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Help! My Boyfriend Puts Me Last, After His Ex-wife And Children!

4 Min Read
Lifestyle

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Help! My boyfriend puts me last, after his ex-wife and children!

Dear Armchair Psychologist,
I have been dating a wonderful man for two years. From the very start, it was bit overwhelming given he was recently divorced and shared his young children with his ex-wife. I have been welcoming and warm to the children (I have no children) and the ex-wife, who seems nice and gregarious. Progressively, he is spending less time with me and even sleeps over at his ex's (in the basement). We've tried counseling, but he stopped going and all communication efforts on my part have been in vain. I'm very unhappy at this point and he's made it clear our relationship is not a priority. Should I leave him? Is it cruel to break up right before the holidays?
- Frustrated Stepmother

Dear Frustrated Stepmother

I am sorry to hear you're unhappy. It is common for a single person entering into a family unit to feel displaced and it is often the burden of the significant other to help ease this transition by making you feel valued and equal as a partner. As a couple, it can be tricky to navigate these dynamics. What concerns me is your boyfriend's unwillingness to communicate and listen to your feelings, which undermines your relationship. The pressing question is: Why are you still holding onto him? Is it because you have invested so much time, effort, and love? There's a term in economics called "sunk cost" which refers to a sum that can no longer be recovered. A sunk cost should not be considered when making the decision to continue investing in an ongoing project since you can't redeem the cost. In other words, it's time to walk away from your investment in your boyfriend.

- The Armchair Psychologist

Help! My Customer Stinks!

Dear Armchair Psychologist,
I work in apartment leasing and we are in close proximity to our valued residents/customers. We have one customer who loves to come to the office to talk with us almost everyday. Perhaps he is lonely and I am sympathetic. He is a really nice man but comes off as a little bit creepy and he has poor hygiene. When he comes to talk it tends to take about a half hour of our time. The biggest problem is our office will smell for up to an hour after he's gone. I don't have the heart to mention this but as a professional, I really don't know how to deal with this. Once he stopped in and I told him I was busy, but I think it hurt his feelings and I felt terrible. What do I do?
-Too Close For Comfort

Dear Too Close For Comfort

It is unfortunate that you're workplace can be such a reeker! Your hunch that this customer is lonely is probably correct and it's very compassionate of you to spend time speaking with him and acknowledging him. It shouldn't, however, come at the expense of your precious work. For Problem #1: The Stink — I recommend leaving an anonymous note underneath his doorstep saying "I've met you and you're a wonderful person. Everyone loves chatting with you. Some days you have a bit of an odor that should be addressed. Either way, I wanted you to know this since you're otherwise a very delightful man. Signed, Anonymous" This will absolve any awkwardness on your part. (Also, keep in mind, he may have a medical problem, like a rare metabolic disorder or a condition along those lines, which he may address once it's brought to his attention). Problem #2: Your Time — politely suggest to him which hours are best for office visits and tell him he's welcome to stop in for a brief chat during those times. Hopefully, he, and his odor, won't linger!

- The Armchair Psychologist

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3 min read
Lifestyle

Help! My Friend Is a No Show

Email armchairpsychologist@swaaymedia.com to get the advice you need!

Help! My Friend Is a No Show

Dear Armchair Psychologist,

I have a friend who doesn't reply to my messages about meeting for dinner, etc. Although, last week I ran into her at a local restaurant of mine, it has always been awkward to be friends with her. Should I continue our friendship or discontinue it? We've been friends for a total four years and nothing has changed. I don't feel as comfortable with her as my other close friends, and I don't think I'll ever be able to reach that comfort zone in pure friendship.

-Sadsies

Dear Sadsies,

I am sorry to hear you've been neglected by your friend. You may already have the answer to your question, since you're evaluating the non-existing bond between yourself and your friend. However, I'll gladly affirm to you that a friendship that isn't reciprocated is not a good friendship.



I have had a similar situation with a friend whom I'd grown up with but who was also consistently a very negative person, a true Debby Downer. One day, I just had enough of her criticism and vitriol. I stopped making excuses for her and dumped her. It was a great decision and I haven't looked back. With that in mind, it could be possible that something has changed in your friend's life, but it's insignificant if she isn't responding to you. It's time to dump her and spend your energy where it's appreciated. Don't dwell on this friend. History is not enough to create a lasting bond, it only means just that—you and your friend have history—so let her be history!



- The Armchair Psychologist

Need more armchair psychologist in your life? Check out the last installment or emailarmchairpsychologist@swaaymedia.com to get some advice of your own!