Q: My friend’s husband died suddenly a few months ago and she has started dating again already. I don’t mean to be judgmental, but that seems too soon. She is seeing a lot of different guys and doesn’t seem to be really dealing with her husband’s death. I want to talk to her about this, but don’t want it to come across the wrong way. They don’t have kids, if that matters.
A: Everyone handles grieving in their own way, and what genuinely helps the healing process for some would quickly send others into the fetal position. Dating these guys might not be good for her. But to intervene, you'll need to explain why that’s the case. It’s not enough just to object to her behavior because it doesn’t fit your model of grieving. Is she respecting and taking care of herself? Is she being treated well by these guys? Is she availing herself of help of whatever sort might be available? Before you risk making her self-conscious about her romantic choices, find another way to address your concerns, because this conversation shouldn’t be about the guys.
Q: My husband is lazy and doesn’t do much around the house or to help with child care. I’m constantly comparing him to my friends’ husbands and he comes up short every time. I’m embarrassed, but I don’t know how to change this.
A: You change this by communicating, and you communicate by first clarifying to yourself what you’re after. An overhaul in the way your husband conducts his day-to-day life? A closer relationship between him and your kids? Some help in bulldozing mountains of laundry? This will take some soul-searching on your part about what you want out of your partnership and what you can realistically expect, and whether that discrepancy is a big or small deal. Bottom line: Ask for what you feel you need for you, the house and the kids. Don’t frame it as something he needs to do to keep up with Liam’s dad.
Andrea Bonior is a psychologist and author of “The Friendship Fix.” www.drandreabonior.com
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