Tag Archives: relationship

Meditation can help you with your troubles

http://www.chopra.com/ccl/how-meditation-benefits-everyone-around-you?

 

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Worried about my dad

Worried about my dad

Dear globalcounselor,

I am 18 years old and I have been raised by my wonderful dad as a single parent ever since my mother died  when I was only 4 years old. My dad never remarried and as far as I know never had a girlfriend. He committed himself to looking after me and my two other sibling brothers who are older than me. My dad was our biggest cheer-leader and he is my best friend. I could talk to my dad like I would talk to a mother. He has been there, taking me to school on the bus, taking me with him shopping, taking me to gym classes and other extracurricular activities. I never once thought of him as a man. It was difficult for him when I brought home my boyfriend. It was something new for him and he scolded me in the ways of boys. Recently I lashed out at him when he tried to stop me from going out with my boyfriend. He thought I was seeing too much of this boy and I don’t think he likes the fact that my boyfriend is white. We are Ethiopians and with strong cultural ties to Ethiopia. He even made sure I spoke our mother tongue Amharic. In my anger, I told my dad to get a life and stop worrying about me. He turned to me and said  I think you’re right, I should get a life and get a wife now. You are all grown up and I promised your mother I would take care of our children  and she was able to die in peace. I apologized to my dad but I know I have disrespected my dad and I feel so bad. Something broke. Then, a month of so later, he started dressing up and going out and coming in later. I suspected that he may have found a girlfriend. Last week he brought an Ethiopian woman home and introduced her to us as a friend. She is no  stranger, we’ve seen her in the community. My brothers seem to like her but I find myself wishing she would go away and leave my dad alone. I don’t think she is good enough for my dad and worst of all I feel that I have pushed my dad away and into the arms of this woman who I feel is only going to come and complicate our lives and take my dad for all he has. My dad is accountant and we’re not doing too badly off. How can I let my dad know that this woman is not right for him.

Guilty

Dear Guilty,

Thank you for sharing your story but my answer is short and hopefully sweet. Leave your dad alone. He is a grown man and from your description of him he has been a great dad. He’s done what a lot of men would not do so be grateful he’s seen you through your most critical years. He is your father but he also is a man and he has needs. Let him be. I am sure if he finds out that this woman is incompatible with him he’would know what to do.  Be happy for him. With regards to your little hissy fit, most parents are resilient to their children’s insults and maybe that was indeed a wake up call for him to realize he could not live his life through his children but ought to get on with his own. He must be thanking you for that in his heart. It sounds like you and your dad has an easy rapport, so if after a while you can be objective about your dad’s relationship (let’s face it you must be a little jealous of another woman coming into your dad’s life – and that’s normal in these circumstances)  and if you see something that worries you, I am sure you can talk to your dad and maybe he will clarify things for you.  What a lucky girl you are to have had a father as you described. He is one special dad

Being assertive is sexy

Assertiveness is not lording it over another person. It’s not speaking your truth in a manner that hurts the other but it is clearly stating your feelings in an honest way without blame or judgments of any other. It is being respectful but firm in your own truths and beliefs.
Lack of assertiveness is the cause of many communications misunderstanding and relationships break up. It is when one partner bottles up his or her feelings and pretends all is well and then like a highly fermented drink  or the pop of a champagne bottle, they exploed and let out toxic gas that spills everywhere.
    When you speak with quiet confidence people listen to you and respect you for it even if they do not agree with you.  Being assertive is an excellent skill and it is not hard to do. All that it requires is practice. If someone does not like you because you cease to be a doormat and start speaking up for yourself and your self-respect, then that person was never a friend and those are the people who you need to leave behind and embrace those who embrace all of you.
 
Assertiveness is the ability to express your thoughts and feelings honestly and respectfully without undue anxiety. Communicating confidently does not happen magically but when you do it, it gives you the freedom to be yourself.

