My fiancé and I have been together for three years . "James' shares custody of his 13-year-old daughter , "Chrissie."
The problem is , Chrissie will not sleep in her own bed . Until recently , she use to sleep on the floor in our room , but two months ago , James started sleeping in her bed . I couldn't take it , so I went back to stay in my place . Now that I am no longer in James' house , Chrissie sleeps with him in his bed . This bothers me .
James and his ex-wife tried sending Chrissie for therapy , but she told them it wasn't working , so they stopped . We have discussed this , but he continues to allow her to sleep in his bed . He doesn't believe there is anything wrong with it and also says he doesn't know what else to do . Chrissie is quite manipulative , conniving and sly . Even her hugs are fake . she is obviously competing with me for her father's attention .
I feel guilty not liking this girl . I understand that divorce is hard on children , but this is ridiculous .
The fear of sleeping alone is a very real phobia in children. It is related to monophobia (fear of being alone). It comes from a deep seated anxiety, sometimes separation anxiety, and should be treated by a qualified child therapist or child psychologist. Hypnosis has also been shown to be helpful.
You can also do things at home like: redecorate her room in any color or way she likes and make it very comfortable...keep soft lighting on at night. Let her have a small TV in her room that she can keep on low volume all night, perhaps the cooking channel or 24 hour news...hearing human voices or ambient sounds will keep her distracted from her fear. Get her in the habit of reading light fiction or something funny in bed to make her sleepy and have a relaxing bed time routine ( e.g.: a warm bath and hot chocolate). To start, you could let her sleep near your bedroom door with your door open and gradually make the transition.
On the other hand, Chrissie may be manipulating her parents out of insecurity and simply because she can . But her parents are the real problem . They are allowing Chrissie to control the family dynamic. At thirteen, it is inappropriate for her to sleep with her single dad. She needs her parents to be in charge, and instead, they have given her the reins . The therapist will no doubt advise that the family take counseling together so that James and his ex-wife understand how much effort and consistency are required for their daughter 's sake .
This problem has already driven you away because James handled it badly and did not take you into consideration or the way you feel about it. If you still intend to marry James, insist on proper therapy .
Dear maxy ,
I am 26-years-old and have been in a wonderful relationship for four years . "Cody" is my best friend and we are extremely compatible .
Here's the problem : His sex drive could run circles around mine . Sex is the only way he feels appreciated , loved and needed . Cuddles and kisses don't sate his desire . This puts immense pressure on me to accommodate him . and I am starting to resent it .
If Cody does something sweet for me , such as taking me to dinner , he will make a causal joke about how I should thank him in the bedroom . I have sat his down before and told him how his comments make me feel and that I don't like the emphasis he puts on sex . He either brushes it off , saying I'm too sensitive , or gets upset and says I should do the things for him that makes his happy .
I love him and want to make him happy , but shouldn't that go both ways ? I don't want to to feel sex is his favorite form of currency . Any advice ?
Dear Orlando ,
The fact that Cody likes sex and prefers it to other things is neither unusual nor worrisome . But I don't like the way he brushes off your concerns, blaming you for being too "sensitive." This is an indication that Cody is immature and dismissive of your feelings . Pressuring you is a form of controlling the relationship and he definitely is using sex as currency . You may think Cody is terrific and your best friend now, but over time, these issues will start to create a rift between you . Sexual compatibility issues don't disappear. In fact, they tend to continue to grow and become more frustrating and stressful for both partners; especially compounded with Cody's immaturity and insensitivity to you.
If you are determined to stay with Cody , you must get couples' counseling to see whether you can come to a compromise and save your relationship .
I am 70 years old , but still enjoy an active life with numerous outdoor activities . My problem is "Ralph" whom I've known for 50 years .
When he has nothing else to do , Ralph phones me to talk ad nauseam about all his health issues , ailments , pharmaceuticals , etc. He never asks how I'm doing , but immediately starts cataloging his myriad problems , none of which are critical .
I have a few issues myself , but I never discuss them with anyone because I cannot conceive of anything more boring than listening to someone complain .
I have caller ID and can avoid Ralph most of the time . He's a good person and a loyal friend , but this has become an obsession I'd like to remedy . How do I address this with him ?
Dear Bored ,
I know many people who enjoy giving "organ recitals," but no one likes to hear them . Honesty is the best policy with Ralph . He probably has no idea how he comes across . Do him a favor and tell him nicely that his fixation with his health, to the exclusion of everything else, makes a friendly chat difficult and a little depressing .
If you don't want to try the direct approach....before he gets started, introduce an interesting topic. And change the subject every time he starts tuning up for his organ recital. Unless he is pretty dense, he will eventually get the message