Dear Mr. Knightley,
I just wanted a soundingboard I guess but basically me and my boyfriend plan on moving out soon and I’ve been asking him about when we move out how things are gonna work, like location and getting around and stuff. And he’s been saying that it won’t be a problem and I should just trust him and that everything will be fine. And I trust him completely and everything but I feel really apprehensive about moving out without knowing what our plan is suppose to be. I feel like he’s asking me to be blindfolded and just trust him to lead me around and that makes me super uncomfortable. I mean, do I just have trust issues for not wanting to trust him? Should I just stop asking and just let him take the lead?
Blinded by Trust?
While your boyfriend may have the best intention I think that you should seriously speak to him about the matter. There is no reason he would have on concealing anything from you regarding his plans, unless there is something he knows you’ll disapprove of. Or perhaps he has not actually made any plans yet and is either stalling or procrastinating. Either way it is better for you to find these things out now, rather than later when the decisions have already been made for you. And it may not even be anything bad. He may genuinely want to save you from the hassle and trouble involved. However, this is as much your decision as it is his, and as with all decisions you need to be as well informed as possible in order to make the right decision.
Dear Mr. Knightley,
I’m turning to you because I need the advice and perspective of a man. You see, my father and I have never had a very pleasant relationship. He just seemed to be unable to connect emotionally. However, that has never stopped me from attempting to make some kind of connection. I thought I had finally found something. Chess. He loves playing it. And so do I. I’ve actually been playing a lot with my roommate since I moved away. So here’s the problem. My father and I started playing and everything was fine. But then, whenever he’d win, he’d give sarcastic recommendations and go on and on about how he’d wished he has passed some of his intelligence to at least one of his daughters. But then, when I win, he gets angry and upset and won’t talk to me for days after. I’m getting fed up with his childish ways. I’m trying to be nice. I don’t have to drive out to his apartment and waste four or five hours getting criticized or yelled at. I’m doing this to be nice. So what do I do? Either way it seems that nothing is ever good enough for him.
Dear Miss Patricide,
You are very gracious to go to so much trouble to show your father your appreciation and love for him. And many times fathers can be cold and distant and not easy to relate to. However, your efforts have been commendable and his ungracious manner completely deplorable. Many a lesser child would simply have given up by now.
Regarding the best method though, you do have several options. One thing you may want to try is attempt to do something with your father that is not competitive. This is often a trait that men, especially older gentlemen, have so solidly that they cannot stand to lose at anything, especially to a woman. Another method may be to do something that involves more people, not just you and your father alone together. This may help to spread his malice among the group rather than directing it all at you. And of course you could always ask him what he would rather do, thereby making it impossible to blame you if he does not enjoy the activity.
However, it should be said that there are also many people who would tell you that a relationship should be a two way street and that your father ought to make more effort to spend time with you. And while I agree with the sentiment, I also know that there are rarely ever any relationship truly as balanced as that. What I can tell you is this, relationships are only maintained by at least one person building a bridge to cross the gap between the two. And it is often the stronger person, the one who doesn’t need the bridge, who has to build it for the sake of the one who cannot build it and who needs it the most.
Dear Mr. Knightley,
I have a problem. I am in love with one of my best friends’ friends. But she’s in a relationship. And I know its wrong and I know I should stay clear of her, but I don’t think I’ve ever felt this way before. No other relationship I’ve ever had has felt this way, this real. It’s hard to describe. Just thinking of her makes me feel warm and funny and I start grinning like some idiot. And I can’t even speak around her and my heart starts beating like crazy and I feel sick to my stomach. Since she and my best friend are friends, we spend a lot of time together, just the three of us. Which is so terrible because I know I should stay away from her but when I’m away from her I can’t stop thinking about her. I don’t know what to do. I can’t stay away from her. I can’t stop thinking about her. But I want to respect her relationship too. I don’t know what to do. It all feels so hopeless.
Three's a Crowd
I am very sorry to hear about your sad situation. You are not alone. There are many men who are in similar situations as your own. Too often it seems love’s arrows only land where we cannot retrieve them. You are right in saying that you should not associate with the young lady. But it is definitely easier said than done. Love can be so painful and yet addictive all at the same time. One can often feel torn between what one knows one ought to do and what one wants to do.
However, you may want to consider some personal questions first. Do you feel that this is truly more than a passing fancy? Then you may wish to wait it out, remaining only her friend, until such time as you may be able to make your suit. However, know that your chance may never come if you do that. If at all possible you may wish rather to break off the friendship all together. It will be hard and painful but not as painful as the thousand and one small deaths you will die each time you are forced to be in her company and know that you may never reveal your true intentions to her.