Feeling used

Dear globalcounselor,

I am a 64 year old Black woman in the entertainment industry. I was married to a white man for 35 years. I believe we had a good marriage and were happy but two years ago he said he was not happy and wanted out of the marriage. I was shocked.  He said there was no one but that he just wanted to be free to try something. I was hurt but what could I do. We became separated and we divvyed up our resources. I did all this unwillingly because I could not believe that my husband wanted out. Shortly after we separated he started going out with a white woman. I was even more hurt, I felt he was tired of the Black woman. They went out for about four months and he was single again. After that he used to visit me. He kept assuring me that he is committed to me but not as a husband anymore. He would come and we would eat together and this went on for about a year and a half. My children were upset with me and felt I was allowing myself to be used by their father. They were very angry at him for leaving me. My daughter did not want to come around anymore because she said she was embarrassed for me.  I thought about it and I have decided that it is better I lose my ex’s fair weather friendship that my children’s respect.  I told him that this had to end and that I cannot go on like this anymore and that the children were not happy. He said that was one of the problems with the marriage, he said that I always listened to my children and put him second every time.  It’s not true but he cannot have his cake and eat it too.  Do you think I made the right decision?

I’m through

Dear I’m through:

If you made the decision to please your children it may be the wrong decision. From what I gather they are grown up and out of the house. It is none of their business how you run your life and it’s not like it’s a strange man – it’s their father. You would think they would want you to get back together.

If you felt like you were getting a raw deal and friendship with an ex you obviously still care about would not work for you, then you made the right decision to end any false hope you might be encouraging.

Lifelong marriage is not for everyone. Some people feel restless when life is winding down for them and they feel they have so much more to experience  and may see having a commitment to a wife as not part of their new freedom plan. You have to understand that  your husband’s behaviour may not be about you but it’s about where your ex is at and what he sees as priority in his mid twilight years. I suggest you get out there and start experiencing life in a new way. It can be exciting, just give yourself chance.

Blast from the past

Dear globalcounselor,

Recently I bumped into an old flame I dated way back in high school. I am now in my mid-forties.  I’m talking a few years here. But it so happens we are both single again. Both of us have been married to other people and have four children between us.  We exchanged phone numbers and have been talking a lot lately.  I find that I am drawn to this man again. I am not sure if it is love or just loneliness. I’ve been separated for about 6 years and I’m now ready to date again. I don’t want to make a mistake and I don’t want to give my old boyfriend any ideas. I like the fact that we talk on the phone and I look forward to his phone calls. Any advice on how to proceed here?

Unsure

Dear Unsure,

There is always something comforting about familiarity. Loneliness on the other hand can wreak havoc on our lives and lead us to make unwise decisions.

  I am sure both you and your old flame are quite different people now.  Your life experiences would have changed you for good or bad.  I think the best way to see if this connection is anything other than simple friendship is to be open and honest about the way things are.  There is no harm in a few dates and spending time together with an open mind.  If there is something real and you both think it is worth a shot, why not?  But whatever you do create a love relationship to fill the void  of your loneliness.   There is a good chances that will not sustain the relationship. You mayl end up spoiling a good friendship.  Having a good friend can be quite satisfying.  Make sure you start a love relationship for the right reason.

Dear globalcounselor

My 18 year old daughter brought home a black boyfriend and while I can see my way to open my heart to his difference my husband is totally against it.  I love my daughter and I want her to be happy but what do I do?  I am caught in the middle.

I am not prejudice but we were raised in a certain way. There are no mixtures in our family and frankly, I am embarrased about this situation. What would my neighbours think?

Please give me your suggestion

Not racist

Dear Not racist,

It is difficult embracing difference but it is not your difference, it is your daughter’s choice.  Believe me when you get those cute biracial grandchildren you will forget that they are bi-racial.  All you would see is your grandchildren.

You can get your husband to understand that times have changed and if he does not want to lose his daughter he would respect her choice. Perhaps they may not even end up getting married but if you should show opposition to her choice she may be drawn closer to this man.  Try to look beyond his colour and race, is he a good person, is he capable of taking care of your daughter, does he show her respect. As Martin Luther King said, judge this man not by the colour of his skin but by the content of his character.  You may be surprised to discover what a gem this man is and how lucky your daughter is to have found him or if he is a no-good loser type, then do your darnest to end the relationship.  We are all God’s children man, let’s get along.