I am in need of some advice and willing to listen to anyone.
I am in my mid 30's and have a girlfriend in her mid 20's. I make a reasonable salary, nothing extravagant. She is in the medical profession and makes about the same as I.
I love this woman with all I have. I have been in some relationships in my time; this is all new for her. She has never had a serious relationship with a man. She is very family oriented while I have never known any of my family (except for a bad relationship with my father, a long-lost brother, and my mom, whom I have known all my life.)
To her, family, especially Dad, is everything. To me, besides making sure mom can live above poverty level, it is rather irrelevant.
In the end, I really want what is best for her. But I cannot afford to take care of her and my mom, and I cannot allow myself to let my mom live in poverty.
My girlfriend has been taken care of all her life by her father and has no idea of sacrifice or compromise. She wants someone who can take care of her, which is all she has ever known. What am I to do? I have talked to her about the situation, but it does not change what she wants. Together we could make a comfortable life, but I am unable to take care of her and my mom.
But she does not seem to be willing to envision any other circumstance than that of the man taking care of the woman in the relationship. I have told her that I am willing to put all I can into our life, but that my mother has to be able to survive, which seems irrelevant to her.
So my question is, do I make a life for her and ignore the needs of my mother or do I tell her to take the gate? I love her but I cannot bear to see my mom live in poverty. Help me, Bubby!
Love or Money
Dear Love or Money,
As a 30 year old you should certainly be able to make a decision but I will tell you my thoughts.
This 20 year old is not for you. She may say she loves you and wants to spend the rest of her life with you - but don't believe it. She is lazy and would like to just be taken care of. Even if you do live together, it will be only until she finds somebody who can give her more than you. She has to change her ways, which I doubt.
Your mother gave you Life and you should help her out as long as she lives or needs your help. I think you should not burden yourself with this girl. She will bring nothing to the relationship. I know it may be difficult but don't do this to yourself. You will meet some other girl closer to your age that will make you happy, I am sure. I can only see trouble ahead for you with this girl.
I really no one to talk to about this. I have a boyfriend, but every time I'm around him I get really freaked, you know, like nervous. I can't kiss him or anything until I feel comfortable around him. I really feel like I have made a mistake saying 'yes' to go out with him.
P.S. I have been out of contact with him all summer, and being the age I am, 13, I have to go back to school and face himn soon!
Please help, I'm nervous and I'm starting to get, in a way, nervous breakdowns. I can't tell my friends about my problem because they are type of people who are comfortable around everyone. I've always been shy and cautious about who I like. He's kind of a bad boy, not completely, but I can hug him and talk to him a little bit but..... PLEASE HELP!!!
At 13 it is very normal to be a little shy around boys. Step lightly, keep your eyes open and watch what the other girls do. They may be doing the wrong things and you can clear these things up by taking your Mom into your confidence. Girls who think they know everything are all heading for a fall. Ask Mom and she will surely help you over the tough spots and make sure you grow up to be a beautiful, happy young lady.
Try it - You will like it.
All the best.
I am 24 years old and stuck at a fork in the road. I am a singer and went to school for music. I love to sing and my goal is to be able to make a living by singing. That has yet to happen.
I live in a medium-sized town and have yet to make enough money to live on, so I am thinking about moving to a larger city where there are more opportunities. I am also a nurse, so I know that I will have a steady job no matter where I go, but this is where I am conflicted.
I can make the move to a larger city that is about 500 miles from my hometown in hopes of making it, or take the giant leap and move to New York or L.A., where I'm sure to have more chances. Should I take the closer, less promising city or the distant twinkle of big city lights?
Thank You So Much,
Singing for Her Supper
Dear Singing for Her Supper,
There is a big jump from nursing to a singing career. I think that if you are a certified nurse, you could probably have a better chance of getting a job in the medical field than trying to make it as a singer.
You could stay where you are or you could move to a larger city, register with an agency and get an interesting position in the medical field. You could sing as much as you want to entertain patients, elderly, at parties, or at family affairs such as weddings, and get paid.
You don't tell me if you had professional training as a singer. There are thousands of young people who have spent a lot of time and money on training and are still being turned down. Also your living expenses would be far greater in a big city than in a small town.
