Dear Feelings Doctor: My husband and I lost our home that we've owned for 18 years because the economy is so bad right now. We have three children; two of them are teens. My question to you is what should be shared with our kids? How much of the fear that I am feeling do they need to know about? Thank you.
— Karin in Ventura
Dear Karin: Your children are already aware that something is going on. Emotions carry so much more weight than words. The way you have described your feelings here, it sounds like a family discussion is needed so you and your husband can reassure the children that although changes are in the near future, your family will still remain in tact, and as a family, everyone will have different feelings about what is going on.
Whether it is going to a new school and making new friends, or moving out of the home that they have known since they were small, this is when the family comes together and makes a plan — talking with your kids through the entire process.
Moving surely does bring about challenges and changes, and with that can also be a time when your family can rally around each other with support and new ideas on how to make it an adventure (of sorts), too! You and your husband will need to discuss the level of disclosure you feel is necessary to share with everyone.
Also, watch for major changes in their behavior immediately after the move, such as moodiness and depression. I bet your children will surprise you with their determination and teamwork on how to handle certain things, too — like who gets the biggest bedroom in the new house! Good luck.
Dear Feelings Doctor: My boyfriend and I have been living together for six years now, and we talk about getting married some day and having kids. I am 35 and he is 42 years old. He isn't in any hurry and lately gets upset when I pressure him. I gave him an ultimatum, and he doesn't care. What should I do now? I feel we are running out of time.
— Peg in Santa Ynez
Dear Peg: Ultimatums are a sure way to get things to shift — no guarantee in what direction, though. If you have exhausted every conversation with your boyfriend, perhaps you two should revisit the issue of children. If you both are on the same page about having a family, then go talk with a professional about what issues are holding things up.
If he is dragging his feet for other reasons, like not sure about children or his job, station in life or being committed to you, it’s time to find out exactly where you both stand, then move in the direction that feels right for you as a couple or as two people looking for different things in life. Asking for what you want in your life is the right thing to do — for both of you.
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Imagine This ...
Kissing activates the trust hormone in all of us. Here’s to kisses, kisses and more kisses. Pucker up, baby!