Ellie - Great advice 6 days a week
 Resources Contact
Home Ask a Question Today's Column About Ellie Archives Ellie's Tips
Archive

February 25, 2013 -
Appeal to adult children's partners for support

My son’s gay, in a wonderful relationship, and has completed his master’s qualifications in a trade. He’s built up a successful business based on his workmanship and integrity. 
   He’s obese. He refuses to go for a physical, and eats fast food while working. He reverts to healthy eating at dinner cooked by his partner.
    I worry about his future health. I know only he can motivate himself to change and he "knows” the health ramifications. So there’s danger in alienating him by bringing up the topic.

    I’ve previously paid for health club memberships. Eight years ago he went regularly and lost much weight. He now says he’s too fat for the gym and has no time.
   Would a family meeting be appropriate whereby we all express our concern, or would he interpret it as ganging up on him and interfering?

     Eventually he’ll need our support, should he become compromised through lifestyle diseases. I prefer to take action now, by being proactive and supporting him in any way. 

Mother Looking Ahead



Look at WHO he is – a man happy in his relationship, and successful. He either prefers being in denial about negative (but realistic) health predictions, or feels he cannot make the changes needed without disrupting the other parts of his life.

   He’s knows how you feel about his weight but is no longer motivated by a mother’s concern. Nor will he appreciate family intervention.

   What can motivate him is his partner’s added support (already evident in his cooking), e.g. accompanying him to a doctor to check for any existing health causes for his obesity. Then encouraging him in whatever treatment, therapy, fitness, and/or weight-loss programs are recommended.

   Support their success as a couple. Then back off and trust they’ll make wise decisions together.

   I add from personal experience, that it’s not easy to be a caring parent and withhold helpful information gained over the years, especially when there’s reason to be worried.

   (Imagine my difficulty holding back!)

   But many adult children perceive such advice as parents’ disapproval, and resist for that very reason.

    Look to your son’s partner as the person from whom he does want approval. Without putting pressure on this man, gently introduce the idea that he can play an even more important role in your son’s health.



I’m 56, and an only child. When my father (then 82) asked my husband (then 55) and I to move into their large home to assist him, as my mother was developing dementia, we moved.

    Six months later, my father moved in with a woman he’d been having an affair with in another city.
   I helped my mother get proper support. We bought my father’s share of the house. He’s not spoken to me since, angry that I helped my mother get a lawyer. He assumed we’d support her.

   My husband has since died, and my mother’s in a nursing home. I’ve written to my father about my son’s wedding, birth of his great-grandchild, etc. I never receive a response though I’m aware he’s alive.
   Neighbours and friends often ask me if I hear from my dad. I reply, no. But I wish to not keep being asked. I find my situation very upsetting and would like a better way of handling this question.

Alone and Hurt



Keep it short but direct: “No. And it’s not going to change, so I prefer not to talk about it again.”

   Change the topic quickly, smile, and show you’re still being friendly in every other way.



I was working with a woman who was mysterious, which intrigued me sexually. We dated, and even had sex at work. But she was very discreet.

    Later on, I discovered she was married though the whole time she’d acted like she was single.

       Affairs are for those who think they’re too good and won't get caught. They enjoy manipulating anyone involved with them in a relationship.

Deceived



You got what you went after – sex and mystery – but unfortunately also got hurt. It’s unsurprising that she’s a cheater, because she gave away nothing more than a façade. And you were the willing consumer.

   You’d obviously developed feelings of attachment to her. It’s a painful lesson: that a real relationship IS real…. with honesty, openness, and sharing personal stories.

   Yet you got away lucky, without planning a future together, and you left devastated. Next time a manipulative player won’t easily lead you on.



Tip of the Day:

Encouragement influences adult children more than criticism and concern.

Legal Notice and Disclaimer | Privacy Policy