Hi Captain, My mother and I have always wanted different frequencies of interaction. After I moved out for university, at a holiday party my mother announced the only gift she ever wanted from me was daily phone calls - even her friends were incredulous. She tends to call any hour of the day, hitting redial … Continue reading #1260: “How to maintain boundaries within stressful family relationships during COVID-19 lockdown?”
Dear Captain, I have read and enjoyed your advice site for several years and appreciate all the work and thought you put into each situation and your response. That being said, as someone who is on the far side of 50, I have noticed that the vast majority of your current audience seems interested in … Continue reading #1256: Boundaries and parenting, when the adult child might be the problem
Hey Captain, I (she/her) am getting married in May! Besides all the awful that is wedding planning, my fiancé (he/him) and I are excited and happy to celebrate this milestone. His parents had a short, violent relationship that resulted in their divorce and going no-contact with each other when my fiancé was a child. I, … Continue reading #1249: Parents who are no contact (with each other) at our wedding.
Hello lovely readers! Whenever I write about family estrangement, setting boundaries with family members, difficult parents, etc. a) I'm usually answering a bunch of letters in one, if that makes sense, like, there are many of this kind of question so I am picking one to tackle at length and b) immediately afterward I get … Continue reading Family Estrangement and Personal Bandwidth: A Request
This is another one in a series about difficult parent relationships: A dad who wants to talk on the phone for hours about only the things he wants to talk about and who reminds his daughter, when she tries to set boundaries, that he has nobody else to talk to. It's about guilt and about … Continue reading #1248: “How to set boundaries with someone who just doesn’t listen to me?”
I've gotten a bunch of letters about family weirdness and estrangement and boundaries (weird, almost like there was a series of events in the last month that forced a lot of family togetherness, can't think would have caused all these old wounds to re-open at the same time? 😉 ) and I'm going to put … Continue reading #1247 “I went no-contact with my mother and it’s turned her into a bogeyman”: Anxiety, Anticlimax, and the Aftermath of Estrangement.
Dear Captain, I (34/she/her pronouns) have a new stepfather as of this summer. He has been with my mom off and on for the last 10+ years, and they finally married in July 2019. I think this man is a Garbage Human, but we have to let our parents make their own adult decisions. A … Continue reading #1245: “My Brand New Stepfather Thinks We Are On The ‘LW’S Mom Is Terrible Train’ Together. Help?”
Thank you all for the kind words and end-of-year donations and patronage that have flowed in over the last week or so. I've been traveling and kind of made a point about not touching my laptop for a week or so, but I read everything and I'm very grateful. ❤ Everyone's doing decade-retrospectives and my … Continue reading 2019’s Most-Viewed Posts
Ahoy Captain, This past year I (31/F) finally received a diagnosis for what I've been struggling with for over half my life. I have Complex PTSD/PTSD (I'll spare you the differences and overlaps) (Ed. Note: No worries! I, Jennifer, will link people to a basic explainer.) Encouraged by my therapist I shared the PTSD with my … Continue reading #1243: “Broaching a service dog with dismissive family.”
Hello, Captain, Quick aside: I really like your switch to allowing comments only on select posts. It makes the whole site somehow calmer and more inviting. Being able to read your writing without the distraction of subconsciously wondering what sharp poky things might turn up at the bottom is relaxing in a way I wouldn't … Continue reading #1242: “What’s a helpful holiday gift for my 10YO niece who has crappy parents?”