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Husband must tell predator woman he isn’t interested


Q: A woman we met together recently behaves like a predator, but my husband doesn’t get it.

She’s in her late 30s, single, flirty, frequently remarks about being “on her own.” She claims to have lived everywhere exciting (Paris, Los Angeles, etc.) so makes herself sound interesting and mysterious.

My husband, mid-50s, got drawn into a conversation about her “philosophy group,” and now she invites him to meetings without mentioning me!

He says he won’t go without me, but I don’t trust her. I’m not normally a jealous or insecure woman.

Suspicious Instinct

A: The philosophies may be fascinating, but her motives do seem transparent. Start with you responding, using “we,” and either say you will attend together or refuse.

Tell your husband that you appreciate his innocence, but to respect your instinct on this.

If she persists, he must tell her directly that he’s not interested in the group. Then he shouldn’t respond to her approaches at all.

Q: Some parents swear by the self-soothing, cry-it-out, Ferber method for their baby. I’m trying it out but feel scared that I’m neglecting my baby. Some parents allow the baby to cry for more than an hour to learn to self-soothe.

Am I damaging my child’s development (emotional or physical) by trying this method? The Ferber technique clearly says to check on babies, but each time let them cry longer. Yet many parents claim to let them cry with no checks.

The public health nurses claim that it’s OK, but that it’s important to be consistent in applying the technique. However, they also seemed unsure about it. My baby is 1.

Fear of Ferber

A: Whether you believe in Dr. Richard Ferber’s technique for solving infant sleep problems, you as parents must feel comfortable and trusting that you’re doing the right thing for your child.

You clearly don’t feel easy with this method, but likely do have concerns about sleep issues or wouldn’t be asking.

Do some reading on your own, on different approaches, until you find one that comes more naturally to you. That’s the one that’ll work, as your child feels you relax and yet senses your resolve.

Some plans suggest you lie with the baby till he/she sleeps. Others say to sit beside the crib and stroke the baby till sleep comes. Still others, like Ferber, do let the baby cry but for limited periods, related to how comfortable parents become with the technique. It’s recommended you start when your child is 3-to-5-months old.

Ferber’s strategy is controversial, with some claiming it can create emotional scars, while others swear by it.

Sleep is just one child-rearing issue whereby parents need to learn about and discuss different ideas, and decide together what they believe is right for their family.

Q: My friend, recently widowed, is astonished at the weird things people say.

One friend, also widowed, commented seriously how “nice” it was that both men were now “playing golf together in heaven.”

And a relative, told that this woman wasn’t ready to attend a musical play, responded, “Stop moping around! It’s been a month already.”

How can my friend handle such comments?

Odd Condolences

A: Just as your friend’s finding that everyone grieves in their own way and time, many people don’t know how to express sympathy and do so differently.

Generally, they mean well, but say it awkwardly.

If she normally likes these people, she can respond with a noncommittal, “Thanks, I know you’re trying to cheer me up. Let’s talk in a few weeks.”

Or, if the comments are more annoying, she can say, “That’s not helping me,” and end the conversation.

TIP OF THE DAY

When a predator reaches out, the target partner should make rejection clear.

Email ellie@thestar.ca. Ellie chats at noon Wednesdays at thestar.com/elliechat. Follow @ellieadvice.

thestar.com – Opinion