Empowering Talk Radio

Archive for the Family Relationships Category

Living with Boyfriend, Parents Don’t Know

Living with Boyfriend, Parents Don’t Know

My parents are traveling from out of state to visit me and I’ve been living with my boyfriend for the past 6 months. They don’t know we’ve been living together and my problem is that they would not approve. Not only will they not approve, I’m afraid they’d go ballistic if they found out! They’re planning to stay with me at the apartment. What are my options? Put on your big girl panties, you’re going to need them for this one! Basically, you have two options:  1. Hide this from them  2. Tell them The hard part is going to be deciding which to do, so let’s explore how to make this crucial decision. You know your parents and you know yourself. In true Life Coaching form, I will tackle this issue by asking you the questions. You, and only you, know what your decision needs to be. The questions begin… • What will be gained by sneaking around your truth? • What could be gained by telling them? • Is there a chance this could be a first step toward your parents growing to accept that you as an adult are making your own choices? • How do you handle conflict with your parents? • Are you more comfortable keeping the status quo or living your truth? • Is this personal choice worth taking a stand against the morals of your parents? • How might your parents handle this? • Would telling them totally mess with their heads and screw up their vacation? • Would telling them severely damage your relationship with them? • What does your boyfriend think about this dilemma? • Is he OK with being relegated to his buddies couch while they’re in town? (don’t forget to remove his toothbrush and men’s cologne from the bathroom)

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Support for Addicts Wife?

Support for Addicts Wife?

My husband has recently gotten his addiction to alcohol and pills under control. He’s following his recovery program but I feel like I’m walking on eggshells around him. He has all this support but I need support too. Any help? You do need support, and you deserve support. When you are in a relationship with an addict your life can feel like it’s not your own. An addiction can pervade every area of your life and your relationship and just because your husband is newly sober or in recovery doesn’t magically make all the problems his addiction created go away. Darn. Wish it did? While I’m sure you’re happy that he has started down the road to recovery, do you feel like you’re expected to throw up a resounding cheer of praise while showering him with an “atta boy” or “good for you”, even though you resent that he took you down the road of addiction to begin with? Do you harbor resentment over what his addiction did to your relationship and family? Has he come around to being a true partner now that the drugs and alcohol are under control, or are you still the one holding things together? Has his recovery taken away all of his character flaws, such as lying? One opinion I have about addicts is that when you live with an addict, you live a life of lies. Lying about their drug use is part and parcel to their denial of how bad their addiction is. They lie to you and they lie to themselves. This is tough stuff. For help, cultivate your own support systems. Find a support group, supportive friends, counselor or pastor who will help you through this new way of sober living. Take care of your needs while you support your

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Unruly Kids at Expensive Dinner Out?

Unruly Kids at Expensive Dinner Out?

As a special treat, my husband and I went out to a very expensive restaurant for dinner only to find a couple of preschool age kids seated at the table next to us. Everything was fine while the kids were eating, but once they were done and the adults were sitting around drinking, the kids started to get up and walk around. The one little boy was having fun going to the nearby empty tables and blowing out the candles. The mom rather absentmindedly tried to get him to stop, but her scolding him became an almost bigger nuisance. While it didn’t completely ruin our evening it did leave us feeling frustrated. For us, this was a lot of money to spend on an evening out only to let this happen. What should we do next time to avoid this? Been there, done that, I sympathize! Call me insensitive, but I’ve been known to ask to be seated away from kids at restaurants. I’ve also seen restaurant managers package up the remaining meal of an unruly family and ask them to leave. Recently, I got to sit through a meal at a chain restaurant with a child next to us that was essentially screaming through the meal. He was soooo disruptive all the guests at the surrounding tables were throwing dirty looks at his parents. They kept trying to get him to quiet down at the table instead of taking him out of the restaurant. Finally, we called for the manager. We explained how another restaurant chain in town had asked the family to leave with their unruly child, but this manager explained that his company didn’t allow him to do that. He was apologetic and recognized the frustration of the surrounding customers, but explained that his hands were tied.

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Cougar Mom, Enormous Breast Implants?

Cougar Mom, Enormous Breast Implants?

