Home' LOTL : May 2005 Contents 39
By Dawn Cohen
QWhile my boss is away my workmates take long lunch hours, use
the work car for personal activities, and party. If I tell the boss, it will
come back at me. Why should they get away with partying while I
have to work hard? -- Disgruntled.
AThere are two aspects to your anger. Understandably you are pissed off
at the injustice. Also, understandably, you are resentful that they can
get away with it. The resentment could get you undone. Think again
about telling the boss. You have a dysfunctional work environment and your
work mates' abusive behaviour is corrupting for everyone. If their partying is
not increasing your workload, it is also OK to decide that it is the boss's task
to monitor your colleagues' behaviour, not yours. However in that case, keep
the focus on maintaining your own integrity and work ethics, and don't let your
resentment spill into snide attacks.
THREE'S A CROWD
QMy mother and my girlfriend get on like a house on fire. I know I
should be grateful but I am not. I often feel left out while they chortle
together over a TV show I find unfunny. How can I make myself stop
being so childish? -- Left out.
AA friendly tension between a woman's mother and her girlfriend has a
positive role to play in the relationship. Partners pulling in the opposite
direction to our mothers saves us from being swamped by life-long
pressures to stay merged with our parents.
Like a tug --of-war, a delicate balance must be maintained. If the tension turns
into hostility, the couple will not be able to maintain a nurturing relationship with
each other and with their families.
However, as you are discovering, if your girlfriend and mother are too close it
can leave you feeling either swamped or left out. Yes, it could be your problem.
Perhaps they have an appropriate closeness that you can't cope with. If you
are generally an envious person who can't cope with your loved ones
connecting with each other, then you may need to change.
It is also possible that your partner is losing the boundary that should exist
around your relationship with her. Does your mother try to be your best friend
instead of your parent? Does she compete with you for your friends or lovers?
As a child or teenager did she become a chum with your friends instead of
leaving them to you? If so she is the one with the envy.
Talk to your girlfriend about it, not your mother. Work out together what needs
to change and why.
STRUGGLE WITH SON
QI have an autistic son. When he gets frustrated he is impossible to
be with. My partner loves me and we and him, and there are often
great times together, but sometimes I give up and think it would be
easier if I was single. -- Disillusioned mum.
AIt would not be easier if you were single, just different. The load you are
bearing is almost unimaginable to most people. It is a tribute to you,
your partner and your son that you maintain the love and have some
god times despite the difficulties. If you can afford it, supportive counselling
from a family therapist could give you some tips for getting through the hard
The opinions expressed in this column are the personal views of the writer. They are
not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. If you need medical or
psychological help please see your local GP or psychologist.
"If your girlfriend and mother are too
close it can leave you feeling either
swamped or left out."
One to One Counselling and Education
Depression, Anxiety, Addictions, Relationship Issues,
Adult survivors of sexual abuse
4a/79-85 Oxford Street Bondi Junction NSW 2022
Tel: (02) 9386 5356
Health fund rebates available
RN, BA MApp Psych, MAPS, MCN
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