Q: In a moment of poor judgment, I stole $80 from my roommate. She was selling a lot of stuff on Craigslist because she’s about to move out, so she had cash lying around and I’ve been really worried about money. I know she might suspect it, but she hasn’t said anything. I don’t see us continuing a relationship after she leaves and I don’t know if I'll return it, but I wanted to get this off my chest.
A: Poor judgment might explain the Honey BBQ Frito powder on my fingertips, but it doesn’t cover the theft of wads of cash. Has this happened before? What justification did you use, in the moment, and how did your usual inhibitions decide to take a nap?
You’re coming clean to me, which I don’t want to punish. But you’ve got some repair work to do, and you need some real understanding of what happened here, for prevention of future graft. Put the money in an envelope and give it back to her, however you can stomach it. Do it for your roommate, do it for karma, do it for a new path for yourself that will give you something to be proud of.
Q: I have put on some weight in the past year, mainly due to skipping the gym and being lazier about what I eat. I work full time and am in graduate school and it’s just not easy for me right now to focus on my health. My husband is very supportive, but it’s almost like he thinks I’m more worried about it than I am. He goes out of his way to let me know that he’s attracted to me no matter what, etc. It’s sweet, but it makes me feel worse because I know I will take the weight off in time but can’t make it a priority now.
A: Your husband is sensitive, loving and accepting – off with his head! Nah, I see your point. His attitude almost has a “doth protest too much” flavor, and it probably itches you to be reminded of the weight gain. The beauty here, though, is that if his comments have been genuine, then he should also accept that you don’t want to hear anything about it. Be honest, with a spoonful of gratitude. “I appreciate how supportive you’re being, but I haven’t been dwelling on my weight right now – it will come off in due time – and I don’t need you to worry about me, or it, either.”
Andrea Bonior is a psychologist and author of “The Friendship Fix.” www.drandreabonior.com
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