her no matter what she looks like because even if she is “fat,” it’s the person inside who I should love. I wish I didn’t feel the way I do, but I do and I can’t pretend that I don’t.
To tell the truth, I’m starting to not like our relationship, but I don’t want to be the kind of guy who breaks up with his girlfriend because she got fat. What do you think I should do?
Hope I’m Not Shallow
My parents and my husband’s parents live close to us (mine, around 20 minutes, and his, within an hour), so we are lucky, especially since we have a two-year old daughter, “Kelsey.” Both sets of grandparents have been around for Kelsey’s birthdays, and we can easily go to both houses for Christmas/Hanukkah, Thanksgiving, Mother’s Day, etc. This should be the ideal set-up, right? But it’s not.
The problem is that my husband’s parents don’t really seem that interested in Kelsey. They are generous with birthday and holiday gifts, but they don’t spend much time with her. Even though they are all retired, only my parents are available if we need some help with her. To be honest, we have never asked my husband’s parents because they have never volunteered or indicated any willingness along those lines. They even want to be called “Grandmother and Grandfather” instead of much more affectionate names like “Nana and Pop-pop.”
What really bothers me is that I want my daughter (and any subsequent kids) to know all of their grandparents and have a strong connection like I did with my grandparents. I want her to feel special and loved by my husband’s parents like she does with mine.
I’ve wanted to talk to them so that they know how I feel, but my husband doesn’t see any point because, as he says, “They are just different people” than my parents. I feel like I ought to do something since it’s a question of how her life is going to be with them. I just can’t forget about it because I don’t want her to miss out on something so important. What do you think I should do?
Wants the Best for her Daughter
What I think you should do is to refrain from speaking to your in-laws about the way they behave toward your daughter (and especially what they want to be called by Kelsey) Talking to them can only make them feel that you disapprove of them as grandparents, which, of course, will only make them more hesitant to do anything with or for Kelsey. Read More →
Here is a kind of unusual problem. When we go to visit my in-laws (my husband’s brother and sister-in-law) we stay in a bed that is too soft and makes me have a miserable 2-3 night’s sleep. Since we visit them several times during the year, I would like to offer to buy a better mattress. The one we have at home, a Tempur-pedic, would be perfect, and since we would benefit from it, I’d be happy to buy it. We can afford it, so the money isn’t an issue. This is the issue: I want to buy the mattress and put it on the bed that we sleep on when we visit. It seems like a generous and practical solution to me, but my husband thinks that it is rude and “narcissistic.” We are going to be seeing them this summer, so I would like to do something soon to fix this predicament. What to you think I should do?
Wants a Good Night’s Sleep
My boyfriend, “Riley”, and I are in our late 20s and have been together for more than two years. We get along well and don’t fight. We have discussed marriage and kids, and have fun together, but we don’t live together. Our sex life is active and healthy, and we love each other. What we have is good, and I don’t want to lose it, but I do get bored sometimes.
Recently, I made a new, guy friend, “Cole”, who is sexy, smart, and handsome. He’s in a relationship too. Since I am definitely attracted to him, I’m trying not to flirt, but he has made comments and gestures that suggest he’s interested too.
In the beginning, I felt I was clear to Cole about just being friends. Then, when we started hanging out, I let him know again, and more explicitly, that I only wanted something platonic. I thought he felt the same way, but now I’m not so sure. Maybe I was a little naïve, but I also thought a guy who was already “taken” would be a safer choice as a friend.
Maybe I’m just interested in this new guy because I’m bored with my boyfriend. I’m not sure and would like to spice up my life. My question, I guess, is whether I should let something happen with this guy.
Interested and Bored
The relatively recent attacks or assaults against students that have been reported in the city and the surrounding area have me really nervous about my daughter who is considering going to a college in an urban setting. As responsible, but not helicopter parents, my wife and I want to help her avoid being the victim of a crime. Is there anything we can do short of telling her that she needs to go to a college in a safer, non-urban environment?
