I'm an atheist. I don't wear this fact on my sleeve. Most of the time, I actively avoid religion as a conversational topic. There are some conversations, however, where you can't duck the topic, because you're providing support to someone who has experienced a personal tragedy, such as the death of a loved one, and in the course of that conversation, they will invoke their religious beliefs. The question I am posing is: how can I provide emotional support and maintain proper boundaries while respecting their beliefs and my own as well?
My partner and I have been together a long time and I have posted about issues with his sister before. I can see that his inability to draw boundaries is the real issue here and so my question is combination of how does one deal when a SO can't and won't draw boundaries and has a needy sibling who has a hard time backing off. We are all in our late 30s but emotionally in our relationship, it feels like he needs to take care of her, and be there for her and I can't get over the feeling that her very existence is now sucking oxygen out of my relationship, and i need to stop feeling like that. Details inside. [more inside]
Yeah, I know, in-law problems are so common as to be a cliche. But I don't want my family to be a cliche! The resources I've found on in-law relationships have typically been super conservative/religious, or deal with highly toxic and dramatic situations (which ours isn't), or are mostly parenting-focused (we don't have kids). Surely someone has written a book or a blog about in-law issues that are mostly about clashing personalities and priorities? [more inside]
My partner often comes up to me and starts talking no matter what I'm doing - reading a book, writing, working on a drawing. He doesn't wait until I make eye contact or acknowledge him - he just starts talking. This means that when I'm concentrating on something I'm frequently interrupted. Is there a way for me to remain physically present and available for occasional conversation while signalling that I am busy and don't wish to be constantly interrupted? [more inside]
My husband and I have different boundaries when it comes to what we consider to be 'kind of cheating' behaviour and I'm struggling to deal with it. My current plan is based on a tit-for-tat approach, but that seems pretty childish. What is a better way to deal with this without becoming a crazy jealousy monster? [more inside]
I'm looking for books, preferably audio books, about setting boundaries with people and learning when to say no/yes. I want something grounded in psychology, without any religious undertones (although I am open to wisdom from any religion as long as it doesn't get preachy).
My close professional relationship with a man ended badly because he was abusive towards me and I finally couldn’t take it anymore. He's blown up over tiny things, yelled at me until I cried, made inappropriate sexual advances, etc. He’s done this to at least 5 different women, but nobody wants to talk about it openly. [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]
Wall o’ text follows. All names have been changed. [more inside]
Last week, my partner admitted that he's been not just hiding things, but outright lying to me. The revelations hurt, but I need honesty if we're to stay together. How do I make it safe for my partner to tell me the truth when it's repeatedly been so startling and upsetting? Difficulty level: partner is dealing with Major Depression, and has been near-suicidal. [more inside]
I need advice on how to explain to my partner why I wont be attending a birthday party for the child she co-parents with her emotionally abusive ex. [more inside]
How do I approach this delicate situation of a recent breakup, addiction issues, and levels of responsibility and boundaries in a new ex’s life? [more inside]
I need some help recalibrating how I interact with someone who is profoundly self-centered (ranging from insensitivity to my feelings to arguably deliberately "using" me). Assuming that I must keep this person in my life, what are some things I can do to feel more empowered and more at peace with the balance between us? [more inside]
How do I set up the right boundaries regarding intimacy when dating new people. Difficulty level: history of abuse, disassociation and social anxiety! (nsfw) [more inside]
At the beginning of the relationship, she had asked to be exclusive. Told me she wants me to be her boyfriend. Thing's were going great. She mentions that she has a male friend visiting from out of town. Wasn't a big deal for me. Then it comes to light that he would be staying at her place for the weekend. [more inside]
I will soon be breaking up with my very dear partner. Typically, this is the point at which my life goes off-track for the next few years and I lose all perspective and any mental health I've achieved. I want to approach this period in a very different way this time. My question is how to avoid both zoning out/creating a protective fog/rewriting the past to be less dramatic than it is, and avoiding the other extreme of drowning in guilt for my partner's pain and their wasted energy and my destruction of our planned future. [more inside]
Needs and Boundaries: What is the space between "I suppose I can let this go" and "this is an utter dealbreaker; do this thing or I'll have to end this relationship" - and what do you do about negotiating things in that space? [more inside]
Hitting a brick wall in my marriage and I would appreciate some different perspectives to help me figure out how to move forward. [more inside]
Why do my relationships enter the LET'S MAKE THIS A SERIOUS COMMITMENT I WANT TO SPEND MY LIFE WITH YOU stage at an absurdly rapid pace? I used to think this was a kind of charming quirk, but my apparent inability to slow things down in order to determine the suitability of my partner has begun to concern me a bit. Special snowflake details inside. [more inside]
I've lost objectivity. It seems clear that my mother's 'boyfriend' is a giant loser, but she wants him to be accepted by us and included in family events. What do we do? [more inside]
I need some help regarding my prospective mother-in-law's involvement in our lives. [more inside]
I am seeking information (website/blog/journal article/etc) that will help me talk about the need for professional boundaries & role definition for staff working in an adult learning environment. Bonus points for info that talks about both the teacher-student relationship, and relationships within the staff team/whole organisation.
What would you do, if anything, in this complicated situation with ex therapist? [more inside]
Help me distance myself from my family (and not feel guilty). [more inside]