Dear Diane Column — June 18, 2011

Dear Diane,

My boyfriend and I have been together for six years, and have been talking the entire time about marriage. We always say stuff to each other about the future, and how we are going to have a large family. He is my best friend, and he tells me that I am the only girl he has ever wanted a future with. Recently, I asked him to set a date, and reminded him that he promised to quit drinking before we get engaged. He doesn’t have a huge problem, but on the weekends he gets drunk with his friends. I want to start having kids soon, but he says he needs more time. How much more time does he need? I want him to get a more steady job, as he does home repair, and that’s not reliable. He says he wants to wait a bit longer, that when the economy is stronger he will have more work. I’m tired of waiting for him to grow up. What do I do? I was born on 1-12-1986. Eric was born on 5-29-1985.

Trish

Dear Trish, 

Sometimes people grow at different speeds, and your sweetie is still holding onto his youth. You are ready for more responsibility, and he prefers to wait. This doesn’t make him a bad person, but he’s on a different time table.
I feel that Eric does love you, but has only recently come to terms with the need to make serious changes. He requires time to make this adjustment. Perhaps the two of you can set down some scheduled goals for the future. Keeping him from his friends will not work out, so perhaps he could work on drinking less when he sees them. If an immediate
engagement is set, give him time to explore the work world a bit more.
A hard part of any relationship is to be supportive without being controlling. Eric is moving at his own pace, but this is part of your journey together. If you work on keeping your relationship healthy, I see a marriage within the next three years. Good luck!

Diane
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Dear Diane,

My mother always told me that my dad died before I was born, but recently her sister let it slip that he is probably alive. I feel cheated and angry that she told me he was dead when I could have known him for all these years.
My mother has dementia, so I can’t really talk to her about why she did this. I don’t want to be so angry at her, but I don’t know how to get past it. I feel like she cheated me, and it makes all of my memories of her seem different. I can’t get much information from her family, they are secretive. Will I find my father? How do I work through these issues?
Will I be able to forgive my mom? I don’t like feeling this way, as my mother has always been my rock, and I adore her.

Gail

Dear Gail, 

Your final sentence says it all. I pick up that the man who fathered you was not ready to take responsibility, so he left all of it on your mom’s shoulders. It took a lot of courage for her to raise you without his help, and she loves you very deeply. I see that your mother felt that giving you a dead father who loved you was better than giving you a live one who didn’t care. This must have been a difficult decision for her, and I’m certain that her only concern was your happiness.
Gail, I feel that your father is alive, but not in the best of health. He eventually married and had a family, so I’m pretty sure you have siblings out there. Only you can decide whether you wish to seek them out. Just remember, he’s known about you for all of this time, and hasn’t come forward himself. Be glad that in your mom you have the most amazing, loving parent—someone who adores you and someone who is your “rock.” You are lucky to have her.

Diane
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Dear Diane,

I’ve had several health issues lately, and I feel like I’m falling apart. I get sick a lot more than I used to, and I’m now having trouble sleeping. Little things like colds are getting to me in a way I’ve never had to deal with. My doctor says that everything checks out, but I’m afraid something is really wrong. Do you pick up a serious illness?

D.K.

Dear D.K.

I’m glad your doctor ran some tests to rule out major problems. I’m picking up some nutritional deficiencies, but the main issue I see is extreme stress.
I feel you worrying about financial issues, most of which you can’t control right now. Make a list of all of your worries, and ask yourself each day if there is something you can do to improve the situation. When you’ve done what you can, try turning the rest of those issues over to a higher power.
It’s important to realize that we can only do what is possible, and so much is beyond your control right now. Please hang in there, as next year things look brighter for you.

Diane

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