Monday, January 22, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Tell Me About It: Address control concerns with pregnant wife

Q: My wife takes great joy in planning creative ways to tell people big news. For example, when we purchased a house about a year ago, she gave our parents copies of the key and a card about how they are always welcome in our home.

These are nice gestures that seem harmless.

But she is eight weeks pregnant and is planning a creative way to tell people we are expecting, and then a creative way to reveal the gender in a few months. My parents have already implied these gestures make them feel uncomfortable, and I understand why: because when you hear big news, you typically want to hear it straight out, not in a clever little box. Also, I think these gestures put pressure on people to react in a very specific way.

My wife and I have a strong marriage, but I don't know what to do, or if it is worth doing anything.

Expectation

A: Watch those assumptions. You say, "you typically want to hear (big news) straight out, not in a clever little box." That's your way, which is no more universal than your wife's. Plus, you also say your parents "implied" discomfort. Don't overvalue your hand. Next, drill into this: It puts "pressure on people to react in a very specific way." Orchestrating the grand gesture does flirt with control — of the scene, of the attention, of others' reactions.

I suggest you acknowledge her effort, then state concern that these efforts come with expectations. Then listen carefully. If she uses these creative unveilings to elicit a specific reaction, then that's manipulation. With a baby coming, it's imperative to reckon with any controlling tendencies now.

Comments
This year’s Florida State Fair food oddities include catfish ‘sundae’ and chicken and waffles pizza

This year’s Florida State Fair food oddities include catfish ‘sundae’ and chicken and waffles pizza

Being the first in the country on the fair-going calendar, the Florida State Fair is also the first to roll out the outrageous, deep-fried, bacon-wrapped, cheese-covered foods on a stick that perfume the midway. While cotton candy, corn dogs and funn...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Tell Me About It: Opening up on the residual effects of abuse

Q: I’m in my mid-thirties and in a relatively new, but so far amazing, relationship. I really can see myself with this person long-term.I’ve been in a couple of abusive relationships before that have taken their emotional toll (occasional nightmares ...
Published: 01/21/18
2018 Children’s Gasparilla Parade: Guide and insider tips

2018 Children’s Gasparilla Parade: Guide and insider tips

On Saturday, the kids get first crack at the booty from the pirates at the Children’s Gasparilla Extravaganza, the annual alcohol-free party on Bayshore Boulevard. To kick off the season of Jose Gaspar, the fictitious marauder whose legend has...
Published: 01/18/18
You can buy the balls from Amalie’s Beach Tampa exhibit at auction

You can buy the balls from Amalie’s Beach Tampa exhibit at auction

More than 100,000 people showed up at Amalie Arena in 2016 to frolic in a huge ball pit. It was a sea of 1.2 million white orbs so vast that grown men could belly flop and remain afloat. Almost two years after the Beach Tampa packed up, some 15,000 l...
Published: 01/18/18

Tell Me About It: FaceTime offense lands sister on the outs

FaceTime offense lands sister on the outsQ: When does FaceTime become an intrusion?My sister-in-law recently relocated to our area. We invited her to join us for our traditionally quiet New Year’s Eve celebration. About two hours before midnight, she...
Published: 01/18/18

Tell Me About It: Cousin’s husband pursues young sisters

Cousin’s husband pursues young sisters Q: I just found out that my niece’s husband has made inappropriate comments/propositions to both of my daughters, one still a minor (17). I have to tell my niece, right? I don’t want to hurt her.Broken HeartA: Y...
Published: 01/18/18
Plan your weekend Jan. 19-21: Gasparilla Children’s Parade, Jake Owen, Riverdance, Florida Orchestra’s Dvorak

Plan your weekend Jan. 19-21: Gasparilla Children’s Parade, Jake Owen, Riverdance, Florida Orchestra’s Dvorak

Plan your weekend   Gasparilla Children’s Parade: A week before the more raucous pirate invasion, the G-rated version hits the streets. The Children’s Gasparilla Extravaganza and Parade kicks off Gasparilla season with a bicycle safety...
Published: 01/17/18
Top things to do this week: Steve Martin and Martin Short, Gasparilla Children’s Parade

Top things to do this week: Steve Martin and Martin Short, Gasparilla Children’s Parade

PICKING AND GRINNING: Steve Martin and Martin ShortThere wasn’t a lot of bluegrass being played around Hamilton, Ontario, when Martin Short was a kid. But his decades-long friendship with Steve Martin has made him a fan, which brings An Evening With ...
Published: 01/17/18

Tell Me About It: Mom needs reassurance of their gratitude

Mom needs reassurance of their gratitudeQ: Whenever my mother gives me or my family member a gift, she ends up asking about it several times afterward. Does not matter if it was $5 or expensive.We always thank her for gifts, and these comments feel l...
Published: 01/16/18

Tell Me About It: Sister-in-law’s gall is of epic proportions

Sister-in-law’s gall is of epic proportionsQ: I’m a two-time, currently-Stage IV breast cancer survivor. When I was told I needed a double mastectomy, I did the research and decided to "go flat."For dressy occasions, I wear prostheses, but they’re no...
Published: 01/16/18