Home' LOTL : May 2004 Contents ADVICE BY DAWN COHEN
Q My partner's ailing grandmother unequivocally welcomed me to
the family ten years ago. Now my partner wants her to move in
with us. I am horrified at the thought. Should I move out temporarily
so that Nanna's last years are good ones? -- Wrinkle Free.
A You are torn between your horror and your guilt, and you are jumping to a solution
that appeases both sides without thinking through the consequences for your
relationship. For how many years are you planning to move out? What will you do with
your resentment? How will your partner feel without your support? Accept for a moment
that you have an insoluble problem. Without focussing on a solution, let your horror and
your guilt talk to each other as if they were separate people. You can do this by writing
a dialogue between them, or by putting two chairs across from each and carry on a
conversation moving between the chairs. Without judgement, ask each side how it
came to be there, and what its fears, needs and hopes are. Seek very concrete,
detailed answers. Then add a third chair. This is your relationship chair. Sit in that chair,
and let your relationship speak its needs. Your partner or a friend can help, as long as
they remain truly neutral. Once you have explored extensively, brainstorm creative
options holding in mind that there will not be a perfect solution.
SNAKES AND LADDERS
Q The corporation has offered me a promotion. My girlfriend is
worried we will have less time together. I was ambitious when she
met me, and I think it's unfair of her to expect me to change now.
-- Top Girl.
A You experience your girlfriend's concerns as a pressure to change your deepest
character. You need to clarify if that is what she is truly wanting. Perhaps you are
assuming that being concerned about the relationship automatically means annihilating
ambition. Is there a compromise that your ambitious side can live with? Offer her -- and
yourself -- a package neither of you can refuse.
GRASS IS GREENER
Q I am currently in a relationship with a younger man after trying
women. If your readers checked out the quality of male in the new
generation they too could find their true nature. -- Happy Convert.
A You have written to a lesbian advice column when overtly you are saying you have
no problem. Perhaps there is a part of you that unconsciously wants help with
something. You make the abusive assumption that other people's nature is or should be
the same as yours. It's easy to intrude that assumption onto lesbians because society
encourages that particular abuse of lesbian boundaries, but my guess is that your
failure to respect other people's basic right to be themselves manifests in other aspects
of your life. What we do to others we usually do to ourselves. Could it be that you
have trouble allowing yourself to be intrinsically different from significant authority
figures in your own life?
The opinions expressed in this column are the personal views of the
writer, they are not intended to be a substitute for professional
medical advice. If you need medical or psychological help please see
your local GP or psychologist.
Leanne M Amber
unhappiness • grief & loss
relationship issues • coming out issues
0415 959 604
132 Willoughby Rd Crows Nest 2065
(rear of Heller's Health Food Store)
BA (Psych), M.A. (Psych) Grad. Dip. Couples Therapy MAPS
Couples & Individuals: Relationships,
Career Dilemmas, Drugs & Alcohol,
Gambling, Anxiety, Depression, Stress.
After Hours Appointments Available
Surry Hills & Annandale Phone: 0407 286 738
IS THERE A COMPROMISE THAT YOUR AMBITIOUS SIDE
CAN LIVE WITH? OFFER HER -- AND YOURSELF --
A PACKAGE NEITHER OF YOU CAN REFUSE.
COULD IT BE THAT YOU HAVE TROUBLE ALLOWING
YOURSELF TO BE INTRINSICALLY DIFFERENT FROM
SIGNIFICANT AUTHORITY FIGURES IN YOUR OWN LIFE?
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