DEAR HARRIETTE: My husband wants to go skydiving. I told him he could go by himself, because I have no interest in going. He wants me to do it with him and won’t stop bugging me about it. He won’t do it alone. Should I do it? I am so nervous, and I have a little fear of heights. -- Skydiving, Seattle
DEAR SKYDIVING: There is a way for you to be comfortable and for your husband to be fulfilled. You can go to the site to observe him skydiving without going up in the air. Inexperienced skydivers do not go unaccompanied. Your husband will be attached to another human being -- a skydiving expert, in fact. He can fully experience his bucket-list dream to fly in the sky with you present. The best news is that you can stand on the ground and record him in action to share with him later.
If he balks at this idea, let him know that this is the compromise that you can offer, that it will take a lot even for you to be present and watching him in flight. Ask him to have compassion for you and give you the space to support him and maintain your presence of self. If you don’t want to do it, don’t do it.
DEAR HARRIETTE: My girlfriend is a terrible cook. She wants to make dinner for me almost every night of the week, but her food is almost inedible. I don’t know what to do; I keep making excuses as to why I’m not coming home, and I think she is nervous that I have another agenda. How can I tell her that I hate her cooking in a nice way so that she won’t be too offended? -- Bad Cook, Chicago
DEAR BAD COOK: It’s time to roll up your sleeves and start helping out in the kitchen. If you have a specialty you have learned to make, tell her you want to cook for her one night. Ask for her help as you prepare your special meal. From there, ask her if you can share space in the kitchen and plan and cook meals together. She may not agree to it every day, but push for it on a regular basis.
Next, you can enroll the two of you in cooking classes. This is a way to promote togetherness and improve her cooking skills. As long as you are up for the challenge, you do not have to say anything to her about her culinary abilities. Instead, foster learning and growing together as a couple in the kitchen. Using recipes helps tremendously in improving people’s cooking abilities. Buy cookbooks for your girlfriend in cuisine categories that you and she enjoy. You can creatively support her and your meals together without making her feel bad about her culinary repertoire.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)