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Parents Back Out Of Wedding Commitment

Dear Miss Emily My Parents are controlling my wedding/marriage- HELP! I am 24 years old and my fiance is 27. I earned a B.A. at a university, worked for 2 years and lived on my own and have moved back with my parents for the past 7 months to help with money. My fiance and I have been dating for 13 months now. He is a baseball coach at a major university in another state. He proposed in September and we have been planning a June 2010 wedding. My parents will be paying for it, my mom has already purchased my dress, we have asked our 12-member wedding party to participate, everything has been set. Now, 3 months before I am to be a married woman and move onto a life with my husband, my parents are getting cold feet and are coming up with excuses like they NOW think my fiance doesn't make enough money, etc. and they refuse to hold the wedding this June. They want to cancel. I am completely in love with "him" but I dont want to fight with my parents about it. They have done everything for me, including financially supporting me now. I love them and I love my fiance- I dont want to fight and I feel like I'm caught in the middle. Am I being unreasonable to feel like at the end of the day? It is MY choice to get married and I dont think they should stand in my way? Do you think it would be disrespectful to my parents to get married without a wedding for them to be involved with? Am I too worried about their opinion and just need to grow up and move on? PLEASE- any perspective other than mine and the parties involved is GREATLY appreciated! --------------------------------Miss Emily's advice------------------------- Is there any other possible reason for why your parents have changed their minds about your fiance? They have some dirt on him, or he isn't the guy they thought he was, after all? Because his income is either a cover for something else, or your parents have a snobbish side to them. Two other possibilities come to mind: You've only known him 13 months, and he asked you to marry him after dating only six months. Do they see red flags because, in their eyes, it's too soon to marry? Could it be that your parents won't admit to you that they are financially strapped and can't really afford this wedding? Have they (other than the dress) paid out a considerable amount of money for this wedding, as well, the wedding party? Please let me know the answer to these questions. You have a real delimma on your hands, but if I don't hear back from you, yes, it's my opinion that if you truly love this man and know you will have a wonderful future together, tell your parents you intend to marry him as planned, and if they back out on the financial support you will find a way to make the wedding work -- and you would like them to attend! What else can you do? Wait until your parents give their blessing? And when might that be -- when his income reaches their level of acceptance? From what you have told me, they are being unreasonable and controlling by doing this to you at this late date. Does your fiance know about this latest development, and why they want to cancel?

Family Visits

Dear Miss Emily:

What would be the appropriate response when family members come over and practically take over the house when visiting. Such as taking over the remote and watching the programs they want to watch all day. Also, they have a child that is extremely loud and borderline obnoxious with only playing sports games with my daughter who wants to do other things. The parents of the child think everything the child does is hilarious and gives constant affirmation to the behaviour. The child must be the center of attention always, even at the family table. Please advise.

------------------------Miss Emily's advice------------------

Families are a balancing act, and some don't even deserve the title. You almost want to make an excuse for them -- like certain friends when they are selfish, possessive, and rude. "Gee, if they knew the error of their ways, they would change because, surely, they don't want to be perceived as obnoxious bloodsuckers?"  Right. Many people accept the status quo to avoid the equivalent of WW III.  In other words, the grievances you have, now, would seem like a day at the beach were you to take them to task. Still, there are others who are gutless and won't speak up when that's all it would take to get a little respect. Try this: Make plans when they come that do not center on watching television, or give their bratty kid center stage. And if they are adverse to activity, other than television watching, take the kids on an outing where "he" won't be able to monopolize the activity. You have the power to change it if you use some diplomacy while asserting yourself. "Hey, I'm bored. Let's do something other than watching television." or "Wow, you guys have been watching your stuff for hours, how about me introducing you to this new show I think you'll love."  And when "the kid" is at the dinner table begging for attention by shooting off his mouth over everything that's said, tell him, "That's a thought. Does anyone else have something to add to that?" And if he interrupts, you say, "Now wait, I want to hear what (?) has to say on the subject and, then, it's your turn." or "Jimmy, I'd like to talk about another subject for a minute, if you could just hold on to that thought, I'd really appreciate it."  Kids usually respond to tactful, and clever sidestepping even when their parents lack the discipline to instill good manners. Be polite, and be persistent. But if you perceive this situation to be hopeless, and they will not bend to your desire to be fair, make yourself scarce. If they wonder where you went, tell them your restless leg syndrome acts up when you sit too long.

How Do I Break-up A Three-month Relationship?

:Dear Miss Emily:

I would like to have some advice on how to break up easily, and peacefully with someone I have had a relationship with for almost 3 months. I used to love him a lot but, now, I don't.  I'm afraid of telling him so, because he will feel really sad and he told me that I would destroy his life if I did so one day....what can I do?