Know that which ever route you take you will be forced to endure hardships. But both ends will be well worth it. If you decide to remain by her side it will not be easy. But if you are able to finally tell her how you truly feel, it will be a well deserved reward. If you decide to forgo her company, then it will also be difficult. However, when you finally do find that special girl whose love you may pursue freely, you will be glad to have cut all these ties you feel now. So know that while both paths are difficult, both may be well worth it in the end of the day.
Dear Mrs Jenings,
My husband recently returned from the war in Afghanistan. He’s been acting strangely and not like himself. He spends most of his days sitting on the couch staring at the blank tv or in his garage cleaning his knives. I feel like I live with a complete stranger. I thought that if I were to try and talk to him then maybe he’d open up about what happened so I can help fix him. But instead he got angry. Very angry. He started yelling and screaming and pulled out one of his knives. He was saying that I was attacking him and that I should just accept him as he is instead of trying to change him. But he’s the one who has changed! Anyway, he sort of snapped out of it and dropped the knife and then started crying and apologizing. I don’t know what to do. I don’t feel safe around him anymore. Please help.
Loosing his Temper
Well, now, love is like that sometimes, is it not. One moment you’re perfectly happy and the next you can’t stand to be around the person. Lovers’ quarrels are quick to mend though, so don’t fear too much my dear. And many a man has gone through things that causes them to change. Few people, yourself included, always stay the same way, I wager. Now, regarding this whole knife collection business, well, men need their hobbies. You should consider yourself lucky he didn’t take up shooting instead. Its easier to pull a knife back then to pull shot back.
Now, that all being said, while attempted murder of a spouse is certainly not unheard of, I do think it is in bad taste, at least in the current fashions. So it would seem best to avoid your demise. There are several ways of doing this. You could ask him to see a therapist but he probably won’t and most likely would just get angry again. You could just leave him, but that’s in bad taste too, since you will have to live with this unresolved at the back of your mind. Also, many a man thrown into a situation like that, especially the unstable ones, have actually gone after the women who left them. And once again your unfortunate end would seem unavoidable. So it would seem the best course of action, when you can’t change the other person, is to seem to change yourself. You’ll notice I said, seem. That is because once you have the appearance of acquiescence his guard will be lowered and you will find your influence much easier over him.
Best of luck my dear, and do not get too discouraged if it takes a bit of time. Sometimes you can simply wear a man down. They like to think that they are so strong and solid but they all give in eventually. They always do. Just keep at it.
Dear Mr. Knightley,
My fiancee is a dog person. I am not. Probably because I’m slightly allergic to them and probably because I was bit by one when I was a kid. So she has this german shepherd named Tag. He’s friendly and lovable, at least thats what everyone tells me. Because you see, Tag hates me. I mean, completely hates me. I don’t know if he’s just protective of her or whatever but he barks at me constantly and growls at me and won’t let me come near him. She says he just has to get use to me, but we’ve been dating for over two years and he still acts the same way. Now I’m fine with us keeping the dog, as long as it stays outside and everything. But she won’t even hear a word of it, because she treats it like its a person. I mean, she lets him sit on the couches and sleep in her bed. Which will definitely be a problem very very soon. I think it just has to go. She says that Tag is like her baby and she can’t just give him up. And then she gets all angry at me saying that I am trying to make her choose between us. What am I supposed to do? I mean, I love her. I really do. And I am willing to work and try to make it work. But the dog is the problem and I feel like she’s not even willing to think about the consequences for me. Is there anyway of fixing this or should I just suck it up and try to get by?
– Inthe Doghouse
Aint nothing but a houndog
Your situation is definitely going to require a lot of finesse on your part. You obviously love this woman and want to make her happy, even if the situation is somewhat uncomfortable for you. And she probably wants to be able to keep Tag and you at the same time. The first step, would be communicating. Its essential that you are clear that you are not trying to keep her from Tag. And that you are willing to make some sacrifices. Setting her at ease will then open up the channels for finding compromise. It does not have to be an either-or situation. There are in fact several different options.
If you allergy is not too severe, you may be able to treat it with some simple allergen medication. This takes care of at least part of the problem. You may also attempt to reach a compromise with your fiancee in that, maybe Tag can be allowed in the house, but not on the couches or beds. Or something to that extent.
As long as she knows you are making the effort to accommodate her and Tag, she will most likely also be willing to accommodate your concerns as well. Instead of viewing this as a burden or obstacle, see this as a perfect opportunity for the two of you to practice communication, problem solving, and compromise for your coming life together. With the right mind set this can become a positive bonding experience.
