Thursday, October 17, 2013

Ask Maxy

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 (, 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 .
Store Problem
Dear Store Problem,
I contacted the medical director of the National Alliance  on Mental Illness (, 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 .

Dear Maxy,
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 .

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