Sunday, June 24, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Tell Me About It: Be rational, rather than worry about reaction

Q: I have two very close girlfriends who live in the same town, "Emily" from college and "Jane" from high school. Both have children the same age as mine. Every summer I visit both, trying to split equal time between the two.

I can't bear to be around Emily's child. He is impulsive, defiant, has been outright malicious toward my son and, in one instance, caused him physical harm. I have tried to confront her about my issues with him and she becomes defensive and accusatory, and doesn't seem to see his behavioral issues as cause for alarm. My husband and high school friends note the same concerns.

My husband refuses to come with my son and me on visits to see Emily. This summer, I have planned to spend most of my trip with Jane and her family.

Emily is offended that I am not splitting my time equally between the two. I have no issues with her as a person and still value her friendship, however, I can't handle the stress of being around her son, and I don't know how to express this without hurting her feelings and ruining a 20-year friendship.

Conflicted and Stressed

A: You're tiptoeing around this thing because you're afraid of how Emily will react. Fearing Emily's reaction, though, validates her defensiveness, because it reveals your tacit agreement that protecting your son and reducing your time with Emily are mean, terrible things to do to her.

But they're not. You've seen how the boys (don't) get along and your actions are a rational way to deal with that.

So stop hiding your logic and instead be up-front about it. "Emily, this isn't personal; it's also temporary. The past few visits, Butch and Chachi haven't gotten along. I'm taking the pressure off. When they get older and settle down some, we'll go back to the way things were."

Comments

Tell Me About It: The ability to cope is part of our humanity

Q: Iím curious if you believe or think things "happen for a reason" and "God/higher power only gives us what we can handle," or are things just random? I ask because my mom told me some sad news about a relative. I would never be able to cope with th...
Published: 06/24/18

Tell Me About It: Dad despairs at state of gender relations

Q: Day after day, we have new news of a famous man who has done unspeakably stupid and offensive things to women ... for decades. Society is, somewhat belatedly, starting to take these accusations seriously.But change is needed at the opposite end of...
Published: 06/22/18

Tell Me About It: Future in-laws are insisting on an open bar

Q: My fiance and I are getting married in my familyís hometown and my parents are hosting (and paying for) the wedding. My family are minimal drinkers. My fianceís large extended family is accustomed to weddings with full open bars.My parentsí initia...
Published: 06/21/18
Plan your weekend: St. Pete Pride, Hall and Oates, Pixies, Logic, comics Jay Pharoah and Bobby Bones

Plan your weekend: St. Pete Pride, Hall and Oates, Pixies, Logic, comics Jay Pharoah and Bobby Bones

Rainbow connection Pride weekend: One of the largest Pride celebration in the Southeast happens this weekend in St. Petersburg, bringing a rainbow of activities. Things set off on Friday with the free SP2 Concert at North Straub Park, hosted by Coc...
Published: 06/20/18
Updated: 06/21/18
Big concerts this weekend: Luke Bryan, Hall and Oates, Weezer, Logic and more

Big concerts this weekend: Luke Bryan, Hall and Oates, Weezer, Logic and more

HIS KIND OF NIGHT: Luke BryanItís been three long years since Tampa has seen the well-groomed hide of Luke Bryan, the Hollywoodiest hunk in Nashville. But heís about to make up for lost time. On Saturday heíll headline his biggest-ever show here, a b...
Published: 06/20/18
Top things to do this week: Go Skateboarding Day, Hollywood medium Tyler Henry

Top things to do this week: Go Skateboarding Day, Hollywood medium Tyler Henry

Tyler Henry: Hollywood MediumTyler Henry, the so-called Hollywood Medium who stars in an eponymous E! hit show, is coming to town with a live show called "Life Lessons I Have Learned From the Departed." The soft-spoken 22-year-old has done readings f...
Published: 06/20/18
5 things to do under $5: USF Summer Plant Festival, Bridal Show, free show by AnastasiaMax

5 things to do under $5: USF Summer Plant Festival, Bridal Show, free show by AnastasiaMax

1 Summer Plant Festival: If you think you canít get anything to thrive in Floridaís brutal summers, check out the vendors with fruit trees and advice on how to grow them, along with hundreds of blooming butterfly plants, herbs and tropical and exotic...
Published: 06/20/18

Tell Me About It: Wife punished after being victimized

Q: At a work happy hour, a male co-worker groped me. He later "apologized" with the qualification that I had been sending him mixed signals.Iím married, he has met my husband, Iíve never led him on. And when it happened I was incredibly clear that it...
Published: 06/20/18
Your guide to St. Pete Pride: What's changed for 2018

Your guide to St. Pete Pride: What's changed for 2018

Pride weekend kicks off in St. Petersburg Friday with a free concert hosted by a RuPaul’s Drag Race star, a parade along the downtown waterfront on Saturday and an expanded expo of vendors and art on Sunday in the Grand Central District that ga...
Published: 06/19/18

Tell Me About It: Mom/daughter dynamic feels controlling

Q: I am afraid I may be a controlling mom of my young adult daughter, but we have a dynamic in which she seeks me out often, solicits my advice, and makes me too important in her life. I admit to offering that advice because it is hard for me to draw...
Published: 06/19/18