Ask Grandma Anything: Hurting for Him Hurting for Them


Dear Cutie,

My boyfriend of the past five years is fifty years old and yet still grieves for his parents, who passed away twenty years ago. It’s quite heart wrenching to me that his reason for not wanting to have kids is
that the loss of his parents is so great that he says he wishes he were never born. It frustrates me to constantly hear him talk about his parents as if they passed away only yesterday–then I feel bad for
feeling that way. I wish I could make it less painful for him, but I can’t. Sometimes I think he should see a therapist for this complicated grief, but I know that no therapist in the world can bring
back his parents.

Cutie, how did you deal with the death of your children and then Harry’s passing? I’m impressed by your positivity and adaptiveness.


Hurting for Him

Dear Hurting,

This happened twenty years ago? It is not normal to still feel so devastated.

The way to deal with grief is to deal with it. It will not just go away. Your boyfriend must deal with his grief, and learn to let it go. Something has kept him from going through this natural process, and like a clogged pipe, he clearly needs some help to get things moving again.

It was incredibly difficult to lose my children and husband. But I wanted to go on living and I knew they would have wanted me to do so. So even when I was hurting, I forced myself get up, put my best face on, and live. It was hard, but it became easier with time. This is how grief works.

I am sure that your boyfriend’s parents would be very sorry to know that he is not living his life to the fullest. But, it is not up to you to change how he feels. He has to make that decision for himself. If you love him, I would encourage him to get some help. A therapist cannot bring his parents back, but a good one can help him work through his pain and move on.

Good luck to you both.

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Ask Grandma Anything: When Type A is Too Much


Dear Cutie,

I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for nearly fourteen years. He is very high strung, serious and what the experts call a “type A” personality type. I on the other hand consider myself to be an easygoing, silly goofball. I love to laugh and have fun, though my personality has definitely changed since being involved with him.

We do really love each other and he takes very good care of me. He also has moments when he can be very charming and sweet.

My question is: how can I cope with his stuffiness without stifling my own personality? He causes me a lot of anxiety and the “walking on eggshells” feeling.


Dear Egg-foot,

I think it is important for a person to be comfortable in their relationship and not feel tense when with their partner. We all want a love relationship, but you have to feel good in your home. It is not appropriate to feel that you are walking on eggshells, because that means you are doing all the giving so that he can behave however he wishes, even if you don’t like it.

The question is: does he want to change to make you happier? If he is not prepared to give a little, that is your answer. If you haven’t asked if he is willing to make some changes, that is what you should do, and probably with the help of a professional counselor. And if he isn’t willing, then that is your answer.

Every couple has conflicts and the real test is what you do about them. So I am counting on you to stand up for yourself and tell your partner what you need.

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