A Long Winded Way to Answer Your Own Question

Your Question
Is it wrong to ask my boyfriend to drop his friendships with 2 women he has been involved with during out time together.?

We took a time out Christmas 2012. We had a date for NYE. I had called him and told him his ticket would be waiting for him and hoped he showed up. Later that night I saw him post from Dixon and I knew.. he was with someone. They dated for a month and then we got back together.

He continued to engage in conversations with her and then started up chatting with his ex prior to us. I had had it and broke up with him in Sept 2013.

We dated other people over the next 6 months. I saw him in Feb 2014 and we were right back on. Yes… now I was the one he was texting with while he was sitting next to his new gf. They were breaking up soon he said and I took the bait.

Now, here I sit. Same argument I had a year and a half ago. He won’t drop his flings. Everytime I see them post on his FB it reminds me all over again how I was stood up and he was with her. Yes.. I’m bitter about that. It hurt me. He tells me his “Integrity won’t let him hurt her feelings”. Never mind mine.

I told him … Them or me.. We spend the weekends together. Have an amazing time when we are together. We are a lot alike on many levels but he just wont put these women down. He also won’t allow any pictures, tags or comments about us on FB. He will refer to me as KC.

It’s like he has a different world that he keeps himself single in… while tying up my life for the relationship… Ugggh.. It’s driving me crazy. I love him. I want to believe in him. I try to negotiate with him but he wont budge. He only hides them so I don’t see.

What should I do… If anyone came to me and told me my story I would say dump the guy … He’s not into you.

Serious Side-Eye

Serious Side-Eye

the advicist Ummmmmmmmmm…..

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My Not-Even Mother-in-Law is Ruining My Not-Even Marriage

Your Question

How do I deal with an extremely difficult mother and sister-in-law? I’ve been with my boyfriend for 5 years but have been friends for almost 15 years. His family treats me horribly; we have had many highs and lows in our past. The first 3 years of our relationships they never included me in outings or parties, and my bf would just state that there was no space for me in car or that it was not his decision to invite me etc.

For a year I was not invited to his house after a misunderstanding over Facebook in which my mom posted a silly comment. After his sister, who is 29 this year and still lives with her brother and mom, finally got a boyfriend after 7 years of being single, I began to be included in outings because it was ‘only fair’ since her boyfriend was included in the beginning. Suddenly there was enough space to take him and myself and all the invitation started rolling in.

They still keep in touch with my boyfriend’s ex; and comment on all her pictures and ignore mines. When we go on trips, every single little thing I do bothers them and they complain about everything I say. I have to walk on eggshells at all moments.

I think that is the biggest reason why after 5 years my boyfriend has not proposed to me. He fears that all this fighting and hostility will continue and he does not know how to handle such an overbearing mother and sister. They call him 5 times a day each, need to know everything he is doing at all times. If he doesn’t answer on first ring then they will call me.

How can I handle this? I really love him but I can’t deal with the passive-aggressiveness anymore. I can’t stand to be around them anymore; and I am afraid to even speak for fear of being judged. And I am tired of waiting for him to propose and fear he never will.

Merrygoround of drama

the advicist

I read your letter, and I hear “drama over this, hurt feelings over that, facebook, drama”.

Don’t get me wrong, these people sound like nightmares. But childish nightmares.

Does your hopefully-future-husband see anything wrong in their behaviour? Does he think it’s fine that they call 10 times a day and need to know where he is all the time? Or does he complain to you about it, but do nothing to remedy the problem?

Honestly, either one is a red flag, because either:

1) he thinks their behaviour – interfering in his life, leaving you out – is totally fine and acceptable. In which case, you would be fighting a losing battle from the start.

or

2) he think they are nut jobs… but he does nothing to reign them in, enforce boundaries, and stick up for you. And let me tell you, that doesn’t bode well for your relationship either.

Honestly, I don’t have much advice to offer you, beyond run, which is not what you want to hear I know.

He either thinks their behaviour is fine, or he has no backbone. If it’s the former, you don’t want to marry him. If it’s the latter, he’ll probably never ask anyway.

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The Tale of the Roommate’s Roommate’s Roommate

Your Question
I rent a room off a friend, paying for half the rent on the property, for the last 8 months his friend (a woman) has somehow managed to convince him to let her son live here. Now he’s brought a friend of his over also. They pay NO rent, sporadically pay a bit towards the utilities, and over the course of the 8 months have invaded MY privacy and stolen food from my fridge repeatedly to the point were I keep nothing in my fridge any more.

