Thursday, October 17, 2013
Dear Maxy ,
I feel betrayed by my own husband and he doesn't see the problem . We have been married for 40 years . "Victor" always had a wandering eye and a problem with being faithful. For whatever reason, I was never enough for him . He has no idea how much he has hurt me over the years . Now he has started watching pornography when he thinks I'm asleep . I know he's masturbating, but if I ask whether he wants to have sex, he says "no," and eventually , I fall asleep .
This makes me feel as if he's cheating on me in my own bed . What do you think ?
Dear Betrayed ,
Ask yourself what you want out of this marriage after 40 years . Can you make Victor stop having affairs and watching pornography? Not unless he understands that it is a betrayal and decides he doesn't want to hurt you anymore . That would require effort on his part and likely counseling to help him navigate a new way to relate to you . If you think he would be willing, please suggest it .You can get counseling on your own and learn what you are willing to tolerate for the sake of remaining in the marriage if you choose to stay . In the meantime. contact Cosa (cosa-recovery.org), a 12-step program for those whose lives have been affected by another person's compulsive sexual behavior .
Dear Maxy ,
I took a job at a local bookstore after my position as a special ED teacher was downsized . Now I have a "special ED" problem at work . A woman comes in here once a week with her son, a mentally challenged adult . The son is big and heavy, and his mother is tiny and fragile . Every time they are here the son has a meltdown. Today he threw himself on the floor, blocking the checkout area and wouldn't get up .
I'm used to dealing with special needs kids in school, but not adults in a retail establishment . Would it be wrong to tell his mother we cannot accommodate her son in our store the next time they show up ? I realize if we bar him, it makes us look mean but we have a business to run .
A member of our staff suggested to the boss that we make him leave but I advised against it . If we can't get him to go voluntarily we would have to physically escort him to the sidewalk and he would probably struggle . If he gets hurt in the process, we'll be sued. I also advised against calling the police because things could get even more physically rough.
I suggested to the boss that we wait for the next time they come to the store and politely refuse entry . Do you have any suggestions on how to deal with these adults when they are on an outings .
Dear Store Problem,
I contacted the medical director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI.org), who said you're commended for your sensitivity in not letting a meltdown escalate into a physical confrontation . What's important is to focus on behavior . If customers cannot behave appropriately, store owners are within their rights to use discretion in asking them to leave or not come back in the future .
In this case, the request can be raised gently with the mother the next time she and her son come into the store . To aviod discriminating against a medical condition the store owner should state that they are welcome to return when they are able to properly manage the son's behavior The mother may need to talk to her son's doctor about his treatment plan in order to address behavior issues .
It is also possible that the mother cannot leave the son at home alone and has no one to help her in caregiving. Although it's not your role to be a social worker, simple compassion can go a long way in helping the situation, including asking whether they have anyone in the neighborhood or community to help them .
A family member recently had a going away party for their son two days before he was to leave for boot camp . Many of us gave him gifts . The kid decided the night before leaving that he had changed his mind and was not leaving after all . Should he return the gifts and money ? Most of us think he should, but no one wants to be the one to tell him .
Dear California ,
Yes, all gifts and money should be returned as soon as possible . The same applies to cancelled wedding and other gift giving occasions. While it is not appropriate to call up the young man and insist that he return the presents, someone who is close to him or his parents can mention that it is expected .