I am looking for suggestions on how to help. My husband's family seems to be stuck in a pattern. His parents are older and his mother's anxiety is so bad that she can't be left alone for a minute. [more inside]
Like most human beings, there are people and things I cherish. Why do I keep neglecting them in favor of work and school? I am talking about basic things like eating for example. Is there anything I can do to get my priorities straight? [more inside]
My mother's (much younger) cousin V is a doctor. She moved to the US from Britain this year. When my father was hospitalized, she and another couple of my mother's cousins spent a week with us. I'm grateful for what she did for our family during that time, but V's behavior towards me was sometimes humiliating and condescending. I need help figuring out how to manage my relationship with her going forward because now that I live near my parents again, I'll see her more regularly than I'd like. [more inside]
My brother and his wife are divorcing. While I think that's probably for the best, the way they are going about it is not good. I would like to send my niece (12) and nephews (9 and 6) a letter or small something to let them know that they are loved. But I'm terrible at this sort of thing. What should I send? What should I say? [more inside]
My brother is generally a caring, generous, talented, and thoughtful guy. He is also almost the definition of "stuck in a rut" - partially due to bad luck (recession), but probably more due to impulsive/emotional behavior - moodiness, impulse buys, little white lies, throwing his smartphone when angry, got a DUI not long ago, etc. It's hard to watch because he works hard (if very disorganized), is at times brilliantly self-aware. But can't seem to find his footing, and still lives with my parents. [more inside]
There are early rumblings that my cousins might start planning our next family reunion (an every four years thing) in Italy for summer 2018. How can I best start saving now to make this a possibility for me, a person of modest means? [more inside]
How do I have cancer alone? [more inside]
How do I help to build self-esteem in my "crazy" (bipolar, BPD), overweight, aging, and unsuccessful mother, who lives in a small town with not much in the way of community, and who refuses to seek medical treatment for her mental health and physical issues? [more inside]
Extended family that I visit (I'm in Canada) and stay with a few times a year have started the application for a "pistol permit" in New York state. I have a toddler who's never met a button that he didn't press or a latch he didn't fiddle with. I know it's unlikely a gun would be accessible during a visit but I've seen the statistics. My gut reaction is to not visit anyone who has a gun (maybe having one locked in a gun safe would be ok) but I don't know if that is excessive. They are buying the gun "for protection" so I am assuming it will be carried and I want to get a handle on my feelings before I discuss it with them. Have you been in this situation? How did you manage it?
Our family has taken and vastly enjoyed a couple of international trips (#1=Amsterdam/Brussels/Paris, #2=Hong Kong) during our boys' Spring Break school vacation windows, but we are really flailing and struggling to decide where to target for our next window of opportunity in late March 2017. Location(s) must alter the global perspective of 13- and 10-year-old boys! Boundary conditions: date range March 24~April 3, reasonably accessible from US west coast, safe, delicious food, can get by with English and/or limited French. Bonus points inside... [more inside]
I have 30 years of family history research, documentation, photos, interviews, notes - I also have a bunch of info between my ears that I never got around to writing down. Funds are tight right now, so paying someone to write a book for me isn't going to happen. I need recommendations (as in, you've done this) for software, open source is best, which will help me organize and publish my family history as an ebook, with the option to pay a publisher some day for hard copies.
My older brother just proposed to his girlfriend of ~1 year. Red flags have gone off at every turn in his rapidly-progressing relationship with her. Yesterday, he sent a message to me and my parents announcing his intentions to propose, and then it happened before I got a chance to talk with him. My question is, how do I respond to him? More details and a TWIST! inside. [more inside]
It's been a few years since this question has been asked, and I know things have changed since then. There's so much info out there on the various genealogy sites, and I'm not sure what to do. Right now I have free trials with MyHeritage and Geni, but apparently a relative has done a lot of research into a certain branch of my family on Ancestry.com. I'm looking for insight on which to pick in terms of price and usefulness, etc.