These are a few of the things to be considered. However, if you want to give it a try, be prepared to work hard. It wont be easy.
In yesterday's letter from "Stuck", a young woman needed advice about feeling stuck in her family's business. She had her own life and a boyfriend waiting for her elsewhere, but couldn't resolve this commitment predicament with her own family. Bubby requested a few more details and did her best to offer some grandmotherly advice, such as talking more with her parents and letting go of the boyfriend. Today "Stuck" wrote back to us with an update and to set a few things straight.
Thanks for your response to my email. To answer your question, I am 25 years old. The boyfriend (he's 27) and I are now engaged (we will wait until he finishes school to get married). While he is also my friend, I could never just refer to him as such, he means too much to me. I am very happy that he is in med schhol and think he will be a wonderful doctor some day, that is not a problem. I just wish I could be closer to him right now.
I came home to help because my mom no longer wished to work in the industry that my step-dad's business is in and went back to school to get her real estate license. I encouraged my mom to do so because I knew how unhappy she was. I have already finished school and after a couple of years decided that I did not enjoy the field I chose, so I may go back one day.
The advice to sit down and speak to my parents is the problem. I have a huge guilt complex when it comes to them and they know it!! I do not know how to address the subject without tears and drama. I would just leave, but the 'allowance' as you refered to it is just barely paying my bills and I have asked for a raise twice with none given. I do not wish to offend my family and make things awkward between us, so I do not push.
I fear this may not be the simple post-teen problem you originally thought, but thank you for your advice.
Dear Still Stuck,
I can't imagine that there is a stone wall between you and your mother. There is no reason why you can't talk about your predicament in not having enough to pay your bills. Surely she could try to help. That is what Mothers do - help her daughters or sons. It seems to me that you are adrift. I'm sure if you would sit down and talk very seriously you can all come to a satisfactory conclusion.
Give it a try. Good Luck.
I don't know if you can help me but I have a big family problem. I don't know what I should do. Maybe you can help me.
My father just got married to a women that my whole family knows and hates for certain reasons. They just got married a few days ago and I went to the wedding.
I have an older brother and he thinks that they shouldn't have gotten married and my dad has made a bad mistake. I think that too. But my father and his wife and new stepdaughter (his wife's daughter) have invited me to their Honeymoon in Hawaii. I rarely leave the house especially during the summer because I don't have anybody to pick me up. So Hawaii would be the most fun that I would have.
My brother and my mom think that I shouldn't go and spend time with my stepmom. But I really want to go because this could be my only fun that I would have this summer. So please grandmother...can you PLEASE help me?
Should I go to Hawaii or should I stay home? Another thing is that if I go my dad would be very happy and my mom and brother will be very mad at me. If I stay my father would be very mad at me. I don't know what I should do. Can you please e-mail me back soon? I really need your help!!!!!
Oh and by the way I'm 13 years old. Thank you so much grandmother for listening.
Stuck in the middle
Dear Stuck in the Middle,
You can't tell your father what to do -- He has to live his own life and so do you. With which parent are you living or was that decided for you?
And if your father wants you to go along to Hawaii - go if you want to. But I think if this is a Honeymoon trip - you should stay home and be with your mother and friends. That's an easy solution.
At home you should work on making new friends and if you try, you can do it. Join a club - go to the gym - play ball. There is a lot you can do at 13. Give it a try.
I have a little problem. I moved home (from FL to NY) to help run the family business. It was supposed to be for a short period of time (1-2 months) until they could get someone else or until I found another job. It has been two years now and I am still stuck here, hating the work and the pay.
Every time I bring it up to my mother, she makes me feel like I owe it to them to stay there (even though she left to go back to school, which is why I had to come home). I can't bring it up to my step-father because I know he couldn't afford to fill the position (I'm working for minimum wage and paying rent...so I can't even save any money to fix the situation).
This is beginning to put a strain on my relationship with my boyfriend (I already lost a lot of friends) because the town we are in is an hour from anywhere and he is in medical school and doesn't have time to drive out here to see me all the time. I do not drive, and I feel like being in this small town without a transportation system is killing my spirit, and stressing me out big time...but it would kill my family if I left. Please help!!!
