If They Ask, Don’t Tell
Dear Margo: My husband and I are organic farmers in the Midwest. We incorporate organic practices into our lifestyle because we believe it’s the healthiest way to live. I consider this a personal choice and never try to sway those who disagree with us. My husband’s family wholly supports our choice to live as we do. My family, however, does not.
I am constantly defending our lifestyle to my parents and other family members. My husband and I have nothing against modern medicine, yet my family thinks we are totally against even seeing the doctor. We choose not to eat a lot of white sugar, white flour and processed food, yet I’m “depriving my son” because I don’t give him candy and sweets — despite the fact that he’s only 14 months old. Recently, he was sick, and I gave him a rehydration drink on the advice of my naturopath. Because it wasn’t Gatorade or Pedialyte, I took a “huge risk,” according to an aunt who sent me an offensive e-mail the other day.
Margo, I don’t know how much more I can take of this scrutiny of our choices. I get approval from either my doctor or the pediatrician before starting anything my naturopath suggests. My husband thinks I should quit being so nice and tell the next person who criticizes our choices to butt out. –Tired of Biting My Tongue
Dear Tired: I have a better idea. Stop defending yourself, and stop reporting what you are growing, eating and giving your children. (And you are correct, it turns out, about processed foods.) If questions are asked, say you’ve decided, for the sake of harmony, that the subject is out of bounds. –Margo, conclusively
Dear Margo: I am a 57-year-old man who had been in a stable, loving relationship with another man for the past nine years. I am 17 years his senior, and our relationship has been long distance since Day One, so we knew what we were in for. Because of our careers, we were able to travel to be with each other, and we spoke three times a day every day if we were apart.
This past year has been the very worst of my life. The worst was that my partner was told he had prostate cancer and needed to have it removed. The operation was a success. They got all the cancer and preserved the nerves, which meant he could still get an erection. Now the problem. He lives in Los Angeles, and I was on my way to spend three weeks with him to help him recover. On the night before I was to leave, he told me he’d been having an affair and during all of our relationship was having one-night stands. He wanted to know if I still would come to L.A. I said yes because I thought talking face to face would help.
While there, we talked, and he told me he was no longer sexually attracted to me but still loved me. While there, he never took one day off from work to be with me, and when I was going home, he put me in a taxi. As far as I was concerned, we were over, but he still calls, says he loves me and uses pet names we had for each other. I have gotten a lot of advice from friends and family, but I think I need an outside opinion. Should I tell him to please not call me, as it is too painful, and just let me get on with my life? –Brokenhearted
Dear Broke: In a word, yes. He wants everything: you in the wings (and in another town), his local friend and his one-night stands. Tell him it was great fun, but it was just one of those things. Accepting that it’s over will free you to begin your romantic life anew. There’s a saying in retail that I find applies to life: Your first markdown is your cheapest. There’s no reason to stick around and feel second rate — like an item that won’t sell. –Margo, decisively
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Dear Margo is written by Margo Howard, Ann Landers’ daughter. All letters must be sent via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Due to a high volume of e-mail, not all letters will be answered.
COPYRIGHT 2011 MARGO HOWARD
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