Q: I have been divorced for five years, yet I can’t seem to make headway. I constantly obsess about my failed marriage and the fact that my ex has moved on and remarried. I plot every day how to make his life miserable, which gives me some relief. I have been to counseling but can’t seem to move forward. I don’t want to be stuck in this rut forever. Please help me. — Can’t Get Over It in Pennsylvania
A: The quickest way out of the rut would be to find another licensed therapist and get more counseling. Clearly, the first one didn’t help you.
Plotting to make your ex’s life miserable is not the answer. Acquiring the tools to make your own life better is the healthy, constructive way to go. And while you’re at it, keep busy with activities you enjoy so you’ll have less time to fixate on your situation.
Q: I am married with two small children. Last year, my job of 18 years was outsourced overseas. Since then I have had an opportunity to go back to school and further my education. It sounds great, and I know a lot of people would jump at the chance, but I’m miserable. I hate going back to school.
My husband, “Clay,” is insisting that I finish so I can get a high-paying job. I’d love to stay home and care for our kids, one of whom has high-functioning autism. Clay has never been a good provider. Paying the bills has always been up to me. Everyone says I should stick it out and graduate, but I feel like I’m neglecting our children and I’m grumpy all the time. I feel like a horrible mom.
There is no way to lighten the class load. What should I do? Quit and seek a job at which I can work a normal day and then go home and care for my kids? Or tough it out and be miserable for another year? — Student Stuck in North Carolina
A: To stay at home and care for your children would take the cooperation of your under-providing husband, and he’s unwilling to do that. I don’t think you have much choice other than to continue your studies and return to helping support your family financially, including him.
Q: I’m in my mid-20s and haven’t lived in my mother’s home in more than four years. However, mail still occasionally comes for me at her address. Whenever it happens, my mother opens it.
Typically, she goes through the song and dance of telling me I’ve received mail, asking if I want her to open it (no, thank you), then saying she’ll set it aside. Yet, by the time it reaches me, it has been opened.
When I try to talk to her about it, she claims that because she lives alone she’s not in the habit of looking at the name on the front of the envelopes. If this had happened only once or twice, I’d believe it was an honest mistake. But it is every envelope, every time. What can I do? I don’t think this is something I should have to grin and bear. — Frustrated Buffalo Girl
A: Mail is considered to be private property. When another party breaches that privacy, that person may be guilty of mail tampering, which is a crime. You should have explained that fact to your mother when you first realized that what she was doing wasn’t an accident.
Because this annoys you so much that you have written to me about it, and if you haven’t already done so, register your change of address with the post office so your mail can be delivered properly, and contact those who may not know that you have moved, so this won’t keep happening.