My mom just recently got divorced and she’s going crazy. She’s dating men so much younger than her that they’re getting really close to my age, and it’s creeping me out. What can I tell her to get her to settle down? This does sound creepy for you, but this makes me think of how little control we have over the actions of other people. I recently watched a TV program about a son who was really upset that his mom was addicted to plastic surgery, specifically breast implants. She kept getting bigger and bigger implants and to see her she was walking around with mini watermelons on her chest. It was bizarre! When sitting or driving, she had to prop her breasts up on a pillow because they were so uncomfortable. Her son wanted her to stop out of concern that this was a health risk, but she was on a mission to find a plastic surgeon to double their current size. The Doctor interviewed on the show declined to work with her, but she kept looking and, reportedly, found a Doctor to turn her mini watermelons into melon patch whoppers. The point of that story being that, as the son, you may have no control over the actions of your mother. Keep the lines of communication open with your mom. Tell her how you feel about her cougar ways. Maybe she’s going through a post-divorce phase. I recently heard a young man talk about his young counterpart female friend hooking up with random dudes, saying she was going through her “post-divorce slutty phase”. Divorce can make people do crazy things. It happens. I’m guessing that if you are concerned about this, others in the family are as well. Maybe you could talk to one of her brothers or

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Need Son’s Support Through Health Scare?

Need Son's Support Through Health Scare?

Recently, I had a real health scare, and while I’m doing pretty well, it will take me a while to get back on my feet. My problem is that my only son is not being supportive at a time when I need him most. I’m a single mother who’s raised him to young adulthood all alone. This has caused ill will between us. How can we fix this situation? The first thought I have about your plight is to ask if you’ve made your needs clear to him? Often, we think people aren’t being supportive when they are simply clueless. Your son can’t read your mind, and he may think he’s being supportive when you, obviously, think otherwise. Make sure you clearly tell him what you need from him at this time and I’m guessing he will step up and help you out, or, it may be that your son is inclined to being selfish and self-centered. Some people, men and women, are natural born caretakers, and others go running when they’re not the center of attention or the one being propped up. They do a disappearing act when they’re needed to help out. Which is your son? Is he a giver or a taker? If you’ve answered that he is more inclined to be a taker, then his response to your health scare is predictable. As his mother, now may be a good time to ask him for help with specific things, and communicate clearly that you expect his help. Will you get it? Hopefully you will, but if not, you will have started on the path of a new way of relating to your son where you expect him to act like a grownup and show a little give and take. No matter the age of our children,

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When Do Adult Kids Grow Up?

When Do Adult Kids Grow Up?

When do the kids grow up? My two adult children, who are in their 30’s, came home for a visit and got in to such a big fight that my wife and I were ready to send them packing. I doubt they act like this when visiting other places, so why do they think they can come home and leave their manners behind? Let me guess, I bet there’s a history here of these two “kids” bickering when they get together. Old habits, and personalities that clash, rarely vanish with age. Also, what I think happens is that when adult children come back to the family home for a visit, they feel comfortable in the setting, and let their guard down. You and your wife should consider this a compliment that your children feel so welcome in your home. Enough of the nicey-nice. I read in your question that this is frustrating for you. I get that. When people come in to your home and end up fighting, it casts a pall on the mood of everyone in your home, including you! You ask when do kids grow up? Some, maybe never. For some it may not be an issue of growing up but of personalities that are prone to create drama. Argumentative people will drag their duffle bag of opinions wherever they go. Set them face to face with another argumentative person and watch the fireworks fly. Your two adult children may be those personalities that get together and bluster up the perfect storm. It will probably just have to play itself out but you do have the right to remind them to use their grownup manners. As king and queen of your own home, you and your wife have the right to tell your kids to either cool

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Breakup with Girlfriend Family Love?

Breakup with Girlfriend Family Love?

My family loves my girlfriend. I feel pressured by them to marry her but am thinking of breaking up. We have a lot of history together, like trips with my family, and her being close to my family makes a breakup harder. How can I work this out? This question reminds me of the wisdom of my own parents who thought it best to keep relations with boyfriends and girlfriends casual until the engagement, or, by today’s standards, until the couple is living together. I remember my mother explaining the rationale for this, which was to avoid just the issue you now have. When your parents are more excited about your marrying this girlfriend than you are, it does make it harder for you to break up with her. You are the one who has to live with the wife, not your parents, so if you are “thinking of breaking up” I’m guessing you’ve already passed go and need to plan your exit strategy. The first person who gets the breakup news is, of course, your girlfriend. Yet, since your family seems so emotionally attached to her, I would make them a close second to receive the news. It would also be advisable for you to decide if you want your family to set boundaries with your Ex, or not. After some breakups, some guys are ok with the Ex still having lunch dates with their mom, others want the family to have no contact. If you’re ok with your Ex remaining a friend of the family, it would be a good idea to have them keep their distance for a few months to give your relationship time for a clear breakoff. That way, the Ex won’t be using her relationships with your family members to manipulate her way back

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Family Mooch?