Dear Mr. Knightley,
Well here’s the situation. My girlfriend and I have been together for over a year now and she’s beginning to hint at marriage. But I have decided to enter the military and pursue a career in the armed forces. Which means not only will I have to leave in order to go take training but also I may be deployed for a while. This is the best course of action for both of us, since the military will take care of further education and medical expenses when I get back. And the pay I will make will eventually be top grade. But she doesn’t seem like she is willing to wait. I can’t understand it. Obviously she cannot always have everything she wants exactly when she wants it. It would be nice but life does not work that way. We all have to make sacrifices. But she doesn’t seem like she’s willing. Now I’m beginning to wonder if maybe she does not love me as I love her. Am I wrong to take this path if its making her uncomfortable?
Thank you very much,
PS. Hello from the Netherlands!
Torn between Love and Duty
You are in a very perilous situation. On the one hand if you were to follow your head and do the logical thing, you risk losing the one your heart belongs to. On the other hand, if you are to follow your heart and stay with her, you risk your future and hers as well. I think that is the key difference here. Your duty is first and foremost to the young lady, even if she does not understand it. She may not comprehend the sacrifices needed in order to have a happy and content life if she is so focused on the present. Immaturity is usually a passing thing, and most young ladies eventually learn that even handsome young men must work in order to provide their families with much needed sustenance.
I know you must be tempted right now to abandon your plans and simply live for the immediate gain that you would receive by staying close to your beloved. And marriage right now may seem a very pleasing thing to both of you. However, marriage is also costly, as are accommodations, as are children when they come. And while you may think that you will please your beloved now by giving her what she wants, in the end, she may grow to hate you for not giving her and her children what they need.
I would say the best course of action for you is to try and communicate some of this to her. Be forewarned, she will not take this well. And if she seems to, it may even be all the worse for you. But you must do the honorable thing. You must do your duty. If she cannot love you for that then she may not be the right one for you. Regardless, at the end of the day, you must do the right thing, so that you may rest as ease with a clean conscience. She cannot ask you to compromise that. No one ought to.
Dear Mr. Knightley,
I am at my whits end! You see I think my husband has taken a mistress. Of course, there are many noble men who have mistresses but I cannot help to feel like I have been cast off, ill used, and forgotten. We own a large house on a college campus and so we often rent out rooms to help make ends meet. Well, one of our new tenants has a love for vintage books (my husband collects the stupid things) and now they are off every saturday to go parous the bookstores and garage sales and then they’re pouring over things in our small library at all hours of the day and night. I know you must think its all my head but I tell you its not. She’s stealing him away from me. The way she brushes seemingly innocently against him when she passes by or pretends to hand things to him but then accidentaly touches his hand! The other night I decided to see for myself so I snuck down the hall without making any noise to the library. I could hear their talking inside and then there was a thumping sound, and I knew that was it. So I opened the door and there they were, both on the floor and her face red from giggling. And when they both turned to look at me you could just see the guilt on their faces. And then afterward she has the nerve to come and try and talk to me and tell me it wasn’t what it looked liek and that they just dropped a book or something. She obviously thinks I’m pretty stupid! I am trying not to let on that I know exactly whats going on, I figure that way I can let them hang themselves when they think that they are getting away with it. What do you think Mr. Knightley? Am I wrong? I’m not, right! They deserve what’s coming to them! I’m the one that was the victim here. I’m the one that was wronged! I can’t just let them treat me like this.
A Small Distraction
It is always a sad occasion when a loved one’s love begins to wander. And while it is regrettable, you must now ask yourself what you will do. Some women may believe their spouses regardless of whether or not they think they should and give them the benefit of the doubt. Others may play along as if they do not know whats happening only to suddenly and swiftly take their revenge. There are even some ladies I have heard of who have made arranegments with their husbands that either party may entertain others at their own discretion. However, before you jump to any or all of these, I would suggest that you speak with your husband about this. Yes, he will most likely be defensive, but if he still cares for you, he will also listen, and the two of you may be able to work things out before they quite possibly needlessly come to a head. Either way, if you’re having martial problems because of the young lady in question, you should ask her to move out first. This will bring much needed clarity to the situation. And as a final word of reccomendation, I would suggest that you show some interest in your husband’s passions. His fedility may not actually be on the line, but rather, he may simply be responding to someone showing mutual interest in the things he values. You do not need to enjoy vintage books. Rather, enjoy the joy and excitement that they bring to him. If your marriage is to survive this ordeal, you shall both have to find some sort of common ground to build it up.