---------------Miss Emily's advice------------

You can't be held hostage to someone who tells you "Don't break up with me or it would destroy my life."  It's completely irrational, as well, coercive. When someone can't tell another person it's over, it often has a lot to do with how he/she will be judged and, basically, can' t stand the heat.  There is also the element of wondering how it is that you can have strong feelings for someone one minute and, then, radically change your opinion, the next. But it's really insidious.  Little things grow into big things, and the differences begin to loom like a black cloud hanging over your head.  You end up praying to the gods for sunshine -- a way out.  I know it's tough, but short of lying your way out of it, what choice do you have? (this is where you answer, "none.")  He's got a needy side, and I suspect that's one problem you have with him.  He as much said you are responsible for his state-of-mind. Well, you're not. Tell him you have thought long and hard about this decision, but you've decided you want to go it alone.  He'll beg you to tell him what he's done wrong, and you simply tell him, "It has nothing to do with right or wrong.  I just feel I have a stronger need to be on my own, rather than in this relationship."  You can be kind, but be firm, and don't let him lay a guilt trip on you.  Once you've done the task, you will feel incredible relief -- sort of like finishing a college exam. This was a three month relationship -- not three years!  End it, and move on.           

Estranged From Mother

Dear Miss Emily:

It will be one year in September since I talked to my mother.  She has done many mean things to me in the past, and I have forgiven her many times.  For example, talking about me behind my back to my family members saying I don't have a life, credit card fraud, causing fights with other family members when she was at my house for a special occasion, and the list goes on.  Please note, she has a problem with alcohol, but won't go for help.  I always wanted to keep the lines of communication open, but I just couldn't go on with my own mental health at stake.  I just need some advice on how to get stronger without this toxic relationship.

---------------Miss Emily's advice---------------

You were weakened by this toxic relationship.  The only way you can get stronger is to realize that your mother is an alcoholic, is abusive, displayed criminal behavior and, therefore, destroyed any credibility she ever had with you. You probably harbor some guilt in this, but that is the burden children often carry when a parent is abusive.  To have her in your life, now, is really not an option, is it?  The stress, the lies, and the deceit is far more injurious to your health and well being, than to live without your mother until (or if ever) she is capable of restructuring her life for the better.  Power and strength comes from making decisions that are not always perfect but, ultimately, prove to be the wiser, safer choice. You owe it to yourself to move forward with people who better your life, not destroy it.  We do not choose our parents, and we are not obligated to suffer family matters that are not within our control.


An Inner Hunger

Dear Miss Emily:

I have this inner hunger or drive that I can not find an outlet for.  It's hard to explain.  I have a great job that I enjoy.  Sex with my wife is awesome.  Case in point:  I have bought several dozen of the world's premier domestic and international stocks at great prices in these markets and I am still hungry for more.  I love finding them and buying them cheap more than I like owning them.  My younger cousin and I will compete in SMALL sports wagers and, if I win, I will give my wife the money because the money in and of itself means nothing to me.  It's all in the game.  I compete in a number of online chess contests.  I will sometimes watch old sports events on Youtube just to watch the great plays, blocks, and tackles that I know are coming.  Working out helps.  Sex helps.  But I just can't seem to relax my mind sometimes.  If I see a plot element in a movie that does not make sense to me, it bugs me for the rest of the movie.  Like in last summer’s Batman movie, it bugged the hell out of me that Batman didn't run over the Joker on his motorcycle when he had the chance.  I will sometimes debate movie subplots with people on IMDB.  I hope this profile has helped.  I am always at my best in the clutch when I play a game.  My weakness is games of chance as luck never seems to work for me.  How would you profile me?

----------------------------Miss Emily’s advice---------------------

A Warren Buffet wannabe (he still lives in the same house he bought when he was a young man)?  A control-freak?  Compulsive-obsessive?  Or just a “type A” smart guy who loves competing for the sport of it without greed attached to the motive.  It seems to me that you have many outlets for this "inner hunger."  Truthfully, it only matters if it disrupts your life and the lives of those you love.  Now if it does trouble you to a great extent, you need to get to the root of what you perceive to be a problem and that would require therapy – if you have the guts to tackle this head-on.  No problem?  Well, forget labels and enjoy your life. One small red flag, however – no matter how frustrating it was not to see Batman run over the Joker, your "inner-hunger" to see him killed,  in this respect, sadly overshadowed the basic premise of the film, and obsessing about it throughout the movie is troubling.  That said, given human nature and the will to survive, I think, in reality, one of those boats in the bay would have been blown to smithereens.  But I waited until after the film to let that bother me.      

College Graduation Gift For Son's Girlfriend of Three Years

Dear Miss Emily:

What is the proper thing to do for my son's girlfriend, of three years, who is graduating from college?

-----------------Miss Emily's advice------------

First, you must take financial capability into consideration.  Aside from the usual gift of jewelry, gift certificate, or gift basket from Victoria Secret, I think a luncheon, or dinner in her honor would be a lovely thing to do. Again, depending on how much you can afford, limiting it to four (you, your husband, son, and the graduate) is perfectly acceptable. Any additional gift is purely at your discretion.   