I have had to even go as far as installing CCTV in my room as they have both been caught on camera looking through the window above my door to see what i own (which I took to the police). He has no where to go, this is why he is supposedly staying here, his friend is not even homeless and has a home and NEVER goes home (at 1st i thought they were gay, doesn’t matter to me if they are or not).

What really gets to me is that i am basically paying for them to stay here and do nothing everyday for the last 8 months, and the tenant is doing nothing about this. I am a chef by trade and cant stand going in the kitchen anymore cos its a dump site full of rubbish filled carrier bags (I will not take there rubbish out/away as it is not mine, I clean up after myself as I go along).

This is now beyond a joke and I can not even move home myself as it’ll take me time to get the funds to do so. what can be done please as I am at my wits end. Thanks in advance for reading this.

Crowded Share House

the advicist

It sounds like this isn’t a great living situation for you. Since you are effectively sub-letting a room, you don’t really have as much say over who comes and goes and what they do in the house as your friend the tenant does.

You may have rights and legal recourse and yada yada yada, but really, is it worth all the hassle? You rented a room here… you can rent a room with someone else who puts better boundaries on who can come and go, and how they have to behave.

I can totally see why you’re upset about it – you are paying HALF the rent, and yet these other people are staying there without making any contribution. But because your friend is really the tenant, you are in a weak position, very much at his mercy.

You could certainly talk to him about all the visitors, and see what he says. But unless he really needs your rent money, you might find he’s not that bothered by what you have to say. It’s ‘his’ place after all.

As for the invasion of privacy and them looking through the window… look, in shared housing you’re never going to get the same privacy as living by yourself, and it’s unreasonable to expect someone you are living with (whether they pay rent or not) will NEVER so much as glance in your room. It’s not necessarily how you want it, I get that, but it’s how it is.

Now if they’re taking that further with ladders and looking into light lenders and things… it’s safe to say that either they are dodgy, or they think you are dodgy. Either way, you don’t want to be living with these people.

I know you say you haven’t got the funds to move at the moment, but I think that’s what you need to work towards. In the meantime keeping your head down, working any extra hours you can get to increase your savings will 1) limit your time in the house getting annoyed about it all and 2) make your moving out date quicker.

How are you at managing cash? I’m going to recommend a program which (though it costs money) is a great way to really focus your spending (and therefore saving). It’s called You Need a Budget (not the greatest name, I don’t think, but honestly, it’s an amazing product).

I use this software myself, religiously. Like I track every single penny I earn and save. The link is an affiliate link, but please know I’d never recommend something if I didn’t use and believe in the product, and think you will find it genuinely helpful.

That link will also give you a $6 discount, if you decide to buy. There is a 30 day free trial available and I would urge you to try it. They offer FREE live classes showing you how to use the software fully, and they are really worth your time – I don’t think I would have ‘got it’ without them, but honestly, this product has changed my finances immensely (for the better).

Anyway, best of luck with everything at home. And, this just occurred to me, since you said your kitchen is gross, any chance you can eat for cheap at work? That would kill quite a few birds with one stone, if it’s possible: less time at home, good for the budget, no need to use the gross kitchen.

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My Wife Won’t Holiday with My Violent Sister

Your Question

I have a vacation coming up, traveling with my wife, my mom and sister to visit my uncle and celebrate his  50th birthday. Other family from other states will also be going.

My wife wants to cancel or is making me chose to go or not go… She hates my sister because my sister is violent and unpredictable towards me and her, so my wife therefore is afraid to travel.

I don’t know what to do. What is your advice?

Should we holiday with my violent sister

the advicist

Violent?

Stay at home.

No, better still, the sister stays at home. Why are you all allowing her to be violent? No, you are not responsible for her behaviour. But if you are prepared to go on holiday with her, and take your family with you, you are certainly condoning it.

I would tell your sister you will be seeing her again until she has had treatment for her problems.

That’s my advice. How do you feel about it?

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Is The Guy I Like Into Me?

Your Question
I really like a guy I worked with. He left a couple of weeks ago and started a new job in a new city last week. I’ve been emailing and texting him since then. He always replies to my texts, sometimes hours later though, but never texts me first.

