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Split between family and boyfriend Christmas
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December 19, 2001, 11:23:24 PM
­­ Dear MaryAnne,
I am 18.
By Sunday, the 23rd, in the morning, I have to decided if I am going to stay with my own family, or with by boyfriend's family. I have an obligation to a secrete Santa with his family but I also said I would play a duet with one of my younger siblings.
Dan and I have been dating one year as of this coming January first. I don't get along with siblings they dislike me because I'm not around a lot and they have a warped imprison of what I'm like. My family doesn't interact with me, and they fight a lot. There are four kids I am the only girl my brothers are younger and have little to no respect to listen. Whenever I am home I sit in my room because I feel like they don't want to really be around me and there's nothing interesting for me to do. They harass me because I spend half of my week at Dan's. I would only be leaving for my mom, so she doesn't have to deal with my three younger siblings and grandmother. Also to prove to her that I do care about other things and that Dan's not the only thing in life, but I know I wont have a good time. If I were to go I would hope that it could bridge us together. Do you think it could? How could I help in doing that? Sometimes I do the dishes or strain up or at lest make my room clean do you think that enables my mom to making progress?
I already told Dan and my mom I was going just because I decided it was the right thing. To spend time with my own family on Christmas, but it's not what I feel like doing and that it could hurt everything Dan and I built up as couple. Because now he doesn't want to go to my family function that will be in town, but I will still have to go to a small celebration of his. I'm just so confused on what's the right thing to do. I would like for my own family to understand how important it is for me to spend Christmas with Dan not just because of obligation I have with his family but because we are committed to each other. I'd be gone for less then a week and would come back just in time for our anniversary.
I would also like Dan to know that if I did go I wouldn't be abandoning him, it was strictly a family thing. I would like it if he would go to the Goldsby party with me either way. Ultimately I would like to be seen as making an adult choice by both parties. Can you help me make a good choices

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December 19, 2001, 11:24:10 PM
#1
­ Astoria:

I am proud of you. You are making an adult decision and doing a very good job at thinking it out. You are growing up and sound like a young woman now in your letter. So don’t be so hard on yourself. You really are weighing this whole thing out very maturely and with the right feelings and thought for both sides. Now let me add some more adult into it for you to learn and use for this and all the decisions you make as an adult. You can’t know it all at 18 I don’t at, well at my age (smile). But I think if your mother just knew what you were thinking and how you were trying to work this out she would be very proud of you.
OK, first Dan, Dan has to be a young man. Your job is not to take care of him and his feelings. That is his job just as your job is to be responsible for your actions and consequences. Your obligation is to tell him how you feel, why you feel you need to make this decision the way you are making it and that it does not have any reflection on you and his relationship. You also invite him like you said. Then Astoria it is up to him to be a kid or an adult. You can not grow him up. You might as well find out what he is made of now. If he makes a kid decision then after Christmas you will need to sit down and work it out with him but not till after Christmas because as an adult you don’t want to ruin Christmas for anyone including Astoria OK? But it will be something that will have to be worked on because if he holds any of your decision against you or puts the relationship on the line in any way well you have problems in your relationship. You can not make your decisions out of fear of losing him or you will be doing that your whole life and always be giving yourself up for someone else. That is not what is best for anyone and everyone looses especially you. We have “come a long way baby” from those days.
I think your reasons for wanting to be responsible to your family even though you don’t feel you have a great relationship with them, which is not all that abnormal for your age, is great but there is one pitfall in that. I would do it. I would be there for them and fulfill my obligation and be there to help my mother but don’t put the condition of it “showing” her that you are growing up and making good decisions. Because if she doesn’t notice because of the time of year and having so much on her, you will be terribly hurt and feel you did it all in vain when you didn’t. The most important part is that you are growing up by realizing that we can’t always do what we want. That we do end up with obligations to fulfill even when we don’t want to because that is just what adults do and live up to as being part of families and jobs. Seeing this in yourself and that you are making that kind of decision needs to be enough for you to be proud of yourself and if your mom notices how great on top of that. But she has a lot on her at this time of year and the mature part of you is that you will just be there helping her because that is the right thing to do for you and her. That is what I do. My mom is having a big get together I am the only daughter so I will go and just be in the background and help make my mom’s party come off great for her. It is my gift to her just because daughter’s do that for their moms. I don’t expect her to notice but she will sometime when it is over and she is sitting around thinking. Your mother will know sometime. I just don’t want you to get disappointed if she doesn’t say something. Then you have Dan pouting, no confirmation from your mother well see what I am getting at. You will miss out on the truth and beauty of the whole situation and that is Astoria is growing up and making very good decisions far beyond her age. It will help it can’t help but help bridge the gap with your mother and it will be a great help to her. Someday it will be a great memory to you also. Again another adult thing is we don’t always make decisions based on having a good time if we did man would the world be different. So you accept that you are going there for other reasons and just maybe there will be a glimpse of happiness, laughter, and a good time mixed in with all the rushing around.
You can do this and be with Dan for your anniversary, which is what is important that is you and his day. Christmas is family and sometimes we have to make hard choices for the sake of our families. Married people have to do it every year because there are two sets of parents so you might as well learn how to work it out. Anyway, I think you have already made your decision and it is a good solid one based on good thinking and feeling. You process well very well especially for your age but you process better than a lot of adults I know in their 40’s.
Go be with your family for your reasons, explain to Dan, give him his choices, hopefully he will be an adult and go with you but again that is his decision. You should not base your decision on his acting out. You stay with what you need to do for the sake of all concerned. Then come back and hopefully he will have grown up some while you are gone and then have a great anniversary and a great New Year.
I hope it is all clear to you now though you really just needed some confirmation because you did all the hard work yourself.
If you have any more questions or just need to talk something through I am here. Write and I will do my best to help you,
I am truly proud of you and I want you to be proud of yourself.
MaryAnne

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