Shower recipients can share the love with unmarried, childless friends

While I'm away, readers give the advice.

On unmarried, childless people you treasure

S: It's not a bad idea for those married with children who have single, childless friends to go a little overboard to celebrate turning points in their friends' lives. I have a friend who has made beautiful baby sweaters, sent wedding and shower presents to friends, relatives and classmates. When she bought her first house, two of us showed up with a housewarming gift.

Come on folks. Notice this stuff (promotions, new house, special trip, etc.) and make it special for those "givers" in your lives. It doesn't have to be big, but some acknowledgement of the turning points and special moments is good for everyone.

On maintaining relationships with exes

Los Angeles: I keep in touch with my two or three meaningful ex-boyfriends by e-mail a couple of times a year, and have dinner with them every few years when they travel through my city. My husband is completely fine with this. He does not pressure me to include him in these contacts, just as he does not pressure me to include him in my contacts with my dear, old female friends.

He knows — because I married him — that I want to spend my life with him and not someone else; that he and I are physically and emotionally intimate in very private and important ways; and that I am utterly, completely committed to him and to our children. But, he also knows that my ex-boyfriends played meaningful roles in making me the person I am now, i.e., the person my husband and children love.

And, my husband understands that people often don't stop caring just because certain relationships didn't work out; that I am entitled to a certain level of emotional autonomy; that my exes must have some good qualities or I wouldn't have spent years with them; that my exes are important ties to my past memories and history; and that my exes understand who I was in ways that my husband can't (because he didn't know me then). Why would he want me to lose all of that? My husband's views on this are especially striking because he doesn't have any exes himself. (I am the first person he ever dated.) He just thinks about things and understands people.

On a not-a-morning-person who gets nasty about it

32 years for us next month: She marries him. They have a family.

Is he on or off the clock when there's disruption in the night?

I nursed my babies, so I was mostly the one on. But if there was puking or a kid was cold, or a disturbance beyond a baby needing a boob, he had to step up fast.

He never was nasty to me or the kid involved. Shoot, even when I cannot stand the man, when he's on my last nerve, I am aware we're a good team, and that kind of awareness can either float or sink a marriage.

V.: She should not have to endure a lifetime of impolite or nasty treatment relative to his sleep schedule. Absolutely not. No, no, no. His behavior is self-indulgent, childish, wrong, and I say this as not a morning person myself.

Shower recipients can share the love with unmarried, childless friends 03/24/11 [Last modified: Thursday, March 24, 2011 11:09am]

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