I asked if he’d rather I stopped texting him so much but he said I could text him when I want, he might not reply till later, but that he was trying to reply to me as soon as he could. I know he’s busy with the move and new job but just don’t know if he likes me or not. He never seems to ask many questions either.

is he into me?

the advicist
First things first, how far away is this new job and city? Like, 40 mins away, or a three hour flight away? Because my answer does depend on that. If it’s close enough by that you guys could regularly see each other, ok. If it’s long-distance well, I think you’re better just moving on. Sure, you liked him, but if nothing ever came of it before, and now he’s not textingtextingtexting, I don’t think this has the markings of a long-distance romance.

Assuming he’s nearby, then sure, maybe you guys could get closer. Perhaps working together wasn’t the ideal environment for blossoming romance.

But he doesn’t sound super interested. That’s not to say he isn’t interested. Just… he’s not giving off the ‘I need to see you!’ vibe… or else you wouldn’t be writing to me.

So I’d just see how it goes. Try making plans to meet up. His eagerness might give you an indication of how interested he really is.

There’s no big either / or here. See if he wants to hang out, if not, oh well. There’s no need for big proclamations.

And if he’s not that interested, don’t fret (I know that’s easier to say than hear). But honestly, if he isn’t that into you, and he’s letting you know NOW, he’s doing you a favour. He could string you along, see you when it suits him, offer you committment and very little fun (since you spend all your days waiting to jump to his whim when he does decide to call). Don’t become his fallback girl just because you want a crumb of his affection. Respect yourself, and know that, if he’s isn’t you, he isn’t the one for you.

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And a note from me: after some upgrades on the site, my contact forms aren’t working. I know this, and I will fix them. But actually… it’s nice not be overwhelmed with questions for a bit, so forgive me if I use this time to work on catching up.

If you do have a burning question, you can always e-mail me at admin -at- theadvicist.com. I won’t reply directly, or use your e-mail ever. Please note in your e-mail that you are happy for me to publish the Q & A on the site. And, if you don’t want your question publishing, or you want a quick answer by email, my Confidential Service is always available, and there is currently no waiting list.

My In-Laws Were Mean This Christmas

Your Question
I always knew there was something off about my FIL, step MIL, and SIL. It took 7 years for me to figure them out. They were always being bullies to my husband. Standing up for him seemed almost impossible because they felt they were in the right for being bullies.

They take all measures to find out information about him. They go to the extent of making up lies and spreading rumors.

Recently, they started on my kids and I. They are nice to our face. Then call us on the phone and leave nasty voice mails. My SIL says that life is better when we aren’t around. My FIL says that we all deserve to not be a part of this family. I don’t know what we did and neither does my husband. We would go to outings with them and have dinner parties. I thought we were all getting along and making fun memories.

Turns out my step MIL made up stories and said that my husband and I were running our mouth. When we didn’t. We got wind of that information from my SIL, from when she confronted my step MIL about the nasty things that were said about her. I’m assuming my step MIL convinced my SIL that all that stuff my step MIL said came out of our mouth.

We invited everyone over for thanksgiving dinner. They all said that they would show up. Noone came. They all called us to rub it in our face that they are having a great time without us. So then they invited us over for Christmas. We declined. They backfired with “enjoy another holiday by yourselves, its better without you anyways”.

Then they call us again trying to be nice. I’m so confused. My husband and I don’t call them or talk to them. But they try to talk to us. We just don’t want to be a part anymore. we tried to put everything aside for the holidays, but they were just rude again. Like I said earlier my husband and I decided to be cordial and distant. But they seem to not get the hint to just leave us alone.

My husband said they have been that way his whole life. I don’t know if I should confront them or ignore it all together. Things they say to us hurt. They succeed in making us feel worthless. I don’t know. Any advice would be nice. I’m just kind of confused.

Christmas is Over

Christmas is Over

 

the advicist

The first bit of your letter reads very, ‘He said, she said, I never’. And you know what? For all that information to get back to you someone is running their mouth, and unfortunately, with gossip, even if you’re just listening to someone else do it it appears like you are engaging in it.

I’m not saying I never gossip (gosh, how I love to gossip). But I also acknowledge that people are going to gossip about me. And you know what? I hope they make up some fun shit and enjoy themselves! What other people think of me is not that important. 