What is a fair way to divide family heirlooms with cousins? There was a long-term estrangement with these cousins, and we have tried to make the best of being stuck making decisions with them regarding the care of the person who owns the heirlooms (and is now in a nursing home with dementia and unable to make decisions), but it hasn't worked out really well. Now we are supposed to meet to split things up. Is there any way to make this more fair/easier? More inside. [more inside]
My cousin's husband shared an anti-trans video from an extremely anti-LGBT organization on Facebook. I commented that it was "disgusting bigotry," and later that night he deleted his account. I don't regret calling him out, but I do feel a little bad that my comment (may have) led to him leaving Facebook altogether. Should I apologize? If so, how? [more inside]
The "political is personal" and vice-versa with my younger brother during this election season. It has sort of hit a boiling point via social media recently and I need some strategies for how to manage this - both in terms of my feelings and as a practical matter. [more inside]
My wife and I are driving down from New England to Washington, D.C., in later April with our four kids. We'll be staying near the Capitol. Is there anything we should especially know? [more inside]
We're introverts who don't like the spotlight or surprises, and our family wanted to throw a surprise performance at our wedding reception. The discussion around this isn't going well. How do we communicate more effectively about this, both re: this specific reception and introversion in general? [more inside]
After my Grandma died recently, I went to her house and scanned every family photo she was in so everyone in the family could have a digital copy. There are a lot of people I can't identify in these pictures. I'm wondering if there's a way I could put the whole folder of them online in a password-protected or invite-only place that lets family members tag the pictures so anyone who knows who these people are can identify them. I don't want to put them online somewhere where just anyone could see them.
Yesterday a dear friend had a come to Jesus talk with me and encouraged me to make an appointment with my doctor about going on an antidepressant. I have been advised to go on antidepressants in the past by therapists and other doctors, but have never taken the next steps because my family views being on medication as a personal failure/huge dangerous risk. What should I do? [more inside]
My kids are 11, 13 and nearly 15. I don't know how to play with them. I miss family outings. What kinds of things do you do with your young teens? [more inside]
My father, stepmother, aunt, cousin, and sister seem to have a vested interest in seeing me inaccurately. I've come to terms with their scapegoating and black-sheeping of me. It's been validated by numerous therapists as well as my mom, and the dynamic fits most of what I've read online about scapegoating dynamics. To abruptly go No Contact with them would make things much worse for me. I need Low Contact, polite, superficial strategies, please. [more inside]
My mom has dementia. She's in denial about this dementia, and her denial has created some difficulties. I feel guilty, but acting as her primary caregiver is starting to affect me adversely. [more inside]
I have a family interview project in mind. I've read some great ideas in AskMe, and have read through StoryCorps and Smithsonian resources. For the most part, what I've read pertains to one-time oral history projects. My project is a little different: I'd like to conduct short 1-on-1 interviews with immediate family (about 10 people), and repeat these interviews every few years. I'd love some question suggestions. [more inside]
I've been dating a great guy for a few months now. About a month in he told me that his mom was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor 8 months before we met. His mom has done radiation and was seeming to get better in the last few months. He was making plans for me to meet his family for the first time on Thanksgiving. He just found out his mother has taken a turn for the worse (she's having difficulty walking), and I'd like to know: 1) how I can support him and 2) how to navigate meeting his family during this difficult time. [more inside]
Our family rarely takes vacations, and even then, just to visit family, or at best, to a nearby lake. But big leaps forward in our careers have us thinking it's time to finally treat ourselves. We're thinking of taking the kid to Vegas for Christmas and rolling out, if not all the stops, many more than we've customarily been able/willing to afford. Give us tips for Vegas in general, Vegas for families, Vegas at the holidays, and small and medium things we can do to feel like high rollers. [more inside]
Asking for a friend: "There is some question about who my father is - the man who raised me (Daddy) or his brother (Uncle) The only family DNA I have is from my nephew who is my sister's son, definitely Daddy's grandson. My nephew and I share 1610 cM. Is this enough information to determine who my father is?"
