Loading...
BYH, there are a lot of people having anxiety attacks as more and more are awakening to the possibility that we have a...

Learning to be kindest to those we love most

Carolyn Hax

Carolyn Hax

Loading…

Carolyn Hax

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Carolyn Hax is away. The following is from Aug. 13, 2003.

Q My husband and I met in college and have been married now for six years. I love him and can’t imagine living my life without him. The problem is that we are taking each other for granted and becoming increasingly harsh with the words we say. It’s the tiny things that set us on edge these days. I know we are toughest on those we love the most because we expect so much from them. How do I begin to love my husband the way he deserves to be loved, and bring us back to the time when we were always there for each other? — College Sweetie

A Stop expecting so much from him. And take the cliche about being toughest on those we love most and give it the porcelain swirl.

The people we love deserve our lightest touch, and that means expecting him to be, allowing him to be, and loving him for, nothing more than himself. And it means expecting the same forgiveness from him. It’s the only thing any of us can reasonably, and justly, expect of anyone.

That’s the philosophical angle, at least. The practical one will probably serve you better: Expect him to be the perfect housemate, and every day he’ll give you a day full of “tiny things” to bemoan. You left the cap off the toothpaste, you’re late again, that chicken suit isn’t amusing.

Accepting him as is, on the other hand, releases you from having to pick at him every time he disappoints you, because he’ll stop disappointing you; you’ll simply expect that he’s always 10 minutes late and the toothpaste will never be capped. All you have to do is remind yourself you love the person who has the good traits that happen to come with the bad ones.

… Bad ones that didn’t always bother you so much, right? Not coincidentally, that’s something almost every new couple does “back in the time,” when they first figure out they’re nuts about each other. They minimize the flaws, dismiss them as small prices to pay.

Evoke that forgiving climate, and restore it by example. Choose not to say something harsh, consciously, even if it means you “lose” the battle at hand. Choose to say, “I’m sorry for snapping at you.” Be warm again, be vulnerable again, count to 20, and wait.

 

Q A couple of years ago, I was in a relationship for a couple of months that didn’t end very well. It was going OK, but I decided she just wasn’t right for me. I’ve never been good with talking about issues like that, or anything emotional, so I simply stopped calling and spoke with her online less and less. I never gave her an explanation, and I still feel guilty about that. Would it be appropriate to send an email about how I’m feeling; write a letter; call? — Conflicted

A I’d just ignore your question, but I crave closure.

The rule on out-of-the-blue apologies is that you should only undertake one if it’s to ease her pain, not appease your guilt.

The other rule is, no one ever has any idea how the other person feels.

So, do it. Good practice. Plus, it’s a kind gesture; even if the gesture fails, the kindness still counts. And email sounds fine to me.

Email Carolyn Hax at tellme@washpost.com, follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/carolyn.hax or chat with her online at noon each Friday at www.washingtonpost.com.

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Look

July 22, 2018

Q Our son committed a felony 2½ years ago. It was a horrific shock and he has been receiving the best possible treatment. It was not a crime against people.

Since that time, our other children (with one exception) will not allow us to have their children at our home unless they are…

Carolyn Hax

July 22, 2018

HEY, THAT’S NO WAY TO SAY “HELLO”

Dear Short Answers: I recently sent out invitations for a dinner party that I was planning, and I just didn’t feel like getting into the hassle of everybody’s ridiculous dietary restrictions these days. So I included a note…

Short Answers

July 22, 2018

I call it “psychological thinking,” referring to the tendency among parents of the last 50 years or so to attribute bad behavior on the part of a child to so-called “issues” that are thought to be causing emotional tensions of one sort or another. That is, in fact, precisely…

JohnRosemondGDR_177.jpg

July 21, 2018

Not all trees are created equal. While most trees that cover our landscapes provide us with aesthetic and ecological benefits, there are a few that probably do not belong here. Some trees can be invasive, some are insect and disease prone, and others may not grow well in our eastern North Carolina…

Eric Derstine

July 21, 2018

SERVICES

■ Anderson Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, 4352 Anderson Chapel Road, will host men’s day at 11 a.m. Aug. 5. Edgecombe County Sheriff Cleveland “Clee” Atkinson, Jr. will be guest speaker. Music will be by The Shades of Harmony.

■ Burney’s Chapel Free Will Baptist…

July 20, 2018

What is winning?

Most would say coming out victorious — being the best.

But Celestine Davis, director of the Down East Flick Fest, says there is much more to winning than being the best — and that’s the point of the film festival that kicks off today at Whirligig Stage…

072118GOdeff-1.jpg.jpg

July 20, 2018

5TH STREET DISTILLERY AND ANNEX: 120 and 122 E. Fifth St. 757-3034.

A.J. MCMURPHY’S: 1914 Turnbury Drive. 355-7956. Today: Teg. Saturday: The Carolina Beach Club. Monday: Cards Against Humanity. Wednesday: Sports trivia. July 29: Will Stovall. 

BLACKBEARD COFFEE ROASTERS: 203 E 5th…

July 20, 2018

TODAY

Film festival

The Down East Flick Fest will be held from 11:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. today-Saturday at Whirligig Stage, 628 S. Pitt St. The event will showcase works by filmmakers from across the state, along with some international entries. Free, but registration is recommended. Seating is limited.…

072018goguide

July 20, 2018

Capsules of movies playing locally. New releases are indicated with an asterisk.

ANT-MAN AND THE WASP — As Scott Lang balances being both a superhero and a father, Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym present an urgent new mission that finds the Ant-Man fighting alongside The Wasp to uncover…

072018capsules

July 20, 2018

GMA

“Revisiting Cornerstones: The Louis Orr Etchings of North Carolina,” will be on exhibit through Oct. 7 in the West Wing Gallery.

NC Civil will present “To the Core,” a journey through the history, identity and expression of the West Greenville Community, through Sept. 2.…

072018artsdatebook
287 stories in Look. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 29
        Next Page»   Last Page»