I can't understand why you had to come home to help run the business while your mother is going to school. You should be the one going to school while your Mother should be helping her husband to run the business. If you help out, that's fine and if you are getting paid, that will take care of your allowance. Sit down with your mother and step-dad and talk it all out.
As for your boyfriend, if he is in med school that is fine. He is preparing for his future. You should consider him as a friend rather than a "boyfriend".
How old are you? I would like to know more.
Keep me posted. Then let's talk.
Ever since the beginning of the year my mom keeps taking my stuff and getting rid of it or hiding it. She also has been going though my stuff to make sure my stuff is appropriate but she doesn't go though my older sister's stuff. She also gives my sister and brothers whatever they want and when I ask for something she says, "you can pay for it yourself."
I feel bad. Can you help me?
Sad and Stuff
Dear Sad and Stuff,
I don't know how old you are but if your Mother keeps an eye on you I am sure that she means the best for you. If you think otherwise, don't cry about it -- just ask your Mother to give you an explanation.
There are some things that are for very young girls and there are some things that are for older girls. Have you heard that Mothers know best? Just put your arms around MOM and ask her to explain what is good for you and what is not. As you grow older you will learn - with MOM's help, all the things that are good for you at that age.
You're lucky to have a Mother who is ready to guide you as you travel the sea of life. Good swimming.
This probably isn't your typical request for advice letter, but I need someone's help.
I was in an automobile accident with my two children (4 and 1) two days ago. I was the only one injured badly, and I realize how fortunate we all are, and that it could have been much worse.
I was parked and we were about to get out of the car in a parking lot. A lady lost control of her car, and came barreling at us, and hit us head on. My daughter had unbuckled her booster seat belt because we were parked, and she came flying up to the front seat.
Now every time I close my eyes, I have visions of the car coming at us. I keep having these terrible thoughts, and it's very frightening. Any suggestions on how to cope with this? It was very traumatic, but we are all safe.
I need to find a way to get past it. Again, I realize it's only been 48 hours since the accident, but I'm making myself crazy here.
Signed, Scared in Cincinnati
Dear Scared in Cincinnati,
A car accident is traumatic but fortunately you and your children survived. I think you should speak to your doctor to recommend a psychotherapist. That person will help you overcome your anguish. It was not your fault in the accident but sometimes a person does feel guilt and talking to someone will help you get over it.
It takes time. I would say get the help now before this story get bigger.
Good Health and Good Luck.
My husband and I met 3 1/2 years ago and fell in love quickly. We were inseparable, and when I look back now, those were the happiest days of my life. He is a wonderful man and he loves me very much, as I do him.
Unfortunately, he is not an American citizen and in the fall of 2003 he was deported back to his native country of Egypt. I went with him, but found it difficult to live there. The lifestyle is so very different from where I come from, and I slowly began to grow sick as time went on.
I returned to the US temporarily, to see doctors and to "reset" myself, then went back to be with him. For the last 2 years I have been going back and forth, finding a true home in neither place. I am now pregnant with our first child, whom we should be meeting in about 6 weeks. Yesterday, I just found out that there is a possibility that my husband my never be allowed back into the US. We have been apart for so long - so far from those days when we fell in love.
Our love now is stronger than ever, and that is why this hurts so much. All I do is think about him and our child. I cry every day. I want us to all be together as a family. I want my husband to be able to watch our child grow. I can't enjoy anything while knowing my husband is not by my side sharing it with me. How can I cope with this life?
--Looking for Home
Dear Looking for Home,
You do have a problem! Why can't your husband come back to the US? For that I would say to you to go see a lawyer who specializes in immigration. I don't know those laws but I do know there are attorneys in the immigration department who know the answers.
I realize that it is a heartache for both of you to be separate at this time and a baby on the way so don't waste the time! Why did your husband not apply for citizenship in the time he was here or did he think if he married an American he automatically became a Citizen?? Please write back and let us know what happens.
Best of luck.
I hope you are well. It must be a great blessing to have a grandmother like you.
Let me get to my problem. I am a senior in college and a very good, hardworking student. My boyfriend is a few months older than me. We have been dating for more than a year and we are very serious about each other and want to spend the rest of our lives together. He is caring, respectful, romantic, intelligent, and I feel very lucky to be loved by him.