Dear Worried: First, you can tell her not getting “trashed” is the best way to avoid crime in any setting, urban or non-urban, college or not. To be safe in any environment, every person needs to be cautious and alert to keep from being vulnerable to an attack. To women in particular my advice is not to ingest any substance that lowers inhibition or awareness because predators lurking in the shadows are unfortunately not just in fairy tales and not necessarily in the dark. Read More →
Before we see my in-laws for Mother’s Day, I need some advice on how to deal with my father-in-law.
I don’t like the way he hugs me or how long he hugs me. He pulls me too close to him and holds me far past the time of a normal, socially-acceptable hug. What’s even worse is that when I attempt to give him a peck on the cheek, he kisses me on the mouth. He is starting to seem really skeevy to me and is making me dread going to see my husband’s parents.
So far I haven’t said anything to my husband because I’m afraid that he won’t believe me, or he’ll freak out, or tell me I’m misinterpreting, or some combination. He won’t want to hear what I have to tell him.
Every time this happens I get more tense to the point that I’m worried that I might say something that makes everybody blame me because it it’s such a small thing. Is this whole issue ridiculous and am I overreacting? Should I just put up with it? How should it handle this?
Skeeved Out Read More →
When my husband and I were dating over 10 years ago, I introduced my friend to his brother and they eventually got married—and now they are getting divorced after having had two children who are now 5 and 7. The break-up was nasty and there are hard feelings, especially because my BIL accused my SIL of having had an affair, which she never did.
Recently, while they were separated, my (and her) FIL died and my BIL refused to let my SIL (his wife) attend the funeral at the church with her children. My SIL is very upset because she wants to be with her kids so that she can console them during a traumatic event.
Obviously my BIL wants to punish my SIL by excluding her from the funeral because that’s the kind of mean, vindictive person he is. My SIL and I agree that the damage to the kids should be more important than getting revenge, but don’t know what to do about it.
My SIL wants me to talk to my husband to see if he can somehow persuade his brother to be reasonable. However, my husband says that he is going to stay out of it because it’s between his brother and his wife. What do you think I can do? Should I try to do anything at all?
Stuck in the Middle
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My wife and I are having a problem deciding what to do about our daughter Kathryn’s college decision.
On the one hand, we and Kathryn are thrilled that she was accepted to an Ivy League school, but on the other hand, she could also go to the state university which has an excellent honors program. The difference is that we would have to pay over twice as much for the Ivy, the one that Kathryn wants to go to. Read More →
This whole situation is driving me crazy! My husband and I have two kids and are expecting a third —all of the same gender. When we found out about the gender of the new one, my husband was disappointed and stopped being excited about the pregnancy. Before that he was always making sure that I was comfortable and well rested, etc. But now he doesn’t seem to care about me, or the expected baby. He even told me that he feels “less of a man” now that we know what the gender is going to be. Can you believe that? I don’t have the slightest idea about how to deal with this because it is so completely ridiculous! What do you think I should do?
You can tell him that feeling like “less of a man” makes sense given how he’s acting. Tell him he looks and sounds like the little birthday boy at his party who pouts when he discovers that he didn’t get the present he wanted. Read More →
When my husband, “Brian”, and I got married (well, actually before we got married) we decided that we didn’t want to have kids. Now five years later, I’m 31 and he’s 32 and I’ve changed my mind after a variety of experiences.
For example, I often see friends with their children and how much they love them. And sometimes these are couples that said they didn’t want to have kids anytime soon, or at all. Other times I will feel kind of jealous when friends get together with other friends who have kids, and they talk while their kids play together. It just looks like what a family should be.
All of these experiences have got me thinking that I want to have kids now, and it’s not only is it a possibility, it’s a certainty—I know that I want to have a kid(or kids). But every time that I’ve broached the subject with my husband, he shuts it down by saying, “We agreed before we got married that we were not going to have any children.” What really bothers me even more than the fact that he doesn’t want to discuss it is the way that he acts like he can just decide, and that’s that.
Am I stuck because of what I said before we got married? Can’t a person change her mind? I don’t want to leave my husband, but I’m feeling kind of desperate about doing something. What do you think?
Wants to be a Mom
Dear Wants: Read More →
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