Jim says: I was really enjoying our empty nest after the last chick had flown the coop. But now one of our kids has come home to roost. And it is causing us no end of conflict, because I want him to figure out what he’s doing and move out again. Sheila is loving having someone to coddle.
Callie says: How can Joe think that hiking and camping constitute a vacation? That sounds like torture, especially when we can afford to do something nice. I don’t want separate vacations; I just want him to come along with me to the beach.
Karen says: I am really happy that Josh got some counseling and is turning his life around. But his behavior made me feel belittled. I am ready for divorce.
He Says: "I want to save our marriage, but she wants a divorce."
Josh says: I have had some anger issues and have taken them out on my wife. She got tired of me yelling and asked for a separation. I have been in counseling and am a changed man. I want to save our marriage, but Karen wants a divorce.
Kathy says: Our daughter just informed us she is planning to marry a young man out on the beach – with some Internet-ordained “minister” conducting the ceremony. We raised her as a Catholic, and I know this is not a valid marriage. I’m not sure we should even attend, but Terry disagrees.
Sherry says: Our daughter, who is 19, got pregnant with her boyfriend. They have no intention of marrying, so I want her to give the baby up for adoption, or figure out how to be a parent on her own, not saddle us with a baby to raise. Evan wants us, and that means me, to “help” with the baby.
She says: “We pay child support – that’s enough.”
Nicki says: Paul’s ex-wife gets generous child support from us, but doesn’t appear to use it to provide for the children. They show up with old clothes and worn-out shoes when they come for visitation. I don’t think we should spring for new winter coats and boots while they are with us – it’s costing a fortune.
Sally says: Mark is a great husband, but he has unrealistic expectations of our children – doing chores almost all day on Saturdays, silence when any adults are speaking, quiet dinner conversations. I’m afraid he’s going to ruin his relationships with them, and it’s affecting ours since we argue about child-rearing so much.
Mike says: Jenny wants to get a tattoo – I am really opposed to this and think it is immoral to “deface” our bodies that way. We are fighting about this all the time.
She says:“It’s my body. I can do to it what I want.”
Jenny says: It’s my body – not Mike’s. I don’t think it’s any of his business if I get a tattoo. I don’t tell him to shave his beard.
Mary says: Tim is a hoarder – our house is beginning to look like one of those TV shows, and I can’t get my car in the garage. I don’t know if I can live like this – how can I get him to get rid of his stuff?
He says:“I’m a collector, not a hoarder.”
Tim says: I am a collector, not a hoarder. I know where all the elements of my collection are. For example, I have an amazing group of vintage surfboards in the garage; they just need a little sealing and waxing to be really valuable. Mary needs to lighten up.
Sally says: I don’t feel as if I’m negative – I’m practical! You need to see all the possible consequences of an action before you do anything. I just don’t understand why Patrick doesn’t get that.
HE SAYS: “Sally is negative about everything!”
Patrick says: Sally is a real Eeyore – she seems to see the negative side of everything. I am much more upbeat, but it’s beginning to get me down as well. What can we do to resolve this difference in attitude?