Q. My family wants to move to another state. The only reason we haven’t is because of my dad’s job. He has worked for the same company for 18 years and doesn’t want to lose his retirement benefits. I understand how important the job is, but the company could easily allow a transfer to another branch.
Whenever we try to talk to Dad about moving, he gets angry and yells at us or leaves the room in frustration. It’s causing a lot of tension at home. We feel stuck and unhappy here, and that makes me upset with my father for not putting any effort into moving. He has told us many times that he wants to go somewhere else, yet he doesn’t do anything to make it happen.
Dad was looking at real estate prices in a city we vacationed in this year, but seems to have forgotten about it. How do we help him see that moving is best for all of us? There is no downside. Other branches of the company pay better than the one he works at now, and there’s also the possibility that he could find a job with an entirely different company that’s even better for him.
I think Dad is worried about selling the house, but how will he know whether he can sell it if he doesn’t try? He is so resistant to change. How can we help him? – His Daughter
A. Moving away may seem like a simple thing to you, but for your father, it is fraught with uncertainty. You don’t know that his company would offer to transfer him. You don’t know that he could find a better, or even an adequate, job somewhere else and start from scratch to support his family. You don’t know that he could sell the house for enough to buy another one. All of these things weigh on his mind, and your constant pressure adds to his unhappiness and stress.
Here’s how you can help Dad: Tell him you love him and you know he is doing what he thinks is best for the family. Don’t bring up the subject again. He knows how you feel. Decide to make the best of the situation you have, and if you don’t move away, you have the option of leaving on your own when you are an adult.
Dear Annie: My wife of 54 years passed away five years ago. This past year, I remarried. Here is my problem:
My granddaughter is getting married this summer and has indicated that she would like a picture of her grandmother for the wedding. I assume she plans to display the picture.
I have told my daughter that it is time for the both of them to get over it. I also told her that it is incorrect to display a picture of a dead person at a wedding. Correct me if I’m wrong. – Concerned
Dear Concerned: You’re wrong. Your granddaughter wishes to honor her grandmother, who did not live long enough to see her walk down the aisle. And while it would be inappropriate to make the entire wedding about Grandma, a small tribute would be lovely. You may have finished grieving for your late wife, but your daughter and her child still wish to remember her on this occasion. Please don’t stand in their way.
Dear Annie: This is for “Not Anti-Social or Addicted to the Internet,” the 56-year-old man who is looking to make new friends. I suggest taking up the game of tennis, where the players on the local courts are always looking for people to play and socialize with. Local tennis clubs are a great place to have fun and meet terrific people. Tennis also is a fantastic form of exercise. – Jim
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