Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Tell Me About It: Dependent partner reeling from break up

Carolyn is away. The following is a past column.

Q: My girlfriend of a year and a half just broke up with me, saying she needed space. We both just moved to a new city (her for school, me for job/her). I donít know many people here, and we spent virtually all our time together, partly by design, partly by necessity. She indicated that it was too much pressure to deal with school, a social life with her new friends and a serious relationship. We talked pretty openly about marriage, and the breakup came as a shock. How do I respect her wish for more space while letting her know that I very much want to continue our relationship?

Ship Without a Rudder

A: I very much suspect she knows very much that you want to continue your relationship. Very much.

But if you need to reassure yourself, tell her in your exact words ó at the same time you explain that youíre going to respect her wish by stepping out of the picture, unless and until she welcomes you back into it.

Itís a bummer, but not as big a bummer as your relationship was becoming. By your own admission, you were totally dependent on her. Unhealthy, with a capital unfair. How long before you donated your entire sense of self to the relationship cause? Assuming you hadnít already.

Even in a situation where no one would expect you to have a rudder independent of hers, you needed to have one anyway ó even if it was a hobby or your job or a complete and unforced (and therefore not at all guilt-inducing) comfort with spending long stretches alone. Anything that takes the burden of your happiness off someone elseís back.

So. Release girl, find rudder. When pain becomes ache becomes void becomes action becomes a life, youíll look back on this giant leap and see it as merely an opening step. One I doubt youíll regret.


Tell Me About It: Bean-counting brother needs a lesson in kindness

Q: My sister owns a few apartment buildings and my mother lives there rent-free. My mother plans to give my sister slightly more in her will. Our brother is angry about this, he wants my sister to just charge our mother rent. My sister thinks our mom...
Published: 09/21/18
Mark your calendar for these Halloween events

Mark your calendar for these Halloween events

13 Ugly Men Halloween PartyThese "ugly" men sure know how to party with three floors offering new tricks and treats, DJ dancing and a light show making the 10th annual Halloween party a "Party with a Purpose." Benefits Beat NB. 8 p.m. Oct. 26. Yborís...
Published: 09/19/18

Tell Me About It: Frequently displaced wife has had enough moves

Q: I have been married to my second husband for 24 years. We have a 16-year-old and I have two adult children.I have moved seven times in 17 years for his job. He didnít have to quit and take another job, but they were opportunities for him to climb ...
Published: 09/19/18
Where to find kid-friendly, not-so-scary Halloween fun

Where to find kid-friendly, not-so-scary Halloween fun

Spare the gore and take the kids to these family-friendly Halloween parties planned at theme parks and attractions in the coming weeks. Creatures of the Night at ZooTampa The weekend nighttime Halloween party at ZooTampa at Lowry Park returns with...
Published: 09/18/18

Tell Me About It: Busy couple seeks ways to downsize for the future

Q: Over a decade, my salary has tripled (Iím quite well-paid now), my work hours and responsibilities have increased, and ó because Iím so frequently tired or short on time ó my "outsourcing" has increased, too. Think: frequent takeout, a dog-walker,...
Published: 09/18/18

Tell Me About It: Parents want bully brother to be his best man

Q: Iím getting married. Thatís awesome. However, my parents want me to ask my brother to be my best man. The idea of letting my brother, whoís spent his whole life being the biggest jerk he can manage, stand up and give a speech about me makes me wan...
Published: 09/17/18

Tell Me About It: Mom is frustrated by teenís dislike of academics

Q: I have a 15-year-old son who is obviously bright but hates school. My husband and I canít helicopter him to success because (a) we donít want to be helicopter parents, and (b) he has developed ninja-like skills when it comes to evading any attempt...
Updated one month ago

Tell Me About It: In search of ways to stop the family over-talker

Q: During extended family get-togethers with my side of the family, there is one person who does 95 percent of the talking. When I ask someone else in the room a question about their lives, this person always jumps in and takes over the conversation ...
Updated one month ago
Busch Gardens reveals plans for Tigris, Florida's tallest launch roller coaster

Busch Gardens reveals plans for Tigris, Florida's tallest launch roller coaster

Busch Gardens will open Florida’s tallest launch coaster in spring 2019, company officials announced Wednesday. The triple-launch, tiger-themed roller coaster called Tigris will hurl riders 150 feet into the sky, turn them upside down and swirl...
Published: 09/12/18

Tell Me About It:

Mom-to-be decides who will join her in deliveryQ: I am six months pregnant with my first child. Iíve been fixated a bit on who to have in the delivery room with me, I think because itís one of the few elements I can control in this pregnancy. Should ...
Updated one month ago