Need a gift for a couple in their 40s that appears thoughtful, though clearly it isn't as I need it this week. [more inside]
I recently started a weight loss research study that will last three months. In addition to regular exercise, it involves eating only pre-packaged meals supplemented with fruits and vegetables. I'm really excited about this opportunity to lose weight and learn healthy habits, but I'm worried my family is going to make it difficult for me. How can I stick to this diet without drastically interrupting my families eating habits and my social life? [more inside]
My husband's parents are the only grandparents my child see regularly (we live in his country rather than mine) have decided that they no longer want a relationship with us. They do, however, want to continue their bi-weekly visits to see the baby which I would be "hosting". We don't want to cut them off, but I am not enthused. Reassurance and tips on navigating this requested. I am so confused!! [more inside]
We are trying to organize a family vacation for a long weekend (August 28-30) of this year. We are three couples with complicated variables and at least one satellite moon. Help us put this together! [more inside]
This Onion article reflects pretty well my relationship with my mother. I love her very much, but I can rarely bring myself to share much with her about my life, and when I do, I usually regret it. Is this common for men? [more inside]
I’m trying to determine if it’s worth it to plan a career change from engineering to patent law, with a lengthy, difficult, expensive stop through law school first. Have you done this? Do you have special insight? [more inside]
I'm editing and typesetting my grandfather's memoir. I have many (over 100) photos of his I digitized now on my computer, but many are missing captions. What site/tool should I use to go through the photos with him? He's quite tech savvy for someone in his 90s, but he also lives across the country and it's hard for him to hear on the phone.
My brother-in-law invited my wife and my kids to his wedding, but not me. This evening, he texted my wife asking her to do a reading at the wedding. She's going to say yes. I feel amazingly resentful. Help. [more inside]
I've planned a day-long road trip to spend about a week at my cousin's farm. My husband and I with our 4-1/2 year old daughter are planning to drive 10 hours to get out there. We'll stay a week. My mother lives another 4 hours from where we'll be staying. We decided not to tack on a trip out to see her and so she invited herself on our trip. I'm of two minds about this. [more inside]
My brother killed himself yesterday. I just found out today. While I'm not surprised he would do it based on a complicated and messed up history, I am still in shock. Please help me process my feelings. [more inside]
We (my husband, me, 4 year old kid) are thinking of going to Puerto Rico for a week in early-mid March. We know almost nothing except that we want to not be cold for a few days. Where do we start? Is this a good idea or is the snow affecting our judgement? So many questions. [more inside]
My fiance and I are both atheists with strong antitheist views. We're getting married in November and want something that represents us. His family, however, is extremely religious (Baptist) and will have certain expectations of us; they don't easily take no for an answer. What is the best way to balance the two worlds? [more inside]
I'm writing a piece of software to go through a very large database and format last names in their correct casing (i.e., smith or SMITH or sMith to Smith.) However, I'm obviously aware some names should be kept as lowercase—but what names? [more inside]
I'm looking for resources about speaking to my father and dealing with my family in light of his recent mental health issues. [more inside]
My brother's wife is due to have a baby boy sometime this month. I will be an uncle for the first time. The baby shower is taking place this upcoming Sunday. My girlfriend since May of last year is not a big fan of my brother. She hasn't even met him to begin with. She felt that he flaked out on me during my college graduation and birthday last year. [more inside]
I lost my husband this year, and my adult children lost their beloved father. I would like to start a tradition for remembrance this Christmas, at a meal or at gift opening. Ideally it should be short, meaningful, and accommodating of a wide range of beliefs, from atheist, to agnostic, to believer, to alternate religion. Any suggestions?
The alms family (2 adults + 8 y.o. + 4 y.o.) is looking to spend 2-3 days in a rural setting over the winter break, with activities like sleigh rides, bonfires, snow shoeing, nature walks, board games, tubing, possibly xc skiing, and other kids activities. We don't downhill ski or snowboard ourselves although we’d consider a ski resort if it has enough of the other things going on. We think a full service inn catering to families is probably the best bet but maybe there is a farm-inn stay, ski resort or rental that would work. [more inside]
Please help me find gifts for my neices so I am at least allowed back next year! (I know, another gift question, but hopefully there is enough special snowflake-ness for yall) [more inside]
A friend in Victoria is trying to extricate herself from an emotionally abusive relationship. She has been living with this man for ten years and they own a house jointly. [more inside]
Looking for advice on how to have a peaceful couple of days with family members with whom I have unresolved issues. [more inside]
I have a darling boyfriend who I have been dating for 1.5 years. We are generally very happy (so much fun, so much in common, and very attracted to each other), and I love him. My lease is up, and he's decided that he's not ready to live together yet. Other people (especially my family) are giving me a hard time about it. How do I know if they're right? [more inside]
How does a happily married couple with no children and tenuous family ties enjoy the holidays? My husband and I have been married for 10 years, and we are happy with each other. It's everyone else we struggle with. [more inside]
My son is creating a new little family and grandma wants to give a small, sentimental gift to the children to help them remember and celebrate the day. [more inside]