Family Mooch?

I’m so different from my brother. I’ve always been the one who believed in working hard to take care of myself and my family, but my brother comes around mooching off others, especially Mom and Dad, every chance he gets. He works just enough to barely get by. I’ve tried talking to our parents about how they’re not really helping him when they listen to his hard luck stories and hand over cash or groceries or loan him their car because his is broken down. How do I deal with the resentment I feel toward him and also toward my parents for giving in to him? Any situation where you have no choice but to accept the behavior of others, especially when their behavior does not align with your personal values, is incredibly vexing. You value hard work and value making your own way. Your brother doesn’t seem to have a problem accepting help from others. In his own mind, he probably doesn’t see himself as a mooch. Your parents may be giving in where you think tough love is in order. Such is the fodder of life challenges that make us grow in character. Every year that goes by, I realize more and more that I have no, nada, zero control over the actions of others. Thankfully, each year that goes by, I learn better ways of coping with resentments of the type you mentioned, and here are my top three coping mechanisms: First, realize that you cannot control anyone else, you can only control yourself. Make a list of what you can do to set up your own personal boundaries with regards to this situation and implement your top three. Keep them respectful and considerate, but use these as your personal guidelines for the tough love only you

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Spend Holiday With Abusive Parents?

Spend Holiday With Abusive Parents?

My parents were so abusive to us children growing up, that my siblings and I have decided to cut them out of our lives. We don’t plan to spend Christmas, or any time with them during the holidays, but they don’t get it. They continue to deny how physically and emotionally abusive they were to us. Their requests to get together for the holidays are starting to bug us to the point of anger. I don’t want to have to deal with this and my siblings don’t either. We don’t see them through the year, but how can we get the message across that just because it’s the holiday we won’t be seeing them now? You are so brave to ask this question and thank you for sharing, as there are sure to be others who struggle as you do. Your family history of abuse runs so deep that, right out of the gate, I want to encourage you to work through this with a licensed counselor, if you aren’t already. That said, I’m a firm believer that if you are being abused, you need to distance yourself, or completely break ties if necessary from your abuser. No one deserves to be abused. Sustained abuse can, and often will, leave you with emotional scars that you will carry with you through your lifetime. While you can heal, the scars will always be a reminder of your violent past. It sounds as if your parents are in denial about how abusive they were to you and your siblings. Maybe they don’t see their actions as abuse but have categorized it in their minds as “discipline”? In years past, it was more common to look the other way when parents imposed harsh physical and emotional “discipline” on their children. Thankfully, we have

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Baby Bree Taken from Parents over Medical Marijuana

Baby Bree Taken from Parents over Medical Marijuana

Steve suffered from uncontrollable seizures, at their worst he documented having up to one hundred per year. He and his Doctors had tried every medication available with unsatisfactory results. The next step was either a risky surgical procedure with uncertain results or medical marijuana. Considering his options, marijuana was an obvious choice. To hear Steve talk about it, when his Doctor first recommended medical marijuana he laughed. That was, until he saw that his Doctor wasn’t laughing. Steve had tried marijuana back in high school but wasn’t a regular user today. He was a family man. He wasn’t looking to get high off marijuana, in fact, the chemical compound found in marijuana that worked to control his seizures was not the THC sought after by recreational users. His Doctor had him fill out the paperwork, then, with the support of his wife working in their makeshift home laboratory, Steve was able to extract the chemical compound that worked to provide relief from his seizures. Hallelujah! Marijuana worked where no other prescription medication had helped. Steve was so enthusiastic about his positive results that he began to speak publicly about his experience. Did his advocacy make him a target for authorities? Those authorities who didn’t agree with the medical marijuana laws in his state of Michigan? Steve shared his own ideas on how he and his wife came under the watchful eye of Child Protective Services and how it came to be that their six-month-old baby, Baby Bree, came to be taken away over allegations that she was at risk for exposure to marijuana. This is a story you need to hear. It’s a Father’s anguish over missing two months out of his baby daughter’s life for simply trying to legally medicate a serious medical condition. The attorneys were on his

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