Sure, I want to be liked (by people whose judgement I trust. There are plenty of people I could not give a care in the world whether they liked me). But I don’t want to be liked by all people, at all times. Even those close to me aren’t going to like me every second of every day. It’s not realistic. And it’s really NOT THAT IMPORTANT.

So I was all ready to tell you to just calm the hell down… and then you came to the part about Thanksgiving. They accepted an invitation and then didn’t show up?

UNNACCEPTABLE!! Surely they know the trouble you went to. The shopping you did. The cooking. The table-laying.

If they really gave you the impression they were coming, and then didn’t show, seriously? I’d be tempted to let them go their own way until they got in touch. Who needs hassle like that in their lives?

I say, ‘If they really’, because I’m getting the exaggeration vibe from you. Honestly, did you make what you thought were water-tight plans? Like, ‘2pm arrival for a 3pm lunch’? Or did you say in mid-September, ‘Hey, come to ours for Thanksgiving!’, and then waited around for them to get in touch with you, rather than properly inviting them with specifics? (Please answer in the comments, gah, I really need to know!) (UPDATE: The letter writer replied! See the Comments below)

I totally agree with your decision not to go to theirs at Christmas, given how they have treated you. Them rubbing your faces in what a great time they were having is ridiculously childish.

So ridiculously childish that I’d have a hard time getting worked up over it. It’s like when your 4 year old niece says something mean. She’s only 4! What do you expect? That’s kind of how I’d deal with this. They are SO childish it’s kind of hard to get worked up about it. I’m more inclined to pity them.

Honestly, I don’t think ‘Having it out’ with them will acheive anything. You’ve said yourself that they consider themselves to be in the right by bullying your husband.

What I would suggest is that you:

1) Rise above it. Don’t engage in the tittle-tattling. When sister-in-law says, ‘You’ll never guess what Mom said about you!’, say, ‘Honestly, Kim, I don’t want to hear it. Thanks, but I’m not getting caught up in that drama’. REPEAT THIS LINE UNTIL IT SINKS IN.

2) Tell them clearly and calmly when they have crossed a line, and what action you are going to take. So when they are belittling your husband in some way, you CALMLY say to your father-in-law, ‘I’m not prepared to listen to you talk to my husband in that way. If you continue, I will have no choice but to leave’. Then FOLLOW THROUGH.

Don’t merit their bullying by arguing with them on each point. Do not even accept the premise of what they are saying. Don’t dive in with, ‘No he didn’t!’. Simply state that you are not going to listen to it.

Only put commitments on your own actions (eg I will leave), not your husband’s (eg we will leave) and let him make his own choices. They are his family. He will naturally endure more than you will. Don’t make it a battle for him to pick sides. State clearly what YOU will do, then do it by yourself. If your husband choses to leave too, good on him for setting boundaries with his family. If he chooses to stay, good on him for setting boundaries with you.

3) Regarding the answerphone messages. Listen to them quickly, and if they are just pointless nastiness, delete and move on with your life. Yes it’s horrible. But cutting off relationships altogether is a big step. If you can get along face-to-face as you used to do, and just have to quickly cull your messages once in a while, maybe that’s the easiest and best solution.

Yes, it’s hard to hear people speak ill of you. But if you KNOW in your heart of hearts that they are wrong, and deluded, and honestly, have some bigger problems, it should be like water off a duck’s back. ‘Ah, nonny left a crazy message again, oh well!’.

And in case you didn’t get my first point, which is really my only point, you need to rise above it.

If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem, as they say.

 

PS. Readers, tell me straight: am I being too harsh today?

PPS. UPDATE: See the reply to my question in the comments.

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And Now For All The Nasty Things People Did to Each Other over The Holidays

Your Question
Okay. I have never been able to get along with my sister in law from the get go. I can’t make her happy no matter what I say or do. This has been going on for many many years. I just don’t know what to do or say anymore. What she did on Christmas Day was just so uncalled for. Please help.

the advicist

You can’t leave us hanging like that. What did she do????

I need specifics. Quick. I’ve got time to kill before the New Year.

My Future Husband doesn’t Want a Party But I Wanna Party, waah

Your Question Hi, my fiancé and I have booked our wedding in Italy next Spring and we are having a party when we return to celebrate with the friends/ family who can’t afford to go.

He was never keen on the party and now is refusing to go ahead with the party at all, he says he doesn’t really care about “these people” anyway and if they cared they would come to Italy.