When Listening Becomes a Chore

Dear Miss Emily:

I'm an adult woman.  My parents and my brother believe that if someone has something (they believe) is important to say to me, I am obligated to listen.  I politely asked that the subject be changed, but was told I was being disrespectful for not listening.  So I offered to read whatever it was they wanted to say, and this to was rejected.  If anything, they are disrespecting my boundaries.  What do you think?
Falling On Deaf Ears

--------------------------------Miss Emily’s advice---------------------------

Dear Falling:

You had me up until offering to read what it is that they want to say.  In my opinion, that is a tad arrogant and a demeaning approach, but I see your point.  If it’s a subject that is controversial or a personal attack, you have every right to  tell someone that you don’t wish to go there, especially when opinions are warranted (and you don’t want to offer one), or you are put in a position to be defensive.  Some people are going to be offended no matter how you approach it, but it also boils down to the way you want to be perceived by others.  There is no reason to be a pushover and be forced to listen to every blowhard and bore that crosses your path, and who thinks his or her opinion is god sent.  But it is polite to listen and appear interested in most cases.  It’s a social grace that can be finely tuned if you care to put the time into it.  A tactful, thoughtful response will not set you up to be a sucker for verbal abuse, and you will not be mistaken for a royal bitch.       

Pastic Surgery for Too Much Down There

Hi Miss Emily,

I have a question that I really, really want advice on.  It's a ladies only kind of question.....I am unhappy with my womanly part. I have only been with two men and both men commented on how long and thick my labia are. It's keeping me for having a good relationship, because I am so insecure. One guy even had the nerve to tell me I had "beef curtains"! I was horrified.  Aside from it more or less ruining my personal life, I have other issues.   If I wear tight jeans my labia get pinched when I walk, and I can't wear a cute swim suit because swim bottoms sometimes cause unsightly wardrobe malfunctions....I only go swimming in a bikini top and shorts. I am 27 years old and want a normal happy relationship and want to have look good "down there" for my self-esteem. I know surgery is an option but I have never had surgery of any kind, and I am scared. What do you think I should do?
Down There

---------------------------------Miss Emily’s advice------------------------

Dear Down:

There is a popular trend, now, called “designa vagina.”  I know you are not looking at it with a “Beverly Hills” mentality approach, but my point is that there are many plastic surgeons who are doing this, and it shouldn’t be too hard to find one in your area.  Just make sure it is a reputable plastic surgeon!  I had a friend who underwent the very procedure that you want (in San Francisco), for the same reasons, exactly.  It was done under a local, with no pain, and little to no discomfort afterward.  It won’t be cheap, but if you can find a way to pay for it, you will never be sorry.  Letting this interrupt what should be a normally pleasurable experience, is unnecessary.  By the way, some men do enjoy this on a woman, but it really doesn't matter, does it?  It bothers you and you want it changed.  The sooner you do this, the better, and you will never look back. Check on the Internet for plastic surgeons in your area who do this kind of work and, then, call the office directly for more information.  Be specific about what you want "labia reduction," and nothing more.  Let me know if you need more information.

Not Enough Credits to Graduate

Dear Miss Emily:

O K, I just had my first day of school.  Last week, I got enrolled and registered, and they gave me 4 classes total. They thought that it would be better for me, and less stressful. But, the thing is, I won't have enough credits to graduate. I've been trying to find out if there is anything I can do, or a program that can help me get more credits that will count in order for me to be able to graduate on time. Can u help me out with this?

------------------------Miss Emily’s advice------------------

This is a little out of my league.  Have you talked to the school counselor?  I would think that only he or she can tell you what alternatives you have.  Make sure you explain to them how important it is to you that you graduate on time.  But your e-mail address suggests to me that you live out of the U S, and that makes it even harder for me to judge your situation.  I know that some schools (where I live) will let you go through the graduation ceremony, as long as you commit to a summer class or night course that will give you the credits you need. Don’t delay in finding a solution.  Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

The Need To Start Telling The Truth

Dear Miss Emily:

I don't think that I should be in a relationship right now, but I'm in almost 3!  I need help in breaking things off, but I don't know how to do it.  I really need help, because I'm tired of lying and tired of cheating. Please help me.
Had It

---------------------Miss Emily’s advice-----------------

Dear Had:

I think you are really tired of being you, right now.  If you take a look at the characteristics of someone who lies and cheats, the core is an inability to face confrontation, or lacking the courage of conviction.  It really isn’t as hard as it seems – being honest.  Once you do it, it gets easier.  And the greatest reward is that you become the friend you have always wanted.  It shows the world that you are self-assured and people respect you. So go ahead, sit these people down, one at a time, and tell the truth -- you don't want to be in a relationship because you need to spend time with you.  If they can't accept it, that's too bad, but it's your life and you have the right to live it as you see fit.  Do it before you end up spending most of your day trying to keep the lies straight -- or lying becomes second nature.  Believe me when I tell you, truth is liberating.   It makes life so much simpler, and you will have a better chance of attracting emotionally secure individuals of like mind.   
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