DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been dating my boyfriend for four years. He treats me well, but some issues have been arising due to his problem with drugs. I can see how it is changing him and how he acts, therefore changing our relationship. I have tried talking to him about it by suggesting he get help or talk to someone else about this. Every time the topic comes up, it starts an argument and he blames me for acting like his mother. I don’t want to act like his mother or tell him what to do, but in these situations, it’s my instinct to intervene and tell him to stop because it is creating problems in our relationship. Is there anything else I can do to help him? -- I’m Your Girlfriend, Not Your Mother, Syracuse, New York
DEAR I’M YOUR GIRLFRIEND, NOT YOUR MOTHER: It is time for you to do a gut check. Is your boyfriend being realistic at all about his drug use? Can you talk to him about it directly? If you can talk at a moment when he is clean and sober, make it clear to him that you do not want to be with him if he is going to continue to use -- whatever the drug is, including weed. Be firm that you care about him, but you love yourself more. You do not want to get caught up in drug issues. Tell him you will support him if he wants to go to rehab. Otherwise, you feel you have to walk away so that you do not become like his mother, nagging him to get help without ever finding fulfillment. Draw the line. If his addiction is not too severe, he may be able to climb out of his stupor. If not, you don’t have the expertise to be with him safely, not now anyway.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a mother of three children under the age of 15 residing in Connecticut. Recently, my husband has been offered a job overseas. We have been discussing moving for the new job because it would be the best opportunity for his career.
I wouldn’t mind moving, but I am very worried about my children’s reaction. They have lived here their whole lives and are very attached to our family home, their school and their friends. I am not sure if it is the right thing to follow my husband’s career and uproot my family or remain here and have my husband keep his current job. How do we make this decision? -- To Leave or Not To Leave, Stamford, Connecticut
DEAR TO LEAVE OR NOT TO LEAVE: Moving is a constant for many working people. How you move is what can be the creative solution to a mobile challenge. Talk to your husband about the pros and cons of this new job location. What can you and the children learn from spending time there? What will be difficult? What will be worth it? Present the move to your children as an adventure where they will learn and grow. When they push back about leaving their friends, remind them of the technology they can use to stay in touch. Your attitude toward the move is what will keep them focused. I say go for it. Manage everyone’s expectations and expand your horizons. It will be bumpy, but worth it!
(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.)