My boyfriend and I have been together for two years. I moved in with him about a year ago. He has a 9-year-old son, "Todd," who stays with us every other week.
Todd is a great kid, but he has a genetic disorder and still often wets his bed. When it happens, he changes his pajamas and then climbs into bed with us. I don't mind, but I have told my boyfriend we need to start the process of his son not getting in bed with us three to four times a week.
Because I know it's going to be a process that is going to take time, I'm trying to get it started now. I really don't want an 11- or 12-year-old sleeping in our bed. How should I get this process started without nagging my boyfriend?
- Great Kid, But ...
DEAR GREAT KID, BUT: You have a point. Todd is a little too old to be climbing into bed with the two of you. What needs to be addressed - with the boy's pediatrician and possibly a urologist - is the issue of the bed-wetting. After that has been resolved, suggest that your boyfriend have a talk with Todd and explain that he's old enough to sleep in his own bed.
I am a single, 55-year-old man. During the last year, I have felt lost. My mother, my last close relative, passed away. My brother and sister died years ago, as did my father. We were a very close family. Now I am an orphan.
I don't have children, and I'm not sure what I need to do. I'm in the process of selling the family home/office where I worked for the last 30 years, but I feel guilty about it. There's so much stuff to sort through - both business and personal - that I don't know where to start. I'm overwhelmed and having so many anxiety attacks that I can't get the things done that I need to.
When I sell this place, I know I'm going to be devastated. I have been suffering with depression for more than 20 years, but now I seem to have hit bottom. My business is failing. I have a couple of friends, but they have their own families and problems. This is affecting my physical and mental health. How can I get past it? I'm not a religious person.
- Alone and Sad
DEAR ALONE AND SAD: Please accept my sympathy for the loss of your mother. Grief after the death of a loved one is a normal emotion, and you might find comfort by joining a grief support group. This would not only give you a safe place to talk about your feelings, but also help you to feel less isolated.
If you haven't already done so, schedule an appointment with the physician who has been treating your chronic depression (assuming it has been treated) and ask to have your medications reviewed. If you have not received treatment, tell your doctor what has been going on, and ask for a referral to a licensed therapist who works with a psychiatrist who can prescribe something appropriate.
And remember that while selling the house/office is closing a chapter in your life, it is also signaling the beginning of a new one. It may give you the renewed energy - as well as the financial means - to salvage your business or start one. Please know I wish you a happy future.