The only concern I have is that he is not in school. He graduated from high school and went straight to work, no college. We have talked about school and he told me he never enjoyed high school because of the homework. He told me school work raised his blood pressure. He is very intelligent, and I think that he is missing out by not going to college. He does not like his job. He is tired of it but does not want to go to school.
How can I convince him that he is missing out on what college has to offer? I love him for who he is, school or not, but I don't like to see him so unhappy at work all the time.
My parents do not like the idea of me dating him. They think our educational levels are too different for it to work out. I do not see why it should be a problem. We are still able to talk to each other, although not so much about school or classes, and he respects my academic decisions.
Do you think it is important for two people in a relationship to share similar educational backgrounds? Or should I put it this way: Do you think a relationship can work out in the very long term if two people have very different levels of schooling?
Thank you in advance for your insight. I wish you and your granddaughters the very best!
Dear Educational Disparity,
It was nice to have a boyfriend at school but out of school is an entirely new world and the time will come when you will feel superior to him. You will find that while you are pursuing a career he is hunting a job and without the education, he will never get ahead. What is he interested in?? Or is he just depending on his family for support and later on -- you. I think your parents are thinking of your happiness.
There are many people who don't stay in school because they are interested in something that is not being taught. Why doesn't he go to a technical school if he does not like the academics? He cannot get ahead without a job or business that will insure a future. My advise to you is don't see him for a while until he decides what he plans to do in the future. In the meantime go on with your career. You will see him in a different light. You are no longer a kid in school but a young lady looking forward --- with head held high.
Good luck and let me hear from you again.
I'm in the seventh grade and I just moved here from Florida. There is a different curriculum here that makes the students a year behind from where I came from in Georgia. That means I know all the answers to the tests already.
So I was wondering if it would be smart to just skip to the eighth grade, or stay in the seventh grade. The reason I'm having second thoughts is because I'm used to having a bunch of friends, boyfriends, etc. I know that when I start a new school I will have less friends, no boyfriend's. I feel that if I skip a grade then no one will want to go out with me or be my friend.
Should I do what's best for my future, or what's best for how I feel?
I'm willing to make a bet that you don't know everything. All through life there is room to learn. I think the best thing you can do for yourself is go ahead with your classes and don't think of moving ahead. Even if you are bright you will learn more.
Don't dwell of boys - it will all come in due course. Your lessons are the most important thing now. Your social life should be as a 7th grader and everything will fall into place.
So concentrate on being a 7th grader.
Here's to good grades.
Hello I'm 16 years old and I've finished school, and I'm now wanting to do a course in child care to become a nursery nurse but now I don't want to do that course anymore.
But the problem is I've already got a space for the child care course and I'm wanting to change it for a computering course but I'm not sure what to do? I mean how do I tell my mum and the College that I want to swap courses?
Also when I'm at college, what will I wear? I don't have a clue and what sort of clothes? If you can help me please do. Please help me!
Dear Confused Teengirl,
You certainly are confused. I think you should take stock of yourself. First write down all the things that you would like to do/be. Then start eliminating the one program that you are least interested in and ask yourself "WHY" and write down the honest answer.
Then do the same with each profession and write the answers "for" and "against". Speak with your parents or your school counselor, which you should have done before at the very beginning of the last year, but it is not too late.
As for the clothing that is required at college, it is no different than what you usually wear. When you get to the campus you will see what the other girls wear and you can do the same.
First decide of your future. And if you try something and you find that you chose the wrong field, you can always change your course. It is done all the time.
I'm 16 and a junior in high school this year. Whenever I walk through the front doors in the morning, I feel like I'm going to have a nervous breakdown. Sometimes it's feeling uncomfortable about which clothes I'm wearing, or what people think of me. I don't know what to do about it, I rarely feel comfortable in school. Most of the time, I'll get such bad anxiety, I'll get really hot and start to sweat.
Seeing as you're wise, and been through school yourself, I was hoping to get some advice from you before the new school year starts in a week.
Please help! Any advice would be so appreciated!
Thanks so much!
Dear Nervous Nelly,
Why choose such a name!! It makes me think that you don't like what you are wearing or what you do to your hair or just not satisfied with yourself. So, take stock of your self. Do your clothes fit right? Is your hair brushed so that it frames your face and smile? If you are overweight change your diet so that you get into shape.
