Mommy’s martyrdom creates a man-boy monster
Dear Amy: My boyfriend who has been alive for four years is selfish, provocative, impatient and impossible to talk to.
He instantly lifts his guard, starts screaming and swerving!
I always end up giving up before he rages and confuses me by reversing every conversation.
I love him so much. I know he loves me too. But sometimes I need him to grow up.
I have a 15 year old son. I had my son at 22. I was forced to grow up fast.
My boyfriend has never lived with a girlfriend before and has no children.
But I am a mother and a nurturer. I like to take care of “my boys”, but it’s never, never reciprocated. He can’t do anything for himself. I’m supposed to do it all! He works from home and usually starts drinking around noon. He drinks an average of fifteen beers a day.
I have been sober for a year. Talking to him at night is out of the question. He’s a complete jerk when he’s been drinking.
How to talk to him about his selfishness?
My good feelings towards him are starting to change.
I walked away and stopped “spoiling” him like I used to too.
Please how can we solve this problem? How to tell him: “You are egocentric and impatient. You never think of anyone but yourself. You don’t do anything for anyone. – Feel different
Dear different: Talking is cheap and impossible if the person you are trying to reason with is drunk and belligerent.
What you see as your own nurturing behavior I see as empowering.
There is a distinction between “taking care of my boys” and promoting the selfish behavior of your alcoholic partner. You do the latter.
You helped create a monster and now you want the monster to stop being a monster, even if it just behaves according to what it has been taught.
I think it might clarify your next move if you examine, recognize, and hold yourself accountable for your role in this family dynamic.
Children look to members of their own homes for role models. Which man does your son have as a model? That drunk guy on the couch.
If things don’t change drastically, your teenage son could be on his way to becoming the same type of drinking man-boy as your partner.
Most important, perhaps, is the effect this chaos might have on your own sobriety.
You have to feed yourself. It can be difficult if you view your worth primarily through your martyrdom to others.
Attend sobriety support meetings. Seek the perspective of your own circle of relatives and listen carefully to what they tell you.
Realize that you won’t change your partner, but you can definitely change yourself.
Dear Amy: I am an old man who has acquired many firearms in my life.
It’s a good time to get rid of a lot of my belongings and I’m not sure if I should sell these guns or just have them destroyed.
On the one hand, I could use the money. On the other hand, I don’t want any harm from anyone who ends up with these items. Any advice, please? – Looking to unload
Dear looking: I applaud both your choice and your concern about your gun collection.
You should sell these guns AND have them destroyed as part of a gun buyback program.
Do some research online and by calling your local police department to see if a buyout event will happen near you soon.
Buy-back programs buy guns from individuals and then destroy the purchased guns.
A relatively new organization, Gun By Gun (gunxgun.org), aims to get more guns out of circulation through gun buybacks. The organization accepts financial donations from the public and then uses that money to sponsor gun buyback events, working with law enforcement and shooting ranges to ensure guns are properly destroyed.
Dear Amy: “Distressed” wrote to you about a relative coming to see her for increasing loans. The parent requested that the loans be kept secret from his mother.
Your advice was great, but I want to suggest that this parent might have a gambling problem.
It happened in our family. By the time we realized what was going on, the parent had cleaned up several family members, still swearing to people to keep it a secret. – Was there
Dear summer there: Asking that a loan be kept secret is certainly a cause for alarm.
– Amy Dickinson is a national columnist for the Tribune Media Service. Email your questions to [email protected] or mail to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068.