Thursday, July 23, 2015

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy ,
I have been in a new job for about a year . Prior to that , I was out of work for more than two years . It has been a really rough time for my family and me . The other day one of the companies I had interviewed with contacted me about coming to work for them . The salary would be almost twice my current salary . I really like the company that has offered me this job , but I feel bad leaving the job I am in . I don't want to make a bad or hasty decision . What should I do ? 
Considering an Offer
Dear Considering an Offer ,
Wow! Considering the current economy, most job seekers would love to have this problem. But it's not always just about money.
You need to sit down and write a pros and cons list. Take two sheets of paper and on one sheet make two columns. In column 1 write all the pros or benefits of your present job. Beside each benefit ... rate it's importance to you on a scale from 1 to 10. In the second column write down all the cons or negative aspects of your job and rate each negative from 1 to 10 according to it's importance to you. Add up the scores. On the second sheet rate the job you are being offered in the same way and add up the scores. For each job subtract the negatives total from the positives total. The job with the larger remainder will emerge as your best choice.
 Now you need to consider the growth and promotion  potential of your present job compared to the job you are being offered.  If you still have some confusion, perhaps a second interview might help so you can ask any unanswered questions. Finally trust your gut to tell you which job you would like more and be more comfortable in. Share all the information with your spouse. Discussion can often clarify a situation even more.

Dear Maxy ,
School is out , and with it my family is in a conundrum . My son's teacher suggested that it would be good for him to get support with his reading and math . She did not say he had to go to summer school . She recommended a few options , everything from a tutor to some of the group programs like Kumon . I'm all for it , but my son feels like he shouldn't have to do any of it since it wasn't mandated . I have tried to to tell him that getting academic support is common for students --- including students who are very good at subjects and those who can use a bit of a boost . I have signed him up for class, but his attitude is horrible. 
How can I get him to embrace this process so he can learn and flourish ?
Helping My Kid 
Dear Helping My Kid ,
Since your child hasn't attained the goals you and his teacher set for him or has struggled somewhat with math and reading, you have to do what is best for him, in this case, tutoring. Tell him that a little help now will make next year a breeze with no stress or strain. Add that your job as a parent is to help him when he needs a little boost, and this program is designed to do just that . 
You don't want the child to believe he or she is being "punished" for not achieving more, so make sure that you also set aside "fun" times. Ask the tutor to work with you on this and keep the tutoring paced and consistent. Take a calendar and mark days for specific events or trips. It can be inexpensive outings like a weekend camping trip or swimming at a lake and letting him bring along friends. Spread these out over the summer so that your child can look at the calendar and have those outings to look forward to. Incentives and rewards help too.
 If your child plays sports, arrange tutoring time around the sports. Physical activity is an excellent outlet and can rebuild self-esteem that may have been battered by bad grades. Never take an activity away that the child excels in.
Remember, you may have made straight A's in school, but always accept your child's best ( whatever it is ) and congratulate him on it. The goal of tutoring - or any teaching experience, for that matter - is to help children be all that they can be, so always show your enthusiasm for your child's progress.  His attitude will change gradually. Don't expect an overnight miracle.

Dear Maxy ,
My wife and I have been married for 40 years . When we first started dating , my future wife unexpectedly set me aside to explore the possibilities of seeing another man .
It was a difficult time for me . The other man was a mutual acquaintance, for whom I didn't much care , which intensified my hurt .

Within two months they stopped seeing one another, and in due time , we started dating again, fell in love and married . Sounds good ---and it has been . But I have one mental demon with which I struggle .
About three decades ago , when casually chatting about our previous romantic interests my wife revealed that when seeing the aforementioned man , they had sex .

Since being made aware made aware of it , I can't let it go . All off those painful memories were revived by her disclosure.

My wife has been a wonderful friend , partner and parent and does not deserve my periodic fixation on something that was a tiny moment in time .
Why can't I as she requests , just forget about it ? How can I reconcile myself to it and downsize its larger-than-life status in my consciousness ? 
Living in the '70s
Dear Living ,
It is not unusual to remember something disturbing and periodically think about it . Men do have difficulty dealing with another man touching someone they love. But if you are doing this frequently and becoming fixated on it to the point where it is affecting your marriage and other areas of  of your life, you likely need professional help to put it aside .
You've been holding in your resentment, jealousy and fears for 40 years and they are eating away at you . The problem here is, you haven't truly forgiven her.  She set you aside, probably because she was not convinced you were the man she wanted to commit to for the rest of her life. She was a free, young woman, testing the depth of her feelings for you.  The experience taught her that she loved you....You win.
The answer is in your letter, ( My wife has been a wonderful friend, partner and parent and does not deserve my periodic fixation on something that was a tiny moment in time .) If you do not want to lose that wonderful relationship please talk to a counselor so you can express your feelings to someone other than your wife and get help managing them . Your family doctor can refer you .

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