This really upsets me, one of my best friends who I want as bridesmaid at the party is terrified of flying and can’t go to Italy and my grandparents can’t fly and lots of my friends/ family can’t afford to go.

When we discuss it he says he’s upset I won’t consider his needs and he doesn’t like being the centre of attention, he’s proposing we all go for a meal- but I would rather have a party for everyone.

But it’s also my wedding and I want to wear my big dress twice and be the centre of attention!

Also our invites which have arrived state “don’t worry if you can’t attend further celebrations will take place when we return ”

We seem totally entrenched on this, please help! I don’t want to start our marriage entrenched over a party!

Party time
the advicist

Look, if he said a flat out ‘no’ to a celebrations when you got home, I would think he was a jerk. What about your grandparents? What about your best friend? But he didn’t say a flat out ‘no’. He suggested a dinner for everyone. That is what we married people call a compromise. 

He doesn’t like being the centre of attention. Can you not understand that?

And don’t worry about the what the invitiations said: 1) a dinner totally counts as a ‘celebration’. 2) even if you said ‘party’ and it became a dinner no-one is reading the invitaition that closely to notice.

You are grasping at straws there and you know it.

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Locks in The House to Prevent Snooping In-Laws: Sensible or Trouble-Making?

Your Question My in-laws’ opinions are that since son/brother is head of the household, the wife should go along with whatever.

I’ve financially contributed to the purchase of our home, plus I brought everything into the home when we married.. furnishings, china, silver, linens, pots, etc. I pay for my cars, visa, etc., keep a clean home. He’s a good provider, takes care of a large yard, and can repair just about anything. I’ve finally set limits about how long they can visit.

They snoop through my personal things when I’m not around. One female takes things. All are slobs and expect me to pick up after them. I no longer do, so hubby does it. There’s now a lock on my office. My bathroom is off limits. There’s a guest bathroom.

Hubby thinks I’m being paranoid. I think I’m being realistic and can leave the house knowing they’re unable to get to my things.

No Entry

the advicist Honestly, the locks sound like a pragmatic solution to me.

Your husband is obviously unwilling or unable to set boundaries.

Personally, I wouldn’t want in-laws with such attitudes to stay with me. If he insists on them staying, I think you ensuring your personal space and belongings are out of reach is fine. But, look.

The locks aren’t the problem here. The problem is that your husband is putting their needs and demands above your own. And that your reaction to that is to do something unilaterally, which he has said he does not want to happen.

You need to work this out, as in come up with a full on strategy for dealing with his family. What is and is not acceptable to each of you.

He may not be happy to ask them to stay in a hotel. You may not be happy with them using your bathroom. Perhaps a lock is a good solution to that – but the way it has been implemented was not.

Honestly, I’d suggest a counsellor. It’s a minor issue – but it’s a very touchy one, and people can get defensive, and it can get nasty. A quick session with a counsellor might just give you some tools to use. Tools for negotiating this issue between the two of you, and tools for enforcing your decisions and boundaries with the family once they have been set.

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This Friendship is Over. So Why Isn’t It?

Your Question
I met my boyfriend through a friend 3 years ago, we had only been friends for 6 months. Since dating him she excludes me from everything, makes sure I feel unwelcome, has had nasty comments aimed at me, in a sneeky manner not greeting, inviting everyone but me for gatherings, I accompany with my boyfriend anyways.

After 2 and a half years of taking it and being quiet, I got angry, trying to talk to my boyfriend, she denied all of it, and eventually it got to the point where I started doing the same back to her, her older sister (the oldest) saw this, and decided she will stick up for her lil sister, and told me to eff off, and I left it, at the next gathering, I wasnt invited, as usual, and told my boyfriend to go without me, which he didnt go, and the oldest called me the C word, and i called her the C word in return.

3 months later I saw her and without warning, she attacked me. We are at the point where they are banned from our place, and each other, we are planning our wedding, and we have plans for a kid in the future, but I’m worried on how this will all pan out or blow up some day, what are the routes this could take? How long am I safe from them? Was I right to stand up and cut them out?

Pandora's Box
the advicist

Sounds like this friendship has run its course. What else is going on here that you can’t just stop seeing this friend like you would anyone else who you no longer got on with?

I don’t really understand the dilemma. You were friends, you’re not now, la-di-da, life goes on. Why did you even put up with this crap for 2 and a half years? She’s your friend, not your mother.

Tell. me. more.

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