Q: You warned a writer with a controlling husband against couples therapy, suggesting that a controller can even take advantage in that setting. But isn't a good therapist supposed to be able to handle and see through that kind of behavior?
I ask because I have some similar issues with my partner, though perhaps not severe, and my own therapist is recommending couples therapy with a different therapist.
A: Everyone's situation is different; perhaps your therapist believes the control issues aren't severe enough for you to be at risk. Certainly ask this question in your next session.
That said, I think you're asking a lot of therapists. A skilled manipulator can be quite persuasive — plus, I'd be wary of a professional who was so certain of his or her skills as to believe s/he couldn't be fooled.
So. Revisit this with your therapist, consider a second opinion — and give some careful thought to whether being controlled to any degree is something you want out of life.
Short and sweet is key to anniversary toast
Q: My parents are throwing a 50th anniversary party, and while they haven't asked me to make a speech, I should have something thought-out to say. The thing is: I do see this milestone as an accomplishment, but I don't actually admire their relationship.
So I'm looking for ways to say sincerely congrats, it isn't easy, you guys made it work, without having to say that I wish I had what they have. Any thoughts?
A: You just did: "Congrats, it isn't easy, you guys made it work," and scene.
You can also list the good things you've taken away from their marriage. And if you think of it more as a toast than a speech, then a little wit will get you out without saying too much.