I know that girls like to look their best and will do the RIGHT THING. Say a cheery HELLO to all your friends, ask if they had a nice summer. Be positive in every way and every one will respond in a positive way and think, Great Kid.
Enjoy the New Year,
I need help. I am scared of everything. I am only 10 years old but I'm still scared to even go on playdates for an hour! I need help. I need someone to comfort me and maybe I'll feel better.
My parents get mad at me for being so afraid but I can't help it! I'm just a stupid baby then I guess, and I probably will be for the rest of my life until I get more help.
Dear Fearful Friend,
I think that your parents should not make fun of you at all. If they can't understand your feelings they should get you some outside help. Have you spoken to the counselor at your school? They have been trained to help children who feel like you do. You need someone to help you build up your confidence; not to tear it down.
I can see that you are in your formative years and think like you are older. You recognize your problem so start by talking to your teacher and he or she will help you gain confidence and you can go from there.
I have been with the same person since I was 17, and am now 25. We are best friends, have lived together for several years, and love each other's company.
But I am scared that if we get married, I will never have experienced what it's like to be "single". I've told him how I feel and he feels the exact opposite. He hopes I will eventually change the way I feel, but it's not that easy.
He's ready to get married and settle down. I love him, but don't want to regret anything when I'm older. Any advice?
Confused in Colorado
Dear Confused in Colorado,
One does not know what the future will bring. If you love this man and he respects you and can support you, why hesitate? You say you love him. You know what it is like to live with him and in all probability he will be the same as he is now.
Do you see other men?? You have had this relationship for a long time and it is time to have a very serious talk with this man. Give him the answer he wants or break it up and look elsewhere.
I am a 54 year old single grandmother looking for work! I have been unemployed now for nearly 2 years, with just a few short term positions through agencies. I have been in the Admin field for most of my working life, but am finding working in an office intolerable these days.
I know I have a lot to offer, and need to make money because obviously I have to pay rent. The company I was working for downsized and I had to sell my home and relocate several times, which in itself has been extremely exhausting. Currently I am living on my small profit from the selling of my home, but that is quickly running out.
I have a part time job in a deli, earning $8.00 per hour, and that is a very demanding job. I have contemplated starting my own business, but my energy level is not where it should be after all these life changes in my life.
What should I do and where should I go from here? Everyone thinks I am together and that I am motivated, but I am really struggling....Can you help?
Dear Another Grandma,
I can see you are having a difficult time. If you have had some formal training you should go back and talk to the counselor of the school you attended. They are always eager to help or you might try registering with an employment agency. They will certainly try to place you in a field that you prefer.
Do you have any skills? You could be a baby sitter. Is it possible that you could advance where you are now working? Do you have children or friends who could help you? There always seems to be employment ads in the daily papers. You could apply or you could put your own ad in stating your abilities and your box number or your phone. But don't use your full name -- just your first name will suffice.
On paper my life would seem to be perfect. I'm 21, I have great friends, a stable family, I go to a prestigious school, and have talents that will eventually land me a wonderful job.
The problem is I don't enjoy life anymore. There are many occasions where I think, "There must be something better" and "If it all is meaningless, what's the point in living?"
This distress is not related to depression. Believe me, I know how lucky I am for what I have, but I just can't stand living a life without purpose. I've heard people say religion can help this and although I have two parents who have firm beliefs, I find beliefs too restricting. I also find everything I surround myself with now to be more and more unappealing. I don't have strong feelings of love for anyone I know, only the hope that one day I will.
I know you don't have the secrets to life but, I need to know some things. I've wanted to ask these questions to someone who has seen so much of the world. So, my questions are: Does life get any better? And if it does, Will I find real meaning in life as I get older?
I think that you have a lot of good things that will be coming your way. You say you go to a prestigious school. Are you taking courses which you are interested in and will help you decide what you want to do after you graduate? That is important. If the answer is NO then I think you should have a talk with your counselor at the school or perhaps with your religious person. You will certainly learn something about yourself.
Right now you are in the middle of the road and you must get guidance. Have you spoken to your parents? If they can't help you, I would suggest you go into therapy with a good psychiatrist.
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