Son shouldn’t have to march in family’s footsteps
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DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My husband is a career soldier. His father was in the army and so was his grandfather on that side of the family. Now my husband has been pressuring our only son to join army cadets. He has no desire to join.
He has a gentle, creative soul and is into the arts. He’s very talented musically. He does not want to disappoint his army dad, but that isn’t where he wants to be.
I have tried to speak with my husband about it, but he will not listen. He says my only son will continue the family legacy. What to do?
— Army Family Mom, Winnipeg
Dear Army Family Mom: In discussions with your husband, the question to ask is why he really wants this, beyond “family legacy.” Why does he think he needs another soldier in the family? Argue strongly that the son you share has been given other talents, and his sensitive personality would not do well in an army milieu.
If your husband does manage to push your son into cadets, the Canadian Cadet Organizations offer a music training program that is “complementary to the core cadet training program.” However, the music is still rooted in marching and military pipe-and-drum bands. That’s probably not your son’s preferred style of music.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My beautiful live-in girlfriend came home with lip and eyeliner tattoos a few months ago. Now she has come home with her face full of “filler.” She doesn’t look anything like the girl I fell in love with.
Today she started dropping hints about getting breast implants — a needless spend. We’d been saving to buy a house one day.
We had a horrible argument, as she wants her money freed up. She was crying, saying she doesn’t have to ask my permission. She said, “It’s my body and I’ll do what I want with my half, because it’s my money!”
I love her so much, but not what she’s doing to her face and body! She’s starting to look like a cartoon version of herself already. Is she wanting attention from people? She already knows she has mine. Why does she keep having these procedures?
— Freaking Over Changes, St. James
Dear Freaking: Some women get first “procedures” done because something really bothers them about the way they look. For a few, the positive feedback gives them a psychological boost, and then they want more. Some actually become addicted. Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), or body dysmorphia, is a condition where a person obsesses over flaws in their appearance, often unnoticeable to others. It’s common in teens and young adults.
You can try harder to convince your lady she’s done more than enough, but she probably thinks you’re seeing her through a romantic haze. Encourage your girlfriend to talk this complicated issue over with a psychologist or a psychiatrist, before she has any more “work” done.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My recently sober mother has a new boyfriend, and we “kids” in our 20s are upset because we loved the man she just broke up with. He was around for years. Unfortunately, he still has a drinking problem. Mom’s recent guy is “new to the clean and sober game” as she loves to tell us. Big hairy deal!
We love her old boyfriend who still drinks and smokes, but he says, “Why should I quit? I never drank like your mother, and I have no problem with it.” Not really true, but we love him. What are we supposed to do about the new guy in our mother’s life? We don’t like to visit anymore, as he’s always over there, hanging on to her like the leech he is.
— Grown Up “Kids,” St. Boniface
Dear Kids: Put up with the annoying new guy for now. Your mother needed to get sober, and she couldn’t do it with a still-drinking alcoholic man. You can go visit the old father-figure man you love, and take siblings with you. If he’s still in love with your mother — and you suspect she secretly loves him — tell him the only way to try to get rid of that “leech” would be to quit drinking, himself.
Please send your questions and comments to email@example.com or Miss Lonelyhearts c/o the Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6.
Maureen Scurfield writes the Miss Lonelyhearts advice column.