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January 30, 2010 -
If he refuses more commitment, start dating others

I’m 25 and last year, my long-term boyfriend, 26, accepted a job far away. He disliked his current job, living at home and wanted an adventure. We decided not to carry on a long-distance relationship.      
      We communicated occasionally. Though I've met some wonderful men, nothing compared to how I’d felt about him. Recently, he visited his family and me, and poured out how much he cared for me.       
      He wants to ask me to wait for him because he truly loves me, but, not knowing how long he'll stay in that job, it wouldn't be fair. I agreed. Yet he wants to settle back here eventually.      
      I now feel empty inside. I really miss him and the feelings when we’re together - joyful, comfortable and in love. Should I suggest a long-distance relationship? Is he really being fair to me?
      - Unsure

Being in love feels terrific, but long-term commitment takes work and compromise. Rather than just gamble on “waiting,” it’s better to take each visit as it happens.    
      BUT, if you’re ready for more, then ask for a mutual commitment and consider moving to where he is for this period. Since he plans to return, it’s an immediate but short-term answer to being together and letting the relationship grow.     
      If he refuses, then best to stay apart and meet others.

I don’t know how to control my son’s behaviour. He’s 19, recently been dropped from a prestigious course (which he chose) and is developing low self-esteem. He’s out right rude to us, doesn’t do anything in the house and demands favours. We give in because of his foul-mouthed treatment.     
      He needs anger management but won’t get counselling. We’ve thought of involving the police, but fear a police record will ruin his life. He had several traffic tickets, lost his license eventually and we have to drive him around. He works part-time, and we have to drive him there too.    
      We want him to go to another locale where he'll get admission in a decent university. How do I convince him he’s wasting time and will feel worse off compared to his peers? And that he should seek help for his anger? It’s affecting our health now.
      - Unruly Son

Tough Love meets Self-Preservation.    
      Give him few options, example: In order to receive room and board at home, he goes for counselling, does chores and can get to work on his own.    
      OR, if he chooses to go to another school, he must see student services for counselling and anger management.    
      This is crucial. No campus should receive an angry, unhappy student who’s been sent away because of his negative attitude and behaviour  - it’s a set-up for potential disaster for him and possibly others, too.    
      Do NOT be cowed by his rudeness. You’re the payers of his lifestyle and can refuse to support, drive or cater to him. But DO be caring and helpful about his need for counselling, that is essential to his re-gaining self-confidence and moving forward.    
      He should also have a health check to make sure there are no serious medical or mental health issues affecting him.

I just want to know more about the “pre-nup.”
      - Need Help

The pre-nuptial agreement is a legal document, usually regarding property and finances in case of divorce, which two people sign before they marry.     
      Never sign this or any other legal document without having a lawyer of your own explain all the matters, and advise you in your best interest.

I’m 35 and my boyfriend of five years is 38. His mom gave me jewellery, insisting I wear it “forever.” For Christmas, she gave a picture frame, stressing it’s for a photo of him and me.   
      Instead, I gave it away. I don’t want to get to know her more. She appears very difficult to please. Also, she seems to be preying on my family because of money issues and my friends say she’s a gold-digger. I find her bossy and irritating. How do I avoid her? What should I do about it?
      - Agitated

Decide whether you want your boyfriend “forever.” If yes, discuss his mother (without blame), and your concerns. Your friends sound critical and gossipy - is there evidence for their judgments, or are you looking for negatives?    
      You can’t avoid a mother-in-law “forever.” Try to understand her and get along; but also set boundaries on which you and your guy agree.

Tip of the Day: When a relationship is interrupted, “waiting” without commitment is a gamble. Decide on greater commitment or staying apart.

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